Lumy (luminations) wrote,

"Uncertainty" Chapter 46: "The First Time - Part 2: '...more dearly than the spoken word can tell' "

Title: "Uncertainty" Chapter 46: "The First Time - Part 2: '...more dearly than the spoken word can tell' " (46/47)
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: 10,394
Rating (for fic as a whole): R


Walk sexy-like, Ellie commanded herself as she emerged from the bathroom. She hadn't even bothered switching on the flashlight since she would only be in there long enough to shed her clothes -- all but the little nightie. She wanted to make a dramatic entrance! It didn't occur to her to maybe yank a brush through her tangled hair real quick until she'd already announced to Joel that she was ready... but windblown hair is supposed to be sexy, too, right? Their suite was only slightly warmer than outside, but with no wind, Ellie was sure Joel would warm her up in a hurry.

Joel waited for her on the bed. He had ditched his clothes down to his boxers, because they wanted to at least re-undress each other a little bit. The candle on the nightstand stayed lit, now that they were indoors, and they were only using the one. He had gone to fetch a mug or something out of their unused kitchenette to serve as a candle holder, but Ellie had surprised him again by whipping out an actual candle holder (apparently, she'd felt she wouldn't have been able to smuggle it down to the beach undetected). He watched Ellie inch awkwardly toward him, smiling shyly... looking more self-conscious and uncomfortable than when he'd first seen her naked, strangely enough... but also looking more beautiful than ever. The sexy little black thing she was wearing was... well, sexy. Sexy as hell... even though it's a little loose on her... or maybe BECAUSE it's a little loose on her... it suited her. It was more classy-looking than slutty, sort of like a satin one-piece bathing suit, covering all her private areas, with a flared little skirt/ruffle type thing skimming the tops of her thighs... except it had lace lining her cleavage in a long V, inviting him to a little game of peek-a-boo -- a game he couldn't win from this distance, because the fabric over her nipples wasn't see-through.

She's so beautiful... stunning, even... sometimes I still can't believe she's mine. And how adorable was it that she looked nervous? He hoped his appreciative smile put her at ease. "That's... you look really pretty. Turn around an' let me see the whole thing."

Ellie wasn't sure how to do a 'sexy' turn. She just twirled around quickly to give him a glimpse of the back, then hurried over to him on the bed, too self-conscious to put on any more of a show than that. She was pleased with the way he was looking at her, though...

"You're gorgeous," Joel assured her as he pulled her into his lap, and his hands immediately started roving. He would've dressed her in white, not black, but all the same, she looked amazing. She's still cold... "You didn' have to dress up special for me, but... it does look really good on you."



She loved the feel of his hands through the fabric... the way they grazed her bare skin while exploring every inch of the thing. His hands are so nice and warm! "Does it make you wanna rip it off me?" she asked with a grin before giving him a kiss.

"It kinda does, yeah," he murmured against her lips. "I wanna kiss..." Joel sprinkled little kisses down her neck, then on her shoulder, between just about every word. "...every... single... freckle... on your..."

"Wait-- wait-- ow!"

Ellie went completely rigid, and Joel pulled back a little, surprised. "What? I ain't even close to bein' inside you yet."

"I have to -- ohhh fuck a duck!" Ellie disentangled herself from him and started pacing the floor. "Fucking foot cramp. I guess it's cuz I didn't -- I forgot to -- aarrgghh!" she groaned.

He thought it was cute that she'd picked up "fuck a duck" from Sophie. He'd even heard her say "cool beans" a time or two (although she'd kicked herself for it afterward). Joel stretched out on his side, leaning on an elbow, and watched her do the caged animal thing, back and forth across the floor. "Can I help?"

"No! Remember, you just make it worse!"

He'd tried to massage her foot once when she'd gotten a cramp, but he'd done it wrong and nearly gotten himself kicked. Between the two of them, he got far more cramps, though they were usually in his leg -- and he knew the best cure was to just walk it off. "You dehydrated?"

"No... I don't think so? I was just supposed to... do something... and I forgot!" That article said you should ...what? Flex your feet? Is this why?? But it made no sense: of all the times she and Joel had messed around before, wouldn't it have happened already? There was nothing different about this time, so far. I shouldn't be in pain this early! She sighed. "Sorry. So annoying."

Joel continued to watch her, feeling useless. "It's all right. You couldn' help it. What were you s'posed to do?"

She didn't answer right away. Just kept pacing. Damn, she looks really amazing in that thing...

"I should've... I dunno." Ellie sighed theatrically. Joel still didn't know she'd been looking for sex tips, and he'd said things to indicate that he wouldn't like her doing that, so it was best to just shut up about it.

After a couple minutes, when she was sure the sharp pain was unlikely to return if she gave it a rest, she ceased the pacing and flopped back down on the bed next to Joel, laying on her side, experimentally rolling her foot around with her hand. Seems okay now... "Sorry. That was so not sexy."

"Watchin' you walk around half naked was pretty sexy," Joel countered, leaning forward a little to kiss her forehead.

"But it wasn't sexy walking!" she said, giggling a little.

"Sure it was." He brushed his lips across hers, then gave her a long, searching look. "You sure you're ready for this?"

"What do you mean? Of course I'm sure!" He looked skeptical, and fear started prickling her stomach. "Do you think all this stuff is going wrong cuz I'm not ready? I am, Joel, I swear! Aren't you? We've been waiting forever! We're supposed to be together, there's no reason--"

"All right, I hear you. Jus' makin' sure." He stroked her arm soothingly. "If you weren't, it would be--"

"But I am! I AM!" She couldn't emphasize it enough!

Joel had never seen her look more earnest. "Okay. I was jus' gonna say, if you weren't, or if we keep goin' an' a little while from now, you feel like maybe you're not, remember we can always stop. I won't be mad, an' I won't leave you, or..."

She smiled. "I know you won't. I think I really know that now... that you won't leave."

