When I was a child, I heard voices
Some would sing and some would scream
You soon find you have few choices
I learned the voices died with me
When I was a child, I’d sit for hours
Staring into open flame
Something in it had a power
Could barely tear my eyes away
All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don’t you ever tame your demons
But always keep ‘em on a leash
When I was 16, my senses fooled me
Thought gasoline was on my clothes
I knew that something would always rule me
I knew the scent was mine alone
All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don’t you ever tame your demons
But always keep ‘em on a leash
When I was a man I thought it ended
When I knew love’s perfect ache
But my peace has always depended
On all the ashes in my wake
All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don’t you ever tame your demons
But always keep ‘em on a leash
~ Arsonist’s Lullabye (Hozier)
Tony woke when he was picked up out of the warm truck and the freezing wind hit his face. It was a little disorienting to be carried into Victor’s blazing warm tent and put on the camp bed.
“We … actually struck camp and had a road trip … right?”
“Strip an’ go back t’ sleep – gotta pull tha rig in through tha other end. Latrine is gonna be a bucket behind tha back bumper, so it’s a good thing ya like adventure.”
“More sleep sounds better.”
“Polar night came an’ got us – welcome t’ October. Stay in tha tent unless I’m with ya, or yer in yer robot suit.”
“Do I have anything to do with you being semi-laconic and nearly cranky again?”
“Ain’t nothin’ worth fussin’ over, but if ya wanna cheer me up, wait’ll I get back before ya strip.”
The smirk the mutant flashed at him before he headed outside again only confused Tony more. He’d had enough experience with people being irritated with him to recognize when it was happening. He bent to take his boots and socks off, wriggling his toes in the warmth from the heaters. Looking around, he noticed that only the bed, heaters, and Victor’s large black steamer trunk had been brought in, but they were all set close together on one side of the tent.
He heard the truck moving and got up to secure one tent flap open at the back and held the other open. After a moment’s pause, the vehicle drove in with the sled still attached. It parked with the bumper touching the front wall of the tent. Before Victor could turn it off and step out, Tony had the back flaps closed and secured. Ignoring the arched eyebrow this got him, he went to the heater closer to the bed and warmed his feet up again.
Victor was a shadow moving in the dim orange light from the pair of heaters as he busied himself with Tony didn’t know what.
Sleep sounded great, but the arc reactor’s light was hidden by his arctic jacket, and he was a little concerned about it showing through the tent in their alleged position of being closer to the enemy. He wondered how it would go down if he opted to sleep in clothes – for a few really excellent reasons.
Soon enough, the silence got to him and it was either talk, fidget, tinker, or drink. Since the whiskey was buried in their gear somewhere and there was nothing to tinker on, he settled for talk and fidget.
“If you’d woken me up, I could have helped set up camp.”
“Not necessary, an’ ya ain’t had that much sleep,” the mutant replied as he came up from behind the vehicle.
Tony sighed and paused with his hand on his jacket zipper. “I’m officially no longer an invalid. Do you think the arc reactor light will show through the tent?”
With his usual lack of shyness or modesty, Victor took off his boots and began to strip. “It didn’t before, so nope. We’re impersonatin’ a snow bank, long as we’re at least somewhat quiet.”
“Quiet may involve … just sleeping…”
Victor paused, shirtless, with fingers poised on his belt, and looked over at him. “I can take a hint, Stark – ain’t gonna spear yer ass without an invite. Relax.”
Tony swallowed and looked away as he unzipped and shrugged out of the jacket.
“Ya took off yer bandage.”
“It’s fine, and I don’t like bandages. If you want to get your cuddle on, it probably wouldn’t kill me.” He glanced back with a smile and got caught up watching Victor strip nude and stretch.
Victor frowned at him, the slightly glowing eyes narrowing. “If ya ain’t gonna ride tha horse, don’t get ‘im all worked up.”
“Sorry,” Tony muttered. He thought about the last bit of banter and frowned back at him. “Does that mean stripping for you is out?”
“Ya used all tha poles buildin’ yer new weapon, so I guess so.”
