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They’d all done it: experienced the almost-piss-that-wasn’t to a strange feedback loop of touch and memory and stained their bed rolls, before wisening up and dirtying the wall instead.

They’d all done it—but Dogma had only done it once.

He’d first shot off behind some mats in the gym, after a spar with Toss left him angry, keyed up, and hard. He’d only meant to cool off and rearrange himself. But the lingering sensation of Toss’s thighs locked around his face, the smell of sweat and rubber, and one too many passes of fabric over his tip, and Dogma had squirted like a tube of ration paste.

He was six and he’d panicked.

When Sergeant Kunaan found him, he hadn’t seen a confused kid suffering from accelerated puberty. He saw malingering cadet hiding from his brothers so he could pleasure himself. He’d dragged Dogma out by the ear in front of the entire training platoon and yanked his slicked hand out of his sweats. Kunaan’s lecture on the vice of onanism lasted longer than the longest lesson on the components of an E-Web, all while Dogma’s mess oozed down his sergeant’s white-knuckled fingers.

“Osi’yaim,” Kunaan had sneered, smearing the evidence of Dogma’s crime all over the cadet’s red face.

The shame stuck with Dogma much longer than the feeling that provoked it: something like the buzzing of a shaver along the root of your skull, while you took a piss you’d been holding since reveille. Dialed up to ten.

And Dogma had just the right perverse combination of wherewithal and guilt to keep him from doing it again.

So a few months later, when the platoon was woken before drill and ordered to scrub their neighbors’ pods until their fingers bled, Dogma scrubbed with equal parts disgust and self-righteousness.

He’d learned his karking lesson. He had obeyed. Why had no one else?

But tonight, some years and some hundred unfair punishment scrubs later, the urge was worse than ever.

Earlier that afternoon, he and Tup had been sidelined from the water bolo game for separate infractions. And Tup’s hand had slipped into the back of Dogma’s training trunks.

Tup hadn’t snickered at him that day in the gym. No one had, actually. Kunaan’s lectures were no laughing matter. Word on the shiny street was, he’d been kicked down the turboshaft by the Mandalorians who trained the commandos after he found religion and his moral grandstanding became too much. Now he took it out on the standards he’d been reassigned to.

So Tup hadn’t laughed at him; but he hadn’t joined in the collective jerking of Dogma’s chain either. Much the opposite. He’d blackened more than one eye and fractured a cheekbone in Dogma’s defense.

At least, Dogma thought it’d been for him, until two other cadets were caught in a pod together, and he was no longer the platoon’s only problem vod or Tup’s only compassionate cause.

Tup’s fists maintained a very fragile peace. And those same hands had just slipped into places only Dogma and the med-droid were familiar with. The curious flick of Tup’s eyes had said it wasn’t a coolant-check or some other attempt to wind him up. That had never been Tup’s style, anyway.

Now Dogma couldn’t stop thinking about it.

How his knees had hurt to watch Tup haul himself out of the pool. How the water had clung to the fine hairs of Tup’s legs and formed rivulets down his broadening shoulders, into the long valley of his spine. How his mouth had gone dry as he looked with fresh eyes at that crease that dived from Tup’s hips down into the waistband of his trunks. In the showers, Tup had cast one furtive glance at Dogma from under his arm, bent over to step out of his damp clothes, and it had damn near sent Dogma’s heart out his throat and into orbit. He wanted more than anything to slip his fingers into that groove between Tup’s ass and the backs of his thighs. To burst all over Tup’s skin.

It was his skin, too; but on Tup, it was just … prettier.

Dogma lay in his pod with his hands shoved firmly under his own sorry shebs. He quietly recited the full complement and armament of a Venator as he willed himself and his cock to sleep.

Not here. Not in the pod. Not on Kamino.

They’d be shipped out in six months. And out there, Tup kept telling him, the only rule that mattered was looking out for the brothers next to you. Maybe then Dogma could … maybe then he would allow himself to revisit that feeling. And maybe with Tup’s hand, instead of his own.

