The room is enormous.
The room is enormous, three stories high at least, wide and sprawling, and the second Charles steps inside, his legs give out beneath him and he falls to his knees. There's a cacophony in his head; ragged chaos, pain and power crackling along the mental shields he didn't raise quite fast enough.
Oh god, what is this place?
He manages to raise his eyes, bracing his hands on the floor before him, and at the center of the room he sees a massive machine taking up a staggering amount of space. He can't discern the machine's purpose—there are no people in this room, no technicians for him to read even if he were capable of cutting through the chaos to reach the thoughts in another mind. He can tell only that it's metallic and massive, rounded edges that stretch into a dome almost as tall as the room itself, and the structure is covered on all sides with glowing panels.
It's definitely the source of the unexpected scream of power tearing at Charles's mind. It's a wonder that the room itself somehow managed to hide this from him. The design of the walls must be deceptively complex.
Charles feels his protective barriers shudder under the onslaught, and he struggles to his feet. If he doesn't get out of here, that thing is going to tear him to pieces and—aside from the fact that Charles has no particular desire to wind up a vegetable in one of Magneto's scattered science facilities—his team will waste valuable time looking for him instead of completing their objective and clearing out.
He startles at the feel of a solid body against his back, and shock twists through him at the realization that someone has managed to sneak up on him. He tries to turn, to figure out who it is by sight, because he can't reach for the accompanying mind in the midst of this room's violent racket.
But he can't turn. There are hands on him, restraining him, strong enough that he can't yank free. An instant later he feels something hard and cool against his throat, then a brush of warm fingers, a soft click of metal at his nape, and Charles shoves away.
He realizes with a jolt that his mind is no longer under attack. There's silence surrounding his thoughts now. Total silence, deafening and wrong.
His hands fly to his throat, and his fingers trace the contours of a broad metal band—some kind of collar—even as he turns sharply, and his eyes search and find—
Red. And a vicious smile. Dangerous lash of a sharp tail flashing behind a sleek black suit.
"Azazel," Charles says.
"Xavier," Azazel says with a smirk and a nod of his head.
Charles should be able to read the teleporter standing in front of him, but when he focuses all he gets is empty static.
He reaches for the back of his neck then—desperate to tear down the blank wall of silence even if it means letting the violent scream of the machine back into his head. He fumbles ineffectually at the collar. Whatever the mechanism, he can't find it or open it. He's trapped.
"Apologies," Azazel says, stepping towards him in a way Charles can't help but interpret as a threat. "I'm sure the effects of the collar are… uncomfortable. But I have standing orders not to kill or harm you, which leaves my tactical options rather limited."
Charles reluctantly drops his hands. He doubts Azazel would've left him this mobile if the collar could be so easily removed. Physically, he knows he's helpless against the teleporter. Azazel has him outmatched in both strength and speed. Hank has always been the only one who could keep up with him, and Hank is currently working at the far end of the facility, hopefully uninterrupted.
"Where is your team?" Azazel asks, eyes flicking down to the distinctive yellow and blue of Charles's combat suit.
"All here," Charles says, truthfully but with what he hopes is a convincing veneer of bluster. "They're close. I'm sure they'll be coming through that door any second." He lets adrenaline speed his words—he's relying on Azazel's suspicious nature to finish the job.
From the way Azazel breaks into velvet laughter, the attempt at misdirection works.
"You're lying," Azazel says, a corner of his mouth quirking upwards as he steps further into Charles's space. "They are not here. Just you. You know, it is unwise to go snooping in other people's affairs. Especially alone."
"Where is Erik?" Charles asks. It's not quite a non sequitur. Erik is always the next question on Charles's tongue.
"He is also not here," Azazel says, and relief wars with disappointment in Charles's chest.
He should be glad for Erik's absence. It means Charles and his team may pull off their objective. It means avoiding the stalemates that always seem to haunt any direct confrontation with Erik.
But part of Charles is disappointed just the same, and he wonders for a moment if his reaction shows on his face. He wonders if Azazel sees, if he's judging Charles for his moment of weakness.
