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a couple of my cravings

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Every corridor is a fresh memory.

Jon has not been back to the Institute in two weeks; the holes in his skin are slowly starting to heal so that they are no longer raw, red wounds, but now they itch with every movement underneath the bandages he replaces every morning. The Institute is as dreary as ever, dimly-lit and full of a scattering of papers and boxes that seems to crush in on every side, a constant reminder of the work that never ends. That part, at least, is familiar. What is not is the lingering smell in the air, like the smell of the soil after the rain as the worms begin to emerge with a faint, sharp acidity underneath. Something strange and musty and raw like the earth. Jon takes a deep breath and forces himself to walk towards his office. Every time he closes his eyes he can hear the worms moving.

They're dead, he tells himself, and tries to not let his hand shake as he opens the door to his office. Where the worms came through. The hole is patched over, and the floor has been cleaned; if he didn't know, intimately, every detail of the attack, every moment when he was sure he was going to die, he would think it never happened. His chair has been replaced. Two of the boxes of files in the corner are missing, and if he looks closely, he can see the remnants of the deep, oily black fluid that stained them badly enough that they had to be destroyed entirely.

There is a jar on his desk. It looks like the sort of jar one might put broth in, and it is three quarters full of a fine gray powder. The top is carefully sealed with a canning lid, and underneath the jar, there is a note card with the words 'read me!' on it. Jon allows, for a moment, a rush of panic that this is some sort of trap, but when he touches it, nothing happens. His world does not suddenly become unreal. Nothing strange and corrupting washes through him. The label, he realizes, as he holds his breath and waits for his end to come, is in Martin's handwriting.

He reads the note.

“I asked for Prentiss's ashes from the ECDC. Thought it might help to remind you that she's gone and we're all still here. I hope you're healing OK. - M”

Martin signs his name with a loopy flourish, the M carefully filled in at the edges in pen to make it look more like calligraphy, and it makes Jon smile a little despite himself. He holds the note in both hands as he settles into his new chair. It doesn't feel right; it is both too firm and not firm enough all at once, and he was just starting to get comfortable with his old one, settled into it as surely as a good pair of boots broken in, when the attack destroyed all that. A metaphor for everything else in his life, he thinks darkly.

“You'll be fine,” he tells himself, closing his eyes and trying not to listen for the sound of worms. He can do this. He just needs to center himself. Lose himself in research. He can forget about where he is, about what happened here only a few weeks ago. She's dead. It is, at least as much as anything can be these days, safe.

He just needs to remember to breathe.


He lasts until lunchtime. Before, he skipped lunch more often than not, too occupied with the endless crush of work piled so high around him that he had no space in his mind to remember something like the growling of his own stomach. Today, he is anything but hungry, and he cannot get his mind to focus. Every time he makes to leave his office and has to turn his back to where the hole in the wall was he shudders. Every time he looks down, he sees the bandages covering his skin and remembers the feel of the—burrowing. It's too hard to breathe down here. Too stuffy. Sasha gives him a curious look as he passes, halfway through gathering up her coat and her bag to leave for her own lunch, and Martin is still at his desk, a cup of tea steaming away, forgotten, as he stares at the screen of his computer, but he looks up as Jon goes by. He opens his mouth like he's meaning to say something, but Jon passes by him before he can get the words out.

The coolness of the brick against his back is a blessed relief. He huddles in, knees tucked against his chest and his coat pulled tight around him as closer to his coat as the chill of the late autumn air creeps in all around him and settles into his bones. The sky is a dull gray, thick with clouds that gently blanket the world around him, and he sighs and closes his eyes, tipping his head back against the brick.

Prentiss is dead, he tells himself, as he sits up just enough to fumble the pack of cigarettes out of his front pocket. She is dead, and he is alive—hurt, but alive—and so is everyone else. They survived. The way the smell lingers in his nostrils, the way he can still hear the hiss of the CO2 and remember the pain of a dozen worms crawling into him as the world around him went dark, those are just—aftereffects. They will pass. Someday, she will be a distant memory, a reminder that there are darker things in the world.

As though he doesn't know that very well already.

He sighs and fishes around in his pockets for his lighter, and as he takes the first drag from his cigarette, he lets himself properly take a breath for what feels like the first time in weeks. It makes his chest ache, even as the prickling rush of nicotine relief washes through him. It will get easier, he tells himself, because it has to; it is either that or run screaming into the street. He takes another long drag and lets his limbs go loose.

