Ice-Make: Software

BY : Rhov
Category: +. to F > Fairy Tail
Dragon prints: 2659
Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Gratsu Week Day 6: Distance

(Okay, so Gratsu Week was ages ago, but this story is turning into a real story and will almost certainly go past the originally intended 7 days.)

Chapter 6

Bridging the Distance

Gray leaned back in his bathtub with Natsu settled between his legs, resting on his chest. They had eaten dinner, watched a romantic movie, made out on the couch, and things had heated up until they stroked each other off. Then they pulled one another into the bathroom to get naked and cleaned up. There was plenty of wild kissing once they could be skin-against-skin, but they gradually settled down into the tub.

Now, the post-sex haze mixed with the steamy heat and made them feel lazy and happy. Natsu kept tracing a tattoo on Gray's chest, while the computer tech stroked up and down the CEO's sculpted torso, dipping into the water to feel that soft and spent cock, merely a gentle and pleased touch down there, then back up, dragging hot droplet over his bronze skin.

"I could have a new tub put in," Natsu said idly, running his finger around the edge of the dark blue tattoo.

"Do you not like it?" Gray asked with his eyes closed to enjoy the closeness.

"I do, but you look cramped."

"'M fine," he muttered, not at all minding how close Natsu had to be.

"If we shift the pipes to the east wall, we could rotate the location of the tub. That would give more room. The sink could be smaller and closer to the toilet. Maybe even a jet spa would fit in here."

Gray only hummed. "It'd be a waste. The chance of me remaining in this loft for more than three years is pretty slim." He knew that was life; he would follow the work, even if it took him to another city.

Natsu bit his lip and looked up at the reclined head. "Gray?" He got only another sleepy hum. "About your job at the company."

He raised his head and looked down, surprised Natsu would bring up work after so much pleasure.

"You won't be there much longer, will you?"

"Probably not," he admitted, settling back again. "The program is almost done. I finished most of my work. Honestly, I don't have a lot to do next week until Invel is finished and we run it through one more series of tests for bugs."

Natsu pouted and snuggled down. "I don't want you to go."

He chuckled and hugged him closer. "It won't change us. I'll even try to have my next job in this city."

Natsu jolted up and shouted, "Were you planning on moving away?"

"Not unless I can't help it. I'd prefer to stay here. Moving is a pain in the ass. You follow the jobs, though. Staying in one company your whole life, that just doesn't happen anymore, y'know." He paused and stared up at his ceiling. "No, I guess you don't know."

"I can help. I'm trying to help," he insisted. "I have Freed looking around to see if our company or any we work with have an opening that fits your skills."

"Sheesh, don't do that," he sighed, and he yanked Natsu back down onto his chest. "I don't want to be accused of getting a job just because I'm dating a CEO."

Natsu blushed and snuggled back down, feeling warm inside to hear Gray call it dating.

"I wouldn't mind leaving, to be honest."

Natsu jolted straight up. "What!"

"Ow! Watch the balls!"

Natsu shifted carefully to not put pressure anywhere. "Why would you want to leave me?"

"Not you. That team. Lyon has a tendency to be a cold jerk, Eve is a playboy, and I really don't like Invel at all."

"Maybe I could fire Invel and promote you to his place."

"Don't. His job isn't something I know. He's damn good, too. He's an asshole, but he's a talented asshole. We just clash, that's all. It happens in jobs."

Natsu hummed and pouted. For a second, he really hoped that maybe he had come up with the perfect solution: put Gray into someone else's position. Then again, his field was software security, whereas Invel had leadership skills that were vital to being a manager. Every person in a company had an area of expertise. Natsu learned that from his father.

"We should get out," Gray said, finally shifting around.

Natsu stubbornly grabbed around him. "Don't wanna!"

"You're turning into a prune, and I want to cuddle you properly in bed."

Natsu decided that might actually be better, although he liked the feel of the hot water. They climbed out and dried off. Natsu had brought some night clothes, while Gray slept naked. They crawled into Gray's small bed and shifted around until Natsu was snug against Gray's back with an arm wrapped around him. A street light cast orange through the curtains as they laid together.

Gray stared ahead, feeling Natsu caress his shoulders. Then he felt lips on his neck that sent a shiver through him. The lips nibbled down, hitting almost every sensitive spot. Finally, Gray rolled around and saw Natsu's eyes almost glowing in the amber streetlight. His hot hand ran up Gray's chest, and he lightly licked his lips.

