Title: Because.
Author: Phantom Black Sheep.
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Enough said.
Rating: 15
Pairing: E/V
Warning: A two or so page PWP, one of the angst variety.
Summary: Why is it so hard to love? Simply because.


Ezra gave a small flex of his hips as he bounced his trousers up over his waist without actually standing up from the edge of the bed. An acrobatic move, which when done successfully, never failed to impress, whilst when messed up, never failed to mortify. On this occasion, Ezra mastered the technique beautifully.

Something, which Vin couldn't help but notice. He voiced his approval with a grin and a deep rumble in the pits of his throat. Ezra glanced over his shoulder in surprise as if only just remembering the other occupant of the bed, now sprawled back against the headboard. Apparently unmindful of his own state of undress.

"What?" he asked, southern drawl riddled with mild confusion. Vin shrugged his shoulders and cocked his head to the side, the grin never leaving his face. Ezra studied him for a moment longer, before giving his own dismissive shrug and lifting his frame from the bed.

Vin followed Ezra's movements with silent, intense blue eyes.

After a brief hesitation, Ezra located his shirt draped carelessly over the back of the rocking chair and plucked it up between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand.

"You have to do that?" Vin asked in mild disappointment whilst indicating the smooth, muscled back of his lover with another tilt of his head. "Still got another couple hours 'till the early birds rise."

"It isn't wise to tempt fate," Ezra replied absently without looking at Vin. He slipped his arms into the sleeves of his white shirt and raised them up above his head, allowing the soft fabric to slide down over bronzed skin. Sealing it away as that of the protective shell layering the golden yolk of an egg.

Vin couldn't stop himself from letting out a soft hiss of air, suddenly filled with an overwhelming urge to undress the southerner again and throw him back down onto the already damp covers of the bed. Damn he was beautiful.

"Why're you getting dressed anyway?" Vin asked, shaking himself from his short trance. "It's your room."

Ezra paused in his position before the mirror; hands poised over his half buttoned shirt. "Because," he answered before the hesitation was noted, he returned to buttoning his shirt with a renewed fervour.

Vin rolled his eyes and nodded his head. "Of course," he muttered to himself dryly. Just the same excuse he had been receiving every time he had asked a question of that context.

When Vin had asked Ezra why he was in a rush one humid night after the two had spent the evening in euphoric oblivion. Ezra had grinned at him and merely answered with a cryptic 'because'.

When they were out on patrol and Vin had asked Ezra why he needed to retreat to the other side of the campfire, he'd received a small shrug and another 'because'.

When Vin had asked Ezra what he feared, he didn't receive 'because'. No, he received stoic silence instead.

At first he had accepted Ezra's habit for never staying more than ten minutes after they had finished. When they had first bedded each other on that night he remembered so well. The two of them had mislead themselves, their minds deceiving them into believing that it was only because of lust. Two men desiring each other's body, not their hearts.

Unfortunately, Vin was never that good at lying and had managed to trick himself for a period of two weeks before resigning to the fact that it was futile. It was obvious he wanted more from Ezra. To think about someone every minute of the day, not only dreaming about their body, but fantasising about the light of excitement in their eyes born of something others would deem trivial was most definitely not a lusting matter.

No, he'd had to admit it; he was completely, head over heels in love.

Unfortunately, Ezra showed no signs of awakening to this fact anytime soon, and appeared to be able to quite happily continue referring to it as something no deeper then lust for quite some time.

Ezra finished buttoning up his shirt and turned around to face Vin, eyes fixed on golden cufflinks as he worked them into the neatly sewn holes of his sleeves.

"You'd better return to your domicile," Ezra mumbled into his chest, his animated brows drawn together in concentration. Vin let out a short nod and climbed slowly to his feet, his previously content mood destroyed by the word he had come to loath.


He bunched the sheets up to his chest and let them drape down over his long legs before bending and retrieving his clothing, which he had left, piled on the floor. He patted his hand around beneath the bed, just to make sure he hadn't mislaid any socks. Satisfied that there was nothing there other than dust bunnies, he straightened up, clutching the sheets and clothing to his abdomen.

"Mind if I get changed 'afore you chase me out?" he drawled sardonically. Ezra nodded quickly and signaled his consent with a careless wave of his hand. Whether he chose not to, or genuinely missed Vin's tone would, as always, remain a mystery to the sharpshooter.

Vin let out a soft sigh and began the laborious and trying effort of dressing in silence at a time when the two of them should rightfully have been curled up in a peaceful and joyous slumber.