“Anything going on out there, Lieutenant?”
Eames sighs. The whole crew is well aware of just how much he hates flying reconnaissance, and Yusuf in particular likes to rub it in. “Don’t you have something more important to do? Inventorying painkillers, brewing moonshine? Oh, you could look after some patients, that’d be novel.”
Yusuf’s laugh crackles over the radio. “I’d say I wish, but last time I checked it’s bad form to hope for a fight just because we’re bored.”
It’s true that Eames isn’t the only one with itchy feet. The Galactic Alliance had touted this scrap of space out past Messier 81 as the breaking point of the whole war, some special asset that would turn the tide if only they could win it from the fucking vamps. A month of regular surveillance by some of the best fighter pilots in the fleet later, and still nothing.
Eames drums his fingers on the console read-outs and gives the black, empty space another cursory glance. “It is, but hell, it wouldn’t have to be a big one. A couple of stray buzzards, just enough to get the blood pumping and knock our birds around enough to give the flight crew something to work on.”
“Maybe if the space gods are kind,” Yusuf says. “I’ll see you back here at 1700, yeah?”
“Yeah. Pour a pint for me.”
“Will do. Yusuf out.”
The cockpit feels a lot more boring without the verbal company, and Eames sighs again. It’d help if the higher-ups would at least give them a hint of what they’re actually meant to be looking for, but no. Just ‘generic space anomalies and enemy presence’.
He pulls a toothpick out of the breast pocket on his flightsuit and tucks it between his teeth, rolling it with his tongue. Only two more hours staring at the stars, and then he can go back to the ship and the other pilots and the far more palatable boredom of his own quarters.
After a while the boring black starts to blur together, and Eames blinks. When he opens them again there’s a thin sliver of deeper purple striking through the darkness, subtle, but he hasn’t spent hours out here over the last month to not be sure of what should be here and what shouldn’t.
“Lieutenant Eames to Central. I’m picking up a visual anomaly, sending you the co-ords now.”
He taps a few more buttons on the console and shifts his hands to the steering pad, gunning the fighter’s engines to get closer. It can’t be a galaxy or anything else like that; everyone would have seen it before.
As he watches the sliver widens into more of a rift, pulsing against the flat blackness of the surrounding space. “Anomaly is growing in size. No fucking idea what it is, but I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“We see it. Attempting to I.D. Do not--”
Whatever the tactical officer was about to say is lost under the sudden screech of the contact alarm, and a second later a vampire buzzard lights up the sky as it streaks towards the growing tear.
“Got a buzzard!” Eames says, shoving the steering pad forward hard. It’s not hard to gain on the buzzard’s tail; the vampire fighters aren’t as streamlined as the fleet’s, they’re broader, slower, and probably a big part of why the vamps prefer to force fights down onto planets where their felid armies can do the killing for them.
The buzzard rolls out of his crosshairs and Eames flips a switch and pushes harder, nearly close enough to bump the ship’s tail. “Almost got him, just a little bit--”
A brilliant flash of light illuminates the dead space as the buzzard hits the rift and disappears.
Eames doesn’t even get a chance to swear before his bird is swallowed up by the light, and everything is static and gravity and the sick, inexorable sense of falling.
It’s cold when Eames groans and eases his eyes open. He’s lying on his back staring at a pale grey ceiling, and if this is what death is like, he’s going to be really, really pissed off.
“He’s human! He shouldn’t even have survived the portal.”
Eames shuts his eyes again at the sound of the nearby voice, working against the urge to clench his hands into fists. There’s a sibilant hiss to the syllables, and he knows what that means.
“Even his ship barely did. But he’s here, nontheless. We should probably just kill him.”
At least two vamps, and considering this must be some kind of hidden base, likely a lot more. Not to mention any felid soldiers they might have. Eames battles to keep his breathing regular.
“I don’t know. Maybe we can put him to better use. He did survive a subspace jump, and it’d be a shame to waste good genes. I mean, look at his shoulders. Can you imagine if we could breed a body shape like that into a new felid wave?”
There’s a sound like footsteps on concrete, and a cool hand feels along the shape of Eames’s neck and shoulder. “So what do you suggest, we just throw him in with a breeder and hope for the best? We can’t put a human with fertile stock. It’s not worth the risk.”
“He’s human. If anything goes wrong, it’s not the felid that’s going to be damaged.”
Eames tenses as the vampire seems to consider. He’s seen what the felids can do in ground combat, up close and personal, the stink of spilt guts and splattered blood driven home by their yowling screeches as they kill. If they’re planning on putting him in a room with one...
“Is there something suitable and ready?”
“AR-7U started its heat cycle last night. Now imagine what kind of litter it might throw, with a sire like this.”
There’s a moment of silence, before the hand touching Eames’s shoulder slides across to tighten around his throat. “Open your eyes, human. I can hear your heartbeat. You’re not fooling anyone.”