"Good." He'd figured from the start that it would just take time for her to truly believe it. Time, patience, and reassurance. Maybe she'd still have her doubts, at times, but... he did sense a new confidence in her. Less desperation. There were still isolated incidents, but if he had to guess, he would say that he was the one who had more insecure moments about the romantic aspect of their relationship. Not so much since they'd hit the coast... when she'd started acting more like herself. And by then, he'd already decided they could tell Sophie about the true nature of their relationship -- which he probably wouldn't have done, if he hadn't felt the need on some level to make it 'more official,' somehow. Maybe that helped Ellie feel more confident about us, too? Especially after one particular conversation she and Sophie had had alone, regarding those two days. He didn't know exactly what the woman had told her, but he suspected she'd exaggerated it into a fairy tale that made Ellie think he was some sort of God, rather than a bumbling fool who took way too long to find her -- and that he really, really loved her. That last part, of course, was the truth. Again, an outsider's endorsement is helpful... And, naturally, he hoped that making love to her would really seal the deal. I may not be doing it for all the right reasons... but if she's willing, I'm doing it anyway. He kissed her cute little nose. "So where were we..."

"Kissing my freckles." She giggled a little. "What if I want you to kiss parts of me that don't have freckles?"

"You didn' let me finish tellin' you: I also wanna kiss all the places in between 'em."

"Oh! That sounds awesome. I approve of that. Very much. Why do you like my freckles, anyway?"

He kissed one on her cheek. "What's not to like? They're adorable as hell."

"Hell's not adorable."

She liked to remind him of that. "Adorable as fuck, then," he amended. Because fuck could be whatever hell could not, in Ellie-speak.

"Says you." But she giggled a little, secretly pleased that Joel viewed them that way. She was okay with being adorable, as long as she could still be sexy.

"I am the expert on what's adorable an' what ain't," he declared authoritatively. He kissed the freckle next to the first one. And then the one next to that one... actually, he was covering little clusters of freckles with each kiss, as there were so many in close proximity. Her skin is still so soft... and kinda salty, now that it's perpetually ocean-scented...

"You're adorable," Ellie told him. Maybe not in the traditional way, but really, what could be more adorable than a bad-ass tough guy kissing a girl's freckles?

"No..." He rolled her gently onto her back and started kissing her neck. "I'm in the 'ain't' category."

She kept giggling while his lips found more freckles to kiss, but the longer he performed this mission of his, the more utterly relaxed she became. Even the places that threatened to be ticklish didn't make her tense up, as he pressed his lips more firmly to her skin if he sensed tickle potential; he could have some fun with the tickling another time. Tonight, he didn't want the possibility to even enter her mind.

Just relaxxxxxx... The message seemed to come through loud and clear, even without the words. She lay there, sprawled on her back, her beautiful young body stretched languidly before him. She would look pretty in any light, but the candlelight basted her in a warm glow, camouflaging the cuts and bruises... and he loved the look on her face right now. Eyes closed, with a sweet little smile... utterly content... and her absolute trust in him was somehow as intoxicating as her bare flesh. He slowly kissed a path up the inside of her arm, back to her shoulder.

"I think you already kissed those," she whispered conspiratorially.

"Missed some," he explained, brushing his lips across her collarbone.

"Mmm... nice..." ...and somehow erotic, even though he was kissing all these 'innocent' places. Ellie didn't even remember to feel shy when he nudged the strap off her shoulder (and the lacy fabric aside) to expose a breast. He lingered over her nipple, making her quiver pleasantly, and she grinned at him. "There's no freckles there, you know."

"Space between," he murmured, his lips dusting the creamy-white, freckle-less flesh surrounding her perfect pink nipple. God, she's-- "You're so beautiful," he said aloud, realizing that he thought it so often yet rarely voiced it; he had no trouble telling her when she indirectly solicited it by advertising her insecurities -- like when she put herself down, even in jest -- but he knew she needed to hear it out of the blue as well.

Ellie fought the urge to blush and giggle and reply with her standard "am not," or some variation of "so are you." "Um..." Why is it hard to say thank you? I've said it before... I think? She didn't fully believe she was beautiful, but she believed that he believed it. And that was what mattered. You make me FEEL beautiful, Joel...

Joel liked that she didn't automatically contradict him or make a sarcastic remark; he'd expected another "says you." "You don' gotta say anythin'... jus' know that... I'm thinkin' it. An' I'm thinkin' it 'cause you are."

She knew she was blushing now, but at least he couldn't see it. "It's the candlelight," she couldn't resist saying this time. "It... lies, sort of."

Joel chuckled. "It's you." He shifted up to kiss her lips. "An' someday, I swear you'll believe me."

"It's you. Like... you make me feel prettier," she admitted with a shy smile.

"Good." Joel wanted to tell her to never be with anyone who didn't... but he knew that wouldn't be welcome advice, and would probably even kill the mood. He wasn't sure why that had even come to mind. She's mine... for as long as she'll have me, she's MINE -- and I think that's going to be a good long while. He could practically see the love beaming from her face, and he heard himself say, "Sometimes I still can't believe someone as amazing as you could ever want someone like me." .....Shit! I only say sappy shit like that in my head... not that Ellie seemed to mind.

Awwwww! Ellie's heart melted at such a sweet confession. Sweet, but WRONG! She didn't even know what to say that, really. "Joel... what the fuck are you talking about? It's totally the other way around!"

Joel smiled. She really believes that?! "I guess that's the way it's s'posed to feel. To each of us." He kissed her lips once more before continuing his freckle quest, planting kisses across her chest.

Ellie could argue her point, but now wasn't the time. Generally, Joel seemed to like it when she was talkative, but tonight... he can be right. It's the ROMANTIC view, I guess... she slid her arms out of the straps so she was completely topless before he even reached her other breast, and she was pretty eager to shed the rest of the garment, too, but Joel stubbornly insisted on kissing his way over her whole body -- and he had another arm to kiss all the way up and down, another hand with five fingers full of freckles and spaces in need of kissing, before finally tugging the fabric down as he kissed lower and lower on her belly. He shifted around a little to slide the lingerie all the way off her body, depositing it on the corner of the bed, then picked up exactly where his lips had left off: her hip. He wasn't even skipping over her ugly scars... and why does it seem like there's more and more of those every time he sees me naked? She was enjoying herself too much to actually give a fuck, at least.

