Arthur looks across the table, eyes set straight ahead and blinking steadily; he won’t be the one to flinch.
The meeting goes on around him, voice of the first extractor and then the voice of the second trying to top the other, like overlapping waves that will eventually drown everything. Ariadne is in a corner, sketching and looking up every once in awhile as if to make sure she hasn’t been left alone. The chemist, a curly haired man who’s seen too much sun, puts his head on his hand, obviously torn between sickness and boredom.
All of this Arthur notes from the corner of his eye as he refuses to look away from the Blutbad's muzzle he sees across the table. Eames plays with his own face, knowing only Arthur will see his snarls and rippling emotions, the hair sprouting crazily from his cheeks and jowls like quick-growing seedlings to cover his head. The last part to come out are the teeth. They aren’t pretty at all, not smooth like a wolf’s but jagged and rough-hewn like a shark’s, perfect for tearing and ripping.
When Eames grins across the table, showing a glimmer of fang, Arthur smiles back neutrally.
Everyone leaves frustrated, the two extractors for the large job still sniping, the chemist almost stumbling in his hurry to escape, and Ariadne annoyed she was dragged in for such a fruitless meet-up. Only Arthur and Eames remain, staring at each other across the wide oak table.
“You knew I’d be on this job,” says Eames, smoothing his face out to humanity. “Yet you’re here.” It doesn’t sounds like he’s accusing Arthur, but Arthur’s never been able to fully read him.Arthur shrugs easily, linking his hands together on the table.
“Would you prefer I avoid you, now that I know what you really are?”
“It gives me no sleepless nights to have you close.” Lifting a lip in an expression of disdain, Eames looks down at Arthur with hooded eyes. “Can you say the same?”
“You’ve killed Grimm before.” Arthur says it expressionlessly. It has to be the truth; Arthur even has an idea of which fourth-cousin Eames might have taken down. Killing a Blutbad is a high honor in their family line, and killing one like Eames, one that’s taken down a Grimm? Arthur would be revered.
“And I make it a rule to never threaten former bed-mates,” says Eames, lounging back against the wall as if to show how unconcerned he is. “But you’re rather pushing that line, dear.”
“Did I say anything about killing you? Even considering what you did to me last time.” For a moment Arthur lets himself remember being pinned under Eames, confused and stuck, their bodies joined in some inexplicable way and Eames’ seed filling him.
“You shocked me,” replies Eames, trying for uncaring but coming across defensive. “I slipped up.”
“I’m so sorry.” Arthur quirks an eyebrow. “Next time my father gets himself shot dead, I’ll ask him to do it when I’m not fucking a Blutbad.”
Eames shrugs, unapologetic. He knows exactly how much affection Arthur never had for his father. “Seem to have a little bit more control now, though, don’t you. Can even look at my face.”
“You weren’t the only one who was shocked.” That night Arthur had run out of his hotel room, thinking he’d been somehow drugged by Eames or been dropped into a dream. After spending hours rolling his totem, he’d come close to waking himself by way of shotgun when his aunt had finally found him, boarded up in his own room and going slightly crazy.
“Not anymore, though. So what.” Eames takes a few steps around the table, putting him at its head and catty-corner to Arthur, leaning over its breadth with his own. “You toddle off to Grimm school? Get well brainwashed, told to return with my hide or else?”
“Why are you reading so far into this?” It’s Arthur’s turn to scoff. “I’m here to work, unlike you and every other person on this team so far. We can go back to how it was before. You don’t gnaw on people and I won’t come after you. Easy.”
“How it was before,” say Eames, musing, his stance relaxing. He comes closer to Arthur, who’s still sitting with his hands loosely held together, a black briefcase beside his chair. “Does that include us?”
“Don’t play dumb.” A growl comes out of Eames’ throat, deep, almost imperceptible to Arthur’s ears. “‘Us’, as in your arse belongs to me again.”
Heated, Arthur scoots his chair back from the table and stands, giving himself a higher range of motion. “I never belonged to you.”
Eames lets out a sharp bark of a laugh, incongruous with the Eames whom Arthur has always known.
