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“I’m tired of this, John.” I leaned close, staring him down, sliding into the space between his chair and his desk, his office private and quiet around us, no after-hours bustle of life outside the door. “We’ve been bouncing off each other for more than ten years. Something needs to come of this. Something has to happen.”

“And what you’re suggesting can’t happen,” he said, his voice low.

“I don’t care about politics tonight, John.”

He looked pained. “Neither do I. It... can’t happen. Harry, stop this.”

“I know you’re interested in me, John,” I purred, leaning close enough to feel his body warmth. “And this says it can.” I brushed my hand over the hard bulge in his pants, cupping lightly with my fingers. “Tell me you don’t want this, that I’ve read you all wrong, and I’ll go, leave you alone.”

“Dresden.” His voice was strained, his hand flexed where he’d gripped the edge of his desk. “Stop. I didn’t say I don’t want it; I mean I can’t. Look.” I leaned back, frowning down as he pushed my hand away, shoving his office chair out so that it was in the light of his desk lamp, the only light left after I’d hit the switch for the office, and unzipped his pants. He was wearing dark briefs-- he pulled them down far enough the I could see what I'd been fondling.

I looked down at the plastic balls, well sized, the plastic penis I’d felt-- flaccid shaped, but heavier than skin, heavy enough that I’d mistaken it for him half-erect. John let me stare, and then reached down to loosen the harness that held them in place.

“Oh my God,” I said, my voice strangled. My thighs clenched protectively when his groin was bared, a hand flying to my crotch-- it hurt just to look at it, the scar where his testicles should have been, the truncated mass of his penis. “Oh my god. What. How long. When.”

“Nicodemus,” John said, lungs expanding, contracting. He tightened the harness back around his hips with a jerk, redoing his pants. “There was... a good deal of blunt force trauma. Gangrene settled in. They had to operate, remove the dead tissue to keep infection from spreading. The term is orchiectomy, they tell me. I was lucky; if it hadn’t been cold, I might have died from septic shock before I reached the hospital.”

“But. You. Are you okay?” I stammered, trying to hide my protective crotch-grab by wiping my hand on my thighs. My palms were sweating.

“Certainly. It’s ugly, but it’s healed. What you see is healthy and functional-- well, in a non-sexual capacity. A daily testosterone treatment has prevented most of the secondary effects from the loss of my testicles.”

“I don’t mean your health. Stars, John, I know you’re supposed to be immovable, but that. I mean, you’re a guy, too.” I thought suddenly, horribly, of how often I’d marveled at how ballsy John was, how he must have had brass ones big enough to sink a ship. I’m not used to thinking about another guy’s anatomy, not really. But I’d thought about his, when he’d faced down MacFinn, when he’d stormed the Raith stronghold for me. I'd always had the idea that his real ones swung as low as his metaphorical ones-- I'd carried that image in the back of my head a long time. I’m not proud to admit that, for just a moment, I was hit hard by the fact that I’d never had the chance to see them. I bet they were pretty damn impressive in their day.

“I am,” John said, a single hard shrug. “But my psychological struggles aren’t the issue of the day-- you wanted to know why I wouldn’t sleep with you, when I was obviously otherwise interested, attracted, and willing. Now you know; when I say ‘I can’t,’ I’m not speaking metaphorically. ...mind you, I did consider that perhaps you’d top, and I still experience arousal from the stimulation of my prostate-- but I imagine the truth of things is rather a turn off. Perhaps if I’d kept the prosthetic on, hadn’t showed you, but...” He shook his head.

I sat down heavily on his desk, looking down at my hands.

...at my gloved hand.

I’d felt so crippled by it. Even after Butters had run me through the literature, even when I’d grown almost used to the sight of my glove, to knowing what the flesh looked like beneath it, knowing that it wouldn’t respond like I told it to-- it was my hand and it had been taken from me, twisted into something I had to fight my body to use. There’s nothing easy about having your body be wrong. ...And my hand would heal. I could still use it. It wasn’t gone.

The hardest thing to realize was that I didn’t have to be incomplete. That my hand didn’t make me. That had taken years, and that was just a hand, not my entire metaphorical manhood-- had John reached that point yet, where he didn’t feel like he’d lost something integral to him?

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I came on a little strong.”

“I forgive you. The irony is, if you had asked before--” he started, a lot more self recriminatory than I liked him. Getting recriminatory at him was my job.

I didn’t let him finish, leaning in slowly and stealing his words with a soft kiss, just nibbling my lips over his and inhaling his grim irony.