“Oh, you’re funny. Asshole.”
He got as far as tossing the jacket over the edge of the sled before a sense of onery mischief doused over him and soothed his abrupt anger. Turning back to face the glaring mutant, he gripped the hem of his AC/DC t-shirt in his fingers and pulled it off slow – porn slow. When it joined the jacket, he opened his belt and zip on the arctic pants and the jeans under that. Sliding every article of clothing off of his ass as he turned it toward Victor, he watched him over his shoulder as it all fell. Stepping out of it, he bent over to grab the clothes and took his time straightening up to put them on top of the rest. Facing forward, he stood still and stroked his dick with one hand.
The claws were out and the mutant was magnificently hard. His lips had peeled back from the teeth in a snarl.
Tony moved to put his shoulders against the passenger door of the Ugly Pumpkin. “Come over here,” he said, making his tone a chilly command. I’m either about to be gutted, or a good time will be had, but I’m not in the mood for the surly bullshit.
He was still being glared at, but Victor came over to stand in front of him. With a slight smirk, Tony continued to stroke himself as he pointed to the tent floor at his feet.
“On your knees – I want to be sucked.”
Holding his breath as the mutant watched him, Tony took a deep breath when Victor sank down to his knees. He was nuzzled and sniffed, and then everything down there was licked. Still holding the base of his dick, he experimented and smacked the man’s jaw with it. The instant snarl almost made him freeze, but he glared down at him instead and smacked the other side of the heavy jaw.
“Open up, Victor. Suck.”
“Gotta death wish?” A growl rode the words, but Tony could already hear it switching gears from anger to lust.
“You did offer to be my bitch; so is this enough strapped-on moxie for you? I’m waiting.”
The pinned ears twitched and rose as the jaw moved and those teeth opened. That long tongue slid out and Tony slapped his dick down onto it. The way the mouth closed around him and the focused stare of those alien eyes bored into his, inspired an involuntary shiver.
“Make it good,” he whispered, his fingers lifting to stroke down a furry sideburn.
He gasped when the suction began. Watching the head move to lodge his dick in the throat, Tony grasped Victor’s head and held it there as the purr rumbled and the swallowing torturous pleasure started to pull his thoughts apart.
The fear that he could have made the man seriously angry right before he stuck his dick in that Ginsu mouth was enough to help him last longer. Yet the more he observed the mutant’s body language, the more it became clear that he was starving for it, possibly for any sort of sexual touch.
Time to earn my Danger Whore patch…
He’d noticed that Victor had sunk lower into a crouch on his knees, sitting on his haunches, and the head of his dick was on the floor. Moving a bare foot, he placed it over it and applied a little test-the-waters pressure. He’d cut off his airway but took the increasingly desperate sucking as a yes-please and pressed harder. He almost yelped when every single claw on the fingers pricked the outside of his thighs.
“Is that a ‘no’, or a ‘more, please’?” When the claws left his skin, he managed a deep breath and slow exhale. “It’s my fault I’m too wrecked to let you do what you want,” he told him in what he hoped was a low and soothing tone. “That doesn’t mean we can’t do this.”
As he pressed again, the claws didn’t return. All he had for a response was a harder sucking that almost hurt, two heartbeats before his orgasm snuck up and sucker-punched him in the gut. He could only focus on trying to stay on his feet while Victor milked the last drop from his body with his throat, lips, and tongue.
It wasn’t until Victor released his dick and Tony looked down to move his foot that he realized all the claws had been stabbed into the mutant’s thighs.
“Victor?” He pressed his hands on either side of the furry face as the man gasped for air. “Pull them out, okay? Come on, let’s get some sleep.”
He let him go and winced to watch him rise. The cuts healed instantly but the blood still dripped through the maze pattern of his fur. When he sat on the edge of the bed, looking a little dazed, Tony sat next to him.
“Are you all right?”
“Will be. Yer a lucky idiot just now, ya know that?”
“I … got that impression. I didn’t want to fight with you.”
“Next time, just fuckin’ say no.” Victor got up and moved to get into the bed from the other side.
