Lumy (luminations) wrote,
Lumy
luminations

"Uncertainty" Chapter 24: "Don't Close Your Eyes" (24/47)

Title: "Uncertainty" Chapter 24: "Don't Close Your Eyes" (24/47)
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: 8718
Rating (for fic as a whole): R

~


It rained that night. A light, playful rain that waited until they got home before it began its pitter-patter-ing on the roof. Ellie loved listening to it, especially while cuddling with Joel on the couch. First cuddling, then making out -- nothing out of the ordinary for them... yet.

She wasn't quite sure how to bring up the sensitive subject again. She didn't want to put Joel on the spot -- and by this point, she also didn't want to jinx anything. She kind of just wanted things to develop naturally. As if her getting him off would be no big deal. Can't go wrong by starting with kisses, right? Deep, passionate, dizzying kisses -- and she wasn't just in his lap now, she was straddling him... rubbing herself against him. Always guaranteed to make him hard.

Well, almost always... the night of the wedding, he'd gotten it into his head (prior to getting home) that they wouldn't be fooling around, and unfortunately, his head seemed to have a great deal of control over his dick.

It didn't take quite as long this time for his body to respond appropriately. He started to move her off of him, but she wouldn't let him. "No. Joel, please..."

He kissed her neck. "All right. We don' have to stop."

Exactly what she wanted to hear! "Awesome! So..."

"Let's jus' move. Here... put your arms around my neck..." He pulled her snug against him so he could stand up and carry her with him.

"Okay! Don't bang me on the wall," she warned as she resumed kissing him -- just to make that task as difficult as she could.

"I got this," he murmured against her lips.

He would have made it through the doorway just fine, but Ellie leaned to her right, for no reason other than to challenge him, and bumped her shoulder on the door frame when he didn't course-correct quickly enough. "Oww! You banged me into the wall!"

Joel laughed -- how she loved making him laugh! -- and deposited her not-so-gently onto the bed, making her giggle. "No I didn't," he grumbled as he crawled on top of her. "That was the door. Also -- you cheated."

"Did not! You must be drunk or something," she teased.

He smiled, with that sexy-as-fuck smile that Ellie loved so much -- the one that was just for her. "Believe me. When I bang you into a wall, you'll know it."

Ellie burst out laughing. "Omigod I didn't even think of it like that!"

"There I go, corrupting your innocence again," Joel smirked, then leaned in to kiss her.

Yeah, about that... Ellie tried to pull him down completely on top of her, but he was resisting it. "That's okay... maybe you should demonstrate what you mean... make sure I get it..."

"Mm. Against a wall? That'd be real romantic for your first time."

"I don't care about it being romantic! I'll do it however you want."

"Maybe I care." He slid over to one side of her, letting a hand fall to rest on her chest (which was, unfortunately, still clothed) as he kept kissing her.

Ellie couldn't have been happier. This is AWESOME. He's in a good mood, he's joking around about corrupting me, and he's touching me like it's not something bad...

His hand slid up her shirt and cupped her breast... or rather, her bra. "You've got too many clothes on," he murmured.

"So do you." She started unbuttoning his denim shirt while he tried to lift both her T-shirt and long-sleeved undershirt over her head at once. He had to wait for her to lift her arms... then she helped him wriggle out of his shirt and tank top.

Joel liked to try to impress her by removing her bra with the one hand that could reach back there naturally when they were laying together sideways like this... but he couldn't ever do it very smoothly. He would keep trying, and Ellie would try not to laugh... at least not too much. She would offer to help, and he would shush her. This time he got it without having to cheat by snaking his other arm beneath her, or by rolling her onto her stomach, to un-do the clasp. She secretly liked that he wasn't absolutely perfect at everything sex-related (not that he'd ever claimed to be, but in her mind, he might as well be God in that arena). It somehow took a little pressure off of her to have to be good at everything -- pressure she put on herself, granted, but still.

He de-pantsed her easily enough... and he let her yank his pants off, too. He might or might not attempt to go fetch the pajama pants, but if he did try, Ellie wasn't going to let him this time. "Joel... before, when you said we don't have to stop..."

He was kissing her neck, her shoulder, her breast..."Yeah?" he answered distractedly.

"Did you mean... we can have sex? Cuz I'd just kinda like to know if we are. I mean, know ahead of time. Like, right now -- not way ahead or anything. Now is ahead enough."

He lifted his face from her nipple and kissed her lips, laughing a little as he did.

"What's funny about that?" Did I already fuck it up??

"You're cute."

"Um... okay." She sighed in mock exasperation. "How am I cute?"

"We ain't havin' sex."

"Oh."

"Nice try, though."

"I wasn't trying, I was just... asking..."

They lay on the bed in their underwear like that for a little while, kissing, hands roving. Since Ellie hadn't waited for them to go to bed to start her... seduction routine, for lack of a better term, the light was still on in the other room, lending them enough light to see by but not enough to make anyone shy. ...And by 'anyone', I mean ME, she had to admit. They hadn't made out like this in nearly a week... since before Ellie got her period (which was gone now, thankfully). Wherever Joel kissed Ellie on her body, she would try to mirror on him afterward, tentatively, asking if he liked it... and he always said he did, and that she should relax. His fingers danced across her underwear, which didn't exactly help with the relaxing. She tensed a little, and kept wondering -- hoping -- THIS time is he going to slip one under there? ...but so far, he was only teasing her.

