Title: Morsel

Author: Iocane


Summary: Max and Dureena talk about what happened between them.  Galen returns.

Rating: R

Series/sequel: Part twelve of "Dreams of Silence"

Disclaimer: Galen, John, the Excalibur, and all related names, places, and people belong to JMS and many
other people.  The story itself is mine.

Archiving: CDC, WWOBM, Selena's Galen Page, Lady May's Slash Archive, DM's Place, and the Crusade
Fic Archive all have ongoing permission. Anyone else, please ask.

Warnings: This story contains implied M/F sex, and implied M/M sex.

Notes: First and foremost, thanks to Antoinette for her expert beta'ing, comments, suggestions, motivations,
and generally beating me over the head until I finished it. :)

Second, the following notations are used throughout the series


Single brackets [] around text indicate personal thoughts.

Double brackets [[]] around words indicate telepathy.

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. This is my first planned out story of this scope, so any
suggestions you have would be wonderful.


Max awoke slowly, stretching. He was surprised when his arm connected with something warm and solid.
Opening his eyes, he was shocked to see Dureena rolling over in her sleep, turning to face him. Max closed
his eyes, counted to three, and opened them. She was still there, apparently asleep. Glancing around, he
realized that he wasn't in his own quarters, either. Shivering slightly, he remembered the events from earlier in
the day. Dureena kissing him in the elevator. Going to her quarters. Having her roughly against the wall.
Making love later on ...

"Good afternoon." Dureena whispered softly, startling the blonde man. He turned to see her face inches away
from his. She was leaning on her right arm, her left hand moving to caress Max's cheek. Before he could
reply, she leaned forward, kissing the side of his mouth sweetly.

Max slid a hand up her bare arm, running it through her hair. "Hi." He said softly, tucking a strand of black
hair behind her ear.

Dureena sat up, offering him a glorious view of her bare breasts. Taking his arm, she pulled it over her
shoulder as she turned her back, leaning against him. Max shifted under her, wrapping his arms more
comfortably around her, his chin resting in her hair.

"Max?" She smiled as his hand idly stroked her breasts, teasing the nipples.


"When did you learn Zanderi?" She asked, referring to her native language. "I mean ... I know you pick up
languages quickly, but this morning ..." She shook her head, tickling his nose. Blushing slightly, she continued.
"I hope you were paying more attention to what we were doing, than to what I was saying."

"Oh, I was ..." He chuckled. "I actually learned Zanderi not long after I met you."


She could feel him shrug. "Just in case."

Sitting up, she faced him, her front pressing against his arm. "Just in case what?"

His blue eyes studied her face, one hand stroking her cheek. "Just in case I ended up here." He said softly.
He leaned forward and captured her mouth in a soft kiss. Max gently shifted, moving her onto her back and
covering her body with his.

Dureena sighed some time later as Max pulled her close, nuzzling the back of her neck. One arm was under
her head, the other around her waist. Dureena's eyes were distant as she thought of the previous night with
John and Galen. [I should tell him. I don't want any secrets. Not now. Not with him.] She sighed softly as he
lightly kissed her neck. [I don't know why. Two days ago, I would have said you couldn't trust him with the
time of day but now ...] She snuggled back, taking comfort in his body around hers. [Now ... I've gotten inside.
I've seen his soul. And he's seen mine.]

"What are you thinking about?" He whispered in her ear, his lips grazing her skin.

She sighed softly. "Do you know what the Na'kel is, among my people?" She decided that she would tell him,
leaving nothing out.

"Yes ..." He leaned back, turning her on her back to face him. His eyes were as open as his face. "Why?"

Taking a deep breath, she told him. She also told him that it was her involvement in John's Na'kel that had led
to Max's being there that night.

"Maybe I should thank him then." Max said softly, tenderly brushing a lock of hair away from her cheek.

Dureena smiled and pulled him into her arms, kissing him deeply.


John picked up the cold red candle from its usual place on the table near his bedroom door. Carrying it to his
desk, he set it beside his work space, in the hopes that he would see the cold wick sprout flame. He knew that
simply willing the flame to light did no good. [But it couldn't hurt either.] He told himself. [He said he'd be back
in a few days.] He reminded himself. [It's only been one day.]

Fifteen minutes later, John felt a tiny shiver and looked at the candle. The wick was still cold and dull, no
flame. Closing his eyes, he counted to ten. When he opened then, he blinked, almost not believing.

