Kings and Queens
The filth is here—as promised!
Fandom: Six of Crows / Kaz Brekker x Inej Ghafa
Word count: 4,394
Rating: M (it's smut, just... that's it. i have no excuse.)
CW: nada. just good, not-so-clean fun.
A/N: This fic takes place in my Modern AU, Good Investments.
Summary: Inej was far away, lost in the music and the dance, breathless with it. She was never as beautiful as when she existed only for herself, Kaz thought. This was Inej Ghafa at her purest, her most content. Kaz would happily spend the rest of his days, just paying witness to her.
Eventually, though, she stopped and all her focus narrowed on him.
Oh, the sweet promises held in that look.
When Kaz arrived, the foyer was unlit but for a spill of fluorescence from the street.
This, Inej being the last person in the building, was becoming a habit. Despite the fact the studio shared the space with a start-up on the floor bellow and an investment firm on the floor above. Inej was last out almost every night. A workaholic, regardless of the work. He should have known.
Over the sound of his cane tapping against the linoleum, Kaz could make out the bass in whatever Inej was dancing to. It thrummed through the space like some behemoth’s heartbeat and led him to the door of the studio. He lingered for a moment, loath to interrupt her.
Leaning heavily on his cane, Kaz watched Inej’s shadow dance through the crack under the door. Her steps were so light they made barely a sound. For all he knew, she never touched the ground at all.
It had been a long day, his knee was throbbing slightly, and he really just wanted to see her so, eventually he gave in and slid into the room. Her eyes flicked to meet his as she twisted out of the splits. Though she’d seen him, Inej didn’t stop. The steady thump of the music carried her through the routine—something she’d been choreographing for a while.
Kaz sat down on a stack of mats against the back wall and, content to watch her, settled in.
After their first exchanged glance, Inej kept her eyes on her reflection. Painfully exacting, Kaz watched her pick up on and correct every dropped elbow and awkward isolation until her movements were smooth as silk, faultless.
With the sheen of sweat visible even across the room, the delicate sweep of her clavicle stood out starkly above the neckline of her leotard. When she turned from him, Kaz traced the movement of her arms, the shift of her shoulder blades beneath the umber skin of her back, down the ridges of her spin.
Inej was far away, lost in the music and the dance, breathless with it. She was never as beautiful as when she existed only for herself, Kaz thought. This was Inej Ghafa at her purest, her most content. Kaz would happily spend the rest of his days, just paying witness to her.
Eventually, though, she stopped.
Panting, Inej stood with her hands on her hips. Kaz’s own breath caught in his throat when she smiled at him in the mirror, cocking her head slightly. Come here. The words danced in her eyes and he did not have the self control to resist.
He was wearing a heavy overcoat, still buttoned against the cold outside so, standing before him in her leotard and tights, Inej looked naked by comparison.
Maintaining eye contact in the mirror, she rocked back on her heels and rested her head against his sternum. When he curled his free arm around her waist, she slumped more fully into him and let out a soft little sigh. The sound slid right through Kaz and, in answer, he flattened his hand over her belly to hold her closer.
“Hello,” she said, still smiling that smile.
“Hello, Inej.” Kaz leaned down and kissed the top of her head, closing his eyes and breathing her in.
“How was your day?” When he looked up again, her eyes were narrowed by her smile.
“Boring but—better now,” he said, sliding his hand up and over her ribs. Inej’s eyes glittered like an ocean full of stars. “How was your day?”
“Great, actually,” she said, still a little breathless. “One of the girls i was worried about—you know the one, i told you about her last week—anyway, she told me she had an interview on Monday and that without this class she would never had had the confidence to go and that now that she’s done one she’s not so scared about others and—” Inej cut herself off and laughed, covering her face with her hands. “I’m rambling.”
“Ramble away,” Kaz chuckled. “This sounds like very good news, like you really helped her.”
“She didn’t need me to help her, really. It was her own strength in the end.” Inej shook her head and he watched, fascinated, as colour crept up her neck.
“Inej.” Kaz turned her slightly in his arms and gave her a squeeze. “You know I have no patience for false modesty. Sure, she might have come to realise this all on her own but she thanked you for helping her get there.”
Inej rolled her eyes but Kaz didn’t miss the way she smiled as she ducked her head. “You’re an ass.”
“I’m your ass.”
