Vision im Spiegel (Part 4 + Epilogue) - A 'Silence' Sequel
Pairing: EXPLICIT Till/Richard
Reading 'Silence' would be a good idea before this one; but even if you don't, it's specifically written so that it can be enjoyed as a simple Till/Richard romance. But I would recommend it so the full impact gets through.
This is the final chapter of Vision im Spiegel, and by extension the Silenceverse. I sincerely hope you will enjoy it!
This chapter is rated for being very NSFW, proceed with caution.
He is pounced upon and pinned to the bed with no dignity whatsoever as Till claims his prize for the evening; Richard moans underneath him, leaning back to expose more of his neck, inviting his lover to mark him as much as he can. This invitation is taken up immediately, Till deliberately going for the sensitive bruises from the previous day for a few moments before he moves towards the front. He'll be quite covered by love-bites all over his body by the end, but for now Richard barely cares. No one but Till is going to see for the next couple of days either way.
"Ahh," he whimpers, shivering as Till gently circles his nipple with a broad thumb; the older man smirks and moves further down, letting out a low, lustful growl from deep inside his throat as he licks a trail down the other's stomach to his navel. His eyes are dark and somewhat glazed over, him so intoxicated by the smell of Richard - masculine, husky with a strong aroma of vanilla mingled in it - that he doesn't even care that they're getting the sheets wet with their still-damp bodies as he presses his lover further into the bed. Without quite realizing what he's doing, Richard regains his dominance by tightening his fingers in Till's hair - the singer tenses and whines a little, confused - and shoving him downwards to come face-to-face with his now-leaking erection.
"You know what to do," the guitarist says, not quite believing what he's saying even as the words leave his mouth. Till stares at him silently, and for a moment he thinks that the older man won't consent; so it's still the surprise of his life when he obediently lowers his head and starts to kiss his erection softly. He even manages to look somewhat inquisitive about the whole thing, giving the tip of the length almost a curious lick and letting out a small 'hmm' as he tastes Richard's precum on his tongue. Indeed, the only thing he actually utters is a quiet 'mind my piercings, Richard' as he brushes his fringe back and gets to it properly.
Till remains fairly silent as he slowly moves down and takes the other's member deeper into his mouth. If not for the fact that the singer himself can't seem to progress beyond a certain point, Richard might have felt somewhat inadequate for being less experienced; it still feels amazing, though, and he's most definitely not complaining as he strokes the back of Till's neck and coos encouragement to him. He wonders whether this - or something similar to this - was what Till felt back in the shower, and feels a little surge of mischief arise within him. Without warning - and bracing himself too for any pain or negative reactions - he slides his hand back up, grabs Till's hair, and pushes his head deeper down.
"Mmph!" is Till's startled reaction; Richard lets go just as quickly, afraid that he might have hurt the other. The older man pulls up for breath, having choked slightly on Richard's member; when he opens his eyes the younger man is shocked to see unshed tears clinging to his eyelashes, doubtless from having been surprised.
"Oh - oh no, I'm so sorry, Till-"
The singer shoots him a look as if to convey that he's going to get him back for that, and plunges his mouth down on the other's member with even more vigor than before (if anything). One of his hands skims the inside of Richard's thighs, a finger tracing a line between the younger man's erection and his twitching entrance, and with the sensation of Till's hot, tight mouth around him and the sudden rush it's not long before the guitarist arches his hips and cries out as he comes. Till stays completely still, letting the other's cum spill into his mouth - his expression doesn't change much, either, even when the guitarist has finished and has slumped back down onto the sheets, panting heavily. Then he withdraws and dutifully swallows; there are no comments from him as to what it tastes like, but Richard doesn't have much illusions as to that and his feelings are confirmed from the other's slight frown. "Let me," he manages to whisper, reaching down with one hand and tapping him awkwardly on the shoulder. Till moves up, his still-present erection pressing into the other's thigh, and Richard pulls him close so he can lick off the remainder of cum in the corner of the other's lips.
Till makes a face at the touch. "Mnh. That tickles."
"My pleasure," the guitarist says, and can't hold back his grin. "you were fantastic. But don't you need to come as well?"
The older man's response is to place a hand underneath Richard's back, rolling him over lightly to lie on his stomach. "You can help me take care of that," he smirks, and kisses the nape of his neck, moving over him and rubbing his erection lightly over the other's thigh. Richard lets out a soft, shaky laugh as he feels Till kissing down his back, tracing his spine with his tongue. Just the fact that he's being tasted, savored and enjoyed by Till like this would be enough; knowing that there's more, and that there will always be more, is almost too much for him to handle and he reaches blindly towards the dresser.
"Anything you want, Risch?" the older man grins, looking up and gently kissing him on the thigh, making Richard squirm.
"... My bag... corner... could you give it to me?"
Till considers for a moment, not wanting to leave Richard; but he does oblige and gets off the bed, albeit reluctantly, to fetch the bag. The younger man takes it with a 'danke' and sits up, peering inside and fishing around in it while Till watches him. "Found what you're looking for?"
"... No... Yes..." Richard mumbles faintly as his hand closes around the bottle of lube; he pulls it out and tosses it lightly onto the bed. "but... where's the..."
"Hmm?" Till has picked up the lubricant; he's already twisted open the top and is about to pour some out when Richard, having come to one terrible conclusion, covers his face with his hands and lets out a groan. "... Risch, what is it?"
"Oh, fuck," Richard moans, and lets the bag drop limply to the floor as he too sinks back down onto the sheets. "I think I left the condoms in the dressing room."
"Six Euros down the drain. Lieber Gott. They're so expensive."
For a second or two there is an awkward silence, both now rather lost as to what to do. "We could," Till speaks up first, hesitates, then falters. "... hmm. No. The nearest store isn't - what would you call it - near enough, as it were. And I don't think... either of us really want to lose the mood-"
"If we aren't losing it already from this mishap, that is," the guitarist chuckles, attempting to lighten up things. But he has to agree, really, considering he initiated all of this in the shower in the first place. So he simply does what makes the most sense to him right now; he reaches down to lightly grasp the other's member, pushing himself against it and giving the other a half-coy look. "... how about we just - keep on going without it?"
