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swaying our sentiments, pulling our strings

Chapter Text

Lafayette whistles to himself as he walks around the office, hands in his pockets. He has that look on his face that he gets when he thinks he’s planned something brilliant, little smile and a glimmer in his dark eyes.

Alex watches him walk by, and narrows his eyes at the sly sideways look Lafayette shoots him.

He forgets about it by mid-afternoon, swept up in the daytime flurry of meetings and deadlines.

He forgets about it until he sits down at his desk at 2:30 pm and opens his email for the first time since this morning.

Annual Office Holiday Trip!

So that’s what Lafayette was smirking about all day.

Alex hates the office trip. He hates that work shuts down for a week, even if there are meetings and workshops to attend while they are away. He hates that they are forced to go away together, to room with a colleague. He hates having to acknowledge the holidays more than he would choose to. He hates spending a week in luxury on someone else’s dime.

It wasn’t too bad last year, when he got to room with John, and they went to Florida, so at least it wasn’t cold.


Alex swallows his dread and clicks on the email from Lafayette. Scans through it, sinking feeling in his chest.

A skiing trip.

Alex groans.

He hates the cold, he’s not outdoorsy, he doesn’t know how to ski. He can already tell this trip is going to be a nightmare, and he hasn’t even checked who his assigned roommate for the week is.

He almost doesn’t want to know.

He hopes Lafayette took pity on him, hopes Lafayette didn’t stick him with John Adams, or whiny Charles Lee.

He takes a deep breath, and scrolls down to the assigned rooms.

Alex leaps up from his desk so fast his chair falls over backwards with a crash.

Anger burns hot through his body as he stalks down the hallway, heading for Lafayette’s office. Lafayette is supposed to be his friend. Lafayette is supposed to let him room with someone he actually likes. Of course, he can’t room with John anymore, but still.

He barges into Lafayette’s office, all anger and heat.

“Lafayette!” He practically shouts as Lafayette looks up from his computer, serene smile on his face.

“Yes Alexander?” Lafayette purrs, like a cat with a canary.

Alex is about to launch into a tirade, when Thomas Jefferson strides into Lafayette’s office and shuts the door behind him.

“Lafayette,” Thomas sneers, “there must be some sort of mistake-”

“Why would you room me with him!?” Alex and Thomas exclaim simultaneously, fingers pointing at each other.

Alex glares at Thomas. He detests everything about the Virginian. His big hair, his garish fashion sense, his obnoxious voice and arrogant swagger. His dark eyes and his sharp jawline and his plush kissable lips.

Lafayette shrugs, and looks entirely unfazed by Thomas and Alex, both looming angrily over his desk. He stretches, catlike, and props his socked feet up on his desk.

“The office trip is about building office relations, no? It is about getting to know each other better, so that we might work in better harmony. If anyone needs some harmony, it is the pair of you,” and he smiles sweetly, leans back in his chair.

Thomas splutters, anger robbing him of his words.

Alex slams his hands down on Lafayette’s desk.

“You can’t- you can’t make me room with him! Lafayette, I thought you were my friend!” He glares at Lafayette, can’t believe his friend would do this to him.

“Lafayette, I beg you to reconsider. I can’t spend a week sharing a room with… him,” Thomas sneers.

“Nope,” Lafayette says. Pleased. Smug. He folds his arms behind his head, crosses his legs at the ankles. “Who knows, you might even find you like each other.” He sticks out his tongue, and waggles his eyebrows suggestively.

“Oh please, as if I would ever fuck him,” Thomas splutters.

“What makes you think you’d be doing the fucking?! As if I’d bottom for you!” Alex shoots back, whirling to stab his finger into Thomas’ stupid smug chest.

Thomas raises an eyebrow, looks down at Alex’s finger.

“Don’t tell me you’re scared? Don’t think you could handle it?” He taunts.

“I’m not scared, you fuck. I’d be the best goddamn bottom you ever had in your life!” Alex shoots back.

“You wouldn’t last a week as my sub!” Thomas snaps.

“Wanna bet?” Alex fires back, all heat, all anger.

In his chair, Lafayette watches them closely, smug grin on his stupid French face.

“What are we wagering, my friends?” He asks, voice silky smooth.

Alex stares dumbly at Lafayette, realizes too late what he just proposed. Beside him, Thomas does the same.

The silence that falls over the small office prickles with tension.

“Think on it,” Lafayette says after a long moment, “and let me know. I simply cannot change the room assignments. Now, if you don’t mind, I have things to do?” Lafayette makes no move to sit up, but he stares at Alex and Thomas expectantly until Alex turns with a huff.

“Fuck you, Laf!” He snarls, and yanks open the office door.

“Mm, that’s Thomas’ job now, no?” Lafayette purrs.


The following morning, there’s a yellow envelope on Alex’s desk when he walks into his office, marked CONFIDENTIAL in large purple letters.

Alex sits down at his desk and unwinds the little red string holding it closed. Slides out a typed letter, and starts to read.


If we’re really doing this, I have a few conditions.

Alex rolls his eyes and takes a giant mouthful of coffee before continuing to read.

1) we will both be tested prior to next week, and provide copies of our results to one another. I would prefer not to use condoms.

Okay, so Thomas is actually making sense. Alex is loathe to admit it, but he agrees with him for perhaps the first time in his life.

2) I’d like you to provide me with a list of everything you are and are not willing to do. I think it’s important that we establish boundaries prior to next week. Please also indicate which safe words you would like to use, as you are subbing, I would like it to be something you are familiar and comfortable with.

Alex huffs a little, and drinks more coffee. Thomas is still making sense, and Alex isn’t entirely sure that he hasn’t stepped into some sort of alternate universe.

3) Your transportation to and from the resort has been arranged. You will pack for the week according to my direction. As your dom, your safety and wellbeing is my responsibility for the duration of our trip.

Okay, Thomas is taking this far too seriously. Alex rolls his eyes again.


He ducks out at lunch to get tested.

At the end of the day, he drops the envelope on Thomas’ desk wordlessly, detailed list inside.


The following morning, the envelope is back on Alex’s desk.

He settles in with his coffee and pulls out his list, annotated and amended with purple pen. He looks over Thomas’ adjustments, makes some of his own, and seals it back up again.

Returns it to Thomas’ desk at lunch.

He gets it back at the end of the day, with a note scrawled at the bottom:

I consent and agree to all of the above.

Thomas Jefferson.

Alex rolls his eyes again, and adds his signature next to Thomas’.

He photocopies the list and stuffs a copy of it in his laptop bag.

Returns the sealed envelope to Thomas.


A week later, they trade negative test results.

That afternoon, the evening before the trip, Alex receives an email from Lafayette.

Terms & Wager

He reads it through, heart sinking into his stomach like a lead weight, too late to back down now, and if he’s being truly honest, he doesn’t want to anyways.

Steals himself, and packs up his things for the evening. Can’t deny that the thrill that runs through his body isn’t entirely made up of dread.

He takes a deep breath, and locks up his office for the week.

It’s on.

Chapter Text

Alex packs according to the list Thomas sends him, irritation burning up and down his spine with every item he throws haphazardly into his shabby duffel bag.

At exactly nine am, he jogs down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk.

Stops dead at the sight of the fucking stretch limo, tuxedoed driver standing by the passenger’s side door.

“Mr. Hamilton?” The driver asks, voice like velvet.

Alex blinks.

“Uh. Yeah,” he answers, taken aback.

“Perfect. Mr. Jefferson sent me to collect you. Please, allow me,” the driver holds out his hand expectantly, and it takes Alex an embarrassingly long moment to realize he’s waiting for Alex to give him his duffel bag.

He hands it over, and watches the driver put the bag in the trunk. He burns with shame at the contrast between his beaten up bag and the spotless limo, surprised the vehicle doesn’t simply cough the bag back out onto the street in protest.

The driver opens the door, and gestures to Alex to step inside.

“Should you need anything at all, please let me know. There is water, juice, and sparkling wine in the fridge for your enjoyment. Please, feel free to help yourself to anything you’d like.”

Alex climbs into the back of the limo, and sits down uncomfortably in the middle of the bench seat. There’s a tiny fridge, and a basket with some rolls and fresh fruit.

Alex scowls, and doesn’t touch any of it.


When Alex steps into the room he’s sharing with Thomas for a week, Thomas is already inside. He’s stretched out on the bed closest to the door, lounging against the excessive amount of white pillows, reading a book.

Alex kicks off his shoes and drops his duffel bag on the ground.

“How was your ride?” Thomas asks, the picture of serenity.

“Ridiculous. What are you playing at, getting me a fucking stretch limo, are you kidding?” Alex snaps, grumpy from lack of coffee and the absolute ridiculousness of it all.

Thomas stands up with a suddenness that startles Alex. He sets his book down, and crosses the space between them, takes Alex’s chin in his hand.

“I believe you mean, ‘thank you, sir,’ don’t you?” Thomas asks, voice low and dangerous.

Alex glares up at him, and yeah, he agreed to this, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to make it easy for Thomas.

“Bite me,” he spits.

Thomas digs his fingers into Alex’s chin, and Alex can’t help it that his cock twitches in response, can’t help it that desire starts to burn liquid in his bones.

“You want to try that answer again?” Thomas leans in close, lets his long, lean body press up against Alex. he smirks, and Alex knows he can feel him getting hard in his jeans.

“Did I stutter?” Alex says, meets Thomas’ gaze head on.

Thomas stares down at him for a long moment, eyes narrowed.

“Consider yourself lucky that we don’t have time for me to punish you for that right now, but don’t think I won’t remember. We have a meeting in half an hour, Alexander, so there’s no time to waste. Clothing off.” Thomas lets go of Alex’s chin, and steps back to allow him space to move.

