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Sickness and Shame

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Arthur has always been told he’s mature for his age. Maybe it comes from being an only child, or from having to step into his father’s shoes too soon, or maybe he’s just too serious for his own good. Whatever the reason, he doesn’t like having his foundations shaken.

Going in for a physical is not something that should shake them.

It has nothing to do with fearing needles or being ashamed of his body—those, at least, would both be problems under his own control—and everything to do with his doctor being really, really hot. It makes him feel like a slack-jawed, fumbling kid. There’s nothing Arthur resents more than being unable to keep his cool.

He’s been seeing Dr. Eames since he was thirteen. Twice a year, generally, for checkups and to bring in cookies for Christmas because his mother is like that, always making some for the mailman and the bus driver and for Arthur to give his teachers. When he was younger, it used to embarrass him and he would pawn them off on his classmates to avoid looking like a suck-up. Then he gave some to Dr. Eames for the first time. He had eaten one then and there and made the most indecently pleased face and Arthur had wanted to keep feeding him cookie after cookie just to see what other reactions they’d wring out of him.

He’d only realized afterward that he wanted this, of course. At the time, Arthur had almost had to run out of the room. He was fourteen and flustered and had seriously thought of begging to switch doctors. Dr. Eames was far nicer than his previous pediatrician had been, but he also had the ability to make eating a reindeer-shaped sugar cookie took like foreplay and that was just not acceptable. Not to a fourteen-year-old sexually confused control freak in an almost-outgrown pair of jeans.

Everyone always gets so impressed when they find out his mother is a pastry chef. Then they immediately, almost unfailingly, ask Arthur why he’s so thin. Dr. Eames, though, has never remarked on it, not so much as a single wisecrack about Arthur needing to put some meat on his bones. It makes Arthur like him even more, which is annoying, since at least if Dr. Eames were a jerk it would make him feel a bit less inclined to like him at all.

“So this is the last time I get to see you, isn’t it?” is all Dr. Eames says when he comes through the door, looking over the notations the nurse had taken down. And that’s it. Not even a quip about envying Arthur his metabolism or how he’s growing like a weed. “How’ve you been, Arthur? Still doing judo?”

“Fine. Yeah.” Still growing, maybe, but he’s also still built like a beanpole and there’s not a lot of fat or muscle on his bones. “I don’t think it’s had much of an effect,” he mutters under his breath. Arthur doesn’t generally get self-conscious, but something about undressing for a doctor plays hell with his nerves, especially when said doctor has this kind of effect on him. He always feels lost in the stupid paper gown, skin prickling and nipples hardening against the scrape of it, so this time he’s opted to skip over it entirely and just perch on the examining table in his underwear. Which he’s beginning to regret, since it just means Dr. Eames gets a wonderful view of how skinny he is even though he’s fucking seventeen now and should be leaving the awkward stage behind. Anytime now.

“Hard to believe. It feels like I’ve been seeing you forever.”

Dr. Eames gives him a quick smile, and it’s not fucking fair that he has lips made for porn and uneven teeth that somehow just increase that appeal instead of taking away from it. “Let’s just run through the usual, all right? You haven’t gone and acquired any allergies besides shellfish, have you?”

It doesn’t take long, rolling through the standard questions, Arthur answering absently, and he catches himself wondering once again what Dr. Eames is like under his horrifically patterned scrubs. Sometimes he manages to look full-on dapper, dress shirt and tie and white coat, and sometimes he has on scrubs with prints that manage to be atrocious and flattering at the same time. Today, they seem to be covered with pastel-colored penguins. Arthur never thought he’d find himself attracted to someone covered in cartoon penguins, but Arthur’s been learning that he never thought a lot of things about himself.

And then there’s the accent. Fuck, that accent.

It’s not like Arthur’s never interacted with a real, live British person before. He went to an international elementary school when his father was still alive and working for the government, he grew up with languages from all corners of the globe melding into each other around him, and something about Dr. Eames’s voice has the power to give him honest to God goose bumps anyway. He’s also got huge arms, Arthur can tell that even though he can’t see them properly, and he wears a long-sleeved shirt underneath the top of his scrubs, but once Arthur caught sight of what looked like the tail end of a tattoo peeking out from under one rolled-up sleeve. He’s jerked off an embarrassing number of times to that little scroll of ink.

“Are you sexually active?” said voice asks him, same as it does every year, but this time Arthur pauses before answering.

“I, ah, I was. Kind of. But…not anymore.” He can’t lie to a doctor.

Dr. Eames marks something down. “Were you using contraception at the time?”

Arthur hesitates again, feeling heat begin to rush to his head and wondering if it would be too obvious if he were to grab the stupid paper gown and hide under it. “No.”

“Have you considered using it in the future?”

He freezes up completely at that. He’s noticed Dr. Eames doesn’t wear a ring, but that could just be because it’s not practical to, as a doctor, though he’s wondered. A lot. “Um.” His cheeks have to be magenta by now and he literally doesn’t know what to say.