Wait -- I'm not supposed to want him to do that. "Joel, you said... before... remember? You said I could... touch you." A long time ago now!

"I did say that." He rubbed her arm. Didn't say anything else, although it seemed like he wanted to... maybe he couldn't find the words, or... was he waiting for a cue from her?

She trailed her fingers down his chest, his abdomen... he wasn't stopping her, but she stopped herself before she got all the way down to the bulge in his boxers. She could feel him tense up. Was he tensing the way she had, in anticipation? Or was it something else? "Are you grossed out right now?" she blurted, then immediately kicked herself for the complete unsexiness of the question.

"No."

She hoped he was telling the truth; it was hard to tell. She inched her hand lower. Kissed his lips. "Do you want me to...?" she breathed.

"Yes... no."

He said yes first -- that must be his gut answer... but she was frozen in fear now. Then he rolled over onto his back and laid his forearm across his eyes... in defeat? Or what? "...no? You don't?"

He didn't answer.

Ellie swallowed a lump in her throat. "It's okay," she said meekly. It's okay it's okay it's okay REALLY, she told herself. This is just hard for him...

And for the first time since they'd come into the bedroom tonight, she started thinking about the shit that people were saying. About how wrong they were to think Joel was sick. How the thought of Joel and her engaging in sexual acts was a source of amusement and/or revulsion to everyone. It made her angry and sad at the same time. She didn't want to be thinking about that, and she'd been so fucking sure she wouldn't be thinking about it... not now! ...but... if Joel was repulsed, too...

She waited for him to say something. He just lay there. She rolled onto her other side, her back toward him. For some reason, she felt like crying. He hadn't even said or done anything to justify that. No! Ellie, don't cry like a little bitch... unless he leaves the room... he wouldn't do that, surely... but he was still just laying there, not even acknowledging that she'd rolled away. Maybe he's annoyed. Maybe he's thinking 'oh God, she's gonna cry, guess I better think up some bullshit real quick'... She didn't know if Joel ever really thought that, but the Joel in her head said things like that to her sometimes. The Joel in her head could also be kind of mean.

"I'm sorry," she said, and she forced her voice to sound normal when she added, "It's okay. I'm okay." Or I'll pretend to be, if it will make you not want to leave. She couldn't make herself roll back over to him yet, though.

He rolled over to her instead, and she exhaled a big breath that she hadn't even realized she'd been holding in. "You didn' do anythin' wrong, baby girl. I'm sorry." He kissed her shoulder.

"You didn't do anything wrong, either." It wasn't his fault she disgusted him.

"I didn' mean to make you think..." He snuggled up behind her, burying his face in her hair. "Let me try to explain."

"You don't have to," she said quickly. Translation: please don't, or I WILL cry.

He didn't hear her silent plea. "I want to. When you asked me if I wanted you to... yes, of course I want that. But if I say that, I'm doin' exactly what everyone who believes that rumor thinks I'm doin' -- coercin' you into--"

"It doesn't matter what they think," she interrupted. He'd tried so many times to explain himself to her, and nothing he said ever helped her understand. That 'of course' was promising, though. Like it was a given that he would want her to touch him there, despite all his reluctance? It was just strange to think that Joel actually cared what others thought. "You said so yourself! It doesn't matter. Who cares? I know it's hard not to think about that, cuz I did too, a little, but..."

"It ain't them. It's... the idea behind it. That's always been in my head."

"I know. You've told me. You feel... dirty."

"Yes. Not because of you -- because of what I'd be askin' you to do."

"You're not asking -- I'm offering."

"You were askin'. Askin' if I wanted you to."

"So... I did do something wrong."

"No--"

"I did! I should tell you I want to, not ask if you want me to!" Ellie said excitedly, twisting her torso a little to try to look at him. That made sense! She could do that!

He nuzzled her cheek instead of her hair when she turned. "No... that wouldn' change it much. It's the same result: I'll think you're jus' doin' it 'cause you wanna please me."

She sighed and fell back into her former position, completely on her side. "What's wrong with that? Don't you touch me because you want to please me?"

He started idly fondling the breast that wasn't half-smushed into the bed. "I was... a little slow to do that at first, too... I didn' want you to let me touch you jus' 'cause you thought it's what I wanted. But... I got over that. Because it was real clear that you enjoyed it. Me touchin' you."

"I do!" she affirmed.

"So... in my head, it ain't the same thing as you touchin' me... if I let you do that, it's like I'm takin' advantage of you, for my own... gratification. I'd be usin' you to--"

Not this again! "But I use you all the time!"

He kissed her ear, making her shiver. "Ain't the same thing. An' I love that... it's hot as hell."

"Well, it would be pretty fucking hot if I did it to you, don't you think?!"

He started kissing her neck again, and she went even slacker than she already was. "It just ain't the same."

"Joel--"

"I know... I'm crap at explainin'... ...I'm so much older than you, Ellie. I've done all this before. You haven't. An'... well, I'm the guy. I know you think I'm a chauvinist pig, but... it's different. It really is."

It's always DIFFERENT! She sighed. "Well, I can't help it that I've never done it. So... can you pretend you haven't done this before? -And that you're a girl?" she suggested.

He chuckled at that. "Uh..."