Till's eyes widen for a second at the implications, before a concerned expression replaces his surprise. "Are you..." he murmurs softly, lowering his face to Richard's and brushing the quickest and lightest of kisses against his lips. "... sure?"
"Well, we're both safe, right?"
"I'd have sat you down and told you if I wasn't, but what if you aren't comfortable-"
"Doch! Come on," Richard dismisses, tugging Till down for another kiss, longer and lustier this time. "put it... in me already..."
There's no sense in prolonging the agony any longer. Till skips the foreplay from then on and grasps at the bottle of lube again; Richard manages to lift his upper body with his elbows and look down at his lover, now almost painfully hard and throbbing as he slicks his erection with the liquid. Watching this, Richard obligingly parts his legs as Till moves closer.
"So you'd like to do it this way?"
Richard nods shyly. "I want to see you this time," he answers, his eyes hazy with lust and adoration, letting out an impatient whimper as his gaze fixes on Till's. "I want you on top of me. I want to be able to just touch you without having to reach around. I want to kiss and hold you too."
"You want a great many things, Richard," Till says, tutting at him, and lowers his hand to the circle the rim of the other's entrance with a slick finger. Richard tenses and shivers in response. "you're terribly impatient, you know."
"Could you blame me? Honest - mmmph-"
The older man silences him by slipping two fingers on his other hand between Richard's lips. "You also talk entirely too much, my love," he says, smirking as the younger man blushes and meekly begins to lick and suckle at his fingers; he lets that go on for a minute or so before sliding them back out, Richard licking softly at his fingertips as he does so. "much better," the singer nods in approval, and quickly gets to lubing the other up; it's done in a slightly more rushed manner than the day before but neither of them honestly care, not when they're too eager to just get going. Nevertheless, Till is considerate enough to find the sensitive gland and brush over it a few times, making the younger man squirm in pleasure, before he withdraws. They're going to be in a different position now, and Till finding that sweet spot this time around isn't a guarantee. When that's done, the older man moves into position, lifting Richard's legs up until the head of his member is brushing against his entrance, and guides himself inside without a word.
Richard cries out again as Till enters him; it's not something he'll get used to extremely quickly, and it still hurts the second time. It probably doesn't help that their bodies are at a different angle and that Till is moving a little faster than the day before. Till is no less alarmed with this the second time, either; "Are you all right?" he asks softly, stopping all movement and gazing at Richard with a worried expression on his face.
"Y-yes... give me... time to adjust..."
"Mm," the older man whispers, and bends down to press a reassuring kiss to his mouth. Richard accepts, willing his body to relax faster; but it's not quite as simple as that, and he does end up whimpering and squirming in pain for a minute or so before he calms down enough for Till to continue. I could accept him inside me just yesterday, he thinks to coax himself into relaxing, as he feels the other sliding deeper into him, spreading his legs a little wider. And I'll be damned if I can't do it again...
After several agonizing seconds Till stops, now fully buried inside Richard; he lowers the other's legs and pulls his hips close, getting used to being joined together in this position. Contrary to what the younger man expected, he too has an odd and slightly pained expression on his face, and this realization distracts Richard sufficiently that he forgets about his aching body. "... Till?"
"I'm - no, I'm all right..." the older man murmurs, and somewhat awkwardly adjusts the angle they're in. "there you go... it feels a little strange without a condom, and I... kind of feel like I'm forcing you to contort your back in ways that - ooh - it shouldn't."
"I'll get used to it."
A little pause, and then Till decides that he's ready to move; he tests the waters with a slow, gentle thrust, and when Richard responds with a quiet moan and wraps his legs around his hips, he rapidly quickens his pace. He's not hitting the prostate, but the sensation of him sliding in and out feels almost as good, and the air is so thick with his and Till's scents mingled together that he can barely focus. His hand wanders down to grasp at his member, stiffened again from the pleasure coursing through his body, stroking it to their rhythm.
"Ja," he breathes out, his head sinking further into the pillows as he stares into Till's eyes. "harder... more, more, Till, I want you to fuck me harder, I want you to fill me up..."
Till cuts him off abruptly with an appreciative kiss. "As you wish," he says with some humor, and thrusts particularly hard into the younger man, coaxing out a cry of half pain and half delight. "komm für mich," he growls in the other's ear before nipping hard at the flesh. Richard shivers - he adores it when Till whispers or breathes in his ear - but instead of turning his head away, he decides to take advantage of his newfound freedom for the first time and tugs the older man down with his spare hand, trailing his tongue down to the other's neck and sucking hard enough to bruise. His first proper mark on Till, one of countless ones to come.
The singer gasps as Richard tears his mouth away from the love-bite, the bruised area aching lightly upon contact with air. He manages to get him back with a proper kiss, coaxing the guitarist's lips apart and brushing his tongue against his lower lip ever so lightly. Till isn't usually the one who initiates deep kisses between the two of them, so it's a nice surprise. They lock lips for a little longer, and then Till slips his tongue in the other's mouth to barely touch Richard's own, withdrawing playfully when he tries to get more contact.
"You're awful," the younger man whines. Till pauses for just a second too long to answer, for it is during that very brief moment of silence that the two of them suddenly become aware that Till's laptop (on the desk) is still playing through their songs, and has been doing so for some hours. They've been far too busy either trying to establish a position or trying to get comfortable to notice; later they'll look through and realize that they somehow managed to completely ignore such delights as 'Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen?', 'Mein Teil' and 'Dalai Lama' and they'll get some good laughs out of it, but right now is a different story.
"Should we... um, turn the music off?"
Till considers for a moment, shakes his head. "Leave it on. I've always wondered what it would feel like to do it with some of our songs playing in the background."
".. Wir teil-en Zimmer - und das Bett..."
"... Till, are we seriously going to do this to a song about sibling incest?"
"Ja," Till grins, diving down to kiss and lick at his clavicle. "after all, it's not just any song - it's our song about sibling incest. Got a problem with that?"
