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restraints, blindfolds, and other totally platonic devices

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Your name is Dirk Strider and you don't want to feel anymore.

Control has always, for lack of better words, controlled you. Every aspect of your life, your routine, your relationships, has been puppeted by the desire. You don't feel safe when you're not the one pulling the strings. But, even then, it's not something that comes naturally to you. It's something you have to consciously work at. Every minute of every day is spent figuratively gripping the reins of not only your narrative but everyone else's, and it's...

Well. It's exhausting.

Sometimes you just want to let go, but that doesn't come naturally to you either. You're not sure that anything does. Maybe being a massive tool. You've never really had any problem with that.

The point is—you need help.

"Uh," John says skeptically. "Sorry. Can you repeat that?"

"Okay, let me start over." With a frustrated sigh, you lift your shades just enough to pinch the bridge of your nose. "Have you heard of subspace?"

"Yeah," he says to your surprise. Then, "I don't really see what a hypothetical space-time continuum has to do with, uh." He gestures at your personal arsenal spread out on his kitchen table.  "This."

Christ, sometimes you forget he's a giant fucking nerd.

"No. I'm not talking about the communication between two points in space that are light-years away in distance, Egbert. Not that the subject of science fiction doesn't truly fascinate me."

He frowns. "Oh."

"I'm talking about you getting me to a place where I can shut down mentally through physical impact."

You pick up a flogger from the pile and offer it to John, handle first. He takes it, eyeing you for a long, drawn-out moment with a look of disbelief before dropping his gaze to the device in his hand. It's nothing fancy. You brought the basics, not anything that might scare him off. The flogger he's holding, some simple restraints, a crop, some rope, a gag. Pretty mundane, overall.

John lifts it eye-level and shakes the tassels, looking over at you with a curiously raised eyebrow. "With this?"

You shrug. "Sure."

"Uh." He sets it down, biting his lip. You know that look. He's trying to let you down easily. That's fine. You've prepared for this. "Dirk, listen. I'm not...I'm not gay?"

There it is. Exactly what you'd prepared for.

"What does that have to do with anything? This isn't sexual."

John picks up the fuzzy pink cuffs that are more ironic than anything. You've never actually used them, but you figured John would think they were funny or, at the very least, intriguing. The fact that goes for them first kinda proves your point.

"These aren't sexual?" John asks. "I don't believe you."

"They can be," you lie. Those are mostly sexual.  "But they don't have to be. In fact, I don't want them to be. That's why I came to you."

"Okay, thanks, I guess? I don't know if I should be offended or not."

"Why would you be offended?"

"I don't know," he yells, throwing up his hands, pink cuffs waving in the air like a flag of surrender. Perhaps a declaration of war. "Maybe that you find me so unattractive you're like, here's a guy who I will get no sexual gratification from!"

"Stop putting words in my mouth," you say flatly. Then, because you've already established that you're naturally a massive tool, you pick up the ball gag. "Now, this, however..."

John's face flushes dark red and he slaps it right out of your hand. You both watch it fly across the kitchen and sadly bounce off the linoleum. "You're an asshole," he mumbles.


Alright. Looks like you're gonna have to open up for a good old-fashion feelings jam. Pushing up your shades, you turn to fix him with an intense stare. You don't mean for it to be intense, that's just kinda how you look all the time. Pissed off and tired. It works to your advantage though because you've got his attention.

"Let me explain."


Where to start? You've always viewed John like the wind; flexible, free, and untethered. There's an easiness about him. There's also a natural dominance, something he doesn't even realize. So, in a sense, John has two things you lack. Innate control and the ability to let it go. You find him utterly fascinating. Platonically speaking.

You also don't say any of that fucking nonsense.

Instead, you shrug and say, "It's because you're straight and I'm looking for something that’s a little more no-strings-attached."

John seems to consider this. "That does make sense, but can't you like...I don't know. Aren't there websites for stuff like this?"

"There are." You've even considered them, but you can't be vulnerable with a complete stranger, no matter how hard they smack your ass. "I need someone I can trust."

John blinks. "You trust me?"


"You barely know me, dude!"