Then Dr. Eames seems to catch on. “Or is the likelihood of anyone getting pregnant a non-issue?”

“Yeah.” Arthur stares down at his feet. “Not at all.”

“It’s still wise to use protection regardless, you know.” Dr. Eames’s voice is quiet and there’s no trace of judgment in it. “I’m sure you understand that.”

Arthur looks up, forces a wry smile “Things didn’t really get far. Just…hands.” The words put up such a fight before he can actually utter them and he hates it. “He had issues with anything else being too gay.”

Dr. Eames sets down the clipboard and gives Arthur a look he can’t quite decipher. “Plenty of people out there don’t feel that way. Just don’t make any poor choices when you meet them, all right?” He turns to the sink before Arthur can reply.

Something in his chest loosens and he could swear it feels a little easier to breathe.

Of course, that only lasts about ten seconds. Arthur didn’t bat an eye when the nurse took his temperature and blood pressure, but the second Dr. Eames presses his tragus with one firm fingertip, he’s ready to go to pieces. “Any pain here?”

He manages to shake his head.

“And here?” Repeating the same thing with Arthur’s other ear, and he’s close enough for Arthur to hear him breathing, close enough for him to pick out every last fleck of tropics blue and slate gray in his eyes. Arthur closes his own and wills his body to cooperate. “No.”

It’s ridiculous, getting riled up over having Dr. Eames’s full focus on him when that’s just his job. And even though all he’s doing is examining Arthur’s ears, he’s still giving him such close and careful attention it makes Arthur squirm. The paper of the exam table crinkles beneath him and it absolutely fucking sucks that his ears are apparently an erogenous zone and probably beet-red by now.

The nose and mouth are next, which is easier, though Arthur’s skin still feels too hot and he can’t stop squirming slightly where he sits. When Dr. Eames says, “Tell me if anything hurts when I put pressure on it,” and starts kneading fingers up the sides of his neck and above his collarbones, Arthur is sure it’s obvious his heart is thrumming too fast. Then Dr. Eames stands behind him with his fingers splayed at the base of Arthur’s throat in order to check his thyroid gland. “Right, now swallow for me?” Arthur’s mouth is Sahara-dry, but he does. “Good.”

Dr. Eames has a habit of narrating what he does, which does nothing to settle Arthur’s hormones. He has a lulling voice, soothing, and Arthur’s sure he’s normally very good at keeping his patients at ease. It’s just that Arthur’s not at ease where it matters most. At the moment, Arthur can only think of two things: one, how badly he wants to tip his head up and kiss him; and two, how woefully inadequate his underwear is starting to feel. He hunches forward slightly, knees pressing together, biting his lip at the rub of cotton against his cock.

And okay, so he might have had a slight ulterior motive for forgoing the itchy paper gown. And it might have to do with this being his last pediatric visit and him wanting Dr. Eames’s hands on him as much as possible. Maybe. Arthur considers himself a pretty responsible person, but he still isn’t a legal adult yet, therefore he doesn’t have to make adult decisions every minute of the day.

But now he’s starting to hate himself for it, sitting there with his jaw clenched and his fingers curled whitely around the cool brown padding of the table and a new rush of blood jolting straight to his fucking cock each time Dr. Eames touches him.

Every time he’s visited Dr. Eames before, Arthur’s been smart and gotten himself off in the bathroom beforehand, just in case. He’s always been determined to avoid any kind of humiliating incident, but for some moronic reason he was positive that this time he was old enough to keep himself under control. Dr. Eames has always treated him well. He’s always remembered Arthur and showed an interest in him and Arthur knows it’s all part of his job, paying attention to these things, and he’d probably forgotten everything until he skimmed Arthur’s file on his way through the door, but it’s always made him feel special anyway. Making a fool of himself in front of Dr. Eames has never been a priority of his.

Dr. Eames is still behind him, tapping lightly on either side of his spine and having him breathe at intervals. The stethoscope, when he first touches it to Arthur’s back, is a little chilly, and he jumps—then jumps again when Dr. Eames lays a hand on his shoulder, just for a moment. “Sorry about that. It’ll warm up, I promise.”

Arthur wriggles anyway, cock harder than ever between his legs, and he shoves his thighs together and tries to lean forward a little more to hide it. Of course, Dr. Eames chooses then to start making small talk. “You’re going to be graduating next spring, aren’t you?”

“What? Oh. Yeah.” Arthur can barely nod, appalled at the way his body responds so readily to the smallest sensations.

“Excited to have high school over and done with?”

His fingers are smooth, closing over the crest of Arthur’s shoulder. Arthur squeezes his eyes shut, tries to loosen his death grip on the table edge. “I’d be more excited if I didn’t still look like a freshman.”