"Or... pretend I'm older. Pretend I'm thirty-five." She snorted. "Pretty stupid for a thirty-five-year-old to suck at it though, huh. I'll have to also pre--"

"No, this has nothin' to do with your intelligence. If you were thirty-five an' hadn' done this before, it wouldn' make you stupid."

"Yeah yeah, whatever. So... wouldn't that help? Pretending I'm older?" That was just too simple, if it worked...

He kissed above her ear and stayed there, his face in her hair again. "I don' want you to be older."

"What?! Well, I wanna be older. Fuck -- if I was older, we wouldn't have half the problems we have now."

"But... it wouldn' be you. You're... the way you are... you're the Ellie I'm in love with. I wouldn' change anythin' about you. -Except maybe to make you a little more sure of yourself. A little more sure of me. Knowin' that I'm not goin' to leave you."

"I do know that!" And I can fake it when I don't.

"Not all the time, you don't. Which is fine. In time, I hope you will. I'll keep remindin' you."

"You don't have to do that. You must be sick of it by now."

"Nope. Not sick of... showin' you I care."

"You're not?" Not that she doubted him on that -- she just wanted him to say it again! See, everyone? I'M the manipulative one here.

"Not at all. I love you."

"I love you." She twisted her head around to kiss him. "Like crazy. God, it's like... you have no idea how much I love you." Jeez -- sappy much, Ellie?? And she couldn't even blame it on alcohol this time. At least he couldn't see her face turn red, with the dim lighting.

"I think I have some idea." He caressed her cheek, and she turned toward him with her entire body. When he kissed her tenderly, she kissed him back eagerly, deepening the kiss.

Hitching her leg up over his hip, which almost always made him put his... yep, this time too! -hand on her ass. He pulled her closer and groaned softly.

"Joel, tell me what to do... or, show me, whatever... I really really want to." It wasn't so dark that she couldn't look him squarely in the eye. "I want to show you I care, the way you show me."

He seemed to be studying her face. "I know you care."

At least he didn't say no! "I'm your girlfriend. Or, close enough," she added before he could reject the label. "If I was with anyone else -- not that I'd ever want to be! -- but say I was. Wouldn't I be doing this stuff with that guy, cuz I'm his girlfriend? Why would that be okay, but it's not if the guy is you?"

"I never said it would be okay for anyone to--"

"Okay okay-- just forget your... protective dad thing. You're not here. For some reason. Which I guess means I never met you, cuz this would never happen otherwise. I'm just a girl who gets a boyfriend, and he's prob'ly a dick, cuz according to you, the only thing boys want is sex. Right? So, obviously he doesn't love me. He just wants to fuck--"

"I know what you're sayin'," Joel cut in. "Believe me. It's one thing that makes me feel better about... us. Bein' together."

"It does? How?" Ellie asked eagerly, although if he was following her train of thought, she already knew. Anything that makes Joel feel BETTER needs to be encouraged!

" 'Cause that's not what I want from you. The sex. Never has been. That's why it's hard for me... to... use you, that way."

Ellie groaned. That wasn't what he was supposed to say! He was supposed to talk about how he truly loved her and wanted to protect her from assholes and stuff. Fuck! Now I'd better come up with something quick -- something besides the you're-not-using-me argument that always falls on deaf ears! He CAN'T be laying here with a boner thinking that he doesn't want sex--

Joel chuckled at her groan -- and maybe her expression, too, if it betrayed the wheels spinning in her brain... "I'm tryin' to say I... respect you more than that. More than some horndog teenage boy would. I ain't exactly provin' that point if I go ahead an'--"

"You don't need to prove anything like that!" Ellie wailed. GOD, he's so fucking FRUSTRATING sometimes! "It would be better proof if you... ugh, I dunno... if you love me, you can show me that by letting me..."

"Jus' let you do what you want?"

"Yes! Please, Joel."

He seemed to be thinking again... but was he taking her point of view into consideration, or was he trying to come up with another way to say no? Or... what if he's trying to psyche himself up to go along with this because it's what I want... even though he's way uncool with it... That meant she was being a bully again. She was doing to Joel what he was afraid teenage boys would do to her -- if she was in some alternate reality where she might actually want to be with one, that is.

Ellie didn't want that. She wanted him to be okay with everything. ...it's NOT bullying, she told herself. Because the reason he's uncomfortable isn't because he's not ready to... experience sex, or whatever... the only problem is me and my fucking age.

She stroked his beard to bring him out of whatever headspace he'd gone to. "Hey, listen. If you can't pretend I'm older... pretend I'm someone else, if it helps? Like, some woman who... used to touch you, like this..." What the fuck am I saying?! But hey, if it helps... "Don't tell me who," she continued bravely. "Just close your eyes and pretend. Except... fuck, that person would do it better, though. Um... pretend I'm her but that I kinda forgot how, cuz it's been a long time. That could happen, right?"

He tucked her hair behind her ear... and smiled, just a little. He wasn't laughing at her, although he looked maybe a little bit amused... no, the way he was looking at her now -- that was his I-love-you smile. "Ellie, I don' want you to be anyone else. I don' want you to be older, I don' want to pretend you're some other woman -- I jus' want you. The way you are right now."

She had to kiss him for that. "Soooo... does that mean I can try to... um..."

"Yes it does."

