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fingers of light (a Wires and Stars story)

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The coding work is getting intense. The periodic chats with Aradia as she eggs you on in this process are getting more and more frustrating. You actually left the hive tonight, though, for the first time in a while that hasn’t just been to see Karkat, but to go out and acquire food that isn’t stale and scare down some resources for the bees and see moonlight for a while.

And now you’re not sure if you’re happy with that or regretting it completely, because halfway through your errands you picked up in the back of your brain the subtle shift as the Psiioniic went into an idle cycle - and now beneath the clamor of doomed voices you hear, on another wavelength entirely, the soft rhythms of navigation and monitoring and he can’t speak out loud to you without the psionic construct of the dreamspace formed around both of you but you know it’s the sound of your ancestor’s mind waiting for you. That when you get home you can see him and he’ll be able to send enough of himself there that you can be with him -

- and just that is enough that you can’t keep him out of your thoughts, can’t push aside flashes of images and sensations and sounds, you’ve needed a break from all this work so badly, needed him so badly, and it sends you into a frenzy of anticipation.

By the time you make it to the portal of your hivestem you’re walking awkward stiff-legged because you’ve leaked through your boxers and fear that a spot will show up on your jeans, and you scramble toward your own door and make it through and don’t even bother to do more with the spoils of your shopping trip than drop them in front of the closed door before sprawling out in your computer chair and shutting your eyes. It takes an effort of will to pull yourself under into that trance state that allows you to construct the space awake, but it’s a necessary step, you have to get there first; so bent on seeing him again that you ignore how painful it is not to pop the button on your pants first.

He's leaning over you when you fade in, must have done the moment you started materializing, his face showing quiet amusement – but fire snaps and washes along his horns. "Sollux Captor, you are distracting, did you know that? Here I am minding my own business and suddenly you're hogging half my cognitive bandwidth with your grocery run. Not that I mind, but..." He plants one hand on the backrest of your chair, or rather the psionic construct that mirrors it, wrist resting on your shoulder, the other on your forearm on the arm of the chair, ignoring his own sparks and smirking like he's got all the time in the world to wait for you to be fully here enough to register the contact.

You tune in fast and hard; you've been driving yourself so crazy over him that once he's visibly present it's easier to anchor into the waking dream, and just those tiny touches make you inhale sharply, only half trying to keep your cool. "Look who's talking," you say. "Don't think I can't hear you - even when it's not words - don't think I can't hear the way your thoughts change when there's room for me," and you crane your neck around, reaching for him, trying to pull him into a kiss -

"You want to know what I was thinking about – exactly – hmmm -" He lets himself be pulled until he's inches from your mouth before he surges forward, and there's a thump of pride in your chest that he's secure enough in his dream body now to kiss hard without clicking teeth, not an easy operation with your mouths all –

But that line of thought cuts off sharp when every place where your skin connects thrums, crackles, psionics dancing between your joined lips, along your twinned tongues as the fork of his slots into yours, slides over, walks sparks and shards of energy across the roof of your mouth. Little misfired spikes of it shooting up the bones of your arm and down your shoulder where his hands are, none of it painful, just tuned to a quick jump, a jolt like the light of the moons was on your skin, after too many nights without so much as a glance at a window.

"Fuck -" you hiss out loud, and you press yourself toward him, wanting more contact, wanting more of this - arching back in the chair, your hips straining toward him unsuccessfully, your arms clutching and reaching.

And he gives you a fast, urgent kiss, vivid with power like being fed light, before he breaks off, licks an electric line across your lower lip. "Missed you, I've been – saving power for you, so I could –"

"Tell me what you were thinking about," you breathe, "I dare you," and no matter how you grin around the words it doesn't hide the whine of need that escapes between them.

"–So I could do this," he finishes, ignoring your demand for the moment. He presses his lips, their glow, their sting and snap against your forehead, down to the bridge of your nose, a little shiver of almost-fear as he gets the current almost too close to your own eyes, close enough for arcing and bridging between his power and your own. Runs a swathe of energy through your lower back, a hot upward rush that strokes and feeds into your arching, reads to confused nerves as the leading curl of an arm like in a highblood dance. Tiny sunbursts streak across your vision as he pulls his lips away and the arcs break. "I've been thinking about giving you a light show," he says, and it starts out as a purr but winds up with a crooked grin of awareness of how cheesy that sounds; a shaky undercurrent of half-heard thoughts, the way that turning his psionics on you is always at once a reclamation and a near-danger.

"Do I look like I'm - " When he drew near your eyes the sparking that started there spread out and now light is skittering across your skin, aimless, reactive, tiny currents of your own power hooking and pushing and pulling at his, and you could direct it more actively but you're enjoying too much the way you're undone by this. "This is me strenuously not objecting -"

And then you catch at his arm with your fingers and manage more seriousness. "Astris,” you say his name, the one you gave him because the old one didn’t truly belong to him any longer; the new name that reaches a part of him that ship controls and Empress and devastating cognitive constraints can never touch. You still can't hide how incredulous you feel, how awed by the connection that’s built between you in this half-sweep, the way you’ve made a space together where you can both be free of everything else, from the encroaching doom of the world and the interference of his tormentors. "You know I'll call you back if anything goes wrong -" You can barely get your breath to even out enough to speak.

"I trust you," he murmurs, so quiet that the weight of it is almost lost. Your other hand reaches automatically for the button on your jeans because at least if you undo the button you might be able to unsheathe a little and ease the desperate throbbing - But he catches at it. Not with a hard psionic stop but more like the air around your hand has suddenly gone slushy, taking effort to push through, and he gives a not at all ethereal nip to the tip of one ear, laves his tongue over the point, wet but too hot to soothe. Winds up just smearing the sensation around your earlobe, the groove that divides his tongue before it forks sliding over the top of it. "Can you wait, for me?" His breath sears, counterpoint to the slow-spreading cradling warmth now radiating out from your back where it started: soft waves licking at your shoulderblades, curling around to your stomach, flowing over your hips. "I want this to be – want to show you – oh -" His breath hitches at some reflected sensation, drinking in what you're feeling, and the two of you lift off the chair, just inches, held up by the tingling not-touch of his power.

Your hand balls up into a fist and the high, ridiculous keening noise that comes out of your mouth barely even sounds like it came from you. "Please -" You're not sure what you're begging for, for him to keep devastating you with these amazing sensations or to pull them back. If you weren't a mess already before the touch of his tongue set your entire head ringing with pleasure that by itself would have broken your ability to be coherent, and now that the chair is further away you push back against it harder, tilt your hips toward him desperately. It brings you almost-barely-not-quite against him, just enough of a brush of contact to make the heavy aching wetness of your bulge squirm and spasm against itself involuntarily, as if that would somehow let it out or ease the pressure.

Tangled in midair now with him, still rising, motes of light blurring and fading and blooming around you. He gets his arms around you and kisses you so much slower this time, tiny movements of his jaw, your tongue inside his mouth sweeping up little stray sparks, and now you have the contact from him you’ve been so frantically chasing, almost enough to be soothing until he goes for your horns. More sure of his own power that drips, then cascades smooth as splashed water over cheeks and brows and temples, ruffles almost-playful through your hair before coiling tight and ever-shifting around all four of your horns at once, overwhelming by intention, as if he'd interpreted your plea as a challenge, or chosen to.