What he did skip over was her nether regions, going so far as to kiss her inner thigh... high enough to brush her pubic hair... Joel took notice of her legs gradually spreading wider, inviting him to kiss the places he'd neglected. Not yet, baby girl, he thought with mild amusement. To her credit, though, she wasn't getting all squirmy and... impatient-like.

Ellie knew that the longer he covered her body with kisses, the longer the night would last -- so she had infinite patience. Now that it was TONIGHT, time could stand still... she was completely naked now, but Joel wasn't. Fuck, I almost forgot! She didn't have the luxury of going this slow! "Joel, um..."

"...hmmm?" He was down by her feet.

"Don't you think... maybe you'd better... you know."

But he didn't know. "I'd better what?" he asked distractedly. He kissed the tip of her big toe, noting that although the 'freckle dust' didn't extend down to her toes, she had a few larger freckles sprinkled over them... between them. He didn't want to risk giving her another foot cramp by messing with her toes too much, though.

"Um... put it in, before it gets all hard and everything?"

That gem did... penetrate Joel's freckle-worship mindset. He kept the humor out of his voice to answer her completely soberly. "Oh shit -- I forgot. Well, don' worry, it ain't that hard yet."

"Don't worry?!" Yeah, right! "What do you mean that hard?" she asked nervously. She craned her neck, trying to check out the evidence for herself, but she couldn't see.

"Still soft," he assured her. He wasn't going to let that happen this early -- if he could help it (he was so damn attracted to her, he wasn't sure how long he could hold off). Soft, slow, sensual kisses... nothing overtly sexual yet... if he could conveniently forget that he'd already framed her nipples with his lips...

He had her all relaxed again by the time he rolled her onto her stomach, taking the opportunity to fix their alignment on the bed by placing her head on the pillow -- and he also took a moment to finally ditch his boxers, hoping that Ellie wouldn't mind him doing the honors himself. If she noticed, she didn't say anything. She seemed pretty blissed-out; Joel wondered if she might actually be falling asleep. Would she be pissed if I didn't wake her up to have sex? he wondered. Soothing her to sleep was one of his favorite pastimes, so he wouldn't even feel disappointed himself. ...well, maybe a little... but we have SO many nights ahead of us... He smoothed her hair aside and lightly massaged her shoulders as he kissed her neck, then started down her back... and he didn't skip over anything on this side. He kissed her on her sweet little ass; if she had been falling asleep, that seemed to wake her up a little. "Did you even know you have a big freckle right here?" He kissed a spot low on her right buttcheek.

"...I dunno..." Ellie's brain was mush by now. When he kissed a little lower, she instinctively spread her legs again and lifted her butt a little to give him easy access to... well, wherever, down there... it's all good... He traveled farther down, though... only to her knees... before working his way back up. She could hear and feel him shifting around a bit, but even if she opened her eyes, she wouldn't be able to see anything from this position. Then he was kissing her buttcrack... and a little lower... and before she even realized what he was doing, he'd lifted her leg up and inserted his head between her crotch and the bed. "Oh fuck... Joel... what are you..."

He couldn't see anything, but he didn't need to. He tried to deliver the same little butterfly kisses he'd been peppering the rest of her body with, but he wasn't even sure she could feel them much, through the hair... that ain't gonna work so good here... his nose was somewhere in the vicinity of her clit... he opened his mouth wider, probing her lower lips with his tongue.

Ellie moaned, embarrassingly loudly. "Jesus, Joel!" It came out like a protest, but... well, it kind of is? I can't let him-- omigod-- she lifted herself in a half-assed attempt to roll away from him, but his hands were like... kneading her buttcheeks... and, worse than that, he seemed to be pressing her down into his face. Is he TRYING to smother himself with my pussy?! I should stop him... I really should... in a minute, maybe...

Joel loved the way her body undulated with pleasure. She'd positioned herself squarely over his mouth, and had fallen into a nice back-and-forth rhythm, her movements punctuated with her sexy-as-fuck moans and whimpers... sorry, baby girl, but I AM hard now...

"Joel... Jesus fucking Christ... I can't... I can't... ahhhnnnhhh... no! Stop!" She finally summoned enough will power to roll off of him. "Don't make me come yet!"


"I don't wanna come 'til you're inside me!"

He smirked up at her. "That's the thing, see. You can jus'... have another one. Remember--"

"Yeah yeah yeah, but that doesn't always happen, right?... and your face is gonna get all slimy if you--"

"Let me worry about my face." She didn't protest when he scooted over and re-positioned himself between her thighs, this time with her on her back. He administered a few tentative licks...

Fuck that magical tongue of his! When Ellie had imagined this, she and Joel had always come together. She'd had to amend that fantasy when she remembered that they can't, because he needed to pull out before he came... still, she wanted to come on his dick, not his fingers or his face. Obviously, tonight wasn't really going quite the way she'd imagined, but this part seemed to still be within her grasp. "Please? I wanna make sure." She took hold of his shoulders and tried to tug him upward.

He obliged and started inching up her belly, dropping little kisses along the way. "If... it's really... that important... to you..."

"It is... mmm..." What he'd been doing all along -- planting soft, slow kisses everywhere -- felt nice. Not orgasm-nice, but nice. She liked nice. She didn't want to come the second he got inside her, either. That might make him not want to continue, if he didn't think she was into it afterward. Faking orgasms had struck her as a silly thing to do, before... and of course, Sophie had told her not to fake it, at least not tonight -- and then she wouldn't explain when it was okay to fake it -- but what about the reverse scenario? Maybe I can fake NOT having one? ...and then fake it the normal way if a second one doesn't come?! She certainly didn't want Joel to feel bad if he came and she didn't -- or if he thought she didn't, due to her concealing the first one from him. If she could even get away with that... maybe if we're kissing... -no, because I still moan and stuff -- if my mouth is closed, I can just sort of swallow it easier... right? Fuck, I don't know... I can't even think straight...

Joel stopped kissing her chest. "What's wrong?"

...did he just ask... no, that doesn't make sense... why would anything be wrong... "...huh?" Brain... mush! She just noticed that at some point, Joel must have pulled the covers over them. Even though he felt warm as ever, to her. That doesn’t make sense, either…

"You seem..." ...out of it? He moved up to get a better look at her face. There was something... different from before. Like maybe she was going to another place in her head -- and that wasn't a good thing.

