Sacrament (Best taken kneeling) - cover
Art by Jake Shandy

Note: this story takes place after Revelation and is not recommended on its own

Best Taken

“You know,” Rami says, eyes fixated on Tim’s mouth, “even without the whole bringing down Heaven thing, I still count getting you out of the priesthood as a public service.”

Tim presses his smile to Rami’s forehead, trying to piece together Rami’s logic. It’s on the list of things they haven’t really discussed in the days since Rami found him. Rather than trying to guess, he asks, “And why’s that?”

It’s a mistake — especially standing in plain view in front of the bar they’ve just left, dark as the sidewalk may be — because Rami’s response is to very unambiguously cup his cock in one palm. He sucks in a shaky breath and removes Rami’s hand, threading their fingers together to negate the momentary rejection. Rami rolls his eyes and grins in response.

“Because you? That?” Rami nods at his zipper. “Keeping you collared into celibacy should count as an actual sin, if you ask me.”

Rami giggles, using their joined hands to leverage himself up so he can reach Tim’s mouth. The kiss is far from unexpected; one thing Tim’s determined in the week and change that he’s had Rami back is that with the loss of divinity came a loss of alcohol tolerance. Against him, Rami is warm and pliant and happy.

And as much as Tim’s experiencing a fresh wave in his existential crisis — as much as he doesn’t know what to do with his new life without the church, with Rami, with the apocalypse looming — he’s happy. Tim’s free arm curls around Rami’s waist, steadying both of them as he kisses Rami a second time.

From somewhere near the door, a stranger whistles loudly. Tim tenses, reflexively shutting down at the realization he’s being observed.

Rami’s fingers tighten around his own, his huffed laugh felt, rather than heard. “If they think they’re getting a show now, they’d lose their minds if they got to see what’s going to happen when we get home.”

“What’s- um, what’s going to happen when we get home?” Tim asks, his pulse racing for an entirely different reason now.

Rami laughs again tugging him toward their Uber. The ride is torture. He’s glad Rami answers their driver’s polite questions because he can’t make his mind focus on the words being said. Not when there are so many possibilities.

To say they’ve made up for lost time would be an understatement. Tim may be the only one who actually missed anything, but Rami has seemed more than happy to help, even going so far as to surprise Tim on his lunch once. He shifts uncomfortably in the back seat of the car, suddenly all too aware of the way Rami is pressed against his side.

“You ok?” Rami asks once they reach the elevator.

Tim presses the button to call it, then crowds Rami against the wall. “Do you have any idea what you do to me?”

“Well, I’ve done quite a few,” Rami replies, eyes full of wicked promise, “and I can think of several more I want to try, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to be more specific.”

The elevator still hasn’t arrived, so Tim slots a thigh between Rami’s legs, waiting for the tiny gasp he knows is coming to fit their mouths together. Rami lets out a quiet moan, hips shifting as he grinds down in search of friction and gets it.


“I think-” Rami shivers, long lashes fluttering when Tim hikes his knee higher, “-that you want people to s-see. For them to know what they’re missing out on. To covet what I’m getting.”

By some small miracle, the elevator doors open to empty space. Tim wastes no time herding Rami in, smashing blindly at the button for their floor before resuming his hungry assault on Rami’s mouth.

The doors open again, and this time it’s only a short distance down the hall before they finally reach the privacy of their apartment. He catches Rami by the waist, his shoulders hitting the door with their combined weight. His grunt of discomfort turns into a pleased hum as Rami’s lips find his throat, then a choked sound a moment later when he drops to his knees.

Lit by the single overhead bulb in the entryway, Rami’s long eyelashes cast shadows across the sharp lines of his cheekbones. Tim brushes over the fresh scar beneath his left eye with his thumb — one of the only visible signs of what happened in the eight months Rami was gone. Fingers at work on his belt, Rami turns his face into the contact, nuzzling into Tim’s palm like a cat before nipping the heel of his hand.


“Sorry,” Rami says, not sounding the slightest bit remorseful. “You want me to kiss it and make it better?”

Tim opens his mouth to reply, but all that comes out is a strangled moan as Rami swiftly tugs his pants and underwear down and presses a wet, dragging kiss to the head of his cock.

“There. Better?”