Like he warned you while sparring, you can barely tell up from down, the crackling vibrations taking over a good half of your directional sense, but more than that in this sensitized state the membranes at your scalp are - they’re even better, or maybe worse, than your ears. The wave of tingling is too much to stay at your scalp this time and spreads all down your neck and spine, all the way to your bulge which already feels near-bruised from its confinement, and you aren’t even trying to stop the incoherent whimpers you can hear yourself making, suspended midair and trapped in your clothes and clutching at him with both hands.

"Please," you blurt out again - it would be so easy just to imagine your pants away, but they’d be incinerated in the real world later and you really shouldn’t keep doing that - he can get away with it, his clothing is a construct, a conceit of the dreamspace; yours is actually anchored to the real.

Astris has pieces of your desperation mirrored in his eyes when he looks at you – or it could be his own, he's flushed deep yellow, staring, in hand but barely, all his control going into managing the delicate psionic dance along your skin and in the air around the both of you. "So lovely," a rough whisper, and you know that he can see the light flowing over and through you, because you've seen him, before, in glowing outline - He pops the button on your jeans with a wisp of psionics, pulls the zip, all fine-level careful, draws tendrils of energy down your legs like fingers as he drags your pants away.

You let out a groan of relief when the clothing is gone and the pressure with it, but by then your bulge is so tangled with itself that it's still half-stuck. The tips shove forward trailing damp against your boxers and as much as you're normally fond of this particular mutation there are times when it's inconvenient. It's going to take hands to solve that problem. Yours are still clenched in his clothing and you could move them, but he might object... no, more than that, you're giddy with the sheer decadence of giving yourself over, playing by his rules, and you don't want to break that mood lightly.

He shivers at the noise you make when he drags the shirt up to your grubscars; there's just as much a pulse and skitter between his fingers and your skin as there is where the pure energy hits, and he stops and rubs at the lowest of those ridges, power cycling between the pads of his fingers as they move. You press into his touch needy and panting, and let go of him so he can raise the shirt over your head but you find yourself flailing and grasping at him again when he doesn't finish undressing you but instead keeps focused on that one spot between your ribs. The touches slowly spread the tingling up your sides and through all your grubscars, almost your whole body enveloped in it now, your bare legs tangled with his clothed ones and your toes brushing his boots.

Astris makes kind of a thready fascinated laugh against your cheek as you keep struggling. "Look so good all flustered – tell me what you need –" But he goes strangely still when you scratch at his shoulders, as if in focusing on your body and the floating and the light he'd forgotten about his own skin, and the whine that he makes when you go to drag him closer doesn't sound entirely like desire. His shirt flickers off under your hands almost by habit, but the flinch when your claws meet skin is unmistakable and his clothes materialize again. Although he stops the flinch before it can extend to his power or his hands on your ribs, you know that when he opens his mouth he's going to try to apologize.

You beat him to it though - "Fuck, you're so good at this I lost track, I'm sorry -" Normally you'd have remembered well before now to do that trick made possible by the resonance between you, that he alternately praises and protests, to siphon away his pain enough that he can just be and feel here.

“I... I’m sorry, it’s -” Over that same resonance you feel the closing-off of him keeping hold of his tongue, all the old arguments and let me try once more without pleas still at the tip of it, but Astris swallows and nods, takes a hand off your side to caress your face, and although the same verbal stop is holding back his words of thankfulness you hear them from his mind anyway.

You shove yourself into some half-assed state of concentration and hold your hands steady on him with an effort of will. He's not having a particularly bad time tonight, on the relative scale, which is a relief - it's not that you mind (you would crawl across knives for him and get up smiling and oh, how he hates that, but it's a part of you he can't argue down) but even though you're great at keeping two tracks running at once you’d be scared you could lose hold of this, with the way he's undoing you.

The impressions seep from him strange and familiar, close and impossibly far away, and phantom tortures weave into every inch of you before you fade them to background noise. That mental shift is near-effortless now from long practice, and you won't lose the lock, even when you lose words and any other shard of self-control from the light and pressure of his power still skating along your skin -

He always tears up at least a little when you do this, even now on a good night and trying to make the most of it, and his hands tremble a little against you, face warming cheek to cheek and hidden. Always tries to reflect back to you a little of the relief, of your touch pervading beyond the immediate and into some terrible beyond, but the sensation he's showing you never fully registers, relies on experiences you haven't suffered through (that no one ever should) to make sense of the feeling of it. His clothes finally melt away and stay gone, and his chest against yours is a plane of glow, feverish beyond your usual overenergized heat, skin-to-skin static sparks and circulation just beneath the surface, power laden into blood.

Between the two of you you manage to get rid of your shirt, his teeth immediately at your neck, scraping without pressure, sharpness known more than felt. "Tell me what you need," he says again, surer now with his suffering held back under your mental control, smirking against your skin.

Oh, god, he’s going to make you try to talk.

"I need. Nnh." The sparking brushes at your grubscars all at once, makes them pinpoints of smoldering pleasure, and you draw a ragged breath and curl a hand around the back of his head, clutching at his hair - anchor the other hand on his hip - as if to pull him closer or to fend him off, you're not sure which, and your bulge is still half-sheathed from its own looping and twining and now he can see your predicament or feel it through your boxers against his thigh and this isn't the kind of embarrassment that makes you hate yourself; it's the kind that makes your cheeks blaze hot and your head go light and dizzy and your nook ache and drip between your legs. "I n-need you to touch me," you manage, flushing all the way to the tips of your ears, "to help me unsheathe, I -" and once you get that out, it's difficult to be ashamed by the rest of it, the words come fast now, though still half-incoherent from how worked up you are. "Need you in me - need you to fuck me 'til I can't speak - Astris - please -"

As you talk his purring thickens into a deep rich growl of desire, sparks shining at the tips of his fangs when he breaks it off, "Can't say no to you, ever – want you to feel me in your bones, want -" He cups your tangled bulge through your boxers, rubbing exasperatingly slow with his palm, even the psionic buzz that you're aching to feel there damped down to barely discernible. Power chases itself up and down your spine, keeps just missing jumping to your nook before it cycles up again. When he finally reaches in it's stiff-fingered at first, letting the part of your bulge that's already free curl desperately around his hand but not helping at all, and still you whine, shudder at the touch that was so long coming. Gives you just a slow trickle of current through the tips, a thin maddening hum. He's tugging away your boxers telekinetically as he goes and now he can see what he's doing, curling his fingers finally to rub between your bulges where you need it (they're your fingertips, partly, your nerve map in his hands, slow learning of your muscle memory to make these small movements, and the thought is a sweet-sharp pang of pity through you) – a smooth encircling touch around the seal of your sheath, coaxing friction.