She detected a note of concern in his voice, and it somehow un-mushed her brain a bit. She looked him in the eye. Why is he worried? "No, I'm good! Just... feeling good. Why, did I do something weird?"

"No," he assured her. He had to get her over this 'weird' thing, sooner or later. But he felt certain that would fade away as her confidence grew with experience. When she stopped worrying so much about 'fucking things up.' "Jus' wanna make sure you're all right."

"Yes! Of course I am!" She pulled his face to hers and kissed him sweetly. He broke the kiss and looked at her... kind of funny, she thought. "What? What is it?"

"Nothin'... I forgot you ain't that squeamish about tastin' yourself on me." Joel thought she handled that better than he would, if the situation were reversed. ...not that he could even imagine that very well, with her... he wasn't sure what it would take for him to be okay with Ellie going down on him. He couldn't even remember the last time he'd let anyone do that.

She smiled. "Fuck, I'd have to be pretty rude not to... I mean, if you're willing to do that..."

He smiled back. "Well, you can't help it if... I don' know... it grosses you out some. The taste."

"Which you say is sweet, but... it's not." She giggled. "It's okay, though. I don't mind."

"You don't mind. That ain't..." ...ideal? Acceptable?

"I'd rather kiss you than not. How's that?" she said with a grin. She kissed him again, and truly, after a minute or so, she didn't even notice the taste. It was like... kissing him after he'd just eaten something: she could notice a certain taste at first, but if she just let herself get lost in the moment, it faded away. Or maybe it was because he'd kissed her skin in between, or he hadn't been at it that long so he hadn't sucked up the goopiest of her 'juices'... ewwwwwww...

She could feel him pressed against her, rubbing her not unlike his fingers would as she coiled her legs around him. It felt pretty fucking good, actually... but what felt even better was the fact that he wasn't freaking out about their sex-bits touching. Usually he'd have shifted off to the side long before now. She gasped suddenly. "Joel!"

He knew she could be dramatic, but he wasn't entirely unconcerned when she seemed suddenly disturbed about something. "What is it?" He tried to kiss the thought away, whatever it was, but she wasn't having it.

"You're already hard," she whined. "I can tell!"

"Oops," he said with a grin.

"You don't even care!" she accused him. "Can you make it go down and then -- no more putting it off -- er... yeah, don't put it off, put it in!"

He trailed his fingers down to her groin and kept trying to kiss her. "Yeah... sure..."

She giggled in spite of herself, turning away from him playfully. "You're not exactly... doing stuff to make it go down..." She knew he had some control over that because he used to do it on their 'nature breaks.'

He settled for kissing and nipping at her neck instead. "Sure I am. I'm thinkin' about football right now." That had worked a lot better back when he could actually conjure up a vivid image from a recent game...

"Football? Seriously?" She gave him a look, although he didn't see it.

"To get rid of it. It ain't workin', though... you're too damn sexy..." ...and since we ain't hiding anymore, I can give her a hickey now... should a vampire ever feel inclined to vie for her affections, Joel was convinced he would have some serious competition here. I'd have to up my game...

Ellie shivered -- actually, it was more like... borderline shuddering?! -- when he sucked on her neck for much longer than his usual little lovey nips. "Oh man... fuck! that's nice... so nice... okay, so... you think you can... just... like..." She let that thought wander off, now distracted by the fingers dancing around her crotch.


"Is it too late to... try it my way?"

"Yep. Think so."

She bit her lip. "Sooo... are you gonna..."

He pulled up to look at her, stroking her cheek with his thumb. "Am I gonna what?"

"You know. Stick it in?" she asked, trying to stifle another unsexy girlish giggle.

Joel noticed, and wondered why sometimes she let the giggles escape while other times, she held back. "You can laugh. I love your laugh."

It's not sexy! Even though she knew Joel didn't care about that, she did. Sometimes. "Well... are you?"

Aww... she's practically wide-eyed with fear. He kissed her nose again. "You think I'm gonna jus'... sneak it in there?"

"Is that how you're supposed to do it?" she asked him, serious as a heart attack.

This time it was Joel stifling a laugh; he didn't want her to think he was making fun of her, or that she was being stupid. Neither was the case. Maybe I'll do it that way in the future, if you're into it... "You're cute."

"Well, I don't know! I remember when I was little, I was in this clinic or something, and I knew they were gonna stab me in the arm with a needle, I forget what it was for... and I was trying to be brave and like... get ready for it... and then all of a sudden, bam! It stuck me and I didn't even know it was coming. And I think it was better to do it that way than to like... make me anticipate it and try to prepare for it when there really wasn't anything I could do except get more and more nervous."

Joel had to smile at the comparison. "I jus' wanna make sure you're ready."

"I am! I've been ready for ages. You can go ahead."

"Go ahead"... that sounded rather clinical to Joel, too, like he was performing some kind of procedure. "I mean physically ready. You wouldn' let me make you come, so..." He toyed with her pubic hair, inching his hand lower...

"Mmm... What, you think I'm not... goopy enough?" she asked, giggling just a little.

He wished she had let him do that... she was so completely relaxed, before... he stroked her with his finger alongside his dick. He tried to imagine what it must feel like to know something's about to stab you in such a tender place... and you have to just let it. How can that feel good? But apparently, it did to a lot of women, and Ellie did respond well to his fingers... they ain't as big around, though... maybe I should've done three or four at a time to sort of get her used to it first... should I do that now? Or like she said, with the shot -- just do it and get it over with...

"...Joel?" He'd gone still, and she wasn't sure what to make of the look on his face. "Go ahead. Really. I'm ready!"

Joel chuckled. "I ain't gonna just... I don' wanna hurt you."

"You won't!" He gave her a Look, and she added, "Much. If it hurts a teensy bit, so what?" She tried to put herself in his shoes; if she knew what she was about to do was going to hurt him, she would have a hard time proceeding with that. And it had to be worse for Joel with his sexism (or chivalry, as he liked to call it), thinking that only infected humans or humans with dicks are acceptable as targets for inflicting pain. Poor Joel!