There's no mockery in Azazel's eyes, though. Not even the pity Charles half fears. Just something dark and distracted as Azazel adds, "You triggered three separate alarms in your clumsy exploration of this complex, Comrade. I have been instructed to investigate, and to report back if a stronger defense is required."
More could be coming, then, if Charles isn't careful. He curses his own curiosity. He should be with his team now, not cornered in this room.
But perhaps this is an opportunity. Azazel thinks he's alone—that there's no true threat here, so long as Charles is subdued and in his line of sight.
Charles needs to keep from giving the game away—but he also needs to keep Azazel talking and distracted, or for all he knows he'll find himself teleported off to some uninhabited island where he can't interfere in Erik's plans.
"What is that thing?" Charles blurts, eyes darting to the monstrous machine at the center of the room. Azazel's eyes flit to it disinterestedly before returning to Charles with a surprisingly intense flicker of fascination.
"The satellite array?" Azazel says. "I'm quite sure I am not permitted to tell you that. Its psychic interference is an unfortunate side effect, but one our scientists have not been able to compensate for. The collars are the best compromise they have found."
"Your own people wear these?" Charles gapes, touching the collar again despite himself. The metal has warmed to his body temperature now, and it feels smooth and simple beneath the slide of his fingertips.
Azazel's eyes lock hard on Charles's throat—on the spot where Charles is touching the collar—and something bright and dangerous flashes in his eyes. His tail gives a single, violent lash behind him, and Charles quickly jerks his hand away from the metal band, feeling somehow that continuing to touch the collar would be a bad idea.
"The psychic feedback affects only telepaths. We try to keep them out of this room, but sometimes… yes. The collars are an unfortunate necessity." Azazel's eyes still haven't left Charles's throat, and his teeth flash white and sharp as he adds, "None of them wear it with quite the same… elegance as you."
"Elegance," Charles chokes. His skin tingles with warning, and he backs abruptly away. There's too much heat in the way Azazel's eyes follow him, and Charles feels his face flush with—embarrassment, it must be embarrassment—at the unexpected attention.
He backs and backs and backs away, until he's stopped short by a console-covered wall, and Azazel is still watching him—
And then there's a sharp hiss of sound, a red-tinged cloud where Azazel used to be, and he's suddenly crowding forward into Charles's space.
Not touching him. Not quite. But there's an unmistakable glint of interest in his eyes, and Charles feels an anxious laugh bubble up and escape his chest.
"You must be joking," he says in a weak voice.
And then Azazel is simply on him, one hand curling around Charles's throat, thumb caressing the line where collar gives way to skin, and Charles gasps at the unwelcome sensation. It feels better than it should, and Charles doesn't know what's happening here, doesn't know how he went from simply being caught out in an enemy facility to… whatever this is.
But it's a distraction. If Azazel is here, if he's busy putting his hands on Charles, he's not out there discovering Charles was telling the truth about his team—or worse, calling for backup. And so Charles takes a cautious breath and forces his voice as steady as he can manage.
"The collar turns you on? Really?"
Azazel quirks his head to one side, amused and considering, and in a conspiratorial tone says, "Not just the collar, Comrade. You underestimate yourself."
Charles laughs, sharp and short, and shakes his head, jostling Azazel's hand with the gesture.
"You can't seriously be propositioning me," he says.
Azazel leans abruptly in, brushing his nose against Charles's jaw and, oh god, scenting him Charles realizes. This is so far out of hand that Charles's head spins, and he swallows thickly, bites his lower lip and keeps quiet until Azazel finally draws back.
There's an unmistakable smirk on his face, and his hand doesn't loosen at Charles's throat.
"Even if I were interested," Charles says—and he's not, god he's not, that's not why his skin is flushing or his heart is beating so fast. "You can't possibly think I would accept your offer here."
There's something vicious in Azazel's smile now. Something violent and dark and burning with purpose.
"You noble fool," Azazel murmurs warmly. "Your acceptance means little to me. I am perfectly capable of indulging myself without it."
There's an undeniable threat in the words, and Charles's heart drops into his stomach at the implication. Azazel doesn't need Charles willing in order to get what he wants, and Charles hasn't the faintest hope of stopping him with this collar muting his telepathy.