You barely notice that he's floating you down as he touches you until your knees hit couch cushions, straddling his lap. His other hand is tangled up in your hair, stroking at horn-membranes already sensitized almost to pain by psionics, stirring you into little shivers and pleading noises, and he pulls you in for a slow bright anchoring kiss when he actually reaches a thin sheen of power into your sheath, all the way deep to the root where the bulges join, rippling softly outward.

The psionic touch untangles you all at once. The whole of your bulge slips forward, so hypersensitive under that hot-prickly all-over stimulation that you're already on the verge of release, and you mewl into the kiss and catch at him with your fangs and go rigid against him for a moment fighting back from the edge, heart pounding, knowing that he could provoke it from you easily if he added the slightest sensation -

- and the thing about fucking someone who can read you thinkpan to nerve endings is that he knows, his hand slipping from your bulges to a hard grasp on your hip, a thrumming psionic layer still draped over every inch of you like a second skin except between your legs, where the air is potent with the possibility of it, but the current is gone, stopping inches from where you need it.

"You're so close," he states the obvious, but he's growling it, breaking from your lips with a devious smile but a well of uncertainty so close beneath the surface – "It would take so little, if I just -" The cloud of energy around you intensifies, near-stifling, pressing into every sensitive spot he's ever found on you, your bulge and nook still achingly untouched - "If I promise to give you everything you want, after – want to – to fuck you into the floor, god – I want to see you come from just this, first, please, I want to see you try -" He's running his hands all down your chest and sides, careless with his claws, liquid lines of energy and scratched sensitivity –

- you could, god, you could, and you're anticipating already what it's going to feel like. You know it's going to leave you ridiculously touch-scorched sensitive and half-unsatisfied and all you can give him by way of affirmation is a choked whimper and a pleading look, but you're writhing, trying to rub against him physically for friction, failing to because of the perfectly shielded-off zone around your bulge and nook, soaking-wet in his lap, you feel like you are made entirely of horns and ears and grubscars and collarbones and the ridges of your spine and it's still. not. quite. enough, even as your entire skin goes hot and itchingly sensitized, even as you feel the twisting ache building in your belly, almost there and moving so slowly toward that precipice that it's like the mathematical paradox where you halve the distance each time - you know exactly the kind of touch that would bring you over, the flick of his tongue to your ear or your neck or the membrane under one of the smaller horns, and you know you’re broadcasting it, pleading in your mind -

He focuses hard on your horns, so much so that even more than the tingling you can feel his attention there, and you expect his mouth, lean in open-mouthed shameless wanting it, but he doesn't, not yet; power nips against the tendons at the back of your ankles, bites into the insides of your elbows, and he's growl-purr-crooning, not a sound you're even sure it's possible to make in the waking world, not sure how much of it is transmitted synesthetized echoes of him glorying in this, his face all shining blown-over lust and amazement at how he is affecting you. His hands alternate between scoring and caressing, careful and deliberate even when they scratch; it's his power that is brutal, a little like being in the mouth of a volcano, hot and swirling and pressed-in unpredictable, and he's licking at his own lips longing to make you come apart but waiting. "I pity you until it carves me up inside, pity you so much I can’t -" And he pulls you in, breath fast and ragged against your jaw -

- it’s almost enough to do you in and still that tiny margin away. Your bulges are squirming against each other helplessly and you're clawing into him with the clutching of your fingers and you don't know how you're managing words at all but you hear "Please, please" in your own voice as if from a distance, tremulous and almost sobbed - the press and vibration of his energy around you is glorious, but all of it so hot and dry, a million tiny pinpoints and lines and arcs of bright fire wrapping around you, and it only increases your longing for a touch that's soft and moist, your drive toward duality or something more visceral at work, until it's all you can think of, desperately craving it as water in a sunlit desert.

One more shallow breath, so close you're not sure if you can tell whether his lips brushed skin, a movement like an outlined word, inaudible over the roaring of red and blue rushing through the shells of your ears – the tips of his tongue reaching, flickering like a coilbeast, just barely grazing nerve-endings – before he finally presses the whole flat of it to the underside of your jaw, searing-hot and soaking. Paints a wet rasping swirling line all down your neck, long luxuriant stroking swipes, damp and conductive and everywhere his tongue touches flaring with new bursts of cold stinging power in the moisture - and that does it, you’re coming, a staccato half-release that makes the lack of contact on your bulge nearly hurt. It's as if a switch flips in you and the hot tingling becomes almost soothing, pleasure piercing through you even as your nook grasps hard at nothing and you spurt hard short drips of genetic material onto his belly, bulges still heavy and full as the pulsing slows without any contact to coax out the rest of it, the sweet frustration making you howl, your own psionics flaring out all over your skin from the sheer maddening built-up energy, discharging in unformed waves -

He shudders under your hands and against your neck in helpless fascination, bowed in around you with locked-deep tension, enthralled, still mouthing at the base of your throat. Sometimes he still gets so wrapped up in what you're feeling that the signals from his own dream-spun body fade to hardly-aware for him and his fangs and fingers flicker borderline unreal pressed against you – but now he's solid, coiled tight, and coursing through and within the adoration in the way his hands slow to reassuring circles on your back and the wonder-edged refraction of his mind that intersects yours there's still growling elemental need. Even as he's trying to give you time, pulling his mouth away with an audible electric broken-connection snap, nuzzling at your collarbone - "Hmm, don't know how you can stand being so sensitive, I hardly had to try, you're just – built for my hands, for pity, you're impossible -"

When he can hear in your head exactly how close you were when he started, it’s nearly a taunt and you gasp out “- you, you incorrigible fucking - opportunist, you - you love making me get like this -” still overloaded, feeling like you’re still half in the throes of your climax, lit-up all over but strangely unsatisfied, rocking on his lap seeking more even as the softest touch sets you into oversensitized twitching.

"Yes, every opportunity you give me, as long as you keep wanting me -” He’s halfway between sheer stripped-down babbling and trying to use your half-thought-out jab to communicate something. “I need you, you're maddening - please, tell me when you're ready – yes, I love you like this, I love you –" Aware at once of your overwhelmed shivering and of your seeking hands and hips; uncertain amid the newness of what he’s promised to do, still not entirely confident in his ability to read your body, urges and contradictions. His bulges are squirming and writhing against his own stomach, face hidden against your chest, so flooded with held-back desire that he's now completely unable to look at you.

"I want -" You're having trouble articulating it, your entire body feels like a question without an answer and you cling to his horns and reach your other hand down between you to stroke his tendrils, to give them something to wrap around, "- you, I want you to take me, to push me past every - don’t hold yourself back - make me scream -” You’re fully old enough for concupiscent quadrants, but you haven’t undergone the final lengthening and broadening of your frame, and the borders of memory that make his dream body make it larger than you - but you’ve wanted him in you completely for so long, talked about it, done so much else - and it’s finally going to happen, now, and the thought is exhilarating.