Inej laughed then, her shoulders shaking in the circle of his arms and Kaz felt an answering smile tug at his lips. There was no sweeter sound—he could get drunk off it.
Tipping her head back, she looked at him, still smiling. “You are,” she said, cupping his jaw and tilting his head down to her.
Lightening cracked through him as their mouths met.
Not a harbinger of doom but a flash of desire, coursing through his veins. Kaz slid his hand around her side and pulled her around to face him fully. He drew back for a breath and shifted his head for a better angle. When their lips met again, he felt her melt into him. With every breath her breasts pressed against him and Kaz burned, hungry for her.
Since overcoming the worst of their demons, Kaz had often wondered about all the years he’d been in Inej’s company without being able to touch her. To be here now, her hands walking up his chest and around his neck and into his hair, was almost enough to make a believer of him.
Perhaps the saints were watching over him, after all. There could be no mistake, she was a blessing. One he did not deserve but would treasure for as long as she would let him.
When next they pulled apart, they were both breathing heavily. Inej’s hands were tangled in his hair, pulling lightly at the raven strands, and his hand was dipping below the edge of her leotard. She grinned at him, slow and sweet like treacle, as he pressed his fingers into the curve of her ass.
“Here?” Her eyebrow was in the vicinity of her hairline.
“Why not?” Kaz looked around them. The studio was empty, the whole building was empty. Then he looked up to the mirror and ran his eyes over the sight of Inej in his arms, his hand pale against her dark skin. “Could be interesting.”
“Kaz Brekker,” she said, mock serious. “What if someone decided to come back for some late night practice?”
“Then we’d have an audience,” he shrugged. Kaz watched Inej’s pupils widen and smirked. “I’m sure we could put on a good show.”
“Kaz!” Inej did her best to sound scandalised, she went so far as to pull back slightly, but Kaz heard her intake of breath, the way she swallowed and glanced at his lips.
“Inej?” He leaned down and pressed an open mouthed kiss to the corner of her mouth. “If I’d known a little exhibitionist talk got you so excited I would have tried my hand at it a lot sooner.”
A sound very much like a whimper passed her full lips and Kaz felt himself grow hot under his clothes.
For a small eternity they stood watching each other. Standing on a knife edge, a highwire, they waited. For what, neither could say.
Then, without warning, they plummeted.
The fall was precipitous.
Kaz was wearing too many clothes. The scramble to get him out of them was inelegant but efficient. Inej had all the buttons of his shirt undone before his coat finished pooling on the floor. An image of creased linen passed through his head and was promptly banished by the feel of Inej’s mouth. She was kissing the stubbled underside of his chin, mouthing over the column of his throat, licking at the flutter of his pulse.
The weighted crows-head of his cane landed with a crack on the vinyl floor and Kaz felt Inej flinch as the sound ricochetted around the room. She huffed a laugh, pressing her face into his now bare chest.
“Sorry,” Kaz winced.
“No, you’re not.” The girl of his dreams raised an eyebrow at him. His hands were full of her.
“You’re right, as always. My love, my darling, my sweetest Inej, I’d rather hold you than that cane.”
She laughed again and kaz felt his heart swell in his chest. He could hardly believe his luck to be holding her like this, to be holding her at all.
Inej kissed his chest and slid her hands under the collar of his shirt, scratching blunt nails through the short hairs at the nape of his neck. Though he tried, Kaz couldn’t stop the low, animal sound he made at the sensation. “My most pious Inej.”
Then, their mouths met again. Some of the urgency of before had waned, replaced by a lazy kind of exploration. Inej licked and tugged at his bottom lip, drawing his head down to meet her. They pulled apart with a wet smack and he kissed his way over her cheek, before licking the shell of her ear.
Though he’d have stayed entangled like this forever if he could, his leg gave up a bark of protest as he shifted his weight. Kaz pulled away and, grumbling, pressed his forehead to hers.
“Your knee?” She whispered, ever observant. “Has it been giving you trouble today?”
“It’s always giving me trouble.”
“It’s the damp,” Inej looked up at him. “You shouldn’t have come out of your way—I bet you walked too.”
Affronted, he put a hand on his chest. “Are you saying you’d rather I hadn’t come? Because last I checked, you were happily divesting me of my clothes just now.”
“Oh, hush up!” She huffed with a roll of her eyes. Then, hands on his narrow hips, Inej nudged Kaz toward the mirrors. “Sit.”