He panics, then. Fear rolls through his gut, twists his insides sharply, and Charles understands all too clearly what Azazel intends to do to him.
He raises his hands and shoves at Azazel's chest, wrenching away, trying to duck and retreat and dislodge the fingers still curled around his throat. He can't possibly run fast enough even if he gets away—Azazel is a teleporter for god's sake—but he has to try, has to move, and he manages almost three steps before the solid weight of a firm body is slamming him back against the wall.
Strong hands wrap around his wrists and pin them roughly, then slide them up above his head, and all Charles can see is Azazel's hungry smirk, right in his line of sight, as Azazel transfers his grip. Christ, he's got both Charles's wrists pinned above his head in one hand, and Charles can't find the slightest hint of leeway when he tries to tug free.
Azazel's free hand curls under Charles's jaw—his pinky finger ghosts over the collar beneath—and he forces Charles's head back pointedly.
Azazel is taller than him—a fact Charles was sufficiently aware of before, but it's hitting him in whole new ways now. Azazel is looming in his space in a way that feels powerful and wrong, and Charles again tugs ineffectually at the grip Azazel has on his wrists.
Azazel tilts Charles's head even farther back, guiding his face roughly to the side and baring Charles's throat in the process. Charles feels suddenly exposed, and anxious energy curls in his gut as Azazel leans in and licks a deliberate stripe from the base of his throat to his ear. A shiver runs the entire length of his body, and his eyes shut tightly. He bites his lower lip, and it's not to stifle a whimper—it's not god damnit—but to ground himself.
Azazel's tongue is hotter than it should be—hotter than a normal human's, but then he's neither normal nor human. Its path along Charles's throat feels slick and sensitized, interrupted briefly by the metal band of the collar, and Charles gasps when Azazel ends with a sharp bite at his earlobe.
"You taste good, Comrade," Azazel murmurs, lips brushing Charles's ear. Charles shivers again, and holds as still as he can.
When Azazel draws back, Charles forces his own eyes open. He makes himself meet Azazel's heated stare, and licks moisture into his dry lips before it occurs to him that might be a bad idea. Azazel's eyes flick down to the gesture, and Charles takes a shaky breath.
"Don't you think Erik will be angry?" he asks, tone steadier than he expects.
For all that Charles's X-Men and Erik's Brotherhood have been enemies for more than three years now, there are lines that haven't been crossed. Seeing mutant fighting mutant breaks Charles's heart—must break Erik's as well—but they've done it, armies meeting over human battlefields, time and time again.
But Erik has had more than one opportunity to strike at Charles directly, and he's never taken it. He's always found a way to take Charles out of the conflict, to see him safe and unharmed—a maddening habit, but one Charles can't help feeling guilty and grateful for.
They may be enemies, sure enough, but on some level they're still friends. They must be. Erik would never condone what Azazel is proposing—what he's threatening.
But Azazel's smirk only deepens, the corners of his eyes crinkling, and the expression contorts the scars he wears like medals of honor.
"Magneto has ordered me not to hurt you," he says, voice a deep rumble that resonates in Charles's chest. "He said nothing about fucking you."
And yes, Charles had already figured out where this was going, but the words still send a startled tremble through his limbs—they still make him jerk against Azazel's hold, the attempt to force his way free every bit as ineffective as before. His heart jackhammers in his chest, and it takes a moment of concerted effort to force his breathing even—or at least to keep from hyperventilating.
"Would it make any difference if I begged you not to?" Charles asks in a raspy voice. From the few previous times he's been in the teleporter's mind, Charles doubts it very much.
Azazel doesn't answer him. Or maybe the way his tail slips into the narrow space between them is answer enough. The tail drifts in an idle pattern over Charles's chest—he can feel the touch even through the thick material of his combat suit—and if Charles could vanish into the wall he would.
He's seen that tail kill dozens of men, maybe as many as a hundred. He's seen the efficient violence the firm, red point can wreak—and the bleeding, dying men and women left in the wake of its sharp edge.
The slender appendage is touching him gently enough now—it almost feels like a caress—but Charles can't dampen the fear in his all-too-silent mind.