"Yes?" An unequivocal fucking yes. Yesssss!

"Yeah, jus'... let your hand wander around... wherever, first."

"And you... won't be thinking about anyone else?"

"Nope."

She wasn't sure she could have actually gone through with it, knowing he was thinking about another woman. I'd rather wait months and months for him to be ready for ME! Because wasn't that the whole point? "Don't close your eyes," she told him. Just in case she'd inadvertently planted that seed.

He was quiet a moment, then he sang softly, "~Let it be me...~"

"What?" Ellie smiled; she loved it when he did that. "What's that from?"

He chuckled. "Old country song came to mind when you said that. About this dude in love with a girl who's in love with someone else, an' he knows it. Shit, I don' think I've even heard it in twenty-five, thirty years."

Ellie found it funny how Joel could distinguish between old and new when really it was all old as fuck. Songs written in the few years leading up to the outbreak were perpetually new, even though they were older than she was! "That's so sad. Poor guy. So if she closes her eyes, he thinks..."

"That she's thinkin' about the other guy, yeah."

"And he doesn't care?!"

"Oh, he cares. He's singin' a damn song about it, ain't he?"

"But he still-- they're still... fucking, or whatever. So..."

"So, he loves her. He'll take what he can get. An' hope that maybe after a while... her feelin's will change."

"Awww. So sad!" Ellie repeated. "I wanna hear the song. Do they have it at the library, you think?"

"Maybe. If I can jus' remember who sang it... we can look. Remind me some time."

"If we ever get to go to the library together again," she grumbled.

"Of course we will." He leaned his forehead against hers. Cupped her cheek and stroked it with his thumb. "We got as much right to be there as anyone else, kiddo."

Why did I even bring that up?! "I know, I know. Okay, so -- neither one of us is gonna think about anyone else, cuz we're in love with each other," she said matter-of-factly.

"Right."

"I guess you can close your eyes if you feel like it, then."

"That's very kind of you."

She smiled and started kissing him. Enough talking! Time to get to it before he changes his mind-- "Can I... take your underwear off?"

"Actually... ladies first. But keep your panties on."

She was confused for a second but then realized he meant he wanted her to go first, orgasm-wise. And he had that thing about both of them not being all-the-way naked at the same time (aside from in the shower, apparently). "Should I still let my hand...?"

"Yeah."

"Okay. You know, you should go first. I shouldn't even go at all -- I have to catch up to you."

"Pssh. No score-keepin'. Besides, touchin' you is such a turn-on... it'll be real easy for you... for your turn."

"Oh." She giggled a little. "Can we maybe... go at the same time?"

"We can try." He didn't sound very convinced that that would work. But he did pull his boxers down, moving her leg aside, and then kicked them off.

She kind of wanted to just grab his dick straight away, but... he never did it that way with her. Never just thrust his hand down there. Maybe that was wrong. He started kissing her... slowly, but deeply... he pulled her snugly against him again, then shook his head, laughing a little. At himself, it seemed to Ellie.

"What? There's a barrier," she reminded him -- she still had her underwear on, per his request.

"There is," he acknowledged. "Just ain't sure it'll hold."

An image popped into her mind. It wasn't a funny one, yet she had to laugh.

"What?" he asked, puzzled.

"Nothing... um, remember when we were running from infected, and we would like... try to decide if the barricades or barriers or whatever would hold?"

"... ...That's what you're thinkin' of right now?"

She nodded, giggling at the mock outrage on his face.

He pulled away from her to face-plant on the pillow, and groaned. "Here I am, tryin' to be sweet to you, an' you're thinkin' about infected, of all things."

"Aww, it's okay. I like you better than them. I don't want to be thinking about them. You could... make me forget?" she suggested impishly. She hugged him and started kissing his face; she couldn't really reach his mouth until he lifted it off of the pillow a little. She was still a little giggly when he turned his face toward hers for a kiss on the lips. "I had no idea that like a year later, my underwear would be the barrier."

He chuckled. "You would've freaked out if you knew that."

"You would have!"

"Maybe we both would have."

She grinned at him. "This is fun. Maybe not as sexy as it's supposed to be? But fun."

"Still sexy, an' this is exactly how it's s'posed to be."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. You bein' you. Enjoyin' yourself."

"You are, too..." Just a hint of a question there...

"I am, too. Yes." And his smile underlined the words.

Ellie had a good feeling this time that Joel would be okay with everything. When she let her hand graze him, he didn't pull away or move it off of him or anything. While they were kissing, she experimentally ran the tips of her fingers up the length of his dick and rested her hand on top. There was like... a little ridge-type thing there that she could trace with her fingers. Joel never made any embarrassing little noises the way she did when he touched her, so it was hard to tell if he liked stuff sometimes, but when she did that, he broke the kiss to whisper something that sounded like "that's good"... or maybe "feels good." She tried to keep repeating the motion... though she was a little distracted by his fingers playing with the edge of her panties... Focus, Ellie! "You okay?" she asked him.

He smiled. "You don' gotta ask me that. I'm the one who's s'posed to--"

"Joel, for fuck's sake! I'm allowed to-- ohhhh fuck..." His teasing fingers had finally made their way beneath her panties, and she forgot what she was going to say... forgot that she was touching him, too... she wanted to spread her legs, but that was kind of hard to do while laying on her side. She extended her leg in the air, but that wasn't good enough; she rolled onto her back, pulling Joel on top of her... well, his torso, anyway. She wasn't about to try to interrupt that hand from its current activity, and she could kiss him like this...

