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The sunlight is weak, filtered from windows far above, when Cicero awakens. The wine pounds in his temples; memories weak, chasing words and snatches of sounds, images, from the night before.
There is warmth, next to him, and Cicero’s heart skips a beat. He shifts, carefully, under the covers; Brutus is next to him, curled under the sheets, breath even and light.
Cicero almost reaches out, to slide his fingers along the side of Brutus’ cheek, but he stops himself in time, letting his eyes rise to the ceiling. What has he done? Antony, Antony will come after them twice as vicious as before, acid, sharp. Brutus wasn’t Antony’s target before, but he will be now.
The window almost seems to glow with the strength of the sunlight passing through. Cicero wonders why he can barely feel it on his skin. Up near the window, he sees particles dancing with the movement of the air.
Dust, he thinks.
Brutus stirs. “Cicero,” he murmurs, half-asleep still. He reaches out, touches Cicero, hesitantly, heartbreakingly, almost to reassure himself that Cicero is real.
Cicero has the vision, suddenly, of high columns and arches, geometry changed into a miracle of engineering. The Senate House, the Forum. All the lasting impressions that the Romans have made on the Earth.
Cicero can’t help it, can’t stop himself any more than he can stop the sun from setting. The kiss is sweet, almost painfully so; it makes something within him ache. Ache not from a lack, but from a lack fulfilled.
Brutus makes a soft noise into his mouth, and Cicero pulls away.
The memories are starting to come clearer now, of half-drunken fumbles, hands and sweat and tongues, and pleasure, sticky and sickly sweet.
“This could be a bad idea,” says Cicero, softly.
“I don’t care,” Brutus shoots back, and then his tongue is in Cicero’s mouth, and he’s stretched out on top, bodies flush together. Close, in a way that’s not just skin deep, something penetrating below and spreading, through bones and blood until it’s everything Cicero is, everything he knows how to be.
One day the Forum will be naught but dust, sparkling in the air, not even a shadow of a memory of what it once was. Everything man makes crumbles, but what endures?
The kisses turn deeper, sloppier, and more open, an acute expression of desire the likes of which Cicero has never seen.
This lasts forever, he thinks, and he lets the pleasure, the white-hot instinct, overtake him.