The teasing tone goes right to Tim’s head. Any reply he might have given disappears with the rest of his thoughts, all of it dissolving into need at the proximity of Rami’s mouth. For a brief second, he means to suggest they relocate to the bedroom, but then Rami’s lips are on his skin again. Low on his belly, this time — another tease but no less effective.

Tim loses track of everything that isn’t the feeling of Rami’s hands and mouth on his body. He wants more. Needs more, but he’s determined to savor every moment of this that they get. So he fights the urge to take control, even as he struggles to keep his reactions in check.

Apparently, Rami has other plans. He pries one of Tim’s hands away from the door frame and places it low on the back of his head. Rami swallows him down again, and this time Tim feels the tiny adjustments Rami makes beneath his palm as his throat works around Tim’s cock.

“Ohh—” His hips stutter with an aborted thrust.

Rami moans around him, squeezing his thighs tighter as he presses his face against Tim’s abdomen. Then, all too quickly, he retreats. There’s a wet popping sound as the head of his cock leaves Rami’s mouth, and against his will, Tim lets out a whine.

“You can move, you know,” Rami says, another tease as lips and breath ghost over sensitive skin with each word.

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I know. And you won’t.”

The degree of Rami’s confidence is disarming, not because Tim would ever do anything to harm Rami on purpose but because after so many years watching humanity, Rami should know better than anyone how many things could go wrong. And yet, his trust is unwavering. Exhaling shakily, Tim runs a hand over the soft stubble of Rami’s grown-out buzz cut.

He says, “Not on purpose, but you forget you’re not invulnerable anymore.”

“I don’t need to be for this.”

“Rami, I-”

Rami drops an open-mouthed kiss to the tip of his cock, a blatant attempt at provocation that’s so, so close to working.

“I don’t even know if I can again. Maybe if we hadn’t this morning, but if I even manage another, it’s going to take a while. You’ll at least be uncomfortable.”

“Mm, right, because at thirty-six you’re very old,” Rami says before pressing his lips a bit lower.

Tim breathes a laugh, preparing to protest until Rami licks a hot stripe up the length of his shaft.

“Sorry, I forgot thirty-six was more than two thousand. And being a priest, you’ve definitely sucked more cock than I have.” Rami looks up at him, one black eyebrow arched in a silent challenge. When Tim doesn’t say anything, he continues, “I know what I’m doing and what I can handle. And maybe I want you to.”


“Take what you want.”

Tim exhales slowly. “But- I don’t need to. You’re already giving me what I want.”

“Am I?” The gleam in Rami’s dark eyes is wicked and knowing. He shifts so Tim’s head is pillowed on his bottom lip, leaving them parted after he adds, “Am I really?”

One agonizingly-slow second passes, then another. Rami’s breath curls around him, overwhelming but also not anywhere near enough. Not with how worked up he is. Because despite his own words, Rami has successfully gotten him off every single time he’s set out to do so, and for all that he worries about Rami and his new limits, Tim does want this. Desperately.

“You’ll let me know if you need me to stop for any reason? Or even if you just want me to?”

“Yeah,” Rami says, tone serious enough that Tim believes it.

Tim nods, then rocks his hips slowly, giving Rami plenty of time to react. He stops when he’s maybe halfway in, withdrawing until the tip rests against Rami’s bottom lip once more. His other hand settles at the hinge of Rami’s jaw. It gives him more control, but also more feedback, not that he’s sure he needs it with the whine Rami lets out. Too much of that, and he’s pretty sure taking too long will be the last thing he has to worry about.

On the next glacial thrust, Rami’s lips seal around him. Tim’s eyes close at the delicious heat, and this time he lets himself sink in all the way to the root. 



Unable to stop himself, he grinds deeper and groans at the way Rami’s throat works around him. He does it again, and again, falling into a rhythm without really meaning to. When Rami lets out a soft little moan, Tim looks down again; nothing could’ve prepared him for the image of Rami on his knees, lips stretched around him, and eyes hooded and damp. Something hungry and animal claws its way to the surface at the sight, though. 

Harsh pants and wet sucking noises fill the air as he fucks Rami’s mouth, any thoughts of restraint lost to the need licking up his spine. Tim’s hips stutter as he reaches his peak. He comes with a wordless cry, fingers curled in the short strands of Rami’s hair and his cock shoved so far down his throat that he can’t help but marvel at the way Rami doesn’t choke. 