Joel liked that she wasn't letting her fear dominate. She was determined that now was the time, and maybe he could make it less awful than she expected. It had to be a little less... cerebral, though. Not exactly just sneaking it in, but not exactly... making a big deal of the actual moment? But it IS a big deal... all this over-thinking on his part wasn't helping to get out of cerebral mode, either. He still wanted to talk her through it, but... well, he just had to find a happy middle ground. His fingers began to play with her again. Hmm... maybe she IS ready... "It's been a while since I've done this," he admitted.

Ellie could tell Joel was having some kind of internal struggle, even before he made that little announcement. I think he's more nervous than I am! She tried to reassure him with a smile... a look... a kiss. She kissed his nose for a change. "Look at it this way. I won't even know if you do it wrong."

He'd meant it more like it had been a while since he'd taken someone's virginity -- Sarah's mother, way back when he was a virgin himself and they were both just bumbling kids who knew nothing -- kids who at least had loads and loads of lube at their disposal. But it had also been a while since he'd had sex at all -- a hell of a long time since it had been anything much more than fucking -- and Ellie sure did seem to like the thought of him... having performance anxiety or something. He buried his face in her hair and let his body go a little slack... he felt her little arms hugging him close, one rubbing his back and the other stroking his hair...

"Joel... are you okay?" Please be okay... I love you I love you I love you--

"I'm good. Sorry." He kissed her cheek in several places. "Didn' mean to scare you."

"Pfff. Please. Scare me?"

"Makin' you think... I don' want this or somethin'. Like I'm backin' out."

"I didn't think that." At least, I hoped that wasn't why you were being weird... "Take all the time you need."

"We don' have to do this, you know. If you're havin' second thoughts." He caressed her cheek again. Looked in her eyes and tried to get a sense of what she was feeling... if she was having doubts...

"I'm not," she said patiently. How many times is he going to say that?! HE is the one who seems to be having second thoughts... and I'm probably supposed to tell HIM it's okay if he is... ugh! NO-- I just have to let him know it's okay. Because I'M okay. MORE than okay! She brought both hands around to his face and stroked his beard the way that he liked. "I love you."

He smiled and gave her a little kiss. "Love you, too." God, do I love you... more than you'll ever know. The way she was looking at him right now... with such absolute trust... I don't deserve you. God knows I don't. Why I should get to be with this beautiful girl-- young woman -- I'll never know.

Ellie wasn't sure what to make of his hesitation. Why is he so reluctant now? "It's okay... I'm ready. I want to feel you... inside me--" -- and she almost managed to say that without giggling like a stupid little girl. "Fuck... pretend I said that all sexy-like."

Sexy enough... though still cute as hell. His dick, which had kind of been on pause, stirred again. Enough talking... "I want to be inside you," he whispered before kissing her.

Their kisses were heating up again as their bodies pressed together, and it felt so nice that Joel probably could have just kept that up, and eventually come on top of her. He had to be careful if he wanted to last a little damn longer than five seconds by the time he got inside her.

"Let's do it," Ellie encouraged him breathlessly. "Just... tell me... what you want me to do...?"

"You're doin' it," he replied with a fond smile. "All right... I'll jus'... try an' ease in real slow-like... try to relax..."

Relax. Right! Ellie wasn't sure what his hand was doing down there... like that nurse preparing my arm for the needle? -but he effectively distracted her with a passionate kiss, and his hand did feel nice -- too nice, because she wanted to grind against him, which she figured was the wrong thing to do when he pressed her down firmly into the bed. Oh -- duh! It must be like trying to hit a moving target! "Sorry--" --but he seemed to find his way in okay in spite of her.

She gasped a little when he entered her, and Joel froze. "Are you all right?"

"Uh-huh... are you, um..." Nope, it's not a bunch of fingers cuz I can see those... I thought it would hurt like a mother, but it doesn't! At least not yet?

"You wanna stop?" Oh God, it hurts and she's--

"No! Joel, it doesn't even hurt. You're... in there, right?"

He chuckled. "I'll try not to take that as an insult. Yes, but only a lil' bit..." He pushed slowly. Very slowly. Which was quite the exercise in restraint, because it felt so damn GOOD... "Still okay?"

She nodded. Smiled. "Seriously. It doesn't hurt. My foot cramp hurt way worse."

I should hope so. Those fuckers are the worst! "Really? No pain?"

"Not really..." Ellie didn't know what to classify it as, but it wasn't acute pain. More like... maybe a subtle soreness?

He eased in, painfully (or... painLESSly?) slowly. "Even now?" He froze again.

"Yeah... are you... is that all the way?"

"Balls deep, as they say," he said, eliciting the little giggle he'd been hoping to hear.

"We're having sex!" she said happily.

"We're havin' sex," he agreed. "Now, if I move a little... does that hurt?"

"No! No, I'm good! I swear. Tell me what to do."

It was such a relief to him that she wasn't in pain; he'd expected wincing, at least... and he'd expected her to put on a brave show, regardless, but if that was what she was doing now, she was one hell of an actress. "You're really okay?"

She smiled and nodded. "I'm... more than okay. What about you?"

"Mmm," he said in response, kissing her a little as he experimented with slow half-thrusts. "I'm good. You feel so..."

"...amazing?" she supplied. "Awesome? Fan-fucking-tastic?"

"Yes, all of that," he breathed. He'd always known it would feel incredible to be inside of her, but even so, he'd underestimated it. It's like she's hugging me from the inside out...

"What should I do?" she asked again. "Seriously, Joel... tell me something..."

"Just hug me."

She was so happy that he actually told her something she could do -- and something she already knew how to do! -- that she almost laughed with giddiness. "That's it?"

"An' kiss me."

She pulled him as close to her as she could, and tried to kiss him, but--

"You sure you're okay?" he asked again.


He was still moving slowly, but with a bigger back-and-forth motion now. "Does it feel good, or... it jus' don' hurt?"

"It feels good," she assured him. It didn't feel like when he got her all worked up and then slid his fingers inside and made her come pretty quickly... no, it wasn't like that, but it felt... like... "I don't know how to describe it. You're making my legs all tingly."