Tony slipped under the covers and lay back, staring up at the tent ceiling where the arc reactor was beaming a wide blue glow. By the time he was fairly sure that Victor was asleep, he found out he wasn’t tired at all.
He managed to lie still by thinking about the base they wanted to attack, but that was wrecked when Victor rolled in his sleep and cuddled up, pulling him into his arms. Tony closed his eyes and tried to sleep.
~ ~ ~
When he snapped awake again, he couldn’t remember the dream he had fallen into, but it certainly had a theme. His body was curled up against Victor’s back and his dick was hard and aching for release. He closed his eyes to try to ignore it, but then his lips gained a mind of their own and kissed his bedmate’s shoulderblade. No growl erupting was a good sign, and when Victor’s body fell even more still, Tony knew he was already awake.
Putting an arm around his waist, Tony kissed his back again and started to run his tongue along the shoulderblade.
“Thought we were swearin’ off fuckin’, since yer sore,” Victor muttered, his voice a low rasp. “This an invite, or just ‘nother tease?”
“My ass is sore,” Tony whispered, “the rest of me is interested, and curious…” He nipped the shoulder with his teeth as his hand slid between their bodies to tuck fingers at the top of the cleft of Victor’s ass. “Have you ever heard the saying, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’? ‘Fortune favors the brave’? Or, ‘faint heart ne’r won fair lady’?”
“Why ya hesitatin’ then?”
“Ah, because you classify as a biological natural disaster with violent mood swings? Your whole schtick screams ‘macho grande’? Also, I was taught that it’s polite to ask.”
With a grunt, Victor rolled onto his stomach. “Bite at tha back o’ my neck.”
When Tony did, moving the thick braid out of the way, the purr sparked and thrummed. Encouraged, he moved over him, but paused when the purr became a growl.
“Gonna hafta cope with bein’ growled at up there – my inner beastie thinks he’s tha alpha in this bed. Lotta ‘em noises ain’t all that voluntary on my part.”
“So … you want this?”
“Jacked it t’ tha fantasy version more’n once, so yeah – I’m fer findin’ out how reality stacks up.”
Tony slid his fingers farther, one of them finding out that the tight muscle was ringed with short soft fur, the same fur that dusted so much of his body golden.
“Give ya a tip… I don’t need ya t’ prep it, an’ it won’t stay loose much anyhow. I like it pretty rough, t’ be honest. Just shove in an’ fuck it as hard as ya want ‘til ya come, an’ leave it messy.”
“Seriously? That could injure you. Trust me, I have – recent – experience with that.”
“Yours or mine?”
One glowing cat’s eye appeared in the warm dim tent and watched him. “Fuck me, Tony. Smelled ya wantin’ it a while back – been waitin’, figured ya didn’t … want it with me.”
Tony swallowed hard, but he didn’t know how to respond to that. All he could do was show him he’d been wrong.
Instead of getting up to fetch the lube from the trunk, afraid of how Victor might interpret him leaving the bed, he compromised and stuck his fingers in his mouth before replacing them against that furry hole.
The moment he began, he realized it wouldn’t be easy and had to quickly swallow a gasp when he pushed harder and his fingertip popped through. Mere imagination of what that would feel like made his body ache with need.
“That is going to be tight,” he murmured, trying to save face as he hesitated.
“Ain’t never had no complaints ‘bout that.”
Tony was shocked to find he was nervous and it was difficult not to let his mind wander into thinking about levers, fulcrums, and torque as he used his finger to open him enough to insert the second one. Pushing in and crooking them, he stroked gently, hoping the mutant even had a prostate to play with.
When he found one, he used all the skill he had to make it good. Leaning down against his broad back, he bit the neck again and both heard and felt Victor groan with lust. The sound, and the thought of doing it, made him too hard to worry about nerves. The second he backed his fingers out, the muscle cinched tight again, making him suck in a breath.
“Just shove it in, right?”
The muscles across that powerful back rippled as the mutant gave out a low hiss. “Do it…”
Tony gripped his erection and stabbed it through the protesting muscle; he was the only one who winced.