"Hell no," Richard growls, pulling the singer closer for another kiss. And indeed there isn't a problem; they're both being vocal enough to drown out most of it, too lost in each other and their own rhythm to really pay attention to it. That's certainly a perk to consider, being able to stay as loud as they want - something they couldn't do in the dressing room. Till seems surprised at how much louder Richard is than before, but certainly isn't complaining. Now that they've settled and gotten used to this position, Richard finds it far more soothing than doing it from behind; it requires a little more work from his part, but he can now look up at Till, touch him freely, and pull him down for a kiss without a problem. For the younger man - who's sensitive and gives much weight to loving kisses between the two of them - this is a massive advantage. It's probably better for Till's knees as well, being able to rest them on a soft, yielding surface. And more than anything, it's much more playful this time; it's everything sex should be, and without the awkwardness of their first time. Till's so hard and the friction is delightful and it's clear that Richard's cologne is turning him on - his eyes half-slide shut when he runs his tongue over the younger man's collarbone as if he can actually taste the sweetness of vanilla, so utterly delicious and erotic that he can barely hold it-
"Spiel... spiel mit-" Richard mumbles in a kind of soft, hypnotic chant, his eyes glazed over in pleasure. He pulls down the older man's head close to his, kissing him in a lusty manner; it's an almost-mindless meshing of lips and tongue, both of them too lost in desire to even kiss properly. Till speeds up a little, grinding his hips harder against Richard's and provoking a loud, ecstatic cry from him; the guitarist's toes have curled at the sheer intensity of the pleasure, something that he doesn't fail to notice as he tightens his hold on the younger man.
"Risch..." Till whispers, but then falters as he finds that he can say nothing else. Richard looks up at him with kiss-swollen lips as the other pounds into him; Till is strong, pressing ahead with powerful, rolling thrusts, forcing eager cries and screams out of the younger man, bringing them closer to climax. Beckoning the singer to move over him, he arches his back and raises his head, reaching for and teasing a hardened nipple with his lips and tongue; he nips lightly at the pink flesh before sucking on it eagerly, wanting to make his partner moan and cry out as much as possible.
He's successful. Till shudders heavily and actually slumps forwards, having not expected that in the slightest. "L-lieber... Gott!"
"Oh," Richard pants out, and despite his pleasure he finds himself rather worried and stops what he's doing. "I... I didn't... hurt you, right?"
Another pause. Till's voice roars out the final 'Spiel mit mir!' of the song in the background, and both flinch at the sound, staring at the laptop - then back to each other - before realizing just how absurd that whole moment was. "No," Till says slowly. "no, Richard, I'm-" he bites his lip, his shoulders now shaking with mirth. "-fine, so don't - oh, pfft-"
Without warning he collapses into hapless laughter, Richard joining in shortly afterwards. "Oh," Till chuckles, wiping tears out of his eyes. "that was terrible. We probably shouldn't use our music while we're trying to make love."
"It could have been worse. It could have been 'Mann Gegen Mann'."
This sets them both off again. It takes quite a few seconds before Till manages to choke out (through his laughter) a 'come here, you' and they kiss, more fond of each other than ever, before they resume what they were doing.
The playlist's cycle has finished and the room is silent save for the noises they're making; but they've stopped taking that into account a while ago. And to think Richard thought that doing it with his back turned to Till was amazing enough; now that he and the older man are facing each other, able to lick and kiss and feel each other's heat any time they want, he decides that he likes this position much better. There is so much of Till to taste; he frantically kisses the crook of Till's neck, sliding his tongue against the delicate skin, tasting sweat and lust and the vaguest hint of spice and citrus shower gel. He adores the the curve of the other's throat, the fact that it houses his larynx - what brought the entire band together, in that sense - and now he's lying here, panting and being taken by Till, free to mark his possession upon him. He caresses the other's now somewhat-tangled hair, his kiss-bruised lips, the piercing scar on his left cheek, loving every touch.
Richard doesn't know how much of a beautiful image he's presenting to Till in that moment; he's panting softly and bucking against every thrust, every muscle taut and his nipples hard and pink and cheeks flushed a deep red. All he can concentrate on is matching his lover's rhythm and voice. Till's all his now, after all; he should make the most of it. To think that there was a time that Till's voice was completely inaccessible, that time when Till went mute for three and a half months; Richard's eyes fill with tears upon thinking of those hellish weeks, and suddenly he needs to hear his lover, just to reassure himself that he's still there.
"Gott," Till cries out as Richard reaches up and lays bruising kisses upon his neck. This is followed by a soft whimper when the guitarist licks at his adam's apple, such an unexpectedly high-pitched and helpless sound that the younger man can't help but shiver. Such joys of harmony; he can hear the sound of their flesh striking against each other, interweaving with Till's (curiously-melodic) moans and his own heavy breathing to create an intensely erotic medley. He tries to arch his back, eager to receive more of the other's love, but the singer simply presses him down so all he can do is writhe around in ecstatic agony while he slams inside him. He fingers are digging into Till's back, tracing the firm taut skin, finding and lightly stroking the burn scars there; the older man tenses and inhales sharply in a hiss as he feels them being touched, but it's not one of pain. Quite the opposite, in fact. He's still sensitive in those places; Richard is covering Till's scars with his own, his own calloused fingertips pressing against the slightly-rougher remains of burns that have long since faded away, an affirmation of the time they have spent making music together and playing side by side.
"I... love you..." Till breathes, pressing a passionate, heated kiss onto the crook of the other's neck. Richard only moans aloud in response, throwing his head back; he's eager for more and his body's aflame with desire, eyes sliding shut as Till groans in pleasure above him. "oh... I... I love you..."
Richard moans out something in response, but he himself is past listening at that point, too busy being ravished to focus on anything that's not his lover. The guitarist's fingernails dig into Till's back lightly and the older man grunts at the sensation, but leaves it at that with no protests; the sound makes Richard tense, his muscles clenching tightly around the other's member. Unbeknownst to him, Till has been right on the edge for quite some time, and that is the final straw.
"Ri-" Till starts before he throws his head back, crying out as he's given that one final push over the edge. "Rikh... ah - ahh..."
He can't even finish saying the other's name. His whole body becomes taut, tensing and shuddering against Richard with the force of his climax. Fascinated, the guitarist stares intently at Till, taking it all in - his expression contorting into a mask of pleasure, his lips parted in a silent moan, every one of his muscles sharply defined - and this sight alone is enough to make him come for the second time that night, milky fluid coating his palm. It's not anywhere near as much as before, and he certainly isn't vocal with it - just closing his eyes and groaning almost inaudibly - but the sensation of him tightening around Till's length again is clearly too much for the older man, who moans weakly before slumping forwards and burying his face into Richard's neck. The younger man mewls softly at feeling the other's hot breath against his skin, and reaches over to hold him tight (smearing his cum over Till's back rather unwittingly) before opening his eyes again.
