Comfort in the Arms of a Stranger
by Fur and Fantasy
R for M/M Content
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

"I think that's just about enough," a deep, soft voice sounded from behind him as a white-furred hand dared to lie itself across the top of Vinnie's glass.

In his drunken and quite high state Vinnie blinked a couple of times as he tried to make the vision go away. All those people were dead. He was the last one, and not even full blooded at that.

His gaze followed line of arm up though, making out fine black stripes mixed into the snow white fur covering large muscles and eventually up to a broad feline face.

"Says who?" He finally demanded of the significantly bigger male, though in the deepest recesses of his voice a strange note of acceptance, even pleasure, had wormed into the irritation.

"Someone with enough of his mind left to tell the vertical from the horizontal," the white tiger replied, the rumble of his voice pleasant enough, even though Vinnie had the feeling he was being made fun of. "You are harming yourself."

"Why do you care?" He snorted, though his tone was less challenging than his words.

"Because if you fall off that stool, crack your head open and spill your brains across the floor I will undoubtedly loose my appetite and be unable to finish my meal," the stranger told him, finishing with a soft chuckle.

"You're eating at this hour?" Vinnie raised a disbelieving eyebrow at him even as he swayed a little closer to the large white presence that drew him as a month to a flame with the memories from his childhood and of safety.

"The sun has not long set," the large feline replied, as though that explained everything.

"It's plenty late to start drinking, dude." He retorted quietly, a submissive manner in him very much at odds to most of his dress and body language.

"And more than late enough to stop," the feline insisted calmly. "At least in your case."

"And whatcha goina do to get me to stop?" The mouse nearly purred as a cat and grinned up at the white tiger.

The tiger smirked, then picked up the drink he'd been keeping from the white mouse, turned, and walked back across the open floor towards a booth set against the wall.

"Hay, that's mine." Vinnie was on his feet, if more unsteadily than he'd expected, and after the Tiger. "I paid for it." He protested as he followed with less grace than his body suggested he was capable of.

"I should hope so, they take a fairly dim view to stealing drinks around here." The tiger set the drink down beside a plate of pasta, which he then seated himself behind. "Sit down."

The mouse paused, apparently a little thrown by the action. But the big white form and powerful, soft voice form had him obeying nearly on instinct and then focused on the feline rather than his drink now within reach.

"I haven't seen one like you before." Vinnie's voice was remarkably steady given the state of his body.

"We're not all that common, no," He agreed, picking up his cutlery again and returning to his meal as Vinnie watched for a moment.

"You have a name, kitty?"

"Call me Will," the tiger suggested. "And yourself?"

"Vincent Van Wham," he chuckled and leaned close, brushing his chest against the tiger's muscular arm and set his hand on Will's thick thigh. "But Vinnie will do."

"Vinnie then," Will agreed, apparently unconcerned by the mouse's closeness as he continued to eat. "I do hope, Vinnie, that you've at least got enough sense not to try and drive yourself home in that condition.

"Nah, Girl always does the navigating when I've been out." He chuckled and slipped his fingers further up the Tiger's inner leg. "I don't expect I'll be going there tonight though."

"Oh? And why would that be?"

"You did just leave your meal and walk all the way across to the bar to get me back here," he chuckled and stretched enough to nuzzle Will's neck. "You wouldn't have done all that for a quickie, now would you?"

The tiger's head swung around towards him, feline eyes glittering in the subdued lighting. "You think a great deal of yourself, Vincent Van Wham."

The mouse was caught in the silence between the reflexive 'of course', surprise that he hadn't already been guided to the tiger's crotch and a bit of confusion at the situation not going anything like he expected.

Will watched him very closely for a few moments before a smirk tugged at the corners of his mouth. "You should lean back and relax a little Vinnie. I did not do what I did because I expected you to whore yourself me."

"I'm not a whore," he snapped on pure reflex and with real indignity, but that was the only part of him that wasn't utterly confused at this kat until his brain his the only other thing he'd known in his adult life. "What do you want?" He asked quietly, suspiciously.

"To finish my meal, to enjoy a few hours relaxation before I settle down to sleep for the night, to see good signs for the morning," the list was so mundane and delivered in such a relaxed tone that Vinnie didn't see the last one coming. "To know why you're trying to poison yourself."

"Cause it stops the pain." He answered before he'd even fully processed what had been said, but when he did, he didn't mind.

"I see," Will murmured, finally finishing the last of his meal and then taking a mouthful from the purloined drink. "Not, unfortunately, a particularly surprising answer."

"Only two reasons any of it's used you know." He shrugged a bit. "To relax, and to forget."

"True, I suppose," the tiger admitted, "Although it is not well done to seek an escape from yourself. Then Ease becomes Vice, and devours lives."

The mouse could only shrug. "So's war." His gaze went a bit distant. "Vice only matters when there's a future to claim."

Will snorted wordlessly, contenting himself with the drink he'd purloined.

"So you goina tell me what you really want before you finish that?" Vinnie pressed.

"Why would you assume I haven't?" Will asked with a smile. "Because it doesn't involve pinning you to my bed?"

"Do you make a habit of stopping every drunk you see?" He countered, bewildered by such behavior even when he had a clear mind, much less as foggy as things were now. "Everybody wants something."

"No, I don't, but then you're a great deal more drunk than most people I see. Not to mention that you do catch the eye," the tiger admitted with a smirk. "And, yes, of course I want something, several things in fact. They simply don't all have to do with your underwear."

"I don't wear any," he teased with a playful grin. "And the rest?"

Will laughed softly, his voice warm. "Somehow that doesn't surprise me in the least, Vinnie." The tiger leaned closer, very slowly tracing a pair of fingers across the firm, strong curve of Vinnie's shoulder and felt the smaller male relax into the contact with a delighted willingness. "You mentioned earlier that you didn't much want to go home."

"My Bros are great guys, but they're no fun." He sort of chuckled, though there was no missing the deep respect he held for those he spoke of. "No way to get cheered up."

"As opposed to downing your mind in intoxicants? You do not seem to have become remarkably cheerful for it."

"Yeah, shit happens," he shrugged, shifting to increase the contact more, nearly snuggling against the big tiger. "I usually find a good party before I get this wasted."

"Perhaps you should remove yourself from temptation," Will suggested, his hand drifting lower along the mouse's bare, muscular chest. "It seems to me that it might be sanctuary you're seeking, rather than cheer."

"Wouldn't argue with that," Vinnie rumbled in pleasure that was mostly internal and all but surrendered himself to this tiger touching him so well. "Better than a party," he murmured and reached out to caress thick white fur with less focus than before. "Harder to find too."

"Well then since I have finished eating, and you have most certainly finished drinking, perhaps we should go?"

