D.I.S.E.

Surface Tension

Ripples shattered the pristine, glass-like surface of the pool as Thomas dipped his toes into it. He planted his foot on a large, smooth boulder just under the surface, followed by the other, and stopped there. White towel still wrapped around his waist, he stood ankle-deep in the pond, staring down into it and noticing every crystal clear detail of its floor, as though he was looking through a window rather than several feet of crystalline spring water.  

With the supernatural incidents filling the local news outlets, most people, human and monster alike, opted to stay home after dark - smart, Thomas thought to himself. Unfortunate circumstances, but there was a silver lining in the result. The springs were empty, save for himself and the nearby insects serenading him.

The sun had set hours ago, but the artificial lights installed in the rock walls of the pools illuminated them like a scene out of any fantasy movie. Swaths of blue and green and turquoise danced along the undersides of the overhanging rocks, interrupted by long cast shadows of fish drifting over the lights. Goldfish, Thomas recognized; it was difficult to see at night, especially with most of them backlit, but he noted mostly schools of common and sarasa comets, all darting around the occasional leviathan of a koi. For a man-made spring, it was undeniably pretty.

A soft breeze tugging at his hair pulled him from his trance, and Thomas tossed the towel aside and climbed down the smooth rocks until the water reached his waist. Taking a deep breath, he slipped under the surface and opened his eyes. It was even more breathtaking underwater, with orange comets flitting back and forth and a huge tancho koi floating gracefully past. He came up for a breath and sat with his chin half submerged, hair swirling around him like a drop of ink in a glass of water. 

After a moment he pushed off his footing and floated backward until his shoulders bumped into a ledge. Thomas looked over his shoulder to see a ledge clearly intended for human use. The flat slate sheets that made up the path stopped at a smooth curve in the edge of the pond, dropping to meet a large, rounded stone at the perfect depth to act as a bench. If nothing else it was certainly more comfortable than the natural rocks.

Thomas drifted into the makeshift seat and leaned back against the wall. He rested his arms on the ledge, elbows cushioned by pillows of moss peeking through the cracks between the stones. He closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh.

Maybe this was exactly what he needed after all. More than once he’d been asked if he was feeling himself, and every time he said yes, and every time he wasn’t lying. At least, he hadn’t thought so. But the longer it dragged on, the more he wondered if the stress of returning home hadn’t taken a heavier toll on him than he’d realized. Between his fractured and hastily taped-together relationship with his mother and surprisingly forward animosity toward his partner, Thomas was wholly unprepared for this entire stay. 

The fresh bruise on his side was a harsh reminder of that. He probably should have ignored them and left quietly, like they always did. His partner seemed ready to do exactly that, but these assholes caught Thomas at a very bad time, on a very bad day, and the insults were getting awfully direct. A single, well-placed punch to the bridge of the stranger’s nose launched the group into a brief but intense brawl. The owner of the establishment cut it short and threw them all out, and only the presence of a police car parked across the street made the men reconsider picking up where they left off. They exchanged warning glances with each other before parting ways. Thomas thought he remembered someone talking to him, trying to grab his arm to stop him, but he’d just torn it away. When he rounded the next corner, he was by himself pushing through the streams of unfazed pedestrians.

Guilt nibbled at him - once he was sure it wasn’t the goldfish. It probably would have been smarter, and definitely would have been kinder to at least tell his partner where he was going. It wasn’t his fault; far from it. But blinded by rage, storming off and leaving him to drown in his own confusion was all Thomas could have done to avoid saying or doing something he’d regret later. He needed alone time, and everything else would have to wait. Lockwood included.

A sharp nip at his shin startled him out of the light doze he’d slipped into. He lifted his head and looked down to see a koromo koi nearly the length of his arm eyeing up his leg for a second attempt. He chuckled to himself and gently shooed it away with his foot. As he watched it drift away, he settled back into his seat and wondered how long he’d nodded off. The spring didn’t have a clock, and he’d very intentionally left his phone in the bag with his change of clothes. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized he didn’t really care. That should probably worry him, but he could unpack that later, when he was done relaxing.

“You didn’t have to do that,” came a familiar voice from the darkness. 