Alex stares at Thomas for a long moment, tempted to refuse just to see how Thomas would handle it.

Curiosity wins out, though, and he strips efficiently, tossing his clothes onto the unused bed.

Thomas walks over to his suitcase and rummages around for something while Alex stands and waits.

When Thomas turns back around, Alex’s breath catches in his throat at the sight of what’s in Thomas’ hands.

“May I put you in a rope harness, Alexander?” Thomas asks.

“Green,” Alex replies.

“Good,” Thomas says, and he steps back in to Alex, soft purple rope in his hands.

Alex stands still, lets Thomas drape the rope lightly over the back of his neck. He sinks into the sensation of soft rope winding around him as Thomas carefully loops and knots the rope, working silently. He works down Alex’s body, creating a soft harness that hugs Alex gently.

“Legs apart, just a little,” Thomas says quietly.

Alex steps out, shivers a little when the rope slides over his hips.

“May I touch your cock?” Thomas asks.

“Green,” Alex whispers.

Thomas hums softly in approval, and takes Alex’s cock in his hand.

Alex shivers at the contact, Thomas’ warm hand gentle around his length.

The rope winds around the base of his cock, just tight enough that he won’t be able to forget it’s there.

Thomas threads it through Alex’s legs, up between his cheeks like a thong, and ties it off at his hips.

“There. You look good in purple, Alexander,” Thomas comments.

Alex huffs a little laugh.

“You think everything looks good in purple,” he replies, and turns to face Thomas. He wriggles his hips, stretches and shifts inside the intricate rope work.

“Comfortable?” Thomas asks.

“Yes,” Alex responds. The rope hugs his body, but it isn’t uncomfortable. It’s just… there.

“Good. Get dressed, you’re wearing that all day.” Thomas walks back over to the suitcase, and Alex dresses carefully, clothes settling over the rope harness.

Thomas comes back, and settles a black leather collar around Alex’s neck. He buckles it on, fits a finger underneath it to check the fit, and flicks the tag, making it jingle.

“You are not to take this off,” Thomas instructs.

Alex opens his mouth to protest. Shuts it again.

Thomas hands him a purple pashmina scarf.

“You may wear this to cover it when we are in public.”


Morning meetings turn into lunch, where Alex scarfs down a burger and fries, pointedly ignoring Thomas’ eyes on him as he sits with Hercules and John. After lunch, Alex manages to avoid getting on skis by letting John drag him to the tube park.

Hours later, cold, exhausted, clothes damp beneath his worn winter gear, Alex shivers through dinner. He can feel Thomas’ narrowed eyes on him from across the dining hall. Resolutely, he ignores it, settles closer to the fire and cups his mug of hot cocoa tight in his chilled hands.

He could almost forget that under the purple scarf, he’s still wearing a collar.

He could almost forget that under all his damp clothes, he’s wrapped up like a present in silky purple rope.

He could almost forget, except that every time he moves, he can feel the ropes around him, holding him gentle and steady. They’re a constant reminder of Thomas, and Alex can’t help the way his breath catches a little when he leans across the table to steal a nacho from John’s plate.

John eyes him for a moment, but says nothing, and Alex settles back into his seat.


Later, Alex watches Thomas stand out of the corner of his eye. He watches him leave the dining hall without so much as glancing at Alex.

Alex waits a moment, makes his excuses, and follows.

By the time he gets there, Thomas is already inside, snow gear hung up to dry.

“How are you doing, Alexander?” Thomas asks, and Alex’s head spins for a moment at the strangeness of it all. He can’t remember Thomas ever asking him a civil question before, but looking at him now, he knows he means it, knows he wants an answer.

“I’m good,” Alex says back as he strips out of his snow gear, hangs it up beside Thomas’. Goosebumps rise on his skin, dry now, but chilled with being damp and cold for so long.

“Good. Still comfortable?” Thomas asks. He has the electric fireplace in the corner of their room turned up high, blankets turned down on the bed closer to the window.

“Yes,” Alex wriggles in his harness again, testing the careful hug of rope around his body.

“Good. Clothes off then, get on the bed.” Thomas strips his t-shirt off over his head as he talks.

Alex complies, and settles awkwardly on the bed. He is all hard angles, all unsure what to do with his limbs, wrapped up in purple and made to look pretty, or so he hopes.

Thomas just looks at him for a long moment, appraising.

Alex shivers under his gaze, and waits, anticipation taking the fight out of him.

“You’re cold?” Thomas asks.

“A little,” Alex admits, knows Thomas can see it on his skin, knows there’s no point lying.

“Hmm,” Thomas shucks off his jeans and socks, and retrieves a couple of items from the suitcase, tossing them onto the bed next to Alex. “Dress warmer tomorrow.”

Alex opens his mouth. Shuts it again. Huffs a little.

“Okay,” he says. Sees no point in telling Thomas that he can’t dress warmer, because he doesn’t have anything warmer to wear. Besides, he’s always cold.

“Good,” Thomas says, “lie down?” He climbs onto the bed next to Alex, stretches out along it.

Alex takes a moment to appreciate Thomas’ body, all hard lines and lean muscle under flawless brown skin. Sure, the lilac purple boxer briefs are a little ridiculous, but Alex has to admit they don’t look bad hugging Thomas’ firm ass and cock.

He stretches out on his side, facing Thomas, head pillowed on his arm. Is left a little off kilter by the strangeness of it all, all over again

Thomas reaches out and brushes his fingers over Alex’s cheek, the gesture surprisingly gentle.

Alex’s breath catches in his throat and he feels suddenly exposed, the weight of months and months of attraction kept tight behind clenched teeth heavy on his lungs. It’s all laid bare now in the few inches between him and Thomas, fragile and soft on the cool white sheets.

“Can I kiss you?” Thomas asks.

“Yes,” Alex breathes.

Thomas closes the space between them, and Alex can’t help but bristle against the kiss, guard flying back up as Thomas’ soft lips press into his. He forces himself to relax, reminds himself he agreed to this, and can’t deny that he more than half wants it.

Thomas kisses him gently at first, testing the waters. He slides his hand into Alex’s hair, fingers tangling gently.

Alex shivers, feeling cold and exposed. He parts his lips for the stroke of Thomas’ tongue, and he wants to build a brick wall between them but he wants to unzip his skin and lay himself bare in Thomas’ hands.

Thomas must feel him shiver, because he slides his hand back out of Alex’s hair, and he strokes it down his side and slides his arm around Alex. Pulls him close against the warm, hard expanse of his body, and strokes up and down Alex’s back.

Alex must have imagined this moment a thousand times over, the two of them, oil and water, crashing together with explosive chemistry. He imagined it heat and hurry, fight and fire and passion.
The careful way Thomas licks into his mouth, strokes his back, holds him close… it’s unexpected, but it stirs something in Alex. He presses close, lets Thomas’ tongue stroking into his mouth turn him into softness and melt, the quivering in his skin less from cold and more from want.

Thomas’ hand strokes over Alex’s body, fingers gliding over the curve of his ass, over the soft ridge of his hip, up his side. Thomas’ fingertips find Alex’s nipple and roll it between them, teasing it to hardness.

Alex moans softly into Thomas’ mouth and it feels like a confession.

Thomas smirks, soft lips curving against Alex’s mouth, and he pinches his nipple between his fingers and tugs, sending sudden heat through Alex’s body.

Alex pulls back from the kiss, lips brushing Thomas’, fingers curled against Thomas’ chest.

“That the best you can do?” He taunts, but it comes out breathless and softer than he meant it.

“You can’t just be good, can you?” Thomas sneers back, and it gives Alex a little bit of breathing room, solid ground of familiarity to stand on.

“No,” he shoots back, grinning. Nips Thomas’ lower lip, and tugs.

Thomas gives his nipple a sharp yank, and Alex’s breath catches in his throat.

“We’ll see about that,” Thomas murmurs, and he lets go of Alex to reach over him.

Alex hears the soft sound of delicate chain. He rolls onto his back at Thomas’ gentle prompting, and arches up into the stroke of one finger down the center of his torso. Goosebumps rise in the wake of that gentle touch, and Thomas lets the length of delicate chain pool onto Alex’s belly, cool metal making him shiver.

“I’m going to attach these to your nipples. Colour?” Thomas asks.

“Green,” Alex responds without hesitation.

“Good,” Thomas picks up the chain again, fastens the clamps to Alex’s nipples, and gives the chain an experimental tug.

Alex squirms, the sweet jolt of pain going straight to his cock.

“Mmm, you like that?” Thomas asks, watching Alex closely.

“Yeah,” Alex breathes, looks up at Thomas and finds he doesn’t mind feeling so exposed as much anymore. Not with Thomas watching him like that. Not with the clamps on his nipples and the rope harness still wrapped around him.

“What if…” Thomas switches the chain to his other hand, “what if I do this…” he strokes his hand down Alex’s body, rubs the flat of his palm over Alex’s hard cock, and tugs on the chain at the same time.

Alex’s mouth drops open on a moan, and his hips buck up into the touch.

“Mm, thought so,” Thomas murmurs. He curls his fingers around Alex’s cock, strokes with teasing touches for a moment before letting go again. His fingers trail over Alex’s body, plucking at the rope harness. “I could get used to you like this.”

Alex says nothing, just watches Thomas’ face as his hand roves over his body, playing with the rope. The light touches make Alex shiver.

Thomas strokes his fingertips over the head of Alex’s cock, and yanks on the chain.