“...Jon?” A voice from somewhere off to his left, and Jon turns his head, startled. Martin is standing by the back entrance to the Institute, his own coat half-on, holding his hands out in front of him like he's not sure whether or not he wants to wring them together. He bites his lip.

“Aren't you going to lunch?” Jon asks, and Martin shakes his head. He walks over to Jon and settles down beside him, his own knees tucked against his chest.

“It's too quiet,” he says, sharing a small, knowing smile with Jon, and the little lacing of fear through it is something Jon understands all too well right now. “Couldn't.”

“Mm,” Jon agrees, taking another drag of his cigarette and closing his eyes again. Martin is warm and solid next to him, and he will never admit the comfort he takes in physical closeness, but the reassurance of it—that Martin is alive beside him—makes him relax a little further, slumping down fully beside Martin.

He watches the smoke curl up into the dreary gray sky until it fades away to nothing, and the smell of the smoke brings him back all at once to his uni days, to long nights huddled against the brick of the library, trying to talk himself down from panic attacks after too long spent studying for exams that didn't need nearly as much work as he put into them.

“Can I?” Martin asks, holding out his hand, and Jon blinks for a moment in complete incomprehension, but he holds out his hand towards Martin, and Martin gently plucks the cigarette from between his two fingers.

“I didn't know you smoked,” Jon says, watching Martin curiously as Martin brings the cigarette to his mouth. Tracking the way the ember lights up as Martin takes a long, slow drag, savoring it.

“Used to,” Martin says, his voice gone a bit funny with smoke as he holds it in for a moment before exhaling. “When I was younger. Mostly it's just, um, just a thing I do at pubs once in a while? A social thing, you know.”

Jon nods, and when Martin holds his hand over, Jon takes his cigarette back. It seems so simple and easy, in that moment. The two of them sharing space in this little pocket away from the rest of the world, passing the one shared cigarette back and forth and watching as it burns down to nothing.

“Thank you for the ashes,” Jon says finally, breaking the slow, easy silence between them, and Martin smiles a little at him.

“I thought it might help,” he says. “I had to tell them I wasn't going to, you know, use them for anything weird--I don't know what they think I was going to do with a jar of ashes—but I'm glad we have them. When you were out I'd come in and look at them on your desk sometimes just to makes sure she was really gone.” He scratches at the back of his neck, a little nervous tic.

“... Are you alright?” Jon asks finally, because he feels like it's something he should ask. Martin escaped some of the worst of it, but was by no means unscathed.

“Trying to be,” Martin says, and takes the cigarette back from Jon, nearly down to just a stub, to take one last drag from it. He has a small, faint smile on his face, and worry in his eyes, and he keeps glancing back at the building like he's not sure what will come out of it next. Jon knows the feeling.


It becomes something of a routine for them. Jon is grateful for the distraction. His thoughts skitter and his hands shake as he works. He tries to avoid Tim's eyes when he comes back to the Institute, and even more than that, tries to avoid looking at the marks that pepper Tim's skin. It feels like his own failure somehow. And under all of that, thoughts of the tunnels below them and what could be lurking down there linger like a slow, creeping dread.

But he knows that at lunch, he can steal out to the outside of the building and curl up where it is safe, where there is solid, unyielding stone behind him, and Martin will come sit by him and they will share a cigarette and for a brief moment, the world will seem slightly easier. The feeling that he can never shake, that he is being watched, the pressure of that, will lessen, just a little.

In another world, he thinks, he would have given over to paranoia entirely. But there is something about the closeness that is helping. That, and the way Sasha is helping to hold Tim together when Jon absolutely cannot—one burden that has been taken off his shoulders. He is grateful to her for it. But for himself, it is these little moments with Martin that are making the difference.

They don't talk about much. Not at first. In the first week, it is Jon lighting his cigarette with shaking hands as he tries to get the phantom smell of the worms out of his nostrils and Martin just quietly reminding him, his knee pressed to Jon's, that she is dead. That the worst did not happen.