“Everyone ages differently. There’s an enormous difference between being thirteen and being seventeen and your body’s on track in every way that matters. You’ll settle into your adult shape sooner than you think. Breathe for me now, nice and deep. Good.” He moves around to Arthur’s front, placing the stethoscope at various spots on his chest and upper stomach while Arthur prays to every god he can think of that Dr. Eames doesn’t look down. What Dr. Eames does do is flash him a grin, and that isn’t much better. “I mean it,” he says. “Believe me, I’ve been there.”

Arthur has a difficult time imagining Dr. Eames as a scrawny teenager, but he somehow twists his face into a smile. “I find that really hard to believe, but I appreciate it.”

“That just proves my point, then, doesn’t it?” He takes another minute or two to examine Arthur’s arms. “No trouble bending, that’s good. Go on and lie down, please.”

Once again, Arthur considers just jumping up and running out of the room.

“I feel fine. Do you really…?”

He trails off when Dr. Eames tilts his head and pointedly gives the table a pat. “Nothing’s going to hurt, you know that. It’ll be over before you know it.”

Arthur is sorely tempted to mutter you have no goddamn idea.

But he bites his tongue and obeys, stretched on his back with his erection tenting out the front of his underwear and no doubt obvious as fuck. Inside his head, Arthur repeats that word in all kind of inventive ways.

Dr. Eames’s hands look so large when he splays one over Arthur’s ribs and uses two fingers of the other to tap here and there. Arthur’s holding his breath, waiting for the fallout. It’s almost impossible, trying not to writhe up against his palm, trying not to imagine it sliding lower, under his waistband, and gripping him just there. But Dr. Eames seems to have all his attention on Arthur’s liver—which is apparently a perfectly normal size, not that Arthur has a clue how he can tell.

Maybe he’s all worked up over nothing. Surely Dr. Eames has patients humiliating themselves in front of him all the time. Dr. Eames probably can’t go out for coffee without having bouquets and phone numbers thrown at him. Arthur can’t be anything more than yet another blip on his radar.

“Don’t forget to breathe for me,” Dr. Eames murmurs at him, and he sounds so calm even though his hands are fucking everywhere, pressing and kneading gradually lower on Arthur’s stomach.

Arthur fights the impulse to draw in his knees and cover himself. “Sorry.” He finally dares to look up at Dr. Eames’s face, surprised that he can’t detect so much as a trace of amusement there.

“You’re doing fine, Arthur.” He applies pressure just under the curve of Arthur’s ribs. “Tell me, do you feel any tenderness when I touch here?”

Arthur wets his lips. “No.”

“And when I release?” His fingertips are just barely grazing the skin now and Arthur involuntarily curves up towards the touch as it draws away.

“Yeah, ’s fine.”

Then his hand does dip beneath the elastic of Arthur’s underwear, just a bit, and Arthur can’t bite back the whimper that uncurls itself from his throat. “And here? Does that hurt at all?”

He shakes his head, gulping down air too fast to trust himself with words.

Dr. Eames gives him one of those smiles that does nothing for Arthur’s heart rate or his mental porn stash about that mouth. “The good news is all your organs seem to be in the right place. I’m just going to listen for a minute.”

The stethoscope, Arthur has decided, is an implement of Satan. Even warm, it’s impossible not to wriggle in response to the feel of it on his abdomen, chest, navel. Dr. Eames’s eyes are on him, so attentive that it’s almost like having his hands on him again. Just thinking that makes precome gather at the tip of his cock, slipping over the head of it and smearing against his boxers. Arthur’s teeth are bruising his lower lip, fingers gouging into the padding of the table, and the only thing he can think is fuck, fuck, fuck.

Dr. Eames’s palm slips around his opposite side and he’s asking something, but Arthur’s too nervous to even register if anything hurts at all. Arthur’s beginning to think maybe he’s in the clear to sit up and start collecting his composure, but then Dr. Eames is giving a quick pinch to each of his nipples. Arthur actually yelps, fingers clutching still harder at the table edges.

“Arthur.” Those horrible, wonderful hands are on his own, then, gently loosening his grip. Arthur flexes his fingers, letting the feeling tingle back into them, and when he hazards a glance upward Dr. Eames's eyes are nothing but encouraging. “You’re in wonderful shape so far as I can tell, but I need you up on your side now, all right? Not much more, then we’ll finish this off.”

It doesn’t even matter anymore; he’s so hard that he can’t even pretend to hope Dr. Eames isn’t noticing. All he can do is be grateful he isn’t busting a gut laughing at him for it.

Arthur knows he’s flushed and breathing too fast. Moving just makes his dick rub against his underwear, and he can feel it—toes curling, face burning, fuckfucknotnowohfuck—when the extra stimulation causes another few beads of precome to pulse out of him.

It’s insult to injury when Dr. Eames actually draws the cloth down slightly. “What I’m doing now is palpating for femoral hernias. Once again, tell me if anything feels painful.” Pressing at the crease of Arthur’s thigh and groin as he says it, as if he doesn’t even know he could just slide his hand over a few inches and be actually touching him.