“Fuck!” Alex gasps, twisting beneath Thomas, pleasure and pain like heat in his blood.

Thomas smirks, and curls his hand around Alex’s cock again, stroking him with tight strokes. He tugs the chain lightly, a threat more than anything but it has Alex’s breath stuck in his throat.

He arches up into Thomas’ touches, eyes fluttering closed for a moment.

Thomas strokes him a little faster, thumb swiping over the head of his cock, tiny tugs on the chain.

“Thomas,” Alex pants, heat building under his skin.

“Are you going to come, Alexander?” Thomas asks, voice like velvet.

“Getting… there.” Alex opens his eyes, watches Thomas’ face.

Thomas tugs on the chain, hard.

“Ah!” Alex’s cock jerks in Thomas’ hand, orgasm building under his skin.

Thomas lets go of Alex’s cock with a little laugh, leaves him untouched and aching.

“Hey!” Alex glares at Thomas, and Thomas shakes his head.

“You think I was really going to let you come that easily?” Thomas walks his fingers up Alex’s cock. “Come on Alexander, I thought you were smart.”

“Fuck you,” Alex snaps.

Thomas yanks hard on the chain, making Alex’s body twist against the sheets again.

“I’d be nice if I was you,” he murmurs softly. His fingertips stroke over the head of Alex’s cock, slick with precome.

“Fuck you,” Alex repeats, whole body yearning for release.

Thomas yanks hard on the chain again, bright shock of pain through Alex’s body that makes his cock twitch, spilling precome onto Thomas’ fingers.

“If you want to come, I would strongly consider adjusting your attitude,” Thomas says. Drags his slick fingers down the length of Alex’s cock again.

“Fuck you, let me come!” Alex bucks his hips up into Thomas’ hand.

Thomas wraps his fingers around Alex’s cock again, strokes him tight and fast, little tugs on the chain sending sparks of heat through him.

“Is this what you want?” He asks, taunting.

“Yeah, yeah,” Alex pants, pleasure rushing up fast, orgasm right there-

Thomas’ fingers close hard around the base of Alex’s cock.

“Thomas!” Alex chokes out, thrashing on the bed.

Thomas laughs.

“Yeah right, Alexander.”

“Fuck you,” Alex snarls.

“Is that all you can say?” Thomas taunts, strokes his fingers back up Alex’s cock lightly.

“Fuck you,” Alex pants, burning up with need and pleasure.

Thomas makes a soft sound of displeasure in his throat.

“Fine, then. If you can’t cooperate, I’ll just look after myself first. Hands and knees.” Thomas lets go of Alex and sits up, leaving Alex aching and untouched.

“No,” Alex says, refusing to move.

“You are trying my patience,” Thomas says with a sigh. “Turn over, now, and don’t move, or you won’t be coming for the entire week.”

Alex glares up at Thomas, considering.

Thomas yanks the chain again, and Alex inhales sharply.

“I’m waiting…” Thomas says, twirling the end of the chain around his finger.

Alex gives in, rolls onto his stomach and draws his hands and knees beneath him.

“Good boy,” Thomas purrs.

“Fuck you,” Alex snaps.

Thomas yanks the chain harder, pain searing through Alex’s body.

Alex’s mouth drops open and his fingers dig into the sheets. Thomas’ hands work the first knot in the rope harness undone, and carefully pull it away from Alex’s body. It feels like a loss, and Alex can’t stop the small, desperate sound that leaves his lips as the ropes fall away. He’s left naked, bereft save for the thin chain hooked to his nipples.
He hears the soft sound of a bottle opening, and then Thomas’ fingers, slick with lube, stroke down his crack.

Alex moans and pushes back into the touch, desperate for contact.

Thomas strokes his fingers over Alex’s hole, light, teasing touches until Alex is tilting his hips back, squirming under the touch, his cock aching hard and leaking onto the sheets.

“Do you want my fingers, Alex?” Thomas taunts.

“Yes,” Alex pants, fingers tight in the sheets.

“Say please.” Thomas presses the tip of one finger inside Alex, just enough to make him more aware of how empty he is, how badly he needs to be filled up.

“Fuck y- please,” Alex changes his mind at the last second, gives in, desire winning out over stubbornness.

“Good boy,” Thomas says, and he sinks one finger slowly inside Alex.

Alex chokes on a retort, and simply moans and presses back into the incredible feeling of Thomas’ finger pressing into him, filling him up, the beginnings of a stretch that’s so sweet.
Thomas pumps his finger in and out, slow, almost lazy.

“Can you take another?” He asks.

“Green,” Alex says, desperate for more.

Thomas pulls his finger out, and presses in with two. He fucks Alex with them slowly, teasing, almost bored.

Alex squirms under Thomas’ inattentive touch, tries to rock back so his fingers will brush over his prostate.

Thomas spreads his fingers, stretching Alex gently, pumps his fingers in and out, continuing to avoid Alex’s prostate. The prep is thorough, efficient, but it leaves Alex wanting, the absence of both pain and real pleasure excruciating.

“Can I fuck you?” Thomas asks as he pulls his fingers carefully out.

“Green,” Alex says.

Thomas grips Alex’s hip and tugs on the chain gently. The head of his cock nudges up against Alex’s hole, sinks in slowly.

Alex moans, relishes the slow stretch of Thomas’ cock inside him, the sharp tug on his nipples, the firm dig of Thomas’ fingers in his hip.

Thomas grips his other hip, pulling the chain tight, and starts to move his hips.

The sweet drag of Thomas’ cock inside Alex combined with the sharp tug on his nipples is intoxicating. Alex’s head goes loose on his neck and his mouth drops open, soft moan escaping his lips.

Thomas’ hand snags in his hair, and yanks his head back, neck arched, tight pull on his hair.

“Ah, Thomas,” Alex pants, stretched and pulled and filled.

Thomas changes the angle of his thrusts and the head of his cock hits Alex’s prostate. Sparks burst in Alex’s vision and he moans loudly, mouth open, knuckles white in the sheets.

“God, the sounds out of your mouth are a lot prettier when you’re taking a cock up the ass, should do this to you all the time.” Thomas gives Alex’s hair a yank, cock driving harder and faster into Alex, right into his prostate.

Alex’s retort dies on a loud groan, belly tight with pleasure as his orgasm rushes back up at him.

“Thomas, I’m-” Alex pants, just as Thomas gives the chain a good yank, shock of pain to Alex’s nipples.

“Don’t you dare come Alexander,” he snaps, and reaches for Alex’s cock, sweet drag of pain on his nipples.

“I can’t- fuck!” Alex clenches around Thomas’ cock as he starts to come, Thomas’ fingers circling the base of his cock a second too late. Alex’s hips jerk, come spilling onto the sheets beneath him, waves of pleasure coursing through his body.

Thomas goes still, fingers loose around Alex’s cock.

“You did not just come without permission,” he says, voice flat.

“S-sorry,” Alex pants.

Thomas pulls out slowly, and the silence that follows Alex’s apology is deafening.

“Sorry Thomas,” Alex says again, quiet, trembling with want of touch.

“Turn over,” Thomas says, voice dead even.

Alex complies, rolling onto his back, a little breathless and loose limbed.

“Hold still. Can’t even wait until I’m ready to come, what a fucking disappointment,” Thomas sneers. He takes his cock in his hand, strokes himself hard and fast.

Alex watches hungrily, wants to reach out and touch, wants to be connected to Thomas by more than just the thin chain running from his nipples to Thomas’ hand. He wants warmth and touch, hates this empty feeling he’s left with, burning shame that he couldn’t hold off his own orgasm long enough to be a good sub for Thomas.

Thomas comes with a loud grunt, splashing hot ropes of come onto Alex’s belly.

He sits back on his heels and looks down at Alex, and Alex looks back up at Thomas, feels cold and exposed all over again.

His skin prickles with it, and he can feel his cheeks starting to burn.

“Good boy, Alex,” Thomas says softly.

It grates on Alex’s skin, and he gets up suddenly, come cooling on his belly.

“You don’t-” he tugs the nipple clamps off, tosses them on the bed. “You don’t have to do that. The praise thing. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’m going to shower.” He stalks to the bathroom, shuts the door behind himself and turns on the water. He steps into the shower, puts his face to the spray and sighs shakily. The water pours over his head and shoulders, washes the trembling away, washes the needy feeling away.

Or almost.

By the time he gets out of the shower, scrubbed head to toe with the resort’s body wash, skin pink from the hot water, he feels reset. He towels off, hangs his towel, and pads back out into the room.

Thomas is sitting on the edge of the bed, and he looks up sharply when Alex walks back in.

“Are you okay, Alex?” He asks, genuine concern lining his face.

“I’m fine,” Alex says. Roots around in his shabby bag for a clean pair of boxer shorts to sleep in.

“Okay. If you need anything, let me know,” Thomas sounds a little lost, but Alex doesn’t turn around. He busies himself pulling the boxers on, and combing his hair, and after a moment he hears Thomas get up and head into the bathroom.

Alex climbs into the bed closer to the window, careful to avoid the wet spot, and tugs the blankets up to his chin, back to the room. Closes his eyes, and waits for sleep to take him, ignoring the nagging empty feeling in his chest.

“We can share…” Thomas says, still sounds lost, still sounds hesitant when he comes back and sees Alex in the used bed.

“It’s fine,” Alex says, even though it’s not, even though his body craves the warmth of Thomas’ touch, needs to be held to completely reset on some deeper level. He hears Thomas get into bed, and then silence falls over the room.

Alex lies still and tense, body yearning for touch, too stubborn to break and change his mind. He can feel tension in the air, Thomas’ breathing shallow and even.