After a while, it becomes easier to talk about other things to fill the silence. Easier to stay out of their own heads. Little things at first—Jon's days in Research and Martin's in the library, the two of them commiserating on the incomprehensible notes one of the older researchers clipped onto old files, the music they have in common. Jon casually mentions the book he has been reading after work and finds Martin has read it and they devolve into a heated debate about one of the plot twists. Martin, so shy with every word, mentions that he has been writing poetry, and gets so huffy Jon can't help but laugh when Jon confesses that he just doesn't care for poetry at all. It's easier than Jon expected. All of it.

“I called my mum,” Martin says one afternoon, and this time, he is the one who lights Jon's cigarette for him and takes the first drag, and when he slumps against Jon, it is like the weight of the words are pressing him into the earth.

“Oh?” Jon asks, glancing over at him. Trying to keep things light. He has never been very good at—people, but he is choosing to try, because he wants to keep this. He is sure he is going to say the wrong thing at any moment, but so far Martin has not found a reason to hate him. Martin has seen him at his worst, frantic and covered in his own blood, huddled in a corner demanding to know if Martin is a ghost. It is hard to be too self-conscious about just talking, after that.

“Yeah,” Martin says, sighing. “She didn't pick up. She usually doesn't.”

“I'm sorry.” It's the right thing to say and so Jon says it, and he still struggles to do more than just feel like he's saying the words to say them, but they make Martin relax fractionally against him, and so he repeats them, softer.

Martin doesn't talk about it further that day. Changes the subject to talk about the man in his favorite cafe who was having a heated argument with his date about aliens, because it's easier, and it makes both of them laugh. But after a few days, when the topic of his mother comes up again, he tells Jon about what it was like. How it felt to be a teenager, lost and adrift already with all of the changes to his world, with a mother who didn't want him, and Jon can't help but think of the way his grandmother, even as she tried, never fully managed to hide the resentment that lingered in her when she looked at him.

“My grandmother didn't--” He hesitates. This feels like a story he can share, but he doesn't know if it's right to share a story or if Martin is just looking to vent, and so he waits until Martin nods to continue. “She was never—unkind, but she didn't want to raise me. I knew that much from her. She never said it outright, but I look like my father, and every time I she looked at me when I was a teenager, she was reminded that, well. That her son was dead. I suppose I can't blame her for her distance, but--”

He gives into impulse and lets his head rest on Martin's shoulder, and Martin's whole body goes tense for a moment before relaxing into it, his hand coming up to rest on Jon's knee. “I'm not going to say I—understand entirely, but I, I do a bit, I think.”

“I wouldn't want you to be able to understand entirely,” Martin says quietly, taking Jon's cigarette out of his limp fingers and bringing it to his mouth. “I kind of—I wish this wasn't something we had in common? But it's. It's nice that I'm not the only one, I guess.” He hesitates, looking back towards the building. “Do you think Tim's okay?”

“I have no idea,” Jon says, sighing. “He'll talk to me a little, but every time he looks at me he sees—well. We are constant reminders of each other's trauma right now.”

“Yeah,” Martin says, quieter. “Does it still hurt?”

“Not as much as it used to. But, yes. Sometimes. I think at this point that it's phantom pain. The wounds have healed but my mind doesn't always remember.”

“Yeah. Will you—let me know if you need anything, okay?”

“I will,” Jon says, although they both know perfectly well that he will not. He's never been good at that sort of thing. He promises himself that he will at least attempt it, and hopes that he will not make himself a liar in that.


They're working late again. Tim has long since begged off with Sasha in tow, because these days they go very few places that are not with each other, and all around them, the sounds of the Institute fade away. The echoes of the footsteps in the library above them and the slow creak of the wooden stairs fading out until the room is quiet and muted, a low haze of dust hanging over everything, drifting motes illuminated by the dim lights overhead. Jon's back is sore from hunching over his desk all day, and the two cups of tea, forgotten, sitting beside him have gone stone-cold. He just has to figure this out, he repeats under his breath like a mantra. He almost has this one – if he can just push a little harder, dig a little deeper, he will have the answers he needs. Every day feels like he is just on the edge of chasing an answer that he needs.

“Still here?” Martin asks from the doorway to his office. He's holding another cup of tea in both hands, his big fingers curled around the mug, and the steam floating up faintly fogs his round glasses. He smiles at Jon in a fond, exasperated sort of way, and Jon can see the bags under his eyes, the way his smile has gone weary at the corners.

“I didn't think you would be still here either,” Jon admits, and Martin shrugs as if to say, well.