Then something changes—the angle, the pressure, something—and the caress is gone, replaced by the startling snick of fabric being sliced to pieces. Charles holds his breath, and he doesn't have to look down to know Azazel is using the sleek edges of his tail to cut away the material covering Charles's chest. The chill air shivers over his naked skin, and he holds perfectly still as Azazel's tail caresses his bare chest before cutting randomly at his sleeves and then—less randomly—at the dark blue material covering Charles's thighs.
Azazel's tail works a little too close for comfort—darts in close and quick and leaves Charles worried about losing bits he's quite fond of thank you very much—but in the end doesn't draw so much as a drop of blood.
The pants are tight enough that they don't fall to the floor, even after Azazel finishes taking them to pieces and leaves Charles completely exposed.
Azazel makes an appreciative sound as his eyes rake up and down the length of Charles's body. Charles feels so far beyond exposed now that there might not even be a word for it; he grits his teeth and averts his eyes.
The avoidance doesn't dissuade Azazel. If anything, he seems to take the tilt of Charles's head as an invitation. His lips are as hot as his tongue, his mouth an uncomfortable press of heat just beneath Charles's jaw.
When Azazel bites him, Charles lets out a low hiss. He's caught off guard, never mind that he should've seen that one coming, and his face warms and flushes at the way Azazel worries at the flesh beneath his mouth. He's biting to hurt, and probably to mark, but not to break the skin, and the sting jolts through Charles all the more intensely when Azazel lets go and traces the spot with his tongue.
Charles tries to tune out as Azazel explores not just with his mouth, but with the hand he isn't using to hold Charles in place. He fails, ultimately, as the unpredictable sensations keep jarring him back into his body. A vicious bite at the base of his throat. A scratch of sharp fingernails over his ribs. The twist of his right nipple between unforgiving fingers. Even the brush of Azazel's beard against his chest and throat is enough to leave his head spinning.
Charles doesn't recognize the sounds coming out of his own mouth, and he wishes like hell he could be a little less aware of the fact that all those touches are making him hard—his body persuaded despite his mind's vested interest in not letting this happen.
He and his traitorous dick are going to have words later. Once he gets out of this. Once he finds a way to break out of Azazel's grasp, and tear this collar off and regain a scrap of control over the situation.
Charles isn't expecting the kiss. If he'd given it any thought at all, it would have been to assume Azazel's not the type. When Azazel ducks low to capture Charles's mouth with rough, too-hot lips, Charles makes a startled sound and doesn't react fast enough to block Azazel's tongue from slipping inside.
Azazel's beard is rough against Charles's skin as he takes what he wants, and when Azazel's hand sneaks briefly between them to stroke Charles's exposed hard-on—more taunting than anything—Charles groans into the kiss.
Humiliation burns his cheeks at the weakness, at the arousal pouring through him. And then Azazel's hand draws back, and Charles's body strains instinctively forward. His wrists struggle even more sharply than before at Azazel's unyielding hold, and Charles thumps his head back against the wall—furious and frustrated and off-balance.
"Patience," Azazel murmurs in a voice made of gravel and heat.
A hungry smile twists his features, narrows his stare into something predatory, and then he's tracing his thumb over Charles's lower lip. The gesture is gentle—almost speculative—and Charles's eyebrows rise high on his forehead.
"I think, Comrade, that you know what to do," Azazel says, and for an instant Charles doesn't understand.
Then Azazel slips two fingers past Charles's lips and into his mouth, and he does know what to do. His cheeks burn hotter, his eyes stinging sharply, but he knows better than to disobey the implicit command.
He slicks Azazel's fingers the best he can—he already knows it won't be enough—licking beneath, between them, working his tongue in a way that is clearly taking Azazel's breath away.
He still has those fingers in his mouth when Azazel's tail startles him, slipping and curving smoothly around Charles's thigh just above the knee and lifting his leg off the floor. Azazel's other hand flexes around Charles's wrists high on the wall, but there's still no give, and when Azazel removes the fingers from his mouth, Charles jolts even though he knows what's coming.