This palpation business apparently goes on forever. As always, Dr. Eames’s hands are careful and capable; Arthur can see them etched inside his eyelids even though he keeps his face turned away—short nails with scarcely any white, fingers that always seem to be fidgeting with something when they aren’t doing anything medical. Arthur is incensed at how uncooperative his body is being, but then Dr. Eames is lifting the stethoscope and praising him and that doesn’t help much because his voice is still amazing. “Relax. It’s all right. Other side, please.”

Arthur can’t answer. He’s going to soak through his underwear at this rate, no hiding it. Always a source of embarrassment: he doesn’t just get hard, he gets wet. Like a girl. He’d actually thought of asking Dr. Eames if it was normal once, but eventually he’d just done his own research instead. He has his pride, after all. Or at least he thought he did until now.

He squeezes his eyes shut again as he turns and wills for it all to be over, but those hands keep touching him, pulling his underwear off his hip just a little more so Dr. Eames can place the stethoscope there. He’s so, so close to touching his fucking cock that Arthur is honestly starting to fear the worst. “This isn’t…” Christ, he can hardly say it, chest heaving as he struggles to allocate breath and speech. “I didn’t mean...”

Dr. Eames’s response blurs in his mind: assuring him that it’s natural, that it happens all the time, that it’s just part of growing up. It all makes Arthur feel young and awkward and Dr. Eames is kindly telling him he can take some time in the bathroom if he needs it, but Arthur is sure it’ll just happen again and he can’t swear he’ll even be able to make it that far given the state his body and his dignity are in.

“It’s fine if you need some time before we move on,” Dr. Eames says again. “Are you absolutely sure?”

“No…just do it.” Shrugging lamely as he sits up. “Let’s get it over with.”

Logically, nothing should cause a limp dick faster than the sight of a doctor snapping on a glove. Arthur’s body, apparently, doesn’t do logic.

For the first time, Dr. Eames looks at him with a touch of concern. “It’s okay to change your mind. Otherwise, if you could just step out of your underpants, I promise I’ll make this as painless as possible.”

He slips on the second glove and Arthur chokes down a groan of despair.

The floor, annoyingly, shows no sign of letting him sink through it. Not when he tugs off his boxers, not when he places them—with the damp portion very deliberately folded out of sight—on top of the rest of his clothes, and certainly not when he’s standing there with his breath snagging in his chest and his cock aching between his thighs and not a single stitch on his body. He’s imagined incidents like this, but the current situation is missing the target by miles and Arthur is too agitated to be amused by the irony.

Dr. Eames pauses, as if giving him another chance to change his mind and bolt naked out the door. Arthur looks him in the eye and nods fractionally.

When Dr. Eames’s hands brush against his cock, Arthur is convinced he has a minor heart attack. His mouth parts around a quiet, not-quite-stifled gasp and everything goes rigid.

But then that touch is moving lower, cupping and massaging and paying far more attention than Arthur can stand. Dr. Eames is telling him something about examining the scrotum for inguinal nodes or cysts, and Arthur thinks maybe he’s only saying these things because they’re perfect boner-killer material and it’s his way of trying to do Arthur a favor.

But all Arthur knows is that it isn’t happening. It’s clear he’s in over his head. This is nothing like awkward handjobs with his stupid sparring partner from judo class and it’s becoming rapidly, painfully clear that he should have run for the bathroom and jerked off into a cup when he had the chance. Shouldn’t have tried to play it cool when there’s no cool left in him. Both his arms are braced behind him on the table, locked, tearing the paper on it where his fingers are digging in, and Dr. Eames is doing more of that fucking counterproductive soothing, words like that’s it, everything’s all right and you’re doing just fine, nearly finished like velvet rubbing against him inside and out.

Dr. Eames is not deterred. Dr. Eames is so fucking professional it’s almost insulting. He doesn’t seem at all aware how cruel it is when his tongue flickers over his lips, just for a moment, and causes more fluid to well and spread at the tip of Arthur’s cock while Arthur dies a thousand mental deaths and stares fixedly at the ceiling because he doesn’t want to watch himself drip all over Dr. Eames’s fingers like a leaky faucet of perversion and adolescence and supremely awful responsiveness.

Those gloved hands are on him far too thoroughly and in too many places: squeezing and massaging against his balls, fingers deftly nudging up the underside of his cock, thumbs drawing the slit slightly open as if Dr. Eames can somehow see into him. Arthur is mortified at the way his hips buck at that, sharply enough that his erection slips free and Dr. Eames has to do it again. “Fuck, th—sorry.”

He still hasn’t learned his lesson. Even now, degraded as fuck and leaking into his doctor’s hands, he still wants to spread his legs wider and let Dr. Eames touch him even more intimately. He can’t stop himself from imagining it, the way Dr. Eames would ease a finger into him and the way his voice would sound wrapped around words far less clinical than whatever he’s muttering now.