Eames glares up at the vampire. “Fuck you.”
It laughs, squeezing harder. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you.” Its red eyes glisten under the light, and Eames wishes he had a gun to put a matching red hole right in the middle of the thing’s forehead.
The vampire looks up, but doesn’t move its hand. “Alright then. Put him with AR-7U for twenty-four hours and see if something takes.”
The corridor is bare and non-descript, nothing to give any clue of where the exits or even the hangar bays might be. Eames tests the cuffs they put on him as the vamp tugs him along by the leash, but they’re snug and secure.
“Here we are,” the vamp says, opening the door and dragging Eames in with him. “Isn’t he lovely. Only been mature for three cycles, and he’s already one of the best we’ve ever had. You should consider yourself lucky.”
On the other side of a holo-transparent wall is a snug little padded room strewn with cushions. Eames flinches at the sight of the naked felid, every single survival instinct kicking in and screaming run run run. But... the felid’s not pacing, or sniffing. He’s not doing anything that looks menacing at all. As Eames watches he rolls once, tail thrashing, before settling on his knees and arching his back while kneading at the floor.
“His name is Arthur,” the vampire continues, like Eames gives a fuck. “As you can see, he’s extremely receptive right now, and he’s already been prepared for a mating. I don’t imagine this will be a hardship for you.”
“I’m not fucking a felid,” Eames grits out, ignoring the traitorous interest warming his stomach as Arthur’s tail flicks frantically back and forth over the pale curve of his arse.
The vamp slides the passkey over the cuffs and slips them off. “You will, if you don’t want to die. If you’re not breeding you’re no use to us here.”
Eames stares down the barrel of the gun, then back at the lean lines of the felid’s body as his back bows further. He really does look human apart from the ears and the tail; something Eames would probably find his eye drawn to under normal circumstances.
“They have thick skins,” the vamp says, as the felid rolls again before sinking his claws into the padded wall. “Last time I checked, your kind aren’t so lucky. So I suggest you give him what he wants.”
Eames sets his jaw and tries not to react, even as the padding rends under the felid’s claws as if it’s made of paper.
The vamp taps a panel on the wall and a door in the transparent wall swings open. “In.”
For all the things Eames is, a fucking coward isn’t one of them. He doesn’t even look at the vamp again as he steps into the room.
Arthur stops rolling and looks up, slitted brown eyes narrowing, and Eames can’t even breathe he’s so fucking terrified. He’s seen felids disembowel men in seconds, slit their throats in even less, moving so fast a human doesn’t stand a single chance of putting a bullet in them. He looks at Arthur’s ears, twitching and unsure against the tangled strands of his hair; down the naked slope of his back to the tuft of fur where his tail starts. Apparently they’re weak points.
Eames doesn’t believe anyone’s ever gotten close enough to prove that.
But Arthur doesn’t leap for him, or yowl like he’s ready to kill. He crawls forward until he can butt his head against Eames’s bare feet, and lets out a low whine.
Eames stares down at him. His ears are soft, warm like the skin of his cheek. It feels surprisingly pleasant, and Eames tries to shift away. “It’s okay. I’m not going to touch you.”
Arthur hisses and rolls onto his back, stretching out to expose his trembling belly and his hard cock, wet and leaking at the tip. It’s utterly wanton and such a sudden turn-on that Eames sidesteps and stumbles into a pile of cushions.
He watches as Arthur lets out a desperate, feline chirrup, getting up on his knees to knead at the padded floor again, hips swaying in time with his tail. Arthur pushes his arse higher and yowls, but it’s a different noise to the killing sound Eames knows from the battlefield.
The vamp wasn’t lying. As Arthur spreads his knees further apart, Eames catches a glimpse of how slick he is, ready and desperate to be filled.
Eames digs his fingers into the cusions and squeezes his eyes shut. It’s what the fucking vamps want. No matter how badly Arthur seems to want it... need it... or how easy it would be to shove his pants down and hold that flicking tail aside while he pushes into that ready heat, giving the vampires what they want is the very last thing Eames ever intends to do.
The voice is low and breathy, and it goes straight to Eames’s cock in a way he’s not proud of. “What?” he says, staring at the delicate curve of Arthur’s tail as he lifts it high.
“Please,” Arthur repeats, ripping at the floor with his claws. “Please just fuck me.”
It hasn’t even been five minutes, let alone twenty-four hours, and Eames knows right then that he can’t stand it. “Okay,” he says, shaky, as he fumbles with the buckles of his flightsuit. His skin feels hot, prickly, and the only thing he can think about is his cock in that tight arse, right now.
He kicks off the flighsuit and drops to his knees behind Arthur, running his hands up along his thighs. It’s like touching an overworked engine, so much heat just under Arthur’s pale skin as Eames presses closer and strokes up along the sleek fur of his tail.