Thing was, he didn’t really believe Tup. Everything mattered, and who was Tup or Dogma or anyone but the Jedi to say otherwise?

Still. He looked forward to the day when he’d answer to a higher authority than Sergeant Kunaan.

He’d just about started his recitation for a third time when there came a soft click! and Dogma felt his bedframe slide forward.

He punched his fist against the pod’s interior control panel to stop its advance. If this was a snap inspection, a sergeant could override him; if it was Helix and Wedge hoping to get him in trouble, they could get lost. A top pod meant being relatively safe from harassment—it might be a long drop for short kicks—but he wouldn’t put anything past those two.

His bedframe had just begun to reverse when Dogma caught a whisper, hoarse and frantic, through the gap between the pod hatch and the wall.

“Dogma! Dogma, stop, it’s me. It’s Tup. Open up!”

Dogma froze.

He doubled up and scrambled forward.

There was Tup, one hand gripping the lip of the hatch, the other holding on for dear life to the ladder, his face a picture of terror.

Something told Dogma he should offer Tup and his fierce fear of heights a word of comfort. But Dogma also wasn’t one to let dumb decisions go unnoticed.

“What are you doing all the way up here?!” he hissed.

“No one’s caught me yet,” Tup croaked. “But if you don’t let me in—” He twisted his chin over his shoulder, gauging the drop, and squeezed his eyes shut. Di’kut. Dogma pressed the pod’s external button. It allowed the hatch to open just enough for him to reach out, wrap his arm underneath Tup’s armpit, and haul him inside. Once all limbs were accounted for, Dogma slid the bedframe home.

The closed pod glowed faintly blue in the light of the control and readout panels. Dogma sat back, cross-legged, his head bowed under the low ceiling, and once his eyes adjusted, he could make out the sheen on Tup’s face; he was braced on his hands and knees, trying to catch his breath.

“We’re getting too big for this,” Dogma said, his irritation abating.

Tup cracked a smile. “You say that like we make this a habit. Don’t know the last time you made a housecall.”

“Okay. You’re getting too big for this. I know you sneak around.”

Tup shrugged. “There are other ways of maintaining platoon harmony.”

Dogma tried to ignore that comment—and the punch it gave to his chest. Tup looked out for him. He volunteered to be his battle buddy in sims when no one else would; he always picked Dogma first for his bolo-ball teams; he sat with Dogma in the mess. If other brothers wanted Tup’s easy company and goodwill, they had to put up with Dogma. With his fixations, his irritability, and his weird gestures. Short-circuiting they called it, when Tup wasn’t around to hear.

And Dogma had to put up with sharing Tup.

Dogma’s hands were draped over the tent in his fatigues. His cock didn’t believe in coincidences, and his imagination and Tup’s proximity weren’t giving it any reason to try.

Tup’s breathing calmed. He rucked up the side of his tunic, reaching into his waistband. He pulled something out and tossed it to Dogma, who caught it on reflex.

It was a tube. Dogma twisted it towards the light. A tube of bacta, larger than the ones they carried in their belts in full battle rattle. Those were only good for single blaster wound or deep cut—this might regenerate the skin of an entire arm. It was highly controlled, very expensive, and it felt like a brand in Dogma’s palm.

He tossed it back.

“You shouldn’t have that," he said.

“Why not?”

“Because the Kaminii don’t give those out like honeypops, and you were assigned to med inventory after evening mess. You stole it.”

Stealthily sourced. I’m sure there’s an SOP for that somewhere.”

“You’ve basically stolen that from an injured brother. What d’you want it for?”

Sighing, Tup sat down and mirrored Dogma’s pose, scooting up close so their knees touched. He flipped the tube over in his hands a few times before looking up at Dogma’s face. “Because it was an injured brother who told me what else you could do with it.”

Dogma blinked. Tup wasn’t explaining himself fully. He was being evasive. This meant there was something Tup wanted him to do or say. Trouble was, Dogma was having a hard enough time ignoring his cockstand, and he didn’t think the bacta had anything to do with—

But then, Tup placed a hand on his knee. And after a beat, he slid it forward. Cautiously. Understanding hit Dogma like a wrong turn into a sergeant’s boots.