“So, when you used to come into work still sopping wet with me between your legs, that wasn’t you belonging to me? Think about it, Arthur. Just because you suddenly fell into being a Grimm doesn’t mean the same for me. I’ve been a Blutbad my whole life. Every time you didn’t take a shower but left me inside of you. Every time your heart beat faster when I’d touch you, shove you, hold you down. You think I didn’t notice?” Eames takes one last step, putting himself a foot away from Arthur. The air between them is too thin, like they’re floating above the earth together, readying themselves for the long, long fall down. “You think I don’t notice now?”
Suddenly Arthur feels like he’s spinning, hurtling into something unknown, and fear makes him angry. He goes for the twin blades under his jacket, pulling them quickly enough that Eames has to jump back to avoid his neck being cut and his blood splattered over the wall.
It’s a matter of seconds before Eames drops his humanity to the floor, shifting to Blutbad and coming at Arthur. Arthur slashes twice to warn Eames off, but Eames seems to have less of a sense of self-preservation in this form and he lets himself take a hit on his forearm. Arthur’s blade, slowed minutely down on unexpected contact, is delayed for the next offense. With his bleeding arm Eames shoves Arthur, toppling him over onto the ground.
One of Arthur’s blades skitters across the floor, the wet sound of blood following it. The human Eames is a cautious fighter when he has the time, always testing and testing an enemy’s defenses before settling on a strategy. This wave of anger and wildness is nothing Arthur has ever seen from Eames before.
The air goes out of Arthur when Eames lands on top of him. They scrabble like school boys on the ground, pure instinct and muscle memory their only guides.
Arthur gets his knife pressed to Eames’ throat just as Eames puts his claws at Arthur’s trachea. At the quick standoff Eames growls inhumanly, his body reverberating on top of Arthur’s.
“Shift back,” demands Arthur, breathless.
Eames makes what might be a sound of laughter, an ugly, ripping noise in his chest.
“Do it!” Arthur presses harder with his knife, holding it at the dull angle for the moment. He can switch in a heartbeat, if he has to.
Above Arthur, Eames starts to change, the hairs in his ears shrinking down, his huge mane of fur seemingly falling away as Arthur watches, his nose returning to its normal (broken) shape. Eames keeps his teeth slightly sharpened, though, and Arthur can still feel the deadly nails at his throat.
“Put the knife down,” returns Eames in a scratched voice.
“Why should I?” Arthur tries not to snarl. He flicks his eyes down at Eames’ hands. “You’ll always have yours.”
This time Eames’ chuckle is fully human. “Well then. Fair’s fair.” He looks down at Arthur, eyes dropping to Arthur’s rucked up shirt, where a button is missing. He bends forward slowly, forcing Arthur to gradually retract his hand unless he actually wants to cut Eames’ throat and turn Eames into a blood fountain.
“What’re you doing?”
“You want me,” says Eames, almost to himself, his voice hushed. He sniffs at Arthur’s neck, his nose only a foot away. “You actually do. A Grimm wants a Blutbad.”
Arthur swallows dryly, but doesn’t let his knife waver with the movement.
“You want to fuck me. You want to get fucked by me.” Eames never sounds gleeful, but yet his eyes are light, his mouth curling up. “I’d say you even want your arse knotted again.”
Right then, every speck of adrenaline coursing through Arthur’s body easily turns into desire, his body lighting up with it, his heart almost shuddering in his chest. Even if Eames couldn’t smell it on him, Arthur’s cock is hard and nudging at Eames.
“Hit the nail on the head, have I?” Eames drops his head closer, completely ignoring the inherent threat of Arthur’s knife, now. He retracts his claws completely, brushing a thumb over Arthur’s adam’s apple, gentle and promising. Arthur is slower to drop his knife but his arm is getting tired being flexed this whole time, and Eames has never been one to hold-off on murder. If he truly wanted Arthur dead, Arthur would know. “Yes, I think I have.” Eames grinds down, once, letting Arthur feel that his want is completely reciprocated.
“This is what we’re going to do.” Arthur takes a deep breath. “You’re going to come to my room and we’re going to figure this out. We can work together again.”
As if he hasn’t heard, Eames presses his nose into Arthur’s hairline, breathing deeply and ruffling Arthur’s hair on his exhale. “Do you know how long I’d wanted to knot you, before that night?”