Christ, he knew Azazel's tail had torn his clothing to pieces down there, but he's only now realizing just how thoroughly the material has been cut away—as Azazel's long fingers slip unimpeded along his skin and then, finding their goal, enter him so quickly Charles hears his own voice cry out through the room.
Charles's whole body flushes hot at the intrusion, his eyes flying shut and his wrists struggling where they're pinned. His breath comes in shallow gasps as Azazel's fingers move inside him—as Azazel strokes him almost tentatively before driving his fingers deeper, loosening Charles efficiently and making him grunt and twist against the wall.
"You are far too lovely like this," Azazel observes in an almost idle tone. "One can hardly help wanting to despoil you."
Charles groans as Azazel's fingers slot into him up to the last knuckle, and he refuses to open his eyes.
He's so focused on the overwhelming sensation of Azazel's fingers inside him that it takes him a moment to notice the sting of teeth along his throat, the graze of eager bites and kisses across his collarbone, rough and possessive, while Azazel works him open.
Charles can practically feel the bruises sinking into his skin. God, even if he gets out of here he's going to be wearing the evidence of this encounter for the whole fucking world to see, and Charles exhales sharply at the thought. His cock gives an interested twitch even then, and Charles barely swallows a string of curses.
When Azazel's fingers jerk abruptly out of him, Charles cries out at the surprise, the unexpected instant of hurt—and then Azazel's tail unwinds from his leg and Azazel's hand is there instead, gripping Charles's thigh roughly—
And both of Azazel's hands are clearly occupied—one there, one still that vice-like hold keeping Charles's hands out of commission—so Charles startles abruptly at the feel of something nudging at his entrance.
It's not Azazel's cock. Charles is sure it's more than up to the task by now, but Azazel is still completely clothed, and anyway, Charles has accommodated a cock or two in his life—he knows that's not what this is.
It takes two full, teasing seconds for his brain to catch up, and then Charles inhales raggedly, eyes flying open fast and wide in horror.
"Oh god, you can't!" he gasps, squirming in Azazel's hands—a show of total futility as Azazel continues to hold him solidly against the wall.
Charles has seen Azazel kill with the tail nudging at him now. Just minutes ago he saw—felt—the way it sliced so easily through the sturdy material of his suit. He can feel it now, the firm, sleek edges pressing in a teasing caress, and he shivers.
"Can't I?" Azazel murmurs, and his voice goes straight to Charles's cock—which, somehow, hasn't lost interest in the proceedings. The words are suggestive and flippant, and Charles knows Azazel is still considering it, is thinking about fucking Charles with that thing. Maybe his motor control is good enough to pull it off. Maybe he can curl it in on itself, could twist it tight enough to protect Charles from the sharp edges—could fuck him with it after all. Deeper than a cock would go, Charles thinks despite his best efforts to shut down the train of thought. More flexible, too. Oh god, his brain is summoning up all kinds of ideas to go with how it might feel to have something like that moving inside him, and Charles can't decide whether he feels nauseous or aroused.
"I wonder how much you could take," Azazel smirks, as if he knows exactly the direction of Charles's rebellious thoughts.
He nudges harder at Charles's entrance—almost hard enough to feel like purpose—and Charles is all too aware of the danger. The sharp edges, the vicious cruelty in Azazel's eyes. Even if Azazel can maneuver that thing the way Charles is imagining, it's still a weapon, and Charles will be damned if he's going to just roll over and let Azazel put it inside him.
It still takes him a moment to find his voice, and when Charles finally speaks, the words come out sounding raspy and terrified. The arousal washing through him is still bright and sharp, and some disconnected part of Charles wonders at the conflicting mess of sensations in his head.
"You'll tear me apart," he says. And then, "Please." The pointed tip doesn't immediately retreat. If anything, it presses harder, darting just inside the rim of Charles's ass, and Charles feels it like a threat. Not hurting him—not yet—but with so much dangerous potential, and he whimpers as the slender edge nudges deeper.
Then the pressure vanishes, abruptly enough to leave Charles gasping.
"I suppose you're right," Azazel says, voice light and teasing.
