“What does he want?” Jean-Paul hissed, lying next to Adam but not touching him. He wanted to yell, really. But with Ezra having just fallen asleep after a difficult time settling, and with Anjuli in the next room, he settled for an angry whisper and complete lack of physical contact.
“I don’t know!” Adam answered. “I haven’t talked to him.” He sighed and sat up. He picked up a pillow and put it behind his back so the metal bars that made up the headboard of their bed wouldn’t bother him. “I told you I wouldn’t, didn’t I? I said I’d have nothing to do with him and I’ve kept my word. I haven’t spoken to him since that one time I called him to find out his HIV status and anything else he could tell me. That was a long time ago. I haven’t heard from him since, not until he started leaving voicemails for me at work. I didn’t call him back. Don’t believe me? Fine. Listen to Anjuli. She told you he called here because he couldn’t get me at work.”
“How does he even have your work number?”
“Jean-Paul, he knows what I do for a living. I met him at that convention.”
“You weren’t even working for the Herald then. You were freelancing.”
“But he knew I had worked for the Herald and probably called there to see if they’d give him my new number. Or he reads the Herald and saw I’m there again. Or he heard that I’d gone back there through the journalist grapevine. I don’t know! I haven’t talked to him.”
“And how did he know to call here?”
“I have no idea.”
“Did you give him the number here?”
“No!” Adam thought about it for a minute. “Wait, I told him Anjuli’s name. So, maybe she’s the only ‘A. Radavan’ listed or the only one with a Georgetown address. I told him I was staying at her place.”
“When did you tell him that? While his dick was up your ass?”
“No, before that. Before his dick was anywhere near me.” Adam’s sarcastic tone matched Jean-Paul’s. He took a deep breath and continued more calmly. “It was the cover story. You know that. I couldn’t say where I was really living at the time – where we were living. I was maintaining the security of the Outpost. I used this address when I registered for the convention. I told everyone I met there that I lived here, not just Jake Patterson. And now we do live here. I didn’t know we would at the time. It was just a ruse. Anjuli knew to say I was out if anyone called here. So he called here thinking he was calling me at home and he turned out to be right.” Adam sighed again. “Jean-Paul, it was a year ago. It was during the war. So much has happened since then. I did something I really regret. Once. I’ve been doing my best to make up for it.” He lay down again and reached for Jean-Paul, a little tentatively, not knowing how he’d react. He stiffened at first, but then relaxed, letting Adam hold him. “I thought you were getting over it,” Adam said after a while.
“I thought so, too.” His voice sounded sad now, not angry. “But when Anjuli said he called it brought it all back, hein? Made me think the worst.”
“I’ve had nothing to do with him.”
“I haven’t touched another man.”
“I know. I believe you.”
“Un seul homme, Jean-Paul. I meant it. I made one mistake, but I still mean it. I won’t do it again.” They kissed and held each other.
“I’m surprised Anjuli didn’t know who he is,” Jean-Paul said after a while. “Didn’t you tell her about him?”
Adam shook his head. “I just told her I’d had unprotected sex with someone I don’t know,” he replied, speaking softly in his lover’s ear. “That that’s why I needed the Healing Factor Concentrate. She thought at first that I was worried because you were exposed when Walter died. She was trying to reassure me on that score, so I had to explain why I thought I could have been infected. I didn’t tell her his name. I think she probably doesn’t even realize I know it. Believe me, it wasn’t a comfortable conversation. She was embarrassed by the whole thing. So was I, for that matter. I wasn’t going to go into details. She and I haven’t discussed it since, at all.”
“What do you think he’s calling you about?”
“I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m having nothing to do with him.”
“Maybe he’s got it. Maybe he’s infected and he’s calling all his contacts.”
“Could be, particularly if he kept doing crystal and barebacking. It’s a bad combo. But it’s nothing to do with me, nothing to do with us, if he is infected.” Adam stroked Jean-Paul’s hair. “We’re not infected. We got lucky, or the HFC worked, or both. I fucked up, love, and you had something terrible happen to you, through no fault of your own. But neither of us got it. And it was a long time ago. The last few months I’ve felt like we were back to normal or something.”