Eames’ breath is hot against Arthur's forehead, and Arthur clenches the hand not holding a knife, trying to get a handle on himself. He shakes his head briefly.
“I’d imagined it before, of course. Filling you up completely, pouring myself so deeply into you that you couldn’t get me out even if you tried. I knew you’d be so hot, and tight, and that you’d finally go pliant when I plugged you up. I was right, too, wasn’t I? You squirmed a little, but you did so good, even though I know it must have stung.”
“Eames – ” Surging upwards, Arthur fists one hand in Eames’ hair and tugs him down, kissing him with no other thoughts but shutting him up. With Eames following Arthur’s lead, it’s easy to flip Eames onto his back and grind down, to feel his thick cock trying to fight its way up.
Arthur goes at Eames’ neck, licking and sucking at Eames’ pulse and running his fingers through Eames’ hair, rubbing at his scalp.
“Don’t wanna wait,” admits Eames roughly into the air between them, palming Arthur’s ass and gripping tight. “‘s been three bloody months and I want in you now.”
“No, no,” says Arthur, pulling back a little only for Eames to rein him back in with a hand at Arthur’s back. “We can’t, not here.”
“Why not?” Eames nips at Arthur’s lips, letting his eyes go golden, the wolf peering out at Arthur intensely. Nodding to Arthur’s briefcase, Eames says, “I know you’re prepared. My little boy scout.”
With a burst of strength, Arthur pins Eames’ hands to the linoleum floor, forcing him to listen. “If we're going to – knot, is this really the best place?”
For a moment there’s complete silence. Then Eames groans, scrunching his eyes up in something like pain. “All right, fuck.” Then, urgently, “Up we go.”
When they stumble to their feet together, Eames gets Arthur against the wall, rutting once at his back, the pressure and friction only making him thicken further. Arthur shoots out a hand that slaps against the wall, a moan stuttering out of him. Putting his mouth at Arthur’s ear and sliding his hands down Arthur’s stomach, Eames says, “Had no idea you needed it that bad. No idea a Grimm would need his arse stretched out.”
Arthur snarls, more animal-like than Eames for a moment. “My name’s still Arthur, not ‘Grimm’.”
“Let’s argue in your room, hmm?” says Eames, as if it were his idea all along. Then he squeezes Arthur’s cock, a promise to be fulfilled.
A very uncomfortable five-minute walk later and they are tumbling into Arthur’s hotel room, shedding clothes like there’s a countdown they have to beat. Neither of them have changed much in the three months they’ve avoided each other: Eames has no new scars or healing patches of skin, and even Arthur’s hair is the same length. Yet everything of substance is different, what little patience and sanity they once had between them sucked out of the room, leaving behind a vacuum of searing want.
They spend only a few seconds confirming that the other is still clean. It's almost silly to ask, their jobs requiring so much work with needles that most everyone tests themselves monthly at the least.
Eames pushes Arthur's briefcase off the bedspread where it tumbles onto the floor, bouncing slightly on the carpet.
“Presumptuous,” Arthur chides, thinking of the condoms and lube inside of it.
“Please.” Eames strips off his trousers. Of course he came to the meeting with no boxers on, of course. Eames continues, “As if you want anything else.”
“Well, idiot, you just pushed the lube out of bed.” Shoving unkindly at Eames to get more room for himself, Arthur kicks off his pants, balling them up and throwing them over the side of the bed.
“And I'm the presumptuous one?” Eames lifts an eyebrow, mocking as he ducks off the bed to get the lube. Arthur shrugs. He never claimed to not be a hypocrite.
Before joining Arthur again, Eames flicks his eyes on the scene before him. When Arthur came into the room he put his knives on the bedside table, handles spun carefully to the perfect angle for grabbing. Now Eames' eyes are tracking the distance from them to Arthur, and Arthur can almost see Eames' thoughts like a movie playing in his eyes.
“Worried?” Arthur asks, shifting his weight to discretely ready himself to fight.
Eames’ face flickers, his mask dropping and the Blutbad coming to the surface, rippling under Eames’ humanity. Throwing a packet of lube at Arthur first, Eames dives onto the bed.