Thomas nearly lurched out of the water. Apparently, he was done relaxing. His eyes searched for the source of the voice, but the bright light of the spring made it difficult. Only the faint glow of white teeth against pitch black gave him away. 

Thomas exhaled and slumped back into the seat. “Jesus, Lock.” He shook his head and looked toward him again. He wondered if Lockwood had bothered maintaining a corporeal form at all, he blended so seamlessly into the shadows. He rubbed a hand over his head and dropped it with a sigh. As the adrenaline subsided, it was hard to hold onto any annoyance. Apparently the soak had done him more good than he thought.

“Did you hear me?” came the voice again.

“Yeah, I heard you. C’mon, you don’t have to hide.”

Lockwood stepped closer to him. The lights from the water had a harder time illuminating him than most of the things around him, but it was enough for Thomas to make out. He was dressed much the same as he always was; a black hoodie, black jeans, and a pair of black canvas sneakers. He was holding himself the same as always, too, hands buried in his pockets and face hidden behind his hood.

“I wasn’t hiding.”

“Maybe not intentionally.”

“Mm.” He stopped several paces away, plenty more than an arm’s reach from him. Thomas looked over his shoulder at his partner, who said nothing.

He sighed. “What?”

“You didn’t say anything.”

“To what?”

 

“I said you didn’t have to do that.”

 

“Well if you hadn’t scared the shit out of me-”


“Thomas…”


He sighed again, but he couldn’t keep the fondness from it. “Do what?”


Lockwood tilted his head in that way he did as a substitute for raising eyebrows he didn’t have. Thomas smirked and flapped a hand at him. “Don’t worry about it.”

“About the fact that you were injured to some unknown extent defending my honor, or the fact that you disappeared for three and a half hours without a word?” The words were harsh, but his tone was as cool and even as ever. “It’s a little late for that, don’t you think?”

The smirk faded before returning, albeit more lopsided. “...Yyyeah, sorry. That was-”

“Stupid.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Foolish.”

 

“...Yes.”

 

“Idiotic. Thick-headed. Irresponsible. Ill-advised, poorly planned, severely lacking in foresight…”

 

“...”

 

“And incredibly inconsiderate.”

 

There was still no edge to his voice, but despite his amusement, deep down it still stung. Thomas nodded. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

 

Lockwood didn’t respond, and from what Thomas could see of him in the corner of his eye, he didn’t move, either. He was always so damn difficult to read, and in situations like this, sometimes it made Thomas want to strangle the emotion out of him with his bare hands. Instead he twisted enough to see him better, careful not to aggravate the damage any more than he had to. “Forgive me?”

There was no immediate response. “...Depends.”


“On?”

“How badly were you hurt, and what have you been doing?”

Thomas exhaled through a smile. “Not bad. Some bumps and bruises, probably gonna be sore for a couple days, but I think I’ll make it.” Lockwood grunted behind him. “And I pretty much came straight here. Good place to decompress and think. Especially after dark, while no one’s here.” A thought struck him, and he turned to look at him again with furrowed brows. “How’d you find me here, anyway?”

“I followed you.”

 

“...So you knew what I’ve been doing.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then why-”

 

“I wanted to know what you thought you were doing.”

 

“.....Uh huh. Okay, well… Did I pass the test, boss?”

 

“Mm.” Soft footsteps stopped just behind his right shoulder, and Thomas looked up at Lockwood instead of back. Arms folded across his chest this time, not looking back at him. He assumed, anyway. Without visible eyes it was hard to tell what he was looking at. The light refracted off the water shimmered across his clothes, but it seemed to have trouble illuminating his face, as though it was being sucked into it. 

 

“You wanna join me?”

 

That seemed to get his attention. His head turned down toward him in what he had to assume was surprise.

 

“...I’d get wet.”

 

“That is generally the idea, yes.”

 

“Why?”

 

“It’s relaxing.”

 

“There are fish.”

 

“Yes, Lock, there are fish. It’s a pond. Ponds have fish. They’re not going to eat you.” Best not to tell him about the inquisitive koi, maybe.

