Ashleigh Anpilova


A sequel to Opposites Attract.  

A month has gone by since Silver made his New Year's resolution go take Steel as his, but he still hasn't found a way to achieve it. Then he finds himself on assignment with Steel.

A first time story.

Written: March 2012. Word count: 2,950.


Author's Note: // either side of words indicate when the characters are talking to one another telepathically.



Silver stood on the world he and the other elements inhabited staring up at the strange colour sky. The colour of their sky managed to incorporate all the colours of each element and it was never still. It swirled and weaved, allowing one colour to be at the forefront one moment and another colour the next. And whenever an element was away on an assignment his, her or their colour vanished from the sky, only to return when the element returned.


Silver was used to staring up at the sky and could identify each colour as clearly as if they had all been in separate lines. It was a talent he had, not one he could use in his work, but one that meant he always knew who was at home and who was away.


Today he noticed three colours were missing; gold, copper and steel - but not sapphire, which implied Steel had been sent on an assignment without Sapphire, which was rare.


Suddenly, as he squinted at the sky to double check he hadn't missed seeing the colour steel or had mistaken the sapphire blue for another colour (even though he was certain he hadn't) he was hit with the sensation he still hated and still, after all his time, hadn't got used to. It was the 'summoning'. One second he was standing on his world staring up at the sky, the next . . . The next he was standing in a room staring at Steel or rather staring at Steel's back.


He knew for certain Steel would have felt, sensed, whatever it was Steel did, his arrival. However, in true Steel style he didn't bother to stop what he was doing, which seemed to be carrying out spot-checks on the items that stood around the room, except Steel didn't do, spot-checks - or did he? Was it something else he could do, along with taking himself down without a heat sink, cause walls to crack just by leaning against them, being able to control his body temperature at will, touch a mind and destroy another element? Was there anything Steel couldn't do? Silver was beginning to wonder.


A month had gone by since he had made his decision to pursue Steel after all, since he'd made a New Year's resolution to make Steel his, but so far he hadn't even started on his quest, let along achieved it. He still didn't know how to go about tackling the man who lived up to his name. And if he was honest, he was even more in awe of Steel and more than a little afraid of him than he had been before he'd seen what he'd seen during the assignment when Steel had revealed more of himself than he should have. He was still determined to make Steel his, he just didn't quite know how to begin to make Steel his.


//You're here.// Steel's voice in his head confirmed what Silver had already known, Steel had known of his arrival. The statement, because it wasn't a question, momentarily surprised Silver; it wasn't like Steel to state the obvious.


He mentally shrugged and in order not to annoy Steel from the off, replied via telepathy, the form of communication Steel preferred, rather than by speech with was his own preference. //I am. But why am I here?// He thought it was a good question, a fair question; why was he there and not Sapphire?


He waited for Steel to reply and went on waiting as Steel went on carrying out spot-checks, now Silver had no doubt that was what he was doing. Had it been anyone other than Steel, he'd have asked the question again, but as it was Steel, he simply stood and waited for Steel to finish what he was doing and either tell Silver what he wanted him to do (Silver assumed he was there for a reason) or answer his question - or even both.


Suddenly Steel took a sharp intake of breath, turned around and held out his hand. //Come here,// he ordered. //Now!// he added. Silver hurried over to Steel and felt his hand grabbed. He bit of a gasp at the coldness of Steel's grip as well as the firmness. //Relax,// Steel ordered. That was easier said than done, but Silver did his best. //Now trust me.// The words came telepathically, but Silver also felt them in his mind, just as he felt Steel probe his mind, searching for something.


Silver forced himself to stay where he was, not that he had any choice he realised, he couldn't have pulled his hand from the icy, crushing grip no matter how hard he could have tried. He had no idea what Steel was doing, but again he felt Steel touch his mind. //Now,// he heard and felt the single word. The next second a small ball of frozen light hit the object Steel had been concentrating on and it shattered. He felt Steel's satisfaction just as Steel let go of his hand.


Silver gasped as the icy, crushing grip was no more - oddly enough his hand seemed to feel colder now that Steel wasn't holding it. He flexed it and rubbed it with his other hand trying to warm it up and get some feeling back into it.


To his stunned surprise Steel captured it between both of his now warm hands and carefully rubbed it. "I hurt you," he said, his tone flat as he looked into Silver's eyes.


Silver held the gaze and gave a half smile. "Not really," he said, enjoying the warmth and the soothing sensation Steel's gentle grip and rubbing produced. 