"You're so wet," he breathed, making her giggle a little. He kissed his way down to her breast.

"Oh -- yeah, kiss me there -- that's like... God, Joel... mmnnhhh...."

He flitted his tongue over her nipple. "This way, I get to hear you talk."

"Moan, more like... uuunnnhh..." So embarrassing! But Joel always said he loved the weird babble and sounds that escaped her mouth. "Oh man... slow down a little, you're gonna make me... ahhh -- um... I don't wanna come yet, mmm... oh!" She was a little surprised to feel a nip on her nipple. It was quickly followed by the sucking she was more familiar with.

"Didja like that?" he asked her, planting wet kisses elsewhere on her breast.

"Um..."

"You can say no. Personal preference thing."

She thought she liked it, kind of... it just startled her... she wanted to like it... "Uh... do it to the other one and I'll let you know?"

He chuckled and shifted up to kiss her on the mouth first. The hand had all but stopped moving, and Ellie pushed against it a little. "You sorta stopped..."

"Sorry." He resumed the finger movements and began to kiss and lick and suck on her other nipple.

"Yeahhhh... Joel... oh fuck it feels good when you... ahhhh... Joel... fuck... Joel!" She was actually trying to get his attention with that second 'Joel'...

...and he could actually tell, somehow. "Hmm?" He glanced at her.

"I love you," she told him. "Don't say it back, don't talk at all, just keep... doing what you're... mmm... oh! There-- You-- yeah, I think I do like that... a little... maybe not like... a bunch of times at once, or..." He had moved up to kiss her neck now, and though she just wanted this to go on and on, she was afraid it was going to be over all too soon. "Wait -- stay up here..." She yanked his hand up to her clit; if he slipped a finger inside her now, she was afraid she'd come in like two seconds. "Just... kinda slow-like... so you can keep doing it forever... uuuggghhh that still feels too good, maybe just... half-ass it, like..." She kept shifting his hand around, trying to find a good-but-not-TOO-good spot. "There. I think. Fuck..."

"Yes ma'am." He nuzzled her hair, and he must've been grinning pretty big, because she could feel it. "Anythin' I can do to serve you better, you jus' let me know."

She giggled a little. "Oh but... I didn't mean it like... you're so good... you're amazing and... I just want it to... I'm being so selfish... mmmnnn..."

"You're bein' hot as hell, is what you're bein'." He kissed her cheek, and continued to kiss her face... pretty much everywhere but her mouth. She bucked a little harder at his hand, yearning for more contact but not wanting it to be over too soon.

Her underwear was really annoying her; she didn't want to feel anything but Joel down there. "Keep your hand where it is, 'kay?" She rolled her hips up so that her legs were sticking up in the air and she could yank her panties up and off. "I can't stand having-- can you help me with these? I'll put 'em back on the second I'm done if you want-- oh but sit up more so you can use your other hand, the one that's not busy..." He had actually paused the busy hand already, which was probably the only reason she was coherent at the moment... although he hadn't removed it from her crotch.

"Or I could use my teeth..."

"No! Gross -- I was... rubbing, like... they're all... goopy..."

He chuckled. "Not gross. But I might have to move my hand an' I don' want you yellin' at me for that, so..." He ditched the teeth idea and opted to go the traditional hand route, but still had to lift the 'pleasure hand' long enough to swing it beneath her leg instead of resting on top of it, the way it had been. He did have to sit up a little to use the far-away hand, and her leg fell to rest on his shoulder as he crouched in front of her. "There you go..." He studied her underwear for a moment. "Shit, that hole on the one side got bigger." Then he flung her panties backwards.

His words were only mildly amusing, she knew, but for some reason they struck Ellie as hilarious, and then seeing her underwear fly through the air made her lose it completely.
Joel seemed amused, if a bit bewildered, by her laughter. As usual, though, it made him smile. "What the hell is so funny?"

Ellie sobered as the pleasurable sensations began to extinguish the urge to laugh. His hand had moved down again, but she didn't protest; she didn't think she could stand not-coming much longer anyway. "The me-yelling-at-you comment... the... casual way you... mentioned the hole... and then throwing them... I dunno... mmmmmmmm... fuck... yeah... you're a... a funny--"

And then he was kissing her, his tongue entering her mouth as his finger slid inside her. She 'mmmmm'd -- quite loudly, considering the sound couldn't even escape her mouth -- and bucked faster than before... a little more awkwardly, as the leg Joel had 'captured' was now folded up and getting squished to her chest. Another finger... his thumb? ...was roving over the outside as his finger -- fingers, plural... it had to be more than one -- thrust on the inside... or maybe he wasn't moving at all, and her own movements created the illusion of it... it felt so unbelievably fucking good that she wished it would never end... and it did last a little longer than she expected, because when she thought she was going to come, she didn't -- if only for another five seconds or so. Or maybe it was like she started to come, but it was taking longer than usual...

Joel could always seem to tell when she was about to orgasm, even when she didn't announce it... it was probably more than a little obvious as her bucking pace went from fast to furiously fast, her moaning got a little more... desperate-sounding? And if they were kissing, as they were now, she would pull him as close as she could, and pretty much smash their faces together... it was almost violent. Ellie thought of it as violent, anyway; Joel classified it as 'fucking hot.'