“I live alone,” Martin explains, and Jon frowns, because he knows this, and Martin knows that he knows this, and then he continues, softer, “... I've been having trouble sleeping. I keep hearing noises in the night and wondering if it's her. So it's easier to stay here where there are other people instead of having to go back alone.”

“I wanted to, uh, ask,” he continues after a pause, “... if you wanted to take a break and come smoke?”

Jon sighs, rolling his shoulders. He should. His back is all knotted up and he feels like if he so much as moves all of his joints will crack like popcorn. “Alright,” he says, dipping an experimental finger into his cold tea to see just how past the point of rescue it is. It's every bit as cold as the air in the Archives and this late into autumn, the Archives have a near-constant chill lingering. He sighs.

They close the doors of the Institute behind them and look out into the cloudless night, a vacant, vast darkness stretching out into the faint glow in the distance, all of the stars drowned out by the city lights that surround them. It's easy to get lost in the sheer strange silence of it all. London is never fully silent, not even in the middle of the night, but it is quieter than he can remember. Distant honking cars and the faint chatter of people outside pubs and otherwise, a strange, aching silence.

“It's weird,” Martin says from beside him, and Jon nods in agreement, looking out at the city beyond them. He shuffles back and forth on his feet for a moment, and Jon turns to look at him properly, curious. Martin looks almost shy. “So I... brought something to smoke, if that's okay?”

Jon raises an eyebrow at him, and Martin, still flushing faintly, takes a piece out of his pocket, a smooth, curved glass thing in swirling white and gray. “You, uh, you don't—have to,” Martin hastens to add as he sits down cross-legged on the ground and begins to pack it from a little plastic pouch. He's careful about it. Practiced. Jon finds himself fascinated despite himself, watching the way Martin carefully lights the pipe and the way his cheeks hollow as he inhales.

“Fuck,” Martin says, coughing a little as he tries to blow out a long breath. “Been a while.”

Jon holds out his hand for the pipe and Martin, a little surprised, hands it over. “I did go to uni,” Jon says, trying not to laugh at just how pleasantly baffled Martin's face is. He did quite a lot at uni, honestly--that is a story for another time, perhaps, but he thinks maybe one he will share with Martin one of these days. The first hit goes down rough and he coughs too – the weed is stronger than he expected, making his throat and nose burn, and it hits him all at once, so quick it makes him dizzy with it for a brief moment, and he is glad he is already sitting down. He brings the pipe up again and takes a second hit, more careful this time, and he can feel Martin's eyes on him as he does it. At the way his own movements are practiced—it has been a while, but his body still remembers how this works.

“I figured we both needed to relax a little,” Martin admits as Jon hands the pipe over. “God, it's late.”

“What time is it, anyway?” Jon asks, and Martin holds up a finger to pause him as he takes a hit. He holds it in for a long time, until Jon can see a faint curl of smoke escaping out his nose as he tries to hold his breath, and then finally blows it out all at once in a great huff. “Late,” he says, his voice a bit choked. “I think it was eleven last I checked? I got so distracted looking into—Tim wanted me to help him out looking into this awful thing about an astronaut so I've been staring at, like, company records for the past three hours trying not to think about--” He pitches his voice lower, trying to make it sound spookier. “No one is coming.” He shudders.

“Ah,” Jon says, wincing.

“Everything we work with is awful,” Martin says after a long moment, his eyes already slightly reddened by the smoke. “I don't know--” He doesn't say the rest of the words, but Jon understands anyway. The web that the statements have caught them all in extends to Martin, and so he stays, despite everything. Despite how acutely, viscerally awful everything they interact with is, as the rest of the world rolls on around them, unconcerned and unaware.

Maybe it's safer to know. It doesn't feel safer, though.

“Someone has to, I suppose,” Jon mutters, taking the pipe back from Martin and taking a long pull, letting the buzz of it chase away the dark thoughts that swirl in the pit of his mind every time he so much as takes a moment to think. Someone probably does have to. He wishes it wasn't him. Wishes he had better answers. Wasn't constantly chasing things he didn't know the shape of. Wishes—he doesn't know.

“Let's just—think about other things for a while,” Martin says, sighing. “You know, I always wanted a dog.”