Every time Tup’s fingers bumped over a gather in the red fabric, Dogma’s cock twitched under his knuckles. Now Dogma was the one struggling to breathe. Could the pod’s air recycler cope with two oxygen-heavy humans? The tight space smelled heavily of their peppery soap, a double ration of which Tup always managed to steal for his hair; it was growing faster than Tup was, and lately he’d taken to wearing most of it pulled back in a tuft on the crown of his head.

Tup hadn’t stopped staring into Dogma’s face, like he really didn’t want to lose him to thoughts on engineering or grooming standards or SPHAT specs. When Tup’s hand found Dogma’s waistband and his fingers grazed his stomach, Dogma shivered. He might have moaned. He couldn’t be sure, because the sound of his own heartbeat chopped like a larty engine in his ears.

“Wanna try it?” Tup asked in a low voice. It cut through the hum and went straight to Dogma’s crotch.

This was twelve kinds of wrong. They weren’t supposed to fraternize like this, much less in their pods. Kunaan even watched them in the showers to make sure nobody’s hands wandered, like he didn’t have anything better to do than observe a bunch of frustrated cadets die from unnatural blue balls. Other battalions were only monitored by the occasional dumb droid, and since their marksmanship and teamwork scores weren’t in the sluice, Tup argued that just meant the sergeant was the defective one.

On that point, Dogma had come to believe Tup was right.

“Yes,” Dogma whispered with a robust nod. He had no idea what he was doing—and only an educated guess as to the purpose of the bacta—but he was bred to be a kinesthetic learner.

His fingers itched to study Tup.

Dogma let his hands fall away from his crotch, suddenly not so embarrassed. Tup ignored Dogma’s cockhead when it sprang up and poked his wrist. Instead, he dropped the bacta and grabbed Dogma’s neck with the hand that wasn’t fingering along Dogma’s pants. He pressed his mouth against the frantic pulse in Dogma’s throat, nursing the delicate skin with warm lips, alternating nips of teeth with touches of tongue that drained all the blood and sense out of Dogma’s skull.

Tup’s fist tangled into the collar of his tunic. Dogma felt as giddy and disoriented as a droided trooper after three stimpacks. He fumbled behind his neck, jerking his tunic up and over his woozy head. The gust of air against the damp spot on his neck sent birdbumps popping down his chest and arms. Everything was suddenly so brightly sensitive.

Flinging the tunic away, Dogma groped for the warm contours of Tup’s shoulders. He knew how nice it was to be pressed against Tup in a motthole, even when none of his brother’s heat could reach him through the plates; he ached to have all of Tup touching him now.

“I’m right here,” Tup whispered. He rolled up onto his knees and pushed Dogma gently backwards and down onto the mat, trailing his lips over Dogma’s jaw.

Dogma was on the brink of delirium, but something in his mind kept anchoring itself to the technicalities of the situation—like how Tup’s knees were wedged against the rails of the bedframe. If Dogma’s own thighs were any thicker, this would be impossible.

He was really glad it wasn’t, because the brush of someone else’s fatigues across his hard nipples nearly bent him double. The floaters in Dogma’s chest made a dive for his groin.

When Tup’s mouth found his, Dogma was stunned by the squishiness. He tried to kiss back—flash-training told him this was a kiss, but those images were motionless and clinical. This was … very slippery. Very wet. He wasn’t sure he liked it, even if it was Tup, who seemed to be finding his rhythm, working his lips as easily as he spun conversation.

“Please kiss lower,” Dogma huffed out. Was that rude? He couldn’t breathe, and it felt a lot nicer when Tup was licking his skin. Judging by the trail Tup left down Dogma’s neck and sternum, he didn’t mind; when Tup diverted over to a nipple to roll it between his tongue and his front teeth, plucking on some new live wire of pleasure, Dogma nearly came unglued with a groan.