He pulled back after a moment, looking at me.

“Do you actually want to attempt this?” he said, his lofted eyebrow not quite distracting me from how brittle his voice sounded.

“Yeah,” I said, and smiled at him. “Yeah, I would. But-- if you don’t want to. I’ll wait.”

“You’ll wait? Like a prom queen seeing her fellow monarch off to war?” he said, and I wasn’t sure if he was joking or angry-- I don’t know if he was sure, either. He was on unsteady ground, I realized, and I was standing there with a big American Gladiator boffer, in perfect position to whack him off his feet.

“Like a guy to another guy who’s important to him.” I stroked his hair, brushing my thumb against the silver at his temple. “We can just be friends. But I think we’re kind of past pretending that we’re just respectful enemies.”

“How generous, to stay if hate sex isn’t on order.” Which sounded a lot like he was dismissing me, but I’d have been hurt more if he could meet my eyes.

“Hey John?” I shifted off of his desk, standing on my feet and pulling in a much more relaxed breath.

“Mister Dresden?”

“Kiss me some more.” I settled into his lap-- plenty slowly enough that he could have shoved me away.

He didn’t.

He kissed me some more.

It started out exploratory-- we didn’t know each other as lovers; Stars, we’d barely ever touched each other before. We were careful and, well, clinical is the wrong word, but the right one too, because we were testing and filing away results: of mouths fitting together with mouths, the shape of his jaw, I felt him lingering on my scar to memorize its depth and shape.

We melted, slowly, into something warmer. John relaxed beneath me, leaned into my weight, his arms sliding around my shoulders and then dropping to my back, tight and a little desperate.

When the kissing fell apart, petering out to a natural breathing pause, I looked at him again. His face was relaxed, his pupils large and dark. His mouth-- damp, red, a little slack. Happy looked good on him. Some of the lines on his face disappeared; others, the smile lines around his eyes, deepened. I brushed at them with my thumb.

“...I think I could be satisfied to do nothing but this for the rest of our relationship,” John said, a little huskily, hands stroking over my hips, my lower back. “Whatever that was. Adversarial. Allies. Respectful enemies. If I was still allowed to kiss you like that, all of it would be so much more tolerable.”

“I can work in some frenemies with benefits time,” I agreed, leaning my cheek against him.

“Mmm. Harry, I want to do something to you.” His lips meandered over my Adam's apple.

“...a little menacing, John,” I smiled into his hair. “Given our history.”

“I’d like to do something sexual and pleasant to you,” he chuckled into my neck. “Face forward, would you?”

I scooted around in his lap, the weight of his prosthetic still a little confusing under me-- and I got myself facing forward, my thighs over his, my pelvis dipped down to spoon in his. His face was nestled against my back. I had to wonder: “This what you were after?”

“Precisely,” he said, sounding satisfied, and reached around to pop my fly. His lips pressed against my spine, and his hand was warm against my boxers. “Mm. It’s been quite some time since I’ve done this.”

Spooned in his lap like I was, the motion of his arm, the grip of his hand, teasing me erect, it wasn’t so different from the way I’d have done it for myself-- or the way he’d have done it for himself, I quickly realized. His free arm went around my waist, settled me a little deeper into his lap, lined up our limbs a little closer.

I was getting hard in his hand, and he grunted against my back. He was jerking me off the way he’d do himself-- making me part of him, starting to get into my pleasure.

“Oh yeah,” I mumbled, reaching way back to wrap my hands in John’s hair, tugging softly like I liked to do when I was getting into a session. I couldn’t reach to rub his nipples, so I had to settle for rubbing his neck and head.

“It’s good,” John agreed hoarsely. “Big hard bastard. Oh, yeah. Here.” He held up his hand and I slobbered into it-- a little more enthusiastically than I’d have wet down my own hand, honestly, but we both enjoyed it. Once his hand was slick, he set down to jerking me off again, getting into it with a happy roll of his hips.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

“Oh,” he said thoughtfully, “just you, mostly. Better times... Occasionally costarring Grace Kelly and a kingsized bed.”

I rolled that image around in my brain, and when my eyes drifted shut the firm hand wrapped around me added a layer of reality.

“Getting close,” I said, rolling my hips up along with his, breath coming shallow.

“Oh yeah. It’s about goddamn time...”

“John. Oh, Stars, John.” I grinned and arched my head back, laying it on his shoulder and tensing my toes, my legs, feeling the tightness, the pleasure build up in me-- and spill over. I gasped-- once, and groaned my way through it, fist clenching in John’s hair. He milked me to the finish, got cautious a second too soon, but a snapped ”John” got me those two last strokes.