That sounded encouraging. "I'll try not to come all the way out, in case it's... maybe I'll try an' go a little faster... unhh..."

The little unhh made Ellie smile; it was like a major victory to hear Joel make any noises of pleasure. "You're doing all the work -- how does it feel for you?"

He laughed a little. "It ain't hard work, trust me." He kissed her deeply, holding her tight as he fell into a steady, albeit slow, rhythm. He resisted the urge to keep asking her if she was okay, but he did break the kisses every so often to look into those beautiful eyes... and sort of ask her silently. One time when he did that, he was surprised to find that they looked shiny. "You all right?" he had to ask her then.

She nodded. Ellie hadn't thought she would cry, but she couldn't seem to help it when she saw tears in Joel's eyes. Joel never cries! Near-death experiences aside, at least -- and she hadn't even been conscious to witness that.

Joel didn't even realize he had tears in his own eyes until one slipped out -- and landed on Ellie's face. "Oh shit..." ...the fuck? He didn't want to be crying right now. Not that Ellie seems to mind... He might have turned away, but Ellie held his face in her hands, her thumbs at the ready to catch any more escapees.

"I love you so much, Joel," she managed to say without choking on her own tears. "I'm so -- you make me so happy... thank you..."

He just kissed her in response. Kissed her long and hard. He started thrusting a little harder, too. For the next little while, neither of them said a word as they enjoyed each other, overcome by the emotional sensations that accompanied the physical.

Ellie had thought she couldn't possibly feel any closer to Joel than she already did, but this... this was way better than those times he squeezed her so hard she couldn't breathe. He was still squeezing her hard, kind of... he was laying on top of her, kissing her dizzy, holding her against him with one arm while his other hand alternated between hugging her and caressing her hair, her face, her arm... whatever parts of her body it could reach. But the most amazing thing was that he was inside of her... like he was literally filling her up with his love, pumping it into her and making it a real thing she could tangibly feel. Like they were truly one person now, their flesh melded together in a new way. It was amazing she could even think at all, given how incredible it all was... how good she felt... it wasn't like she'd never felt insanely close to Joel before, just... it's somehow intensified, this way? She couldn't imagine doing this with someone she barely knew. How do people do that?! We're more than TOGETHER, we're... like... fuck, I don't even know...

She realized now that she'd never understood the term 'making love' in its entirety before. She could see why Joel never wanted to call it 'fucking.' Every kiss, every touch -- He LOVES me. And he's so... absolutely BEAUTIFUL... he would hate it if he knew I was thinking that! But he IS... Actually, Ellie thought maybe he wouldn't hate it -- that he would understand what she meant -- it's the love that makes him beautiful, mine for him and his for me... and I'm sooo unbelievably, amazingly lucky that he decided to share his beauty with me. I'm going to show him every day that he hasn't made a mistake in trusting me with his heart.

She smiled at him when he came up for air, and he returned the smile. He didn't need to ask her if she was all right now. Didn't need to say a word; their bodies were doing all the talking now.

Joel couldn't quite forget that Ellie was a virgin, that he needed to be gentle with her... but he did quite forget that she was only fifteen, and that what he was doing to her was 'wrong.' Because it didn't feel like he was doing something to her -- they were in this together. He'd never felt more sure of their love than he did right now. Just like I expected... yet somehow even BETTER-- The way she clung to him, kissed him, met his thrusts eagerly... she wanted him. He already knew that on some level, of course; he'd felt it from her since the beginning. Unlike himself, she had always been more than willing to let him in... into her heart, into her body. She never gave up on him -- even when he broke that heart she'd so generously offered him. He wanted to hold her in his keep forever, right where she was, and do everything in his power to repay her for all the things she'd given him. I might not ever be worthy of her love, but worthy or not, I have it, and I will protect it and cherish it like the treasure that it is.

He also couldn't forget that he didn't have the luxury of coming inside her. He had gradually picked up the pace, without even consciously thinking about it, and hadn't even asked her if she was cool with it. She certainly seems to be... the little moans, hungry kisses, the ass-grabbing... He hadn't needed to ask her if she was okay for a good long while, actually, because it was so clear that she was right there with him, caught up in the pleasure generated by their joined bodies. It was his responsibility to not get too caught up; when he felt himself getting close, he whispered to her that he needed to pull out, like they'd talked about...

...and then it occurred to him that if she'd had an orgasm, he'd somehow missed it. "Ellie, did you... you didn't..." Shit, maybe I can last a little longer if we slow down...

"I did!"

"You... when?"

"Before -- I did! I did, I swear."

She seemed to know what he was asking about, and she certainly sounded sincere; maybe he truly was that oblivious?! "All right then... hang on..."

Ellie didn't want to let him go... but she didn't want to ruin tonight by having him get mad at her, and even if she was maybe sort of willing to gamble here (weren't the odds strongly in their favor?! Maria and Tommy had sex many many times for like years before it happened), she knew she didn't really want to get pregnant. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but... he'd be really pissed!... and I CAN'T be a mom... Joel mumbled something about not wanting to... pound her too hard? Is that what he said? "No, it's okay -- it's good!" she urged him. She liked the hard thrusts... maybe it was an illusion, but it felt like the harder he pushed, the deeper he went inside her -- and the deeper inside her he was, the more... one they were.

She didn't fight it when he pulled out... and quickly jerked off on her belly.

Joel knew Ellie was used to getting squirted on by now (if not from this angle), but he always felt a little bad about it. Like 'spilling his seed' on her was degrading or disgusting, and not something he wanted to subject his baby girl to. She usually giggled, or teased him about making a mess -- or both -- but tonight, she all but ignored it as she sat up enough to tug on his arms.

"Come here," she pleaded, "you're too far away!"

He chuckled and flopped down -- next to her, not on top of her. He didn't want to spread the puddle, and he didn't let the covers fall onto it, either. He tried to grab the towel from beneath her, but apparently he still wasn't close enough, because she used her arms and one leg to try to pull him back on top of her, and he just had to give in and let her. "Well, if you don' mind the mess..."

"I don't care!" She hugged him, and started planting kisses all over his face. "I love youuuuuuuu!"