"John," you say sternly, "I know you just enough. If I wanted someone who knew me inside and out, I'd just ask Jake. Plus, Dave thinks the world of you, and honestly, that's good enough for me. But, aside from that, I observe. You're a good person with a good heart, someone who'd do anything for their friends. And never once have I seen you ask for anything in return."

John's not looking at you anymore, but you can tell he's listening. On the table, his fingers tap out a nervous beat.

"Not to mention," you continue, "I can tell you need a release too."

The tapping stops. He still doesn't look at you. "What do you mean?"

"We all have our ways of dealing with the shitty things that life throws at us. Even then, sometimes it still gets clogged up.” You gesture to your general chest region, signifying your uh, heart, or something. Your soul? “You need to let yourself air out. Get all the pent up emotions out of your system. Get cleansed, bro."

John likes to pretend he has it all together. Likes to pretend it's all water off a duck's back. But you see the frustration he doesn't want to cop to. Maybe no one else does, but you do.

"I'm giving you an outlet," you sigh. “I’m giving us both an outlet.”

There’s a pause of awkward silence and then—


Wait, hold on.

"Okay, as in...?"

John turns and looks at you. He's still holding those fuzzy fucking handcuffs and it's an unfairly hot visual. You weren't lying when you said you weren’t looking for anything sexual, but you're also a functioning human with eyes and a brain, and John is attractive and agreeing to tie you up and spank you. So, if someone wants to sue you for being into that, they can sue your traitorous dick.

"Okay, as in okay," he confirms. "I'll do it."

Wow. You weren't expecting it to be that easy. Alright then. You clap your hands together and rub, letting out a deep breath. Time to sensei it up.

"Great. Now there are some things I need to go over first. Basic BDSM ground rules, safe words, etcetera."

John mouths ‘safe word’, all adorable and confused, and braces his hands on the rounded back of the kitchen chair.  His gaze goes back to staring at the pile of bedroom accessories, but he nods along as you continue to discuss proper etiquette. A few times he stops you to ask a question, which you're both thankful for and proud of. That means he's listening. That also means he cares.

You really couldn't have picked a better suitor for this endeavor.

Still, for good measure, when you've finished your lesson, you prompt him one more time. "Any questions?"

John licks his lips, eyes darting anywhere but yours. Maybe you should lower your shades and relieve him of the first-degree Dirk Strider eye contact. Nah. This is all about open communication, no barriers. The shades stay off.

"Yeah, uh. When do you want to do this?"

Oh, he wants to do this right now? That’s cute and honestly pretty fuckin’ tempting. But, you sigh, gotta be responsible.

"Spend a couple of days doing your own research and then give me a call when you're ready," you tell him. It's been this long; you can go for a couple more days. The thoughts in your head are loud and threatening to burst, but you can keep them at bay a little longer.

"Right, okay," John says, sounding curiously disappointed. "I'll give you a shout."


You get a message two days later.

EB: i've done some thinking.
EB: and some research.
EB: so, i guess, uh…
EB: my place or yours? haha

The universe has never been particularly kind to you before, so it’s jarring for things to be going this smoothly. But you're not going to wait around for the other shoe to drop. You message John back and tell him that his place if fine. He asks you how soon you can be there, eager little shit, and you let him know you'll be on your way.

Having John come to your place probably makes the most sense, seeing that all your stuff is here, but you do want him to feel comfortable. This is his first rodeo, not yours. Might help him feel more at ease in a familiar environment. Plus, you'd left the items you'd brought on your last visit, so you know there's stuff to work with. Getting tied up with John's acid green Slimer tie doesn't exactly sound like the type of night either of you are aiming for.

Doesn’t sound like a bad night, per se, but.


Before you leave, you take a quick shower. Back when you used to do this with Jake, this is where you'd go ahead and open yourself up so that later when you were well and truly out of your gourd, he could slip in and take his turn. But, again, not really what you're aiming for. You keep fingers in your hair and that's it.

An hour later, you're on John's doorstep. He answers before you can even knock.

"Dirk.” He’s all flushed and wide-eyed. Startled, for some reason. "You're here."

Did he not think you were going to show? This was your idea. You performatively look around the porch; at the potted plants that have Jade Harley written all over them; the wooden swing creaking in the breeze; the traditionally homey, worn welcome mat that you're standing on.