“Oooh, wow.” He almost asked if Victor was all right, but the deep purring growl switching gears between warning and want was proof enough. The muscle contracted back around him, clenching tighter. “Are – you doing that? If you are, I’d like to mention I’m a fan of it.”
“Healin’ factor does that. Don’t sit up there wonderin’ how t’ make it nice fer me, just fuck tha thing. Fact it’s yer dick in there is gonna be ‘nuff fer me.”
“Feel free to have a fanboy moment,” Tony teased. Needing no more assurances, he took the man at his word and pushed in without a pause until his balls struck Victor’s furry skin. Pulling back and almost out, he pushed it in again and groaned. “I should warn you … I could acquire a taste for this.”
Victor crossed his arms under his face and Tony watched his heavy shoulders relax in the muted orange and blue light.
“Ya can have it whenever ya want, much as ya want.”
“Uh, gift horse and mouth, all that, but … why?”
“I’m a slut, that’s why.”
“I did notice that. Now tell me the real reason?”
“Got me a fanboy crush.”
“That’s more like it.” Tony leaned close and began to kiss his back as he thrust. “Don’t judge my prowess by how short this takes; I blame you, for being insanely exotically hot.”
The purr intensified at the praise, inspiring him to be a little rougher. Victor’s arms moved and the claws gouged the camp bed mattress. Tony couldn’t see them over the mutant’s shoulders and bowed head, but he could hear the cloth being punctured.
He gasped at the grip on his cock; he’d never felt it so tight. He was lying on a person who had used this body to kill people, a person many others saw only in their nightmares – if they were lucky. It was a heady thrillseeker mix.
Victor didn’t speak, but he was certainly communicating. Tony wished he knew what all the different sounds meant.
He pushed himself to thrust faster, for Victor’s sake, even though it would end things all the sooner for him. He could usually track when it would hit him, but it happened so fast, it was almost over before he was ready. Tony didn’t even try to maintain control, and it was clear that Victor was barely managing to. He collapsed on him and planned to stay there, but that amazing ring of muscle was tightening down again. With a grunt, he moved, pulled out, and then flopped back down onto Victor’s back.
“Well, you wanted it messy…” Tony picked his head up. “You didn’t come. I’d know, because you’re pretty noisy about it, usually. Can I help with that? I don’t need my mouth to walk.”
Victor didn’t reply, but when he started to move, Tony got out of the way, ready for the flop to his back. He wasn’t too surprised when he was roped in with one arm and pulled against him for a feral possessive cuddle.
“I can be a li’l tough t’ handle that way,” he finally answered. “How’d ya feel ‘bout good ol’ fashioned intercrural sex?”
“Is this a test to see if I know what that is?”
“Perish tha thought.”
Tony extricated himself from the arm to climb up the chest and kiss him. He was fascinated at the way Victor watched him. One large hand lifted and covered the arc reactor.
“I’m game, but let’s up the stakes and mix it up with something you really want.”
“Whattaya think I really want, Tony?”
Kissing him again, Tony slipped his tongue out and licked the front of the short bottom fang. It was growing back in impressively fast. He didn’t miss the little shiver the mutant tried to hide. It made a weird sort of sense – if people were terrified of the fangs, but he was stuck with them as a major part of his face, having someone treat them like an erogenous zone was probably a rare treat.
Leaving Victor to wonder, Tony got down and turned onto his side with his back to him. It was oddly hot to have to notice the mattress moving because his feral bedmate didn’t make a sound when he turned and slipped an arm under Tony’s to pull him closer. He opened his thighs slightly and let that thick cock push between them.
“I want you to bite, where you did before – only as deep as the new fang is long. I want to feel you suck at it while we get you off.”
“See? I knew you’d like it.”
“Ya know I can lose it…? Don’t wanna hurt ya.”
“That’s why you won’t. I trust you, Victor.”
He waited, letting Victor decide to accept that trust. He felt the soft lips first, kissing before the tongue licked. He could feel the hard shaft of the long lower fang and the scratch of the razor tip on the new one.