"You have a plane to catch tomorrow," Gray muttered, feeling his heart race. "What time?"

"Nine. I'll have to leave here by seven thirty."

Those searing fingers tingled his bare skin. "I guess … a little fun before bed is a bad idea, huh?"

Natsu hummed as he leaned in and began to kiss Gray's collarbone. "I can sleep on the flight." He nibbled closer to his neck. "What about you?"

"Tomorrow's a Friday. No one will even notice if I look tired at the end of the work week." Gray ran his fingers through Natsu's hair and scratched through his scalp. "Having you sleep in my bed, it'd almost be a sin if we didn't do at least something."

Natsu lifted up. "Not—"

"I know, not that." They were still saving sex for some other time. "Just … kissing?"

He swore Natsu purred, or at least some sort of soft rumble deep in his chest. He rolled in closer, leaning half over Gray, and kissed him with tender, burning lips. Gray's fingers clenched into the pink hair, pulling him down to be closer, making the kiss even rougher. Definitely, there was a growl that time. Their tongues met, and Natsu's hand caressed Gray's cheek to pull his jaw up just a little higher so he could really dive down into that mouth.

Gray grunted at the possessiveness of Natsu's kisses. He could enjoy this man's mouth for hours nonstop. The softness, the heat, the taste of toothpaste still in his mouth, all thrilled him.

Then suddenly Natsu's lips were down on his neck, hitting a spot that always made fire burn through Gray's veins. Natsu's whole body surged up more, the blankets tumbled off, one leg swung over Gray's torso, and Natsu caged him in, sliding his hands over the bare contours of his stomach while his mouth kissed over his chest and his tongue licked nipples, the tattoo, his sternum, everywhere.

Gray felt lost in the sensations. All he could do was lie there and let his boss call the shots. Natsu's mouth was everywhere: his chest, back up to his neck, then his shoulder, his cheek, along the collarbone. He had memorized all the spots, and he was always eager to find new erotic zones that would make Gray shiver.

Gray clutched at Natsu, groaned without restraint, and began to claw into his back. He had said just kissing, but … damn, Natsu could kiss! He felt those burning lips working down again, over his chest, his stomach, slowly pecking hot, wet marks down, lower, lower, until Gray really thought this was about to turn into more. He was ready for it, wanted it.

Yet Natsu paused. Gray felt the weight of his body lift, and suddenly he was aware of just how hard he was breathing. Natsu's dark green eyes gleamed in the moonlight as he gazed down with intensity. Gray waited, wondering what would happen next.

Was Natsu about to change his mind about only kissing? Did he want more? Did he maybe, really, perhaps want to…?

Natsu's hand reached up and pressed on Gray's ribs, right over his heart. Gray forcefully calmed his breathing as Natsu just stayed there, one hand on his chest.

What was he doing?

"I love how fast your heart beats for me," he whispered.

Gray's mouth dropped, but he had no idea what to say.

"Feel mine." He grabbed up Gray's hand and placed it over his own heart.

He felt it, throbs racing in his chest, just as frantic as his own pulse.

"It beats this quickly for you, Gray."

His mouth dropped even more, until he was sure it looked silly, yet Natsu only smiled in amusement. Gray suddenly pushed himself up, knocking Natsu back onto his heels, yet he instantly yanked him back into a hug. Gray smashed their chests together and tugged Natsu to be against him, their chests pressed together.

"Both of us. Our hearts, they beat for each other."

Natsu blinked in amazement by Gray's romantic words, but then he hugged him back, chuckling with embarrassment.

"That's right. For each other."

They pulled back enough to gaze at each other, sitting up in bed in the dark. Their noses rubbed together and they laughed to themselves.

"We're really crazy dorks, saying romantic crap like that," teased Natsu.

"I could be ice cold if you want," Gray offered with a cocky smile.

"Not a chance!" Natsu flopped back onto the pillow and yanked Gray down with him. "I like this side of you."

Gray gazed at Natsu's face with one cheek pressed into the pillow. Their hands still stroked along arms, sometimes along the torso, but they did not kiss more. Only their noses or foreheads pressed together.

That was enough. The wildness of a moment ago had somehow simmered into something stronger, hotter, deeper, like the flame glowing within a coal that burned longer than the ashy newspaper that kindled it.

"Gray?" Natsu looked like he was seriously thinking through something. "No matter what, don't give up on me."