"Yeah, so it seems," you say.

"Shut up," John says, stepping aside.

You take the first step graciously. He takes your coat, offers you some water, which you accept. The cup stays firmly in your hand and you don't drink. It's for later. For after you've left this mortal coil and returned lighter.


Now that you think about it, you didn't actually brief him on aftercare. Oh well. It's been a while, sure, but you doubt you'll need it.

Somehow, you feel like bringing up the subject of cuddling might make John reconsider. You've compared him to the wind once before. It's not far off. Through the grapevine, you've learned he's hard to hold; free and ever-changing, wispy like air. Something the two of you have in common but for wildly different reasons.

You’re just hard to hold because you’re prickly and sharp.

But you think you saw a cactus back on the porch so. Mental thumbs up.

He takes you to his bedroom, hesitantly looking over his shoulder every few steps to make sure you're still following. Each time you give him a reassuring nod. Again, where does he think you're going to go? He's nervous, you get that, but.


Not nervous. Embarrassed.

You step into the room, take one look at the bed, and feel your entire body heat and tingle.

He's got the blankets stripped off, leaving just the sheets; the leather cuff restraints you’d brought are already strapped to the bedposts; the flogger and crop are carefully laid out in a uniform line. And, in the middle of the bed, are the fuzzy pink cuffs.

"You prepared," you observe, taking it all in with a nod. "Looks like the centerfold for Better BDSM Homes and Gardens. Nice."

John groans. "Don't make it weird."

"I'm not. I'm genuinely impressed," you say, shucking off your shirt and handing it to him. He looks at it blankly before balling it up and tossing it in the corner. Rude.

You go for your buckle next, but a high-pitched wheeze stops you mid-zipper-pull. "What?"

"You're taking off your pants."

You lift an eyebrow. "Did you think I wasn't going to?"

"I guess," John stammers and then sighs. "No, I knew that. Sorry. Uh, continue."

You don't continue.

Alright, this might...cross some of the previously discussed lines, but you'll be damned if you get strapped in bed only for John to panic and administer shy feather-light blows. You want it to sting, not tickle. That's a whole other kink entirely and not one that you particularly want to explore with John Egbert.

"I'm going to need you to be a little more assertive."


"Tell me to take my pants off," you say as clinically as possible. He looks at you like you're a floating head. Confused and horrified. "I'm just trying to get you in the right headspace here."

"Oh, alright." John takes a deep breath, brow creasing. When he looks at you again, there's an air of authority. A flipped switch.

Oh, shit.

"Take off your pants, Dirk."

Without question, you do so, toeing off your shoes and socks, stripping down to your boxers, and kicking your jeans to join your shirt in the corner. You start to take off your gloves next but hesitate when John hums disapprovingly.

"Keep them on," he says.

Oh. You strap them back up.

It appears John has stepped into his role with frightening ease. You knew he had it in him. What a fuckin’ champ.

Unfortunately, you didn't know how into it'd you be. The orders are already starting to make your dick twitch, which you assumed would be a side effect of the impact play and not John himself. That's…concerning, but not deal-breaker.

Still, you walk over to the bed before he can ask anything else of you. It'll be less awkward when you're face down and able to hide how much it affects you.

You look down at the options he's presented and nod, considering. "So, what were you thinking? Maybe go for the—"

John cuts you off with a snap of his fingers. "Get on the bed."

Okay, your dick definitely jumps at that. Shit. You swallow down your words and slowly set the crop you'd picked up back down.

John's demanding that you hand over your control and you have no option but to lay it humbly at his feet.

You climb on the bed, carefully moving the cuffs out of the way but keeping them close. You already know he's going to want to use them. That's why they're there, displayed like a bowl-of-fruit centerpiece.

Once you're on your stomach, you prop yourself up on your elbows and look over your shoulder to see John approaching the end of the bed. The leather restraint cuffed to the bedpost is the only thing in his line of sight.

"Do you need me to show you how to—" John grabs your ankle and gently, but forcibly, pulls you closer, sliding you down the bed. Your stomach flips. "Okay. Never mind."

"Don't worry. I got you." He pauses, seems to realize what he's just said and quickly remedies with, "I got it."