He loses count of how long they lie like that, still and guarded.

“Alex,” Thomas says.

Long enough that Alex jumps at the sound of Thomas’ voice.

“Get over here.”

Alex hears the blankets lift, and he swallows his heart and his nerves and he gives in. Gets up and slips into bed with Thomas, and lets Thomas pull him close, back to chest.

Thomas tucks the blankets in around them, and kisses the back of Alex’s head lightly.

“That’s better. Go to sleep. I can’t sleep with you over there, not after doing a scene like we did,” Thomas says softly.

It gives Alex an out, lets him give in without really giving in. He sighs, and closes his eyes.

“Okay,” he says, grateful. His body relaxes, Thomas’ warmth soaking into his skin, and suddenly sleep comes as easy as breathing.

Chapter Text

Alex wakes slowly, curves against the soft stroke of fingers down his side before he realizes he’s being touched.

He mumbles soft protest at waking, and presses back into the warm body behind him, eyes closed, body relaxed.

“Morning, Sugar,” Thomas says, voice slow and sleep thick.

Alex stiffens, had forgotten for a moment just who he was snuggled up to, naked and loose limbed from the night before. He burns a little at the rude shock, fully awake, body tensing.

“Aw now, don’t be like that Alexander,” Thomas purrs, hand stroking back up Alex’s side. “We’re only just getting warmed up. Are you ready to get up?”

Alex grumbles, and feels an odd mixture of desire to burrow back into Thomas and go back to sleep, and desire to fling himself out of bed and away from him. He’s harboured the secret of his attraction to Thomas behind clenched teeth and insults for so long that it feels strange and terrifying to have it laid bare like this.

“Come on, up we get, breakfast time.” Thomas taps Alex playfully on the ass and slides out of bed.

Alex rolls into the warm spot he left behind and pulls the blankets over his head with a yawn, unwilling to leave the warmth of the bed for the cold and snow just yet. The sheets smell like Thomas, and Alex resists the urge to bury his nose in, tries to quell the softening in his chest.

“Up!” Thomas tugs the blankets down off Alex’s body, leaving him abruptly naked.

“Fuck!” Alex curls into a ball and glares at Thomas, the tag on his collar jingling softly.

“I need you to get up,” Thomas says sharply.

“It’s cold!” Alex whines, tries to grope for the blankets.

“It is not, come on Alexander, breakfast time,” Thomas retorts.

“I don’t eat breakfast,” Alex whines back, but he knows when he’s beaten, and sits up, shivering in the early morning air.

“Nonsense, breakfast is good for you,” Thomas snaps. He turns back to his suitcase, and Alex stands up, stretches slowly.

“I just need coffee,” he mutters, and stumbles to his duffel bag for clothes.

Half asleep, he doesn’t notice Thomas move until Thomas’ arms are sliding around him and Thomas drops a kiss to his shoulder.

“Not so fast. I’m going to harness you again, okay?” Thomas’ fingers find Alex’s nipple, tease it to hardness.

Alex shivers, and presses back into Thomas again, could get used to the feeling of his back against Thomas’ broad chest.

“Green,” he says, cock twitching in interest.

“Good. Turn around, that’s it,” Thomas guides Alex to turn, and Alex notices a small whiteboard on the hotel desk, three tallies in purple marker.

“What’s that?” He asks as Thomas slides the rope behind his neck.

“Mm, I need somewhere to keep track of your disobedience,” Thomas says lightly as he winds the rope down Alex’s body, knots and loops until Alex is securely bound in an intricate purple harness.

“My- what- you can’t just-“ Alex splutters.

“Shh. I can do whatever I want, sweet pea,” Thomas murmurs as he winds the rope around the base of Alex’s cock and between his legs. “I will punish you appropriately at the end of the week.”

A shiver of anticipation runs through Alex at the threat.

“Yes sir,” he breathes.

“Good boy,” Thomas ties off the harness and steps back to survey his work.

Alex shifts in the harness, relishes the feeling of soft rope against his skin, hugging him gently.

Thomas steps back in, cups Alex’s chin and tips it up gently.

“I really could get used to this, Alexander,” he murmurs, and it sounds so soft and open and honest that Alex’s heart skips a beat and he has to swallow it back down into his chest.

Thomas leans in and kisses Alex, slow and thorough, his tongue stroking into Alex’s mouth so purposefully that Alex fears Thomas will taste all his secrets right there on his tongue. He melts into Thomas, naked and shivering, and kisses him back like he needs it.

Is starting to feel like he does.




Alex drinks his coffee at breakfast, seated between Lafayette and Hercules. Thinks nothing of it until he looks up and sees Thomas watching him with narrowed eyes.

He stares back at Thomas for a long moment, then shrugs and goes back to drinking his coffee, painfully aware of the purple rope intricately wound around his body.




The morning passes with skiing lessons, and Alex is soaked, frozen, and exhausted by the time he makes it back to the room after lunch. Meetings in an hour for the rest of the day, and he’s almost grateful because it means he won’t have to go back outside into the cold today.

He steps into the room and Thomas is already there, perched on the bed.

There’s a new tally on the white board.

“What- I haven’t even seen you all morning!” Alex splutters.

“You didn’t eat any breakfast,” Thomas says mildly.

“I- I told you I don’t eat breakfast, I never eat breakfast!” Alex protests as he strips off his cold, wet clothes and hangs them up, goosebumps all over his skin.

“And I told you to eat breakfast. I also told you to dress warmer,” Thomas replies. He unfolds from the bed and pass across the room to the whiteboard. Marks another tally as Alex watches, shivering and naked save for the rope harness.

“But I-“ Alex swallows his protest as Thomas looks over at him with an arched brow. Shame burns under his skin and he can feel his cheeks flush with it.

“You did not listen, that’s what,” Thomas says.

Alex huffs, and plucks at the rope, feels suddenly suffocated by it.

“Can you get this off me so I can shower?” He snaps.

Thomas walks over, settles his hands on Alex’s hips.

“Attitude,” he chides.

“Please,” Alex all but snarls.

Thomas swats him on the hip, and Alex’s skin stings.

“Alexander,” Thomas snaps.

“Yellow, Thomas, get me the fuck out of this harness,” Alex is cold, and he doesn’t want to stand here and shiver and think about how Thomas can afford to send a goddamn limo to drive Alex to the resort for the sake of a stupid bet when Alex can’t even afford proper winter clothing. He doesn’t want to think about how Thomas would never even understand the discrepancy, how he would probably not even bother to try.

To his credit, Thomas doesn’t press, he just frees the knots and unwinds the rope from Alex’s body, quick and efficient.

“Are you alright?” He asks, voice softening.

“I’m fine I just want a fucking shower,” Alex snaps, and he marches into the bathroom and shuts the door with a snap.

He could stand under the hot spray of water forever. The noise and the warmth soothes him, steadies him. He lets the water run over his body until the chill subsides and his skin is pink from the heat.
When he finally convinces himself to get out of the shower and towel off, Thomas is waiting on the bed, rope coiled neatly, tapered purple plug beside it.

“Can I plug you for the afternoon?” Thomas asks.

Alex’s breath catches and he nods.

“Green,” he breathes, and climbs up onto the bed on his hands and knees. He crawls over to Thomas, straddling his lap, suddenly needs the reassurance of touch.

“Mmm, that’s better Sugar,” Thomas purrs. He reaches up and cups Alex’s cheek.

Alex softens and leans in, presses a slow kiss to Thomas’ lips and sinks down against the warmth of his body.

Thomas wraps his arm around Alex, holds him close and kisses him deeply.

Alex moans softly, melts into Thomas’ warmth and tries not to think about how he could get used to this.

Thomas licks into his mouth, teases another soft groan from his lips. He trails his fingers down Alex’s spine and down to tease slow circles over his hole.

Alex presses back into the touch, nips at Thomas’ lower lip impatiently as his cock thickens out against Thomas’ belly.

Thomas grins into the kiss and pulls back.

“Gonna finger you open, make you wear a plug all afternoon so you can’t stop thinking about me while we’re in meetings. So you’re ready for my cock the second we get back in our room,” Thomas murmurs. He lets go of Alex long enough to slick his fingers with lube, then pulls him back into a hurried kiss.

Thomas’ slick fingers stroke down Alex’s crack and swirl teasingly over his hole again.

Alex groans into Thomas’ mouth and rocks back against his fingers.

Slowly, Thomas teases the top of one finger inside Alex, pumps it in and out and slowly sinks in until he’s curling it against Alex’s prostate and rubbing lightly.

“God, Thomas,” Alex pants. He rocks his hips, cock rubbing against Thomas’ stomach.

“Ah-ah,” Thomas stills his finger, waits for Alex to stop moving. “None of that, you haven’t earned the right to come yet.”

Alex groans and buries his face in Thomas’ neck.

Thomas pulls his finger back, and carefully slides a second one in alongside it. He fucks his fingers in and out slowly, teasing over Alex’s prostate and stretching him out.

Alex pants with the effort of holding himself still, cock leaking onto Thomas’ sweater.

“That’s it. I’m going to plug you now,” Thomas murmurs. He pulls his fingers out slowly, and presses the plug to Alex’s hole.

Alex huffs softly against the stretch as Thomas works the plug into place.

“Comfortable?” Thomas presses the heel of his hand against the base of the plug and rocks it, knocking it into Alex’s prostate.

Alex chokes on a groan and nods into Thomas’ neck.

“Words, please,” Thomas chides, and he rocks the plug again.

“Green,” Alex pants.

“Good,” Thomas says. He strokes his hand down Alex’s back soothingly, and taps him on the hip. “Up. I’m putting your harness back on and then we have to go.”