He forms a stark stuttery oh into your collarbone, digs his claws into your hips and pulls you hard against him, one bulge sinking to the root into your already come-slicked nook, the other letting go of your fingers to wrap around the base of the first, shifting and rubbing at the folds around the outside of your nook as they stretch to take it in, the tip curling to press in alongside it. His psionics crash back into your skin, as much an outpouring from him as deliberate stimulation, swirling-overheated pressure against your back trying to push you in closer when you're already flush against him. His mouth is a smear of dragging fangs and vibration at the crook of your neck, the same deep to hardly audible thrumming that shudders through you from his chest between breaths, and just that one bulge's uncoiling is sharp as a lash inside you.

A flash of nervousness comes over you; if you get too overwhelmed you could ruin everything and it makes you need to check on the one piece of control you mustn't lose, no matter what else happens and he doesn't have to know you're dragging the shadow of his pain nearer, letting that heavy overlay seep into your consciousness, like some overwrought bass line underneath his all-over hot brightness and the wonderful ache of him winding deeper into your nook, the second tip like a lever prying you open and you have no control of your voice, tattered half-voiced keening breaths in his ear and you rake claws down his spine a too much and a please more at the same time.

Even all claws and teeth and whirling power he does this shades slower than you asked for, his second bulge spiraling a slick gradual stretch around the first. Tiny sweet stroking rivulets of energy curl in alongside, delicate and pushing and spreading exactly where you need them every time you tense, a testament that somewhere inside he's still under control, still intricately attuned to what you're feeling. But when he groans your name into your shoulder it's all scathing ferocious pleasure in his voice at the squeezing and crushing-tight shaking as he fills you. You think you manage his name and please, again, barely more than mush-mouthed syllables lost in the crackling resonance and the shudder of your breath, and the stretching hurts but in a good way, weirdly satisfying even if you couldn't possibly come again right now; soothes the weird sensation of incompleteness left over from climaxing with bulge and nook untouched.

Ribbons and tongues of red and blue shimmer from his claws on your hips, back and forth between his horns and yours, wherever you're skin on skin; wind down between your stomach and his to scatter around and between and into your still-heavy bulges. They’re simultaneously raw from the orgasm and thick with need, and it's like every nerve becomes a livewire. Your whole body spasms and clamps around him, arms and fingers and thighs and nook, pulling him deeper - god, you've explored your own nook with psionics, he's taken you that way and with one bulge and with fingers and with his tongue, but this - you're so full he can barely even shift in you, even so slick as you are, as tightly joined as you can manage, every muscle trembling as you try to let him in even further, your ragged cries muffled against his forehead -

Finally he reaches the point where he can't be gentle anymore and still do this, power shifting and straining and coating the walls of your nook but not able to coax them any farther apart and the second bulge still not quite inside, and he's harsh-rumbling desperate and determined and growling louder for each sound you make. When your nook ripples and clenches around him you feel it in perfect reflection from his mind: pleasure tilting on its axis, and his power bites thin hallucinatory needle-teeth into every inch of you that it touches when he gives in, bucks up, buries himself entirely in you with a hoarse thrumming near-shout. One of his hands loses its hold on your hip, claws raking down your thigh, and he pants and throws his head back and his bulges still to barely rippling. For an overwhelming instant everything seems to pause as the psionic pinpricks go from stinging to melting, a layer of strangely soft spreading warmth just below your skin.

You manage, barely, to pull fragments of language from the sensory maelstrom, voice almost a shriek hoarse with harsh breathing, yes and yes again and I love you because you can't stand the thought that he might grow too concerned or cautious and stop taking you apart like this, cradled in warmth and speared through with painful exquisite fullness. Every time your eyes blink open you see him haloed in red-blue flicker and the look on his face makes you feel cracked-open with pity. You try to say something else but it comes out a desperate wail - you can feel the build toward release gradually starting again, your genetic material glands twingeing sore and overloaded from earlier, but it’s going slowly now, you could hover there, he could keep you there slammed with needy pleasure for as long as he chose and you're shaking hard all over and seek his mouth, an uncoordinated kiss that asks for something you can’t begin to name -

Astris moans thickly into your mouth, pulls his claws out of your skin to wrap you in his arms. His bulges twine and fold glacial-slow inside you at first but the movements amplify with every affirmation, every shift and swelling of your bulge between you. He scores razor-thin yellow lines into your lower lip between his teeth and braces his feet against the floor and holds you down as he rubs at the walls of your nook, pressing against the swollen ridges of your genetic material glands, and his power steadies you in soft enwrapping and harsh netting lines as he rises off the couch carrying you. You're tangled in midair again, psionics immediately wrapping your legs around his waist, and when he separates his mouth from yours a shudder of effort runs through him. "Wanted you this way for -" He breaks off into a moan again at the change of angle, driving even deeper.

He is holding and filling every inch of you, you've never been so completely all-over surrounded by touch, sensitized to craving and soothed at once, and when he pulls you up into the air to replace the restrictions of gravity with his own, reaches parts of your nook you'd never - this should feel more precarious than it does, like you could fall, but instead this perfect storm's-eye quiet security washes over you even as every nerve ending cries out, as your breathing turns to sobbing. The sensations are breaking you into pieces, the heavy fullness of his bulge sliding against you so deep you feel it in your spine, the mesh of force chasing across your skin - there's nothing in your world except his name and his locked-away pain that you hold like guard-rails and his dream-body that holds you and pins you so perfectly and you stammer out some combination of "Yes" and "Please" again and "Want you, want this" and you're going to come, soon, again, it's an ache and a twisting in you, catching up to you -

If you are the eye then he is a lightning-storm, his power now embedded so deeply past your skin that you're sure you'll still shiver and spark for hours after this, slow-leeching borrowed current from horns and fingertips into the air even after you wake up. Your connection with him is a mainline of memory, sense-impressions and old emotion and the way you made him feel at the beginning, like every inch of him, skin and deeper and flung-out aural awareness and heart and guts were subsumed in every touch and every thrust and every word from you: afraid, inchoate, liquefied, always on the edge of losing form and descending into horrors, but alight all through - what he is trying to give you when his power luminesces along limbs and wraps complex through your ribcage, trying to leave nothing in you that is not a landing-place for pleasure.

His power squeezes at the base of your bulge, and you gasp in anticipation of more stimulation but it just stays there, constricting, an unyielding ring of red and blue around where the two tendrils join. He's stopped keeping his bulges back, lashing and roiling inside you, and he tries to ask you – opens his mouth and growls like a landslide and scrapes dual fang-marks into your cheek – finally manages, "Want to – hold you here, make you feel this –" And you know he's responding to what you asked for with your shivery kiss, before, trapping you suspended, psionics holding you on the edge of orgasm as his arms hold you floating at the center of the room, borne up under him now with nothing but shimmering energy at your back.