His near-bestial lust has dissipated and his carnal desires are satisfied for the night; all he feels now, really, is a simple yearning to wash both him and Till off in the bathroom, come back to bed, snuggle into and kiss him all over, and sleep. But right now neither of them have quite the presence of mind to get up or really do anything at all, and as a result they just lie there on the bed, staring at nothing in particular. Nearly a minute of total silence goes by before either makes a move.
"We're..." Richard is the first to speak, still panting softly as he raises his head and examines the situation. Till's still buried in him and he's still letting out small groans of pleasure as the last of the high fades away. "we're... going to have to... wash again..."
"And whose fault is that?" Till growls, but it's in good spirit; he shifts his weight onto his arms again and tries to pull out, only to be stopped when Richard tightens his legs around his hips. "Richard, if you do that I can't - we could both do with a bath..."
"Mmh, no," the younger man moans, pressing Till down so that he remains deep inside. "no bath. Not just yet. Stay with me."
"Now you're making no sense whatsoever."
Richard doesn't say anything, knowing that Till won't refuse him, and that when he has to leave, he'll do so regardless of the younger man's protests. The other's weight is reassuring on top of him, though it won't be long before he'll start to feel much too heavy for Richard to handle; Till stays with him for about a minute more, nuzzling him wordlessly on the neck, before he lifts up the guitarist's legs and pulls himself out. Not much of a problem, he's softened already - but he nevertheless takes a moment to pause and admire the dazed look on Richard's face, his naked body splayed in front of him, before lying down properly onto the sheets. Immediately he is greeted by the younger man clinging to him, a little grin on his lips as he nuzzles into his chest.
"Warten," Till says gently before stepping off the bed and leaving the room. Richard whimpers, confused and feeling rather abandoned but feeling too weak-kneed to follow; but the older man honestly isn't gone for long, for soon the sound of taps being turned on and water pouring into the bathtub gives away what he's doing. It is barely half a minute before he comes back with the box of Schladerer chocolates in his hands. "I won't miss my chance the second time around! Chocolate, Lieber?"
Oh. That's different.
Richard rolls over onto his side and quite happily opens his mouth, letting Till feed him a cherry chocolate. It's sweet and cold from having come straight from the fridge, and he shivers as he lets it melt slowly in his mouth. "Mmm."
"Another success, then. Perhaps this ought to be routine."
"That'd be wonderful, but it'd spoil me something terrible," Richard says, swallowing the chocolate. He gets only a playful grin from Till in response; so (feeling just as full of mischief) he reaches for a chocolate and sets it down on Till's bare stomach. "what about other things? If this pattern carries on I'm fairly sure that I'm going to want nothing other than to eat, sleep and make love all day long. And not necessarily in that order, either."
Till gives him an incredulous look. "You're seriously complaining about that?"
"We're responsible adults with responsibilities," Richard says; the chocolate on Till's stomach is melting already, and sliding downwards, so he bends down to lick it off. "which admittedly do include eating, sleeping, having sex, cleaning chocolate off you and whatnot - but to say that we can live like that for months and years to come is taking it just a little too far, nein?"
"I don't see why not," Till teases, but he doesn't pursue it further as he half-sighs in residual pleasure, feeling Richard lick him clean and kiss him softly on the thighs. "ahh. Hey. That's enough from you. I think it's time we got in the bath. We'll change the sheets before we go to bed, these are soaking."
Richard concurs. Till gets up and reaches out with a hand, helping him sit up and off the bed. The guitarist gets to his feet, before letting out a little whimper as gravity takes hold and Till's cum trickles down his thighs. "Ohh..."
"I'm okay," he smiles, and takes Till's hand. "just... feel a little odd, that's all... help me into the bath, bitte?"
They emerge from the room, and Till opens the bathroom door to put Richard in the bath straight away. The bath is still running but wonderfully warm and refreshing; Richard shivers and relaxes as he steps into the tub and sits within it. A little too hot for his tastes right now, he prefers his bath nicely warm and maybe with some oils or bubbles while Till likes it hot with a cold shower right afterwards to cool him down. But he's sure that soon they'll be sharing more baths and showers together and will grow to learn the temperature that suits both of them equally well. He briefly turns on the cold tap to compromise.
"Don't flood the bath, now. I need to get in."
"Well, hurry up, then," Richard says playfully and shifts over so that Till can enter the tub. His bulk adds a significant amount to the height of the water in the bath, but for now it's not overflowing. The guitarist curls up in Till's arms as he leans against the walls of the bathtub and lets out a content, exhausted sigh. Till hugs him close in response, one hand lazily resting on the back of his neck and tracing the contours of the other's muscles with the other hand. He gets a barely audible 'mmm' in response along with what sounds vaguely like a purr.
"You rather fancy yourself a cat now, do you, Richard?" Till teases fondly; Richard blushes a little, then shudders pleasantly as the singer's hand travels to the small of his back, stroking very lightly before moving downwards and squeezing his backside very gently before it comes to rest. Till allows himself one of his genuine, soft smiles upon seeing this, noting how Richard loves being touched and loving the younger man ever more for it - a feeling only heightened when he snuggles closer and plants little butterfly kisses on his chest and shoulders, licking at the few love-bites that he left.
Richard wonders how he must look like now, entangled with Till in a bathtub; neither of them look their usual stoic selves, that's for sure. Perhaps the whole picture looks totally out of character for them both. Perhaps - their bandmates would think this - it looks just as romantic to an outsider as he and Till perceive the situation to be. But either way, they're allowing themselves to be soft, and that's really just the end of it.
He's broken out of his thoughts when Till lightly kisses the back of his head. "Risch?"
"I was just thinking. Do you remember when you kissed me for the first time?"
The question comes so out of the blue that Richard blinks a little, unsure what answer the older man might be looking for. "... A month ago? When we confessed? How can I forget that?"
