Vervaceous (vervaceous) wrote,

Title: Manners May Prevail
Fandom: Harsh Realm/Mysterious Skin
Rating: NC-17
Wordcount: 2,168
Summary: Mike pushes things a little further, and Neil isn't thrilled to find himself being used as a prop. Mostly not thrilled, anyway.
Note: Sequel to Complications, which is itself a sequel to Devotion.

Not a hesitation --
Abraham complied --
Flattered by Obeisance
Tyranny demurred.

--Emily Dickinson

"You asshole." Neil spits the words out but he's fighting back a smile, fighting back the pleasure. He's not so easy, not anymore; now that it's all by his choice he doesn't have to be. He can string Mike along, make him work for what he gets, and it's not like Mike doesn't enjoy it anyway. But sometimes it's harder to keep from being easy than others, like now, with Neil strung up to the crossbeam of the shed by his hands, Mike on his knees on the floor and licking Neil's dick like it's a fucking lollipop. Long, light, teasing licks, not the total wet suction that Neil really wants. He can't help wanting it. This would all be a lot simpler if he could.

But a lot less fun, maybe.

"Watch your mouth," Mike murmurs, giving Neil's thigh a hard slap. Neil twitches and hisses, instantly annoyed at himself for not beating back that reaction as well.

Just an hour, barely even that to themselves before they have to move on again. They're low on food, though they've found a creek to follow and so they aren't short on water. Water, food, security... fucking. There are things that won't be sacrificed, but it's almost strange how spare Mike is with everything else and how elaborate and almost luxurious he's willing to be with this.

And how resourceful. A shed, a strong enough crossbeam, Tom sent out to hunt down some game, probably knowing full fucking well why he's being shooed away, and then Mike starts pulling out the ropes.

Tom doesn't ask anymore, about the ropes.

It's been too long, well over a week, and Neil's so hard he thinks he might suffer permanent injury. He jerks his hips, tries to thrust into Mike's mouth, and Mike dodges away with a laugh and another hard slap on the meat of Neil's ass.

"You gotta know better than that by now," he says, pulling back and grinning as he gets to his feet again, dusting off his knees. "You don't behave, you don't get anything."

Which isn't, strictly speaking, true. There's always something.

He grabs Neil by the hip before he can twist away and spins him around, bare feet scrabbling on the dusty floor. The seriousness of months ago is gone, the darker side of it faded far into the background, but there's a new kind of danger here, the danger of being bound and naked in a world without meaningful safety, and if someone were to stumble on them now, there would be nothing between them and Neil but Mike.

So it probably says something that he isn't worried at all.

He groans softly, arching as Mike's hands slide up his sides, to the front of his chest, pressing back and grinding his ass against hard flesh still bound by cloth. He's teasing, too. He can still do that even now. But Mike's fingers close on his nipples and twist, and all the teasing stops for a brief moment as his mouth drops open in a sharp wince.

The pinching eases, replaced by the light grazing of Mike's knuckles. "Oh, did that hurt?" Breathed against the curve of Neil's ear, and he can't keep back a fine shiver. "Sorry." Then the pinching again, twice as hard and pulling as well, and Neil arches more and lets out a yelp.


Mike laughs and just for a moment the pain is blinding to the context and Neil wants to turn on him. His legs are free, he could land a knee in a very sensitive place. But turning means increasing that awful pull, so Neil grits his teeth, a whine slipping out between them and sweat standing out on his brow.

He gasps when Mike releases him abruptly, his flesh so flushed and angry when he glances down at it. But otherwise unmarked. Mike is standing back again, hands fallen away, and in spite of himself, Neil discovers that he's missing the touch. The ropes are burning his wrists and he pushes up on his toes, trying to relieve the pressure.

He feels a tapping on his calves and jumps slightly, craning his head around to see, though he can already make a guess by how it sounds, how it feels. In Mike's hand is a short, slim stick. It's jointed and here's a green tint to it, even in the dimness of the shed, and Neil realizes that it's bamboo. He looks around again--there's a stack of it in the corner that he hadn't noticed before.

Convenient. He almost smiles. The smile vanishes when the stick whips smartly against his ass and his feet hit the floor again. Mike's beat him with sticks before, but they've been flexible, easily bend, more like switches than sticks. This has real solidity behind it, though it's far from a club, and though he knows the blow hadn't even had much force behind it, he also knows that he'll have bruises before this is done.

"Just a taste," Mike murmurs, and again Neil feels a hand on him, stroking around from his hip to his lower belly, fingers drifting down the length of his cock. "We'll start slow."

"We gotta start at all?" Neil laughs shakily. He knows Mike won't believe--he wants to start, though it's crazy, though he's still not sure he even enjoys this in any proper sense. But it's where he goes when it's happening, the warmth and the ease of everything when it's over, Mike's strong hands on him, smoothing over the welts and kissing them one by one. It's worth it, for what comes after.

"You know we have to." A soft kiss against his ear and then the cool of the air again, and then it starts. A light, repetitive tapping up and down from his thighs to the top of his ass, a quick rhythm that gradually begins to build in intensity. Just now it doesn't hurt yet, and he can almost lose himself in it, the natural, steady beat of it and the way it faintly numbs his skin. The pain is lingering under the surface. He lets himself lean against the ropes, swaying gently, easing the pressure on his wrists only when his hands begin to tingle. Thinking back, back through time, back across miles and miles to a brighter, harder world, where he had spent his days naked and chained to the bed, where he had eaten from the floor like an animal, where he had come so close to losing himself.