He raised an eyebrow at the command in her voice but lowered himself to the ground without complaint. Sitting with his back to the mirrors and his legs splayed out in front of him, Kaz watched as Inej curled slender fingers under the straps of her leotard. The low thrum of the music that was still playing wrapped itself around them.
A small, sly smile slid across Inej’s face as she tugged first one strap, then the other down her shoulders. She was wearing a plain sports bra underneath but even so, Kaz’s breath became shallow as she revealed inch after inch of her dark copper skin. Turning on the spot, she looked over her left shoulder and pushed the leotard down her torso and over her hips. It pooled on the floor beside his discarded coat—a puddle of mauve lycra.
Standing in front of him in only her underwear, Inej skimmed a hand over the sweep of a collarbone, up the length of her neck, down between her breasts. Kaz’s grit his teeth and swallowed thickly. He couldn’t stop his eyes from tracing the toned planes of her stomach, the way the muscles in her thighs shifted as she moved, the way her lips parted and her eyes darkened. Suddenly, his trousers were too tight. Under her heavy gaze, Kaz couldn’t bring himself to adjust them.
“Can I touch you?” The question came out with more gravel than usual.
Inej nodded and stepped into the bracket of his legs.
It occurred to him that it’d been a while since he’d really taken his time with her. Kaz always savoured Inej—as was his nature—but maybe he’d also gotten used to having her around, crawling into bed with her of an evening, letting her take him in her arms. Too often these days, Inej lost hours at the studio and he at the new shop on the lid. Their intimacy had grown small and prosaic. Kaz smiled at the thought.
“What’re you smiling about?” Inej narrowed her eyes at him.
“I was just thinking,” he said, cupping the backs of her knees and tugging her closer. “It seems… impossible, but I think I’ve grown used to you, to us.”
Inej carded her fingers through his hair. “What do you mean?”
“I’m not afraid any more.” Kaz traced patterns over the back of her thighs as he spoke. “You used to scare me, Inej.” Her expression was open, earnest. She let him process. “You were the answer to so many questions I was too afraid to ask. Running away from all that, and not just you but being with anyone, opening up to anyone, is probably how I got so far so young but I’m glad I’m not afraid any more. I’m unbelievably grateful you waited.”
Inej cupped the back of his neck and stooped to kiss him lightly. “I wasn’t waiting. You were there the whole time but… I was also making my way. It took a second but we found each other. And, for what its worth, I’m grateful too.”
The only answer he had to that was a shuddering sigh. He kissed the downy skin beneath her navel and let his eyes flutter shut. The smell, the taste of her reminded him what they’d been about to do and suddenly he was ravenous again.
Sliding his hands up her legs, Kaz cupped her ass and pulled her against him more firmly. She gasped as he dragged his mouth along the hem of her underwear, open mouthed kisses teasing the soft skin of her belly.
Hesitating a moment, Kaz looked up at her. “May I?” He tugged on her cotton panties. When she bit her lip, he teased, “shy now, are we?”
“Get on with it, Brekker.”
Kaz swallowed a laugh and focused on getting his girl out of her remaining fetters. Above him, Inej unclasped her bra and let it fall to the floor to join the rapidly growing pile of clothes. Shifting slightly away from the mirror, he lifted her left leg over his shoulder and with a thumb, parted her to his hungry gaze.
“Beautiful,” he breathed. Kaz knew if he looked up now, he’d find the most gorgeous flush spreading from Inej’s stomach to her chest. Unfortunately, or fortunately, he was rather occupied by his present view.
With two, three, four broad licks Kaz earned an earful of whimpers that had him straining against the fly of his trousers with renewed urgency. He flicked his tongue over her clit more firmly and Inej bowed over, grabbing the bar above his head with a whine.
The first time he’d tasted her like this, Kaz had been clumsy. He’d always been better with his hands. But Inej had been only too happy to let him figure it out, as he was determined to do.
The hand not wrapped around Inej’s hip, skimmed over her ribs and teased a puckered nipple as she came undone against his mouth. Strong fingers tangled in his hair and Kaz groaned at the sting.
“What do you need?”
At that, he looked up. “You have me.”
“All of you. Now.”
Involuntarily, his grip on her tightened. “Here? You’re sure?”
Inej’s smile was positively wicked.