"Damn... I guess you do," he said, smiling. "So. Tell me. Was it everythin' you hoped for?"

"Fuck yes!" She was glad he didn't seem bothered by the pool of jizz she'd pulled him into. That would be awesome if it like, dried and glued us together forever...

"Even though you didn't..."

"I did!" Ellie insisted. "Why don't you believe me?"

"All right, I believe you." He lay on top of her like a blanket now, since that was what she seemed to want, and nuzzled her neck contentedly.

Ellie wasn't lying... exactly. She had felt indescribably happy throughout the whole thing, and she did feel like she was on the brink, several times... had felt the tendrils of pleasure spread through her body... those had to be like mini-orgasms. They were powerful enough -- more than just feeling little tingles like she did sometimes when he kissed her. They just weren't the... explosive kind? And Joel had done everything right -- she'd been all turned on and everything... what else could he have done?! -- it just didn't make sense for her not to have one.

But... usually, right after having an orgasm, she wasn't questioning whether or not she'd had one, nor was she immediately wanting to have another one. Well... that was fucking awesome, so why shouldn't we do it again later anyway?

"Can I go take a leak now, or is it too soon to move?" Joel asked her neck.

For some reason, he always wanted to do that right after he came. "I guess," she said with a mock sigh of exasperation, reluctantly letting him out of her embrace. This doesn't make sense either... we're NOT actually one person, and not actually glued together or something... but it felt wrong for him to be so far away from her now, even for just a minute. I'm going to have to figure out how to get used to that! Knowing that he'd be back in just a minute made her feel stupidly giddy, too. You're so silly, Ellie! While he was away, she figured she might as well make use of the towel she was laying on... or sort of laying on... it had shifted around a bit. She mopped up the 'Joel juice' on her stomach (and now her side).

She was sitting in the middle of the bed, frowning at the towel, when Joel returned. He hadn't expected to see anything but smiles from her the rest of the night, so her expression worried him a little. "What's wrong, baby girl?" he asked as he climbed into bed.


Like hell. He just hoped it wasn't serious. "C'mon, lay down with me. Or you wanna put your... lingerie thing back on first?"

Ellie did like the idea of sleeping in that pretty, silky-soft garment, but she could do that another night. She noticed that Joel hadn't bothered to put his boxers on -- and he never slept naked. Maybe he will from now on? she wondered happily. "Nope, I'm good," she declared as she clambered up next to him, chucking the towel to the floor. "Oh -- want me to put out the candle?"

"Mm... not yet. Ain't done lookin' at your pretty face."

"Whatever," she mumbled. We just had sex, but he can still make me blush with just THAT?

Joel figured Ellie would want to talk after the Big Event. He wasn't even sleepy yet himself... and he did want to make sure she wasn't having any regrets. It was obvious something had happened in the minute or so he'd been in the bathroom. "What were you thinkin' about when I came back jus' now, hmm?"

Ellie settled herself next to him and helped him pull the sheet and blanket up over both of them. "I told you -- nothing."

"Don't you feel like you can tell--"

"You can't just leave it alone, can you." It was a statement, not a question, and she said it with more fondness than irritation. She kissed his cheek. "Just forget it," she whispered. It doesn't matter! she told herself. All that matters is we're JOINED AGAIN. She tried to lay her head down on his chest, but he tilted her chin up so he could look her in the eye.

"Hey. Tonight was a big deal. For me, yes, but especially for you."

She smiled. "It's not about that." At least, not the way you think it is...

"You sure?"

"Uh-huh." Maybe I can just get up early and wash the towel before he notices...

Maybe he should just drop it, but if there was anything he could do to resolve even the slightest niggling worry in the back of her mind, he wanted to do it -- to make the rest of the night as perfect for her as he could. "Ellie. I can tell it's botherin' you, whatever it is. You know you'll feel better if you talk to me."

He smoothed her hair, and just... generally petted her in the loving way he always did. He was right -- she did always feel better after talking to him. And weren't they closer now than ever before? Besides... it's better if I tell him than if he WONDERS about it later, right? "Okay. Um..." She wanted to lay her head down, but she knew she had to look at him when she told him this. Because she had to make sure he believed her. "Joel, I swear -- I swear on my life -- on your life, and you know that I wouldn't swear that unless..." Just tell him! "I swear I've never done this before. Before tonight."

"I know that." She was looking at him so earnestly... like maybe he didn't know that? He waited for her to explain. When she stayed quiet, he ventured a guess as to what this was about. "You did great. If I didn' know any better, I would've thought maybe you had done it before."

"No! I haven't! I've never been with anyone but you!" she cried.

Joel just looked at her, puzzled. "I know," he repeated. "Ellie, what is it? What's wrong?"

"I just... want to make sure you know." An idea suddenly occurred to her -- yes! Why didn't I think of it before? "Joel -- did you like... wash up a little? In the bathroom?" He had turned the flashlight on in there...

"...not really? Well, that one spot, yes."

"And your dick. Right?"

"Uh... no?"

"But you wiped it off cuz you peed, at least."

"Uh... no," he repeated, still puzzled at where she was going with this.

"You didn't? But we have toilet paper here."

"I was jus' peein'."

"So you don't... really? I thought that was just like... outside, that you didn't bother." I lived in a house with him for several months and I didn't know that?

Joel wondered if she was trying to distract him from finding out what was bugging her. "What does this have to do with--"

"I was just wondering if..." She yanked the covers back so she could examine him. The candle light wasn't bright, but she would still be able to see... maybe?...

"What?" Joel had to chuckle. "What are you--"

"You didn't see any blood? Maybe it somehow got on the sheet, then... or the blanket..." She’d already checked those, but she began yanking their covers this way and that to check again.

"Nope. Maybe there's some on the towel..."

"There's not." She was sure of that, because it was the cleanest, whitest, most stain-free towel she'd ever seen in her life; a blemish as obvious as blood would certainly scream at her. Ellie sighed and draped herself over him, this time finally laying her head down on his chest. "There isn't any blood on it, or anywhere, and there should be," she mumbled, half-hoping he hadn't heard her.

THAT'S why she wants to make sure I know-- Joel felt relieved. I got this! "Not necessarily, baby girl. You said it didn' really hurt..." He tucked the covers around them again.