He had breathed the name against the skin, making Tony shiver. It was part seeking reassurance and part wallowing in the man’s scent. What had happened earlier had unsettled him even as it excited him. He wasn’t sure why, but he’d needed to touch Tony too intensely to fight what he wanted to do.
Kissing and licking the healing marks of the first bite, he hesitated. Not long before, he had set claws to this man. Had that fleeting impulse left him?
Tony reached back with gentle fingers to touch his face. “I want you to.”
Victor let his aching jaw open as Tony moved his hand. Both of his arms grabbed onto Victor’s where it wrapped around him.
He set the lethal points, but he had to turn his head and leave the long fang out of it. As the trio of needles sank slowly in, he moved his hips and thrust his cock forward and back between Tony’s thighs.
The urge to shift and drive inside Tony’s body was strong, but Victor fought it off with the intoxicating taste of his blood as he sucked at the puncture wounds. The strong thighs that gripped his cock tightened down for him and Victor groaned. He hissed around the bite when he felt strong hands slap against the head as he thrust. Tony had formed his hands into a little tunnel and tried to catch and squeeze the head when it struck.
“Your new fang is longer than that,” Tony told him through huffing breaths. “Bite deeper, I can take it.”
Victor growled over the flushed and bloody flesh pinched in his fangs. On another thrust, he sank three of his fangs deeper, his tongue lashing so that not one drop was lost.
Sucking the blood was a separate ecstasy that blended with the pleasure strung tight in his cock. Adding to it was the warmth of the man’s seed inside him and the hyper-sensitive flesh that could still feel those urgent and hungry thrusts in his body.
When he began to come, he knew it was the blood and the sense memory of Tony fucking him that shoved him over the edge. The only thing that kept him quiet was having his mouth clamped to the man’s flesh.
Tony gasped and made a little noise of pain when he pulled the fangs free. Victor set his tongue to the punctures before he shifted and moved, and Tony didn’t question it when he settled behind him with the shaft of his spent cock tucked between his asscheeks. As the bleeding slowed, he licked at the wounds gently.
“I’m not sure why that feels good – the licking it, I mean – but it does.” Tony wilted in his arms and let out a soft sigh. “The bite hurts, but it definitely ranks pretty high in kinky danger thrills.”
Victor didn’t answer, busy with wound care. To him, it was intimate and struck a cord deep in his psyche and his instincts. It was something he would do for a mate…
“I think it … makes me feel … cared for?” Tony shifted a little in Victor’s hold, his scent spiced with a fleeting anxiety. “Is the biting a sexy thing to you? Or is it a … cannibal thing?”
Watching the punctures a moment, Victor leaned in to whisper at his ear, “Depends on what an’ who I’m bitin’. Fer ya … it’s sexy.”
“Oh, good.” He was silent for all of three breaths. “Should we have a debriefing about earlier? You seem to like the S&M stuff in general; I saw that in a porn flick once. I hope it didn’t almost go south due to my lack of stilletos. I mean, I can never find any in my size and they just don’t work with the suit – not after Labor Day, anyhow.”
Victor had gone back to licking but a chuckle overtook him at that.
“Dunno what that was. Ya were smart t’ start talkin’ t’ me when ya did – in tha middle o’ how stupid ya were bein’.”
“Acknowledged, yes, but … I’d like to know where I went wrong. Was it the dick-stepping that went over the line, slapping you with mine, or the ordering you about? You liked the ordering about before.”
Victor kissed the punctures as he tried to sort out an answer. He kept coming back to being told no. He hooked his scratchy chin on Tony’s shoulder and tried to figure out how to explain without sounding like a moron.
“Remember what ya said when ya figured out I like t’ be bossed sometimes?”
“If you’re getting what you want, you … oh.” He sighed. “I’d already told you ‘no sex’ and then started ordering you to ‘service me’, right before stomping on your dick – hello to the symbolism of your fun denied. Shit. No wonder you were thinking about shredding me. I sort of suck at the S&M games. I’ve messed about, some things I’ve seen can be a turn-on, but for practical application in bed, my MO is really the ‘drunken fuck and then bail’ thing. I’m sorry.”