Arthur hisses at the contact, but spreads his legs wider and presses his face harder against the padded floor. “Yes.”
There’s something Eames is forgetting. Whatever it is seems irrelevant next to the sweat-slick slope of Arthur’s spine and the way his ears are pulled back tight to his skull, the sharp mewling cry he makes as Eames easily slides two fingers deep inside him.
“More,” Arthur urges, rocking back against Eames’s hand. Then he yowls again, an inhuman sound that’s so at odds with the words he’s saying.
Eames sucks in a breath that only succeeds in making his skin feel hotter and grabs Arthur’s thrashing tail, holding it still so he can thrust in.
“Ah, ah,” Arthur squirms, and Eames can feel the rumbling purr that starts in his chest through his cock.
He looks down where Arthur’s stretched tight around him, how narrow his waist is before the flare of his hips. From this angle he looks like a few good thrusts might break him, and something tugs at Eames’s conscience as he pulls out.
“No!” Arthur hisses, pushing back like he’s trying to keep Eames’s cock inside. “Fuck me.”
In that instant there’s nothing Eames wouldn’t do to stop the pain in Arthur’s voice. He wraps his hands around Arthur’s hips and uses the leverage to slam back in, exhaling as Arthur cries out and rips at the floor. “Like that?”
His tail thrashes harder as Eames fucks him, quick, relentless strokes that make the noises coming out of Arthur’s mouth get higher and more cat-like. Eames leans down over the tense arch of his spine, trapping the frantic tail.
It’s been far too fucking long since Eames has come from anything but his own hand and the force of the orgasm takes him by surprise, clenching down on Arthur’s squirming hips to hold him still. Arthur moans and hisses, arching so hard it hurts to watch, and Eames feels the pulsing heat of his body as he shudders and cries out before going very, very still.
Eames feels wrung out and a little dizzy as he lies down on the padded floor. Something is very fucking wrong, because he shouldn’t have... wasn’t supposed to...
A warm body curls close to his, a soft, comforting purr rumbling through the contact.
“That feels good,” Eames murmurs.
The only answer is the soothing touch of a sleek tail curling over the bare skin of his hip.
Eames wakes up cold again, but at least this time he’s comfortable.
He sits up fast, blinking the haze of sleep away. “Fuck.”
The felid is sitting on its haunches at his feet, tail undulating with menace as it stares right at him.
“You’re human,” he says, ears swivelling forward.
“You can talk,” Eames says. It doesn’t make sense. He should be dead. His guts should be decorating the walls right now. Felids don’t talk.
You’re not meant to fuck them, either.
“Of course,” Arthur stands up, careless of how very naked he is, and Eames can’t help tracing the sleek lines of his calves and thighs with his eyes. “You’ve only ever seen felids after they’re done with them.” He holds out a hand.
Eames stares at it. Arthur’s slender fingers are deceptively human, claws sheathed, and Eames lets him pull him up.
“They do something to the soldiers. Trip something in their brains,” Arthur says, turning away to examine the padded wall where the door should be.
“But not yours?”
Arthur hisses. “No. I’m a fucking breeder. Can’t have me damaged or unhappy.”
Eames tries to find some mental equilibrium as he pulls his flightsuit back on. “I’m... sorry. About earlier.”
“It’s okay,” Arthur says, voice steady rather than strained with so much desperation it hurts to hear. “You’re only human, and my pheromones get pretty out of control when... that happens. But I did need it,” he looks back towards Eames and tilts his head, cat ears angled forward, “and you were gentle.”
There are dark bruises on Arthur’s hips, and Eames wonders how brutal felid mating usually is that Arthur would call what they did gentle.
“Besides, you’re not insensible now like a tom would be. So you can help me escape.”
Escape is the kind of word Eames wants to hear. The others are probably looking for him, but by the sounds of it the chances of them finding their way to this vampire army breeding compound or whatever it is are slim to none.
He’s never going to complain about being bored again.
“Should we be talking about things like escaping in here?” Eames looks at the cameras hovering in each corner near the ceiling.
“No audio,” Arthur says, running his fingers down an invisible seam. “They don’t want to have to listen to all the noise.”
The constant swish of his dark tail over his naked arse is fucking distracting, and Eames tries to keep his eyes well above the waist. “So, what do you suggest?”
“They’ll only send five guards to get me. Humans can’t usually make a subspace jump, so there’s not as much security as you might be expecting, Lieutenant.”
Eames starts. “What? How did you know that?”
Arthur tilts his head. “I recognise your pips.”
Any second now Eames is going to wake up. “Oh.”
“So you’re a pilot, right? I help you overpower the guards and show you where they keep their ships, and you take me with you.”
“Eames,” Eames says, because as crazy as all this is at least his name is still something he controls. “My name’s Eames.”
Arthur turns to face him again, baring the points of his canines and incisors in a parody of a smile. “I’m Arthur.”