Dr. Eames is nodding up at him, brow furrowed. “One last check for hernias and you’re free as a bird. If you could just turn your head and cough?” He has the finger of one hand pressing at a portion of Arthur’s scrotum, but the other…the other he actually cups lightly over his cock as if to hold it out of the way or make sure Arthur doesn’t shudder out of his grip again.

Arthur is almost too busy trying to breathe, but somehow he does work out a cough, shaking, and then another when Dr. Eames repeats it for his other side. When he looks down, vision spark-white at the edges, he gets a glimpse of Dr. Eames smiling at him, almost beatifically. “That’s it, then. You’re done.”

And Arthur chokes on a sob and comes in his fucking hand just a fraction of a second before Dr. Eames pulls it away.

At first, he can’t accept the fact that he’s done it at all. Once the realization sinks in, he actually wants to cry. It seems like the only acceptable response within his power.

He can’t make himself move, he can’t make himself speak, and he’s never, ever going to open his eyes. He’s going to stay right where he is, slumped against the table with every heartbeat hurting, and wait for the universe to put him out of his misery.

Over his trembling breaths, he can hear the sound of a trash can lid opening and closing. He jumps when Dr. Eames pats him lightly on the shoulder with one hand, stripped of its glove, no evidence left of Arthur’s embarrassment. His first impulse is to pull away from any kind of contact, but Dr. Eames doesn’t say a word, just lets him slump further against the table and rubs lightly against his back until Arthur feels less like he’s going to turn into a puddle.

“I’m really, really sorry,” Arthur says finally. His voice cracks. Of fucking course. At this point, he can’t tell if he’s closer to tears or punching something.

“Arthur,” Dr. Eames sounds as if he’s beginning a speech he’s given a thousand times, which just twists the knife that much more, “I’m not a psychologist, but everything you’re feeling is normal, no matter how overwhelming it seems.” When he lifts his touch from Arthur’s back, Arthur’s eyes fly open at last and he watches as Dr. Eames goes about wetting some paper towels and gently passing them over with his gloved hand.

He’s courteous enough to avert his eyes as Arthur makes himself as decent as he can possibly be under these circumstances, but Arthur’s face burns anyway. “I know, I just—”

“Shh. You’ve got nothing to explain to me. Don’t even worry about it.”

Dr. Eames is right in front of him, so close it should be making him feel caged in, but instead Arthur finds himself letting his head drop forward to rest on his shoulder. A sigh escapes him when Dr. Eames’s hand goes stroking up his back, nearly to the nape, just once, and then drops away. He feels reckless, naked and post-orgasmic and a little high from it despite the mortification factor, half wanting to touch himself just to learn how Dr. Eames reacts.

If he kissed him now, Arthur thinks Dr. Eames might even let him. They’re close enough that he could if he just lifted his head and leaned in a few inches. Arthur can smell the spice of cologne and the freshness of soap; when he looks up, he can see the delicate scar lacing through one of Dr. Eames’s eyebrows and the way his throat bobs when he swallows. He’s sure he would taste sublime.

Arthur takes a deep breath. “Could you…finish?”

After he disposes of his other glove and the paper towels, Dr. Eames glances at him, his forehead faintly wrinkled. “We did finish.”

“No, I mean…” Another deep breath. “I mean the rest.”

Dr. Eames is staring at him, realization written all over his face. “Don’t worry, you’re much too young for that to be necessary.”

“But I’m more comfortable with you than I’d be with a new doctor. “ He straightens up, trying to look as mature and rational as he possibly can and trying not to think about how futile that is. “Please?” His voice catches and Arthur curses up a storm in the back of his mind. “I want you to. And my granddad died of prostate cancer. It’s in my file. He wasn’t that old, either. Fifty-eight.”

“Fifty-eight,” Dr. Eames informs him, “is not young in the same way as seventeen.”

“I trust you.” He doesn’t hesitate this time, throwing caution to the winds since he’s already made a fool of himself and it’s his last visit with Dr. Eames anyway. It hasn’t escaped him that one word Dr. Eames hasn’t used yet is no. “And I’ve…I’ve done it myself a couple times, but it’s felt strange. I mean, no one else is going to do it for me, so I should know how to do it myself, but once I try it with two fingers it’s so tight I can hardly even—”

He could swear that puts a little color in Dr. Eames’s face. “Arthur.” The way he says it is all business, all adult

Arthur cringes, ready to grab his things and run, glad he’ll have a new doctor the next time he’s due in, hoping like hell that this doesn’t go in his file. Patient is a shameless hussy, also queer as a three-dollar bill or something like that. Fuck, what if his mother ends up seeing it?

“Turn round, elbows on the table, and spread your legs. Nice and wide for me.”

Arthur freezes.