“Wasn’t really thinkin’ ‘bout shreddin’ ya; that was an inner beastie warnin’, not a plan. Also, not sure tha ‘revenge strip’ was a good idea, or tha oglin’ me after ya said no.”
“Why were you backsliding into surly mode? That started way before bedtime and was the inspiration for my faux pas.”
“In tha rig, before we started out, ya wanted t’ fuck me. I smelled it – tough t’ miss once ya got hard – but when I asked what was up, ya lied.”
“‘Macho Grande’. I assumed you’d be ticked if I suggested you play catcher; headless is not a good look for me. Before you say something inane like ‘ask, don’t assume’, you need to stand in front of a mirror and snarl, and then try to imagine what that looks like when you point it at the rest of us.”
Victor frowned. “Fair ‘nuff.”
When Tony fussed to move, he let him loose. He turned to face him and surprised Victor by kissing him. The kiss got a little intense, and Victor had to break it to avoid cutting the man.
“So, conclusion of our debriefing: common misunderstanding, worked it out, lessons learned. Agreed?”
“I think ya hang out with tha military too much.”
“That’s another topic entirely. Agreed?”
“Agreed. Are we gonna need a conch shell t’ work this sorta shit out in future?”
“I certainly hope not; I’d be terribly worried to be cast as Piggy to your Jack. Um, don’t take this wrong, but – you read books?”
“Okay. I kind of don’t; I can’t sit still that long.”
“Didn’t ya read that one?”
Tony grinned at him. “Saw the movie. All right, then. So, new business – or, repeat business – can I get you to play catch again?”
“Meant tha previous offer – wallow all ya want, Piggy.”
Tony laughed, but stopped him when he tried to roll to his stomach. “I want to see you.” He stroked his thighs as Victor raised and opened them, unconcerned with the dried blood here and there. “I also want the lube. Wait right like that – you look delicious, honey. It’s still in the trunk, right?”
Victor nodded once, feeling restless until Tony returned with the blue and white plastic tube. He held it in the light from his chest to read the brand name.
“Sylk – I approve. I like this stuff, too.”
He seemed to know that Victor needed to be touched more than looked at, and slicked himself fast before fucking into him deep again. Jacking himself lazily, Victor watched Tony fuck him, the expression on the man’s face sparking a purr in his chest. He lifted his other hand to touch the reactor, but then hesitated.
Gentle fingers closed on his wrist and brought his hand up to it. “I don’t know why you like to touch it so much,” Tony told him, his voice roughened by lust, “but I think I like it, which is new for me. Oh, damn – you feel so unbelievably good… I’m maybe still shocked you’re into this.”
He didn’t answer until he’d worn the man out. Tony managed not to fuss or comment when Victor pulled him into a close cuddle and curled around his back. Phantom pleasure still fired through his nerve-endings and he could feel and scent the man’s warm seed inside him.
Licking the side of his throat, Victor nuzzled the soft dark hair behind his ear. One arm was draped over Tony’s waist as that hand moved to cover the reactor.
He whispered, “I like t’ touch it cuz it’s a symbol o’ all tha reasons ya fascinate me – an’ cuz nobody else has that. I can sleep close an’ know who ya are; tha nightmares can’t lie t’ me.”
“It’s all fun and games to joke about stalking me, but … you obviously seriously do. Statistically speaking, that doesn’t usually end well, even with regular non-trained assassin stalkers. At what point does the fantasy run out and you have to kill me because I don’t fit into it anymore?”
Victor scented him, but didn’t detect any fear. “Ain’t like that; I think ya know it. Got tired o’ just lookin’ at mags, wanted more, so yeah, I stalked ya t’ get more. Never had a plan t’ actually meet, figured ya’d just try t’ kill me or attempt t’ lock me up. Then I started comin’ across yer tech an’ had tha idea o’ makin’ a deal t’ return it. Coulda insisted ya meet me fer that, but didn’t. Since ya butted heads with Obinata an’ found my name in tha financial scraps, that was easier t’ arrange.”
“That tiny little man is spookier than you are, by the way.”