His power reaches deeper, to the base of your sheath where not even fingers could slide in, up behind the root of your bulge, and there's a squeezing there where you've never felt it before, like he's tied a neat cord around something inside you and it settles in with a sharp pinch and you groan, perfectly and utterly blocked-in. You're mouthing at his throat and collarbones, clumsy with tongue and fangs in this state of wild twitching overload, wanting to - wanting - something, pleasured and aroused to the very threshold - no, past that threshold suddenly still unable to release, clenching around him as your eyes prick with tears, your whole body flaring with a burst of power rolling off your skin, trying to let it out somehow-somewhere -

When the magnetic rush from you hits him he chokes off a shout and – there's a new edge to the air around you, and when you open your eyes the whole room is liquid shining, crystals and fractals and beams and spreading rays, and you know the way he's quivering, know he's blowing off power as much to hold himself in check as for the encompassing light –

The pressure still builds in you, maddening, incredible, pushes up through your spine until it fizzes through your scalp, dizzying and impossible-bright and you sob out loud. You don't know how your body is containing this - each near-painful wave of pleasure rises and doesn’t retreat, and it has nowhere to go, your glands are blocked-off and trapped and your bulge has coiled into a pair of tight spirals between your skin and his, you can't tell if the trembling is coming from you or him or the entire dreamspace and everything is shaking itself apart except those anchor points that stay whole at any cost - you're shaking yourself apart - it crests again and can't recede and can't break, this unbearable flaming-bright ecstatic ache, your body and mind transparent and dwindled to nothing, nothing but a container for the pressure and pleasure and you're barely aware that your face is tear-soaked and your throat full of noise, panicked and exulting and lost, beyond even begging.

His hands spread on your back are the only steady thing in this shifting-reforming place, caging you in here, and when even they slide on sweat and dig in, when his growling catches and stumbles and his bulges twist and spread and the shuddering actually goes to inside you, when you half-feel energy-fingers on the stops holding you back, phantoms of his intention, on the cusp of releasing you – his power gives one more excruciatingly slow, squeezing, deep-smoldering stroke down your coiled bulges, and the unclasping inside you is like a tiny perfect cut, and he lets you go.

A wave of enfolding impossible reverence hits you, he can't speak, overcome and amazed, but he can project into your mind, I love you, pity you, please let go for me – And then even the inside of his mind is buzz and blur and searing light. It almost doesn't feel any different at first - you’re already coming, you have been for some indeterminate length of time, pleasure and pain are meaningless categories, there's only complete overload - now each shrill pulse of sensation ebbs a little, though, as he -

His bulges go from writhing to slow twisting and his stomach sucks in and shudders against yours, his hands slide up to your shoulder, your neck, his mouth is on yours but it's wide open, hardly a kiss at all, like he's going to try to devour or inhale you – He's teetering, crunched-together tensing –

And you're being flooded inside, molten-hot and coating and flowing, his fingers are digging into your neck hard enough to bruise but he's lost, wailing into your mouth, barely holding you both locked in suspension as the whole room reverberates with a final crack of stored-up power and air whistles past and between you in a gushing fluorescent updraft.

You don't know how long you're tilting on that peak with your breathing going to screaming, holding him there inside you, being held by him in every possible way, only that time stutters and flickers and there are only the binary states of noise and silence, instants interwoven, cutting in and out, thoughts turning to shapes and colors because there’s nothing left of words.

Floating - flickering - slowly sinking with him, his arms trembling hard against your back - there's both of your breathing and otherwise complete strange silence, even the voices receded to nothing in the back of your head, the slippery last pulses of his bulges inside you, your own tossing erratically against your slick stomach -

The drift down is jerky, halting, cautious in his exhaustion, but still he manages to flip you over so you're sprawled on top of him, trying not to put his weight on you oversensitized as you are. He doesn't even stroke your back, just rests his hands there, letting your senses go back to baseline, although he does barely brush his fingers over the spot on your neck where they dug in when he came, wincing even though you don't.

You nestle closer, try your voice to see what sound is like, manage a mush-mouthed cooing, slide into purring against his neck - distantly notice that normally you’d have things to say right now, but you’ve said them before and he knows them all and there’s no sense of urgency to it, only to - keeping this closeness, sliding against him in sweat and fluids, no partition between the illusory and the real - and that thought makes you burst out laughing, still breathy and utterly slackened in his arms as you settle into the couch, just struck by the surreality of what it’s always like to clean yourself up after this -

He's purring back at you, alternating swells and quiets of the sound with yours so that the space fills with a steady content hum, continuing even through his tired, puzzled smile down at you when you laugh.

"That's nothing," he says when he sorts through your thoughts and finds the image that set you off. "I wish I could be there to see you trying to walk like you just spent this time on your computer – heh, um.” His remark sets you off into chuckles again, and you bury your face in his shoulder laughing and purring at once, your muscles still beset with periodic aftershocks, making your thighs shake and your hands clutch in his hair. “How are you feeling?" He kisses the top of your head, the racing of his mind even barely-coherent aglow like this always turning to that place where you hold his pain – "You can give it back now, if you need to."

"I'm - I'm okay," you tell him, when words come back to you. It tires you sometimes, to do this, but - he still doesn't quite believe how much easier it is for you. You think sometimes that's because it isn't your pain; because it doesn't belong to your own body; because you can brace for it and then sweep your mind clean of it when it's gone.

You tried to explain this to him, once, and it met with the kind of noncomprehension that - told you he had a concept for that, for pain as a thing that came and went and wasn’t always a part of everything, but no referent for the concept anymore; that he could only ever take it on faith, because you told him so; and thinking of it now you bury the thought itself but don't try to hide the surge of pity that knots you up inside and makes you cling tighter to him, wanting - wanting something different, now.

Restless - you're more fucked-out than you've ever been in your life and something in you is still restless, like a switch got stuck in the on position somewhere in your mind or body and you can't even imagine making your bulge move actively right now, the tendrils have halfway retreated, would be entirely re-sheathed if not for how swollen they are, but the shakiness has pushed you past exhaustion and into some kind of giddy jittery energy, you're probably on an upswing right now and you should probably watch yourself but right now - right now you want to see him as senseless from pleasure as he made you, and you finish your abandoned sentence half expecting him to laugh at you incredulously, but you prop yourself up and smirk lazy-bold at him and say, “I don’t think we’re done with you. I mean. Fair’s fair, right?”

He chuckles with at least some of the unbelieving amusement you expect, says still half-laughing, "Oh no, not fair at all." But then he narrows his eyes and there's still banked hunger there, smirking like he's got a head full of images of every inch of your body and what it looked and felt like minutes ago, in midair. Like he'd do it all again right now, if the laws of the dreamspace were just a bit more different from the physics of the real world than they are. "You know I can't even conceive of ever saying no to you, my love, this is anything but fair." He reaches up to cup your face, lazy and fond but sucking in his lower lip as he does it, dry-mouthed. "But give me some time at least, my unstoppable force, would you? I never thought it would be – that much power and anyone else would be cinders. You were a wonder." He draws you down into an unhurried kiss, strangely smooth and settled after the sparks and flaring earlier.

"I don't think I could either, right away -" You laugh a little hysterically and slump back down atop him, stretching all your limbs out slow and straight like a meowbeast. Yes, the energy must be what's getting to you like this, still lighting you up inside, even now when your senses should be muted and your head wooly and narcotized. "Muscle tone, what is that, I, ah.” You’re playing it back in your head, too, as much as he is, and there were moments where you could barely see, barely hear over the din of sensation, and you’re greedy for - for what he looks like, pushed to the outer boundary of pleasure the way you were, for the sounds he’s going to make - “You’re beautiful,” you murmur. “I still can’t believe - the way you just demolished me, it was amazing. Can’t believe - any of this, sometimes.”