Going for the knives is second nature, and Arthur has their cold handles in his hand a split-second before Eames tackles him. Arthur barely realizes he isn't being attacked before it's too late, and he pulls his defensive slash at Eames at the last second. When he nips hard at Arthur's neck, Eames' teeth are still blunt and human.
“Drop them,” Eames says, pulling back to curl a hand around Arthur's fist, beginning to pry one knife out of it.
Shocked at the disappointment he feels at not being bitten, really bitten, Arthur lets the knives fall to the bedspread. Being bitten by a Blutbad is nothing enviable or sexy. Last month Arthur helped heal a hunter who'd had a run-in by pressing medicine into her thigh where a hunk of flesh was missing, skin and muscle and fat just gone. That Eames can do that, that he has weapons lingering under his skin – it's not exciting, Arthur tells himself.
“Alright,” replies Arthur belatedly, eyes glassy.
Nuzzling at Arthur's neck and sniffing behind his ear, Eames ignores him.
“What're you doing?”
“You've always smelled,” Eames replies distractedly, nosing again at Arthur's hair line for the umpteenth time, running a hand down the sparse hair below Arthur's belly button and taking Arthur's cock in hand.
“I do – ,” Arthur's voice hitches when Eames strokes just right, thumbing at the crown of Arthur's cock. “shower.”
“And I didn't say you smelled bad.” Pulling back, Eames looks down. The bead of precome on his finger is just enough lube for him to work into Arthur. At the breach, Arthur stretches upwards, raking his nails over the shifting muscles of Eames' back and giving Eames a different kind of burn. To ease the way, Eames pushes Arthur's leg back and slips two fingers in, pushing and kneading, keeping his eyes on Arthur’s at all times.
A Blutbad's eyes are strange and changeable, often very different from their human selves. Eames' seem to be gold, a bright hue completely divorced from his normal dark grey. Arthur bites at his own lip when Eames' eyes flicker between the two colors, as if Eames can't decide what side to show Arthur, as if he’s fighting to keep control. When Arthur sees that, he moans.
“There we go,” says Eames, curving his fingers and panting like he’s the one with his endurance being tested and not Arthur. “My pretty little Grimm, ready for a fucking.”
“Fuck you,” says Arthur, eyes wild. He bucks, accidentally forcing Eames’ fingers out. In a flash Eames is smothering him, holding Arthur’s wrists in one hand and snarling at Arthur’s throat, eyes glowing golden once more. His canines are out, the only two of his teeth that aren’t made for serrating and tearing but rather sliding into flesh, and Eames cocks his furred head at Arthur as if to ask whether Arthur wants to push his luck.
Rather than going for his knives again, Arthur holds Eames' gaze, trying to hurry him along with that alone. But then Eames is shoving at Arthur, trying to get him on his stomach. Arthur's patience snaps. Breaking Eames’ hold is simple but toppling them over proves impossible; Eames is already settled on top.
Refusing to accept defeat, Arthur kicks out when Eames gets him on his stomach, pushing Arthur into the bed with his full weight. Claws scratch over Arthur’s back, almost breaking skin, and rough growling fills the room.
The almost-bite comes at Arthur’s neck, Eames’ two canines like warning taps on Arthur’s skin – Arthur kicks out again, connecting with Eames’ shin.
It’s exquisite when Eames makes good on his threat and slides his canines into the first few layers of Arthur’s flesh, until Arthur can feel the edges of Eames’ ragged, less-kind teeth. The pain is barely-there and the blood negligible but everything becomes heightened in a matter of moments, as if a simple bite has taken Arthur to places and senses unknown. The scratch of Eames' side burns, not hair but fur, bring Arthur back to the reality of the situation: he’s in deep and unable to throw off a Wesen's hold. It makes him briefly frantic.
“Don’t fight, don’t fight,” says Eames thickly into Arthur’s nape, claws following his teeth back into his body, his growls dying in his chest. His voice almost sounds – soft isn't the right word, but like Eames is telling Arthur this for both their sakes, not just his own.
Arthur wants this, he does. He doesn’t even know why he fought, when he’s wanted this for months, doubly so ever since he realized just what Eames was, just what Eames had done to him. Trying to bring his body in line with his wants, Arthur lets Eames grab his hips and pull him up.