“I gathered,” Jon says dryly, thinking of the first day they met in vivid detail, the way Martin, red-faced and stammering apologies, had cuddled the spaniel against himself before herding it out of the Archives. Martin goes slightly red at the memory himself, handing the pipe to Jon.

“I had a cat,” Jon says, curling his fingers around it and marveling at the smoothness of the glass, his mind already catching on the textures of things. “In uni. Well. It wasn't my cat, it was Georgie's, but he was a good cat.”

“Tell me about him?” Martin asks, and waits patiently as Jon takes another hit, letting it linger and sink into his bones.

Jon's tongue is beginning to feel loose and clumsy and he leans more heavily against Martin's side as he starts to tell Martin about the Admiral. How he was an enormous, fluffy beast of a cat, some sort of long-haired mix in dark gray, with the most regal face Jon had ever seen on a cat. Like a tiny lion. He makes hand motions to try and explain out the shape of the Admiral and Martin laughs, which gets him laughing too, and by the end they're slumped against each other, giggling without meaning to, as Jon describes how the Admiral would jump up on him at all kinds of inopportune moments, knocking his papers everywhere or stealing his dinner or, once, barreling down the door with a yowl when he was in bed with Georgie. Martin gives him a curious look at that. He opens his mouth like he means to speak and then closes it again, a lingering uncertainty that makes his brow crease, and Jon is not always the best at reading people, but he knows that look.

“I'm...” He hesitates. He has never had particularly good words to describe himself—too many terms, too many complications, and his tongue is clumsy with the weed, all of his words thick, and so he settles on, “... not straight. To be clear.”

“Oh!” Martin says, and the faint, flushed smile he has been wearing since they started smoking widens into something so bright and hopeful it makes Jon's chest ache. “Me neither.” He holds out the pipe to Jon again. “Do you want another?”

“Let me sit with it a moment,” Jon says, and closes his eyes. Martin is warm all along his side, and his limbs feel heavy, the tingling in his spine moving out to the tips of his fingers. There is a faint curl of heat in his gut, and he presses his thighs together, letting the friction of the fabric send sparks skittering through him. He feels good. Arousal is normally inconsistent in him at best, fading away at the most unpredictable of times, but when he smokes it seems to bring something out in him. Makes him want to touch, want to feel bare skin against his fingertips, makes him want to be pressed to a bed and overwhelmed until he can think of nothing but the sheer physicality of it all. He opens his eyes and takes the pipe from Martin, letting their fingers brush as he does.

“Let me try something,” Jon says, a memory from smoking at uni drifting into the forefront of his mind, and he breathes in deep, getting a good lungful of smoke, before reaching out to cup Martin's cheek in his hand and leaning in. Martin's eyes go very wide. He opens his mouth as if to speak, and Jon fits his lips over Martin's, closing his eyes as he breathes out, his mind caught on how soft Martin's lips are. How good they feel against his own. Martin coughs and sputters, drawing back just a little with eyes as wide as saucers, his pupils blown.

“What was that?” he squeaks.

“Have you not--” Jon hesitates. Martin seemed practiced at this, so he'd just—assumed Martin had at some point shotgunned before. But of course, he realizes all at once, when Martin has talked about his past the primary feature of it is that Martin has been alone. Of course, then, that he wouldn't have.

Martin shakes his head, his face gone pink. He looks down at the pipe and then back at Jon, and finally, he says, “try it again?”

Jon nods. “Keep your mouth open and breathe in,” he says, low and slow, before he takes another long hit. Martin's mouth is pliant against his when he presses their lips together again, and when he breathes out, Martin breathes in, sharing the air between them, a soft little noise swallowed into the shared space of their mouths. Jon draws away and Martin keeps his mouth carefully closed, holding onto the smoke and letting it seep into him.

“Good?” Jon asks, and Martin nods. One hit becomes two, becomes three, until Jon's head is swimming with it, and then Martin sets down the pipe between them and takes Jon's face in both hands and leans in, sharing the lingering remnants of smoke between them before kissing him properly, his mouth moving against Jon's. Jon lets out a startled half-moan against his lips, sliding his fingers into Martin's hair to hold him close as Martin's tongue slowly slides along his own, the two of them breathing heavy into each other's mouths as their lips connect again and again, and the heat in Jon's gut curls and twists, deepening, and he knows his face must be reddening. He wants to keep feeling it. Wants to feel Martin's skin against his. Wants—he doesn't know, other than that he does not want this to stop, and every time Martin makes to draw away Jon draws him back in, kissing him deep and wet, swallowing the helpless little noises Martin makes.