"Sure," he murmured agreeably, though he showed little inclination to moved away from the touch that held him in it's comforting thrall.

"You will have to get up," Will chuckled, giving the mouse a gentle nudge. "Things will be very awkward if you fall asleep here."

"Right," the mouse chuckled and scooted out, though he never let physical contact with Will completely break thanks to his mobile tail. "Where to?"

"I have a car ... you may have to return in the morning for whatever vehicle you came here in. I certainly have no intention of letting you drive."

"Like I said, Girl does the driving," Vinnie chuckled and pressed close, wrapping his tail firmly around the Tiger's waist as he easily fell into moving with the bigger male. "She'll follow. I bet it wouldn't have been much to you if I had fallen asleep against you."

"You assume entirely too much," the tiger replied and Vinnie was able to feel the words rumbling in his chest as much as hear them. "Although since I'm taking you home I suppose it might not be completely unreasonable."

"A big strong guy like you?" He grinned up playfully, though his level of intoxication was showing in it again. "I bet you could beat Modo in a wrestling match."

"Come on," Will said, steering the willing mouse towards the parking lot. "Let's get you out of here before that mouth gets you in trouble."

"If it's not my mouth doing it, it's my ass." He snickered and nuzzled the tiger in the ribs where his nose happened to be level with. "I'm always getting in trouble."

"Oh I don't doubt that for a moment," Will chuckled, intent on getting Vinnie out of the bar and over towards his car and more than a little grateful that the mouse was still coordinated enough to walk with him. "Nor, I suspect, do you mind."

"It makes life interesting." He grinned up, then suddenly went serious for a moment to nuzzle thick white fur again as they stepped into the darkness of early night. "And usually ends up being fun."

"You're incorrigible," Will accused him as they reached his car and unlocked it, through the tiger paused a moment to catch the mouse between his body and the vehicle. "And you very much enjoy being taken advantage of. I can tell."

"Oh yeah, handsome." He grinned up and shamelessly rubbed his body along the one pinning him. "I wouldn't let it happen if I didn't."

Will chuckled softly and released him, walking around the other side of the car to slip into the driver's seat while Vinnie dropped into the passenger side and a sleek red motorcycle without a driver rumbled to a stop nearby. "I don't generally take advantage of drunks," he said as they pulled out.

"That's Girl," Vinnie waved at the riderless cycle easily keeping pace behind the car before leaning over to rest his shoulder and head against Will's. "My bike."

"It drives itself?" Will asked, adjusting on of the mirrors to give him a better look. "How curious."

"She's a cyberbike," he grinned proudly. "Best Mars ever produced. Full AI in there too."

"I see," the tiger said, keeping an eye on the bike as they drove on. "Not something you see a lot of."

"Nope, and you'll not find better." He boasted, still leaning against Will. "Girl's one of a kind."

"I don't have much experience with such things," the tiger admitted, steering with one hand as the other gently stroked Vinnie's cheek. "There's little need for them where I come from."

"You're lucky, I think." the mouse murmured, enjoying the touch more than he could say, but the way his body all but melted into it was a good clue. "She's great, and so are my Bros, but I liked it better before they happened." He admitted in a voice that wasn't quite confiding a secret, but was also clearly only sort of cognizant of what he was saying.

"You regret your past a great deal," Will said gently, his voice seeming to fill the car despite its softness.

"Doesn't everybody?" Vinnie sort of looked up before he shrugged. "I miss it." He sighed. "Miss them a lot."

Will stroked his fingers through the mouse's short fur in silence, driving only a little further before he pulled up in front of a shabby-looking block of apartments. "Come on," he said gently and found that the mouse followed him out the driver's side door with surprising grace. Or at least with little difficulty.

He took in the place, nodded absently as it was cataloged and noted with a set of well-honed military instincts that couldn't be completely silenced even by the intoxication in his systems.

Will had one set of keys for the main door, and then two more for the door to his apartment once they'd made their way up the stairs. Inside it was fairly plain, sparse simple furniture, one room and a single other door which Vinnie presumed to lead to the bedroom. The most startling feature of the flat was the posters Will had found for the walls, dazzling views of the night sky, and artists impressions of things like comets and solar flares. It made for a dazzling display that fixated Vinnie in his place, mouth slightly open and brain trying to process what the imagery stirred up in him with little success.

Will let Vinnie stand there for a few moments, then closed the door and roused the mouse by sliding a hand slowly down along his spine. "A it too much?"

"Yeah," he breathed in awe, shivering as he focused on the hand touching him rather than the mind-blowing experience that was trying to form at the imagery.

"Down here, with all the light and crud from the city you can't really see them properly," Will murmured softly by the mouse's ear. "Not like back home."

"Yeah," he closed his eyes and leaned back, his head tipped slightly back to expose the long line of his throat. "It was incredible when all the lights were turned off and there was time to just watch."

"Tell me about it," Will purred softly, sliding one arm around Vinnie's waist and found the mouse utterly compliant, willingly surrendering his body and will to this near-stranger.

"Mostly I remember the river of stars," he smiled at hazy memories from what might as well be another lifetime. "The games to make patters out of them and making out in the glittering light. It showed off her fur so well."

"I can see you being the sort to screw out in the open."

That made Vinnie laugh lazily and turn to snuggle against the tiger's broad chest. "That's the hardest part about behaving around commoners. They're so ... prudish. It's so weird to keep the pleasures of life a secret."

"Commoners? This must be an interesting place where the people in power get fall down drunk and rut under the stars."

"It's home," he murmured with a shrug.

"And you miss it," Will murmured with certainty.

"Too much sometimes," he sighed, utterly at ease with surrendering his guard and secrets to this white feline. "Way too much."

"That is the way of things." Will said softly as Vinnie pressed against him and relaxed in a feeling of security the mouse clearly relished at least as much as he wasn't used to it. The tiger seemed happy enough just to hold him, enfolding the mouse in the warmth and reassuringly solid presence of his body as Vinnie slowly relaxed to a point that was nearly foreign to him now.

"You feel good," Vinnie murmured eventually into the warm silence while his hands began to move threw dense white fur so different from his short silky pelt.

Will chuckled softly, drawing the mouse with him as he moved towards the couch and settled himself down upon it. "An interesting thing to say to someone."

"It is?" He looked up with a lazy, content and relaxed expression that had very little to do with his intoxication. "I like your fur, how you feel against me."

"Well that's not a surprise at all," Will said with a smile, "Since you want me to sleep with you."

Vinnie's expression was a little odd as he worked through the unusual arrangement of words, then he chuckled and snuggled against the bigger male with a relaxed presence and bold hands that continued to explore. "Something like that."

The tiger tipped Vinnie's face upward, catching the mouse's eyes with his own shining gaze. "I'm not going to. At least not in the sense you expect."