"I meant it, earlier, even though at the time I was just trying to rile you up –" He's staring at the ceiling, petting your hair, slow diffusion of lingering sparks around his fingers – "I think my desire rebuilt itself shaped like you; you - look like yearning, to me, you're my concept of pity. I meant it. It's... unspeakably lovely, all of it. You are." He kisses your horns, careful of the tips, runs an eartip between two fingers, the movements of his hands vaguely nervous now, the muscles of his chest going a little tense again under you. He gets like this when he's tired, or overwhelmed, or off-center – rearranging words into needless complexities for I pity you, his mind on something warm and tiny and distant in the future. "...I just want you all the time, is all," and you can't see him smiling around it, but you can hear the puff of self-effacing laughter before he lapses into silence, adjusts his shoulders against the pillows.

Even in the glowing mood you're in right now, you're abashed by the way he regards you - can't imagine yourself so beautiful that it verges on sacred, and you feel sometimes like you must have twisted him terribly, must have wished too hard in a vulnerable moment and warped him somehow into loving you. You laugh, a little sadly. “I wish I had something to give you that was... a less aberrant substrate to build from, something that wasn’t just... me.”

He's giving you this kind of dazed, unfocused look like you just poured water over his heart, "No, I didn't mean – I know this, what you've given me. Accepted it, welcomed it." He takes your hand and guides it over his skin, to the unbroken perfectly-knit back of his neck, and he has to know that isn't what you mean, but it's emblematic of what your rebuilding has created, that he can do this unflinching when you've seen what his real body - "I know the magnitude of the gift, and I know the wonderful and awful parts of – of us. You were made from me before I was made from you, my love.”

The words catch you up short, the logic of them circuitous and symmetrical and perfect - duality redoubled, and you find yourself suddenly laughing again. “So the question is its own answer. Or it has two answers, and no way to tell the difference between them. Neither of us could be what we are, if not for the other...”

“And whatever pulled you in to me, also drew me to you, since the beginning, but... oh, but there's something so beautiful that I don't recognize, or even understand sometimes, that I adore in you... that you must have made yourself." The glow in his eyes is sheened-over reflection, not power, but he's still purring, hushed-intimate and trusting.

Your head is full of time and happenstance and strangeness, cadences of moments and events and the patterns and intricacies of the world and the pieces you’ve seen of his early memories and - you can’t think of a protest to make, can’t think of anything to say to that, not while meeting his eyes, so you turn aside and lean into his shoulder and murmur “- I love you too, Astris.”

He breathes a content-affirming mewl into your hair; lapses still beneath you for a while, until you feel more than hear one of his throaty half-chuckles through your hand still pressed up in his against the back of his neck.

You smile and close your eyes, mutter something like a "What?" automatically into his shoulder.

"...we've both totally lost it, haven't we? No troll in their right mind would ever want to be either of us."

“Nope. Wait, I think that means I’m sane, at least. I still don’t want to be either of us. But since I’m always going to be me, no matter what I do, we’d better make the best of it, right?”

“If you mean what I think you do by making the best of it, then no argument here,” drawled slow and sleepy, squeezing your hand.

His purring is an effortless susurrating comfort, so different now from the pathetic rusted-shut sound at the beginning. Tactile satisfaction rising through your chest, tickling at your cheek pressed to his throat, as the two of you lie there drifting for a long while, not sleeping, still in the normal dream-trance but idle, contented, with no need to speak aloud.

It's slow, the voicing that creeps into it, rumble going to hum going to something like a long-held closed-mouthed note as the fingers that had stilled on your scalp return to tiny almost-involuntary circlings against your skin. And although the sheath of his bulge is still smooth under your stomach, he doesn't try to hide the subtly faster kick of his heartbeat, the slip and catch of his breath when he wraps his other arm around you, over the dips and ridges of your spine, the yielding reach of your waist.

It starts with just a gentle press of open lips, and you can’t stop, running your tongue along the roof of his mouth, along the line of his top lip, slowly, taking your time. You’re physically sated but still magnetized, restless-skittering with energy, enough that you could do a lot of what he just did to you, if you tried, could lift him up and swathe him in brightness - but your thoughts have turned deliberate and possessive, and you want to make every touch count, and he opens his mouth under yours indolent and pliable and continuously purring, a vibration that rises from the back of his throat but barely reaches his lips for how loud it is, and when you pull away his cheeks are already dusted ochre and his mouth doesn't close all the way and he's staring at your lips, your fangs, knowing exactly what you're thinking and playing into it for the moment, laid out drowsy and loose-jointed.

You slide up along the angles of this body that you love and pity so much, made from memory and dream and sheer determination. As you shift and reach he pulls himself up and licks your chest, no teeth at all, just his tongue, and you know you must be salty with dried sweat but his purring breaks for a fond little rolled-up chirr, a sound that lengthens back into low appreciative singsong encouragement when the pads of your fingers brush his smaller horns. They still give off faint light, and from your own experience you know how sensitive they must be after all that – he leaves off lolling his head back into your stroking when you reach the membranes at the base with an almost-too-much shiver. But he drops it again almost immediately, presses back into your touch drawn in like fingers against a bruise.

You keep working at him there, slow but growing firmer as you go, drawing little circles around his horns with your fingers, then adding trickles of your own power, letting it zap and arc from your fingers and enwrap the soft membranes in little continuously-moving whorls, expanding out along his scalp, bending your head again to kiss him, but drawing back up quickly to look at him, at how gorgeous he is decadent and sprawled and open-mouthed and yours, enjoying the way his purring goes hitched-irregular as you escalate your teasing -

He drapes his arms over your shoulders as you kiss him, not pulling you in, just grounding himself with his hands on your back. Your power reverberates and builds between his horns until he whines softly, reedy and a little amazed, his claws pinching into your skin, still not quite used to this overstrained sensitivity. "It's good," he breathes, before you can ask, "Keep going –"

You do, you let the light radiate off you and seep in and around and through, remembering what he did to you earlier, returning the favor in full - your bulge isn’t capable of so much as twitching, not yet, not after the way he worked you over, but a kind of warmth unfurls in you to hear and feel him reacting, trusting you. Entirely psionics, now, touching his horns, and you move your fingers to his ears and run your claws from the tips to the underside of the lobes, ever so lightly, focusing - concentrating - you lean forward and mouth one ear-tip, stroking at it with your tongue, conscious that you’re mirroring what he did, you do this sometimes so that the things you know how to feel can be added to his canvas, detail for detail -

He's all stillness and deep attention from the moment his ear is touched, and his mind tugs at yours, soaking in your memory of his tongue and teeth as you felt them. He's told you about the doubled way he perceives your touch when you do this, flowing into one as you keep going – and a responsive oh tells you it's working as his calves and feet stir and rub against yours at the end of the couch, catching a bit of your restlessness from the energy thrumming around his head.

