But Not Yet

by Evermore (evermore@tiac.net)

This work of fiction is owned by the author, and may not be reproduced without the author's express written permission. The Young Riders was created by Ed Speilman and is owned by Ogiens/Kane Company and MGM/UA. No copyright infringement is intended by this work of fiction. Copyright September 2000.

Okay, the truth is that they are mine; I bought them on eBay.... No? Damn. It was worth a try. :)

Many many thanks to Chris, who beta-read on the sly. This story is the second of two dedicated to Echo, who asked for it. Boy, I'm going to hell for this one...but at least I'll be in good company.

Archive: TRIS, Riding Double

Rating: NC-17

Fandom: The Young Riders

Pairing: Buck/Ike

Category: SLASH

Warning: contains graphic sex, slash

Spoilers: none I can think of

Summary: An impromptu hunt for the source of an odd noise rapidly turns into something altogether different.

Normally, church doesn't bother me much.

Emma woke us all up even earlier than normal this morning and told us that we were going to church. Cody and Jimmy protested, but I could've told them it was useless; when a woman in charge gets it in her head that you're going to do something, you might as well just shut your mouth and do it. The sisters at the mission school were like that, only they backed up their demands with a birch whip. Kid didn't seem to mind, which doesn't surprise me. Lou wasn't here, lucky him. Buck didn't seem too bothered.

That right there should have been my first clue.

He hated going to services at the mission school, and it wasn't like we could avoid going. Buck practically had to be coerced into the chapel at the end of Sister Ruth's whip. I've never seen anyone so happy as when I turned fifteen because that meant we could leave the school. Since the sisters knew we wouldn't be separated, they set us both free even though Buck was still three months short of age. We'd not set hide nor hair inside a church until this morning.

What bothered me most -- besides these painful benches, damn I'd rather sit a saddle for three days straight than an hour on this bench -- was that Buck was sitting there, quiet like the proverbial mouse, lost in his own little world. He wasn't even hardly responding to any of the devotional postures; I had to keep poking him in the ribs, cuing my Indian stallion through his paces. 'Course, I'm not paying too much attention to any of it myself. I'm more worried with what my lover has on his mind, and judging from the merry expression on his face, he's planning some mischief.

Finally, services are done and we can leave ... but it looks like there's some sort of social planned. Something's going on. I'd better ask, Cody'll know.

"There's a church social planned at the preacher's house," he says with sly eyes. "Betty Royce is going to be there. I'll get a date with her, Ike, you'll see." Then he winks at me. Sure, Cody. The preacher's going to let you court his niece. I'll believe it when I see it.

Pretty soon, me and Buck are the only ones left standing in the church, everyone else is at the social. At least, I thought so until the preacher -- Nehamiah Royce, I like him a lot, but I can't understand for the life of me why anyone would want to be a priest -- pops his head in the doorway. "You boys going to the social?"

Just then Buck snaps himself out of his daze and answers him, like he hadn't been all but asleep for the past hour or so. "No, sir, all through the service I kept hearing a noise in the choir loft." He shoots a look at me, saying 'play along'. What is he up to? "I thought we'd go on up and check it out."

The preacher smiles, and says "Go on ahead, then, boys. When you've tracked down the culprit, come on down to the house and tell me what it was. I'll save you each a piece of cake."

"Thanks." Buck gives him a little smile, but I can't do much more than wave a little. What in the name of everything holy does he want in the choir loft? No one's been up there for a month, not since Doc Barnes told Missus Rayner that she couldn't get out of bed 'til the baby comes. She's been the choir keeper since the express station opened, but now there ain't no one wanting to take her place, even for that short amount of time.

As soon as Preacher Royce was gone, I signed, 'What is it?'

"Ike, if I knew what was up there, we wouldn't have to go look, would we?"

Dammit, he knows perfectly well what I'm asking. 'What are you up to?'

"Nothing," he says. Nothing, my ass. Nothing more than the usual, more likely. "Go on up, I'll be there in a minute." Yup, just like I thought. He's up to something, and, whatever it is, I don't know if I want a part of it.