Without saying another word, she lowered to her knees—straddling his thighs. Kaz leant forward and kissed the hollow of her throat; his hands smoothed over her waist as he mouthed at the flutter of her pulse.
Distantly, he knew how vulnerable they were like this. It’d been a while since his life had been truly in danger but the risk never really went away. Here, now, enveloped in the girl of his dreams—his senses entirely overrun by her—he was anyone’s for the taking. Kaz doubted even Pekka Rollins walking into the studio could distract him from the taste, the strength, the warmth of her.
The thought barely had time to form before Inej was pulling at the buttons of his trousers with deft hands. Kaz grumbled in protest as she moved away from him to which, she only raised an eyebrow. Soon enough, though, she was back in his arms and he a garment or two poorer.
The feel of her, gloriously naked, took his breath away and Kaz paused a moment just to revel in it. Trailing his fingertips over the dip of her spine, tracing where he knew her scars were, before taking a hold of her braid. With practiced ease, he unravelled it and sank his fingers into the silken fall of her hair, holding her closer.
This he’d come to think of as impossible, perhaps the only thing Dirtyhands had ever considered impossible—her bare skin against his. He should have known he’d one day crack this too.
Over him, Inej was carding her fingers through his own hair and tugging on his earlobe with her teeth. When she reached down between them and took him in hand, Kaz groaned against her sternum.
Women, Kaz had learned, were complicated creatures—mechanically speaking. It took most of his attention and all his lock-picks dexterity to bring Inej to climax. He, on the other hand, was simple. Inej brought him fully to attention with a few firm strokes and notched his tip to her welcome heat.
They did not kiss as she took him in one slow slide. He cupped the back of her neck, letting his head rest against her cheek, and Inej wrapped her arms around his shoulders. They held each other, unmoving, for three long breaths.
He remembered as if it were yesterday, the first time they had done this. The slight tremor in Inej’s hands as she’d guided him to her, the vulnerability shining in her eyes as he’d slid home. He may never understand why she trusted him so, but he prayed to saints he barely believed in that he would never be so foolish as to break it.
“I love you,” he breathed.
“I love you,” she answered.
With a roll of her hips, she quickened his breath and stole his composure—a thief in the night. Kaz settled his hands on her hips and watched as she tipped her head back without ceasing that steady rolling motion. It made him think of the ocean. There was nothing like it, like the sweet depths of her.
After his earlier attentions, the sound of their bodies meeting was wet, slippery with their combined arousal. It mingled too with the heady base of the music and their murmured encouragements.
Their kisses lost all semblance of form and when he tasted the salt off her neck he thought again of the ocean. The comparisons didn’t end there. Many a fool had tried to conquer her but only those who humbled themselves in light of her strength and her unfailing insistence on life, ever got the pleasure of knowing her. The thief in him hissed his warnings, others will come for her, come to take her. But Kaz Brekker, having pulled himself together into some semblance of man, knew better. No one could take her because Inej was not for the taking.
All this and more passed through his mind as he held her to him, as he watched her brows furrow and her mouth fall open on a moan. Inej reached back and flattened her palms against the vinyl floor and Kaz almost growled at the way she tightened around him. From this angle, he had an unobstructed view of the way she clung to him every time she lifted her hips, the way he spread her open and filled her up. The sight made his cock ache, put him at the very precipice of completion.
Reaching out, Kaz pressed his thumb to her clit and stroked her in time with her movements. The broken plea that fell from her lips was sweeter than sin, richer than the fattest Kerch banker. “Oh—” Inej moaned, low and long. “Oh, Kaz, don’t—uh, don’t stop.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” He had meant it to come out light and easy. It came out through his gritted teeth, on a wave of pleasure so acute he felt it in his toes.
Inej clenched around him, the movement of her hips faltering as she ground down and rode her climax through several, shivering aftershocks. The sight of her coming undone almost finished him off too. Almost.
There would be time enough for that still, he was sure. First, Kaz wanted to see her open her eyes, which she’d mashed shut at the height of her pleasure.
Inej hummed and batted his hand away, before placing her own on his taught and sweaty stomach. She rolled her hips and blinked at him. “Is everything okay?”
“Everything is spectacular.” When Kaz reached out to tuck a stray curl behind her ear, she leaned into his touch. She was breathing heavily, sweat dampening the soft hairs on her cheek and her eyes were obsidian pools beneath inky lashes. Kaz had never seen anyone so beautiful. “You are spectacular.”
