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Dressed to the Nines
It was the day of the fundraiser and his grandfather was insistent he go. He had to speak to several people while he was there and he was going to make connections with money to help with Jivana's new research lab in Moscow. His grandfather was going to make Cruz's life miserable with all the phone calls.

"Grandfather, I have to go. I have to get dressed."

"Alright son, remember what I've said, and make sure that ... man behaves himself."

Cruz laughed. "Nox will be on his best behavior. Ascendancy will be there."
He hung up the phone before his grandfather could actually comment on it what he'd said. Nox had met the Ascendancy twice... TWICE!

Nox was in his closet staring at the white tie ensemble he was supposed to wear. "You know this is not me right?"

"Just put it on. Sage wants to see you dressed to the nines before we leave."

Nox sighed. "I really wish the two of you would just let things be."

"He likes you. And has for a long time. You just now noticed."

He growled at Cruz and started pulling off clothes. "I noticed. I was ignoring it."

Cruz laughed as he started doing the same. "And now you can't?"

"Neither of you will let me."
Nox sighed and pulled the tux pants on and looked in the mirror at the fit.

"Just kiss him and get it over with."

Nox turned to glare at Cruz which only made him laugh. "It's not the kissing that bothers you."
Nox dropped his gaze and if Cruz didn't know better he thought there might have been a slight blush to his ears, but it wasn't there long. Nox was not shy, Cruz had learned that quickly. Embarrassed about his feelings. Cruz could understand, but not on the level that he knew where Nox was going. Finding out you had repressed part of who you were to make someone else happy had to be hard. His dad would understand. If he were here to talk to.

But he wasn't. They hadn't heard from him in days. The precinct sent cars by to check on him. They've not seen him either. Whatever happened can't be good. Sage was scouring the darknet. He was in hog heaven. Everything was so fast, he was high on information. He only came up when he saw Nox.

No one knew were Dorian Vega was. He completely vanished into thin air. His mother was frantic, Christian was having to do his best to keep her calm and do the work of a household staff. They were going to have to hire more just to keep things running. But Nox said no every time.

Funny thing, though when Nox said no, he also asked how he could help. In the few days he'd been home, he'd taken over the shopping and cooking from Christian as well as any security details he was running. He was doing that anyway and the work was just doubling up.

Life had to go on. But he missed his dad. It was strange, since things started to fall apart with his life - being one of the channelers, finding out his dad worked for a cultish organization that killed his kind had brought him and his dad closer together. Maybe because his father had finally chosen him over everything else. And now he was gone. What the fuck!
Cruz had it all wrong, Nox thought as he pulled on the shirt that was going to be uncomfortable. His train of thought distracted easily from Sage's advances. He was not looking forward to this whole thing. He was going as bodyguard of sorts. Cruz would rather have brought Rachel, but his father had insisted that Nox or himself go to protect Cruz from the Atharim.

So not only was Nox going to be in the presence of the Ascendancy for a third time, he was going to be on the lookout for Atharim. Not that I could imagine them trying to attack with such faces in the mix. Life was chaotic. And now he was going into danger to protect those he considered family.

"Just kiss him and get it over with."
Nox turned to glare at him, and he laughed then added, "It's not the kissing that bothers you."

Nox looked away. He'd called it right. But he was still far from the mark. There were a lot of things wrong with the whole situation. Sage had slept with Aurora. Aurora had been in love with him for a while. Granted Sage probably never knew because the computer hardly translate anything well. But Aurora had fallen for his smile and his smarts and his ability to talk to computers. He'd heard all about Phaser from her. Sage was no longer Phaser. He was just Sage now. But still he'd been with his sister...

Nox finished with the whole white-tie getup and looked at himself in the mirror. Cruz had fallen into his own thoughts as he got dressed with him in the over sized dressing closet... WHAT the fuck! This was not something he ever thought to be doing. This was so not him.

Someone cleared their throat in the doorway and Nox didn't need to know Cruz had left and Sage was standing there. Nox asked, "How do I look?"
He turned in a slow circle showing off the outfit Dorian had chosen for him. The black tails and the white tie were very dapper, if they'd been on anyone but him...

Sage was still weak from the surgery and everyone still very keenly aware of the fact that he'd just had brain surgery. And they didn't let him forget it - specially Christian and Anna. Though they both wanted Dorian back just as much as the rest of them.

He'd been toiling away while Nox and Cruz were upstairs. But still there was nothing he could do nothing he could see that he hadn't already been through. Sage spent most of his time looking through the feeds manually. He was still creating all the monitor programs he'd lost when Grim had let his server come into the hands of the CCD.

Now he was trying to set up a home base here, but it wasn't quite so easy. Dorian didn't have a place that was large enough for the size server Sage wanted or the facilities to cool it. The money wasn't the issue, the stupid old Russian mansion was. Maybe he could talk Dorian into using the attic when he came back. That might be useful if it was cleaned out.

But he had to find Dorian first.

Until then Sage did the best he could, and there was a certain guy who was putting on a tux upstairs that Sage really wanted to see. He'd already seen him naked, showers and sex with another guy but still this was different. When Sage walked into Cruz's room he was surprised to find Cruz walking out. His friend nodded in the direction of the walk in closet he'd just vacated. It was more like another room than a closet. Nox was there standing in front of the mirror staring at himself. Probably in disbelief. He looked amazing. But then he looked good anytime...

Nox's question and spin made Sage come back to reality with a happy smile. "You look good."
Sage winked and licked his lips to show Nox just how appetizing he was. And the small gestures made the former Atharim bite his bottom lip. It was so innocent, it always looked planned. But Sage knew that was him being shy and embarrassed.

His eyes never looked away as Sage checked Nox out. "It's probably a good think the limo is here, or you might have to start all over again."

There was a flash of something in Nox's eyes and then the smile returned. He still had issues liking me and being overtly propositioned by them, so when Nox stopped in front of him on the way out the door, grabbed his t-shirt and pulled Sage in for a soft kiss Sage was surprised. He stared wide eyed at the other man until he relaxed letting the kiss go where it went. And it went straight places Sage didn't want to think about.

Nox grinned at him as he broke off. "Maybe I'll let you take it off me later."
He said as he walked out the door. What the fuck! Really? Sage turned around to see Nox putting arm around Cruz and ushering the younger man out the door. Nox turned back and looked at Sage over his shoulder and winked. Fuck! He is such a flirt.

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