 

Lockwood glanced back and forth between Thomas and the water, and as if steeling himself to march into battle, inhaled and straightened his back. He unzipped the hoodie and dropped it on top of the discarded towel, then pulled the black tank top over his head. Thomas made a mental note to add some color to the man’s wardrobe. 

Thomas chuckled and slid over to make room as he watched Lockwood undress. They were long past the point of awkward nudity. In fact, Lockwood had made it abundantly clear from the beginning that he did not have the same reservations about it that humans did. As midnight black hands slid the waistband of his pants down past his silvery gray hips, Thomas remembered exactly why.

 

It was an unfair advantage, really. The only embarrassment between them anymore was solely on Thomas’ side, usually when he looked at Lockwood a little too hard for a little too long, and the rest of his body… signaled his interest. Fortunately Lockwood never seemed to notice, or if he did, he had the decency to pretend otherwise. The smooth mound of Lockwood’s groin, on the other hand, lacked any features at all, never mind recognizable genitalia. And the rest of his body language was so subtle it may as well be nonexistent. No accidental boners for him. Lucky bastard.

 

Lockwood stepped into the water beside him, maintaining a respectable distance. Thomas smirked to himself as he remembered a video he saw on the internet a long time ago, mocking this exact scenario; he shook it away as quickly as it came. 

While the light continued to sink into the black void of Lockwood’s face, it did the same over the cavity of his chest. But it glittered strangely across his body, alien in its interaction with smoke swirling just under his skin. The streaks of blue and green fell on his hands and feet as they would any other solid object, though Thomas knew if he reached out to touch his biceps or chest, they would feel no different than his own. The faint white glow of his bones barely penetrated the darkness beyond the confines of his own body - how they even glowed in the first place, Thomas had no idea. And if he tried hard enough, Thomas was pretty sure he could see the blue radiance of the pool shining through him completely, like he was a ghost. It was utterly fascinating, and there was no denying that Lockwood was simply beautiful.

 

But this was how those awkward situations arose, so he tore his eyes away as Lockwood finally took his seat. The monster sat like someone in the waiting room of a dentist’s office, arms resting in his lap and attention on the fish minding their own business several feet away. 

 

Thomas laughed and nudged his knee with his foot. “Get comfortable, relax.”

Lockwood drew his leg away and gave him a look, but said nothing. Thomas wondered if he was still angry. His earlier non-answer wasn’t exactly reassuring. Hell, was he even angry in the first place? Again, the urge to draw some expression out of him by force arose, and he pushed it down in favor of a second attempt.

 

“Hey, I’m sorry.”

 

“I know. You said as much.”

 

“And you’re quiet. Er than usual,” he added quickly. “Are you still mad?”

 

“I forgive you.”

 

“Thank you, but that’s not what I asked.”

 

Lockwood stopped to look at him again, taking a little longer to answer than Thomas would have liked. It was an awfully scrutinizing gaze for a man with no eyes.

 

“No. I’m not mad.”

 

“Then what’s wrong?”

 

The monster turned his head away again, this time looking up at the wilderness surrounding them. “I’m wondering why we’re still here, instead of going home.”

 

“Mmh. There goes my plan to ask if we could move here instead.” Another look, and Thomas waved a hand at him before he could take him too seriously. “Far as I’m concerned, the less time we have to spend around the people here, the better.”

 

Lockwood considered this, and tilted his head in concession. “I see your point.” A moment later he lifted it again. “Do you want me to leave you to yourself, then?”

 

“Yeah, that’s why I invited you to join me, to throw you back out again.”

 

“After telling me the less time you spend with people, the better. Are you saying I’m not a person?”

 

This time Thomas gave him the look, and he didn’t miss the smirk trying desperately to pull at the muscles of Lockwood’s mouth.

 

Lockwood’s social ineptitude could be charming, when it wasn’t so annoying. “No, after telling you the less time we spend with people, the better. I never mind spending time with you, Lock. You should know that by now.”

 

“But it’s so fun to antagonize you.”

 

“So you do know how to have fun,” Thomas ribbed back as a grin spread across his face. Those subtle tells of Lockwood’s equivalent of a smile became more apparent as well.

 

“Occasionally.”