As he watches, Dr. Eames busies himself pulling on a fresh glove, squeezing a dab of something clear and gel-like onto one finger, an amused little smile playing at the corner of his lips. “Go on, then.” Challenging him, Arthur realizes. Expecting him to back down.

Arthur doesn’t back down.

It should feel awkward, presenting himself like this, exam-table paper crunching under his elbows and his ass more or less offered up for whatever Dr. Eames sees fit to do with it. For some reason, it doesn’t bother him. Maybe he’s just immune to awkwardness by now. He bends forward just a little more and waits, forcing himself not to look over his shoulder.

One of Dr. Eames’s hands is still bare and Arthur jumps a little when it touches him, resting warmly at the small of his back. The other hand, the one with the glove and the lubricant, touches him somewhere slightly lower but far more vulnerable. And at first, that’s all: just touching, the very tip of Dr. Eames’s finger lightly stroking there where no one’s ever touched him before, cool and slippery and pressing just the smallest bit.

Arthur wills himself not to instinctively tense up in response, but there doesn’t seem to be any helping it. His toes curl against the coolness of the floor, his nails bite into his palms. “Sorry, I’m trying to—”

“No apologies; we’ve been over this,” Dr. Eames interjects, so quietly it’s almost a whisper. “Now breathe out, just like that,” and then he’s sliding in a finger partway and all Arthur’s breath goes gusting out of his lungs at once, head falling forward loosely. Dr. Eames’s other hand starts circling there carefully where it’s still settled on his back and then, then that finger slips into him completely.

It’s strange, having something inside him that belongs to someone else, and Arthur can feel the way his face screws up and then slackens at the sensation, the way his cheeks flood with heat and his nipples tighten. Dr. Eames’s finger is thicker than one of his own and he clearly knows what he’s doing, which is more than Arthur can say for himself.

Then he moves, rotating it first one way and then the other, skimming against a spot inside him that has Arthur’s hole clenching down hard around the base of Dr. Eames’s finger. He gasps out loud and he’s positive Dr. Eames does the same, though his voice is perfectly steady. “How does that feel, Arthur?”

“F-fine. Please…” And he tightens around Dr. Eames’s finger as much as he can when it shifts again, trying to prevent it from withdrawing. “Keep going, don’t…not yet.”

When the finger leaves him, Arthur’s caught between irritation and bewilderment until Dr. Eames taps the table with his ungloved hand, drawing down the paper and tearing off the crumpled portion. “Back up here, please.”

Arthur doesn’t know what’s going on anymore, but he doesn’t need any further elaboration. He goes clambering onto the table a second time, lying on his back with his legs parted, bringing in his heels when Dr. Eames briefly touches one ankle and nods. “Good.” And the next thing Arthur knows, he’s slipping that same finger back into him, the tip once again nudging against his prostate until Arthur is literally biting his lip to keep quiet. “Does that hurt?”

“N-no. It feels fine.” And it does, somehow. His hole seems to open to Dr. Eames’s touch more readily now, which is a thought that makes Arthur’s whole body burn. “Could you…show me how? With more?” He sounds small and diffident, but if Dr. Eames hasn’t laughed at him yet it stands to reason he won’t start now.

He winces when Dr. Eames eases back out of him again. Shitshitshitshit. He’s pushed too far, he knows, and Arthur could kick himself for it. He’s steeling himself for a reprimand, watching the way Dr. Eames presses his lips together and the way he looks at Arthur with eyes so serious it’s enough to make him feel even more exposed than he already is.

Then that gloveless hand is brushing his cheek, too fleetingly to be an actual caress but more than enough to have Arthur’s blood rushing through him like wildfire. “Promise me,” Dr. Eames says, “that you’ll tell me to stop at any time if you need to.”

Heart in his throat, Arthur nods.

It’s like something out of a deliriously dirty dream when Dr. Eames squeezes more lubricant over his fingers and reinserts one—then, gradually, another. Slowly, messily, slickness smearing against the insides of Arthur’s thighs and Dr. Eames still rubbing even more of it over his hole and into him before finally letting that second finger ease inside. And, fuck, it feels like he’s being stretched open wider than ever before and Arthur wants to cry out because it does feel uncomfortable, at first, but it also feels so, so good and Dr. Eames’s fingers are bigger and going deeper than his own, and Jesus, he’s thought of this so many times. He’s not going to risk ruining it.

Dr. Eames is rubbing circles on his stomach, telling him he’s holding up so well, that he knows he can handle it, that Arthur’s always been such a good patient—Arthur’s mental state by now has been depleted to one long, drawn out fuuuuuck—and he twists both fingers then. Arthur is moaning quietly, unable to help himself, cock hardening and starting to dampen all over again. He can’t keep back a strangled please when Dr. Eames presses on his abdomen, just inches away from actually touching his cock.

“Be honest with me if it’s too much. I’m not going to do anything that means hurting you.”