Tup smacked a palm over Dogma’s mouth. “Shhhh! Or we really will get caught.”

“Sorry,” Dogma mumbled. And he was. His outburst distracted Tup from his nipple.

Tup yanked off his own tunic. The console glowed just enough to cast his abs and that groove between his hips into amazing relief. They’d been so busy igniting nerve endings Dogma wasn’t aware he had, he’d almost forgotten the heat coiling in his groin and the hard-on he’d been sporting for the better part of an hour.

The bulges of their clothed cocks nearly made contact. Tup, loose strands of hair now falling down around his ears, caught Dogma looking. “You stare a lot,” he said, rolling his waistband down. “You’re not subtle. You think you are, but you aren’t.”

Dogma’s cheeks warmed. “You want me to be subtle now? When you’re about to shove yourself up my shebs?”

“I won’t shove.” Tup worked his cock out from his pants, and his girth made Dogma want to say he didn’t mind if Tup did. He wanted to feel it. “We’ll go slow.”

Tup stroked himself in thought, twisting up at the head, shiny with leakage. Dogma imagined come, his come, dripping down those fingers, and his face grew hotter still with the shame he’d been taught to feel. He marvelled again at Tup’s boldness.

“You done this before?” he asked, suddenly curious.

“No,” Tup said.

Great. Two rookies. If Dogma hadn’t known it was physically possible, he’d have told Tup to beat it. But he’d seen a holo he shouldn't have. He’d seen two ARCs. And there was a gyre of feelings where his stomach had been: Tup hadn’t been doing this with other brothers. He liked Dogma enough to try it with him.

Or maybe Tup just thought he wouldn’t say no. Was his crush that obvious?

Tup stopped stroking himself, uncertain for the first time. “The bacta will help,” he blurted out, shucking off his pants with speed. “You can fuck me instead. See how it goes.”

Karkin’ generous. But Dogma shook his head, wanting nothing more than for Tup to take him out of it. “I trust you.” I want you.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Tup had seen him this far. Dogma would put his six in Tup’s hands and trust him not to mess him up in a way that Kunaan or the Kaminii might notice.

Even if a small part of Dogma kind of wanted him to. He imagined he’d feel Tup’s cock for days, every time he broke into a run, scrambled under the wires, or just plain sat down. He didn’t have to imagine the heft of Tup, who wasn’t standing stiff anymore, but hanging heavily with self-consciousness. Dogma briefly took his own erection in hand, in every way identical to Tup’s, and felt the glut of blood. The breadth of manhood.

Dogma was ready to be not so shiny anymore.

He dropped himself and fished out the bacta from where it had gotten wedged under his side. “I trust you,” he said again, holding it out to Tup.

Tup’s cock perked up with a twitch. But it was Tup’s grin that had Dogma lifting his hips and tugging his pants off faster than you could say external use only.

He really karkin' hoped that was just a case of medical sheb-saving, not military understatement.

Dogma’s feet came down on either side of Tup, bracketing his brother’s hips with his knees. Tup flipped the cap on the tube.

“Can … can you let your hair down?” Dogma asked, apropos of nothing in particular. Nothing except a gut feeling that this would be even better if Tup looked like he did in the showers.

“You aren’t going to chew on it, are you?”

Dogma stomped on Tup’s calf. “That was one time.”

“Twice, because I’m nice.” It was true: Tup hadn’t gotten mad when he’d woken up in a low-tech sim field to find his increasingly non-regulation hair being worried between Dogma’s teeth. Dogma had stopped shaking himself and had sniped eight of the OPFOR platoon while on watch, so there wasn’t a whole lot to be mad about. If Dogma had done it again, Tup had never said.

Tup pulled out the tie. His shaggy hair fell loose and he became the closest thing to beautiful Dogma could imagine on Kamino, even nudging out General Ti. He wondered if he even found General beautiful because everyone else said she was, or because he loved how perfectly the pattern on her lekku repeated.

Tup squeezed a dollop of bacta onto his fingers.

Dogma flinched at the sound. “This won’t make a mess, right?”