 

“I’m impressed. Have you been practicing?”

 

“Hnn.”

 

Thomas grinned triumphantly. Sometimes Lockwood’s wit could catch him off-guard, but he wasn’t at a point yet that he could out-banter Thomas. And Thomas liked it that way.

 

A comfortable silence settled until a hand reached across the space between them to brush fingertips over the dark bruise on his ribs. Lockwood’s touch was cool, but light scratch of his claws, so faint he doubted Lockwood even registered it, sent electricity up his spine and fire into his belly. 

 

“Does it hurt?” he asked, prodding it gently with one finger. 

 

Thomas winced and arched away. “Nnh, yeah, if you poke it like that.”

 

“Sorry.” He flattened his palm against the clear, pale skin around the bruise instead, drawing it taught so he could see it better. Thomas braced one hand against the stone in the water, bearing his weight onto it and lifting the other awkwardly while Lockwood inspected him. Apparently satisfied, Lockwood sat straight again, but couldn’t quite pull his hand away completely. It sat gingerly just below the bruise itself, granting enough room for Thomas to lower his arm to rest on the ledge again. 

 

“You didn’t have to do that,” Lockwood said again, still looking at the mark.

 

“No, I really did.”

 

“Bullshit. We’ve heard far worse and gone without incident plenty of times before.”

 

“I know. It’s just as fucked up all those other times, too.”

 

“Everything about what we do is fucked up, Thomas.”

 

“I know. This one just...got to me, I guess.”

 

The monster’s attention shifted up to his face. “So I was right.”

 

Thomas arched a brow at him. “About…?”

 

“You have been stressed. More so than usual.”

 

Thomas sighed and turned his head forward. “Yeah, you were right. I hate coming back here, and every time I do I forget exactly how much I hate it.”

 

“So why do you?”


“Honestly, I don’t know anymore. Habit, maybe. Hard to let go of memories, even if they are negative.”

 

“I don’t understand.”
 

He chuckled. “Me neither, man. Me neither.”

 

Lockwood returned to the bruise again, the pad of one finger tracing the edge of it. “Well. Thanks.”

 

Thomas arched a brow at him. “What happened to stupid and irresponsible and inconsiderate?”

 

His partner snorted. “That was for running away.”

 

“Not for getting punched on your behalf.”

 

“Correct.”

 

“Noted.”

 

The hand continued to linger there, and Lockwood’s attention on it, oblivious to Thomas watching him. The touch was different now, less clinical. The motions almost absent-minded, as though Lockwood was lost in thought. Thomas’ expression softened.

 

“Hey.”

 

The monster looked up.

 

“I’m okay.”

 

He looked back down. “I know.”

 

“Are you?”

 

“I’m fine.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

And back up. “Yes. Why wouldn’t I be?”

 

Thomas shrugged - and hid the wince it brought. “You’re acting weird.”

 

“How so?”

 

“I dunno, you’re quiet. But like, a different kind of quiet. Like there’s something on your mind.”

 

Back down. “There isn’t.”

 

“Nothing?”

 

“No.”

 

“Nothing at all?”

 

“No.”

 

Thomas studied him a moment longer, then nodded. “If you say so…”

 

Silence fell again, and Thomas watched him, as though staring at him hard enough might reveal all of his many secrets. He combed through every idea as to what might be bothering him. He wasn’t mad, he said so himself. And Lockwood may have been an expert at hiding his feelings, but he was not a liar - if confronted with it directly, he would admit it. If the men he’d fought with or even police were going to do anything more about it, either he wouldn’t have reached the springs or Lockwood wouldn’t have been able to follow. And Lockwood was a pretty rational thinker, even under pressure, so he doubted he was fretting about that. Which must have meant…

 

“...You were really worried about me.” It was more a statement of his own realization than anything directed at Lockwood, but it gave the monster pause regardless. His hand froze in its place, and he didn’t look up at Thomas.

 

“Yes."

 

“I’m okay, Lock, really. I promise. It was just a couple punches.”

 

He tilted his head, the shadowy smoke drifting off of it adjusting to the new angle. “For the last several hours I didn’t know that.”