Alex stands reluctantly, hyper aware of the plug shifting in his ass, cock hard and aching for relief.

Thomas stands slowly, and looks down at himself. Points to the wet spot on his sweater.

“Really Alexander?” He drawls.

Alex shrugs, unashamed.

“You can’t really blame that on me,” he retorts with a cheeky grin.

Thomas laughs and shakes his head. He strips his sweater off and tosses it over the back of a chair, then picks up the rope and steps over to Alex.

“That’s what dry cleaners are for,” Thomas says as he slides the rope over Alex’s shoulders and begins working him into another elaborate harness, knots and loops down his body and between his legs.

He pauses to give Alex’s cock a couple of loose strokes, and swipes his thumb over the head, gathering a bead of precome.

Slowly, Thomas pushes his thumb into Alex’s mouth.

Alex huffs softly through his nose and curls his tongue around Thomas’ thumb. He sucks it clean of precome, tasting himself and Thomas’ skin.

Thomas pulls his thumb free and flicks the tag on Alex’s collar gently, the soft jingle sending a shiver through Alex.

“Get dressed, we have to go,” Thomas says, but he leans down and kisses Alex slowly for a long moment before stepping away to choose a new sweater.




Halfway through the first meeting, the plug starts to vibrate.

Alex nearly falls out of his chair, and covers his yelp of surprise with a fake coughing fit.

Beside him, Hercules shoots him an odd look.

Alex straightens in his chair and takes a steadying breath.

The plug vibrates right against his prostate, and Alex has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from groaning. He shifts in his seat, trying to get relief as his cock fills out in his jeans. Around him, the meeting carries on.

Alex shoots a glare at Thomas, who is studiously not looking in his direction.

After a moment, the plug shuts off again.

Alex sags in his chair in relief.

“Are you okay?” John leans over and whispers in his ear.

Alex nods, blushing, and straightens again.

A moment later, it starts up again.

Alex grits his teeth and tries to breathe through his nose. He stares resolutely at Washington, tries to focus on what his boss is saying as the plug presses right into his prostate, vibrating gently. It shuts off again after what feels like forever, and Alex sags in his chair, weak with relief.

He picks up his glass of water and takes a sip, and the plug starts up again, vibrating harder than it was before.

Alex chokes on his water and jerks, water spilling down his front.

“Hamilton…” Washington pauses, and looks right at Alex. “Are you quite alright?”

Alex flushes, ready to kill Thomas.

“Yes sir, I’m sorry sir,” he stammers.

Washington fixes him with a look and goes back to whatever he was talking about, and Alex realizes that he honestly has no clue.

The vibrator shuts off, and doesn’t start up again until just before the meeting ends.

Alex grits his teeth against a groan and rocks his hips down into the pressure, can’t help it, achingly hard and needy, trying desperately not to give his situation away to the rest of the room.

The meeting adjourns, the vibrator shuts off, and Alex has to sit for a moment and take deep breaths before he can get up and follow John and Aaron to dinner.

At dinner, the plug starts vibrating again, and doesn’t let up until Alex is in very real danger of coming in his jeans. He drops his forehead to the table top, nails digging into his palms and tries to breathe through it, tries to wrestle some semblance of control over his body.

“Alex?” John puts a hand on his shoulder. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Alex nods without looking up, and bites his lower lip hard.

“What’s wrong?” Lafayette asks from John’s other side.

“Fucking… Jefferson… fuck,” Alex grits out.

Lafayette dissolves into laughter, and Alex can hear John’s confused ‘huh?’.

“Maybe you should go rest Alex?” Aaron suggests mildly from across the table.

The plug shuts off, and Alex goes weak with relief.

“Yeah…” he looks up, flushed, sweaty. “I’m not feeling so good,” he fibs.

Still, it takes him a moment to compose himself enough that he can stand shakily.

“Do you want me to walk you back to your room?” John asks, concerned.

Lafayette whoops with laughter, and John swats him, annoyed.

“Gil what’s wrong with you, Alex is sick it’s not funny!”

Lafayette shakes his head and drops his face into his hands, shoulders shaking.

“No, thanks John, I’ll be fine,” Alex says, and starts for the door of the dining hall before John can join him.

Out in the hallway, Alex sags against the wall for a moment, relieved to finally be away from his colleagues and friends. Out of sight of anyone, he reaches down and palms himself through his jeans. He can’t help the groan that escapes his throat at finally having some real friction on his cock, and pushes his hips up into the touch.

“Oh my, aren’t we naughty…” Thomas’ voice snaps Alex back to the present, and he opens his eyes to see Thomas standing in front of him with his arms folded across his chest. How he moved so silently, Alex doesn’t know, but he flushes in embarrassment.

“Can’t even wait until I get you back to our room tonight, thought you’d sneak out and get yourself off, is that right?” Thomas steps in towards Alex, a fraction of an inch between their bodies.

“No, Thomas,” Alex shakes his head. “I just needed-“

“Needed what, to come?” Thomas sneers.

The plug starts vibrating again.

Alex groans and rocks back against the wall, doesn’t even try to hide how desperately hard and needy he is.

Thomas bats Alex’s hand out of the way and closes the space between them, pressing his own hand into Alex’s crotch and rubbing his hard cock.

“Yeah,” Alex breathes. He arches into the touch, eyes closing in bliss.

“So impatient.” Thomas’ hand finds the damp spot on Alex’s jeans, right over the head of his cock. He rubs his palm over it, firm, slow touch designed to tease.

“Please,” Alex pants, doesn’t care that they’re right outside the dining hall, that anyone could walk out and see them at any second.

Thomas laughs and steps back.

The plug turns off again.

“Yeah right Alexander. Come on, let’s go,” he crooks a finger, and heads back towards their room.

Alex swallows hard, and follows.

He steps into the room behind Thomas and lets the door click shut.

“Get undressed and on the bed,” Thomas says.

Alex strips off his wet clothes and scrambles onto the bed. He lies on his back and watches Thomas make two more marks on the white board.

“Hey! What-“

“One; you nearly gave yourself away in our meeting. Two; touching yourself in the hallway, really, Alexander?” Thomas explains. He digs in the suitcase and comes back to the bed.

“I need to come Thomas,” Alex says. He squirms on the bed, desperate for touch.

“Hush,” Thomas says as he climbs onto the bed beside Alex.

His fingers good down Alex’s chest and Alex arches into the touch with a whine.

Thomas undoes the knots, carefully pulls the rope harness away from Alex’s body. He strokes his hand back up Alex’s soft stomach, takes his time running his palm over Alex’s bare skin.

“Look at you, so hard and desperate for me…” Thomas murmurs. He drags his hand back down, gives Alex’s cock a slow stroke. “Be good for me, baby, and I’ll give you what you need.”

Alex cants his hips up into Thomas’ touch, head tilting back.

“Please,” Alex pants.

Thomas lets go of his cock and strokes his hand back up, slips his fingers under the collars and tugs firmly.

Alex turns to liquid under Thomas’ touch, heat searing through him at that tug and everything it suggests.

“Mmm… do you trust me?” Thomas asks. He gives the collar another tug.

“Yeah,” Alex breathes, and his heart skips a beat as he finds that it’s true.

“Good,” Thomas says. He lets go of the collar and closes his hand loosely around Alex’s neck. “I’m going to choke you. Colour?”

“Green,” Alex says, and his cock jerks against his stomach, dripping precome.

Thomas closes his hand right, cuts Alex’s air off.

Alex’s nostrils flare and he arches against Thomas’ hand.

Thomas lets go, and strokes his hand back down Alex’s body.

“I’m going to put a cock ring on you, can’t have you coming too early again,” Thomas gives Alex’s cock a few tight, quick strokes.

He slips the silicone ring over Alex’s cock, settles it right around the base of his cock.

Alex can feel his mind going fuzzy, trapped between the urgent aching of his cock and the gentle stroke of Thomas’ hands over the body.

Thomas scratches his nails down Alex’s belly, and pushes Alex’s legs apart.

“Gonna replace this plug with my cock and fuck you, would you like that?” Thomas presses his fingers against the plug and rocks it, then carefully works it out of Alex.

“Yeah, I want your cock in my ass, Thomas, want to feel you come deep inside me,” Alex pants.

He feels empty, needy, cock trapped and aching in the ring.

Thomas shifts up Alex’s body, leans in and kisses him deeply.

Alex moans into the kiss and presses up to Thomas. He feels grounded by the hard warmth of Thomas’ body against him, needs it to steady him.

Thomas strokes his hand back up Alex’s body and curls his fingers around Alex’s throat. He presses down, cutting off Alex’s air.

Alex goes still and pliant under Thomas, breath caught in his lungs. Thomas fingers press into his throat and he’s suddenly aware of how fragile his bones really are, his beating pulse under the tips of Thomas’ fingers.

His lungs start to burn and he pushes against Thomas’ hand.

Thomas lets go, and Alex takes a deep gulp of air.

“Good boy,” Thomas purrs. He shifts between Alex’s legs and lines his cock up with Alex’s hole.

“Tell me you need it, Alexander. Tell me how bad you want my cock, how much you want me to fill you up with my come,” Thomas tugs on the collar again, tags jingling.

“Please, fuck me Thomas, I need your cock, I need your come,” Alex pants.

Thomas grins, and closes his hand around Alex’s throat again, cuts off his air as he rolls his hips and drives his cock slowly into Alex’s hole.

Alex chokes on a moan as the air is cut off from his throat. His heart skips a beat in his chest as Thomas’ cock stretches and fills him inch by thick inch.