When his family finds out about Eames – finds out that Arthur knows a Blutbad and hasn’t killed him yet – Arthur will become the hunted. Right now, though, there’s a need cresting inside Arthur, making him spread his legs on the bed, making him look over his shoulder to see Eames, who looks completely human and is fisting his cock.
“Yeah,” says Arthur, bereft of any other words, talking just to talk.
“Get down.” Eames places a hand at Arthur’s neck and pushes.
Arthur goes into the pillow willingly, closing his eyes and holding. Behind him, Eames is lining up, careful and slow as he always is. This part is almost the same as always, save that Arthur can feel the pinpoint pricks of Eames’ claws coming out again, gripping the back of his neck and reminding him to stay.
Even with the lube a burn kindles where Eames works his way in, Arthur's muscles not completely stretched quite yet from the quick prep beforehand. The first time they did this was a few years ago when Cobb was still mostly sane, and Arthur remembers the exact stretch of Eames that afternoon, how he'd known it was a bad idea but still gone through with it. The exact same feeling fills him now, a tinge of regret. Like before, Eames pushes it out of him.
Seated deep in Arthur, Eames groans once. They fuck quick and hard, Eames driving into Arthur harshly enough that Arthur’s skin ripples slightly at every thrust. It feels amazing, and Arthur knows from experience that Eames can go forever, driving Arthur from sensitivity to numbness back to sensitivity. Unable to keep his voice in, Arthur keens once.
“Fuck,” says Eames, the word bitten off and garbled like he’s speaking through teeth that weren’t meant to be spoken through. Eames stops above Arthur, stuck deep and panting into Arthur’s nape.
Arthur turns his head to the side on the pillow, dazed. “Eames?”
Eames bites lazily at Arthur’s neck.
“Eames, that was literally a minute.” Rolling his hips, Arthur feels the knot, the warmth of Eames’ come flooding his belly and finding its way inside of him. He flushes, knowing he’s stuck.
Hushing Arthur with a hiss-like exhale, Eames rubs his cheek on Arthur’s back. It is furred, its golden and brown hairs sticking in Arthur’s sweat and tickling his skin.
“Eames?” asks Arthur again, more tentative. He puts a hand behind him, feeling for Eames’ hair. The contact with Eames’ mouth comes as a shock, Eames’ teeth sharp and hot against the pads of Arthur’s fingers. Eames takes Arthur’s fingers into his mouth, not biting but licking around Arthur’s skin. If Eames exerted any pressure at all, Arthur would be missing a few digits. A part of Arthur screams at him to pull his fingers out, to grab his knives and hidden gun and get away no matter what. One rut against the bed helps to silence that part of him, and Arthur presses his still-hard cock into the cotton below.
The movement tugs on Eames’ knot, and Eames growls around Arthur’s fingers. Arthur goes rigid under him.
Slowly, Arthur feels Eames’ cheek turn smooth and soft on his back, Eames’ teeth changing to human.
“You back?” asks Arthur sardonically, pulling his hand away and slapping it on the pillow next to his head. He’s desperate to come.
“I never left.” Eames thrusts once more, surprising a moan out of Arthur. They are so close that it’s nothing but a press of skin on skin. “I should have told you.”
“This is how we’re supposed to knot.” Eames’ sounds slightly out-of-it, nosing at Arthur’s spine, never completely still for a moment. “Last time wasn’t right.”
“What, you come and I don’t?” prods Arthur, moving his hips, but an inch is as far as he gets before Eames’ hands grip Arthur’s ass and push down.
“No,” says Eames forcefully. “You’ll come.”
“When?” Arthur begins to sneak a hand under his body. Eames catches it.
“When I fuck you the second time.” The words are pressed into Arthur’s neck and tingling at his ears, the implication of what Eames is saying slow to come to Arthur’s lust-addled brain, but eventually it breaks through.
“Fuck.” Arthur pants once into the pillow. “Fuck.”
“Want to move onto your side?” asks Eames in uncharacteristic thoughtfulness. Arthur can’t even be bothered to get ticked off about Eames’ smug tone. Flexing his hand again, Arthur notes Eames’ strength restraining him. Focusing on his back, Arthur feels Eames’ body covering him, pinning him to the bed.