 

Right. That was even shittier of him than he originally thought. “Lock, I’m-”

 

“I thought maybe you were trying to hide internal bleeding, or a broken bone, or that one of them pulled a knife in the commotion and I didn’t notice. Or that they might try to corner you elsewhere, away from the public eye. Which is why I decided to follow you. If anything happened because…”

 

He trailed off without finishing the sentence. He didn’t need to. 

 

“Hey. This wasn’t your fault. And if it had been worse, it still wouldn’t be your fault.”

 

His attention still didn’t leave the bruise. “Had you been there by yourself-”

“But I wasn’t there by myself. I was there with you. Voluntarily, of my own accord. And you didn’t ask me to fight them, in fact quite the opposite. But I did that too, also voluntarily, also of my own accord.”

Lockwood hummed, but otherwise didn’t respond. 

 

“Lock,” he said, gripping his partner’s upper arm with a gentle squeeze, “don’t apologize for existing.”

 

That caught his attention. He looked at Thomas, then at his hand, and finally back to the bruise. He tried to withdraw his hand, but the human’s grip kept him from moving more than a couple of inches. Lockwood met his eyes, replacing just his fingertips against his ribs, but stayed quiet.

 

“I mean it.”

 

“Alright.”

 

Well, it was a word at least. Thomas exhaled through his nose and released his grip, instead cupping his triceps in one of the rare shows of physical affection Lockwood would allow him. He offered him a small smile and let his head rest back against the ledge, closing his eyes. “Now try to relax.”

 

Again the silence set in, this time carrying on. Thomas lay content where he was, enjoying the cool water and the occasional flutter of a tail fin against his toes. The only sound came from crickets and cicadas, punctuated by soft wind rustling the trees. 

 

Lockwood remained paralyzed in place, fixated on his own hand glued to Thomas’ side. He urged his fingers to move again, and before he could stop them, they were trailing away from the bruise, dipping between every rib on the way down. When they reached the last one, they turned, flattening over his interwoven serratus muscle, until they curled against the bottom edge of his pectoral. 

 

The touch had long since pulled Thomas from his rest, and he watched Lockwood through half-lidded eyes, wondering if he could feel his heart racing under his hand. The monster noticed Thomas’ eyes on him and chose to ignore them, but with no need for pretense anymore, he shifted closer. He finally tore his hand away, only to replace it with the other and brace the first on the stone between them. Its replacement smoothed across his upper abs and then back a row down, more confident of its motions and sure of its purpose, but equally inquisitive as its predecessor. 

 

The claw of his thumb caught on the edge of Thomas’ navel, causing his stomach to hollow. Lockwood paused, cocking his head like a curious animal. He pressed his thumb into the divot again, attention flicking to Thomas’ face to gauge his reaction, but it didn’t come until the sharp tip of the claw dipped into it again. Reassured of the cause-and-effect, his hand moved on back up his sternum to his chest, pressing into the muscle.

 

By now Lockwood was practically hovering over Thomas, and Thomas finally lifted his head to meet his gaze. The hand slid down, fingers brushing incidentally over his nipple, and drew a sharp inhale from him.

 

“Lock…”

 

Lockwood cut him off by covering his mouth with his own. It wasn’t a kiss in the purest sense of the word, but Thomas treated it no differently. His eyes fell shut like they were weighted with bricks. He hummed pleasantly and mouthed at Lockwood’s parted teeth, which dotted exploratory nips along his lower lip. The hand on his chest abandoned its station in favor of sliding up Thomas’ neck, bunching up the strands of long, black hair that crossed its path. It came to a stop with his thumb and forefinger bracketing Thomas’ ear and the rest of his fingers curling around the nape of his neck. 

 

Thomas lifted his own hand to find the back of his partner’s shoulder, and the moment it did, Lockwood shifted to straddle Thomas’ lap. Both hands came to the monster’s hips before he even realized what was happening, but once he did, he squeezed them and pushed his head up into the kiss. Lockwood stood on his knees, all of his weight off of him, curled over him and shading him from the glow of the pool. 