“Oh fuck, Alexander,” Thomas groans as he bottoms out inside Alex, hand tight around his neck.

Alex’s lungs burn and his cock jerks in its ring, heat running through his whole body.

His vision starts to blur at the edges and he tosses his head back and forth, lungs screaming for air.

“Hey, hey, stay with me,” Thomas whispers, cock buried deep inside Alex, body close over him.

Alex’s lungs burn and his vision swims but he looks up and all he can see is Thomas’ face and his heart stutters in his chest.

Thomas lets go, and Alex sucks in a deep gasp of air, heart pounding.

“Good,” Thomas says, and he pulls back and thrusts into Alex with a slow stroke of his hips.

Alex moans, little dizzy, every sensation magnified.

“Ready?” Thomas asks, pets his fingers down Alex’s throat before curling them around his neck again, fucking him slow and deep.

“Green,” Alex breathes, and Thomas closes his fingers and Alex’s breath catches in his throat and gets stuck under Thomas’ hand.

His body bucks beneath Thomas and he clenches around him, eyes on Thomas’ face. His mouth drops open, gaping for air, none to be had.

“You look so fucking pretty like this,” Thomas pants, and he lets go and starts to fuck Alex in earnest.

Alex takes huge gulps of air, legs wrapped tight around Thomas’ hips. He’s dizzy and his heart races and everything feels like too much and not enough all at once.

Thomas’ cock hits right into his prostate with every thrust, and Alex is held right on the brink of orgasm by the cock ring, cock aching for release. He looks up at Thomas, anchored only by the way Thomas is looking at him, like he’s the most beautiful thing Thomas has ever seen. Ordinarily, he’d laugh at the notion, but like this, with Thomas’ cock buried inside him and Thomas’ moaning loudly into the space between them and Thomas’ fingers resting delicately at the base of his throat and his heartbeat racing in his ears…

He can believe it.

Thomas leans in, presses a searing kiss to Alex’s open mouth. He tugs at the collar again, draws a low moan from Alex’s mouth.

“Tell me how much you want my come, Alex,” he breathes.

A shiver runs through Alex at the sound of his nickname on Thomas’ lips.

“Please,” he whispers, voice hoarse, “please, Thomas, I want to feel you come inside me, come inside me, fill me up, make me yours.”

Thomas moans in appreciation and curls his fingers back around Alex’s throat.

“Maybe I should pull out again, finish on your stomach. I’m not sure you’ve earned it,” Thomas says, and he closes his fingers again.

Alex stills, staring up at Thomas, can’t breathe, dizziness rushing back in as his lungs ache for air.

“God, look at you,” Thomas breathes.

The world narrows to the screaming in his lungs and the dizzy rush in his head and the sound of Thomas’ voice in his ears.

Thomas lets go again, and Alex sucks in a ragged breath, starts begging again immediately.

“Please, please no, come inside me Thomas, need to feel you,” he pants, voice hoarse.

“Alexander, shit, gonna come,” Thomas’ hips stutter and still, and he moans loudly as he comes, filling Alex with splash after splash of wet heat.

Alex’s hips jerk and his breath catches in his throat as he clenches around Thomas’ cock. He moans at the exquisite feeling of Thomas coming deep inside him.

He lets his legs drop from around Thomas’ hips as Thomas shifts to pull carefully out, stroking his hand lightly down Alex’s stomach.

“Do you want to come now, Alexander?” Thomas asks softly.

“Yes please,” Alex says, breathless, needy.

Thomas slips the ring off Alex’s cock and sets it aside, and Alex sags in relief. He’s too lightheaded to push up and look down at Thomas, dizzy and heavy limbed.

Thomas’ tongue licks a stripe of heat up Alex’s cock that makes his hips jerk and his mouth fall open on a gasp of pleasure.

“Thomas!” Alex is already close, wants his cock buried in Thomas’ mouth for far longer than he knows he’s going to last this time.

Thomas’ lips close over the head of his cock and he sucks firmly.

“Thomas, Thomas, fuck, I-” Alex twists, can feel his orgasm rushing up at him and doesn’t want to come yet but desperately needs it.

Thomas moans and swallows him down, lips tight around Alex’s cock.

Alex’s hips jerk and there’s no way he can hold back with the incredible sensation of Thomas’ plush lips and wet mouth around his cock. He cries out as he comes hard, spilling down Thomas’ throat, wave after wave of pleasure crashing over him.

Spent, Alex goes limp on the bed, panting and breathless. The room spins around him, and he wants to get up, wants to shower, wants to reset, but he can’t bring himself to move.

Thomas shifts back up the bed and strokes a hand down Alex’s body and it feels like fire and Alex flinches.

“Don’t,” he rasps, that simple touch too much after everything.

He swallows, and the collar jingles gently, and he lets his head loll to the side to look at Thomas.

Thomas, who looks lost and confused and concerned, hand poised to touch but not touching.

“You did so good, you were such a good boy for me Alex,” Thomas says gently.

“Stop, stop it, you don’t have to do that,” Alex snaps.

“How… how can I care for you?” Thomas asks, voice low.

“Just…” Alex shakes his head, “don’t, it’s fine. I just… need to shower.” He pushes himself up, feels loose and wobbly and blissed out and just needs quiet.
Thomas sits up quickly and reaches for him.

“Alex, are you sure you should shower alone after something like that?” he asks, concern etched across his handsome face.

Alex flinches away from it, feels claustrophobic and too hot. He stands up on wobbly legs and sways.

In an instant, Thomas is beside him, hand under his elbow, steadying him.

“I’m sorry Alex, I’m not letting you shower alone,” Thomas says firmly, and before Alex can do anything, Thomas catches him behind the knees and picks him up.

“Put me down!” Alex snaps, but he hooks his arm over Thomas’ shoulder anyways.

“No,” Thomas says, and he carries Alex to the bathroom and sits him on the counter like Alex is a child. “Stay put.”

Thomas turns on the shower and tests the temperature before turning back to Alex. With gentle fingers, he unbuckles Alex’s collar and sets it on the counter, tips Alex’s chin up with gentle fingers to look at his neck.

Alex closes his eyes and lets him, breath held against the touches, doesn’t want to admit how nice it feels to let Thomas do this for him.

“I’m going to help you shower, will that be okay?” Thomas asks.

Alex considers. He can’t deny that he wants Thomas near.

“Yes,” Alex answers after a moment. “Just… you don’t have to do the whole ‘good boy’ thing, the stroking and touching… it’s too much after.”

“Okay,” Thomas says. He offers Alex his hands, and Alex takes them and slides down from the counter.

Thomas helps him into the shower and closes the door behind them.

The hot water is soothing and Alex turns his face into the stream for a moment, eyes closed, water running over his face.

After a moment, he shakes the water out of his face and leans back against Thomas’ body.

Thomas wraps his arms around Alex loosely and presses a soft kiss to the side of his head.

Alex closes his eyes again and sighs, and he lets himself soak in the warmth of Thomas’ body and the hot water.

“Can I-“

“No,” Alex cuts Thomas off.


“Shut up, Thomas,” Alex says, exhaustion in his voice.

Thomas sighs and says nothing.

Alex revels in the silence, twists in Thomas’ arms to hook his arms around Thomas’ neck. He lets his head rest against Thomas’ chest.

Thomas holds him loosely, and they rest like that for a long moment.

Alex lets himself melt into Thomas, lets his mind drift off in the warmth and the silence.

“Alexander?” Thomas asks quietly.

“Mm?” Alex doesn’t move.

“Can I wash you, or is that too much?”

“It’s okay now,” Alex says softly.

Thomas sets a facecloth and pours some vanilla bourbon body wash onto it. He carefully washes Alex’s body with slow, smooth strokes.

Alex feels warm and relaxed, loose and liquid and glad for Thomas holding him up. Without fawning touches and praise, Alex finds the attention soothing, a balance that he hadn’t known existed.

“There. Let’s get dried off and into bed okay? Big day tomorrow, I need you rested,” Thomas says.

“Okay,” Alex says, and he lets Thomas help him out of the shower and bundle him up in a towel.

Alex brushes his teeth and towels himself dry, lets Thomas fasten the collar back around his neck with gentle fingers.

They climb into bed, and if Alex doesn’t think too hard about it, just lets his body relax, he melts into Thomas as easy as breathing. Almost as if it was exactly where he was meant to be all along.

Chapter Text

The morning passes uneventfully. Alex graduates from the bunny hill and manages a successful, if slow, trip down one of the easier runs with help from Hercules and the Schuyler girls.

John and Lafayette ski by hand in hand, sending up a fluffy spray of snow and followed closely by Aaron on a snowboard.

Alex can almost forget that he’s cold and wet, can almost forget that under his clothes he’s rigged up in another one of Thomas’ intricate rope harnesses. Can almost forget that at the end of the day he goes back to his shared room with Thomas.

Can almost forget that he doesn’t hate any of it nearly as much as he’s supposed to.

His heart skips a beat as he thinks about Thomas, still asleep when he woke up this morning, face soft and relaxed. He looks smaller, when he’s sleeping, when he’s not puffed up with arrogant bluster. Alex couldn’t help but brush his fingertips over Thomas’ plush lips, watch the way his brow creased slightly in his sleep.

He can’t deny that one on one, with nothing between them but heat and body and need, Thomas is a whole lot more than just tolerable.


Mid afternoon, Thomas cuts Alex off on the way to the bathroom, catches his wrist and squeezes so that Alex can feel his bones grind under Thomas’ fingers.

“No,” he says, low and heated into Alex’s ear.

A shiver runs through Alex’s body and he tries to tug away.