“If you just relax, it shouldn’t.”

Shouldn’t or won’t? I like this pod.” I’ve tortured myself keeping it pristine for the past three years. Top pods were almost always left free; when reveille was sounded, Kunaan didn’t care if you had meters more to descend than anyone else. Monkeying down those ladders double-time was not for everyone, but Dogma liked the privacy of heights.

Tup leant forward to press a kiss to Dogma’s ear. “Make you a deal. If there’s a mess, I’ll clean it up. Okay?” He flicked his tongue inside and it lit up Dogma's spine. “Now do you want to do this or not?”

“Yeah,” Dogma puffed into the strands of Tup’s hair that had fallen across his mouth.

Scared he’d pop off if he so much as looked at it now, Dogma had been ignoring his own dick. But everything above his navel ceased to exist when fingers circled barely-warm bacta against his hole. His cock jumped almost as high as he did.

Tup poked and gently kneaded at the delicate skin, working Dogma open. Tup wasn’t even looking, still slumped over Dogma’s chest, just feeling his way slowly inside to the sound of faint squelching. Further. And further still. Dogma was sure if he took a deep breath, Tup would catch the breeze on his fingertips. Mild discomfort ebbed, and, very slowly, like it was shy, a pleasurable fullness replaced it.

“You alright?” Tup asked.

“I—I think so. Yeah.”

Tup straightened up, and Dogma immediately compared Tup’s girth with the stretch he felt in his shebs. Not even close. But the contrast was exciting, and Dogma ached to see Tup lose himself inside him.

“Come on,” he said, not knowing the right words to use but urging Tup’s hips forward with his knees.

Tup smirked. He reached for the tube again, one hand still testing the give of Dogma’s hole. “You ready to be fucked, ner vod?”

Something surged within Dogma. He didn’t know this script, but he liked it. “Fuck. Fucking yes. Been ready since the pool.”

“‘S what I hoped.” Tup smeared a messy amount of bacta all over his cock, right down to the balls. Dogma clenched to think he might get that far.

Bracing against the frame’s siderails, Tup lowered himself down, his body a topographic chart in sinew. “Need you to, uhh, lift up a little,” he said with a friendly pat to Dogma’s bottom.

It brought Dogma fully dirtside. Feeling a little foolish for not anticipating this—and because this was a karkin’ weird position—Dogma spread his legs as wide as the pod would allow and raised his shebs by shifting his weight further up his back, his brother's solid thighs acting like struts. Tup was all lined up, with nowhere to go but in, and all Dogma could think about was not accidentally pressing the pod open with his damn foot.

His toes curled as Tup edged inside. The novelty, the raw intimacy, the wrongness of it all, made his stomach swoop, all while he felt himself grow full with Tup’s cock. He couldn’t say it was painless, but it hovered so close to pleasure, that Dogma knew if he could just relax like Tup told him to, he’d fall into it. And it would crash up into him.

Tup bottomed out with a groan he half-swallowed. Dogma had started to quake, and he tried not to panic at how his body was running away with him in animalistic thrill.

He breathed. In through his nose, out through his mouth. In and out. Tup rolled into him at pace, but never so forcefully that the bedframe betrayed what was going on to the adjacent pods. It was a firm rhythm, one that Tup was clearly savoring, and Dogma was starting to feel a mounting pressure, like his groin was straining to climb out of zero-G.

“You’re so tight,” Tup whined, eyes glued to the give-and-take of their joined bodies. Then he looked at Dogma’s hands, also clutching the rails of the bedframe; he would have slipped backwards with every thrust otherwise, so slick was his warm skin.

Tup scoffed gently. “And so uptight. Can you touch yourself? Play with your cock?”

Dogma hadn’t really touched himself in years. He was stubborn like that. And when he closed his fist around his shaft, watching Tup watch him do it, years of self-denial creamed out of Dogma without so much as a warm-up stroke. He bucked, shuddered, and came with a stuttering "fuck."

Somewhere above him, Tup made an indistinct sound and crumpled down onto Dogma’s chest, elbows first, shoving out what was left of Dogma’s wind.