He gets your first leg situated fairly quickly. It doesn't give you a lot of time to mentally prepare for the fact that he's about to—yeah. That.

John takes your free ankle and pulls it closer to its designated bedpost and successfully spreads you wide open. You go light-headed and dizzy, all of your blood rushing straight from your head to your dick. There's a semi in your neon orange boxers, and you know by the time he gets to your hands, you're gonna be at full mast.

You're so caught up in your boner dilemma that you don't register when the bed dips with John's weight. He's behind you, slotted between your spread legs and when he leans forward to reach the pink cuffs, he steadies himself with a light touch to your hip.

You nearly draw blood with how hard you bite your bottom lip to keep from whimpering.

John's still leaning over you, chest pressed against your back while he loops the handcuffs through the middle bar of his grated headboard. Wordlessly, you cross your wrists and offer them up.

John locks you up, slipping a finger under the cuff to rub soothing circles into your skin. "Are these comfortable enough?"

The faux-fur isn't as bad as you thought it'd be. Beneath it, there's a soft padding that feels nice when you pull and test the give and tension. But, honestly, any discomfort is eclipsed by the sensation of John tenderly touching you.

"Yeah, feels fine."

That's all you trust your mouth to say. If you keep talking, you might end up begging for more.

"Good," John huffs, and then he's pulling back. You hear the rustling of cloth against cloth and holy fuck, is he taking off his clothes?

Attempting to crane your head to look over your shoulder is met with a hand forcefully turning it right the fuck back around. John scratches at your scalp, a reassuring gesture and he coos at you.

What the fuck?

"One more thing," he says and then there's a blindfold being draped over your eyes and knotted at the back of your head.  "There we go."

You're going to die.

You're going to die, and Dave will have to give a eulogy at your funeral that reads: My bro died as he lived. Questionably tied up and with a raging fucking boner for an emotionally unavailable dude wearing glasses and cargo shorts.

All your friends are going to be horrified but not particularly surprised.

"Alright," John says. "Are you ready? Your safe word was...uh."

"Rainbow Dash," you remind him.

He groans. "Yeah. I was kinda hoping I didn't remember that right. Okay. Can't think of anything less sexy than that."

"That's the point," you remind him again.

"I know." The bed shifts again, and you feel the flat end of the riding crop trace down your thigh lightly. "I guess this one will be appropriate to start with then."

Horse jokes. Nice.

Boldly, you ask, "Do you think you know how to break a stallion?"

It's an attempt at your usual light, antagonistic banter. John doesn't take the bait. He places a large palm on the back of your head and pushes you down.

"Be quiet now."

Oh, fuck. Thank god you're face-first in the pillow so you can hide the desperate sound that escapes you. Raising your head back up to breathe, you keep quiet. Not because he told you to—okay, partly because he told you to—but because you have to listen closely to anticipate his next move anyway. You can't move. You can't see.

It's fucking amazing.

The riding crop is back on your thigh, he taps it lightly, teasing you, and slowly drags it upward. It catches on the hem of your boxer-briefs, lifting them just a hair, and pleasure pools low in your belly. Trapped between your stomach and the sheets, your dick pulses and leaks.

Fuck, maybe you should.

The first strike to your bare skin dislodges any coherent thought you might have had. Holy fuck, John's got an arm on him. It stings in the best way, burning hot, and leaves you audibly gasping.

"Too hard?" John asks.

You shake your head weakly before remembering that you should probably respond verbally. Open communication and all that.

"No, that's good." The sting is already fading. You might regret this but... "Could even go a little harder if you wanted."

John hums thoughtfully, a joyous sound that shakes you to your core. Leather presses down on your burning skin like a promise.

Maybe a threat.

"Ask me for it nicely," he says.

Oh, son of a bitch. He's trying to kill you.


John pulls the crop away. "I said nicely."

You tug against the cuffs, metal clinking against metal, and groan. Fine. You grit your teeth. "Harder, please?"

"I want you to say, John, will you please go harder?" John demands. Even though you're blindfolded with your back to him, you can see his smug smirk. It's the same one he gets when he's pulled a successful prank.

He’s enjoying this.