Getting to the choir loft is more complicated than I would have thought. There's a trap door in the low ceiling at the far left side of the altar. It's hidden by a wall with some devotional hangings on it; I guess that's so the mystery of how the singers got up there is continued, giving the impression that the singers are angels from heaven. I don't really claim to understand it. I pulled down the rope and plank ladder and climbed up into the darkness of the loft. Actually, it's not so much a loft as it is a catwalk of some sort, half hidden in some sections where the choir sings and totally hidden in others. A few quick strides and I was waiting for him -- he's got the light, after all -- in one of the choir sections, looking at the sheet music scattered on the floor.

I wish I knew what Buck had in mind. He looks older, acts older, and most people think he is older than me, but I'm really the oldest. I think a lot of that maturity was forced on him; he doesn't talk much about his life with the Kiowa, but what he has said tells more than what he won't say. I know his mother died when he was fairly young, and that the circumstances around his birth caused a lot of pain for him. He practically raised himself, and I don't think his brother was an awful lot of help. I've told him that I wish he would relax and play more ... but this isn't what I had in mind.

A few seconds later, some sharp clunks announced his arriving by way of the ladder. After climbing up, he dropped down the door on the trap, shutting us up inside the choir loft. A scraping noise, and then I could see the fire burning in the small lantern. Buck had something else in one hand, but I couldn't see what it was. That concerned me. Off the light I could see that he had the devil in those dark eyes, and I wondered what the hell we were doing up here. I signed my question, slowly, but I wasn't sure he could see me.

"We're looking for that sound, that's what we're doing."

And that's all, I wanted to ask him. I really didn't like this choir loft, it was darker than hell in here and I could never imagine coming up here and being expected to sing like an angel. I couldn't even imagine angels wanting to set wing-feathers in this dark and dirty and cramped place. Especially back here -- it's totally closed off to the world, and blacker than a gunslinger's heart in the dead of night. Not even the lantern-light penetrates much.

Just then my outstretched hand hit the side of the wall, but I couldn't stop quick enough, and my nose smacked into the wooden planks. It didn't hurt much, but damn was I surprised. We were at the end of the trail, and there was nothing up here except us. I couldn't help myself from checking out my nose; it's bad enough my throat is broken, I don't think I could cope with another part of my body gone.

"Did you hurt yourself?"

He must have seen me rubbing my nose. I'm not surprised; Buck sees in the dark like a wolf. Before I can move, I hear him set the lantern on the floor and he's right in front of me.

"Do you want me to kiss it and make it better?"

Buck's voice is fluid like ... I'd say like water, but there's too much tone in his voice, too much music for it to be plain water. Sasparilla, maybe ... flowing like water, but darker and full of bubbles that come to the surface when you least expect it and always go up your nose and it feels ... so ... good. Fresh-tasting, like the outside and forever. Hell, yeah, I want you to kiss it, I want to say, but he knows me better than anybody and he's already here.

The first kiss misses my nose and kisses the tender skin underneath it, catching my teeth in the kiss, but I don't mind. The next one bumps my nose and shifts down to find my open mouth. He takes my face in his hands and kisses me sweetly, a loving touch I happily return. Before I can move, his hands are trailing down my face and onto my body, but I don't have the strength or the willpower to stop him now. Just like always, his touch makes me wild and sucks all the common sense right out of my brain. I mean, we're about to make love in the choir loft of a church, right in front of God and everybody.

His hands stroking my lower back through my shirt, Buck presses himself against me, pushing my back against the wall and I can feel how aroused he is already. He murmurs something softly, something in Kiowa, to me, and even though I don't know the words, I understand their meaning perfectly. Words of love, belonging, desire, wishing, needing. From his hair down over his chest and sides to the openings of his hips, my hands move of my heart's own accord.