Arthur only nods, whimpering, there on his back with his heels drawn up and Dr. Eames with two fingers in him and his other hand pressing gently at Arthur’s belly like he can feel himself inside him, which is a concept that Arthur has never even thought about. It’s intimate and full and he’s stretched taut everywhere and the door’s locked but there’s a thrill at the idea of someone coming in and seeing him like this, spilling precome and fucking himself down onto his doctor’s fingers. “Please, I…”

Dr. Eames pauses. Arthur squirms. “Is there any pain?”

“Kind of…yeah…but it’s good, I like it. What is that?

“External stimulation of the prostate. Some people are more sensitive to it than others.” It definitely isn’t just his imagination: Dr. Eames’s voice sounds distinctly strained. Before he can think any further on that, Dr. Eames is taking one of Arthur’s hands in his own and guiding it onto his stomach. “All you do is you apply pressure, like this.” He places his hand on top of Arthur’s and does so; Arthur swears through his teeth. “Doing it via the perineum is more common.”

Arthur’s brain is melting. “The what?”

Dr. Eames’s fingers slowly withdraw and Arthur makes an aborted sound of protest, but then one of them is touching the little strip of skin behind his balls, stroking lightly for a few moments before pushing against it. His cock throbs, pulsing out another stream of precome. “Oh.”

“That,” Dr. Eames says succinctly, and slides both fingers back into him.

Arthur is practically incoherent when they brush against his prostate and Dr. Eames presses at that spot below his navel a second time. “I--fuck. Please, I don’t—”

That hand moves from his stomach to his forehead, smoothing back hair he hadn’t realized was sticking to it. “Are you okay?”

“I j-just…” Stuttering, hiding his face, back curving off the table. “I need to come. Again.”

Dr. Eames is still stroking inside him with two fingers, voice soft and careful. “Arthur, darling, there’s no shame in that. All it means is that your body’s responding the way it should.” And he sounds so sure and so understanding that Arthur just wants to believe him, but then every last muscle in him tenses when Dr. Eames curls those fingers a little deeper and all that comes out when Arthur opens his mouth is a whine.

“Gonna…’m too loud when I…need you to…can you kiss me?”

And he loses it, like this, with Dr. Eames in him, with Dr. Eames letting Arthur scrabble out with one clumsy arm and draw him down with a hand to the back of his neck until those lips are against his own, hot and sure and Jesus Christ, his lips are positively fucking sinful.

There’s the unfamiliar scrape of facial hair against Arthur’s chin—he’s never actually kissed anyone of the male persuasion before, but fuck all if he’s bringing that up now--but all that matters is that Dr. Eames’s mouth is open against his own when Arthur thrusts his tongue inside and moans, muffled and broken and coming until there’s wetness spattering all the way up to his fucking collarbones and those fingers are still, still buried inside him.

Dr. Eames is slow and careful about drawing back his hand. When Arthur folds himself into a sitting position, Dr. Eames doesn’t utter a word, just lets Arthur cling to him as he sighs and shivers through the aftershocks. The paper under him, once again, is ruined, and he’s getting come on the penguin scrubs where their bodies press together, but he can’t let go.

There’s a cautious hand threading through his hair, but it falls away when Arthur tries to incline his head into the touch. “You know that none of this should have happened,” Dr. Eames murmurs, his breath soft on Arthur’s temple. “You know that.”

And Arthur nods, but he holds on even tighter.

He doesn’t know how long they stay that way before Dr. Eames extricates himself in order to straighten up. Arthur looks on as he dabs at his scrubs with a paper towel, then gives up and strips the top off altogether, leaving him in a plain gray long-sleeved shirt, close fitting and rucked up a bit at the stomach. Just enough for Arthur to see another tattoo, just tempting enough for him to reach out and touch.

For a second, there’s the warmth of skin under his fingertips, but then Dr. Eames takes him by the wrist and steers his hand away and Arthur lets him even though he wants to feel lower. There are too many things he wants to do, wants to know, like whether Dr. Eames would ever fuck him, if he’d be patient and gentle or if he’d take him hard and fast until he cried. His hole clenches, still slick and feeling oddly empty without fingers inside him. “I’ve thought of you. Like this. Almost four years now.”

Dr. Eames’s face is noticeably more pink now, but still he says nothing, wetting another handful of paper towels and passing them on. Arthur hums vaguely, arching into his own touch as he wipes himself clean, watching Dr. Eames’s reaction. “It feels different when you do it. Better.”

There’s a sigh in Dr. Eames’s tone. “Arthur…”

Arthur slides off the table. He doesn’t want to hear Dr. Eames explain how wrong this all was. “How many tattoos do you have?”

“A few.”

“Will you show me sometime?”

When Dr. Eames doesn’t reply, Arthur just chatters right on. As long as he keeps talking, Dr. Eames can’t tell him how inappropriate everything that just happened was. It isn’t that Arthur doesn’t know that, but he isn’t sure he can bear to hear it. “You know, after I gave you cookies for the first time, I went home and got myself off so many times. I’d just turned fourteen and I didn’t even really know what it meant. I just knew I wanted you touching me and making me feel that way.” He hesitates. “Can I see you for a follow-up when I turn eighteen?”