He sighed, and released the tension in his legs and chest, following my lead. “...it’s been three years since I’ve done that.”

“We won’t wait that long before the next time.” I scootched forward, balancing my weight on one of his legs, and twisted back to kiss him, catching his wet hand with mine and a tissue I fished awkwardly from my jeans pocket. “John. I want to do you, too.”

“I’m not sure I’m ready--” He cleared his throat. “Not sure I’m up for more than that.”

“Can I try? I won’t get too adventurous. Not without lube. But I want to try.” I slid off his lap, going carefully to my knees in the space between his legs and his desk. “Can I, uh...meet you?”

He nodded slowly. “I’m sorry. It won’t do much. I don’t have much sensation there. The damage was. Extensive. Erections are not, as such, and extremely rare.”

“But it doesn’t hurt?” He shook his head, and I pulled off my glove, splaying my fingers with their waxy scars over his suit pants. “Help me--” and he lifted his hips so that I could get his pants down, his briefs.

My last few months had been more adventurous than the rest of my life combined. I’d had lovers who taught me to pay attention to all of them-- even the parts that detached. I ran my lips over the plastic, firm with a passingly flesh-like give, warm and sweat-musky. “Do you want me to blow it?”

His eyes widened; he hadn’t thought of that.

“Not tonight. No. Wouldn’t have thought you were into that.” His laugh was nervous-- a new uncertainty he’d never shown me before.

I kissed his thigh. “Can I put my mouth on you?”

“Only if it gets you off. Won’t do much for me.”

I loosened the hip harness-- unbuckled the soft leather straps and flipped the rubber penis aside. ...It wasn’t much easier to look at than the last time, but now there was something a lot more personal about it. It wasn’t just mangled skin-- it was John. They’d hurt John, and he’d been carrying around that hurt for so long, all by himself.

I kissed the orchiectomy scar first, nuzzling his penis out of the way-- flattened my tongue against the skin and gave a long lick, then blew on it as if I was cooling a burn. He watched cautiously. “Your mouth is warm, and that was cold. That’s all that I can feel.”

“That’s enough for me,” I told him, and wrapped my mouth around his flaccid cock. The texture was strange-- not wrong, John wasn’t going to be wrong to me, but strange-- I could taste where there had been stitches, the rise and fall of the skin, the too-smooth patches where his body had done its best to heal.

I looked up. He’d shut his eyes.

A soft suck, more for my benefit than his, and I let him out of my mouth, cradling him in one hand. “John?”

“I wasn’t expecting that,” he said, voice tight. “I hadn’t realized. It wasn’t. Erotic to see you do that.”

I froze-- I hadn’t mean to make out like I had some kind of fetish, like I was trying to get off on his scars. I’d just wanted him to know that I was happy to take everything he had, or didn’t have. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to--”

He sliced a hand through the air. “No. No, it wasn’t unpleasant. The opposite. But not sexual. I’m sorry. I think I’ve killed the mood.”

“It’s okay.” I rubbed his thighs. “It’s okay. We don’t have to do anything tonight. I’m good to try again later.”

He fidgeted sharply in his chair, hands flying down to do up his harness again, snugging the prosthetic back in place. He held his breath until he was done-- then it came out in a long sigh. I rested my head on his thigh, briefly, gave a gentle kiss to the inside of his knee, and looked back up, trying to find that line between giving him privacy and being there for him.

“I’m sorry,” he said again. And really, both of us had been doing more apologizing tonight than we’d done the whole decade-plus we’d known each other. Well, that came up when you dealt with sensitive subjects. Ha ha, tasteless pun. Here all week.

“It’s fine. Jeeze, why are you apologizing to me? I got off tonight. I’m doing great. ”

His lips pulled up into a smirk, even if his eyes weren’t happy. “You were big. I knew you would be.”

“Wow, how much thought have you put into that?” I hadn’t realized that ‘attracted and willing’ went beyond idle fantasies and into... John Marcone actually considering my package. I didn’t know if I should feel flattered or embarrassed.

A snort. “Some. I’ll admit. ...Did you ever consider mine, as you worked your way up to seducing me tonight?”

I kept rubbing his leg. “Honestly... I imagined your balls, mostly. Big hefty ones, the kind it takes to do what you do.”

“Well, there they are. Big and hefty... and plastic, but two out of three isn’t bad, they say.”