Okay. You're having a talk with him when this is over. If this is going to be a regular, non-sexual thing between you two, he's going to have to stop acting like he just stepped off the scene of your dirtiest, most shameful fantasy. Afterward, though. You're way too into this to stop it right now.

You can play along.

"John." You push the words from between bared teeth, entire face on fire. "Will you please go harder?"

He laughs.

Before you say something that’ll get you in trouble, he brings the crop down again, a little higher up and with unprecedented force.

You don't even try to hide the moan that’s knocked loose and behind you, he goes oddly still and quiet. Serves him fucking right. You shift your hips up off the bed; partly to be an ass, mostly to relieve some of the pressure of your aching dick.

Turns out, angled like this, John has a much easier time striking your thighs. He takes turns, switching from your left to your right. Your flesh is tender and sensitive, burning with delicious residual pain. You can't anticipate where he'll strike you next, but each time it sends you careening closer and closer to where you need to be.

Distantly, you hear something clatter to the floor. You don't have time or energy to think of what it might be, but when you feel John's hands on your hot, smarted flesh, you realize it's the crop.

You whimper into the bend of your elbows and make a futile attempt to shy away from his touch. He doesn't let you, taking you firmly by the hips and pressing you gently into the mattress. You let out a low moan and, luckily, you've stopped caring about those somewhere between the tenth and twentieth strike. It's just that you've been trying to keep yourself from grinding down into his sheets and now you can't escape it.

You're so close to a lot of things. Orgasm is one of them.

A hand presses into the middle of your back and drags slowly upward. John curls his fingers around the base of your neck, damp with sweat, and massages gently.

"You're so red," he breaths out. "Do you want me to keep going?"

"Mmm," you manage.

"Can you take it?" His voice is light, as soothing as his touch. You nod your head. "Okay, I trust you. But, uh, I'm going to try something different, okay?"

You make a noise of affirmation. Or, at least you think you do. Either way, John deciphers it as permission.

Suddenly there are fingers at your briefs.

"Lift," he says, and you do.

He drags them down painfully slow and the elastic band gets caught on your poor, oversensitive dick. You suck in a breath, hissing, back arching as you pull against all your restraints. He gives one more good tug and there’s a wet slap against your stomach.

There's no way he doesn't know.

If anything, he's got your underwear pulled down as far as they'll go and he can see the very telling, damp spot you've left there.

John sucks in his own sharp, shaky breath.

Fuck. You start to panic. Feel yourself being yanked away from the threshold of bliss.

"Sorry, 'm sorry," you mumble. "Shit."

"Dirk," John says, shushing you like a scared rabbit. "It's okay."

You tense up and he lays a gentle hand back on your hip, thumb moving in circles. He keeps shushing you, whispering that it’s okay, it’s fine.

Instantly, you relax again, his touch and voice like a tranquilizer.

"It's okay," John repeats and asks again, "Do you want me to keep going?"

You nod shakily, thankful that the blindfold hides the tears in your eyes, and cant your hips back toward him to show you still want it. Words aren't coming to you. Thoughts barely are. At least the panic is ebbing away now, calmed by John reassuring you quietly while tracing his fingers up and down the backs of your tender, abused thighs.

Once you've fully relaxed back down into the bed, he ends his careful exploration in favor of palming your bare ass. He pauses, a silent question, and you don’t want him to stop so moan encouragingly. He does it again.

"Fuck," John grunts. The sound makes something in your chest flutter. “Is this okay?”

Words. Use your words.

“Don’t stop,” you say between punched out breaths.

He doesn’t.

John kneads your ass like he's making bread, squeezing and massaging, pulling you apart with his thumbs. It nearly makes you choke on the air that fills your lungs with each gasping breath. You have to rock your hips down to grind against the mattress to keep from blacking out.

Instead of freaking John out, it seems to give him an idea and he guides you through the next one. You're leaking all over his bed, leaving a damp spot on his sheets but he doesn't seem to give a fuck and neither do you. He's groaning and chanting your name, driving you down to dry hump his mattress while pressure builds low in your belly.

"John," you breath, "I'm gonna."

He hauls back a hand and smacks your ass with his open palm. The noise it rips out of you is more a scream than anything.

"Fuck," he says and does it again. "Holy fuck, Dirk.”