Steel frowned, shook his head once. He suddenly let go of Silver's hand and took two steps away from Silver, turning his back on him. //I am sorry.//


Silver didn't now why but he got the impression the apology wasn't for nearly crushing and freezing all the bones in his hand. //Steel?//


It was a few seconds before Steel replied. //Yes?//


//What just happened? Why was I sent here?//


Now Steel turned around and looked at Silver for a second before glancing away. He was uneasy, Silver was certain he wasn't imaging the fact. But Steel uneasy? //I needed your . . . talent,// he finally replied. //It was easier to use it in he way I did.// It was an answer of sorts, but for Silver it also raised more questions.


//Steel?// Steel just looked at him and raised an eyebrow, Silver took it as an invitation. //How far do your powers go?// he asked, taking a step towards Steel who stood his ground.


The next second he felt his mind being touched, invaded and Steel grabbed his arm, the grip was even tighter than it had been when he'd taken his hand and far, far colder. As Silver stared in horror at Steel, he saw the steel-coloured eyes change and become like ice. He gasped at the pain in his arm and mind.


Suddenly the duel pain vanished. "Do you really want to know?" Steel asked quietly as his eyes returned to their normal steely grey and warmth began to flow through Silver's arm, the arm he realised Steel was still holding.


Silver decided on the safe answer, at least for now. "No," he said softly. And then before he could stop himself he asked, "Why do you trust me?"


Steel stared at him for several long moments before asking, //Why do you want to take me to bed?//


Silver stared back at Steel. "How . . . ?" he finally managed.


Steel shook his head. "I didn't mean to," he said, his voice low. "Your mind is . . ." he frowned and Silver watched him search for a word. "Chaotic. Your thoughts jumbled. It was not my intent to read your thoughts; I merely needed your talent. It was accidental."


//That's what you were apologising for?// Steel shrugged then nodded. Now he was definitely uneasy, there was no doubt about it.


Without really thinking about it, because Silver decided thinking about it hadn't got him anywhere, he carefully and slowly stretched out one arm and lightly put his hand on Steel's shoulder, the pressure was little more than his fingertips. He saw Steel start slightly, but other than that he held his ground, but the tautness of his face told Silver it was a battle. He pressed his hand down more firmly, feeling the cold he now realised was Steel's normal body temperature radiate through Steel's grey clothing.


He then took a very small step forward, stopping as soon as he saw Steel lean away from him slightly. Once Steel had straightened up, Silver took a second step, once more stopping. It took two more steps until he was close enough to Steel to be able to put his other hand on Steel's other shoulder without stretching.


Steel hadn't spoken and apart from the tension that now radiated along with the chill and his wide, unblinking grey eyes that watched Silver warily, he barely seemed to be alive. Moving slowly, Silver took one hand from Steel's shoulder and carefully brushed Steel's fringe back from his forehead. //If I kiss you would you hurt me?// he asked, deliberately opting for telepathy in an attempt to calm Steel.


//I could.//


//I know you could, but will you?//


He was very surprised when Steel answered him verbally. "Physically, no. I can sheath my claws. Mentally . . ." He gave a half shrug. "I do not know. Your mind . . . I have never known a mind like yours, Silver. I find it -" He stopped abruptly, frowned, then switched to telepathy, //Very difficult to stay out of. It takes more effort than I have ever experienced. It is as if . . .// He threw up both hands and shook his head. It was clear he didn't have the words for what he wanted to say.


Silver let his fingertips trail down Steel's icy cheek. Steel gasped and Silver saw him blink hard several times and concentrate. //I trust you,// he said softly, putting one hand behind Steel's head.


"Then you are either a fool or -" Silver bent his head slightly and put his lips on Steel's icy ones, increasing the pressure bit by bit. He felt Steel's mind touch his, felt a shard of what felt like ice, pierce him, then it had gone and he just felt order, calmness, serenity even, logic and a soothing coldness.


Finally, after what seemed like a life-time he felt Steel begin to kiss him back and felt Steel's lips part beneath his. Moving slowly, he let his tongue slip into Steel's mouth, even that was cold, but he was beginning to get used to the lower temperature - he wondered idly what Steel would feel like naked.


//You can find out later if you wish.// Silver pulled away, breaking the kiss and taking a step backwards. "I am sorry. As I said, it is more difficult than it should be to stay out of your mind and intimate physical contact makes it even harder." Silver just stood and stared at Steel, who now appraised him carefully. "You said you trusted me," he said his tone, for Steel, gentle.


Silver gave a half nod. "I did."


"And now? Do you still trust me?"


Silver swallowed hard. Did he? Of course he did, but . . . Slowly he nodded. "Yes. What do you want to do?"