He slid his hand out and rested it on her belly, smoothed her hair off her forehead and nuzzled her neck... she was hugging him against her still, so her leg was still coiled, but the rest of her was utterly relaxed. "Holy fucking shit, Joel," she declared as she waited for her breathing to regulate itself. "That came outta nowhere."

"Uh, not exactly -- you were steamed up for quite a while first."

"Well -- the end part. Omigod. There's no way sex could feel any better than that."

"Nope," he agreed. "No way in hell. That's why we don' gotta have it."

She giggled. "Oh yes we do. You're not getting out of it that easily, mister."

"Damn."

She bopped him on the arm for that. "Hey, the sex would be to your benefit too, y'know. You might actually like it."

He pretended to mull it over. "Mm... I might. Maybe. You know what I like? That little sound you made at the end, it's like a... little whimpering noise..."

"I don't whimper!"

"You do. That sound... Jesus Christ, you have no idea what that does to me."

She suddenly remembered that she was allowed to reciprocate this time. She slowly snaked one hand downward... and he didn't stop her. She blindly felt around until she found it... "I think I have some idea," she mimicked his words from earlier, grinning. "I can help you with that... right? Wait -- not a question. You said I could, and I'm going to. Scoot," she added, trying to imitate the authority in his voice when he told her to do stuff. She nudged him over onto his back.

He was so huge. She was pretty sure it was bigger now than she'd ever seen it. She had to try not to stare. ...right? Maybe Joel didn't care if she did. She hadn't looked much when she'd washed him in the shower that one time (and they hadn't showered together since). But he doesn't really look at me when he... does his thing... she took hold of him, then looked at his face. His eyes were half-closed... but in a heavy-lidded way, not a cringe-y way. He seemed pretty content. Or at least, not freaked out. "Is it like... perverted or something, if I... well... you know. Look?"

"Look at what?"

She gave him a Look, and he smirked a little. "Oh. Right. No, look all you want. You've seen me -- you looked before, remember? The look-don't-touch that night?"

"Yeah, but that was rude."

"Rude?" he laughed. "But I invited you to do it."

"Well... you never look at me like that... staring, like..."

"Hmm. If I did it to you, that might be a little rude, yeah."

"Why?? It's the same thing!"

"No, it's different. For one thing--"

"Okay okay okay shut up -- I don't wanna argue and then have you decide that this is..." ...wrong/gross/disgusting/perverted/sick/fucked up/take your pick! She knew she wouldn't exactly be planting ideas in Joel's head if she said any of those things, but she didn't want to draw them to the forefront of his mind. "Just tell me what to do. What feels good."

"What you're doin' is good."

She laughed. "I'm not doing anything!"

"Your hand's on me, ain't it? It's good. Jus'... be gentle."

"Be gentle?" The phrase 'jerking off' did not call to mind gentle caresses. Nevertheless, she kept her touch light as her fingers wandered. He's so hard now!

"Yeah... like that... that's nice..."

She trailed her hand down to his balls... his male bits were all nestled in his pubic hair -- yeah, NESTled, like a bird sitting in its nest! The whole area seemed like something completely separate from his body that had just been planted there. How could all this have secretly been tucked inside his pants ever since she'd known him, and she'd been none the wiser? But she knew that was a silly thought (because duh, guys have penises! -in their pants!), and she didn't share it with Joel because she didn't want him to laugh at her now. Her hand moved up the side to the top, and she was surprised to find wetness there. She gasped. "You... finished?" How can that be?!

"...huh?"

"It's... wet up here." She had thought it would be… well, more of an event than that.

"… ...No, that's... uh..."

So much for him not laughing at me! He was just smiling, actually. Whatever -- he was amused, and she had wanted to avoid that... at least for this. "It's what? I thought after you did that, it was supposed to get... you know. Soft."

"That's jus' what comes out before... sometimes... when I was touchin' you, I... it, uh... -I won't come jus' from what you're doin' now," he concluded... unhelpfully.

"Oh." But she still didn't get it, and she didn't want to amuse him any further by asking for clarification. How the fuck did it get wet if he didn't actually come? Guys don't get wet first, that's a girl thing... isn't it? She didn't know if he was having trouble finding the words because of the topic or because of what her hand was doing. Given that he'd just told her she wasn't going to make him come, it was probably the former. "Then tell me what I'm supposed to be doing!" she snapped.

"I told you, you're doin' it. Jus'... play. Once you start..." He made a vague gesture. "I won't last all that long, so... here, you can use that to... help you..." He guided her hand over the top and then in an up-and-down motion, showing her how her hand could glide along more easily when slicked up with that... goop. "Yeah... that's good. Keep doin' that."
She kind of wanted to dry her hand on the sheet or his leg or wherever, but she told herself it wasn't gross. That only a little girl would think it was gross, and she didn't want Joel to think she was a little girl. It's not like it's pee! It's... man stuff... it's sexy... yeah, Joel always thinks it's sexy when I'M wet, even though it's GROSS... And the slickness did make it easier to slide her hand up and down...

"You okay?" he asked her.

"Of course!" She paused to give him a quick kiss and a smile. "And... you're okay? Right?"