“Sex has felt good and hot and – oh, I don’t know – free again. For the first time in a long time. Partly from not using condoms. Partly just from feeling like you forgave me.”
“Je sais. I did, Adam. I did forgive you. I do forgive you. It was just a shock to hear he called you, and to hear it like that, at dinner and from Anjuli. And just when things were feeling so good.”
“I’m sorry that happened.” Adam kissed him again, long and deep. “I was so happy to hear you wanted to get a bigger place, to hear you sounding happy here, and settled.”
“Bien sur, I thought it would never happen.”
“Me, neither.” He thought some more. “So you’ll call Xavier’s and talk about this townhouse idea?”
“Yes, I think I’ll call Cyclops tomorrow and tell him we’re interested. Then we can follow up with Charles Xavier when he’s here.” He kissed his lover on the cheek. “Anjuli seemed into the idea, hein?”
“Yes, she seemed positively excited about it.” Ezra, across the room from them, said something in his sleep. Adam listened but the baby didn’t waken. “She’s been a good friend to us,” he continued.
“C’est vrai. And a good roommate.” He thought for a minute. “All kidding aside, I do wish Anjuli would start dating. Hank’s been dead two years now.”
“Yeah, I agree. She’s too young and...alive and vibrant to live like she does. Work and the baby and a monastic life here with you and me.”
“Maybe she’s not motivated to. Maybe it’s partly because of you and me, hein? Maybe she doesn’t feel so lonely since we’re here.”
“Could be. We meet her social needs so she’s not so into looking. But she needs more than friendship. She needs love. And sex, for that matter. We have to think of someone to fix her up with.”
“Do you really think she’s afraid to bring someone home? Or was that just a joke?”
Adam thought about it. “I think her situation is unusual, and also difficult to explain. Not you and me, so much, although I imagine there are some straight men who would be a little taken aback by the faggot roommates. But that’s not all of it. There’s the half-mutant baby, the ties to the X-Men, even her research. All of those are going to be obstacles for some men. And then she’s too Americanized for any traditional Indian guy, and too Indian for a lot of white guys. Not to mention that she’s brilliant and has a PhD in physiology, both of which would intimidate a lot of men.”
“All the things that are wonderful about her, all the things that make her Anjuli. You’re saying those are what would put men off. I think you’re right. And it’s sad.”
“Well, it wouldn’t put everyone off. It’s got to be someone comfortable with difference. But, you know, she wouldn’t be interested in a guy who wasn’t. So maybe it doesn’t matter.”
“Are you comfortable with difference, mon ami?” Jean-Paul’s voice was teasing now. “Mutant lover, half-mutant baby, you’ve got all that.” He turned serious. “If things had gone the other way, if the war hadn’t ended as it did... Adam you’re not one of us, but you would have been in danger. You put yourself in danger.”
“I love you, Jean-Paul. I am ‘one of us.’ I’m sort of a mutant manqué or something. Okay, so I don’t get the superpowers. At least I still get the persecution, some of the mutant experience.” Jean-Paul laughed. “Your people are mine,” Adam continued, the joking tone gone. “And Ezra’s. It’s the path I chose.”
“You don’t regret it?”
“Not for a minute.” They kissed again. Adam pulled back and pulled the covers off. He sat up and just looked at Jean-Paul for a moment, stretched out naked on the bed. “You’re the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen,” he said, after a minute. “So perfect and so peerless. I’ve always thought superhuman beauty was your main gift, that flight and super speed were just extras.”
Adam began to stroke his lover’s strong thighs, sitting next to him on the bed. Jean-Paul lay still, watching Adam sitting there by his side, broad smile on his face. He felt his lover’s deft fingers stroking his legs, moving up. One hand moved to his stiffening cock, holding the shaft and starting to move up and down slowly. “And you have the most beautiful cock I’ve ever seen,” Adam added, and bent down to kiss and lick.
Jean-Paul reached between Adam’s legs, feeling that his lover was hard, too. They played like that for a few minutes, Adam sucking and Jean-Paul stroking with his hand. Then Jean-Paul sat up, pulling Adam’s head off of him and kissing him on the mouth. He slid his tongue around the inside of Adam’s mouth, catching the fleeting taste of pre-cum. “I want to fuck you,” he said. “Do you want that, mon amour?”