Once he regains a little more conscious thought, he lets go  of the back of Rami’s head, but he’s prevented from pulling out entirely by Rami’s hands on his thighs. Instead, he softens in the heat of Rami’s mouth before he’s released, the cool air of the apartment making him shiver. Even then, Rami remains kneeling, his forehead pressed to Tim’s abdomen. 

“Are you… ok?”

Rami breathes a laugh. “I’m fine,” he says, voice absolutely wrecked. Clearing his throat, he adds, “You?”

An incredulous squawk erupts from Tim’s throat, prompting more rough, helpless laughter from Rami. It takes him a second to recover from his disbelief at being asked how he is after that, then another few as he’s struck by the gravity of reality – that he was just allowed to mindlessly chase his release in the mouth of an angel, and that the same incredible creature is still knelt before him, laughing. 

He inhales slowly, steadying himself. “Yeah. How could I not be? I just hope I didn’t- I mean, I know you didn’t stop me, but you are ok, right?”

“Knees are a little sore and pants are-” he coughs pointedly as he stands, “-uncomfortable. But neither of those are going to cause permanent damage, I don’t think. Well, the second might…”

Tim hums into the kiss. “I think I can take care of that last part.”

“Oh, I do love it when you say things like that,” Rami laughs, kissing him again.


It starts with a comment in a department meeting. One of his co-workers, a full professor and the undergraduate chair, gives a whole rambling speech about appropriate conduct – about setting an example and the best interest of the students – his gaze fixed pointedly on Tim the entire time. And maybe if he’d had a full cup of coffee ahead of time, he would’ve been fine, or at least able to ignore it, but he didn’t because both of the travel mugs were dirty, and then the pot in the department office was empty. He didn’t have time to make another one before his only lecture of the morning, but he did before the meeting. The cup in question sits by his hand, untouched and therefore not doing a single thing for the skull-splitting headache that’s plagued him for two and a half hours now. 

So rather than biting his tongue like he knows he should when Dave sanctimoniously quotes, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart,” Tim snaps.

Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness,” he says, letting every ounce of bitterness slip into his priest voice. Then, he says, “Next time you want to try to quote the book I’m named after to me, either do it right or pick something you don’t have to take out of context. And if you have concerns about me or my teaching methods, I would appreciate it if we could speak about it in private.”

Dave gapes at him, his cheeks stained an angry red. “I was simply reminding everyone of the teachings that faculty and staff of this department are expected to represent.”

“Great!” Tim replies, picking up his mug and standing. “Then I’ve got a few from Proverbs to recommend. A couple from James, too, but y’know, there’s one in First Thessalonians that really just hits the nail on the head. Are you familiar? No? If I’m not misremembering, it’s 4:11. Should check it out sometime. Now if you’ll all forgive me, I have a make-up exam to administer for a student whose mother is undergoing chemotherapy.”

It’s a partial lie; he did have a make-up exam to give, but once he found out why, he’d told the girl not to worry about it. Even without the potential of the fucking apocalypse beginning at any given minute, there’s a hierarchy of things that matter and one exam in an elective course is pretty low. 

He spills coffee on his shirt as he shuts the door, and drops the mug in the process, ensuring the rest thoroughly coats the floor of the hallway. From six feet away, a custodian looks at him and sighs. 

Tim says, “If you’ll give me the mop, I’ll get it.”

By the time he makes it back to his office, he has an email from the department head asking if there’s anything he can do to help Tim’s adjustment to the university. 

He teaches his two afternoon classes, racing to the building cafe in between only to make eye contact with the student employee as she turns off the light. 

Somehow, it feels like a metaphor for his life. As soon as he comes close to getting what he wants, it’s lights out. 

On the way home, he finds himself stuck behind not one, but two buses. 

As he pushes the front door open, bag sliding off his shoulder, he trips over a shoe. He lets his bag drop the rest of the way, nudging the black boot aside as he toes off his own shoes. 

“You’re home late,” Rami calls from somewhere deeper in the apartment. 

Sighing, Tim makes his way toward the living room. He glances inside the kitchen and sees the sink still full of pots and pans just before he sees Rami, sprawled in an armchair, the short curls on top of his head a fresh shade of platinum. 