When he moves, it's so sudden Charles has zero hope of exploiting the opportunity. One instant Charles's wrists are pinned high against the wall, and the next Azazel's stubborn grip vanishes, releasing him—but only long enough to wrap his wrists even more securely in the startlingly muscular length of Azazel's tail. Charles looks up, and the sight makes his pulse skyrocket. He can't even twist his hands—there's not enough give. Any tighter and he'd probably lose circulation.
And not getting to fuck Charles with his tail must have made Azazel impatient, because there's nothing teasing in his face or his movements now. He's all sharp purpose and tense anticipation. Charles shivers at the sound of Azazel's zipper, the accompanying rustle of fabric. Then Azazel uses both hands to grab Charles by the thighs and yank him off the floor. He does it so easily—yanks with his tail, too, like Charles weighs practically nothing—and Charles's head spins, his breath lodging low in his chest.
He forces himself to keep his eyes open—to watch as Azazel spits into his palm and reaches down. He meets Azazel's hungry look head-on, until Azazel pulls Charles down onto his cock.
Between gravity and the inexorable strength of his hands, Azazel doesn't take long to bury his full length in Charles's body.
Charles gives a hurt cry at the force of Azazel fucking into him, and his head falls back hard against the wall. His jaw drops open on a breathy sound, and oh god, it's too much. Azazel is filling him—violating him—and Charles's body feels open and raw and overwhelmed.
Azazel gives him no time to adjust to the width of the cock his body is being forced to accommodate, the length and presence of it. No, Azazel just starts right in, rocking into Charles with a fierce, rough rhythm. Charles chokes on all the sounds escaping his throat, all the desperate pleas he wants to voice for Azazel to give him a moment, just a moment, oh god, if Azazel would just give him a second to breathe—
And then Azazel hits a certain spot inside him, and Charles sees stars. Suddenly the sounds pouring out of him are less pained, more wanton and desperate and ragged.
Charles feels Azazel smirk against his throat as strong fingers dig bruises into his thighs. Charles gasps, and without conscious intent his whole body moves. His legs wrap around Azazel's waist as Charles's back arches against the wall—as Azazel ruts into him—as his thrusts fuck Charles open until there's nowhere to hide.
Sudden vertigo makes Charles's stomach lurch, and between one blink and the next he's suddenly on the floor—on his back—with Azazel still buried inside him, Azazel's body curled over him, his weight bearing Charles down against the floor as his hips renew their rhythm, out and in, rough and deep.
Charles's legs are still wrapped tightly around Azazel, and his whole body jostles sharply with every thrust. Azazel's front is a furnace against Charles's naked chest, the buttons of his shirt scraping Charles's sternum, and from this close he can feel a steady rumble in Azazel's chest—low gravel, echoing through Charles's body—and it sounds like…
It sounds like a purr. Azazel is purring, and something manic and hurt and disbelieving cracks loose in Charles's chest. He bites his lip to keep from letting a burst of laughter tear free—who knows if he'd be able to stop once he started.
It takes Charles an embarrassing stretch of minutes to realize his hands are free. Azazel's tail is… Charles isn't sure where Azazel's tail is, and he's not opening his eyes to find out. It takes him a moment to work his hands between their bodies—to get his palms against Azazel's chest, and—
And all he does is clench his fingers in the fine fabric of Azazel's black suit and cling.
Even if he could stop this—and he can't, he's got no delusions on that score, no matter how he looks at the situation Azazel overpowers him every time—even if Charles could stop this, he's too lost, too desperate. He's too overwhelmed by the way Azazel's touch, his hands, his cock are making Charles writhe and gasp and arch up from the floor.
He's a mess, and he's ashamed, and he can't stop.
Azazel is making unintelligible noises in Charles's ear—pleasured sounds, grunts and moans and that damned mounting purr—and he nuzzles at Charles's throat. He licks the skin along the edge of the collar, over and over, like he can't get enough, and then, impossibly, his thrusts turn even harder.
Charles's own voice is nothing but shattered grunts, helpless groans and whimpers now, as his cock strains unsatisfied between them and his body jostles with the force of Azazel's thrusts. Azazel seems to have endless reserves of stamina—he just keeps driving into Charles, shocky and deep and unforgivably perfect.