“We should--” Martin starts, shifting in place as Jon starts to worm his cold fingers underneath Martin's jumper. “Jon!”

“Mm?” Jon asks, entirely distracted by the feel of Martin's bare skin under his fingertips. The smoothness of it, the coarseness of the faint hairs that trail down from his navel, and the contrast between them.

“We should go inside,” Martin chokes out, shifting into Jon's touch entirely without meaning to, and Jon can see that he's starting to get hard, see the way the fabric of his trousers is beginning to tent, and he's about to reach out and fit a hand around Martin when Martin bodily hauls him up to his feet and half-drags him to the door, only pausing for a moment to grab the pipe on his way out.

“It's nearly winter,” Martin says, laughing even as his eyes are still so wide and shocked at all of this, and Jon has to concede the point to him. It is far too cold to be doing this outside, even as he is lost briefly in thoughts of Martin pinning him up against the hard brick of the building and just taking him like that, tugging Jon's trousers down and hitching Jon's legs up around his waist and fucking him right there, letting the drag of the brick against Jon's back remind him that they are open and exposed and if anyone was out this time of night they could see how desperate Jon was for him.

Jon realizes all at once that he is saying all of this aloud, and his mouth snaps shut, his face flaming, and Martin says, voice full of awe, “oh my god, Jon.” He sets down his pipe on the nearest desk and lifts Jon up like he weighs nothing, tucking Jon's legs around his waist just like Jon wanted, moving the two of them forward. Jon has long since stopped paying proper attention to anything but Martin and how badly he wants to touch his bare skin, but he thinks they might be moving towards the cot in Document Storage.

“You're going to kill me,” Martin mutters, but he's still smiling, and Jon keeps trying to rub up against him as they walk, loving how securely Martin can carry him. The strength in his arms. The surety in his walk, and how much skin there will be to explore as soon as they arrive. He's entirely out of his head with it, lost in how good the slightest contact feels and so turned on it aches, and when Martin finally sets him down on his back on the cot and looms over him, he has to pull Martin into another kiss immediately. Martin crowds him in, pressing down into him with his full body weight, a thigh between Jon's legs so that Jon has to grind up against him desperately as his tongue moves against Martin's.

Martin breaks off long enough to start sucking a mark into the side of Jon's neck, and Jon's fingers worm up underneath Martin's coat, finally allowed to touch skin, and he's fascinated despite himself at the tiny noises Martin makes, the way he shudders and squirms as Jon's fingers brush his nipples, and Jon just wants his clothes off.

“Off,” he manages, in the part of him that can still form words, even though all of his other higher thoughts are gone, and when Martin doesn't immediately make to do so, he follows it up with a “please,” his voice a cracked mess, still hoarse from the smoke. Martin drops a quick peck on his lips before drawing back and starting to take his coat and jumper off. He's so big. Jon has always known on some level that Martin is big, but it is one thing to know it and another to see the expanse of his skin, the soft give of his stomach and the faint, curling ginger of his chest hairs and the way his nipples are starting to pebble up in the cold. He pulls Martin in close again, runs a thumb against Martin's nipple and Martin squeaks, shuddering, and so, of course, he has to do it again, over and over, drinking in the noises Martin makes as Jon's fingers pinch and pull at him. It's so easy to touch him. So easy to luxuriate in the feel of skin on skin, moving his hands all over Martin's body in broad sweeps, wanting to learn every piece of him.

“Let me—you too,” Martin manages, and Jon sits up just enough that Martin can tug Jon's sweater vest up and over his head, and then Jon gets to work on the fiddly buttons of his shirt, cursing himself for wearing something like this today. He definitely loses a button in the process, trying to fight with his clumsy fingers as his head swims and aches with the need for more, more more. He feels like he's half-sick with it.

“Can I?” Martin asks, bending down to Jon's chest, and Jon has patches where he has no feeling in his chest, but sometimes when he smokes enough, even those he can feel, a sharp, tingling sensation that is half pain and half pleasure, and they only drive his fevered thoughts higher as Martin pinches his nipples, his fingers cupped over the tiny amount of give to the remaining flesh. Martin works him over with tongue and teeth until Jon is panting with it, squirming in place and trying to get more friction, more anything. He wants Martin's fingers in his cunt. Wants Martin's mouth on his cock. Wants the cock that he just knows is big to slide inside him and claim him. Wants his hands pinned, or his hips. He's a mess of swirling, aroused thoughts.