The final thread of Tim’s restraint snaps, and he’s adrift in a world in which he has no place. No meaning. No value. A world in which all he has is department meetings and exams to grade and spilled coffee and traffic and a sink full of fucking dishes. He doesn’t mean to say it out loud. Doesn’t realize he has – yelled it, really, from the way his throat feels rough and irritated – until the words are already out. 

Rami just looks at him from where he sits, expression shifting rapidly from anger to something almost pitying, and that’s what Tim shatters on.

He moves without speaking into the space between Rami’s thighs. “I’m sorry. Rami, I’m sorry, I know it’s not your fault. I just-”

“I took away everything you believed in,” Rami says softly. “It sort of is my fault.”

“No. You did what you had to. I just… don’t know who I am without-” He feels himself crack again, not even sure when he’d dropped to his knees, but glad he has for the way it lets him bury his face in Rami’s stomach. “I don’t even know how to figure any of this out without that. You say he wasn’t listening, and I believe you, logically, but-”

“You felt like he was.”

Tim nods, face still pressed to the warmth of Rami’s t-shirt. “It was… having something so much bigger and older than myself, I think. A sounding board to turn to when I didn’t have answers, and an excuse when I didn’t.”

Rami hums thoughtfully. He’s quiet for a moment, fingers threading softly through Tim’s hair. “And is it that you think I can’t help, or that you don’t want my help?” he asks, tone devoid of anything that might tell Tim if he’s angry or not.

“I don’t know,” he replies hoarsely. Hearing it said aloud makes him feel foolish, though. Tim sighs. “I’ve always been taught not to put my problems on others, and in the priesthood, that sentiment only really grows. It’s always ‘turn to God’.”

“You think he deserved your devotion?” Rami’s fingers curl in his hair, forcing Tim’s eyes up to the depths of his own.


“Because I can tell you now that he wouldn’t appreciate the sight, collar or no. But I do. Unlike him, I understand the value of a good man on his knees.”

Like so many things, something in the way the words fall from Rami’s lips makes Tim shiver. The feeling that follows is desperate and hungry. He says, “Please,” not even knowing what he’s begging for.

“Shhh.” Rami releases him to pet through his hair again. “I know.”

Beneath him, Rami lifts his hips, shoving down his pants with his free hand. It’s not far enough to do anything, but it’s enough that Tim manages to unstick himself and pull them down and off. And again, he can’t help but question how he was so blind to the fact that what he needed – what he needs – is right here.

He looks to Rami with what he’s sure must be reverence, awe, but not nearly enough, waiting for the small nod and the soft caress of fingers before he bows his head. At the first brush of his lips against the warm plane of Rami’s stomach, his mind still buzzes with anxiety and impotent frustration. So he does it again, and again, trailing kisses across skin until his tongue drags through wet heat and Rami bucks once before actively stilling.

His skill in this area might not match Rami’s – nor, he thinks, should it – but he’s made up enough ground since Rami found him that he doesn’t have to give it quite so much thought. That he can relax his focus a bit as his mouth works. It isn’t even that he actively thinks about anything. Mostly he drifts, dropping back into the present when Rami tenses around him.

Tim works Rami through the first orgasm, his mind empty of anything else as he drops soft, open-mouthed kisses across the soft, sensitive folds of skin. Only once Rami shudders and tugs at his hair does he still, not pulling away but closing his mouth around sensitive flesh and breathing through his nose.

Rami hums, pleased, and cards fingers through Tim’s hair again before scratching lazily over his scalp. It feels good. Makes him sink further away from thought. He isn’t sure how much time passes before Rami’s hips start to shift, but Tim works his tongue against Rami obligingly. 

This time, when Rami comes, Tim lets his mouth drop, lapping at the still-twitching edges of his hole. Rami hisses, but sinks lower in the chair to give him better access. The taste of Rami is unlike anything he’s ever experienced, but it’s all he ever wants to experience again. Tim groans, licking deeper as Rami’s hole clenches around his tongue. He might go a little mad, then, desperately trying to get to the source. He does something right, though, because Rami comes a third time with a cracked sound. Tim drops lower still, teasing at the tight furl of muscle until Rami lets out a shaky exhale and relaxes. Then, he fucks his tongue inside, moaning at the way it opens for him. 