"That's not quite what I meant," Till laughs softly, and leans forwards to brush his cheek against Richard's. "it was a long time ago and you were rather filled with emotion. I'm not surprised that you might not have fully registered it," the guitarist frowns at that, now actually beginning to worry as to whether he's done something that he really ought to have not done in the past seventeen years. Come to think of it, he and Till have been in the same room whilst inebriated numerous times - what if he did something during one of those times and he can't remember? But luckily, nothing like that has ever happened, as Till reassures him: "I mean when you first asked me to join Rammstein. When you finally convinced me after days of watching me weave baskets. Do you remember? You held me and kissed me here-" he touches his own cheek lightly, smiling. "-and that was really the first time. Just that it took me nearly two decades to get back to you."
Richard blushes. "Oh," he murmurs, a slow smile rising to his lips at the memory, clear as ever and yet so long ago. "that. I was just so happy. Back then I actually thought I might have offended you a little, for a moment or two."
"Believe me. I genuinely wasn't. More complimented, if anything - neither of us were particularly physically affectionate back then," he sighs wistfully, and turns slightly to allow Richard to lean back more comfortably. "... I did think of returning that kiss, you know. Perhaps if I'd done so, this relationship would have started earlier."
"The wait's what made it more than worthwhile," the guitarist says. "like you said. I don't think there's much that can part us, now that we've come this far," the water is hot and pleasant around them, and when Till reaches to turn the tap off, the resulting silence only amplifies the sensation more. "I love you, Till," he breathes quietly as the older man embraces him from behind.
"Ich auch, Richard."
They don't say anything more after that, more willing to just stay in silence and enjoying their dazed post-coital bliss. Richard stretches his body slightly, the ache in his backside somewhat diminished by the warm water, and lays back to rest his head on Till's chest. Till's also resting his arms on the sides of the tub; he looks, considers for a moment, and gently places his left hand in the other's, holding it tight. "You know," he says. "it's been said a few times before - but when I think of it... there were many points in our relationship where we could have taken it a lot further, I think. After I divorced, when you became depressed, when you went mute... you helped me, I helped you. The night when you finally talked to me after months of being silent - I wanted nothing more than to kiss you, or to confess to you. I still can't believe how nice you were to me then, even when I'd been such an asshole," he pauses and smiles a little before resuming. "but if we hadn't waited... you're right, it would have started earlier. But there wouldn't have been any guarantee that it'd have lasted, when we wouldn't have known how turbulent our lives would be. Do you think so too?"
Till doesn't answer. When Richard blinks out the strands of hair from his eyes, he sees through the settling steam that the older man's actually dozed off in the warmth, spent and completely content with how their night's turned out. The guitarist laughs a little upon seeing this; he's more amused by this than he ever thought he would be, but something about the way Till's body has relaxed completely and the way his chest is heaving softly makes him feel protective as well. Reaching for the washcloth, he works up a lather between it and his hands with some soap; careful not to jostle Till around too much, he gently soaps up the other's body, focusing on his large shoulders, back and chest. "Ist gut, ja?" he murmurs amongst the light splashing of the water, knowing that his lover can't respond - but from the little smile that's drifted onto his lips, Richard rather fancies that Till's enjoying the attention even in his sleep.
He washes himself first and then scoops up handfuls of water to gently rinse the singer's body free of lather, blowing off bubbles from the back of his hand (and feeling an almost childlike pleasure from the act) and planting little kisses on Till's skin as he washes each part of his body clean. He brushes over burn marks, healed cuts that he attained from various mishaps onstage, and the long torn scar on his stomach that ended Till's career as a swimmer; when he touches it, the older man lets out a little purring sound as opposed to the frown that Richard was expecting. When that's done, Richard curls up next to him in the tub, nuzzling lightly into his chest and lazily reaching down to caress and massage the other's knees.
Till mumbles slightly as he does so, shifting in the tub and curling an arm around Richard's body. The younger man smiles and buries his face in the other's arms, inhaling lavender soap and Till's sensual musk, letting himself finally relax as the warm water soothes his muscles. He could quite happily stay like this forever. Closing his eyes, he plants the softest, laziest kisses upon the other's chest, feeling himself slip into a lethargic state. They've stopped moving around for the most part, and the tap has long since stopped dripping; there is nothing audible except for the sound of their breathing, synced with each heartbeat. Just like at night when they're sharing a bed.
Richard has fallen into the lightest of catnaps when he is roused again with a soft kiss and a lick on the cheek. He opens his eyes to Till, who's looking down at him with his usual faintly-melancholy expression that he now knows indicates deep thoughtfulness; the singer raises one hand and runs the back of his fingers gently down Richard's cheek before taking a deep breath.
The older man hesitates, and for a moment he looks oddly submissive and nervous. "... Heirate mich?"
The tension breaking, Richard laughs and closes his eyes in bliss as Till strokes his face again; those are the two words that he's longed to hear for over ten years now. "I never thought you'd ask," he whispers. "took you long enough."
Then he kisses Till heartily, affirming his answer with his entire body.
The city at half nine in the morning is freshly-white, nearly a week and half into the new year, and the Berlin winter is still flourishing in the streets. The bustling traffic of the morning has died down for the time being, and for now everything is calm. Till Lindemann walks down the pavement with a paper cup of coffee in his hand; having just bought it from a standing cafe, he's now trying to find a place to sit. He sighs quietly, his exhale fading into mist, and pauses briefly to adjust his briefcase before heading towards a conveniently-deserted bench. It's covered with a thin layer of snow, but it'll have to do. He reaches out with a gloved hand and dusts the surface, clearing a spot, before putting down the briefcase and letting himself sit down and relax.
He's been travelling all morning, and a fair amount of the night as well. He could use this. The coffee is fine, if a little too sweet for even his tastes, but in this cold it's probably advantageous to have it that way. Out of his pocket a folded envelope falls; he quickly picks it up, looking mildly distressed at the possibility that the snow might have soaked it through, but luckily it is still intact. He makes as if to put it back for a moment - stops - then after a moment's worth of hesitation, opens the envelope.
Two small pages of paper fall out. They're dated to only about five days ago, and the letter itself arrived three days back, but both pages are already somewhat well-worn from having been read so many times. Once more can't hurt, Till tells himself, and sips out of his cup again before putting it down (the heat from the cup melting a circle in the snow) and casting his eyes back to the pages; little does he know that last year, when Richard was making his own journey back home, he did something similar with one of the older man's letters. Over the years their paths have crossed multiple times, they have incorporated so much of each other's mannerisms, and they'll never quite get the full scope of it. But Till doesn't mind.
