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Gawl was snoring.

Again. Still. Did it matter which? Koji finally opened his eyes with a silent sigh, gazing up at the ceiling of their little room. He supposed in a way he should be grateful for the noise, Gawl had never snored in what passed for sleep back in the tower. No, he had just hung there unconscious between tests, waiting for his friends to finish their monitoring and wake him for another... he cut that train of thought off ruthlessly, fixating instead on the pattern of shadows above his head.

Funny, the little things you learn to be grateful for in a brand new world.

"... Koji?"

Ryo's whisper was so faint he could barely hear it over his own pulse. He must not have been so silent as he thought, or maybe he had shifted ever-so-slightly on his bedroll. And he had used to sleep so still that even the sensors could pick up no movement save his breathing... Ryo let out a quiet, disappointed little sound and turned his head, probably thinking Koji had not been awake at all. Hmm.

"Yes, Ryo?"

"Oh!" Even in his startlement -- pleased startlement, Koji noted -- Ryo only whispered back to him. "I just wanted to know if you were... well, you are...."

"He's loud, tonight."

"... I like it." The return whisper sounded... well, bashful. As much as a whisper could.

Koji moved at last, lifting and turning his head to seek out his friend's face. Ryo, amazingly, was blushing, though perhaps only Koji could have noted the faint change of color in a dark, moonlit room. The blond squirmed under his gaze, shifting beneath his blanket, and Koji let a note of kindness seep into his voice. "I like it, too."

They lay there like that for two minutes, simply looking at each other and listening to Gawl snore. Then:

"... Koji?"

"Yes, Ryo?"

"Can I... we... ?" If they were standing and speaking to each other, Koji imagined Ryo would be scuffing the ground with his toe.

Koji didn't need for him to finish the question, really. He scooted to the side, silently opening his bedroll and making exactly enough room on the pallet -- between himself and Gawl, Ryo always preferred to be as close to the blue-haired boy as he could -- for the slender blond to slip in beside him. Ryo did so, of course, maybe moving not-so-quietly and not-so-efficiently as Koji, but then he had further to go. As Ryo nestled up against him, Koji carefully tucking the blankets around them both, it occurred to him he had many things to be grateful for.

Some not so little as others.

He closed his eyes for a moment, breathing in the clean, sunbright scent of Ryo's hair as slender hands unbuttoned his pajama shirt and pressed against the skin of his chest. This would be luxury unimaginable anywhere else, laying together in the dark of the night, no schedules, no timers... no cameras. No one telling him how good it would be for Ryo, how stabilizing an influence in his life.

Any fool could see how good this was for Ryo. Koji could hear it in the soft hitching of breath as he opened Ryo's pants, folded long fingers around his lover's need. And he could do so much more for Ryo, here.

He could kiss him. So he did.

Lover... Koji liked that word. Ryo was his lover, gasping and shaking in his arms as Koji plunged his tongue into his mouth, tasting just as deeply as the boy would let him. Ryo was always so willing, so pliant for him, even the very first time Koji took him aside and told him what they were about do.

"We have ten minutes," he had said. "I am to see that you are relaxed before we take Gawl to the next phase." Oh, the heartbreakingly open expression on the boy's face, timid and trusting and faintly pink across his cheeks. The tiny, amazed sounds he had made... Ryo was louder, now. They both were, Koji thought, he hardly recognized the moaning as his own sometimes. But they were never so loud as to wake their snoring friend.

Their mouths parted with a soft, wet sound, and Koji just had to nose at the flushed skin of the blond's face. So pretty, his Ryo. So... forward, now, in this time; one careful hand had been busy at his waistband and now slipped inside his pants, and how had he missed his lover nudging his own pants down and off slender legs? Too much reminiscing, Koji supposed; too much thinking, not enough doing. He set about doing, fetched the tiny bottle from under the edge of his bedroll and clutched it tight, suddenly, as clever fingers coaxed a rare gasp from him.

Ryo looked incredibly pleased with himself, but just as suddenly a tanned arm flung itself across the boy's waist, and he froze. Wide, blue eyes locked on Koji's face, and the poor boy's whisper was almost frantic. "He's... !"

"Asleep," Koji reassured him. And sure enough, soon there was a drowsy grumble and a shift of blankets, and Gawl rolled away from them.

Ryo sagged against his chest, trembling, and Koji reassured with hands and lips as well. Soon he was rolling the boy over, preparing to slick his fingers from the little bottle when Ryo made a soft request.

"Koji... take your hair down?"

He whispered his assent into the blond's ear, reached behind his head and slipped his hair tie free. Long fingers fanned long green hair over his shoulder, over Ryo's shoulder and down his chest. Just as he knew Ryo liked it, though he had never dared to ask it of Koji until they came here.

One more thing to be grateful for.

Slender fingers toyed with strands of his hair, even as his own slipped into the heat and tightness of Ryo's body. The blond already moved in the long, slow undulations of their sex play, the curve of his ass pushing and stroking against Koji's hardness. Blue eyes half-lidded, the pink flush spreading down his neck, over his chest where he caressed himself with handfuls of Koji's hair... Koji could stroke him and watch him all night like this, if there was not so much more pleasure waiting to be had. And besides, the only thing more beautiful than a writhing, wanton Ryo was a sated Ryo.

Grateful, grateful, grateful.

For the slow push of his cock into his lover's carefully-stretched entrance, for the incredible way Ryo's body welcomed him inside, for the tart-sweet smell of Ryo's skin right there at the nape of his neck... for the languid, rocking rhythm of their bodies, that made Koji think of nothing so much as the inexorable push and pull of the ocean, when he could think at all...