"Mine now," Azazel purrs against his throat, and he grabs one of Charles's wrists, pins it to the floor—not to quell some nonexistent resistance, Charles senses, but simply because he can. Because Charles is helpless beneath him, and coming apart fast, and they both know it even without a scrap of telepathy between them.
And then there's a new slip of friction around Charle's cock—heated flesh—and it feels nothing like fingers. Nothing at all like fingers, and oh, that's where Azazel's tail has gotten to.
"Fuck!" Charles gasps, hips rising from the floor, rutting forward into tightly coiled heat, and it's too much. It's the final straw, yanking him sharply over the edge.
His orgasm leaves the world spinning around him, and he passes out, though he doesn't know for how long.
When he comes to, Azazel is still fucking him, so bare minutes probably. Hopefully. Azazel is close at least, rhythm going fast and increasingly uneven, and Charles can't twist away, can't do anything but ride it out. Azazel's hands are bruising now, pinning him to the floor more roughly than necessary—Charles isn't putting up any more fight—and Charles realizes with a start that the extra tightness around his throat isn't just exhaustion. It's Azazel's tail, wound in possessive coils, not tight enough to impede his air but nearly so.
Azazel's rhythm falters finally—decisively—and he growls wordless against Charles's shoulder as his orgasm spills deep and slick in Charles's body.
Azazel's tail uncoils from his throat as he collapses heavily atop Charles. He doesn't pull out—doesn't move for a long moment—just curls close, wraps around Charles in a way that makes him think disconcertingly of an overly large cat. And in the stillness and relative quiet, Charles realizes he wasn't mistaken before. Azazel is definitely purring, and Charles can feel the vibrations rumbling through his own body, oddly calming.
They lie still and entwined for long moments, silence between them with the exception of the ceaseless rumble of Azazel's purr. Charles is too exhausted to try and push Azazel off him now, and it doesn't even occur to him to resist when Azazel stretches on top of him, shifting to capture Charles's mouth in a long, slow kiss.
Charles parts his lips, too tired to be shocked at his own docile obedience, and Azazel's tongue strokes lazily into his mouth. Contentment fairly bleeds off him, and he takes his time exploring, clearly enjoying Charles's cooperation.
Charles's pulse is reluctant to slow down even now. His entire body aches, not least where Azazel's cock is still inside him, and Charles inhales a shaky breath when Azazel releases his mouth to nuzzle at his jaw.
Charles shivers, and the shiver turns into a tremble when Azazel presses an appreciative kiss just above the metal line of the collar.
"Please get off me," Charles whispers. His chest feels raw with the words.
He can't deny how aroused he felt with Azazel's hands on him, but there's an unpleasant chill settling in his stomach now. He feels violated and filthy in ways he didn't even know he could feel, and the reverent tenderness only makes his insides twist tighter.
Azazel tuts disapprovingly at the request, but finally moves to pull out. He seems determined to be gentle now—and Charles is braced for it, but he still gasps a choked sound of discomfort.
Azazel rises to his knees, still between Charles's legs, and tucks himself away. He fastens his fly with efficient movements, and then settles back on his ankles. His eyes devour Charles shamelessly, traveling the length of his body and taking in the view. There's something proprietary in Azazel's eyes, a possessive glint, and Charles can only imagine how he looks. Uniform in tatters, body littered with the evidence of Azazel's mouth and hands, face flushed and stomach smeared sticky with his own come.
Charles would look away if he could, but he can't escape Azazel's eyes. Even now his body is heating at the attention. His cock doesn't stir, but embarrassed as he may be to admit it, Charles is honest enough to acknowledge that it's probably nothing but exhaustion keeping his body in check.
A flash of blue speeding towards them is all the warning Charles gets before Azazel crashes to the floor—knocked sharply aside, as the room echoes with a growl so furious it sounds more like a roar.
"Hank!" Charles gasps, already scooting instinctively back from Azazel's unconscious form. Hank is standing before him, eyes darting everywhere in the room, looking anywhere but at Charles himself, and Charles feels a wave of shame hit him in a vicious rush.