“I love your balls, John. Love your dick, too. Both of them.”

“...Have you taken some kind of sexual sensitivity class?”

“...nnno. I’ve fucked things that actually have two. Or prongs.” I held up two fingers. Peace, man. “Or keep theirs in storage and wear it when it’s safe.”

His shocked bark of laughter was followed by a huff and a hiproll. “You-- that shouldn’t excite me. It shouldn’t do a damn thing for me-- you look ridiculous down there, you can’t fellate a strap on. It’s a useless exercise.” He chased the logic in circles and was left staring at nothing and looking aroused again, confused, irritated.

“...I’m pretty sure I can fellate a lot of things, John. Only if you want me to, though. Only if you want to watch me suck your dick.” I said innocently.

“Would you please, Mister Dresden,” he said, curt and exasperated.

So I took his plastic cock in my mouth and sucked, laved my tongue over the realistic veins-- letting the tip of it flick outside of my lips so that he could see. A long pull off of it, lips wrapped around it and dragging down its length, and then I started to lick it deliberately.

“Oh,” John said, and then “OH.” when I cupped a hand under his groin and started massaging the skin between his strap-on and his asshole. Right there; like he’d said, that still had feeling.

I knew-- because of the safe sex pamphlets Butters had buried me under when I started being much more sexually active-- that guys could get off from this alone. But I knew I didn’t stand much of a chance of getting it just right my first time. Unless I cheated.

I pulled off his dick long enough to take a deep breath and center myself, and concentrated on feeling him. All of him. The warmth of his skin under my hands-- the individual hairs and the chords of muscle in his thighs. The shape of his legs against my chest, the pressure against me where his pants were bunched around his knees. The dampness of sweat where he was sitting on my hand. His smell; the texture of his clothing, the beat of his heart.

As my senses expanded out around him, I could feel his arousal, the knot of energy gathering in one of his chakra points, pulsing with his heartbeat. I rubbed the heel of my hand against him, following my magic to the energy that bloomed in his pelvis-- incandescent, twining lazily around my probing aura.

"What are you doing?" he gasped, and I saw him regain control of himself with a hitch. "Out of. Curiosity."

“Magic.” I wiggled my fingers against him. “Abracadabra.”

“It’s-- oh, Harry. Oh shit, Harry.”

My magic cradled around his energy was an extension of my hand cradled under his perineum, containing and stoking the energy inside, holding his arousal so that it couldn’t drain away before he was ready. I followed the tracks of excitement-- kissed his thighs and found the places that lit up like little lights under my mouth, stroked the backs of his knees and the bottoms of his thighs, hitting all the little buttons I could reach.

He started to pant, and I focused on my massaging hand, trying to nudge his prostate without hammering it, sucking him again, bumping his arousal teasingly with my own energy, stroking, licking it with little tongues of my own satisfaction.

His arousal suddenly swelled into a mass of energy that tangled all through his pelvis, and then pulsed sharply and imploded-- his hips bucked and he exhaled, hard, as if he’d been punched, and almost immediately flinched back. I pulled away quickly, my mouth and my hands and my energy.

John slumped in his chair and I stared at the bizarre sight of him unhinged-- drooling, even, just the slightest shine of moisture at the corner of his slack mouth. He raised a shaking hand to his head and pushed back his hair with clawed fingers, then rubbed down his face, scrubbing hard.

“Huh.” He rolled his desk chair back, carefully closed his legs. “All right.”

“I owed you one.” I slanted a smile, let my teeth show in a flash.

“I didn’t do that for you. I couldn’t have done anything like that for you,” he said, his voice slow and almost slurring.

“Sure you did. It’s been a while. You’ve just forgotten how good it is.” I stood up stiffly, stretching out my back, not bothering to do anything about the dopey smile I could feel stretching out my face. I tucked my dick back inside my jeans. “Hey, you want a beer? ...Stop staring at me like that, John, do you want to swell my head?”

“You. You bastard wizard. I hate all of you.” The laughter boiled out of him like the orgasm had, hard and surprising, and he sprawled back in his chair, stomach spasming.

“I hate you too, you criminal scumbag.” I grinned, and met him when he staggered out of his chair and kissed me hard enough to split my lip.

“Come on, you oversexed teenager.” He pulled away, a swagger in his step that really raised questions as to who was the teenager here. “I’m buying, and you’re going to thank me for it.”

“Like hell.”

He bounced his hip off my ass, caught me around the ribs with one meaty bicep, and tugged me after him. We laughed, and left his office behind us.