“No.” Arthur thinks he feels Eames’ smile against his neck, but Arthur can’t be sure.
Over the next fifteen minutes Arthur’s breaths start to even out, his former desperation turned to a roiling buzz in his stomach. Above him, Eames continues his strange pilgrimage across Arthur’s body, never spending too long on one area. He licks at Arthur’s back, bites at Arthur’s muscles, and sniffs when he’s done, as if confirming that his secret alchemy has truly changed Arthur. For one lick his tongue is smooth and human, for the next harsh and new. Occasionally Arthur feels fur against his back, Eames switching non-stop, everything but his cock changing.
Breathing wetly into the pillow, Arthur flexes his ass gently. He can feel the heaviness there, where they are still joined, but he doesn’t feel anything running out of himself. He tries to put a finger back to check but Eames won’t have it. Arthur buries his face back in the pillow.
“You ready?” comes Eames’ voice minutes later, stirring Arthur from his daze, to which Arthur nods.
Eames pulls out a little early. Arthur knows because he feels the wide knob at the base of Eames’ dick slide out of himself, stretching Arthur wide.
“Oh,” says Arthur, voice hitching. Come starts running down his thighs, wet and hot on the backs of them, pooling at where his knees are bent on the bed.
“Apologies,” returns Eames, short. He fucks any response out of Arthur, slow and long strokes that are in direct contrast to earlier, oversensitizing Arthur all at once and making him writhe, wanting the hard thrusts again. He starts to say Eames’ name in complaint, but then Eames runs a hand down Arthur’s soaked thigh, gathering his own come in his hand and rubbing it over Arthur’s stomach and down to Arthur’s cock.
“This is how it’s supposed to be,” hushes Eames into Arthur’s ear. “I come inside of you and you hold it for me, being good and not moving even though you want to. And then I fuck you again, like this.” Eames slides all the way into Arthur, bottoming out, holding deep. “Slow, relaxing you, opening you up so you can take it. Because you haven’t really been knotted yet, Arthur. The second time is the true knotting, when you’re tired and waiting for me. You think you’ve taken all I can give you, but you haven’t taken half.”
Shaking and riding the line, Arthur bites at his own forearm, trying not to moan loudly.
From above Eames laughs. “I heard that. I hear everything.”
“Ass,” Arthur whispers into the sheets, smiling even though he knows he’s about to come if Eames keeps fucking him like that, strong and implacable.
“I just wanted to tell you all that now,” continues Eames, snapping his hips against Arthur’s. “Won’t be able to talk soon.”
At that Arthur doesn’t even try to hold back his moan. It’s loud and open, echoing off the walls of the room. When Eames hears it, he finally fucks Arthur like Arthur wants, forcing Arthur up the bed, wrapping a controlling hand around Arthur’s neck.
Then Eames is leaning over him, making his thrusts shorter but no less hard, and Arthur comes with Eames’ clawed hand wrapped around his dick, gasping out with such force that he almost thinks his lungs are trying to escape his body. A few thrusts later Eames follows, his forearms dropping to bracket the back of Arthur’s head on the pillow, his nose pushing into Arthur’s hair, where Eames growls, subvocal.
Arthur focuses on just breathing. The knot is growing inside of him and Arthur can vaguely feel things being pushed around, a heaviness growing in his gut, a very certain kind of fullness that he’s never experienced before.
A gentle bite at his ear is Eames’ only response, his sharp teeth grazing cartilage.
"Hey," says Arthur. There’s no response – which makes sense once Arthur puts a hand behind him to feel at Eames’ face, parts of it furred like a thick pelt.
Heart thudding in his chest, Arthur lets Eames maneuver them to their sides and huffs out when Eames flings a leg over him. The bed is soaked in Eames’ come from the first time he pulled out, wet and messy, and Arthur despairs to think of just how much Eames has filled him this time, how he’ll be leaking Eames for hours.
Arthur's world has always been somewhat cruel, a cosmic joke that Arthur can laugh at now knowing he comes from a line of hunters and murderers and people who generally deserved it. Tomorrow he'll worry about what to do about Eames and the other Wesen he meets; tomorrow he'll worry about his own family coming after him. For today, all Arthur does is sleep.