It brought an unhappy frown, then a quiet nod of acceptance as the mouse's touch shifted slightly. Less enticing and more exploring, simply taking in the strong body's features as he snuggled close and felt the sleepiness of finally relaxing in safety after so many years start to take him.


Vinnie's nose and the promise of breakfast draw the still rather intoxicated mouse to consciousness near lunchtime. After a groan and couple false starts, the smells drew him out of the tiger-scent rich bed.

Stumbling out into the main room the mouse found Will, without the shirt he'd been wearing the night before, working in the kitchen. The tiger's efforts were presumably the source of the smell which had roused him, which was much clearer now that his nose was clear of the scent of the tiger's bedding.

"Hi," Vinnie mumbled as his brain and body kicked a little more into gear with the promise of a good meal in the offering.

"Good afternoon," Will greeted him with a soft chuckle. "I hope I didn't disturb you."

"Food is never a disturbance," the mouse grinned at him and moved closer to sniff at what was being prepared and copped a feel of the tiger's ass while he was at it.

"You are absolutely incorrigible, aren't you?" the tiger asked with a smirk.

"Of course," he smirked back. "Life's about enjoying what you can, when you can. And feeling you is something I enjoy."

"Evidently. How hungry are you?" Will asked as Vinnie snuggled up against the tiger's broad back and nuzzled him.

"Plenty," he chuckled and nuzzled him again. "It smells good."

"Just a fragrant fried rice," the tiger shrugged, "Something I picked up when I was further down south. Quick and easy."

"Always a good thing," he grinned and shifted to see if he could spot bowls or utensils.

"Up there," Will said, nodding his head towards a cupboard set up above the mouse's head.

Inside he found a set of plain white crockery and retrieved it to set on the counter for the meal to be dished up and closed the door with his tail.

The tiger added a tiny bit more of a bring red seasoning to the rice, tossed in toughly and then filled both bowls to the brim.

"Get it while it's hot," the tiger said with a grin and got one in return as Vinnie claimed a bowl for himself and leaned against the counter to work on it with a spoon. The rice was warm, flavorsome and just a little spicy, mixed through with a variety of vegetables. It was also surprisingly filling for a mouse that was well known to eat anything and everything and want more.

"You're a good cook," Vinnie smiled at Will as the finished up.

"Thank you," Will replied, his smile widening slightly. "Being on my own I really have to be able to manage enough to keep me going. Eating out every night would be too expensive."

"Probably," he nodded and finished off the very last morsel with gusto. "Modo does most of our cooking, when we've got a place to cook."

"Modo. One of the friends you mentioned?"

"Yeah, Modo and Throttle are my Bros," he nodded easily. "Throttle's sort of our leader, I keep everyone from getting too serious." Vinnie chuckled softly. "They're both so serious."

"I'd imagine that's a difficult state to maintain with you around," Will smirked. "You should give them more credit."

"Oh, man, they'd never crack a smile if it wasn't for me." Vinnie rolled his eyes. "It's a tough job I've got."

"You poor, suffering mouse." The tiger didn't sound particularly sympathetic.

"Everyone has a gift," he half smirked and slipped his tail over to play along Will's chest. "Mine is having fun."

"Certainly it's something you pursue with great vigor," Will nodded and an amused sparkle dancing in his eyes as Vinnie laughed.

"Better than moping all the time about what's been lost and all." He shrugged. "It sucks and all, but we're alive. Might as well enjoy what we can."

"Now that sounds more reasonable that what I was hearing last night," Will said with a nod, "I would hope that that doesn't always involve incapacitating yourself though."

"Nah, I only get that wasted when I can't remember how to have fun." He shook his head a bit. "Not often. Not fun either."

"And dangerous," Will continued.

"Yeah, I guess." He accepted, though he didn't particularly see it. "One of the less dangerous things we get up to though. Passing out for a couple days isn't that big a deal."

"Mixing so many drugs in your body is," the tiger replied, his voice never departing from its usual soft rumble. "It's not the way we were made."

"No," he accepted, fiddling a bit with the spoon and bowl still in his hands. "Probably not."

"I guarantee it," Will nodded, "But you should be glad for that. If we had been, then they wouldn't have the effect on you that they do."

"I would have used something use then," he shrugged. "Good idea or not, getting wasted does dull the pain when you can't take it for a while. Not the stupidest thing I've ever done."

"I don't doubt that in the least," the tiger said with a smirk, to which Vinnie shook his head slightly.

"Nobody ever does."

That seemed to catch the tiger by surprise, and he spent a moment watching the mouse carefully, his slitted eyes focused intently on the mouse.

"That disappoints you?"

"Sometimes," he shrugged. "Guess I just look like somebody who'd do anything."

"You do," Will nodded. "Behave like it, too."

"Except I'm still walking." He huffed slightly. "I don't take truly stupid risks without a damn good reason."

"I'll just have to take your word for that," Will replied, extending his hand across the space between them for Vinnie's bowl. "I've not known you long enough to judge."

That made the mouse cock his head as he handed the bowl over, before he nodded with a soft sigh. "No, I suppose not."

"Less than twelve hours," Will clarified, "Most of which you've been asleep for."

"And the rest seriously drunk."

"Indeed. Not the best conditions under which to judge a new acquaintance."

"To judge them favorably, at least." He countered simply as he leaned against the counter. "You had no problem deciding I was nuts."

"I don't believe I ever said that," the tiger replied calmly.

Vinnie opened his mouth to reply, then shook his head slightly and rubbed his furred temple. "Water?"

"There's a filter jug in the fridge, glasses from beside where the bowls came from. Help yourself."

"Thanks," he smiled at the tiger and downed three glasses before he slowed down enough to lean back again and nurse the fourth. "I think the hangover's started."

"I can only imagine you know best how to handle it," Will chuckled. "After all, I doubt it's an unfamiliar feeling."

"Don't usually get drunk enough to feel it." The mouse said quietly. "Not since those first couple years at least."

"I get the feeling that there's a great deal more to you than most suspect," Will's voice sounded softly from behind Vinnie's back. "You hide behind this role you've concocted for yourself."

"It's safe," he murmured, once again answering before he'd really recognized the question as he shifted back to come in contact with the tiger that was tantalizingly close.

"But you don't like it very much."

That startled him enough to look over his shoulder at Will. Though his mouth was open to respond, nothing came out.

"You feel ... obligated, stifled, restrained." Those feline eyes were fixed on Vinnie's face, but there seemed to be little response to the mouse's surprise. "You act out because it gives you an opportunity to step outside the rules."

"Yeah," he murmured, still more startled than anything. "I guess so."

"It's not so unusual, really. Though it's not something I'd expect in an interstellar biker."