“Kaz Brekker,” she laughed. “You shouldn’t say things like that. You have a reputation to uphold.”
“You’re right. I am Kaz Brekker, Dirtyhands, Bastard of the Barrel. I am a liar and a thief and a thug. But none of that changes the fact that you are spectacular, Inej Ghafa. Your association with me puts you in some degree of jeopardy, I’ll allow. Perhaps, you’d like to reconsider our arrangement?”
Kaz had grown fond of their tendency to frame the relationship in the terms of trade—it struck him as sardonically Kerch. And business was his wheelhouse after all. Their relationship wasn’t quite so transactional but it had helped him understand her, and them together, to think of collaboration and collusion and partnership. In this, he learned early on that vulnerability would be his lever. It was perhaps the only thing she ever explicitly asked him for—except time.
If he were being honest with himself, which he generally avoided at all cost, he would admit he also asked these questions to get her to answer them the way he now knew she would answer them.
“Who do you think you’re talking too? I helped you build that reputation.” Inej kissed him as she said this—soft and quick. He knew that she knew why he asked these questions. The soft underbelly of his otherwise armoured exterior, a fear of rejection and abandonment that ran so deep it affected every relationship he’d ever had. “I’m your Wraith. You’d do well to remember that.”
“As if I could ever forget.” Slowly and without pulling, Kaz wrapped one hand in her hair and the other around her hip, urging her to continue moving. The grip of her sex was exquisite, pleasurable almost to the point of pain. “My darling Inej, treasure of my heart.”
There was a time he had said those words in jest, had wrapped his feelings in so many layers of irony neither he nor anyone else knew how to begin unravelling them. Now though, now he spoke them in earnest.
Inej hummed in return. She anchored herself with a hand at his neck and rose on her knees.
It was at times like these Kaz thanked Ghezen he’d suggested to Inej she begin dancing again. As if the music took root in her marrow, she rolled her hips to its undulating beat. Rising and falling, tireless as the sea.
By then, his breath was coming in ragged pants and he knew a flush was creeping up his chest. A deep, sinful ache was coiling low in his gut, threatening on the very brink. Momentarily, he is distracted by a bead of sweat rolling down Inej’s neck, between the valley of her breasts and over the scarred slope of her belly. Kaz’s grip on her tightens. He is not ready for it to be over. By gripping her, he thinks to hold himself back, draw this moment out.
She will have none of it. Inej is determined to wring his pleasure from him, one way or another.
The roll of her hips sped up until she was taking him fast and deep over and over and over again. Everything in him tightened.
He knew it was over when she moaned his name. The unguarded longing, the honey-drenched pleasure of her voice sent him careening off the edge and he spent himself inside her.
“Fuck—” His climax put stars in his eyes.
Over the dull roar of his pulse, Kaz heard Inej laugh. It was a quiet, breathy sound made into the hollow of his throat.
By the grip he still had on her hair, he got her to look at him and when she did the light in her eyes took what remained of his breath away. The girl of my dreams, he thought.
“What are you laughing about, my love?”
“I don’t know,” she said, still smiling. “I’m just happy.”
“Just happy?” Kaz cupped the back of her neck. “I think I can live with that.”
They debated getting the bus for all of five minutes before Kaz convinced Inej to walk home instead. It wasn’t far, he insisted.
Though the night was cold, Kaz was too distracted by how red the very tip of Inej’s nose had become to notice. And as she spoke about her day, eyes glowing and breath misting in the frigid night air, Kaz realised he could be happy—truly happy—with this, with her for the rest of his life.
We’ll be kings and queens, he’d once promised. As if he needed money and power and things to be happy. As if she didn’t make a king of him with every smile, every shared joke and rolled eye. Before he could stop himself, he cocked his head to the side—thinking.
“Kaz?” Inej was squinting up at him as she snapped him out of his reverie. “Is that… Is that scheming face?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, shaking his head. “I think the cold’s going to your head.”
Her answering laugh bounced off the pastel facades and down the canals, chasing them all the way home.
tagssss: @anonniemousefics @haajjr @gedankenvoll @kanejfics @annejulianneh111 @wraithdreams @fullsketchfood (tagging peeps who might be interested)
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