A red rose and a white rose tied together with a golden silk ribbon, for Henry and Monica Swinton;
A tiny pink rosebud and a thick thorny stem without any blossoms at all for Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru
A rose so dark a red that it is almost maroon, with heavy thorns hidden under its lush green leaves, and a brighter red rose with few thorns, tied together with a delicate silver chain, for the Merovingian and Neo
"One Touch of the Enemy"
by "Matrix Refugee"
Author's Note: Written for crowdog66 and based on the prompt "caresses; every touch you give me steals my breath away"; it's set fairly early on in her exquisite "Degrees of Seperation" universe, during a time when Neo and Smith were separated and Neo sought comfort with the Red King of the Exiles.
Rating: Hard PG-13/soft R (unclothed and intimate touching, relationship dynamics)
Disclaimer: I don't own the "Matrix" series, its characters, concepts or other indicia, which belong to the Wachowski Brothers, Paul Chadwick, Warner Brothers, Village Roadshow Pictures, Joel Silver Productions, Burlyman Entertainment, Monolith, Sony Online Entertainment, etc.
Neo awakened in the dark, alone as he had so many nights. By instinct, his hand reached across the silk-covered mattress beneath him to touch his Opposite and companion and by instinct, he reminded himself with a pang that Smith was not within reach, at least not in a form that was the former-Agent's own.
A sigh started to rise to his lips, then a candle kindled somewhere behind him, its soft light falling over him and lighting the soft angles and edges of the heap of pillows covered in red and black silks and velvets piled at the head of the mahogany four poster on which he lay. He felt the bed's other occupant, the Merovingian draw closer and lean over him, one practised hand sliding under his waist, his fingertips lingering over his bare skin, the other hand finding the angle of his neck and shoulder, the elder Exile's long fingers stroking his skin, causing his scalp and the back of his neck to prickle.
"I heard you awaken, cher Une," the Merovingian murmured. "I heard your sigh and I could not let that wordless plea go unanswered."
"Of course you couldn't," Neo said, trying to sound cynical and reminding himself that their arrangement served as a mere stopgap, a diversion for his senses until Weaver found the means to restore Smith. The regal Exile used him as he used everyone else: any tenderness and concern was as much an illusion as the Exile's lordly appearance or the rich, silken bed on which they lay. He felt the Merovingian's hand slip around to the nape of his neck, the blunt fingertips trailing down his back, sending tendrils of pleasure along his nerves, from his hairline to the base of his spine.
"Did he ever caress you tenderly, in this manner?" the Exile asked.
"No... Mmm... It wasn't his way," Neo replied, almost breathless at the sensations this touch inspired.
"Ahh, so he is as fierce a lover as he is a guardian," the Merovingian said with a note of lubricid amusement. "So does my touch fill a need, or does it fall short of your preferences?"
"Both... neither... should it matter?" Neo murmured.
His bed companion leaned over him and looked down into his eyes. "Of course it should matter. You came to me for solace and I would offer it to you in full, pressed down and running over the rim of the measure."
"All the better to use me," Neo murmured, knowing he only half-meant what he said.
The Exile traced slow circles in the cleft between his buttocks. "Are you frustrated with our arrangement? Hm, let me assuage that," he said and he shifted his fingers from the balls of his fingertips to the edges of his nails, running them over the One's sensitized skin, eliciting a small, sharp gasp of delight that came from the core of his aching heart.