A Cramped Sleeping Space Doesn’t Have to Be A Bad Thing
Pax woke up thinking that he should cut his hair today. It was brushing his eyelids, which meant it was too long as it could obscure his vision during critical moments, and then everyone might die and it would be all his fault.
He should get Manuel to do it, he’d taken to doing people’s hair for them and it would look nicer that way than if Pax did it himself. He could do that and then wax himself as well all in one day. A day of hair removal.
As Pax thought all of that, he opened his eyes, trying to sit up without waking Matthias, who was holding him from behind, his body tight against Pax’s. Not waking Matthias was a lost cause since nobody in Pax’s family was a heavy sleeper, but if he was gentle enough, Matthias would just roll over and go back to sleep. He’d had nightmares last night.
Predictably, as Pax tried to disentangle himself, Matthias held him tighter, pressing himself against Pax. Fortunately Pax was old enough to have outgrown any hang-ups about his naked brother’s morning wood pressed firmly between his own bare buttcheeks, so he just gently started to move Matthias’s arm, thinking that he could probably have put his pants back on after he’d finished calming Matthias down last night.
But it was fine. He managed to get up, and Matthias did, in fact, roll over, muttering, “Five more hours,” before his breathing evened out again. Pax touched his shoulder gently, then swung his legs over the side of the bed.
All the time it had taken him to do that had given Keone time to wake up. “Good morning,” he said quietly, very kindly being thoughtful of Matthias. He also stopped masturbating, very kindly being thoughtful of Pax. “Do you want your morning blowjob?”
Pax sighed. “No, and once again, Denver was joking when he told you that was something you had to offer me. The only thing I want in the morning is pants.”
“Pants are less fun than orgasms, but if you insist, sir.” Keone got up and got Pax some pants, not stopping to get his own first. At some point nudity had just become the uniform for Pax’s cabin. It had been when he’d met Nate, he thought. Nate had taken night watch with Bolt and Leftie last night, so he wasn’t here. “You do have morning wood, in case you’d like to do anything about it before you make a mess,” Keone told him.
“I’ll be fine. Go get the captain’s breakfast. And mine,” Pax added, because Keone would get his anyway and if he made it an order then it wasn’t so weird. “In that order, please.”
“But would you really know if Cedric plated your breakfast first?” Keone asked. “Are you that attuned to the relative freshness of food down to a few seconds?”
“Yes, because seconds are only a valid measurement in the context of plates. Get breakfast for yourself too, please.”
“Okay. Can I masturbate some more first? It’s a healthy way to start one’s day; it levels out energy levels and relaxes the muscles, plus good feelings set the tone for a good day.”
“Fine, but not in here, at least not until I’m not in here.” Pax had enough experience with Denver to know there was no point in telling someone not to masturbate in his cabin.
“Fine.” Keone grabbed his pants and stepped into them backwards, stretching as he pulled the door open. His pants were already sagging. “Though I’m not sure what the difference is when you spent last night…Oh, hi.”
A small boy darted past Keone and into Pax’s room, hopping onto the bed. “Hi, good morning!”
Pax blinked. There were no small boys on the ship. He was dark, with curly hair and though he was really young, he had the same tattoos as… “John?”
John beamed, apparently unconcerned that he’d been a grown adult the last time Pax had seen him. “Hi! Can I have breakfast? Daddy’s sleeping and I’m super hungry.”
“Is that John?” Keone asked, peering at him. “Time runs forward and not backward on this ship, right? I…have a distinct memory of him being taller? And not a baby?”
“I’m not a baby!” said John, who was definitely not a baby but was definitely also younger than Keone. He scowled. “I’m a big boy.”
Pax nodded slowly, lacing up his pants. “I see.” He hadn’t realized Sylvester was on the ship. But John was wearing his shirt, which stood as corroborating evidence. “Did Sylvester do some magic on you last night?”
“Uh…yes? I can’t remember but Daddy said I deserved a reward for being so good all day!”
He seemed very happy. “Do you know when the reward is going to wear off?”
John shrugged in a very childlike way that used both of his arms as well. “I don’t know!”
“Okay,” Pax said, glancing at Matthias. “Let’s go out there so we don’t wake up Matthias.”
“I’m awake,” Matthias muttered, sitting up and tugging at his hair. He smiled at Pax, then looked at John. “Age regression spell?”
“Seems like,” said Pax. “Not clear if it’s mental or just physical.” John occasionally acted like a little boy, especially when he was upset. Maybe Matthias wasn’t the only one who’d had nightmares last night. “Sylvester is still asleep.”
“I already told you that,” John pouted. “I’m hungry.”
“I’m going to go get breakfast for people,” Keone told him. “Do you want to come have some too?”
John thought about it for a second, before nodding. “Okay.” Then he looked at Keone and giggled.
“Your thing is big in your pants,” he told Keone, pointing at it.
“Oh, yeah, that’s because Pax told me not to play with it while I was in here, and it’s his cabin, so I have to pretend to respect his arbitrary rules even when they fly directly in the face of common sense.”
“Oh.” John looked around, then whispered really loudly to Keone. “Mister Pax is kind of scary, but he’s really nice.”
Keone seemed a little unsure of what to do, but he was rolling with this pretty well. “I know,” he said with a nod, putting a hand on John’s back and walking him out of the room. “I bet he’d let us all eat breakfast on his bed if we ask really nicely when we get back.”
“Okay! How come Mister Matthias is here?”
“He had a bad dream last night so Pax let him share his bed.”
“Oh, is that why he’s naked?”
They left most people’s normal hearing range so Pax pretended he could no longer hear them. “Sorry,” he said to Matthias. “I’ll go out and let you go back to sleep.”
“No, I’m awake now, it’s fine. Thanks for last night,” said Matthias, getting out of bed and doing some morning stretches. “You think him and Sylvester fucked with him like that?”
“I prefer not to think about what John and Sylvester do in their private time,” Pax said, figuring he may as well stretch too. “But yes, of course they did, and I also have no doubt that Sylvester was very careful to account for any potentially altered mental state John may have had when obtaining consent.”
“Oh for sure, I wasn’t worried about that. I feel like John’s mental state isn’t altered. He’s acting pretty much how he acts normally, except smilier.”
John had seemed pretty happy. “I suppose so. I’m not worried about it.”
“Sure.” Matthias leaned in and kissed Pax’s cheek. “Thanks for last night. I’m okay now.”
“Of course. Anytime.”
With a nod, Matthias reached for Pax’s shirt from yesterday. “You going to do something about that morning wood, or…”
“I have to retrieve Nate,” Pax told him. “He’ll no doubt request sex anyway, so it’s more efficient that way.”
“Because sex is all about efficiency,” Matthias teased, pulling the shirt on. “I’m going to go wake Sylvester up and tell him his boy is running around the ship with no pants on. Then I’m going to come back and take care of mine in here.”
“Take care of it somewhere else,” Pax suggested.
“No, this is the best place on the ship for it.” Matthias stuck out his tongue.
With a roll of his eyes, Pax had to admit that was true. “Don’t be a tattletale. He can find out about John on his own.”
“We’ll see,” Matthias said, giving Pax one more kiss on the cheek before leaving the cabin himself. “Good morning, Pax.”
“Good morning,” Pax said, shaking his head.
He smiled to himself as he made the bed, straightened Keone’s cot and put the dirty laundry away for washing. His family was in a good place.
He lay back on his bed and took care of his morning wood before going to get Nate. There were more important things than efficiency, and Matthias was right. His cabin was the best place on the ship.