 

Containing his eagerness was becoming increasingly harder, in every sense of the word. Hands glided across silver skin, over the crest of Lockwood’s pelvis and up the edges of taught back muscles and back down again. With Lockwood’s groin mere inches from his own, the pressure was becoming too much.

 

“Lock…” he managed to whisper between kisses.

 

“Lockwood,” the monster growled back, stealing any reply from him with a tongue between his lips. Thomas groaned and curled his fingers against Lockwood’s back and dragged his nails down to the root of his spine. It earned him a set of fingers buried in his hair and a smooth chest pressed up against his.

 

With the hand in his hair keeping him from withdrawing and another against his jaw keeping him from turning away, Thomas melted into the kiss and let his partner take control. An assertive Lockwood was a rare sight indeed, and he wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity. As soon as he resigned himself to it, the warmth of a third hand met the side of his abdomen, followed by a fourth on the other. God, he loved it when he did that. He hadn’t expected to put that ability to this particular use for some time yet, but he certainly was not about to complain. 

 

The jet black hands drifted up and down and over and across his torso, searching for something - Thomas didn’t know what, and he wasn’t sure Lockwood did either. Damp satin hair glistened between those claws, the same claws curling against the nape of his neck, the same claws drawing painless white lines over his chest, ribs, stomach, hips. The same claws that tugged gently to tilt his head back, so those dangerous teeth and that sinful violet tongue could descend on his throat. They caught against his adam’s apple as he swallowed and grazed over his jugular, down to the hollow of his neck, the firm grip in his hair keeping him still all the while.

 

Just as Thomas wondered if he hadn’t guessed where Lockwood was going, those heavenly fangs abandoned their path to brush against his lips again. Denied him the kiss he tried to take, Thomas traded shuddered breaths for Lockwood’s swirling mist. They held each others’ gaze - he assumed, anyway - even as Lockwood readjusted himself to sit lower over Thomas’ lap. The extra pair of hands slid downward and between his partner’s shadowy legs. He glanced downward to watch as the hands didn’t dissipate in the water as he would have expected, but the smoke curling from their wrists grew thicker and heavier.

 

A claw tracing the base of his shaft snapped his attention back to Lockwood’s face. It was still, unreadable, but radiating a warmth Thomas couldn’t quite put his finger on. He brought a hand of his own up to press his thumb into that sharp cheekbone, but the hand suddenly wrapped around him dropped it down to his neck. Its twin pushed up from below to frame him between its thumb and index finger, letting him fall heavy over the back of his hand. 

 

Lockwood stroked him firm and slow, almost excruciatingly slow, and Thomas’ eyelids threatened to shut. The hand removed itself from his neck to take hold of his wrist instead, pulling it away from his cheek and pinning it to the ledge. Thomas took the hint and let his other hand fall away too. Lockwood released him and planted the hand against his chest, gliding the pad of his thumb over one nipple and drawing out an almost-silent grunt. 

 

Fingers curled against the lip of the ledge, tensing and relaxing, tensing and relaxing, with each drag of Lockwood’s smoky grip. After what Thomas was sure was an eternity, the hand came to a stop. His eyes opened to look up at his partner again, and was somewhat surprised to find nothing had changed - he was still looking back at him, just as cool and even as ever. Before he could think on it any further, the hand guided him to press his tip against something warm, soft, and wet - enough to tell it was wet even underwater. It was a something Thomas hadn’t felt in a long time, but unmistakable nonetheless.

 

Both of Lockwood’s attached hands planted themselves against Thomas’ chest, his own pressing into him between them, and mouth hovering hot over his. His hips bore down on Thomas’ lap, and he sunk into that warmth with remarkable ease. 

 

The wave of fire that ripped through him burned all of his breath away. His jaw hung open, unable to tear his eyes away from Lockwood, who seemed equally as

overwhelmed. He was panting over him after a bitten-off moan, a puff of cool mist rushing from between his parted teeth and over Thomas’ lips with each exhale. He tried to reach up for him, to take his serendipitous lover and hold him there, but another hand shoved his wrist back down once again. His head fell back with a groan and he whispered a curse under his breath. Once he was fully hilted inside him, the assisting hands vanished into nothing.