“What do you mean no, I’m going to the bathroom.” he snaps.

“I wasn’t aware ‘no’ had multiple meanings,” Thomas drawls, fingers tightening around Alex’s wrist.

Alex looks around, hallway empty save for the two of them. Lafayette and John are at the spa for the afternoon with the Schuyler girls, and Alex thinks he remembers Hercules saying something about spending the afternoon in the pool with Aaron.

“Thomas I have to piss,” Alex says, impatient. He has a book back in the room that he’s planning to curl up with for the afternoon, looking forward to getting out of his cold, wet clothes and spending a free afternoon warm by the fire instead of out in the snow.

“And I said no,” Thomas repeats, slow, like Alex needs help understanding.

Alex huffs, and shifts from foot to foot.

“Okay… when can I go?” He asks, and he looks up at Thomas, cock stirring at the heat in Thomas’ gaze.

“When I say so,” Thomas says with a shrug, like he cares not at all.

Alex’s breath catches in his throat. He nods, hasn’t ever played with this sort of thing before, but he can’t deny that he’s thought about it. Can’t deny that the idea intrigues him.

Can’t deny that with the weight of Thomas’ eyes on him, the weight of Thomas’ fingers around his wrist, yeah, he wants to be good in a way he’s never really felt before.

“Colour?” Thomas asks, gentle.

“Green,” Alex breathes.

“Good,” Thomas says. He lets go of Alex’s wrist and steps back.


Thomas doesn’t let Alex out of his sight all evening.

Alex reads for a while, until the pressure of his full bladder is too much for him to concentrate. He paces by the window for a while, and wishes they were in their room so he could whine at Thomas, but Thomas is sitting with James and John Adams, and the last thing Alex wants to do is go over there.

He struggles through dinner, pushes his food around his plate more than anything, and tries to resist squirming too much.

Still, Lafayette watches him with narrowed eyes, and Hercules elbows him sharply after Alex’s squirming nearly knocks Hercules’ fork off his plate.

The sharp elbow to his side nearly makes him wet himself right there in the dining hall, and the yelp he strangles is anything but subtle.

“What is wrong with you?” Hercules asks.

“Sorry, still not feeling that great I guess,” Alex responds, voice strained and blushing hard.

“Stop fidgeting,” Herc says, and nudges Alex again playfully.

Alex groans, and normally he’d dig his elbow right back into Hercules and end up play fighting with him over their plates until John joins in and It turns into a full scale food fight that has Lafayette fleeing the table to safety.

“Herc stop it, Alex are you sure you’re okay? You look flushed,” John leans over the table and touches his fingers to Alex’s arm, and Alex tugs away from the gentle touch, too aware of Lafayette’s eyes on him.

“Yeah, I’m fine, just not one hundred percent yet,” Alex huffs.

He shifts in his seat, trying to find some position that will afford some relief.

“Maybe you should have some water?” John offers. He picks up his glass and offers it to Alex, who pales and shakes his head.

“No, no thanks,” he stammers.

Lafayette chokes on a sound that bears suspicious resemblance to laughter, and John swats his arm.

“Could you stop?!” He snaps, annoyed.

“Maybe you should go rest,” Hercules suggests.

“Yeah,” Alex says, but he doesn’t get up because he’s not sure if he can move without pissing himself, and he can see Thomas watching him from across the dining hall, and he knows he doesn’t have permission to get up and leave yet.

Half an hour later, Thomas gets up and leaves.

Alex waits a couple minutes before excusing himself from the table. He waves off John and Hercules’ offers of a walk back to his room, and heads for the door as quickly as he can.

Thomas is lounging in bed against the copious amount of cushions, scrolling through his phone, the picture of contentment.

Alex doesn’t even pause, he crawls up onto the bed and into Thomas’ lap, plasters himself to Thomas’ body and nuzzles his face into Thomas’ neck.

“Thomas, Thomas please, I have to piss so bad,” he whines.

Thomas smooths a hand down Alex’s back, slow and reassuring.

“Not yet darling,” he says absently.

Alex groans and slips a hand between their bodies to palm his cock. He’s not sure how much longer he can wait, not sure how much longer Thomas is going to make him wait.

“Stop that,” Thomas says, firm but gentle.

Alex whines.

“I can’t, Thomas, I need to go,” Alex pants.

“Hush. You’re fine.” Thomas puts down his phone and clips a black leather leash to Alex’s collar. Tugs gently at it, making the tags jingle. “Get down now.”

Alex complies, climbs off the bed and stands beside it, leash in Thomas’ hand.

“All the way,” Thomas snaps.

Alex frowns, then sinks to his knees between the beds, hands in his lap.

“Good boy,” Thomas sits up and looks down at Alex, reaches out and strokes a hand over his head like he’s petting a dog.

Alex bristles.

Thomas cups his fingers under Alex’s chin and tips his chin up.

“That’s it, sweet pet. I need you to have some water, and then I need you to keep my cock warm for me for a while, do you think you can do that?” Thomas coos, voice sugar sweet.

Alex swallows hard. He shifts on his heels and nods because he wants to be good. Doesn’t want to think about the effect drinking water will have on his bladder.

Thomas stands up and tugs at the leash.

Alex goes to stand, and is stopped by the look on Thomas’ face, eyebrows raised, eyes wide.

“Did I tell you you could stand?” Thomas asks.

“No,” Alex says, and he sinks back down to his hands and knees.

Thomas steps away, and Alex follows on his hands and knees, awkward and a little humiliated. He follows Thomas to the armchair by the fire and kneels in front of it. Waits patiently while Thomas sits down and arranges himself in the chair. Loose, relaxed, in charge. He looks as if the whole world belongs to him and he knows it, and Alex sits uncomfortable and off balance and desperate at his feet. It makes something deep inside Alex burn, lights him up with an intensity he’s never felt before.

He feels riveted, drawn to Thomas’ every move like Thomas has somehow become his true North.

Thomas picks up a water bottle and undoes the cap. He leans down towards Alex and cups his chin, tilts his head up.

Alex’s cheeks burn and he’s hyper aware of the collar around his neck, the softness of Thomas’ fingers under his chin.

“Drink up baby,” Thomas says, so soft, so silky sweet. He puts the bottle to Alex’s lips, and Alex drinks obediently.

He watches Thomas with wide eyes, drinks until he can’t swallow fast enough, and tries to pull away.

Water spills over his chin, and Thomas lifts the bottle away, eyes narrowing in disapproval.

He sets it down and leans over, picks up the purple marker and makes another tally on the whiteboard.

“Don’t spill, Alexander,” he chides.

“Sorry,” Alex whispers. He shifts uncomfortably, bladder full, acutely aware that drinking more water is only going to make the situation worse.

Thomas holds the water bottle to Alex’s lips again, tips it up.

Alex parts his lips carefully, drinks the rest of the water down. He watches Thomas watch him closely, feels something heavy and warm settle over him. It makes him want to go liquid at Thomas’ feet, plaint to his every whim in a way he’s never felt so strongly before.

“Good boy,” Thomas murmurs, warm and heartfelt, as he pulls the empty water bottle away. “Go on now, get me hard and warm my cock like a good pet.”

Alex whines and leans forward, pressure heavy in his bladder keeping him from floating completely away on the heavy warmth buzzing through him.

He noses Thomas’ cock through his jeans, leans in and rubs his cheek over Thomas’ inner thigh, denim rubbing against his face. He nuzzles at Thomas’ cock, closes his eyes and moans softly when it stirs against his face.

He reaches up, unzips Thomas’ jeans and pushes the denim out of the way. Presses his open mouth to Thomas’ hardening cock through his silky boxer briefs.

Thomas’ hand settles on his head, fingers scratching lightly at his scalp.

Alex mouths the length of Thomas’ cock, finds the head through his briefs and suckles it through the damp fabric.

Thomas shifts, spreads his legs farther apart for Alex, and tugs gently at his hair.

Alex tugs Thomas’ boxer briefs down and watches his hard cock bob free. Shifts forwards and licks delicately across the tip before sucking the head into his mouth. He moans at the taste of Thomas’ precome on his lips and tongue, huffs softly through his nose as he swipes his tongue over the head, sucking gently.

“That’s enough now,” Thomas says, and tugs Alex’s hair harder.

Alex whines, but he shifts forwards, lets Thomas’ cock fill his mouth and push into his throat. Breathes through his nose and lets himself relax into it.

“Tap twice on my leg if you’re comfortable,” Thomas says.

Alex taps obediently.

“Good. If you need to stop, tug on my jeans,” Thomas untangles his fingers and strokes Alex’s head. “Do it now so I know you understand.”

Alex tugs twice on the hem of Thomas’ jeans.

“Good boy.” Thomas settles back into his chair and sighs contently, hand resting idly on Alex’s head.

Alex lets himself drift on the heavy warmth in his veins. Eyes closed, the weight of Thomas’ cock in his mouth and throat grounding. His hands rest loose in his lap, and if he didn’t have to piss so badly, he could stay like this forever.

The conflicting lazy relaxation of warming Thomas’ cock and the sharp urgency in his bladder tugs his mind back and forth, makes his skin burn with need and desire.

Thomas scratches at his scalp occasionally, but mostly ignores him.

Alex doesn’t know how much time passes before he simply can’t sit still anymore, desperate to piss and about to lose control. He tugs at the hem of Thomas’ jeans, and pulls off his cock.

“Thomas,” he pants, can barely think straight.

“What’s wrong Alexander?” Thomas asks, looking down at him, book in one hand.

“I can’t, I have to piss, Thomas please,” Alex clenches his hands in his lap, fingers digging into his palms.