While he's kissing me in this gentle way with all the force of a Nebraska whirlwind, I can feel him undoing my trousers, sliding the suspender-bands off my shoulders. My own hands are shaking and I'm not certain why, but I manage to undo the buttons on his trousers. Before I know it, he's gotten me out of my boots and trousers completely; if I can remember, I'll have to ask him how he did that. Right now the only thing I want is him.

Buck takes me in his arms and lowers me to the dirty floor like I was a woman, but that's the romantic in him. I like it. He hovers over me like one of those little green birds, kissing me, harder this time, and I like that even more. His hands drift down my body and I feel him preparing me, so it won't hurt much. I can't imagine he found anything in the church, so he must have brought something with him. What, though, I can't imagine. Dimly, I can see his outline; he's pouring something out of a small flask, rubbing it on his hands, and ....

I arch my back into his touch, even two fingers entering me feels good right now. There must be something about the danger of this that excites me, knowing that anyone could come up and see what we're doing. He arranges his body over mine, so the edges of my thighs are layered on his hips, and when he bends over to kiss me again, I can feel his cock kissing mine. Buck pulls up from the kiss and pushes inside me, all in the space of one breath. I gasp a little, because no matter how much I enjoy it, it always hurts a bit before it gets good. He holds that position until I relax, and then pushes again.

Both of us are gasping now, he's pushing deeper and harder inside of me, then I can feel the heat reaching inside me and if I had a voice I would cry out. It's all Buck can do not to scream, but I can see the strain on him. Then he punches that spot inside and that heat turns to pure golden sunlight. I open my mouth and even though nothing comes out, I can only guess at the expression on my face. Buck's as far inside me as he can go, I can feel his body tight against mine, can feel our sweat mingling ever as our bodies do, as our hearts have.

He pulls out a little and then moves back in, again and again, and each time that spot burns a new ray of August sunshine inside my mind, spreading warmth like wine through my soul. More of that is all I can think, so I wrap a hand around my cock, pumping it eagerly. I can hear Buck making little half-gasps with each thrust, strangling his natural impulse to yell, lost in passion, in love for me. He leans forward during a thrust, pressing his mouth to mine, and I angle an arm around his neck, pulling him even closer to me. As I run my other hand down his body, he moans into my mouth, and it's the most erotic thing I've ever heard.

That excites me even further, something I didn't think was possible, and he pulls back to thrust again. His movements are getting stronger, sharper, more desperate, and I know he's close. Each thrust gets deeper and better and almost every one hits that spot and I know I've got to be almost drunk on the feeling. Suddenly Buck freezes slightly and I can feel his cock throbbing inside me, then a hot wetness surges us both away on a tide of love.

Spent, he collapses almost on top on me, but I know he knows I haven't come yet. Now soft, he pulls out of me and buries his face in my groin, kissing my fingers, kissing my now not-quite-hard penis. It knows his touch and swells in happiness. Buck kisses it, laving the tender skin there. When the wet warmth of his mouth surrounds my cock, I arch my back with the agonizing need of it, brushing my fingers through the black China silk of his hair. I'm panting with each stroke of his lips on me, and nearly jumping like a new-broke pony with the demand he's placing on me, holding me still. Nearly an eternity later, seems like, my mind flashes up with the shattering force of an explosion and I know I've come in his mouth.

Buck isn't fazed by it, though, and we lay there, tangled on the dirty floor of a church choir loft, our clothes half-off and the remainder tangled in the dust. When my mind clears, I look over at him and he knows immediately what I'm thinking. He always has, that's part of why we get along so well. Joined souls, Sister Mary Margaret used to say. Right now, he knows I want to know exactly what he used for a lubricant.

"I couldn't use the candle oil," he says with a smile. "It's too hot and I figured it would be pretty uncomfortable later." Well, that's true enough. "So, I put some of the wine in this flask -- I bought that a couple weeks ago, for carrying sasparilla on the trail."