“Shab, Tup,” Dogma grumbled, once he’d clawed back breath.

“Sorry. Fuck. That was …” Tup drifted off, shoulders heaving, face pressed into Dogma’s neck. “... that was something.”

Irritability couldn’t cling to Dogma’s fuzzy frame of mind. For a few blissful moments, the loudness of his life dialed down in volume. He didn’t even really mind the wetness squished between their stomachs.

He felt Tup slip out of him, and a second wetness joined the first, underneath his shebs.

“Let’s clean you up, ner vod,” Tup suggested, anticipating Dogma’s needs like no one else ever did.

He shuffled down Dogma’s body, until his chin was nestled in Dogma’s southerly curls. It wasn’t strictly necessary—Tup’s hair wasn’t that long, not yet—but Dogma found himself threading his fingers through his brother’s hair, holding it back while Tup lapped Dogma’s cum off his own stomach with long, hot strokes of his tongue.

And Dogma wanted never to forget it.

It was incredible. Skull-tinglingly wonderful. This pleasure, this skin-on-skin delight, seemed so surplus to requirements for a made-to-order soldier, he hardly wondered the longnecks didn’t want them to waste time doing it. Or even thinking about doing it.

And now Dogma wasn’t sure his mind would ever be anywhere else. It wasn’t just plausible deniability he’d lost; he’d abdicated all deniability. The Jedi knew everything. Dogma just knew the first one that looked at him would see it smeared all over his face. And maybe his heart, too. No bucket could save him now.

“They’ll recondition us for sure,” he blurted out.

“No they won’t,” Tup replied, a few licks later. “They’ve sunk too much into us. We’re in our prime. The only reason we’ll get reconditioned now is … killing a Jedi or something.”

Dogma shook his head. “Not possible.”

“So you got nothing to worry ‘bout, ner vod.”

Dogma was already worrying. He shifted a little under Tup’s weight and felt the seep of come under his right buttcheek. Sticky like shame.

“Tup, I … look, you’re my brother and my batcher and maybe one day—if this hasn’t karked up my chance at making sergeant—your officer. So it’s not like I like you or anything. I … can’t."

“I’d never ask Sergeant Dogma to play favorites,” Tup groaned. “Just to kiss nobody’s shebs but mine.”

“Tup!”

Tup ignored him, tweaking Dogma’s nipple playfully as he reached for his tunic. Then he did the unthinkable and began towelling Dogma’s shebs with it.

“Are you crazy?” Dogma hissed.

“It’s laundry day tomorrow, relax.”

Tup was literally giving him the shirt off his back. That was just the kind of brother Tup was. Tenaciously, radically, stupidly thoughtful. For the briefest moment, Dogma felt ... beloved. Like the hero of some holodrama shown in their cultural modules.

Then he remembered: those were fake even out there. Reality made itself known in the tangle of his guts at the idea that Sergeant Kunaan could stop by on inspection at any second. He gently shoved Tup towards the front of the pod. “Go on, before we get in trouble.”

They shimmied around each other’s legs to get their pants back on, looking like a pair of courting profoggs. Tup balled the tunic up under his arm and grabbed Dogma’s neck, planting a solid, not-too-wet kiss on Dogma’s mouth. When Tup didn’t let off, Dogma shoved again.

“You really are gonna make me climb back down, aren’t you,” Tup said.

He was an utterly baffling brother. Sometimes Dogma would have denied they were genetically identical. “How else were you going to get down?”

“I don’t know. Wasn’t thinking about that.”

“You’re such a di’kut.”

“You’re such a dick.”

“Well, next time you can suck it.”

Tup just snorted and bit his lip, and Dogma was stupidly pleased to get the last word for once. And the right one, too, by the look of it. He motioned for Dogma to open the pod.

“I’d like that,” Tup said, glomping onto the ladder like a fearful silicate worm. “But next time, you’re the one risking your neck.”

“‘Night, Tup,” Dogma said as he closed the hatch, knowing he’d do no such thing.