The Freedom To Choose

Chapter 6 Trust

"Logan."

Logan looked up. He saw the Captain leaning against some machinery, arms crossed and lurking in a shadow, but his eye still gleamed brightly. Harlock had removed his cloak, utility belt, sword, and outer leather jacket, dressed only in his boots, pants and a soft gray shirt. His arms were pale and his hair was messy, uncombed after the chaotic day. He even looked a little tired, his shoulders unaccustomedly hunched over and his body looking more like it was leaning against the wall for support rather than out of laziness or to display nonchalance or arrogance.

Logan's mouth went a little dry, unprepared for the Captain's sudden appearance, not yet having decided what he would say or do when next they met. So he simply sat silently for a few moments, watching the Captain and being watched in turn.

"You look tired."

Harlock tilted his head forward in agreement, but said nothing. Logan shifted a little in his seat, not sure how to carry on the conversation, scrambling for something to say.

"... You did well today, fighting and leading the Crew. I mean, you probably already know that, but sometimes it is nice to hear a compliment. Although, I guess you might not want it from me since I don't really know that much about being a Captain, but I think you do well. At least, you got me to figure myself out and - "

"Logan."

Harlock interrupted Logan's rambling.

"Yeah?"

"Have you figured it out?"

There was an odd note to the Captain's voice, sounding tentatively hopeful. Up until that moment, Logan had not really thought about how Harlock was dealing with the tension between the two of them; he had been so caught up in his own feelings and realizations that the Captain had known about it from the start that he had not stopped to think about what Harlock might be thinking or feeling. Logan had rather assumed that he would be summarily rejected once he was able to clearly state what was going on in his head to the Captain, but now that he saw Harlock's curiosity, his almost - nervousness? - he wondered if maybe he wasn't the only one getting all twisted up inside. He stood up, looking the Captain squarely in the eye.

"Yes, I have." He took a deep breath.

"I want you. I want you so much it hurts." He paused and Harlock looked at him steadily for a moment before pushing himself off the pillar, unwinding his arms.

"I think about you constantly, always wondering where you are, what you're doing, what you're thinking; what you think about; what you think of me. It's driving me crazy."

Harlock was walking toward him now, slowly, with what looked like desperation in his eyes.

"I saw the recordings from the cameras of you fighting today. You were beautiful. You fought with such grace and power; it was amazing."

He was close now, very close, and his right hand was reaching toward Logan, his eyes turning from desperation to yearning.

"And you killed my brother and that hurts and you didn't trust me and that hurts even worse, but you're so strong and determined and ambitious and mysterious and I can't stop looking at you and I want you and -"

He was cut off when Harlock kissed him. The Captain stopped right in front of Logan, sliding his hand along his jaw, behind his ear, and grasping tightly into the hair at the back of his head, tugging him forward and crashing their mouths together, silencing the tirade coming out of him while his eyes screwed shut. Logan's mouth was open from speaking and Harlock's met his in the same way, tongue sliding out immediately to slip into his mouth and twist against his own, writhing and coiling, exploring his teeth, his entire tongue, stroking against the roof of his mouth. Logan's arms wrapped around Harlock's back, grasping onto his shirt, twisting the fabric and pulling the two of them together, bodies meeting from knee to shoulder. Harlock's left hand came down to grab at Logan's lower back, pulling their hips together firmly. At the feeling of their groin's pressing together, Logan letting out a gasp, heat and longing coursing through his veins.

The two clung to each other tightly, lips and tongues sliding hotly, wetly, passionately. It was rough and powerful, full of the strength of two men pushing and pulling at each other, hungry for each other. Logan poured all his frustration from the past few weeks, all his fear, his confusion, the aching of his heart, and the burning thirst of want he felt for Harlock, into the kiss. His fingers grabbed and drug at Harlock's back and shoulders, his arms, and tugged at his hair, desperate to show Harlock just how fiercely he wanted him, how firmly he had made up his mind. Harlock's left hand stayed firmly planted on Logan's hip, pressing them together, while his other hand tilted Logan's head where he wanted it to be, thumb digging into his cheek, but for all his lack of frantic movement, his kissing was no less passionate, exploring Logan's mouth thoroughly, seeking to map it out and know every part of it. He held Logan tightly, securely, like he was worried Logan would change his mind and leave. Logan could feel his fear in the kiss, how he was trying to show Logan in return just how fervently he wanted, how desperate he was to be trusted and wanted in return, how worried he was that he would get rejected. So Logan kissed him back all the harder, to show him how much he felt too.

Logan was not sure how much time passed, but eventually the kiss began to slow, tongues returning to their own mouths, lips pressing more gently, their grip on one another relaxing. Finally, Harlock stopped entirely and just rested their foreheads together, breathing each other's air. They stood like that for awhile, simply enjoying the other's presence. However, it could not stay silent forever and Harlock was the one to break it.

"I was afraid you might not come. That you might not want me."

"Why?" Logan asked, wanting to understand Harlock's uncertainty, his doubt and anxiety.

"Because you might not trust me." The answer spoken softly, almost hesitantly.

Logan understood. He had come aboard the Arcadia as a spy and Harlock had known from the start, they both knew now that he had always known, and that could mean that anything Harlock had said or done in relation to Logan since then had been as Captain of the ship and meant to protect the crew; he might simply have been trying to confuse and distract Logan, not actually meaning any of it. And even if that had not been the case, the Captain had still kept many secrets, secrets that even his crew did not know, let alone Logan, so there was no telling whether or not he was telling the truth now.

And yet, Logan was not much better. He had come aboard as a spy, intending to kill the Captain and ruin their plans. He may have appeared to have changed sides, but not until after having betrayed them all and gotten them sentenced to execution. He may have come back and rescued them all, but how could Harlock know if it was not simply part of another elaborate ruse to gain his trust and strike him down at a later date?

Neither of them had any reason to trust the other and yet here they both stood, close enough to kill.

"I don't trust you to tell me the truth all the time. I don't trust you to not keep secrets from me. I don't trust you to not make reckless and crazy plans."

Harlock's breath hitched once or twice, his fingers digging into Logan's hips, eyes shut tight.

"...but... I do trust that you care about this crew, this ship, and that you will protect them with your life. I trust that you have the best interests of humanity at heart and good intentions. And I think I believe you when you look at me like you want me as much as I want you."

Harlock's eyes opened and he moved his head back a little to look at Logan, who opened his own eyes and looked back, waiting.

"I want you," Harlock breathed, voice hardly above a whisper. "I want you." He leaned forward and buried his face in Logan's neck, breathing out the promise again with his arms wrapping around Logan's back. "I want you."

Logan held on, pushing his face into Harlock's neck in turn, breathing in his scent, and finally relaxing, happy just to be near him and know his feelings were returned.


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