Author: Athea (
Fandom: Magnificent 7, ATF universe
Title: Dragon's Paw, Anchors, part 21
Pairing: Josiah/Vin
Summary: The Rowan '06 challenge at the Cowboy Dreams archive - on flexibility.
Date: 25 October 2006
********* Josiah *********

I've broken a bone or two before now. Casts are never fun but you learn to adapt. That said, this one seemed to have been on for a year instead of just eight weeks. Thank all the deities it was my left hand. Poor Vin's arm was bruised from my nightly assaults. My sleeping self was intent on bringing him in close but unfortunately he likes sleeping on the left side of the bed.

I'd taken to wearing a protective foam sleeve we'd cobbled together out of an old cushion but he still got awoken at least once a night. And it wasn't for a really good reason like a horny lover. All my energy seemed to have drained right out of me. Everything took twice as long to accomplish and I just couldn't seem to get enough sleep. Winter brings out my sleepy side but that was even truer this February.

Vin took it all in stride, spending at least half-an-hour every night tenderly massaging the four fingers that were all you could see of my hand. I'd protested at first but he just shushed me and kept doing it. Some nights it put me right to sleep. I was the luckiest man in Colorado if not the entire U.S.

But today the third, hopefully final, cast was coming off and I would get my mobility back. Vin drove me to the doctor's office for what I was praying was the last time. Twenty minutes later the cast was off. I could finally move all five fingers. My thumb, however, felt frozen and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to move more than a centimeter.

The doctor released me before sending me to the physical therapist with his next breath. Vin just grinned when I muttered softly. The clinic was right next door so we walked over while I kept trying to flex the weak muscles. Vin strode at my side trying not to be too obvious about his protective stance. Luckily, the sidewalk was ice free and the snow cover was more like a coverlet.

We'd already had a February thaw but if I was a betting man, I'd be betting on at least one more good blizzard. My aging bones were getting good at predicting the weather. The clinic was full of patients and perky technicians. Great Goddess, the oldest therapist had to be 30 or younger. I got assigned a svelte blonde named Gina. She perked right up when she saw Vin but he only had eyes for me.

I really am insufferably smug about that.

She handled it well and was soon concentrating on getting me to relax. The hot steam packs she layered above and below my left forearm and hand were pure luxury. The little wrinkle between my eyes disappeared the moment my whole arm relaxed. The rest of me wasn't far behind. I closed my eyes, just enjoying the moment. Vin was prowling through the big open space filled with equipment. He has all the curiosity of a cat.

My eyes slitted to follow his progress. If my totem animal is a dragon, his is one of the wild cats. Maybe the tiger, I mused, not for the first time. No, more like the ocelot, lean and fast. My lips curved upwards . . . and flexible, can't forget that trait.

The timer went off and Gina removed the hot packs, setting them aside and taking my arm in both hands. "Okay, Mr. Sanchez, I'd like you to flex your wrist up as far as you can go without pain."

"Okay," I did as she asked and frowned in dismay at the dismal attempt. "That's not very good."

"Actually, it's not bad." Her smile was professional. "Now move it down slowly and curl towards your forearm."

I winced when I moved it too far. She shook her head and held my hand still. "Remember it's been frozen in one position for two months. You've got to gradually retrain it. Now try side to side."

That hurt too and I was beginning to feel a little depressed. But she was moving it into a different position and asking me to hold it while she measured the angles of my wrist. Strong hands rested lightly on my shoulders and I realized Vin had rejoined us. His thumbs drew circles into the muscles of my neck and I felt myself relax.

More measurements and a few repetitions of painful exercises later, I was released with a set of three movements to practice twenty reps at a time, four times a day. I thanked her sincerely and went up front to schedule my next few appointments. Vin left while I was at the front desk and he was waiting with his new green Jeep at the curb when I came out.

The heater worked in this one and I fumbled the seatbelt into place, still not able to use my left hand for much. His chuckle told me he'd seen my pout. I stuck out my tongue at him.

"Real mature, 'Siah." Pulling out of the parking lot, he steered us towards home. "How does it feel?"

"It aches. And the dead skin is gross." I was picking at the yellow dead patches of skin, wishing I had a stiff brush.

"Ah, ah, no picking at it, Josiah. Remember what the nurse said? I'll use the loofah on it when we get to the hot tub." He shot me an admonishing look.

"I know, but it itches." I was coming perilously close to whining.

"I promise to rub lotion into it after we soak for a while." Vin's hand slid across the seat and took my hand in his. "Feels a lot better without the cast."

I tried to grip his fingers but only managed a half-curl around them. "I hated the damn thing. I can't wait to get in some hot water without a plastic bag."

"Oh yeah, big guy, I've been lookin' forward to that my own self." His gaze was heated and for the first time in a couple of weeks, I felt my groin stir.

"Me, too." I sighed happily before going back to flexing my fingers. "Damn, I think they're swelling."

He took another look and nodded. "Once the cast came off, the blood finally got a chance to flow all the way to the tips of your fingers. It's why I kept massaging them, 'Siah. It would'of been way worse today if I hadn't."

I let my eyes rest on my beautiful lover. "You take good care of me, Vin. I'm blessed with your giving spirit."

The faint blush reminded me he was still rather new to being open to his feelings. But he was getting better at accepting my devotion in both words and deeds. I was indeed blessed.