"I'm good... real good... you can mix it up a little... that part there... it's real sensitive, so you can... mm, yeah... good... an' then back to... maybe a little faster now..."

Ellie concentrated on what she was doing, and forgot all about the grossness or non-grossness of it all. Joel kept saying she was doing good, but he made little adjustments (...corrections?!) to her movements at times. At least he wasn't going soft -- she knew that would be a true indicator of her fucking this up. But he also wasn't moaning, or babbling, or whatever. "Why aren't you making any noise?" She couldn't help sounding accusatory.

"What do you mean? I am."

"No you're not! If I can't hear you, it doesn't count."

He smiled. "You know you're more... vocal, than me..."

"Because you fucking told me to be!"

"I mean in general... why are you gettin' mad?" he chuckled.

"Cuz I make embarrassing noises all the time and now it's your turn and you won't do it!"

"What do you want me to do? OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" It was so exaggerated, so high-pitched and loud that she had to laugh in spite of herself.

Then tried to sound mean when she said, "You're a fucking prick!" and abandoned her hand job duty to hit him in the chest. With both hands.

"Hey hey hey -- calm down," he said, still looking far too amused for Ellie's liking. He grabbed her and pulled her against his side. "Be nice. How 'bout you kiss me instead of yell at me, hmm?"

She humored him with some kissing, but when he placed her hand back on his dick, she got too distracted; she had to watch. And how awesome is it that he just put my hand there like it's no big deal?! He kept his hand on hers this time, moving it up and down in a steady rhythm. Applying some pressure, but not squeezing the shit out of the thing. -More like the COME out of it, she snickered to herself. Whatever's left in there that hasn't leaked out already.

He let go, and she thought she kept on doing it the same way, but soon he was grabbing her hand again. "What? Am I doing it wrong?" she fretted.

"No! No, you're doin' good. I'm jus' gonna help you go faster." His eyes were closed, his breathing might have been a little accelerated... but he still wasn't making noise. Not really. Barely audible little grunts, maybe?

She almost complained about the lack of sound again, but... he did seem to be enjoying it. Even if it was his hand doing all the work now... her hand was still involved, sandwiched between his hand and his dick. She could bitch about her incompetence later, and he'd tell her it was okay, that she'd do better next time. The arm that was holding her close was practically crushing her now -- and she liked that, so she wasn't inclined to try to move. Their hands were moving unbelievably rapidly... and to Ellie's delight, his quiet grunty sounds got slightly louder. "Ellie, I'm gonna... this'll be messy... unnnhhh..."

He wasn't lying. Before she could ask what she was supposed to do next, the stuff was spurting out all over their hands, spilling onto his stomach. "Whoa," she breathed, watching the geyser raptly.

He pulled her up a little, kissed the top of her head, then loosened his grip on her. "Shit. I should've grabbed a towel or somethin' first. Wasn't thinkin'."

"I'll go get one!" she chirped. "You just relax." She scurried across the hall to the bathroom and quickly rinsed off her hand in the sink before grabbing the hand towel. Maybe she should've licked her hand, like Joel licked his fingers after... but if she was supposed to do that, Joel hadn't said, and the warm fluid hadn't seemed particularly appetizing. I should've at least TASTED it, though. Just so I'd know what it's like. Fuck! Next time. She certainly wasn't going to do it in front of Joel with the remaining jizz, because what if she didn't like it and he could tell?

She returned to the bed and started mopping up his stomach, and he took the towel from her to finish the clean-up himself. She perched on the bed next to his legs. "So how do you feel?"

"Good."

"Not amazing? Just good?" She tried not to pout like a little girl.

"Amazin'. Thank you."

"Pfff. You did it all yourself."

"No I didn'. That was better than when I do it myself, trust me... I guess we can use the other towel as a hand towel for a bit..."

"You mean I can't just go hang it back up?"

"No," he said with a snort.

She snickered. "I'll go throw it in Sophie's face. 'Here, wash this!'' Do people do that, you think? I mean, I guess they must... they wash sheets and stuff over there..."

"You can't just--"

"I know, I know. She could just think it's from you doing it yourself, though, right? I mean, she doesn't know that you never do that," she teased. He totally just admitted that he does, but I can still keep up the joke!

Joel smirked. "It ain't that. It's... inconsiderate."

Ellie gasped as an unwelcome thought sprang into her head. "Oh God... she'd prob'ly roll it up real tight and shove it up her cunt if she thought--"

"Ellie!"

"Sorry." Ellie giggled at his shocked-yet-stifling-a-laugh expression. She could be really crass and vulgar when she was joking around -- or when she was pissed off -- but when it came to actual sex talk or sexual acts, she got all stupidly shy and self-conscious about using such words. "Well, in case she gets any ideas..." She grabbed the towel and rolled it up a little, stuck it between her legs and moved it back and forth a few times, then tossed it on the floor in the general vicinity of her panties. "There!"

"You're bad," Joel laughed. "C'mere."

She clambered back up on the bed on top of him, and he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her to his chest. "I'll wash it in the sink tomorrow," she offered.

"That's a better idea, yes."

She wriggled up a little to tuck her head under his chin. "So... how do you really feel? I mean... not physically."

"...Good."

"You don't feel bad at all?" She was afraid to look at his face, and her head was in a good spot to avoid that now. If you're gonna lie, I can pretend better this way...