Oh god, Hank knows. Of course he knows—how could he not, with Charles looking like this, covered in all the bruised, sticky evidence of everything Azazel did to him.
"We found what we came for," Hank says, eyes finally settling on a spot somewhere to Charles's right. "The others are already waiting to take off. When you didn't check in, I came to find you."
"Hank…" Charles says, throat dry and voice almost too quiet to hear.
Hank gives himself a visible shake, forces himself to actually look at Charles, though those yellow eyes stay very carefully on his face.
"Can you walk?" Hank asks, something almost clinical slipping into his expression. The scientist coming to the fore, and Charles shouldn't be this grateful for it, but something like relief washes through him.
"Yes," Charles says, and this time his voice is stronger. He's reasonably sure he can move unassisted. Everything hurts, his entire body aching and sore, and everything that doesn't hurt feels boneless with sated exhaustion—but Charles is determined, and it's only pain, damn it. He can do this. And frankly, the thought of Hank supporting him or—god forbid—carrying him right now makes Charles want to scream.
He doesn't want to be touched. He just wants to get to safety, to a long shower and unshredded clothes, and put this room as far out of his thoughts as possible.
Hank moves towards him cautiously, and Charles drops one hand belatedly to cover himself. But though Hank's gaze drops lower, it still stops at Charles's throat and ventures no further.
"Is that thing the reason you couldn't check in?" Hank asks, and it takes Charles a moment to realize he means the collar.
"Yes," Charles says. "I don't know how to remove it."
"Do you want me to—?"
"No," Charles cuts him off. "Not now. It can wait until we're back aboard the ship." The silence in his head grows more painfully jarring with each passing second, but the thought of Hank that close behind him, searching for the release mechanism… Charles needs time to brace himself for that. And he'd really rather not be quite so naked when it happens.
"Then… I don't mean to rush you, Professor, but…"
"Right," Charles says. "Could you um…"
Hank turns around as though Charles actually voiced a coherent request, giving him at least the illusion of privacy. Charles stands slowly, legs shaking beneath him but supporting him steadily enough. He covers himself again once he's upright, feeling helpless and exposed and more than a little humiliated.
"There were some lab coats hanging just outside the door," Hank says without turning around. "If you wanted me to—"
"Yes," Charles breathes, shattered relief.
Hank darts away, moving fast enough that Charles has trouble tracking him—all the way to the door, through it, and he's back again what feels like an instant later. He hands Charles a pile of white fabric, and Charles shakes it awkwardly out, searching for the sleeves.
Hank keeps his eyes averted while Charles does up the buttons along the front of the coat. Charles feels instantly more in control, though the moment still stretches uncomfortably, too much awareness between them.
Hank finally turns, just enough to indicate Azazel with a jerk of his head.
"What about him?"
Charles's voice lodges in his throat, and he has to swallow past a lump of conflicted emotions in order to answer, "Leave him."
"But he just—"
"Thank you, Hank," Charles interrupts more sharply than he intends. "I am well aware." Painfully aware—he still feels sore and open and slick—he doesn't need Hank reminding him what Azazel just finished doing to him.
Hank's eyes dart to Charles's face, concerned and unsure, but Charles lets steel resolve darken his expression. He wouldn't have approved of killing Azazel before, and he's not going to condone it now. Short of killing him, there's nothing they can do to contain him, and Charles is fully aware of the futility of any such discussions.
"Then let's get out of here before he wakes up and sounds the alarm," Hank grumbles. He tears his eyes from Charles and locks his gaze on the door, starting forward without glancing back to make sure Charles is following.
"Agreed," Charles says, and hurries to keep up.
He tells himself his team is safe. They got what they came for. They're making it out with no losses, no casualties. An undeniable victory.
But as Charles follows Hank into the outside corridor, his head is spinning. His entire body aches intimately, bruised and sore, and he has to force his mind blank. He focuses on the route out of the facility, on keeping pace with Hank, on strategy and speed and the mission they just completed—on anything at all besides the way he wants to crumple to the floor and scream until his lungs stop working.
This doesn't feel like victory.