"Freedom fighter." Vinnie corrected on reflex with a shake of his head and moved to lean against the nearest object and looked down as the pain he'd been trying to drown flickered back up. "Martian Freedom Fighter."

"Still not what I would characterize as highly regimented life," Will continued gently. "You are a very curious person, Vincent Van Wham."

"No, it's not." He admitted, his eyes still downcast. "But they're mostly commoners, not my people. Only knew two kinds of Van Whams. Those that lead, and those that party. I'm not a leader."

"You miss being with others like you. Do your friends realize?"

"Maybe," he shrugged. "I don't think Modo even knows I'm a noble. He's from far enough out he never cared what anybody outside his village was. Never could figure Throttle out. Couldn't help even if he did. None are left."

"Sharing with them might help some in any case," Will suggested, his voice dropping half a tone softer. "They must have a better idea than anyone else would."

"Why?" Vinnie looked up, his expression mirroring just how badly the suggestion had lost him behind the pain that looked ready to rip him apart.

"They're from your world. They'd have a better understanding of the way these things work than a stranger."

"I guess," he nodded, clearly torn by what he perceived as a dismissal of sorts and not wanting to leave. "Some risks aren't worth taking." He dropped his face again, his voice not much more than a whisper.

"Vinnie," the tiger murmured softly, stepping closer and raising one hand to gently touch his cheek. "What's wrong? Really?"

"I saw someone," his voice nearly choked off, but he managed to continue on the strength of whatever Will touched inside him that he was clinging too so desperately. "I thought ... she was my wife."

"Ahh, I'm sorry," the tiger murmured softly. It was a kindness enough to break whatever was left of Vinnie's pride and the mouse stepped forward to burry his face against Will's chest as the first heavy sob broke through his tight throat.

The tiger wrapped his arms around the mouse's smaller frame and held him close as hot tears spilled out into his fur. Will didn't speak or try to force anything from the distressed mouse, just held him securely and gently stroked his fingers through his fur as he waited for the turmoil and pain to subside in it's own time.

Vinnie was trembling by then, his body weak from the energy the release had drained from him. It was hard for Will to miss how much the mouse wanted to be close to him though. How arousal, sleep, confusion, pain and grief all produced similar movements of trying to get closer to his body and touch thick white fur in some way.

Will considered this as he cradled Vinnie in his arms, stroking a finger between the pair of antennae on his head in a gentle, repetitive motion. It wasn't an unusual reaction to want to be close to someone when you were hurting, but there was something more than that in this mouse.

"Sit?" Vinnie eventually found his voice, at least a little.

"Sure," Will replied softly, sifting his grip on the mouse to lift him bodily and carry him over towards the couch to a remarkable lack of protest. They settled down there much as they had the night before, though the tiger's moments were more gentle and tender as he held the wet and grieving mouse beside him and Vinnie found a position that was comfortable and close contact to nuzzle the bigger male.

Despite the repeated motions from the previous night, the intent seemed worlds different. Now it was clear the mouse was seeking comfort in contact, any contact, with the tiger that touched some deep part of his early life.

Will's arms enfolded him in warm, soft fur and gentle touches, the firm flesh of the tiger's body making a comfortable place for the mouse to rest while the grief became manageable again and he recovered some of his sense of self.

"You feel good." He murmured against dense white fur wet with his own tears.

"I'd noticed that you think so," Will said gently, trailing his fingertips along Vinnie's arms. "You don't get a chance to let go like that very often, do you?"

"No," he murmured, surprisingly relaxed in the comforting embrace. "Not in a long time."

"I'm sorry," Will murmured. "You obviously hurt a great deal."

"Everyone does," he let out a long breath and closed his eyes as he rested against the big feline. "Everyone's lost family, mates, friends. Just don't talk about it."

"Why? You seem comfortable talking to me about it."

"With you," he murmured softly, then sighed deeply. "We're a dieing race, Will. Talking about what everybody knows and everybody can add to just makes it worse. No one in the resistance talked. It was just understood. Everyone had lost a mate, parents, kits. Everyone."

"Then they should understand the need to to share, to mourn, to cry," the large feline insisted softly. For a moment he leaned closer and the rough surface of his tongue brushed Vinnie's cheek as he licked a stray tear away. "I was right when I said you were hurting yourself," he said, though there was no harshness in his voice. "But I had no idea just how deeply."

"We had a war to fight," he murmured with a shiver and pressed closer, projecting the presence more of a lost and hurting child than a war-hardened and tested biker. "Getting upset just hurt team moral, hurt ... I don't know." He gave up repeating what he'd been told. "It's just how things are."

"Well I am not on a team, and I am not going to be hurt."

"I know," Vinnie murmured, his body relaxing again into the contact. "Would have never done this with my Bros."

"Yes, you've mentioned," Will agreed, but he sounded less than pleased by the ascertain. "Tell me something about them."

"Ummm, Throttle's a good planner, he's kept us alive and pull us threw the hell of the camps when most didn't make it." He murmured with an odd mixture of acceptance and jealous reverence. "Still don't know how he got Modo and me to get along, but he did. He's always watching out for us, doing his best to keep us alive and one step ahead of the fishfaces so we could give some payback for what happened."

"Sounds like a good friend."

"Never thought of him that way," Vinnie admitted quietly. "But I guess he is. Got an incredible ass too." He managed an almost normal quip.

Will laughed, the sound seeming much louder and more boisterous than it really was in the silence after what had gone before. "Ah Vinnie, I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised."

"Well, it is my primary hobby." He defended with an almost normal grin. "I'm supposed to notice these things. His front side's just as good too."

"And why do I think you've made more than one effort to find out more than how it looks?"

"Cause I've done it to you?" He batted his eyelashes at the tiger. "Had about as much luck with him too." He added with a pout.

"Don't pout," Will told him with a smirk, "It doesn't look good on you."

"Anything looks good on me," Vinnie shot back with a matching smirk. "Though nothing usually looks best."

Will laughed again, more of a gentle chuckle this time than the explosion of humor that had come before it. "If you were from the mountains I'm sure you'd lead a great many chases through the snow, Vincent Van Wham ... you do so love to have peoples eyes on you."

"And most enjoy having their eyes on me," he grinned and snuggled against the tiger a little more. "And hands. Especially their hands."

"Well you do tend to draw the eye," Will admitted, his mouth curling into a smile. "I'm sure this Throttle doesn't know what he's missing out on."

"No, he doesn't," he boasted and stretched a bit to nuzzle, then kiss, Will's thick neck. "I hate that."

"Hate what?" the tiger asked with a raised eyebrow.

His question didn't deter the mouse's advances in the least. "That he doesn't know, that I don't know his touch." He murmured between licking kisses.