“I didn't know you were going to get like this,” Martin says, half-wondering, his eyes so wide as Jon moans and squirms under him, and Jon tries to explain that he's always like this when he smokes, that when he's had enough all he can think of is the physicality he normally doesn't know what to do with, but it only comes out in bits and pieces. Little half-words.

He unbuttons his trousers and starts trying to shove them off, but he can't get his hands to work, and he makes a plaintive noise until Martin takes pity on him and pushes himself up on shaking legs, turning Jon around so he can slide Jon's trousers down to his ankles and off. He hesitates for a moment, and Jon thinks, all at once, I didn't tell him, a brief burst of panic, but then Martin sinks properly to his knees and smiles up at Jon like this is all he ever wanted and the panic is replaced with a deep, sinking relief.

Jon slides his fingers into Martin's hair and Martin dives straight in, eating Jon out with single-minded focus and making deeply contented noises as he does, like there is nowhere he would rather be and nothing he would rather be doing than this, licking over Jon's cock with little flicks of his tongue that are almost too oversensitive before sucking it into his mouth, his head bobbing with it, and Jon yelps at the suction. He squeezes his thighs tighter around Martin's head and holds on for dear life to his hair, so hard it must hurt, and Martin does not stop.

“You look--” Jon doesn't have the words. He just knows it feels good and that he doesn't want it to stop, and that the painful heat in him is curling higher and higher with every perfect, clever movement of Martin's tongue, and then Martin is sliding a finger into him, filling up the empty ache in his cunt with a finger so broad and thick it makes Jon clench around it reflexively just to feel how big it is. He wants more. He's already so close, and he knows Martin can feel the way his thighs are shaking.

“Is it good?” Martin asks, as though he is not taking Jon apart entirely with the one finger becoming two curling inside him, as though his tongue is not driving all the remaining higher thoughts out of Jon's head, and Jon clenches around them and cries out and tugs so hard at martin's hair that he's sure he's pulling out strands as he comes, and Martin does not stop. He barely even hesitates, keeps working over Jon with his tongue, and the arousal in Jon's gut burns harder, hotter, and he wants so much more than this.

“More,” he says, because he can think of nothing else to say, because every other thought in his head is gone, and Martin obeys, holding him down hard with one hand at his hip so hard that there will still be marks in the morning as a reminder that this his happening, that this is real, and Martin keeps his tongue moving until Jon tumbles over the edge again, crying out, his breath hitching and his eyes starting to bead with tears from overstimulation, and all he can do is keep holding onto Martin's hair, half-distracted by how smooth the strands feel under his fingers. He always knew Martin's hair looked soft and now he gets to feel it.

“Is it strange that I'm thinking about how soft your hair is?” he asks Martin, because this feels like something Martin should know, and Martin laughs against his cock, sending vibrations through him.

“Maybe a little?” Martin says, but he doesn't sound like he minds at all, like he could stay down there on his knees for Jon all day, but Jon wants more. Wants Martin to fuck him for real. Wants, like he wanted outside, to be pressed against the wall and just overwhelmed and taken.

“You should--” he says, and he doesn't know how to get the words out, his tongue is too clumsy, the world is too soft and heavy and good and he is drowning in the pleasure of it all, but when he clenches down on the fingers inside him again Martin seems to get the hint and pulls out, getting back up to his feet. He doesn't ask “how do you want me,” because Jon has already told him, and when he tugs his own trousers down, wincing as they slide past his painfully hard cock, and then his briefs after them, it is all Jon can do to not entirely stop and stare. Martin is—big, bigger than he expected, even and he already aches with the anticipation of having it inside him.

“Please,” he says again, and Martin looks from him to the bare patch of wall beside the cot before lifting him up and pinning him to the wall with his bulk. Martin is so big and heavy, surrounding Jon entirely, and it seems to take him no effort at all to hitch Jon's little body up until Jon is poised over his cock. He waits there, waiting for Jon to make the first move, and Jon, face burning, shifts his hips and tries to lower himself down on Martin's cock. It takes a few tries, the two of them clumsy and uncoordinated, but then they manage, and all at once Martin's cock slides all the way into him, filling him up so thoroughly he can do nothing but moan and close his eyes and hold on so tightly to Martin that there will be fingernail-shaped bruises on Martin's back in the morning. He doesn't know how Martin still has the strength for this.