You lick at those horn-membranes, too, let the two tips of your tongue nestle around one of the smaller ones, wanting to see how far you can take him just by touching his horns, his ears, his face - you draw a claw still ticklish-light along his jaw, down the neck; lean in and kiss one eyelid, murmuring his name in a soft whisper as you do, holding it in your voice like a wall to keep ugly phantoms away from him and this place and this moment.

He's basking in your focus, lifting his chin to expose his face and neck, so closely attuned that little loops of his power prickle at your hands and mouth, grasping at every detail of every movement. Chants your name in return, call-and-response, vibration all through it from shaken-crooked remnants of purring – cuts off and holds his breath at the brush of your lips, and through his eyelid you can almost taste his focus, in no danger of losing himself but trying hard not just to ride it out; to let your touch seep in and rewrite old associations. Somehow at once serene and dissatisfied at the gentleness, hands making little seeking stuttering motions along your sides.

This is how you want him, opening to you languid and craving at once - you press your lips to the other eyelid, soft and careful and slow and the pads of your thumbs graze over his ears and you whisper his name again, and “Yes, go ahead, hang on to me,” still keeping his horns wreathed in bright sparks, narrowing, intensifying - your hands chasing across his neck, his chest, down to his grubscars - you want that dissatisfaction as much as anything, sweet retaliation or symmetry, you want to be soft and gentle and slow until he pleads for more and harder and faster -

He nods, mute, and stops his hands to cling to you, his fingers finding purchase between your ribs; opens his eyes and there's light reaching to join them, not the crazed impossible brightness of before at all, just two drifts of it, like red and blue smoke, holding to your shoulders. He still whines and gasps sometimes when the power caught between his horns strengthens and snaps and re-forms; but he's not quite within reach of the words you want from him yet, the balance of this still tipping toward watched-over stroked-pliant contentment, hands and psionics poised to pull but still unmoving. He tips his head back and his sigh is shaped like Oh, yes, just this with all the vowels dropped -

You stroke his ribs with a tiny hint of claw, now, just enough to snag and pause over the grubscars, then down to his hipbones, and you pull up and back a little to reach them with both hands, claws chasing sideways, feather-light verging on ticklish - lean back in and kiss along his collarbone, up his neck, to his ear again, still not letting up on his horns -

He shivers under the scratching – stills again with obvious effort – but when your claws hover on his hips he forgets entirely not to arc up into them. A quivering, sustained opening-up ripple effect, moaning soft and fluid as your mouth closes around his earlobe, needy-demonstrative, fingers and psionics dragging at your body, "Hmm, please –" in a whispered rush, quiet enough that you could pretend not to hear –

You make a contented mmmm noise around his ear - with your own arousal so completely burned through, if this is a game there’s no question of who will win it. Though even still his desire gets to you, tugs at you in the bloodpusher and at the base of your spine - “Pity you,” you breathe into his neck, your voice ringing with your still near-incredulous gratitude for just having him, and you circle his hips again with your claws and then dig in harder, almost-not-quite then barely enough to break skin.

His hips kick up and press and he yelps, jolted-undignified and less discomfort than just bright want. His sheath is reopening, wet and dark and barely the tip of his bulge showing, his body less overwhelmed than yours but still lagging behind his begging as his eyes spark up at you – "I – yes, need your pity, lost without you – Please –"

The way he says it makes every vulnerable moment, the good and the bad, flicker through your head and you're dizzy with the desire to protect him that's the other side of the desire to pail him and it all just smashes together into - "I want to make you feel so amazing you'll forget there's anything but this -" still tracing circles in light scratches over his hipbones.

The look he gives you is hairline-cracked awestruck like what you said was almost too much, almost dragged him out of this into thoughts of impossibilities, but he's repeating, "Yes, yes," lisped hard and shot through with longing.

You balance on your elbow and tease with your palm just right above his sheath, rubbing lightly where he'll feel it inside without touching, and he covers your hand with one of his, trying for more pressure, the other going to his hair, nervous-unconscious pulling and twisting - until you clasp it to stillness in yours, let power vibrate out of you and coat all the sensitive places between his fingers, and he shivers so hard at the attention to his hand that his fangs click against yours and pluck at your lip - and you kiss him hard and let him press your palm down firmly at the base of his abdomen. You can feel the root of his bulge responding to your touch, faintly, underneath his skin; and you let out rays of bright energy here too, focused and directed to drive right through it, to touch his bulge from the inside, the way he’s done for you so often and you’ve sometimes done for him, but angling in the other direction this time, from inside to out -

When your energy starts to wrap into and through his bulge his hands tighten on yours almost to bruising. He's nuzzling his whole face up into yours, mouth and nose and forehead, those flickers of power still rising from his skin, a fuzz of soft glow that laps and tugs at you. Through the skin above his sheath you can feel his bulge squirming and thickening under your hand as it emerges, until the tips drag against your wrist, discharging little sparks into your arm.

You answer with your fingers, curl them around the tendrils as you intensify the energy you’re running through him - near-effortless, after all the power he’s poured into you, harder now to stifle it down than to let it surge and crackle through your palm, making a loop, a circuit through his bulge and back into your hand again, as you lick along his upper lip and murmur, “Yes, there we go -” against the corner of his mouth.

The oversensitized-delighted sound he makes at the direct contact to his bulge is almost a squeak and completely undignified, and he laughs breathlessly at himself even as he squirms and bucks his hips up into your hand. You’re catching edges of sense-memories as he calls them up - fragments from minutes ago - and you realize that he’s casting them into your head on purpose at the same time that he grins around a gasp and the projected sensations snap into vivid skin-close focus: your nook clasping around both of his bulges, constricting and liquid heat, and the sound of your fractured pleasure-heavy breaths on the edge of screaming -

- and it draws an insensible incredulous noise from you, off-guard, but two can play at that game, he’s given you so much tonight and it’s too easy, now, to bring to mind and feed back to him: his power hot on your skin, encompassing, igniting you to all-over need - the experience of that same moment from within, incoherent with sensation, dragged over and past the brink with no relief, an explosion in slow motion, frame by frame, still relentlessly running power through him as you do, letting the tips of his bulge twine between your fingers -

He arches up with a stuttery cry of recognition and raw emotion, reveling for a moment in the unforgiving rush of energy; his mind, still deliberately open, a clamor of reverent unbelief, I – I did this to you – then a gathering in, remembering what he was doing – he disentangles his hands from yours and holds onto your sides again, anticipatory, and even though from the outside he looks all rutting hedonic incoherence he's still able to speak clear enough, still breathless but also just barely inflected with mischief, into your head, Now, you can give me more, come on – overwhelm me back, I can handle it today, I dare you, I want you to

- and mischievous back, whispering into his mind, you’ve taught me so much of precision, I’d be remiss not to use it - still high from the sensation and energy, but no longer urgent, able to multitask, to wind loops and whorls of power around him, reaching for every sensitive place, letting circuits of bright sparks flow from your fingers through his bulges, bright lines around his horns and all down his spine, exactly where you know he’ll feel it white-hot and sensitizing.