"Hmmm, maybe you should take him out into the snow." Will didn't do anything to ward Vinnie away, but neither did he respond as enthusiastically as Vinnie was used to as the mouse paused at the suggestion.

"I'd have to get him drunk." He sighed. "It doesn't settle right."

For the first time since Vinnie had met him a visible flicker of distaste flashed across Will's face. "No, I don't think that's a very good idea," the said, his voice carrying a sour note as well. It only lasted a moment, and then when he spoke again his tone had returned to its usual soft rumble. "Would make him much less likely to want to repeat the experience, for starters."

"He's my Bro, it's not right to take advantage of him." He said softly, settling for a moment as the idea was washed away along with the unpleasant taste it left in his mouth. "It's just ... not right."

"No, you're right about that Vinnie. That's not the way to go about it."

"I know," he sighed. "Just means I deal with not knowing him that way. He turned me away more than once."

"You have to respect that decision then," Will said with a nod. "After all, it's not as though you lack company when you want it."

"No, I can usually get laid whenever I want." He agreed without his usual boasting pride, his tone almost sad. "Just not by the few I've really wanted." Vinnie murmured as his fingers trailed light patterns threw the tiger's dense white fur. "It'd be funny, if it didn't hurt."

"Mountain people do not generally fall into bed easily," Will replied softly. "Certainly not with strange men we scrape of the floor of bars."

"I wasn't that drunk." He protested without much strength. "I did walk everywhere on my own you know."

"Not without some difficulty, as I recall," will reminded him gently. "And you weren't planning on stopping when I showed up."

"I wasn't expecting to find anyone worth stopping for." Vinnie countered without reproach. "Or for them to find me."

Will smoothed his fingers through the fur on Vinnie's chest, out along the curve of the muscle. "Should I take that as a compliment then?"

"Yes," he murmured softly with a contented half sigh for the touch. "It is."

"Well thank you," the tiger smiled. "And you were right last night, of course. I don't go around stopping every drunk I see."

"And not after sex from those you do, at least not when they're still drunk."

"No, but then I'm very rarely 'after sex' ... not in the way you mean it."

"Casual pleasure, just for the sake of it." Vinnie chuckled a bit and rested his head against the broad chest. "When I sober up, is it an option?" He asked, not able to keep the painfully raw hope from his tone, though he managed not to make it begging.

"I'm not sure that you have the patience for the rituals of my people," Will replied, although there was no accusation in his voice. "When I went out into the snow it was with a male I'd know for three and a half years."

Amazingly enough the mouse barely flinched at the statement before he nodded. "What are they?" He asked softly.

"It's not a checklist to get me to sleep with you," Will said. "The point is the for some people, mine included, there's a great deal that comes before sex and it is far from being the most important thing in a relationship. Before I left the mountains the idea of what you'd call 'a quick fuck' was entirely unknown to me." There was a short pause. "Well, almost entirely."

"Friends before lovers?" Vinnie's question was softly spoken as he settled against Will's body.

"Always," the tiger replied.

Vinnie nodded against Will's chest, part of his mind chewing on that concept while the rest carefully packed up his desires and shoved them in the same room as he kept his feeling for Throttle.

"Not what I'm used to," he murmured softly. "But I know of it."

"I had the feeling that that would be the case," Will replied with a nod, his hands gently combing themselves across Vinnie's back as the mouse leant against him. "Either that or you must have an awfully large sphere of close friends."

"No, not even before the war," he murmured with a low, pleasurable sound from the attention he was getting. "Lately it's been my Bros."

"No big surprise. After all there must be plenty of people around here willing to enjoy your body just on sight."

"Here and everywhere," he chuckled softly and let his eyes drift closed, though he wasn't tired. "I can usually find the groups who are just out for some fun."

Will didn't say anything for a few minutes, considering what he'd heard as his fingers continued to stroke short white fur and kept Vinnie settled and unconcerned with moving. "It is curious," he said eventually. "On the one hand sex with those you care for seems to be almost desperately important to you. On the other you give it away freely to total strangers."

"Different sex for different reasons," he sort of shrugged. "It can be just for fun, to feel good. Like jerking off, just with a playmate. It can also be ... important. Just cause I like to feel good doesn't mean I don't like the extras that come with caring for your partner."

"No, I suppose not," the tiger allowed. "You must understand how people could get that impression though."

"Sure I do," Vinnie actually chuckled. "It's also not a distinction that usually matters." He settled a bit. "It's been a long time since I've had anyone I care about as a bedmate. I'm just not much on the idea of denying myself pleasure just because I don't have a mate."

Again the tiger settled into silence, considering. "It occurs to me that there is a festival approaching in a couple of weeks, a celebration of one of the divinities of my people. Since I am here on my own I would normally not celebrate it, but it strikes me as something you might have more than a passing interest in."

"Oh?" He looked up, his eyes open in curiosity. "What is it about?"

"The divinity in question is Our Lady of Ease," Will explained with a widening smile, "A patron of desire and indulgence, as well a number of numerous less vigorous means of relaxation and pleasure. In the mountains people will sleep late into the morning, then when they rise they will not set a hand on their tools bet set to preparing the magnificent feast of the year. In the end it will almost certainly not all be eaten, but all will have their fill. Even more in some cases."

The tiger chuckled softly, hands moving down along Vinnie's flanks. "By tradition, from sundown until dawn, there is no desire that is left unsated. As you can imagine it is a festival which is particularly popular amongst the young, who have the vigor to continue long into the early hours when most all of the people have given in to their growing desire for sleep."

"Yes, I can imagine," Vinnie smiled softly and nuzzled the bigger male. "And you're right, it's something I'd enjoy celebrating with you."

"Good," Will said with a nod. "As I mentioned I would not normally bother. This will be only the second Festival of Ease I have celebrated since I left home."

"I'd say it's a pity, but I don't think you see it the way I would," he sort of chuckled. "It will be a fun day."

The tiger snorted softly and gave the mouse a playful slap on the ass. "I am not entirely a kill-joy, thank you very much. It is simply much less enjoyable to do on one's own."

"I'm sure," Vinnie smirked and nipped his neck with a kiss. "Throttle's simply fond of calling me a hedonist. An excuse to party all day is my kind of celebration."

"I was fairly sure you'd like the idea, yes." Will said with a smirk as Vinnie settled against him again.

"I'm hardly all that difficult to please," he chuckled acceptingly. "The simple things in life are usually the best."

"As long as you're satisfied between the legs, hmmmmm?" Will asked teasingly.

"There are other pleasures, you know." Vinnie shot back with a grin. "Riding free and fast on the open planes. Movies with my Bros. Pounding Plutarkian faces. It's all good."

"And drugs. When you truly wish to loose yourself."