“It ain’t a competition. Point is, I woulda been fine with those calls once in a blue moon.”
Tony was silent and Victor didn’t disturb him. He seemed to be wrestling with something. When he finally spoke again, the voice was soft – but cautious, and not relaxed.
“You kept trying to get me to meet you in Chicago.”
“Ya started askin’ fer favors outta tha blue – changes tha established boundaries a bit, don’t it? Coulda forced yer hand at breakfast, I was right there on tha same patio – nothin’ woulda stopped me walkin’ up an’ puttin’ that phone on yer table in front o’ yer gal. Instead, had it covert delivered – kept my distance an’ waited fer ya t’ call.”
He was quiet again for a while, and Victor let him think, though the need to change topics before the man figured out the rest was crawling under his skin.
“I wasn’t ever very civil to you on the phone.”
“Don’t matter none. Hearin’ yer voice talk t’ me was ‘nuff. Ya hero types ain’t built t’ like me.”
Stark’s voice turned controlled and carefully neutral. Victor wished he could see his face, to be able to read him better.
“Then you pulled me out of an ice crater and didn’t waste much time trying to push things, no matter how I said no. Classic escalation? Now that you’ve had all this to feed the obsession, what happens when I have to leave?”
“Ain’t gonna hurt ya, Tony. I know I’m crazy as fuck, an’ ya figured out some things can be dicey, but I ain’t gotta plan t’ keep ya or t’ hurt ya if ya go. Yer gonna hafta leave sooner or later, an’ I’m always globe-hoppin’ somewhere.”
“Why did you push…?” he whispered.
“Cuz … I thought there’d be no chance ya could ever be willin’, unless tha media was right ‘bout what a slut ya are – hit buttons ‘til ya fig out how t’ start tha motor, then yer willin’. Wanted ya too bad not t’ try. I don’t ‘pologize fer my wants, but I never meant t’ terrify ya. Had my fill o’ ‘lessons learned’ t’ be honest – but it took me a bit before it sunk in that makin’ an enemy outta ya wasn’t how I wanted it t’ go.”
Stark didn’t answer for an unusually long time, and Victor tried to be patient. He could almost hear the gears turning in the man’s head and his scent shifted with his mercurial thoughts at a rate that was hard to track.
For a moment, Victor felt uneasy and utterly inferior to this man. He was Grendel with dripping red claws, a monster of brutish violent hungers – the soul of destruction. In his arms, he held a painfully modern Prometheus, who had created the gift of fire to warm all of mankind. He had dedicated himself to saving lives while Victor had spent all of his long life snuffing them out.
This is smoke, he thought, and closed his eyes. I ain’t nothin’ he’d ever want, let alone need. Just an illusion… His fingers began to slip away from the warm blue fire that gave comfort.
Tony’s hand covered his over the reactor and held it there. “Okay, I accept all of that – just don’t ask me to prom.”
Victor nearly choked on the relief that flooded through him. He sighed into Tony’s hair, nuzzling it again in pure need.
Burying his fears, he muttered, “Cuz yer spoken fer?”
“Yes – I’m going steady with the bar.”
~ ~ ~
Time in the onset of polar night was a difficult thing to gauge, but Victor knew they’d gotten some hours of sleep in. Tony had woken him once to mate with him again and Victor had wordlessly rolled to his stomach to give his body to his lover.
“Let me hear that hungry growl, honey,” he had whispered in Victor’s ear when he mounted him. Victor couldn’t have helped making those sounds when he was pierced and claimed.
~ ~ ~
He woke with a start when Tony left his side, but once he saw that he was headed for the back of the rig, Victor smirked, rolled to his belly, and closed his eyes again.
“I know you’re awake,” Tony called out.
“Havin’ a prob back there, princess? Try jigglin’ tha handle.”
“Ha ha. Are we burying things like cats do, or what? I assume there’s a ‘don’t attract polar bears’ aspect of this camping trip.”
“I’ll bury it before we leave, don’t worry ‘bout it. Are ya hungry?”
“Definitely. Cover your ears if you’re delicate, but if this sort of thing is a turn-on for you, it’s not something I’m interested in sharing – FYI.”