He braces hard against your ribcage, aware enough to keep his claws away but the pads of his fingers still digging blunt furrows, his back bowing up along the line of your power, his whole body thrumming and lifting again, just barely, just trying to press up against you physically, to ground this overflow of sensation in you and where you are. Conflict merges up to you from his mind, pity and dual desire, the high constant repeated note of please and the keening in his throat and the twitching urgency as he reaches up to suck and mark at your neck, the tensing of his bulges around your hand taut and aching with current - and yet still beneath it all is wait, and he holds back and holds on and resists, his power wrapping around yours and insulating it in sensitive places, palpably damped eartips and collarbones and between his legs and don’t want this to end, don’t want you to go - even when the holding on is painful, when his whining goes ragged-sharp with it.

But you're incandescent with the power he's poured into you and aching-heavy with borrowed pain and you need, so much, to give him one perfect moment, to hold him here completely, while you can, to burn his mind through with enough pleasure to make every other concept fade away for even a fraction of a second. You back off for a moment, pull energy away from the loop of current through his bulges, but just for a moment, just long enough to let him steady himself, to make the contrast sharper when you bring the intensity higher again -

A rush of distress from the part of his mind that wanted more, and now he does scrabble at your sides, clutching, wordless loss –

- and then it's your turn now to tell him it's okay, let go, as you suckle at the bases of his horns and breathe warmth into his hair and stroke his tendrils with your fingers and let sparks dance and spread like lightning through the hidden spots beneath his skin -

He lets out a sudden quavering moan, taken by surprise but not afraid, and tightens his arms around you convulsively, as much skin to skin as he can reach, all spreading thighs and tilting hips to let your hand move and it knots you up, strange and almost too intimate, that the light rising and snapping from his body now is yours, not his, he's released his stops on your energy and it surges untrammeled through him waxing and overflowing. Cries out repeated weirdly soft sounds of pity and being taken over, slipping close to the edge, and it's true, the power you're pulsing through him would be a weapon on anyone else, but turned on him, on his body like yours hatched to inescapable brightness, you know it's like a welcome transfusion into his nerves -

When you say his name, lips vibrating softly against his horns, it's to soothe and anchor, and you let your weight settle against him and - currents tangle like lines, you push power through your eyes and your hands and add another thread of energy to reach deep into his nook and caress the mirrors of nerves you've found in yourself - and you've forgotten, somewhere along the line, exactly how much it takes to overreach yourself, the fine-tuned control harder on you than the level of power, but you remember those limits are there when something in your head suddenly constricts like a vise, you feel it dimly and you shove it down under your awareness, determined to just enjoy what you’re doing to him -

Astris actually stops breathing when the current twists up into his nook, completely coated in your power now all over and through and within, and you’re going to pay for this last exuberant outpouring of energy but it’s worth it - a webwork of signals returning to you from every touch and he knows it, that you see him nerve by nerve as he finally goes alight. Wails thinly and curls all full-body inward-folding in pleasure until a horn nicks your lip and his shoulders dig into your chest and his thighs smear and spasm against yours – as his bulges slip between your fingers, suddenly too slick to hold keep their hold on the clutching and writhing in your grip, yellow falling and flowing and dripping between and soaking down to your wrist – as final wisps and dribs of his power mingle with the reflected glow of yours to rush back across your skin and his presence in your mind inundates in sensation and washes down to sweet limpid near-blankness.

You slump down over him shaky and it's astoundingly effortful just to keep the pain from his far-away body locked down for a little longer, while your own body rebels - but you do, squeezing your eyes shut hard to concentrate, you want him to wring every last drifting moment of this for everything it's worth before it has to end - silent and limp, just trying to breathe and let the satisfaction of this soak into the parts of you that can feel it, as your thinkpan rapidly goes jagged with shooting spikes and broken waveforms.

And he does, smiling up you wobbly and stretched in a sprawl on the couch and purring in staticy bursts, bringing a hand up in a wondering shaky stroke to touch your face –

"Oh," he whispers then, startled but too strung-languid sated to recognize your incipient migraine immediately for what it is, afraid instead that you’ve done yourself injury tying back his suffering, like he’s always been afraid you would. Fingers hovering over your brow, piecing himself together, until that grimace of self-reproof that you so carefully tried to delay pulls at the corners of his mouth and he takes his hand away, cautious, "Oh, I'm – I'm sorry, that looks bad, here, let me –" His presence gathers in your mind where his pain is barely, thinly held, a delicately wound ghosting reach that asks for its return without pressing at anything that might trip more pain in you.

You let go slowly, and that's difficult too, the lag between thought and action like moving through murky sopor, but when you've taken out one by one the stops on that particular piece of control, you let out a long trembling breath and manage to slur, "Power bigger than my head problem," and shut your eyes again, burying your face in his neck.

"Well, we can get as bigheaded as anyone I've ever met, so that must've been quite some power. Here." He's rubbing careful circles into your upper back and shoulders, stroking up the back of your neck but stopping short of your scalp, just easing tension.

The touch of his hands with his power damped down from the surface to keep from adding to your overload feels mismatched somehow, dulled, missing the snap and buzz that usually accompanies contact. His thoughts seep from your thinkpan, withdrawing with his pain, and although you would never admit it the lifting away of his worry and reflexive guilt lightens you a little, leaves your mind freer and the pain easier to bear up under – too easy – his mind swirls out of you and the wincing peaks of your migraine blunt down to manageable swells and it's far too early in the course of your headache for this return of clarity – and as the hammering pain seems to draw down and detach and pull back from your temples you feel phantom fingers against your skull, warm and easing, not psionic touch exactly but –

"You're -" After all the arguments you've had with him from the other side of this, you can hardly refuse outright, your head is clearing enough to know that much, but it feels wrong not to protest - "You deal with more than your share already. Are you sure you want to -"

Astris gives you that tired, ancient half-smile, the one like a cipher that is sometimes a true crack in his facade of being entirely present and sometimes a ploy to try to get you to drop your objections and let him have some joy in taking care of you for once and mostly both and says, simply, "Yes." And, with a low, rueful half-begun laugh, "Stealth and subtlety aren't great strengths of ours, are they? Yes, I want to. I know this isn't... nearly what you do for me, it isn't difficult –" (It's a drop in the ocean, it's nothing –) "But – well, I started it." Laughter in his eyes again, and a little tilted gleam of pride – "I should have known you would want to match me, give back – you're too good to me – here, let me –" He stops rubbing your back and wraps his arms around you, curling down so that his cheek is pressed to yours as he draws more of your migraine away from you, faster now that he isn't trying to hide.

And you let him, collapsing into his arms with a quiet sigh that turns into a chuckle; you know he’s right, that it’s tiny by comparison and that’s a shard of pity in your heart, knowing what he goes through - and you’re buzzing all over from the energy and the exertion, dazed and soft and proud of him and of yourself in ways you can’t quite describe in your own mind.

For a little while longer. Only this.