His eyes snapped open at that (oh God) *frightened* whisper, and he finally registered that there was a hand on his hip. An extra hand.

An extra, tanned hand.

Gawl had rolled again, facing the two of them and tucked up close to Ryo's half-naked body. Half-naked, fully-aroused body, currently impaled on Koji's cock. Koji understood that fear in Ryo's voice, but Gawl... was still asleep? Amazingly enough, yes, the blue-haired boy's eyes were closed, motions drowsy and slow. And he *was* in motion, one hand stroking little circles on the skin of Koji's hip and the other- Ryo's half-strangled gasp let him know where that other hand must be, what it must be doing.

Koji had to rest his forehead against Ryo, limbs suddenly weak at even the idea of the blond sandwiched between the two of them and Gawl... oh, Gawl.

"He's... asleep, Ryo, it's alright."

"But he...." Ryo's whisper sounded pained, there in the moonlight, as if he was trying to talk himself out of something he very, very much wanted.

Something Koji very, *very* much wanted to give to him.

He lifted his head, watching the sleeping boy in front of his lover. Gawl, predictably, was louder than the two of them put together, but thankfully not so loud Koji feared their landlord would wake. "Look at him... open your eyes, Ryo, look at Gawl."

He could feel the surprised quiver all through Ryo's body as he did so, both scientists now watching the tanned boy. Gawl moved with an instinctual, feral grace. His hands strayed over bare skin, his legs twined with Ryo's and nestled their hips even closer together, cock filled with blood and strained against cloth to meet the blond's aching length. Low, needy noises spilled from his lips, which were soon nuzzling at the flushed skin of Ryo's neck.

Ryo gasped, quivering again... he *wanted* to believe, Koji could tell.

"Listen to him... he wants this, Ryo, even if he's not awake enough to say so."

"What if... what if he doesn't know it's us?" Koji could hear the 'me' buried in Ryo's 'us'. "We should wake him...."

"He knows. Enough of him knows... he loves you, Ryo, didn't you realize?"

Soft, amazed, "No...."

He started to move again, rocking into Ryo's heat and the blond whimpered helplessly. "He loves you... it's alright." Gawl chose that moment to grind his cloth-covered cock against Ryo's bare one with a low growl, and all thought of protest melted right out of Ryo.

Koji silently congratulated Gawl's timing... and then groaned himself as Ryo's reaction clenched around Koji's own cock. This couldn't last, this heated tangle of bodies writhing and thrusting and was that Gawl's hand in his hair? He couldn't tell, but he wanted to think so. Koji wanted several things, and got one of them by reaching forward and slipping Gawl's cock free of his pajama pants, gripping his and Ryo's together in a firm, stroking fist. He got another in the faint, strangled wail from Ryo's mouth and the fierce grunt of pleasure from Gawl's where it was pressed against Ryo's neck.

He had just enough time and just barely enough coherency left to want one more thing: the leisure to watch this, tanned skin against pale, blue hair and gold shining in the sun, full-throated cries of completion spilling from his lovers' lips... his lovers....

Ryo came first, throbbing and quaking as he spilled over Koji's hand, and Koji thought if he had ever heard a more wonderful sound than Ryo's soft keen of release, it could only be Gawl's ecstatic moan as he followed the blond over the edge. Koji found his own climax buried deep within Ryo's spasming body, gasping muffled against the nape of his neck.

They lay tangled together, panting and sweating in the moonlit room, and finally Koji slid his hand carefully up the pair of damp, softening cocks... pulling most of the mess up with his fingers, and letting Gawl's length slip back under the waistband of his pants. Gawl moved then, lifting his face from Ryo's neck.

He looked... right at Ryo, bare slits of green showing under his lids, smiled a lazy, sated smile, and rubbed his nose cutely against Ryo's. Then his lids dropped again, and he rolled over and slid promptly back into sleep.

And started to snore.

Ryo was shock-still in Koji's arms, staring at Gawl's back. "He... he...."

Koji tucked his face down against Ryo's shoulder and let out a faint, rare chuckle. "He's fine." He carefully pulled out of the blond's body, taking care of a bit of the mess before turning Ryo over to face him, arms wrapped warmly around his slim body. "He's fine, Ryo... trust me."

Ryo sighed, tucking his head up under Koji's chin. "If you say so...." He reached up, toying with a lock of long green hair. "Could we stay... just like this?"

Koji closed his eyes, shaking his head minutely. "You know it isn't safe. Masami could find us, or her mother...."

Another sigh. "I know." Ryo was quiet for a while, twining Koji's hair around and around his finger. "... but I'd like to."

His answering whisper was uncommonly gentle. "I know." Koji could tell exactly what Ryo was thinking of. Their first traumatic night in the past, Gawl fresh from battle, the three of them collapsing from exhaustion and confusion in the midst of the forest... and waking in the warmest, coziest tangle of limbs Koji had ever imagined. Well. Had imagined before now, when he could so easily picture those limbs naked and... he sighed, warm breath stirring Ryo's bangs.

Ryo spoke again, hesitant, questioning. "Gawl loves me?"

Koji answered without thought. "Of course he does. He wouldn't want to be so close to you if he didn't...."

The blond boy lifted his head, fixing his suddenly-silent friend with those clear blue eyes. He laid a slender hand on Koji's cheek, and a smile as bright as the sun dawned on his face. "That's what I thought."

Koji swallowed, he hadn't meant... well, he hadn't meant to say so much. He blinked at Ryo as the boy stretched up to kiss his cheek, whispering again, "That's what I thought."