He used some of the consecrated altar wine for a lubricant? God, he didn't mean it that way, honest. I don't know why I'm so surprised, though; Buck sees wine as something to be drunk if you got the desire to drink it. From what little I know of the Kiowa, their religion sometimes involves the drinking of herbal mixtures. Still, he did go to the mission school for near-on two years. He should know the wine to be part of the Holy Sacrament, part of the sacrifice of the Eucharist.

Some of my horror must have shown on my face, because Buck rushed on with his words. "I love you, and I know you love me. I also know we haven't a single hope of being together together in that church the way most couples can be." He fidgeted a little, but his eyes didn't move, and I could see the love burning in the fires of his eyes. "I just thought that this might be a way of telling the white man's God -- that I know you believe in -- that I love you and want to stay with you for the rest of our lives."

I wasn't certain what to say to that. I wasn't even certain I believed totally in God anymore, in spite of my panic a few moments ago. Before, when my family was alive and I was still young and innocent and scribbling pictures in the family Bible, I believed in God and angels and the saints. Now, though, I know that no matter how much you love God, He won't hesitate to take people home to his Kingdom ... no matter how much a little child needs parents. I do love Buck, though, and I sign that to him, making him smile.

Gently, he kisses me again, almost a goodbye-until-next-time, and then we get dressed, shaking off the dirt and dust, cleaning off the products of our lovemaking. Luckily, we each had hankerchiefs. We were looking for a few rags to finish cleaning with when I hear Buck laugh, from behind a nearby stack of crates.

What, I signed.

"I found the noisemakers."

Amusement is coloring his voice, so I have to know what it is. Honestly, I had thought he was making it up, to give us an excuse to be in the choir loft. I hurried the few steps to where he was half-hidden behind the boxes, and saw a big orange-gold mama cat with six little kittens huddled close to her. They were real little, couldn't have been more than a few days old. The babies were crying real soft-like, and I could only now just hear them. Remember when I said Buck had eyes like a wolf? He's got ears like one, too.

Working together, it didn't take us long to finish up in there. After cleaning up the proof of our lovemaking, we cleared out one of the smaller crates and tucked some rags inside for bedding. Mama cat wasn't real thrilled about it, but she didn't seem to mind me picking her up and settling her in the box. Each of the kittens followed her into the box. From there, it was fairly easy to carry them down to the ground; I went down first, and Buck lowered the crate to me before he climbed down to meet me.

We carried our little feline passengers over to where the social is mostly still going on, and the preacher was surprised to see who we had found inside the choir loft. "I say, I am glad you boys found our little mother here, surely she and her babes would do much better with a good warm roof over their heads." He looks at Buck, deeply, for a moment before speaking again. "It must have been God's will for you to hear her cries for help when no one else could."

He thanked us and offers the cake he promised earlier in the day. Luckily, he wasn't expecting Buck to answer because I don't know if he had one. I certainly didn't.

After the cake -- and it was real good cake -- we were getting ready to go on back to the station, since Emma and the others had left about ten minutes before we'd arrived, when the preacher called us both over to him again. When the kittens get a little older, he's going to give us one. "The least I can do," he said.

I think he just wants to get rid of those kittens. That's okay, though, I don't mind. Buck doesn't mind either, apparently.

"The kitten ... I've already thought of the perfect name for it."

What, I signed.

Buck grinned at me, love and the devil at war in him, before he spoke. "Alibi."

"For many of my years--perhaps twelve--had passed away since my nineteenth, when, upon the reading of Cicero's Hortensius, I was roused to a desire for wisdom. And here I was, still postponing the abandonment of this world's happiness to devote myself to the search. For not just the finding alone, but also the bare search for it, ought to have been preferred above the treasures and kingdoms of this world; better than all bodily pleasures, though they were to be had for the taking. But, wretched youth that I was--supremely wretched even in the very outset of my youth--I had entreated chastity of thee and had prayed, 'Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.'" St. Augustine, ~Confessions~, Book VIII, ch. vii, 17

Commonly misquoted as "Oh God, make me chaste -- but not yet."

**** Flames will be forwarded to my future address in hell.

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