They have years from now on to learn as much as they can, if all goes well, after all.
I know you haven't been gone for very long at all. As I write this I'm aware that this is only the second day that you've been away from me - and that a letter from me is the last that you'd expect when you're only in Leipzig with your family right now. Trust me, if our schedules didn't conflict, and if your visit there wasn't going to be marked with other scheduled events from both of our parts anyway, I'd have come with you or joined you there. I'm writing this as quickly as possible and sending it by first-class post, and I hope it reaches you there before you have to leave. There is only so much that text messages and calls over the phone can manage to say.
Wish you were here. It is a lovely winter day and I sit here and feel rather empty knowing that we didn't even get to celebrate your birthday before you left. The snow is soft-falling, unusual for this year, and the dulcamara of memory is not quite enough. Without you I know the impoverishment of self and 'Seemann' seems to me only a simple ballad. And we can't have that.
So come home. The bed's too big! Make excuses. Say that there's been an emergency and that you have to return home. That you have other events to attend that you can't exactly miss. That you're in urgent requirement of surgery or some sort of medical procedure. (Like a piercing, though you wouldn't tell them that, shh! Your piercings are immensely attractive. I certainly would remain a very happy man if you had one or two more.) Anything, as long as you are back with me.
Paul sent us both some photos of the first leg of our tour. I think he also added a message about how our antics were rather obvious, even onstage. I can't say I'm yet at the stage where I can look at you without feeling the urge to kiss, hug or pounce you - but I certainly must try. Flake's also coming with some late birthday greetings at some point this week, I think - he should be coming when you're back, of course, and you know how he is. Strangely eager to see us being affectionate, even moreso than the others. Bless Flake, what would we have done without him during all of those years?
And - meanwhile, Till, your lover is so uxorious that absence can't make your dearest Richard's heart grow fonder. I'm keeping the bed warm for you. Please send Gitta, Nele and Fritz my regards and tell him that his great-uncle sends hugs and treats for him. (I checked with Nele before.) I'll put this in the post now.
I eagerly look forward to your return xxx
Till smiles and smoothes the letter beneath his hand, soon lifting it up and sensing the faint scent of his lover embedded within the pages. "Uxorious," he repeats to himself, and laughs softly - Richard never fails to amuse or surprise him at the best of times. Carefully, he folds up the letter and places it back in his pocket as gently as possible; a few more sips of coffee, and he'll be off. He has two places in mind to visit before he goes home, and he admittedly doesn't know when either are meant to be opening. Till fishes out his phone from the other pocket and dials a number that he stored in there several days ago, putting it to his ear; the call goes through, but nothing but the signal tone can be heard. No one's at the other end.
"Well," he mumbles to himself as he stands back up, taking one last sip of the coffee before tossing it in the bin. "that's convenient."
But there's nothing to do now but check. His shoes sound on the pavement with muffled clicks from the thin layer of snow on top of it as he crosses the main road - holding his hand up and nodding his thanks to the driver who stops to let him pass - and into a smaller side street where he briefly stops and revises his route. Out of his two destinations, only one is an imperative, but if he went to that one first he would have to double back to visit the other location. He can't really think of why either wouldn't be open at this time of the morning, though, and it's also a weekday so all shops will remain open for hours. Weighing up all these factors, he decides that nothing will really change if he spent some time at the first, closer location; thus he turns around, and makes his way to the body piercing studio famous around the area for polite staff and excellent work ethic.
It takes him five minutes to get there. The large window is cleaned, the view inside perfectly visible, and the door has an 'Open' sign with a list of opening times for each day printed beneath; by all means they should be opening just about now. "Hallo?" he calls out softly, and tries the door. It's locked. He frowns briefly, but before he can try again he sees someone move inside and peers in closer; it's a girl (pale with long hair) wearing the uniform of the studio, sweeping the floors with a broom and making very clean work of it.
"Hallo," he tries again, and knocks on the door. This gets her attention, and she spins around, staring at him. "are you open?"
The girl says something, but it's muffled through the glass door. She realizes this herself within seconds, and hastily pushes open the door. "We are!" she exclaims; her voice is bright as she sweeps away her long dark hair from her eyes. "tut mir leid, customers don't generally come at this hour - but we are open, yes. You're our first for the day. Can I help you, Herr?"
"Yes," he says. "I must apologize, I don't have an appointment-"
"- Oh, that's all right for now, I'm sure we can work with it-"
"But I have been traveling for quite some hours, and I do have something I'd like to ask, bitte," he says, and is led inside. The shop is very clean; she quickly sweeps the area around the door and stacks a few boxes up - 'I'll be with you in just a moment, Herr, just cleaning up the place' - while Till stands and looks around curiously at the decor. The studio itself isn't decorated very elaborately, but he knows that this can only be a good thing; what good is there in a body piercing studio that might not be able to clear up stains or will only end up harboring dust in its nooks and crannies? The reception desk is a classy black colour, smooth and elegant with several framed awards and certificates of hygiene and excellence hanging up on the walls. There is a photo on the desk that's framed in classy black to match the decor. A frosted-glass partition blocks a large amount of the view from the reception and shop window, but Till can still see that that's where the individual piercing/tattoo stations are. The floor is tiled with what appears to be pure white porcelain or granite, and there are a row of glass shelves along the wall that display some simple types of jewelry. Out of interest he goes and glances at a few - rings and barbells are the extent of what is shown, though they are of high quality and polished to the utmost extreme with a few carefully-chosen oils and disinfectants displayed alongside them. Most of the jewelry are a silver colour, although some come in shades of blue, purple, black, and red. "do you have more of those at the back?" he asks.
"We do. The fancier ones we stock in the back room - I see you already have piercings," the girl says, nodding towards him a smile; she puts away the broom in the corner and returns to her position behind the reception desk, straightening her uniform. "we have several different styles of barbells, rings and such, if you would be interested in new jewelry..."
"I'm actually quite interested in a new piercing," Till responds, and she nods thoughtfully. "preferably another one on the eyebrows - I'm thinking of two spots that would be possible, and I'm not sure which ones might look best."