"It did a little. Sort of. But no, not really. Not like I thought it would. You have to believe me--"

"I do. The blood... it ain't a given."

That didn't make sense to Ellie. "Did you like... feel something in there? Like something tearing?" she asked hopefully.

"No... I don' think I would've felt that, though? What with all the... it's just a little thing..."

"But I'm a virgin. Was a virgin, 'til now." In spite of everything, Ellie felt a sense of... wonder, for a moment. I'm not a virgin anymore...

"I think... it can happen from riding horses." Joel thought he'd learned that somewhere.

"What? That makes no sense," Ellie scoffed. Riding a horse and getting poked up there were two totally different things.

"Seriously. Somethin' about the jostlin' motion, I guess? Or... maybe it was 'cause I... my fingers might've done it. Before."

"...your fingers? They can do that?"

"Sure. Why not?"

"But... I don't remember there being blood, ever?"

"Me neither," he admitted, even though he was tempted to fib there just to put her mind at ease. "Maybe it... got mixed in with the other stuff? I don' think if there's blood that it's-- well, it ain't like it just... gushes out?"

Ellie thought about the first time he'd used a finger. It had hurt a little. And I could still feel it the next day! she suddenly remembered. Like a sore muscle she'd just exercised for the first time -- not anything really bad. "I think you're right," she said with relief. "That has to be it! Wait -- does that mean this whole time I haven't been a virgin? So we didn’t need to wait so long?!”

Ha! "No, no – that wasn’ the only reason to wait, but… no, you were a virgin before tonight.”

“Okay. Still… if it was your fingers, you'd think that one of us might've felt it."

"I think it's just a tiny piece of... somethin'... the Red River flows through there so it--"

"Eww, shut up!" Ellie swatted him, laughing. "I said I think you're right so can we forget it now?"

He chuckled. "Good to know I'm right once in a while. I'm just... a little surprised you were so worried about me thinkin' you weren't really a virgin."

"Well, yeah. I don't want you to think I lied to you about that. You're my first and only!" she said happily.

Joel squeezed her and kissed the top of her head. "You feel any different now? Now that you ain't one anymore?"

"Um... I haven't decided. Maybe I love you even more? Except I don't really know if that's possible cuz I loved you a lot before. It's hard to explain."

That was exactly the way he felt about it. "Love you too, baby girl."

"I love you more than you love me, though."

"You do, huh?" Joel knew that was impossible, but he would humor her. "How do you figure that?"

"Cuz you're the only person I've been with, and you've been with hundreds of other people."

Joel laughed. "No I haven't! Where'd you get that from?"

"You said so yourself! Er... no, actually, you said you've had sex more than a hundred times. When I asked you."

"Not with a hundred different women."

"But you've had it a lot and I've only had it once." Soon to be twice, if I get my way... "It was still special, though, right?"

Joel pretended to mull that over. "Well... hmm. Maybe you're right. Since I've done it sooooo many times, one more time don' make much difference. Just another roll in the hay, as they say."

He's not supposed to tease me about that! Ellie lifted her head to look at him. He wouldn't be that mean, so he HAS to be teasing. But maybe it's one of those teasing-but-not-really things, where he secretly does think that for real, or SORT of thinks it, like, a little bit...

He had expected Ellie to glare at him, or maybe hit him again, but the way she was looking at him... is she trying to see if I'm joking or not? "Ellie, I'm kiddin'."

"You're a dick," she said as she returned her head to its former position on his chest.

He started petting her hair, gently working his fingers through the tangles. "I am," he agreed. "Of course it was special."

"But you've had better." I just need more practice...


"I did what you told me, you know," she cut him off. She couldn't help sounding defensive. "You could've told me to do other stuff to make it better."

"You were perfect. Hell... you made me cry." Since tears had actually escaped from his eyeballs this time, he supposed he had to acknowledge it now. Call a spade a spade. "That's never happened before."

"Really? All those other times... you never cried?" That certainly meant she was special!


...unless he's just trying to make me feel better. "...Liar. You just don't want me to know you're a big softie."

Joel chuckled. "You already know that... when it comes to you, anyway."

"So, I'm the only one who made you cry. Ever."

"Yep," he confirmed. If only he could magically transport her back in time and show her how different this time was than all the... no, that wouldn't work, because she wouldn't be able to see it -- not without being inside my head... And she would probably just find new things to worry about.

"And... you weren't crying because I was so awful," Ellie continued.

"No!" he laughed. "Hmm, is that why you were cryin'?"

"I wasn't crying!" She might've been, just a little...

"Almost-cryin', then. 'Cause you were so... disappointed."

"Ha! That's ridiculous!"

"So we're even then."

She smiled and wriggled up to kiss him. "No, we're not. I want to be the one you've had the most sex with. Just like you're the one I've had the most sex with. Then we'll be even."

"Is that so." Joel kissed her tenderly, holding her there, massaging the nape of her neck with his fingertips. "We can work on that. You're already the one I've had the best sex with." Her face sure lit up when he said that!

"What?? Shut up." Man, those other bitches must've REALLY been bad at it!

"It's true." Sometimes, words could do things that actions couldn't. He could make sweet love to her until his dick fell off and she still would have no way of knowing that he hadn't done exactly that with other people in the past. He wasn't that good with words, but Ellie only needed to understand the basics here, really... "An' I've never felt closer to anyone else. Ever. So stop worryin' about doin' things right or wrong. If you love me... you're doin' it right. All right?"

Wow... anyone EVER! Ellie felt her throat tighten. She had to kiss him for such a beautiful declaration. "Okay. I still think I should practice some more anyway. Like... right now."

"Now? Really?" She nodded eagerly, and he chuckled. "All right, I'll try. He might be goin' to sleep, though..." Joel lifted the covers a little, as if checking on a sleeping child.

"I'll wake him up," Ellie offered with a grin. She let her hand wander down there as Joel dropped the blanket. "One more question first."

"What's that, baby girl?"

"Would you, like... think it was sexy... if I licked your armpit?"

~Continue to Chapter 47~

Tags: fic, tlou, uncertainty
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