"Those aren't for fun." He shook his head slightly, his mood dropping for a moment. "Well, not the kind I'm still a little buzzed on. The fun ones are just a little extra when socializing."

"Yes. I know." Will said quietly, and got a nod in reply. "Still, that makes for a rather maudlin conversation," the tiger said, sitting a little more upright. "There must be something more worthwhile for us to do."

"What is your home like?" Vinnie offered up a subject.

"Cold, in the main," Will chuckled softly, though his fondness for it was obvious, "Although having visited warmer climes I must admit I miss it. Snow lies across the ground for almost all the year, and the climate is one of the things that defines us most. We live in small communities where we live simple lives, working and building and honoring the divinities. Most of the things we have are made by hand, although there is some trade in furs of the mountain animals for things we cannot produce ourselves. It is very peaceful."

"Very different from anywhere I've been." The mouse murmured softly as he tried to think of such a place.

"As far as I've seen it's different from almost everywhere else one this world, let alone any other." Will's voice was soft and a little wistful. "It's actually not so far from here ... perhaps five hours drive and then a trek into the mountains. Two days for experienced ice-walkers, probably a bit longer for someone like you."

"Is that an invitation?" Vinnie glanced up curiously.

"No, at least not in the short term anyway." Will chuckled softly as his fingers ghosted over Vinnie's cheeks. "I'm following another of our traditions at the moment. Three months after our private little festival I'll return home for the first time in five years."

"Why?" He asked softly, leaning into the touch eagerly.

"Because the five years are up," Will chuckled softly. "The tradition is in the leaving, not the coming back. We go out to see how other people live their lives, to experience the world outside our community. Some choose to remain out in the world, but most return."

The mouse nodded very softly at that, his manner shifting fractionally as he assessed how little time was available. Even with the absent knowledge he'd be leaving at some point, it stung to think it would be so short.

"It's not as though I'll be moving to another planet," the tiger reminded him gently.

"No, I guess not." He sighed softly in acceptance. "Kind of reduces the odds you might come with us when we do though."

Will's surprise was evident, his body tightening up for a moment and then slowly relaxing again. "I don't think any of the mountain people have ever left this planet."

"And odds are we aren't going to stay here." He murmured. "We're still trying to get home, no matter how slow the going. Maybe even find a few more Mice."

"Then you have always been going to leave at some point, and it's no more true now than when I drove you home last night. Nothing's changed."

"A mouse can hope, you know." He chuckled weakly and put it behind him. "Sometimes folks come with us for a while."

"It would seem you've hoped for a great deal, on the basis of a drunken meeting in a bar," Will suggested gently.

"Instincts tend to do that," he shrugged. "I tend to follow mine."

"We had that discussion remember?" Will smirked. "While you were grinding yourself against me quite shamelessly."

"Honestly, not really," he admitted without shame. "I was pretty far gone."

"That much was quite evident," Will agreed, his fingers tracing slowly down Vinnie's spine and felt the appreciation in the smaller body. "Although the only instinct you were following then was one you thought would get another male inside you."

"I was hardly going to be that picky," he chuckled softly. "Male or female, top or bottom, I'd have been equally happy with. I like it all."

"But it was fairly clear what you were expecting from me."

Vinnie cocked his head and chuckled. "You don't bottom much, do you?"

"I don't have sex much, by your measure," the tiger laughed, "but I've experience both more than once."

"Good," he smiled and nuzzled him. "I may be a bit of a slut, but I'm not that exclusive a bottom."

Will chuckled softly. "Confident, aren't we? What's that saying ... uhhh ... 'don't count your chickens'?"

"It's not something you enjoy?" He looked up at the big feline curiously. "Or is it something else for you?"

"No, I'm just teasing you Vinnie," the big tiger chuckled.

"Brat," he laughed and batted the tiger's ear with his tail. "You just take it all so seriously," he said quietly, "I was trying to respect your ways."

"I know," Will said softly, "And I think you for that. I know that they're very, very different to what you're used to."

"Yeah, they are." He agreed with a slight nod. "Something's right though, cause we're both still here."

"Well there was no way I was going to let you leave on your own last night, no matter how incredible that bike might be, and besides your more visible attributes you've proven to a most curious and contradictory companion. Both qualities that arouse my interest."

"I do aim to please," he grinned playfully. "And I am good at it."

"I don't doubt that for a moment," the tiger purred softly. "I was quite serious when I said your friend must be missing out."

"He is, I know I could show him pleasures he's never dreamed of. He just doesn't want to let me." He sighed with a shrug. "Some guys are like that. They just don't see other guys that way."

"If there is anything I have learned in the last few years it's that it takes all kinds to make a world, and everyone's ways should be respected. Still, it seems a shame. Two like you would make a startling pairing."

"Well, he's not that much like me," Vinnie said softly. "Though he does look like he has noble blood in there somewhere. Though I guess to an outsider, we would look similar outside of color."

"That's often the way of it," Will nodded, his hands settling on Vinnie's waist. "What about this other mouse? The one you haven't talked about."

"Modo." He supplied quietly. "He's the strong, silent type from the hicks. Just don't call him a rat. You won't live long enough to regret it. About the only thing we have in common is Throttle. He's a good Bro, even if I'm not that fond of him."

"This Throttle must be a singular person, to command respect from such different people," Will murmured softly. "I must confess some curiosity though. If you are the noble one, why aren't you the leader?"

"Cause I'm lousy at it," he shrugged. "And I'm not stupid enough to go on anything but ability when it comes to the kind of fighting we were in."

"That would make sense," Will allowed with a smile.

"More sense than some of my kind had, but they were warriors, trained and everything. I just picked up a blaster trying to protect my family when the fishfaces found us. It was dumb luck I aimed it the right direction and fired it that time. Throttle saw the potential I had for war I never saw, and he's been right every time."

"Hmmmm, sounds like someone I should meet, sooner or later. Since he knows you so well."

"Yeah, he does." He chuckled with soft fondness. "He's a natural born leader. It's part of what he is, what makes him so good."

"Won't these friends of yours be curious about where you've gotten to?" Will asked, one hand lifting to cup Vinnie's cheek again.

"Eventually," he murmured. "As long as Girl's around to keep an eye on me they won't worry for a couple days. They know I saw something that upset me."

"The bike?" Will asked with a raised eyebrow. "I could be doing absolutely anything to you up here."

"Yeah, you could be," he nodded. "She's good at picking up when I'm in trouble."

"Well," Will chuckled softly. "I suppose I should be glad that we haven't had some sort of mechanized menace bursting the front door down."

"You haven't done anything close to warranting that." He chuckled and kissed Will's neck. "And you'd be more likely to have my Bros burst in than my bike."