 

A single roll of Lockwood’s hips had them both gasping. A sound escaped him that sounded suspiciously like a whimper, and Thomas had never heard something so enrapturing in all his life. Using both hands to pin Thomas’ arms back, Lockwood began to slowly rock his hips back and forth, panting and shuddering and groaning into Thomas’ open mouth. 

 

The sensation was unlike anything Thomas had ever experienced; it felt almost like Lockwood had tried to replicate human female genitalia based off of a loose description, but slightly missed the mark. In this case, for the mind-numbingly better. Intoxicating and indescribable textures teased him from every angle in a way to which no woman, man, or object he’d ever had could compare. 

 

Lockwood set a steady pace, mouth never venturing far from Thomas’. He pressed his forehead against the man’s temple, and Thomas leaned into it. His dark eyes finally fell shut and the rest of the world was sucked away from them, leaving only the soft lapping of the water, the hushed hiss of Lockwood’s breath across his lips, and the burning heat gripping both of them at their cores. 

 

Finally Lockwood’s weight eased off his arms. His fingers deftly traced the edges of veins and muscles all the way back to his chest. Thomas bent his elbow experimentally, and when there was no resistance, he surged forward before he could change his mind. His back left the wall with a splash, one arm hooked around Lockwood’s narrow waist, and the other kept Lockwood’s legs wrapped around his. The monster grunted in surprise but made no attempt to stop him, and instead took his head in both hands and let himself be guided. His head tilted back as Thomas’ mouth kissed and licked and nipped and breathed down his neck, over his collarbone, across his chest. He took control from Lockwood, bracing against the rocks and pistoning his hips himself.

To say his climax snuck up on him would have been a lie, but the speed with which it came surprised him nonetheless. The rush wiped his mind before he could chalk it up to over-excitement or waiting too long. His hips stuttered and locked with a cry, even as they tried to push further up into Lockwood’s warmth than gravity would allow. Lockwood stilled as well and looked down to see Thomas panting against the hollow of his throat. 

 

The gentle stroking in the hair at the nape of his neck belied the single cruel squeeze around his oversensitive shaft. He gasped sharply and bit back the ensuing groan.. Lockwood remained silent, but Thomas could feel the smirk radiating off him.

Thomas decided not to test him further and slipped a hand between them. He pressed his palm and splayed his fingers against the front of Lockwood’s pelvis. His thumb ventured down in search of anything resembling a clitoris. What he found instead was something far more like his own. Where did that come from?

 

“Fuck,” he whispered as he seized Lockwood’s mouth and wrapped his hand around him. He wasted no time in stroking him to completion, devouring every muffled moan and whine and whimper trying to escape between those teeth, until finally Lockwood threw himself forward and planted a hand against the ledge. His jaws were parted, but nothing came out - no sound, no breath, no smoke. It all came rushing back to him in a sharp huff against Thomas’ mouth, punctuated by several forceful pants.

Thomas held onto him, forehead against his with his eyes closed, and Lockwood’s spine still arched underneath his hand. He waited for him to come down from the high before leaning forward to kiss him again. It took a few seconds for Lockwood to regain the energy to return it. Cute.

 

Thomas fell back against the wall and brought Lockwood along with him. He hummed a pleasant note against his teeth before parting to look up at him. “Good?”

 

“...Mm,” came the answer as Lockwood relaxed against him. “Good.”

 

“Good.”

 

They sat in the pleasant silence of each other’s company until a thought struck Thomas.

 

“Hey Lock?”

 

“Mm.”

 

“...Could I get you pregnant like that?”

 

A pause, and Lockwood sat up in his lap. “Shouldn’t you have asked me that beforehand?”

 

Thomas tilted his head with a smirk. “You mean between you hopping in my lap and putting my dick inside you?”

 

Lockwood lolled his head in exasperation. “No, I won’t get pregnant.”

 

“Aww, almost a shame,” Thomas mock-pouted, flattening a hand over Lockwood’s stomach. 

 

Lockwood swatted his hand away and stood to reach for the towel. “Fuck you.”

 

“That’s how we got here in the first place, dear.”

 

Lockwood flipped him the bird over his shoulder as he walked away, leaving Thomas to chuckle to himself.