"Uh... not bad, no. Maybe... if I'm bein' perfectly honest... a little guilty."

"Joel--"

"But not that bad, all right? I'm... fine with takin' that step."

"Good. You didn't do anything wrong," she said, figuring that reinforcing the good stuff couldn't hurt. "I've been bugging you for a long time to do that, and... you let me because you love me. Not cuz of... anything else. It was fun, right?"

"Right."

"You'll let me do it again?"

"Sure."

"Cuz I need to practice, right? So from now on, you don't ever do that yourself, you just come get me and... tell me it's time."

Joel laughed. "No. I ain't gonna... Oh -- all right, that's fine, 'cause as you know, I never jerk off."

She was glad he still wanted to play that little game, too. "Oh! Right! Fuck, how am I going to get any practice then?"

"You goin' somewhere?"

She shifted to the side and lifted her head to look at him. "What? No, why would I be going somewhere?!"

"I jus' mean I don' think you gotta worry about gettin' enough practice, whether or not I... do it myself. We got all the time in the world. A whole bunch of nights lined up. When it starts gettin' cold? First time we get snowed in here..."

"When we have nothing better to do than have sex?" She giggled a little.

"Don' know about that... but I reckon you'll get all the practice you want."

She smiled. "You're right. As long as we're together. Thank you... for letting me. I love you." She kissed his cheek.

"Aww. Love you too, baby girl, an' shit, you don' gotta... thank me..." He shook his head and chuckled. "Scooch over. I gotta take a leak an' go close up before I get too tired."

There wasn't anything to 'close up,' per se; the door had been locked the whole night, and no windows were open. Ellie knew he meant to do his nighttime routine. Except... "You're not going outside like that, are you?" she called after him.

"What, naked? No. I think I can skip that part."

"Good, cuz I think it's raining harder now, too. Sing the song!"

"I ain't singin'."

"Aww, c'mon..."

"It's your song -- you sing it," he tossed back at her.

"It's not mine! It's from your past," she pointed out.

"I don' even remember the words."

For someone who wanted to be a singer in a past lifetime, Joel didn't really sing to her all that often. She'd discovered a song about a place closing for the night, Joel had recognized it from a million years ago, and she had concluded that he should make it part of his closing routine. "~Closing time... turn off all the lights... um... You don't have to go home... but you can't ~ stay ~ heeeeere~" she offered helpfully.

"See, it don' even make sense 'cause we're already home."

She heard him peeing in the bathroom, and idly wondered why the pee hadn't come out with everything else, while she was rubbing him. Ewww! Then she hugged herself and just lay there, smiling, listening to the rain pelting the roof, thinking about how lucky she was that Joel loved her.

Twenty minutes later, Joel hadn't fallen asleep yet, but he was close. They'd shared a glass of water -- just the little half-size tumbler from the bathroom. Put their pajamas on, because Joel insisted they couldn't sleep naked. They'd talked a little bit, Ellie snuggled up to him like always... she didn't feel all that tired, and she was the one who had to get up early. But she could tell Joel wasn't that into talking at the moment. He claimed that she'd worn him out (although it seemed like he was joking). She remembered that magazine article about guys falling asleep almost immediately after they come, and she'd kept him awake a good long while after that, so perhaps he wasn't just pretending to be tired to avoid talking -- which he totally did sometimes. He denied it, but Ellie could tell.

She was still a little thirsty. She slithered away from him and he barely seemed to notice. Yep, almost out! She padded over to the bathroom in the dark to refill the glass. Well, semi-dark -- they had finally remembered to get a night light! It wasn't a super-bright one, and the glow of the light was more cool than warm, so she could pretend it was moonlight. She stood in the bedroom doorway as she sipped her water and just looked at Joel, laying there, spent... asleep or near-asleep, and perfectly content. Thanks to me! Even if she hadn't done much.

It was a huge step for them, and she was so proud of Joel right now. He's really, truly mine now... MY man... not like he wasn't before, exactly, but... something was different. He had let her in, a little more. Put himself in her hands -- literally -- and given up a little of the control he usually clung to so hard. Even admitting that he felt a little guilty instead of glossing over that with another generic "I'm good" felt like a step in the right direction. Like I'm not a little kid he has to placate with bullshit. I'm a woman who can handle the truth. I can help HIM handle it. He thinks he takes care of me -- well, he DOES take care of me -- but it goes both ways. He's mine to take care of, in every way possible...

And then -- it happened so fast! --

-- and yet so slow, like one second being dragged out in slow-motion... the still air pierced by the window exploding -- shattering glass -- a loud thud, from -- ? -- whooshing wind -- a thump on the floor -- water sloshing --

...and Ellie, dropping to the floor, her scream rounding out the cacophony of sounds that had so quickly decimated the tranquility of the room.

~

A/N: Joel may not have remembered the dude off the top of his head, but: Chapter title from the Keith Whitley song :)

Also, if I could get mushy for a moment, I just wanted to say that I'm having SO much fun writing this story, and I'm grateful to everyone reading it for giving me a reason to write it. So, thank you! And thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment -- I really appreciate each and every one! I love you guys! ...and yes, here on LJ I realize it's just you, owlofnevermore, but I appreciate you too :D


~Continue to Chapter 25~

Tags: fic, tlou, uncertainty
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