Adam nodded, whispering “Yes. Please.” Right in his lover’s ear. Jean-Paul reached for the lube. Adam lay down on the bed, face down, then pulled his knees under him, spreading his legs a little.
Jean-Paul knelt behind Adam, slicking his cock. Then pushed in slowly, talking to Adam while he did. “Your tight, hot ass. I want this, mon amour. I want you.” He stayed still, deep in Adam, for a minute. Then held onto both of Adam’s hips and started moving in and out.
Adam’s hands were holding the bars of the bed now, bracing himself and pushing back against Jean-Paul as his lover pushed into him harder and faster, kneeling behind him like that. “Yes. Shove it into me. It feels so good. Stroke me with your cock, baby.” It felt like there was a direct link between the dick pushing inside him and his own hard erection, pushed against his belly by the position and the movements. Each stroke was giving him just the friction he needed, inside and out. “More, harder,” Adam was saying breathlessly. And then he was so close and he just had to touch himself. Taking one hand off of the bars, he put it under himself and started jerking to the same rhythm as Jean-Paul was fucking him. The other hand clenched the bar of the bed convulsively, squeezing it with every stroke.
The orgasm came quick and hard, in a white hot burst of sensation that took over his whole body. Then Jean-Paul was pressed down on top of him, fucking with a strength and urgency that made clear he was close to coming, too. He cried out Adam’s name when he came deep inside him.
Adam grabbed a towel that was by the bed and put it on the wet spot, then lay down again, stretching his arms and legs lazily. Neither of them said anything for a minute but they lay there smiling.
“Si bon comme ça,” Jean-Paul sighed happily after a while. “You’re right, mon ami. It has been much better lately, like it was when we were first together.” He thought some more. “It wasn’t just because of the thing with Jake, you know.”
“I know. It was a hard time for you in so many ways. I’m more sorry than I can say that I added to it. Trying to grieve for Walter in circumstances that didn’t allow for what you needed. The war. The danger, the worry. Everything that was going on then.”
“C’est vrai. And it all coming fast on the heels of getting Ezra, too. I think he affected our sex life, too, n’est-ce pas?”
“You mean because it took me a while to get my figure back?” Jean-Paul laughed. Adam continued in a more serious vein. “I agree. A baby shakes everything up. Partly it was the sleep deprivation.”
“I know. That took me by surprise. I thought I was used to it. I thought we were both so prepared. After all, we both have jobs where you have to get up in the middle of the night without notice.”
“Yeah, but not with that kind of frequency. With work, well the adrenaline pumps and you stay up as long as you need to. But then you crash and just sleep for a whole day when it’s all over, you know? With parenthood there’s no ‘all over’.”
“Not for another 16 and a half years, anyway.” Adam laughed at that. “I should have been prepared, though. It’s not my first time. But it was different with Joanne in so many ways. So much of that is just a blur looking back.” He thought some more. “Maybe I didn’t expect to be so tired with a healthy baby.”
“I can see that. It gave me new respect for parents all around me, I must say. I’d look at people and think ‘My God. Is he up half of every night with a baby? And still functions the next day?’ Parenthood is the end of sleep as we know it, or at least that’s how it felt for a while.” He snuggled in close to Jean-Paul. “Not just the fatigue, though. Other stuff. I think we were sort of figuring out who we are as a couple, with the big change of having a baby. If we’re parents, are we still lovers? Can we be responsible and still passionate, you know? Can we have this nice domestic life and still have hot, uninhibited fucking that makes me feel like I’m losing my mind with joy? I wondered if it was possible.” He sighed. “And now I know the answer is yes. That’s how it’s been again, lately. That’s how it felt when you were fucking me just now. I like to do it lots of ways, but I think I come the hardest when your cock is deep inside me like that.”
“So you’ve decided you can be a daddy and a hot fuck, too?”
“And I’m the only one who gets to do that to you? D’accord?”
“D’accord. I promise, Jean-Paul. Only you.”