The third slap rings loud in your ears. Tears are spilling from beneath your blindfold. You're trying so hard to hold on.

The fourth slap makes you outright sob.

The fifth one makes you beg.

"Please," you whine. He's got a knee pressed to the inside of each of your thighs, spreading you more than the restraints ever did, and your muscles burn to accommodate him. "Please."

You don't even know what you're begging for.

But John does.

He grabs you by the hips and hauls you up as far as you'll go. It's enough for him to wrap a hand around your middle and grab your neglected cock and wring your orgasm out without even flicking his wrist. Your body tenses when you come, the cuffs on your hands and ankles pulling taut with the sound of metal scraping against metal.

John's hand squeezes and twists, coaxing out the very last drop.

Your muscles give out and you drop boneless against the sheets. Your mind is finally clear and empty. Quiet. Pleasure hums through your body, wrapping around your bones and dissolving them until you feel weightless. For the first time in a long time, you feel sated.

Behind you, a buckle clinks.

"Can I?" John asks with a strained voice.

You’re not sure what he's asking for exactly, but you're pretty sure you'd let him do anything at this point. So, you hum and nod, liquid in your motion.

John uses one hand to squeeze a single cheek, pressing his thumb close to your center and pulling you open. You're too blissed-out to feel exposed by it, and probably wouldn't anyway. Not with how John makes a throaty moan and curses under his breath. He likes the sight of you spread open beneath him and you're not entirely sure what to do with that information.

You'd wager he likes it a lot.

You hear something. The slick sound of John fucking his fist. Slick because his hand is still wet from getting you off. Even in your current state of mind and disposal, that makes your stomach turn a somersault.

John Egbert is jerking off on your ass.

What the fuck?

He lasts a little longer than you did, but not by much. You can tell when he's close because the lewd squelch of him stripping his dick gets more and more frantic and the grip that holds you open gets near painful. John’s biggest tell, however, is the way he moans your name and rocks forward to rub the blunt head of his cock against you before coming wet and hot along your backside.

You don't even have the energy to tell him how gay that was.

He's probably going to have a spiraling panic about this later and you suppose that you'll help him through it. Least you can do. But right now, you're going to enjoy basking in the euphoric bliss you'd set out to reach in the first place.

You close your eyes and let your body relax, uncaring of the mess drying to your skin.

John moves around you, unbuckling your ankle restraints, rubbing where the leather bit into your skin, and moves on to the next one. He leans over you to unlatch the cuffs and your wrists get the same treatment before he unknots the blindfold and slips it off. You’re too out of it to even stretch, so gone you're barely aching. That's tomorrow's problem.

You're rolled over to lay on your back with the help of strong hands. Lazily, you open your eyes to get a good look at him. John's tucked away, but his shorts and shirt are off. You don't remember that happening. When you're more coherent, you'll be sure to appreciate how hot he is without a nerd shirt and khakis.

For now, you settle your head on John’s chest after he moves you like a ragdoll, shifting you around to rest cradled under his arm.

"I heard this was important," John says. You tilt your head up to see him looking at you, earnest in expression. "When I was, uh, researching. Most things mentioned aftercare."

"Oh," you say, blinking. It slowly starts to dawn on you that you are, in fact, cuddling him. "Alright."

John squeezes you, smiling his goofy smile. "So, do you feel cared for?"

"Extremely." You make sure it sounds sarcastic as possible; despite the fact it isn't.

"Alright, good." A pause. "That was...You were right. I think I needed that. For like, a lot of different reasons, but, yeah. It felt good."

"Mhm," you say into his chest, rubbing your nose against the wiry hair. "Good."

Sleep is starting to pull you under, and you let it. You always get the most rest like this—when your head is finally quiet and empty enough to allow it. Having someone to hold you isn't such a bad deal either. It's actually a really good deal. John is...

He's good. He's giving you exactly what you need, something you didn't even ask for.

Something you didn't even think to ask for.

"I wouldn't mind doing it again," he says, voice rumbling through his chest and into your ear. You melt into him further. "All of it. If you want."

You don't answer because you're already asleep, curled up against John's side while he cradles you like a baby, and presses a kiss to the sweaty line of your forehead.

Your name is Dirk Strider and you're fine with whatever feeling this is.