Once home, we headed for the sun room and our hot tub. With a flick of the switch, the water began to roil and bubble. Vin undressed me carefully, lavishing caresses on every bit of revealed skin. I fumbled with his clothes, my left hand now sore and aching.

But he soothed my frustration with a gentle kiss and a tender push towards the tub. He watched with an eagle eye until I was sitting down; then with what I can only call a wicked glance, he started a slow striptease that had my cock sitting up and taking notice. He's graceful anyway but today he reminded me of the dusky beauties I'd seen in India, lithe and tantalizing.

Keeping my arms under water, I stroked my shaft to see if he was feeling any friskier. And he rewarded me with a steady surge to iron hardness. 'Yes!' I watched his blue flannel shirt slide down his arms to flutter to the floor; then his white muscle shirt slowly rose to reveal his muscular chest and pert nipples; when it dropped to the tiles, his long fingers tugged open the first button on his fly.

I found myself breathing faster, my eyes riveted to his teasing digits. He'd already kicked off his boots so when his faded jeans started the long, slow slide down his legs, there was nothing to stop them from pooling on the floor where he gracefully stepped out of them. One of his white athletic socks was loosing its elastic so it was crumpled lower than the other. It should have looked comical but all I could do was lick suddenly dry lips while my eyes feasted on the slender tanned ankle it revealed. My fingers itched to stroke him right there on the tender hot spot I'd found a couple of months back.

But more white cotton suddenly obscured it and I realized he'd pushed off his underwear. I moaned just a bit under my breath and feasted my eyes on his beautifully sculpted body.

"You should never wear clothes." I declared truthfully and listened to his laughter while he prowled over to the hot tub. "No, really, you should just stay naked."

"I'm thinkin' I'd be a mite cold unless we moved to Mexico or some place a lot warmer." His voice was light and teasing when he slid in on the other side of the square tub. He ducked underwater and came up with his hair slicked back. Then he was in my lap, his long arms winding around my neck while his lips zeroed in on mine. His kisses are ambrosia and even tastier after his choco-mocha latte of an hour ago.

"Hm-m-m, you taste good. Think maybe we should invest in one of those fancy-schmancy latte makers?" He asked me in between kisses.

"For your birthday maybe," I answered, knowing I already had it wrapped and waiting at Chris and Ezra's. He'd have found it here no matter how well I hid it.

He hummed again while my hands ran over the silky skin of his back. It felt good to finally be able to feel him with my left hand. Even better was the weight of his cock in my bad hand. I couldn't really grasp it properly with the weak digits and the rough feel of dead skin must have finally penetrated his sexual haze because he shivered all the way down to his toes before pulling away a little.

"Damn, Josiah, that feels kinky." The urchin grin was one I hadn't seen in a while. "Think maybe you've soaked long enough to get a little of that dead skin off?"

"Yeah, I think so. Where's the loofah?" I looked around for the sea sponge we usually kept in the basket by the tub. It also kept a few of our toys ready for play time.

"Got it, 'Siah." Vin reached a long arm over my shoulder and pulled it back.

I raised my scaly arm out of the water and grimaced. It really did look gross with the thick patches of dead yellow skin. Vin gently began a back and forth motion on the top of my hand. Sighing happily, I settled a little deeper into the water and let him pamper me. He liked doing that and I loved having all his attention on me.

A focused Vin is a pure delight.

"Ya think the filter can handle the debris?" He delicately pulled on a loose flap of skin and smiled when it came off in a long strip. To be on the safe side, he dropped it in the basket.

"We'll clean it out tomorrow." I nodded and watched in fascination while the new pink flesh underneath was revealed.

"I'll need to rub in lotion to help protect the new skin." He looked up and waggled his eyebrows. "I 'xpect I'll have to massage your whole body to make sure I get it all."

"Well, darn, I hate to be such a bother, Vin." My right hand went back to stroking his thigh, very close to his hardening cock.

"No bother, 'Siah." His look heated the space between us. "You just relax now."

I simmered in silence while he made sure all the dead skin was gone . . . or at least the pieces which would come up easily. The nurse had warned us not to remove any that didn't flake off at once. Better safe than sorry, was her admonition.

The hot water soothed me all over including my wilting cock. I felt boneless and only Vin's solid weight on my thighs kept me upright in the bubbling water. Blinking, I tried to stay awake a little longer.

"Bed, Josiah," Vin's voice came to me through a fog. "Sleeping in the tub ain't on our to-do-list today."

His weight was suddenly gone and I opened my mouth to protest but his lips drank it from me. Maybe he was right, I thought sleepily. I had enough energy to climb out of the tub with his help. He dried me off carefully while I did my best to get him dry also. But my left hand was almost as clumsy as it had been with the cast on and my cock had started its nap early.

He just smiled at me before leading me back to our bedroom. Turning back the covers, he made sure I was comfortable then made his way around the room lighting the candles we kept on the dresser and headboard. The soft light softened all the edges and turned his hair golden.

This beautiful man loved me. That realization still made me catch my breath. Thank God we no longer risked our lives for the government. I never, ever want to worry about his safety.

"Sleep a bit, 'Siah." He squirted some lotion into his hands, warming it between his palms. With a smile, he began to soothe it over my new skin. Keeping his touch light, he soon had me purring.

When I woke up, I was definitely going to have him put that lotion to even better use. I yawned. Right after my nap . . .

The end for now