"I want to really touch your mind. I want to go more deeply into it than just a surface touch. Will you allow me to do that?"


//Will it hurt?// Steel shook his head. //You could do it anyway, couldn't you?// Silver knew the answer, but wanted Steel to confirm it.


//I could. But I wouldn't.//


Silver nodded. "Very well. What do you want me to do?"


"Sit on the floor." Silver paused for a second then sat down cross-legged. Steel copied the pose sitting in front of him and put his fingers on Silver's temples. "Don't try to fight me," he said, "that will hurt and the harder you try, the more it will hurt. Just relax, think of something peaceful, something you care about, something that makes you happy." He jolted slightly and took his hands away. "I make you happy?" he asked, his tone one of amazement.


Silver shrugged. "Apparently," he said and smiled. Then added seriously, //Yes, Steel, you make me happy and yes, I care about you.//


Steel gave a half-nod and put his hands back on Silver's temples. This time he closed his eyes. Silver felt the touch become more and more chilled as Steel's body temperature began to slide down further. He felt the coolness penetrate his mind, working its way down slowly, carefully, through the layers of his mind until his entire head inside and out felt on the edge of being frozen.


And yet, despite the chill Silver found the coldness soothing, he found it was almost wrapping him in a blanket of calmness and security. He found it growing more and more natural, it felt right, it felt - Steel's eyes snapped open and his lips parted slightly as he stared at Silver.


Slowly Steel moved his fingers from Silver's temple until only the very tip of one finger was touching each temple. Silver made a faint noise as the blanket of serenity and security began to fade. //Hold onto it,// he heard Steel murmur. //Look at me.// He did. //Remember how it felt.// Steel again increased the pressure of his fingers on Silver's temples for a moment and instantly Silver felt the calmness flow back into him. //Remember and hold onto it,// Steel repeated, once again moving his fingers until they were merely brushing Silver's temples.


Silver concentrated hard and bit by bit found the serenity and security, at least for an instant before it vanished. This time Steel didn't put his fingers back on Silver's temple; instead he let them fall to his knees, then took one of Silver's hands between both of his.


"What did you see?" Silver demanded; he wasn't altogether certain he wanted to know, but he had to.


//Do you really want to know?//


//Yes!// No. Yes. No.




Silver frowned. "Yes."


"That you are my . . . I do not know the word. They always told me I needed someone to . . ." Again he trailed off and frowned. //Apparently you are it.// His frown deepened in clear frustration before he grabbed Silver's hands and put them against his own temples.


Silver watched as Steel concentrated, watched as the steel began to drain from his eyes to be replaced by ice, felt Steel's skin become colder than he'd hitherto felt it to be and tried not to wince as Steel's hands gripped his tightly enough to hurt.


Finally, he felt it, Steel's mind, at least part of it, the top layer of it and he saw - "Oh," he murmured, as Steel gently took their now linked hands away from his temples. "Oh," he repeated. "Did either of us have a choice?"


Steel shook one of his hands free and touched Silver's face. "Yes," he said firmly. "You chose to pursue me. You made that choice."




//It is more complex than that, far more complex. However, the short answer is yes, I too had a choice.//


//Do we still have it?//


Steel nodded slowly. //I could take time back and make this not to have happened. Yes, Silver, I can do that. I can do many things I chose not to do, as you will learn if we . . . If we continue. Or I could wipe the part of your mind that experienced this. I can make it so you do not remember any of this. You still have the choice.//


"And you?"


Steel made a non-committal gesture. "Do you wish me to -"


"No!" //No!// Silver sent the answer using both methods. He was relieved to see Steel's lips twitch in a slight smile.


"Are you certain?"


Silver smiled. "Yes," he said softly.


Steel nodded once, before leaning forward to close the gap between them. This time it was Steel who put his lips on Silver's. As Silver half fell and was half pulled into Steel's embrace he felt the blanket of coldness, security and serenity wrap itself around him and he knew - he didn't know how he knew, but he did - he knew he would never be completely on his own again.




Silver stood on the world he and the other elements inhabited staring up at the strange colour sky. The colour of their sky managed to incorporate all the colours of each element and it was never still. It swirled and weaved, allowing one colour to be at the forefront one moment and another colour the next. And whenever an element was away on an assignment his, her or their colour vanished from the sky, only to return when the element returned.


Silver was used to staring up at the sky and could identify each colour as clearly as if they had all been in separate lines. It was a talent he had, not one he could use in his work, but one that meant he always knew who was at home and who was away.


Today as he stared up at the sky he noticed two colours had merged to become one. The colours of silver and steel could no longer be seen separately - not even when only one of them was away from their world.



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