Will shifted quickly, rolling over on top of Vinnie and pinned the mouse beneath him. "I could though," he said, his tone of voice unchanged despite the much more aggressive posture. "I've hunted small animals in the mountains."

Despite the implied threat, Vinnie remained relaxed and looked directly up at him. "Yes, you could." He said softly. "So could I."

Will chuckled softly and ducked his head to gently nuzzle the mouse. "I suspect you know you're in absolutely no danger from me."

"If I didn't," he shivered at the touch and shifted to open his body up even more, "I would have fought back at that."

"I'm sure," the tiger purred as he lowered himself down, pressing Vinnie's body into the couch and covering him with warm, soft fur. "I'm sure you'd put up a fair resistance too."

"I'm a survivor," he moaned slightly and pressed up against the deliciously strong warmth over him, his hands, mouth and tail touching and kissing whatever part of the tiger was most convenient.

The tiger purred loudly, a rumbling sound that in his position, Vinnie could feel as much as hear. "And remarkably persistent."

"That too," he murmured without the least bit of apology or backing off, though he made the touch more sensually exploring than blatantly sexual. "You feel so good."

"You mentioned that before," will chuckled softly. "I suppose there are some definite advantages to fur designed for enduring the mountain climate."

"And a body designed for power and endurance," Vinnie added with an adoring breath.

"You'd very much like to find out just how powerful, wouldn't you?" Will asked with a smirk.

"You know I do, and just how," he smiled up with unabashed desire on his face.

"Letch," Will accused good-naturedly, "You know perfectly well that's not what I meant."

"It's not?" Vinnie was startled out of his lusty moment, abet briefly.

"We've been over this once already," Will reminded Vinnie gently, only earning a more confused look from the mouse.

"I know, but what did you mean then?"

"Precisely what I said. The how of it is not something I'd settled on, but I get the sense that you'd quite enjoy a personal demonstration of some sort."

"Yeah, that would be interesting," he grinned up, though his body didn't stop it's exploration of the other male. "I bet you're even stronger than Modo."

"The question then becomes what sort of demonstration you'd find most pleasing," Will chuckled. "Beyond the obvious."

"Do you lift weights?" He grinned playfully. "All that straining muscle and sweat and incredible views."

"Not on a regular basis," Will replied, "Although I could find my way around a gym."

"So how do you keep this incredible body in shape?" He gave another playful lick to Will's neck.

Will shrugged. "Oh, this and that. I've never really needed to spend too much time on that sort of thing. Do you?"

"When we've got a lot of downtime," he nodded. "Usually it's field work and fighting."

Will chuckled softly. "Sounds familiar. There's a distinct lack of gym equipment up in the mountains, but life seems to serve up challenges enough to keep us fit."

"Fit enough to survive, and that's usually quite fit." Vinnie smiled slightly and kissed his neck before giving the tiger a hug as best he could. "Though I do better in heat than cold."

"Well then I shall have to make sure you're kept nice and warm if you come to visit."

"Ohh, I bet you can keep me so nice and warm," he shivered at the thought that had remarkably little sexual content despite involving a lot of fur on fur close contact.

"Any number of ways." Will smiled down at the utterly trusting, lusty mouse that was still managing to honor his request about not pressing for sex.

Well, not so blatantly as he was last night at any rate. It was doubtful the mouse was capable of doing anything that wasn't at least a little bit sexy.

"All this thick warm fur, all wrapped around me in the cold night." He grinned up. "Might be worth the cold just for that."

"It's a while before that'll even be an option," Will nodded. "But it's a thought to keep in mind."

"A very pleasant one," he rumbled softly and moved his hands down the tiger's flanks again. "I'd suggest a shower, but I don't think I could behave." He murmured softly. "You're so tempting even like this. Fell, smell, taste, so good."

"Well then perhaps you should shower, and then I can. One of us, at least, needs to stop smelling of stale alcohol."

"That would be me," Vinnie chuckled softly. "And I definitely do."


"So what do you do for fun?" Vinnie asked with a slight smile as he pressed close to Will, fresh from the shower and still smelling of the Arctic Fresh shampoo.

"Read," the tiger said after a few moments of reflection. "Go to movies. I'm fairly quiet, compared to what I expect you're used to."

"I'm not surprised," he chuckled softly. "You just mentioned doing something besides sit on the couch."

"Well it's not as though I'm not enjoying it," Will said with a smirk down at the nuzzling mouse, "But we really should do something."

"Do you like going fast?"

"Going fast?" Will repeated, a wary tone in his voice.

"Racing," he clarified. "On a bike."

"Oh," Will said, understanding dawning across his face. "I've never done it."

"Really?" He blinked back, startled. "Want to try?"

"Sure, I guess." Will consented quietly to Vinnie's wide grin.

"Then get dressed, and I'll show you what the wind feels like."

"Right," Will nodded and moved to get ready. It didn't take the tiger long to find jeans and a shirt that he could wear, and in just a few minutes he emerged from the bedroom again, his eyes turned toward Vinnie expectantly.

"Come on, I've got a spare helmet." He grinned and turned to leave. Will followed close behind, so close that the end of Vinnie's tail brushed across the front of his legs as they made their way down to the street level.

It was a closeness the mouse took advantage of, caressing the leg he contacted until it was gently draped around Will's waist.

"Here you go," Vinnie leaned forward a bit before twisting around with a open faced helmet in his hand for the tiger and slipped his own on.

Will took the helmet, turning it over and over in his hands a couple of times before slipping it over his head. It seemed to take his a little while to get it seared comfortably, constantly making little adjustments as Vinnie watched, relaxed and feeling safe in his from Girl's long saddle.

"Not used to head protection?" Vinnie hazarded a guess.

"Not this sort," the tiger replied, still fiddling with in from time to time. "It feels ... strange."

"You'll get used to it," he promised. "It just takes a little time."

"I'll just have to take your word for it I suppose," Will replied as Vinnie patted the seat behind him on the sleep red motorcycle.

"Hop on, you'll be safe with us." He said softly despite his excitement.

"Just how fast does this thing go?" Will asked as he straddled the bike behind Vinnie and felt the mouse's tail wrap securely around his waist.

"We've broken five times the speed of sound once." He grinned back. "Not nearly so fast on your first ride though."

"You'd better not," Will rumbled softly, slipping an arm around Vinnie's waist for security. "I'd rather have my eyes still in place when they stop."

"Ah, it's not dangerous," Vinnie promised with a reassuring grin as Girl rolled to street speed on the way out of town. "That's what the helmet's for. Force shield faceplates are quite useful."

Will mumbled something under his breath that Vinnie didn't quite catch and tightened his grip on the mouse. "So where are we going?"

"Open road," Vinnie replied over the com link and tightened his tail a bit. "Out where there aren't speed limits and the scenery is worth looking at."