The candle was burning softly.

Before John could stand, he felt a hand at his shoulder, pressing him gently into the chair. Closing his eyes, he
turned his face towards the hand, inhaling Galen's familiar scent. Reaching up, he took the hand and kissed
the fingertips, gently wrapping his lips around the index finger.

Galen gently pulled his finger away, cupping John's chin and tilting his face upwards. The first kiss was gentle,
slow. Galen pulled away and John stood, wrapping his arms around his lover. Galen's arms circled John's waist
and pulled him closer. The second kiss was harder, deeper.

Finally John pulled away, breathless. "Welcome back."

"Mmmm ..." Galen smiled. "Maybe I should leave and come back more often." His blue eyes danced with
silent laughter.

"Don't you dare. If you think 'welcome back' was nice, wait till I get to 'thanks for staying' " John grinned and
pulled Galen's mouth to his for a passionate kiss. He slipped a hand between their bodies, gently rubbing his
lover's crotch.

" 'Welcome back' is good ..." Galen whispered, nuzzling John's neck. " 'Thanks for staying' is better."
Moving suddenly, he swept John into his arms and carried him into the bedroom, tossing him gently onto the
bed. Removing is cloak and dropping it to the floor, he joined his lover, half covering his body and capturing
his mouth in a heated kiss. " 'Sorry I left' is best."

John moaned as Galen began to demonstrate.

Some time later, John's head rested comfortably on Galen's shoulder.

"I *am* sorry I left, John." The technomage said softly.

"It's okay. You always come back."

"Yes, but ..." He sighed. "Sometimes when I leave, it's just because I'm not used to staying in one place for
very long."

"Galen ..." John caressed his chest lightly. "It's all right. I ... I know it's not your way to be here all the time.
You wouldn't be the man you are," He rubbed his cheek against Galen's skin. "The man I love." he
whispered. "If you traded in your mage staff for slippers and a pipe."

Galen chuckled at the image John sent him. "You're right. Right now, I need this, the freedom. And I need it
for the mission, too. But yesterday ... I shouldn't have left, and I'm sorry."


"Why did I leave, or why am I sorry?"

"I told you, you don't have to be sorry. Why did you leave?"

"Bec-" Galen took a deep breath. [[Because I was jealous.]]


[[Calm down ... It was nothing. Really. I've just ... I've never been jealous before. Not like this.]]

John sighed. He wished Galen had never seen his thoughts of Dureena. He wished he hadn't gone through with
the Na'Kel. He wished-

[[Stop it John. It's not your fault.]] He rolled to his side and faced his lover, resting a hand on his neck, Galen's
thumb caressing his jaw. [[The last time I loved someone, I knew from the start she loved something before
me ...]] Again, John's mind protested, professing his love for Galen alone. Again Galen hushed him with a
gentle command. [[That night, with Dureena ... The reason you couldn't read her is because I wasn't letting
you. I was willing to share your body ... I was selfish and didn't want to share your mind. For that, I'm sorry. I
should have given you the choice.]] John said nothing for a long moment, and Galen continued. [[I was also
afraid.]] The pad of Galen's thumb rested lightly over his mark on John's cheek and for a moment he could
almost feel it burning accusingly into him.

"Afraid?" John sat up and turned, meeting his lover's eye. "Afraid of what?"

Galen's voice was soft and quiet and full of truth. "Losing you." He hushed John with a finger at his lips.
"Afraid that you'd decide I alone wasn't enough. I know that I come first here..." He caressed John's
forehead. "And here." He lay a hand gently on John's heart, feeling it's steady beat. "But a body sometimes
ignores the demands of the heart and mind."

"Galen ..." John's eyes "I ... I'm so sorry ..."

"Shh." Galen hushed the younger man. "I know. There's nothing to be sorry for. That's what I realized after I
left. I was wrong to have ever doubted you."

John studied his lover's eyes. He knew about Isabelle, and her obsession with the Well of Forever. He also
saw that Galen had never quite gotten over the hurt of always being her second choice. Pulling the other man
close, John wrapped his mind around Galen's, feeling the barriers between them weaken and fade. For hours
they stayed together, their emotions crystallizing to each other, their thoughts and feelings plain, their souls
merged as one.

Finally they slept, the edges of their minds still lingering together.