He feels more in control now than he ever has. A lot of that is forgiveness.

The rhythm speeds up and now it's harder, now it's starting to hurt, and he drops his head back and groans softly. Some of it is for Mike's benefit--he's not above giving him a little bit of a show--but not all. Not anything like all. He's being gently herded into a place in his mind where all the lines start to blur and any sensation is good sensation. He smiles faintly.

"You're gonna fuckin' make it so I can't sit in that damn car tomorrow."

"You wanna lie in Hobbes's lap?" Mike doesn't falter in the rhythm but Neil can hear his grin. "Make him blush in those big ears of his?"

He's not sure what to make of that. Not sure how it's meant. He had seen Tom, before, watching them, the way he had been watching them. He had felt something jump in him, being watched like that, because of all the things he's done with Mike, all the things Mike has done to him, that's never been a part of it.

"He's awful fuckin' cute when he blushes," Neil gasps finally, and just then Mike chooses to hit even harder, and Neil lets go a whine. "Ah. You're the one that said--"

"You really think that?" Abruptly the caning stops and Neil feels hands on him again, rougher than before, grabbing his hips and turning him to face the shed door, pulling him back hard against Mike's solid frame. "Why don't you tell him that?"

Neil looks. Focuses. The light coming in through the open door is bright, almost blindingly so in the dimness, but even if he can't make out the face, he knows the form by now.

"What the fuck is this, Pinocchio?" Tom asks, and more than anything he sounds weary.

"You know what this is." Neil's opening his mouth to speak, to protest, because this isn't part of the rules, this isn't fair, and Mike silences him with a yank on the ring of his collar. Arms around him, chest at his back, Neil isn't sure he likes this now but it's hard to keep his body from responding anyway. He's still hard, cock jutting up into the air and glistening, and when Mike runs a hand down his belly his muscles jump and quiver.

"You wanna watch?"

Nothing from Tom but shocked silence. Neil pulls at the ropes, Mike's arms, everything, trying to decide if he's angry or not, trying to come out of the slow, warm place Mike had put him into. "Cut it out," he whispers, a flash of irritability in it. "It's... it's just fuckin' mean."

"You think I don't know that?" He feels Mike grinning against his ear, his jaw, and now there's anger.

But he isn't twisting away. He wants to see Tom's face, suddenly, thrown into confusion by it but it's true. Tom is looking at him. He wants to know what he sees.

"C'mon." Mike's hand is moving lower, fingers trailing through the light scatter of hair. "Saw the way you were looking last time. Don't you wanna watch?"

"You tricked me," Tom says, still weary but something darker in it, something angry, and something else. Something that Neil isn't even sure he's really hearing, over Mike's breath in his ear and the buzzing in his head. "I even sort of knew it. So this one's on me."

"Yeah, it is." Finally, finally, Mike's hand closes around Neil's cock and Neil rolls his hips forward with a heavy moan, head dropping back again and anger momentarily forgotten. He can't be angry when it feels this good, except at himself, because even after all this time he's so fucking easy. "You can touch him, if you want."

And then Neil's head is being pulled back and his hips are being pulled forward and he's bent backward into a bow, too surprised and too wrongfooted to struggle, at least immediately, and as Mike's hand starts to jerk him, he knows what this is. He's being offered, like a fucking gift, but it's about taunting, it's about making that blush rise in Tom's ears, offered because Mike knows that Tom won't ever in a million years take the bait.

And this is a game he's not sure he wants to be part of.

"Mike..." he manages, teeth gritted. If he could just find his feet again. "Fucking... stop." But there's a word, a word he could use that would really stop this here and now, because Mike can't ignore that word, because it's just about the only unbreakable rule they seem to have.

And he isn't using it.

And Mike doesn't stop. Mike keeps going, hand moving faster and his other reaching up to pinch at one abused nipple, and through half-closed eyelids neil can still see Tom's shape in the doorway, frozen still, and while he still can't see Tom's eyes, he can feel them. And he thinks, what if Tom moved now, what if he walked over, laid a hand over Mike's, both of them touching him together, both of their hands on him, held and sandwiched between two hard bodies, taken and moved and shared and played with until he's coming with a low cry and a spasm, the burn in his wrists and on his ass and the rising burn in the core of him.

He's gasping. Mike's hand is slowing, slowing, pulling away. Sticky. When Neil opens his eyes, he sees the spatter of his own come on the floor.

He's not sure how to tell how this feels. He looks up and the doorway is empty.

"Fucker," he hisses suddenly, kicking out at Mike with one clumsy, dirty bare foot, and it's a kick that Mike sidesteps easily. But he's not laughing. Neither of them are.

"You're an asshole," Neil says again, low and almost growled and this time there's none of that playfulness in it. No smile. Not even a hint of one.

"Yeah," Mike says, voice and face both expressionless. His hands are rough and almost impersonal as he unsheathes his knife and reaches up to cut Neil down. He hasn't come, Neil realizes. Hasn't even taken off a a single piece of clothing. "But you know what? At least I'm honest."

And Neil doesn't know what to say to that.
Tags: crossover, harsh realm, nc17, shortfic, slash
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