"And there's less to hit at high speeds, hmmm?"

"We've never crashed," he assured the tiger. "We're both too good for it."

"What did I tell you before about that opinion of yourself?"

"Umm, that I had a very high one?" He tried to remember.

"Will, relax." A soothing female voice spoke in the com link, very much at odds with the energy very much like Vinnie's that was behind it. "I'm in control of things."

"That's Girl." Vinnie supplied at his companion's startled reaction.

"You never said it could talk!" The tiger hissed in surprise.

"She doesn't usually." He shrugged lightly. "I told you she was smart. Cyberbikes are like that."

"Oh." Will said softly as they continued to gradually pick up speed as the town gave way to open road and forests.

"You haven't met an AI before, have you?" Vinnie asked softly.

"They're not common up in the snowfields," Will understated and received a gentle squeeze from Vinnie's tail.

"They're not common anywhere," Vinnie almost sided. "She's nothing to be afraid of, but now do you understand why I trust her so much?"

"Well no, but's it's only been about three seconds," the tiger replied, managing a small chuckle.

"She's as smart as anyone, reflexes and sensors better than any of us, built in weapons and a loyalty stronger than anyone, even my Bros." He listed off her traits with a fond edge on his voice. "It's what cyberbikes are like. Lady and Lil Darlin', by Bro's bikes, are just like that to them."

"Well, uh, I'm pleased to meet her."

"Hi, Will." She replied perkily. "I take good care of those Vinnie likes."

"Well that's good news, I think," Will replied, growing less and less uncertain. "I seem to have fallen into that category."

"It is," Vinnie chuckled softly. "She can be very protective of me. Say something if the speed gets to be too much." He squeezed Will's waist again.

"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll hear the screaming."

"I'd rather you tell me before it gets that bad." He replied softly. "This is supposed to be fun, not terrifying."

"I said don't worry," Will repeated. "If there's a problem, you'll know it."

"Okay," his grin reached his voice. "Ready to do up the cliff there?" He waved in the general direction of a shear cliff face a few miles away on their on their left. "It has a spectacular view."

"Sure," Will nodded, his arm tightening just a little around Vinnie's waist as they headed off road with little drop in speed, zipping and darting through the forest faster than Will had ever gone in his life.

His mind was still spinning a bit from the passage of the trees when they broke into open grassland near the cliff and picked up power in a direct shot for the sheer rock face. He took a bit of a breath as the tail tightened around him and Girl kicked her front wheal in the air, all but launching up to take the vertical surface with ease that defied reason and gravity. Moving proof that even a brick can fly with enough power behind it.

Vinnie howled in pure, adrenaline charged joy as they shot over the edge and back to level movement, skidding to a stop facing the cliff edge with the rumble of Girl between their legs and a vibrating mouse between Wills arms.

It was a few seconds before the tiger was able to take a breath. "Holy fuck," he managed eventually in a shaky voice, the rest of his body trembling slightly as Vinnie's helmet came off and he twisted his head to nuzzle the big feline reassuringly.

"That is a ride." He couldn't help but grin, though his presence was focused on reassurance.

"That was ... was ... impossible," Will stammered as his hands worked at his own helmet and quickly found a much calmer set helping him get it off and setting it aside. "We came right up that cliff."

"Impossible or not, we did it." Vinnie smiled at him and shifted to straddle Girl backwards to hug the big tom. "And we do it all the time."

Will's arms closed around Vinnie in turn, the tiger shocked into silence for the second time in an hour.

"You okay?" He asked very softly, obviously concerned.

Will smiled, his eyes warm as he looked down and gently squeezed the mouse in his arms. "I'm fine. I just don't defy physics very often."

"It just takes enough power," he insisted gently and nuzzled him. "And power cyberbikes have in spades. Have you ever flown in a plane?"

"Once," Will nodded, "And I went to see the spaceport at Arlat. I get what you're saying, it's just a little different to actually do it like that."

"Well, I can't argue with that," he smiled with a soft chuckle. "It is the only way to fly."

"Just tell me we're not going back down the same way, yeah?"

"Umm," Vinnie glanced around. "As long as there's another way down."

"There'd better be," Will rumbled softly. "I could do without seeing the ground rushing towards me that quickly."

"Oh, you won't," he smiled brightly. "Going down is more of a flying leap off, not powering down. Gravity is quite enough force that direction."

"Well we agree on that much at least," Will said with a chuckle. He held the mouse close for a moment, and then gently twisted him around on the bike so that the mouse's back was pressed against his chest. "Let's just enjoy the view for a while, hmmm? You were right, it's quite spectacular."

"Yeah, and it's nice to share." He smiled and leaned back, his tail still wrapped around Will's waist.

"It is indeed," Will nodded, scanning his eyes across the landscape beneath them. He spotted something in the distance and pointed. "Those are my mountains, over there."

"Mmm, that's not far at all." Vinnie smiled softly and snuggled back. "Not more than three or four hours."

"For the land journey, yeah," Will nodded. "Then a couple of days of ice and snow and mountain passes to get to my home itself. As fantastic as your bike is I don't think she's suited to the terrain."

"Suited, not really." He admitted easily. "She was designed for Martian planes; wide, flat and rocky."

Will laughed softly. "I don't think there anything up there that could be described as 'wide' and we certainly don't have much 'flat'. She'd fall through the ice crusts too ... all that metal is a lot heavier than a person or a sled."

"She could make it." Vinnie retorted lightly. "Just like she made it up here."

"Maybe." Will didn't sound convinced. "Can she do that vertical wall thing from a standing start?"

"Takes more power, but yeah." He nodded slightly, his body relaxed in the embrace of the big feline.

"At least we wouldn't have to worry about loosing her down a crevasse or something then. I'm still not convinced it'd be a good idea though."

Vinnie just shrugged. "Don't go anywhere without her."

"Then you have almost certainly missed out on some magnificent sights," Will told him gently. "I don't care how spectacular she it, there are places a machine like this simply cannot go."

"If you want to get into that argument, anything and everything is missing out on most of the good stuff." He shrugged and crossed his arms, though he was still leaned back into the tiger's embrace. "I enjoy what I've got, not lament the crap I can't have."

"If you like," Will said with a shrug, settling into a pleasant silence as he took in the view below them.

Comfort in the Arms of a Stranger

R for M/M Content
Het Level is None
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Very Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

64 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written April 30, 2003 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Vorex

Setting: Biker Mice from Mars

Primary Races: Martian Mice, Tiger

Contents: Furry.

Pairings: Vinnie/Will

Blurb: When Vinnie sees something he's not ready to face and ends up trying to drink the memory away, a stranger that touches his instincts draws him out of the pain. Just not in the way Vinnie was expecting.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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