“I'm not going to be able to keep this up for long,” Martin says, as if in answer, and Jon can feel his arms shaking, but he's able to lift Jon up and down on his cock, fucking him slow and steady, letting Jon feel every inch of him, and Jon shakes and shudders and tries not to think about the idea of someone coming in to see them like this, because if he does he might come on the spot, entirely untouched.

“Can you--” he asks, because Martin's arms are shaking harder, and Martin's eyes are still blown wide and unfocused, and this is not going to last long. He fucks himself on Martin's cock once, twice, trying to savor it while it lasts, and then finally lets Martin lower him back down, but it takes nothing at all for Martin to reposition them so that Jon is bent over the cot and then slide back into him, and this time, it seems like Martin's strength will not give out. He feels so deep in Jon. Jon can feel every inch of him as he slides in, so full it makes him shake and squirm, and he closes his eyes and savors it, how overwhelming it all is, the stretch and the ache and how easily Martin can tug Jon's hips back to meet his. He comes again on Martin's cock all at once, pushed over the edge so fast it knocks the breath out of him, and Martin leans down and bites gently at the back of his neck, his teeth sinking in just a little and then sucking to leave a mark. Claiming him.

“Do you want—I can--” Martin offers, panting. He's close, Jon can feel it, his hips shaking as he presses in to the root over and over again, and with every movement he lets out nearly pained little moaning breaths, and Jon knows what he means, and he should, there's nowhere here to clean up the mess it will leave behind if Martin comes in him, but he wants it so badly. Wants to be marked. Wants to feel Martin's come drip out of him and slide fingers into himself to feel the way Martin left him slick and full.

“You, ah, you don't have to,” he manages, closing his eyes because the world has started to spin ever so faintly, and Martin sucks in a sharp breath at that and holds onto Jon's hips tighter, his fingernails digging in, a sharp spark of pain in counterpoint to the drugging pressure of Martin so deep in him, and Jon can feel the spreading warmth in him. He can't help but clench around Martin, even as it drags a punched-out, overstimulated noise from Martin. Martin stays in him for a long moment, and Jon can feel his cock twitching from the inside as it slowly goes soft. He wants to touch, wants to put his hands all over every inch of Martin's bare skin to feel it against his fingertips now that it is exposed, but for now he is pinned, and so he waits until Martin pulls out and then collapses onto the cot beside him to reach out and touch Martin's back with great sweeping motions, smiling to himself in a dazed sort of way at how nice it feels.

“Good?” Martin asks, and Jon nods, still smiling, and then Martin is smiling back at him, and this is all going to be such a mess, and Jon is not entirely sure they still have the spare sheets he used to keep in one of the document storage cabinets, but right now all he wants to do is curl around Martin and enjoy the feeling of naked skin against his own. Wants to be close. Wants the comfort and surety of it.

“We should--” Jon says, yawning deeply, and Martin giggles and rubs their noses together in a gesture so affectionate it makes Jon's chest ache, and so he holds Martin a little tighter to him. There really isn't much room on the cot for two people, but as long as they stay pressed close, he thinks they'll be able to make it work. He does eventually force himself to get off the cot long enough to clean up, or at least that is the idea he's going for, and then Martin asks, a bit shy, “do you want—I can clean you up,” and it ends up with Martin slowly coaxing the come out of him with his fingers and then his mouth, leaving no trace behind and leaving Jon sweating and panting underneath him as he comes again, so hard it makes his ears ring.

He keeps Martin close as possible as they start to drift off to sleep, knowing that he will have to wake up early in the morning lest Tim or Sasha or worse, Elias, find them like that, naked and cuddled together, but in the morning, Martin will make him tea, and they will go through their work day and try to make the best of being the people who have to know about terrible things, and then at lunch, they will steal away for a moment to themselves as Jon has a smoke, and the world for a moment will feel a little bit lighter. Everything is still a mess, but he's not doing it alone.

It's remarkable, he thinks, closing his eyes to let the last remaining buzz of the high and the warmth of Martin's body lull him the rest of the way to sleep, how much of a difference that makes.