“Mmm. Come on, you’re a good boy, you can hold it a little longer can’t you?” Thomas teases.

“No,” Alex lays his cheek on Thomas’ thigh and squeezes his eyes shut. “No, I can’t, Thomas I’m gonna piss myself, please.”

“Are you going to make a mess on the carpet like you’re not even house broken?” Thomas sneers.

“Yes,” Alex hisses through clenched teeth, “Please let me go.”

He’s shaking, he’s seconds away from losing it. He shifts, and loses control for a split second, hot rush of wetness in his underwear. He whimpers and presses his face into Thomas’ thigh, thinks for a moment that Thomas really is going to make him wet himself right here on the floor.

“Please,” he whispers.

“Alright. Come on,” Thomas takes his time fixing his jeans and underwear, and stands up as if he has all the time in the world. Stretches languorously. “Up. You can walk on two feet now.”

Alex scrambles to his feet and stuffs his hands between his legs, desperately trying to hold back.

“Come,” Thomas yanks on the leash and heads towards the bathroom.

Alex scrambles begins him, trying not to lose control, trying to be good, seconds away from being unable to help himself.

Thomas takes his time undressing. Makes Alex stand in the middle of the bathroom and wait, leash dangling from his collar.

“You can take off your socks and shirt,” he says once he’s completely naked.

Alex complied awkwardly, fumbling out of his socks and his t-shirt and tossing them aside. He’s left in his jeans and underwear.

Thomas opens the shower door and steps inside, beckons Alex to join him.

Alex gets in, and tips his chin up so Thomas can unbuckle the collar and reach around him to set the collar and leash on the counter.

He closes the shower door and pulls Alex close against him, tilts his chin up for a kiss.

Alex whines into it, feels like he’s going to die if he doesn’t get to piss right now. He parts his lips easily for the slow stroke of Thomas’ tongue, kisses him back hungrily, whole body quaking.

“Please,” he whimpers against Thomas’ lips. “Please Thomas.”

“Please what? Mmm it’s so sweet to hear you beg, Alexander,” Thomas purrs.

“Please let me piss,” Alex pants, cheeks burning.

He curls his hand against Thomas’ chest, presses his face into his shoulder, open mouthed.

“Hmm…” Thomas spreads his fingers on the small of Alex’s back, holding him close. He fits his other hand between them and cups Alex’s cock, squeezes lightly.

Alex gasps, and presses his face into Thomas’ shoulder, and he can feel himself starting to lose control.

“Thomas please, please, I can’t, I’m gonna, fuck, I-“ he babbles, senseless, desperate, right on the edge of losing it completely.

“Okay,” Thomas says, and he presses his hand firmly against Alex’s cock through his jeans. “You can go.”

The sound Alex makes is otherworldly, halfway between a sob and a moan as he gives in and lets go.

Relief floods through him, makes him weak knees and slack jawed. He’d fall if Thomas wasn’t holding him up, and he can’t stop the soft groans of relief that escape his throat.

“That’s it, oh sugar, you did so good,” Thomas croons, and for the first time the words don’t rub Alex the wrong way. They just make him sag against Thomas, boneless with relief as he soaks his jeans, Thomas’ hand and leg, the shower floor…

He’s shaking, wants nothing more than to drift away on the warm fog that’s threatening to overtake his mind, exhaustion creeping in at the edges as he finishes. He nuzzles into Thomas’ shoulder, wants to be closer and closer, cock stirring against Thomas’ hand.

“Good boy, you’re so sweet for me. Do you think you can do one more thing for me before I make you come? Is that okay?” Thomas asks.

Alex nods against Thomas’ chest. He feels loose and liquid, mind fuzzy. His wet jeans are clinging to his body, beginning to grow uncomfortable.

“Good, I promise it’s easy. Can you get out of your wet clothes first? I’m going to turn the water on okay, make it nice and warm? You did so good,” Thomas strokes his hand up and down Alex’s bare back, soothing and reassuring, and Alex melts into it, wants to drift away on Thomas’ touch, on his voice, doesn’t think he’s ever been this strung out before in his life.

The water turns on and Thomas cradles him close, shielding him from the spray until the water warms up. He guides Alex under the water, helps him peel his soaked jeans and underwear off and discards them in the corner to deal with later. Unwinds the rope harness, and tosses it on top of the wet clothes.

“How’re you doing sweet pea?” Thomas asks gently.

“Green,” Alex breathes. He’s clinging to awareness by a thread, but he feels warm and relaxed and safe, a little breathless at the aching hardness of Thomas’ cock against his belly. “You’re so hard,” he murmurs against Thomas’ skin.

“Mmm, you were so desperate, so helpless, I love seeing you like that, I love having you at my mercy like that baby,” Thomas murmurs, voice low and hot.

Alex shivers, cock twitching at Thomas’ words. He nuzzles against Thomas’ chest and lets his hand drift between them to stroke tentative fingers up Thomas’ hard length. Knows he’d let Thomas bring him back to that desperate, aching, unraveling edge over and over again.

“I want to make you come,” Alex says. He trails his fingertips over the head of Thomas’ cock and he wants to give something back, needs to be more than just an obedient pet for a moment.

Thomas rocks his hips gently, pushes his cock into Alex’s fingers.

“I’d love that,” he murmurs. He steps back, bringing Alex with him so he can lean against the wall.

Alex curls into Thomas’ side and wraps his fingers around his cock. Looks down and watches as he gives it a long, slow stroke. His head is already glistening with precome, shaft hot and achingly hard in Alex’s hand.

Alex watches as he strokes Thomas, thumb swiping through the heavy bead of precome and slicking it down Thomas’ length. He tightens his fingers, moans softly at the way Thomas’ fingertips dig into his back and he huffs a little breath.

He tightens his hand, gives in to temptation and strokes Thomas’ cock harder and faster, watches the contrast in skin tones, listens to the soft moans that escape Thomas’ lips. He feels grounded, real again as he pauses to rub his thumb over the head of Thomas’ cock, again and again.

“Alexander,” Thomas groans, and it sounds like a prayer and Alex’s skin burns up with it and he moans softly in response and returns to stroking Thomas with quick, purposeful strokes until Thomas’ hips are rocking gently and Thomas is moaning loudly, precome leaking over Alex’s fingers.

“I’m gonna come Alex, catch it in your hand,” Thomas pants.

Alex grins and slides his fingers to the base of Thomas’ cock. Squeezes hard.

“Oh, fuck, oh you little shit,” Thomas groans. “Don’t do that again.”

Alex nuzzles Thomas’ chest in apology, and returns to stroking his cock, tight and fast. Brings his other hand down to rub over the head, slow and teasing.

“Alex,” Thomas pants.

Alex slides his hand down to the base of Thomas’ cock and cuts of his orgasm again, firm squeeze.

“You- fuck,” Thomas bucks his hips in frustration.

Alex kisses his chest, and returns to stroking, fingers tight around the silky heat of Thomas’ cock. He rubs his palm over the slick head, cupped and ready to catch Thomas’ release.

“Gonna let me come this time?” Thomas snaps, fingers digging into Alex’s lower back.

Alex shivers, and nods.

“Yeah,” he breathes, and his voice sounds strange and tight and far away to his own ears, and he tightens his hand and feels Thomas’ cock pulse, and strokes him a little faster until Thomas is making these perfect little choked off moans.

Alex’s cock jerks against Thomas’ thigh as Thomas’s hips push up and he starts to come, spilling hot into Alex’s waiting hand with a loud groan.

Alex strokes him through it, parts his lips to bite down gently on Thomas’ chest and keeps stroking until Thomas is twisting away.

“Come here sugar, let me make you come,” Thomas tugs Alex to him, Alex’s back to his chest, and deftly swipes his come out of Alex’s hand and into his own. “Gonna jerk you off with my come. You’ve been so good, you deserve it, sweet pet.”

Alex groans and lets his head loll back against Thomas’ shoulder.

Thomas curls his fingers around Alex’s cock, slick and wet with his own come.

“Please,” Alex pants, reaches up and hooks his arm around Thomas’ neck to anchor himself.

Thomas strokes Alex’s cock, and Alex damn near comes undone right then and there. His hips buck into the touch and his mouth drops open.

He moans loudly, held up only by his arm around Thomas’ neck and Thomas’ arm around his waist.

Thomas strokes him with firm, quick strokes, little twist of his wrist that sends heat shooting up Alex's spine.

It’s deliciously simple after everything else, and Alex loses himself too it, hips jerking into Thomas’ hand, Thomas’ firm body against his back, Thomas’ voice in his ear telling him how good he looks, how amazing he sounds as he falls apart in Thomas’ hand.

It doesn’t take long before he cries out wordlessly, hips bucking as he comes, spilling over Thomas' fingers.

Thomas strokes him through it and lets him go, cradled him close and steps carefully forward so Alex is under the warm shower spray.

“How’s the temperature?” Thomas asks quietly.

“Hotter,” Alex turns in Thomas’ arms and melts against him, breathing hard.

Thomas adjusts the water, and cradles Alex loosely against him.

“Better?” He asks.

“Yeah,” Alex says.

They lapse into silence.

Alex grounds himself in the spray of hot water against his back, the sound of Thomas’ heart beat, the feeling of his chest rising and falling.

He’s half asleep by the time he allows Thomas to wash him and help him out of the shower, loose and pliant in Thomas’ arms as he lets him dry him off and buckle the collar back on.

He brushes his teeth sleepily, and sits on the counter to wait for Thomas, eyes closed, barely holding his head up.

Doesn’t protest when Thomas simply scoops him up and carries him to bed, tucks him in tight and settles in behind him to sleep.