Gray jolted. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I just mean … you know, I go out, I travel around, sometimes I'm gone for a while. It really worries me when I have to leave you behind. Like, I know I should be a better boyfriend for you."

"You're an incredible boyfriend," he assured.

"But I have a busy life."

"I knew that before I agreed to this, idiot."

"I guess you did," he muttered. "Still, it might get worse during certain seasons. So please don't give up on me. Even if I have to put work first from time to time, even if I have to … to do things … not bad things, but business things, where I have to be strict and assertive, if I can't tell you about secret projects, or tell you where I'm going, if I can't be there for you on important days—"

"I get it," Gray said softly, tracing his fingers along Natsu's cheek. "You've gotta do what's best for the company; I've gotta do whatever work I can get to pay rent. We do the business thing, but when we can get together … this … this is our thing."

"Right!" Natsu said in relief. "It sure can be stressful, though."

"Then I'll hold you," Gray said, slinging an arm around Natsu's shoulder, "and I'll kiss you," he added, giving him a peck, "and I'll wait for you. I'll trust you to stay loyal and come back to me."

"Totally!" Natsu assured wholeheartedly. "And I trust you. Just promise me you won't move out of town for another job without telling me."

"Are you kidding? I'll have to call you to help me move boxes," he teased. Natsu looked worried about that, though. "Hey, don't worry. ICEMAKE isn't finished yet, and I'll probably be kept on hand for troubleshooting the first few weeks after it's released. I'll be around. No matter the distance between us, either from physically traveling or having to place all of our mental focus on work, we'll make time for just us."

Natsu curled his head into Gray's chest. "Thanks. Just don't hate me."

"Not a chance!"

Yet as Gray stared up at the shadows cast from the ice parlor's lights below his loft, he realized something. He obviously did not hate Natsu, but he also had never said yet that he loved him. He kept waiting for Natsu to say it first. Love was a pretty big deal to him, especially when he dated men. Gray usually waited for the other person to say it first.

Yet Natsu hadn't.

Was he uncertain if this was love, and not just mutual pleasure? Was Natsu waiting for him to say it first? Maybe that was it. Maybe Natsu was waiting to hear those three words, and not saying it was leading to this insecurity.

Well, not like anything was stopping him!

"Hey, Natsu."

He waited for a sleepy hum. It would be sweet to say I love you just before falling asleep together.

Instead, he got a snore.

Oh well. He would tell him in the morning. That would also be sweet, waking up together and the first words out of his mouth would be "I love you."

Gray eventually drifted off to sleep with his arms still around Natsu.

His plan was foiled. When Gray woke up, the bed was empty. There was a note scrawled on his lamp desk.

Gray, I got a text from our Chief Strategy Officer, Mavis. Something's come up, rather big, can't talk about it yet, but I have to leave ASAP. It's 4AM so I don't want to wake you. I guess this is the sort of work-comes-first crap that I was worried about. I'll message you later. I had Freed bring doughnuts as an apology. They're in the kitchen. See ya!

Gray sighed. "You could have woken me up, idiot. Don't just take off."

He pulled out his phone and sent a text.

« If you don't want me to move to a new city without warning you, then don't take off from my apartment without warning me. You can always wake me up, even if just to kiss me goodbye. »

He thought about adding an "I love you" to the message to soften the admonishment, but no … that was something that had to be said face-to-face. Just as he was trying to think of a way to soften that message, the phone buzzed.

« Sorry about that. I guess I screwed up anyway. »

« No, I just really wanted to kiss you good morning. I miss you already. »

"That sounds like the sappiest thing ever," he groaned after he had already sent it. His phone buzzed.

« That's seriously the sappiest thing ever! »

Gray burst into laughter. "Bitch!" he cried out loud, rolling onto his back as he laughed. He held his phone up to send a text back.

« I was just thinking that. »

« LOL! Are we already thinking the same thoughts and finishing each other's sentences? »

« Depends. What am I thinking about right now? »

« I'm not sure if I should write that on a phone I use for work. »

« Then yes, we're reading each other's thoughts already. »

« Don't take too long in the shower, pervert. »

« Screw you. If I do, it's your fault. »

« I'll make up for it. I gotta go now. TTYL »

Gray chuckled as he sent a final goodbye heart emoji. They really were idiots, yet the distance already ached his heart, and the thought of how Natsu might make up for it tingled him.

He knew he would probably go against his boss's wishes and take a rather long shower that morning.

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