This is the fill for my Kink Bingo square ‘ritual’. Not especially sexual or graphic, except for the end, and part of my Water and Dust universe, but not within the timeline of what I’ve published here so far.
This vignette (900 words) describes Brendan and Marc’s morning ritual.
The ritual every morning is the same.
Marc wakes before Brendan, and while the morning sun seeps in below the curtains, he inhales, has a moment to himself, before he nudges Brendan.
“I’m up, I’m up,” Brendan will mutter, a childish grumble, his hands flailing limply at Marc, but he always gets out of bed, and in only his track pants in winter, or boxers in the summer, he saunters out of the bedroom for the verandah.
Always, Marc rolls over to watch Brendan’s progress through the doorway, across the living room, and through the screen door. Brendan always leaves the doors open in his wake, knowing Marc is watching. They never spoke of it, but Brendan only started doing it purposefully, even pushing the doors wider, when one day he carefully shut the bedroom door behind him, and Marc got up and opened it again. Brendan had turned around, too sleepy to do anything but raise his eyebrows, but Marc had sat on the edge of the bed, leaned forward, met his eyes, and waited.
Once on the verandah, it begins. First, Brendan would practice his breathing. Breathing intentionally, for focus, clarity. He might say nothing now, but he cheerfully told Marc everything about taichi and wushu, several times over, so Marc at least feels like a knowledgeable bystander than complete outsider. Watching him breath, Marc sees no rise and fall of Brendan’s chest, for it is all concentrated on the stomach and diaphragm.
This was followed by a warm up, Brendan swinging his arms around, shaking his limbs and neck out. Dawn would be breaking over the property stretched out in front of him, and kookaburra would be laughing in the trees. No larks in the morning in this country, Marc commented sometimes, and that would make Brendan smile. They’d adapted to the foreign landscape with surprising ease – well, after the desert, the bush, wild as it was, had seemed a respite.
By this time, Marc would have swung his legs around, and would be sitting up, leaning forward with elbows on his knees, hands clasped, eyes fixed on Brendan’s back.
Then the taolu begins. Brendan always has his back to Marc when doing taolu – form, a series of predetermined movements, Brendan explained when Marc asked him about it later – performed to the bush and the pale dawn sky.
Brendan would hate the term performed, but it is a performance in Marc’s eyes.
For all Brendan would say it doesn’t bother him one way or another if Marc watched, Marc has a sense that this is only half true; when Marc saw him one day, practicing taolu alone, he was like a cobra reared up and ready to strike, rather than moving with panther-like elegance, padding silent through tall grass. Granted, it was different in the morning – taichi rather than wushu – but he wondered if now that Brendan had an audience he controlled himself more, brought all of his training to bear to demonstrate his grace and poise.
And heaven knows, for all that gnarled anger inside him, Brendan is graceful. The movement of muscle shifting beneath his skin, the extension of even his toes and fingers, the energy, with each move, growing through his body. He once told Marc the names of each move; all Marc can remember is a series of animals – horse, monkey, crane. He can always see the crane, somehow, Brendan’s arms like wings spreading, closing, a flight that won’t carry him off the ground but still he skims the dirty verandah boards as if they were water, him a crane coming into land.
After so long, Marc knows all the taolu – though he never knows which ones Brendan will do each morning. He knows them to see them, but he could never get it himself just from memory. Brendan once asked Marc to join him, but Marc just gave him a quiet smile, and said he was fine.
For this is watching the body as art. It is different to when they were in bed, where Marc could observe Brendan’s skin with the intimacy of finger tips and tongue, could feel with his body. As much as he loves to touch Brendan, he needs this distance in the morning, needs to see the entirety of Brendan as he moves against the lightening sky. It’s an arousal to be sure, but he can never feel it coming on, not at his cock or balls. Instead, it starts somewhere inside him, and simply spreads.
Brendan does three taolu in total, with a break between each. After the last one is over, he comes to the resting position, exhales, and after a count-to-ten moment turns, back through the verandah door, and comes back to the bedroom.
And he kneels in front of Marc, spreads his knees, dips his hand between Marc’s legs, and gives his cock a firm squeeze. Most of the time, Marc is already hard.
Once, before his mouth descended onto Marc, Brendan smirked and said, “And now for your favourite part.”
Marc always sighs at the wet heat, as he leans forward and hold sBrendan’s head and shoulders, enveloping him as he hunches over, his fingers twining in Brendan’s hair. This is was, of course, lovely, perfect, complete, but he never told Brendan, and never would, that without the whole of the ritual, Brendan’s tender mouth would mean nothing.