"Would you want that done today? If so, it might be a little hard to accommodate you right now, it's going to be a rather busy day. You might have to come back later on."
Till shakes his head. "I'd like to think about it, mostly. Is it possible to just mark the spots out so that I might see? I promise to not take up too much of your time."
"Oh, that's a little different. That can be done right now, if you wish. I do have to confirm a few things, though: you have no medical conditions, and you're not under the influence of alcohol?" the man responds that he isn't. "I didn't think that you were, especially not at this hour. Policy. Please follow me."
His coat is taken and hung up at the back, and he is led to one of the cubicles; it's small, but nothing is messed up and there is enough room for the artist to move around freely. He's asked to sit on a folding chair, and does so; the girl meanwhile goes to the sink in the corner and washes her hands thoroughly with sanitizer, scrubbing below her nails (painted a glossy, metallic blue at closer glance) and all over the backs and palms of her hands. They are soon dried with disposable paper towels, and then she puts on latex gloves before fetching a bottle of rubbing alcohol. "I'll need to wipe the area around your eyebrows. Could you brush your fringe back?"
Soon he feels something cool rub over his eyebrows, and smiles a little as the alcohol evaporates from his skin, leaving a cool tingling feeling. "Thank you, again," he says as she pulls out a small purple marker; she pauses and glances at him curiously. "I am on somewhat of a schedule as well, it's very kind of you to do this."
"Kein Problem. Everyone's busy. But no one's due in for a few minutes and it won't take very long, just marking it out - actual piercing is something else, but we can discuss that later. Where would you like those piercings?" he points further inwards into his left eyebrow, and she gets to work. "so where else are you headed to today?"
"A jewelry shop. The one down by Mohrenstrasse. I bought something there and asked them to hold it for me. I should pick it up - danke, and I was thinking of either there or a piercing on the opposite eyebrow, a bit further out - there you go - but I called earlier and nobody picked up," he pauses worriedly, frowning unwittingly before hurriedly relaxing his expression again. He can't really make this girl's job harder for her. "would you happen to know it?"
"Of course!" she says cheerfully, and steps back to scrutinize his face shape for a moment. "beautiful selection. Rather expensive for me for most times of the year, but I do like to look at the displays. Nice customer service too," a dot is placed slightly above his eyebrow. "I know they open earlier than we do - at nine. They just might not have picked up the phone that one time, is all. I'm sure they must be open, so you can pick up what you might have bought without any problems at all. A treat for someone?"
"For my lover," Till says, and can't hold back his grin as he says it. "I have been away for a few days."
"Nice," she grins, and shows him his reflection in the mirror. "there you go - the purple dots are where they'll be, if you were getting it done today. I quite like the one on the opposite side myself, though if you wanted one slightly further in from your left eyebrow we could also do that. So she's waiting for you right now, I understand."
"He," Till says gazing at his own reflection and letting out a contemplative 'hmm' in response. "we have been good friends for over twenty years - and we got together last year."
"Ah, excuse me. He must be waiting for you," the woman corrects herself; there's no change in her cheerful tone of voice. That certainly makes Till a lot more happier. "I imagine it must be smooth-sailing, if you have known each other for so long... that'd be absolutely wonderful. What do you think of either piercing, Herr?"
The man smiles. "It is smooth, for most part. He said that he was rather 'uxorious' for me."
"Isn't that a term for men who're longing for their wives?"
"I suppose that I am the wife in this relationship," Till half-jokes, and then he and the girl both laugh. "to answer your question. I'd quite like the one on the inside of the left eyebrow - but I do regret to say that I don't think I'd be able to have it now, I do need some time to visit that shop before I go home, my lover would never let me hear the end of it otherwise. Nor would I think it'd be polite to force my way in, when you doubtless have appointments to get through."
"That's fair enough," she nods, and reaches for the bottle of rubbing alcohol, wetting a cotton ball with it and handing it to him. "to rub off the dots, Herr. They're quite cute, admittedly, but I don't imagine you'd want to have them all day. Would you like to fill out the paperwork in advance, in case you do decide to come back very soon?"
Till dabs at his eyebrows, seeing the purple marker smudge off neatly onto the wad of cotton and nodding at his reflection. "I think I'll go through it when I come back. I'll make sure to call and make an appointment afterwards."
"Of course. Here's my business card. Ask for Rachel. I'll get to you quickly, Herr."
They emerge from the cubicle, and Till adjusts his tie briefly before putting his coat back on. "Vielen Dank," he says, and pauses. "how much would a single eyebrow piercing have cost, here?"
"27 Euros, Herr. About 35 Euros for a double."
He smiles, and takes out a 5-Euro note from his wallet. "That makes things a lot easier. Please accept this. A tip for being so helpful."
Rachel blinks in surprise and glances up at him quickly, suddenly looking conflicted. "But I can't accept this, I didn't... it was just a brief marking, nothing more-"
"I insist, it was no problem at all. You deserved it," he says, and only then does she accept the tip with grace; he watches her put it away, and then his gaze drifts to the framed photo on the counter that he hasn't paid much attention to until now. "... they're nice-looking dogs. Are they yours?"
"Oh, them!" she perks up considerably more at this, adjusting the frame to give Till a better look at the photo. "my two dogs. I've had them for two years. They're both male, they're very close to each other as you can see... the black one's Schatten, 'Shadow', and the white one's Schneeflocke, 'Snowflake' - but he growls whenever I call him that, so I compromise with 'Snow' instead..."
Till peers into the photo - the white dog is contentedly sprawled over the black one, both of them sleeping. "They're quite affectionate, I suppose?"
"They are," she beams. She's clearly very attached to them. "sometimes they're a little impatient when waiting for food. Snow nearly got into a box of chocolates the other day and got ever so scolded for it, the silly thing - but they're wonderful. I wouldn't give them away for the world."
He nods - and then looks briefly at the young woman, feeling an odd sense of deja vu. "... Have we... seen each other before? Outside of this studio?"
"I don't believe that we have?"
"Hmm," he says, not completely convinced - but his business here is done, and he should be moving on. No use holding up a perfectly polite young woman who has work to do. "vielen Dank. A visit to that store - and I believe I'll be heading back. Schönen Tag!"