How long it goes on, he couldn’t say, but when Tim drifts back toward awareness, the room is cast in shadows and Rami is boneless above him, fingers still threaded into Tim’s hair. He presses a kiss into the thatch of wiry, short hair over Rami’s pubic bone before resting his head on one thigh.

“Hi,” Rami says, voice rough and soft all at once – fucked out in a way that fills Tim with a smug sort of satisfaction.

“Mm, hi.”

“How’re you?”

Tim inhales sharply, the answer strangely out of reach. “I’m…” He shifts, realizing that he’s impossibly hard in his pants. His knees and ankles are sore from so long on the floor, but there’s something oddly pleasant in the faint discomfort of it all.

Rami’s leg moves between Tim’s, shin pressed against the crotch of his pants. “You did well.”

He jolts at the praise, hips stuttering.

“You like hearing it,” Rami remarks. Not a question, but a statement of fact. He hums thoughtfully, carding through Tim’s hair again. “You deserve to hear it. How hard you work, and how good you are for me. How your service doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Tim exhales loudly, his breathing suddenly harsh and uneven. Just the slightest touch and he thinks he might- 

He shivers, hips jerking again; it brings him into contact with Rami’s leg, cock grinding into the divot of calf and shin. It’s not quite what he wants, but contrary to what Rami might say, he doesn’t deserve what he wants. Not right now. 

All Rami does say is, “Go ahead.”

With a groan, Tim buries his face against Rami’s stomach again, lungs filling with the scent of laundry detergent and warm cotton and Rami. There’s something about being at Rami’s feet – something right in kneeling, in serving him – that he needs too badly to even be embarrassed. His hips rock, fucking into the shallow channel between muscle and bone, and Tim moans at the feeling, at the relief. 

“That’s it,” Rami practically purrs. 

Tim comes, and all at once, he’s exhausted. Like it drained everything out of him. On a delay, he processes that Rami’s said something, that they’re both standing and Rami is gently nudging him toward the bathroom. Rami says something else, barely audible over the sound of running water, and Tim tries to protest on some reflex; all that comes out is a vague grumble, though, and Rami laughs and tells him to strip. There’s an amused look on Rami’s face as he kisses Tim’s jaw and watches him sink into the water that settles something in him, though. If Rami’s smiling at him, he can’t have done anything too terrible. 

Then, he’s alone. Really feels like he’s floating then, untethered in a different way. Just as it’s starting to bother him, Rami appears again, with a bowl in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

“What’s this?”

“Well I’m assuming you didn’t eat today. Food, I mean.”

Tim thinks about it for a second, then shakes his head.

Rami sets the wine glass down on one edge of the bathtub, then passes Tim the bowl.

“Did you make this?”

After a moment, Rami nods.

“Just now?”

“Earlier today,” he says with a small shake of his head.

Earlier… “That’s why the kitchen was a mess.”

“A mess is a bit of an exaggeration.”

“Rami, every time you go in there it’s like a tornado hit.”

He frowns. “I clean up though.”

Tim exhales a tired laugh around a mouthful of food.

“I do! Look, at least I actually cook. And believe it or not, I’ve never lived with another human.”

He is shocked, initially, but then he’s not at all. It’s… sobering, though, not because Rami’s never lived with someone else but because he didn’t know. Sighing, he sets the bowl down and takes a long sip of wine, the cause of his frustration dancing out of reach as he’s forced to acknowledge, at least internally, that it pairs so well with whatever Rami is feeding him.

“Should I have brought the bottle?”

“No. It’s just…”

“You’re upset again.”

“No. Kind of. I don’t know. More just realizing that I don’t actually know that much about you. I mean you’ve got entire lifetimes of things that I know nothing about.”

Rami smiles at him, somewhere between tired and indulgent. He bends over and kisses the top of Tim’s head, then says, “Finish eating while I start the dishwasher, then I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

Tim nods, his thoughts slow, but there. It’s only once Rami is out of the room that it sinks in that he already knows one thing: of all the places in the world that he could be, all the people he’s known, Rami chooses to be here, with him. They may not have talked about everything, but Rami knows him. Has, in some ways, known him better than anyone since the day their paths first crossed.

He takes a bite, chewing slowly as he mulls over this new realization. They do still have a lot to talk about, but he already knows the most important part: there is something in the universe far bigger and older than himself that has seen him and somehow deemed him worthy of love.

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