“That ain’t one o’ my kinks, flyboy.”
Victor got up, batted his braid off of his chest, and opened the steamer trunk.
“Do you have to hunt breakfast? I gather you poisoned or spoiled all of the camp supplies and I didn’t see you pack anything edible.”
Fishing out his stash, Victor put the duffel bag on the bed. He got into the Cheetos in five seconds flat.
Tony reappeared, grabbed his underwear and jeans, and put them on before sitting on the bed.
“What on earth are you scarfing down like a starving baboon? Cheetos?”
Victor swallowed and grinned as he nodded. “They’re my crack. Got venison jerky an’ beef jerky, assorted other goodies. Ya can have a Twinkie if ya want one.”
“Now it feels like a slumber party. Are we going to play ‘light as a feather, stiff as a board’ later?”
“Not important.” He picked up a package of beef jerky and joined in.
“We need t’ be quick an’ find out what’s what, so … recon.”
~ ~ ~
Victor put Tony’s arctic gear in the cab of the rig and stuck the empty trunk back on the sled. He locked his phone into the glove box before turning to see Tony half encased in metal over the ballistic mesh suit. The rest of it was on top of his steamer trunk, but the bed was broken down and packed away. As he watched, Tony tucked his phone into its place in the suit.
“I’m impressed that you figured out how to get me out of this correctly without being tempted to cut anything on it.”
“Figured that wouldn’t make friends, neither.”
“Wow, this takes a while when I’m not at home. I need to fix that.”
Victor watched him with a vague restless upset sparking along his nerves. When Tony straightened in the boots, he couldn’t swallow a growl fast enough. The man was abruptly his match in height.
Tony flashed him a smile. “Does this tilt our size kink on its ear? It’s only the rocket boots, honey.” He finished with the second arm and then approached as he put the helmet on, leaving the faceplate up. “Come here often, blondie?”
Victor arched an eyebrow as he looked at him. “Gold-titanium alloy?”
“I can cut that.” Victor smirked as he held up a hand and popped a claw.
Tony leaned his head down and took the finger, claw and all, into his mouth. Victor hissed and retracted it fast before the idiot sucked on it.
“I win. Give us a kiss, killer.”
Victor growled, but kissed him. “Don’t get killed, ya damn fool.”
“I have wrist-mounted missiles, hip-mounted flare launchers, and shoulder-mounted machine guns, among other goodies – I’ll be fine. Get ready to roll out; I’ll find the rig after I locate the base.” He turned for the front tent flaps and headed outside.
“If ya don’t get lost again,” Victor muttered. He pulled his arctic jacket on over his t-shirt and followed him out.
“Good thing you got a D- in stealth; I could find that truck from space.”
Once the faceplate went down, he only had the man’s scent to prove to his hissy inner beast that Tony was inside that thing.
“Did you have a nice nap, JARVIS?” The metal figure turned slightly to look at Victor before facing the vast polar night again. “Him? Believe it or not, he’s not the threat.”
Victor snarled when the rocket boots fired up and the metal man began to hover. CNN hadn’t prepared him for how fucking weird it was to see that thing in person.
“Try not to miss me, honey,” Iron Man called out and then he flew away. The low mechanical voice didn’t even sound like Tony’s.
To push away the nagging thought that he might not come back, Victor got to work on packing the steamer trunk and heaters before tearing down the tent.
Almost hope a polar bear comes by an’ wants t’ try eatin’ me – I could use tha stress relief.
Author’s Note: References to the conch shell, Piggy, and Jack are from the book Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, in which the character holding the conch shell was allowed to speak in a gathering. Also, (Spoiler Warning for the heck of it) Piggy, the intellectual character, is killed by Jack, the savage primal hunter. Grendel is a monster in the Old English epic poem Beowulf, written in England between the 8th and 11th century by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet referred to by scholars as the “Beowulf poet”. Prometheus is a titan from Greek Mythology who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. The borrowed phrase “a warm light for all mankind” belongs to Marvel. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm (@MET_Fic)
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