There’s a beat, then Dr. Eames is cupping his cheek. This time, the touch lingers long enough for Arthur to purse his mouth around a fingertip, reckless, smiling when Dr. Eames lets him get away with it. “Not while I’m working you can’t,” Dr. Eames says, so soft, and all Arthur registers is that this still isn’t a no. Even now.

“It’ll just be a couple months, then you can do whatever you want to me. And my mom taught me how to bake; I can get you anything you like. Just tell me where to bring it.”

“Has no one ever told you not to pull your pediatrician?” Dr. Eames moves to the sink to pick up the clipboard, glancing over at him with a bit of a smirk. Then, seriously, “You don’t need to bribe your way into my good graces. You’re already there.”

That tight, hard-to-breathe sensation comes back, seizes Arthur by the heart and refuses to let go. “You know how my parents met? My mother was catering for a Christmas party at Quantico. Some drunk idiot wouldn’t leave her alone and she hit him with a platter of marzipan. My dad saw and ended up asking her out.”

“That’s a charming story, but how is it relevant here?”

“I’m just saying, things come out of the most unexpected situations. Not,” he adds hastily, “that I want to marry you.”

There’s silence as Arthur dresses and Eames writes God knows what on his clipboard. “Are you at all familiar with Asclepius?” he asks after a time.

Arthur blinks. “I don’t think so.”

“He’s a figure from Greek mythology. Used to carry around a staff crawling with serpents, which is where that particular medical symbol comes from. Asclepius,” Dr. Eames says slowly, as if he’s still working out the story for himself, “was a doctor who did everything right but then went too far and lost it all.”

Arthur isn’t positive he wants to know where this is going, but he asks anyway. “What did he do?”

“He learned how to bring his patients back to life and the gods struck him down for it.” Dr. Eames looks at his hands. “This is what happens when a doctor starts acting without thinking of the repercussions.”

“What, you get struck by lightning?”

Dr. Eames snorts. “It’s a crap metaphor, but you know what I’m talking about. I made a mistake today, Arthur. I’ve never done anything like that before. I could lose my job, license, everything.”

It hurts, being called a mistake. He tries to laugh it off, mustering a smirk. “So because of this guy, the symbol of the medical profession is a staff with enormous snakes on it? Subtle.”

“You,” says Dr. Eames, his voice low, “are so insufferably seventeen, you have no idea.”

It takes Arthur a moment to respond to that above the waist. He shrugs. “Would it be better if I was fifty-eight?”

Dr. Eames doesn’t answer. “That was really quite shameless, bringing your dearly departed grandfather into this.”

“Oh, I lied about that,” Arthur says airily. “He’s alive and well.”

This time, Dr. Eames is the one who seems at a loss for words, but Arthur thinks he sees a flash of humor cross his features. “You know, Arthur, physically, you’re a picture of health. Mentally, God help you.”

“But you’re not a psychologist, remember?”

“No, just very good at making the occasional educated guess.”

Arthur takes a seat to pull his socks back on, blurting out the question when he’s too preoccupied to look Dr. Eames in the eye. “Do you really think I’m a mistake?”

When he finishes, Dr. Eames is regarding at him with something like sadness. “I didn’t mean it that way. I meant that I acted unacceptably and I apologize for that.”

“Doctors act unacceptable all the time.”

“They’re not meant to. I’ve had jobs where being unacceptable was the goal and this isn’t one of them. Not by a long shot.” He drops his gaze back down at the clipboard, seeming to speak more to himself than to Arthur. “I like where I am now.”

Arthur doesn’t understand what he means, but he nods anyway. “I won’t say anything. I mean, everything you did, I wanted you to.”

Dr. Eames says nothing. There’s a small mirthless smile on his face.

“When I’m eighteen…”

“Arthur, I don’t—”

“Two months, that’s all.” He sounds childish and he doesn’t care. “Just tell me, can I see you then? Not for an appointment, just to say hi. Give you cookies.”

What he wants to say is that he’ll gladly come back on his eighteenth birthday, wait for hours till Dr. Eames is off if need be, then let him take him home and fuck him any way he pleases, but he can’t. He’s not that brave or brash, not now.

“You’re supposed to get presents,” Dr. Eames tells him, a little indulgent, “not give them.”

He finishes tying his shoes and stands up. They’re practically of a height, which seems strange since Dr. Eames is nowhere near as lanky as Arthur. But somehow, in this moment, Arthur feels powerful and Dr. Eames manages to seem small.

Arthur leans in, a quick and light brush of his lips to the corner of Dr. Eames’s mouth. “If you want to give me something then anyway,” he says, “you can.”

And he leaves without waiting to hear what Dr. Eames has to say to that. He isn’t sure he wants to hear it at all.