Rachel smiles brightly, her long black hair glistening in the winter sun. "Of course, Herr," she says, and pulls open the door. "please have a good day, and I wish you luck with your Freund!"
He waves goodbye as he leaves. Maybe he'll come back, very soon, for another piercing or two and to thank the young lady with her two dogs more properly. But for now it'll have to wait. He takes a deep breath and adjusts his coat before turning a corner and towards the jewelry shop, the last stop in his journey before he can head back home.
It is eleven o'clock when he finally comes back; the apartment is still and quiet when he unlocks the door and steps inside. A whole week, away from Richard - the longest they've been apart since they started living together. "Richard?" he calls out softly. No response. He must still be sleeping; not too surprising, because when Till enters the kitchen he can see that two candles have been set up, both burnt down to the halfway point and probably extinguished only hours ago. There's also a boxed-and-yet-unopened cake on the table, tied with an elegant silver bow (and when he glances into the transparent top, he can see that it's probably a layered chocolate cake), with two clean plates and forks stacked near it. Richard must have been waiting for him all night to come home. Feeling a slight pang in his heart, Till shrugs off his coat, places his briefcase on the floor, and glances at Richard's bedroom - only to find, much to surprise, that the door is open and the man isn't there.
Turning away, he walks over to his own bedroom and turns the doorknob, pushing open the door. What he sees there makes him breathe out a sigh of relief, and feel a burst of joy at the same time.
Richard is indeed there, curled up in his sheets, doubtless having wanted to be near Till in the only way he could. He's dead to the world; he doesn't stir or even make a sound even as the older man tiptoes inside. "I'm home," he murmurs - and stands there, transfixed, staring at his lover with the utmost fondness in his eyes.
One of his feet are poking out beneath the sheets; Till smiles and lightly tickles the sole of his foot, making Richard curl his toes, squirm and let out a sleepy 'Mmm' before adjusting the covers again and hiding them once more. This makes Till chuckle; he'd like nothing more than to crawl under the covers with Richard, wake him up, embrace him, and maybe start re-acquainting their bodies to the other's after his long absence. But there are more pressing matters at hand, at least while there is some time remaining before lunch; he settles for stroking lightly over the blanket and feeling the curve of the other's backside beneath his hand before he stands up and quietly leaves the room.
When he walks to the kitchen, seeking to cook Richard a quick breakfast, he finds that a shorthaired tabby with orange stripes is curled up in the sink. "Aus!" he says gently, waking up the cat and shooing it gently to the floor; the tabby stirs and stares at him - green eyes meeting green - before it purrs and hops to the floor, rubbing its sleek body around his legs in a gesture of welcome. Till leans down to pet it gently, its purr already making him feel as if he's been home for a long time; its food bowl is empty, though, so he takes care of that and lets their now two-month adopted cat tuck into its food before resuming Richard's breakfast.
There's an apple that needs eating, and some flour, eggs and butter that also need to be replenished. Apple pancakes it is. Soon the apple is neatly sliced into thin pieces, while Till combines eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and blends in a cup of milk. It should be a simple, but relatively straightforward breakfast; soon the apple slices are sugared, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, and the batter is poured over the slices. The tabby, having finished its breakfast since, wanders over to gaze up at him with much curiosity; it sniffs the air and raises itself on its hind legs, mewling softly and pawing at his leg.
"Go on, then," Till sighs, but smiles fondly nonetheless. The cat is usually somewhat more inclined towards Richard because the guitarist is fond of brushing and cuddling it, and also he tends to give into its playful begging for food more often - but it's nice to see that he has been missed, at least. He dabs off a little bit of the batter from the bowl with a finger and holds it out, and the cat licks it off with a raspy tongue. "I always thought that cats weren't capable of tasting sweetness. You're an odd one."
"I do hope you've kept Richard company while I was away."
The cat circles him and rubs itself against his legs. Till takes that as a positive answer, and lightly scratches the cat between its ears before he fishes out the first pancake, placing it on a clean white plate. There is silence for a further ten minutes as he finishes up the batter and cleans up as he goes; soon the plate is laden with three pancakes, which he drizzles with sugar and a squeeze of lemon and puts on a tray alongside a glass of orange juice.
Looks good to me, he thinks, and glances at the time. Eleven thirty-five. All good.
With 'breakfast' tray in hand, he re-enters his bedroom, chuckling heartily as he sees that in his absence, the guitarist has almost completely buried himself beneath the covers. Only the top of his head and his sleep-mussed hair are visible on the pillow. Putting the tray down securely on the side table (after neatly pushing away Richard's phone, watch and book and stacking them up), he leans over and gently pulls down the covers to the other's neck, seeing his face softened in sleep. The guitarist's eyelashes, long and dark, flutter softly against the cream-coloured sheets as if to wake; but he doesn't, and carries on sleeping, oblivious to his now-beaming lover standing in front of him.
It's about time that was fixed. Till leans forwards, staying ever so quiet, and presses a slow, soft kiss onto Richard's lips before pulling back just as gently. From his pocket he takes a small satin-lined box, opens it, and lays it alongside the tray - two elegant gold stud earrings lie there, his present and semi-proposal to Richard. Today is the day.
As Till watches, he thinks for a moment that perhaps his lover is in too heavy a sleep and that more effort will be needed to wake him up. However, this remains only a fleeting thought as soon Richard lets out a quiet sigh; slowly, ever so slowly, his eyes begin to open. They're dull and glazed with sleep at first glance, and for a moment the guitarist just stares ahead, not really seeing anything; but then he blinks a couple of times, his world slowly coming into focus. The cat meows by the doorway and trots inside, hopping up to the bed, and the singer lets it do so this one time. Till grins and helps him back to the surface of consciousness, reaching out and gently stroking the top of his head and down to his ear, where he caresses the yet-empty earlobe softly with an index finger as his lover's eyes finally lock with his.
This is where he belongs, next to his lover, and even though their story in words may come to end with the next few - true is true, and as Till stares into the other's beautiful blue eyes he is eternally grateful. Finally - after such a long time - he is happy, and he has had the chance to voice it fully.
It is time to turn the page. He is home.
"Richard," Till whispers - just before the guitarist lets out a cry of utter joy and tugs him down onto the bed, kissing him heartily. "Richard, meine Liebe, it's morning."