"Cecil, it's ten fifteen."
"It's already been ten fifteen. It should be past midnight."
"Oh," Cecil says, pushing a lock of Carlos's hair off of his forehead and tucking it behind his ear. "It must be a time loop."
"What?" Carlos asks.
"We get them sometimes," Cecil tells him.
"What do you do?"
"Hold on," he says, very carefully reaching out and taking his phone off the nightstand. He dials a number, putting it on speakerphone. The call goes through, but the answer is nothing but loud, screechy static. Cecil ends the call, putting the phone back. "Check all the clocks."
It sounds disturbingly like Cecil has a checklist for this kind of thing. "They all say the same thing," Carlos reports.
"Oh, good," Cecil says. "Then it's a localized time loop, but it's at least as big as this room."
"Is that a good thing?" Carlos asks.
"There have been much worse alternatives," Cecil assures him. "I was once in a loop where I couldn't move more than three feet in any direction." Carlos is still looking at him with open skepticism. "The time loop runs for a certain period, apparently in this case a few hours. The loop will continue to replay for some time, depending on how fast you can figure out how to get out of it. When the time loop ends, the last iteration experienced by the affected will become the linear time progression that should have happened all along."
"How do you get out of the time loop, then?" Carlos asks.
"There's always something," Cecil says. "You have to say something or do something. Once you do it-" Cecil snaps his fingers- "then your troubles are over. Your troubles caused by the time loop, anyway."
"Uh huh," Carlos says uncertainly.
Cecil coughs. "I hesitate to bring this up," he says.
"By all means," Carlos says, waving a hand.
Cecil looks significantly to where the two of them are joined. "I'm not finished."
"Oh," Carlos says, a little startled. "Oh, right." He starts to move again, and Cecil makes a noise of satisfaction. "Neither am I."
"Are you good?" Carlos says, working his hand on Cecil's cock.
"It's so good," Cecil moans. "It's perfect."
Carlos slows down. "Do you want more?"
Cecil bites his lip. "If you insist," he says innocently.
Carlos grins, kissing him.
"I'm close," Carlos says, through clenched teeth.
"Please," Cecil begs. "Carlos, I want-"
"Hold on for me," Carlos says. "Hold out."
Cecil is looking at him in slightly worried confusion, so Carlos shuts his eyes, moving fast, a little faster, and like that he comes.
He strips off the condom, throwing it in the wastebasket beside the bed. Cecil looks like he's valiantly trying not to look upset, but it's clearly not working so well.
"Don't worry," Carlos says soothingly, kissing the side of his face. He moves down the bed, taking the tip of Cecil's cock in his mouth. Cecil moans; he grabs Carlos's shoulder, but Carlos doesn't let him push, doesn't let Cecil hurry him up. Carlos has an agenda; there aren't enough hours in the day, what with the way that Carlos's work keeps him up at odd hours and the amount of time Cecil spends at the station. Carlos has catalogued Night Vale, all of it that he can, all that he can get his hands on without the Sheriff's Secret Police or the City Council taking him down.
The one thing he's never had the time to learn is Cecil.
"I think I know how to break the time loop," Carlos says.
"Yes?" Cecil asks breathlessly.
"Yep," he replies, licking a broad stripe up Cecil's shaft before taking him down.
"Carlos," Cecil says, watching Carlos roll on another condom. "Carlos, this isn't fair."
"What's not fair about it?" Carlos asks, pouring more lube over his cock. Cecil is too worn out to protest as Carlos hikes his legs up and positions himself at his entrance, and something about that makes Carlos want to do it all the more.
"I always make it a point to- oh, god- ahem, to get you off," Cecil tells him. "You already have once, and you won't let me."
"I'm going to let you," Carlos says, thrusting slowly in and out. "I'm going to make you."
"Please do it soon," Cecil pleads.
"Just let me take care of you," Carlos says soothingly. "Just relax."
"I'll try," Cecil says, and Carlos doesn't blame him for looking doubtful.
"Come on," Carlos says, his hand working quickly on Cecil's cock. "Come on, you have two minutes. If you can come by then, it'll be over."
"Yes," Cecil whines. "Please, please-"
Carlos stills his hand.
"You monster," Cecil pants, and Carlos grins.
"I can't," Cecil says, thrashing his head from side to side. "Don't make me- I need it so badly-"
Cecil is completely inarticulate, lost entirely, and this is what Carlos wanted, to see what Cecil is like underneath his calm, friendly exterior, to see him dissected, laid open. He wants to know every single part, every little working; Cecil is fascinating, just as extraordinary as anything else in Night Vale, and Carlos just wants to know.
He is starting to feel a little bad for Cecil, though, because he has to be sore by now. Carlos's own thighs are burning, his back sore from going for this long. Maybe it's time for all this to end, because surely he has enough data by now. He grabs the lube, pouring some into his hand before taking hold of Cecil's cock, stroking it quickly.
"Do it," Carlos says, moving fast and hard inside of him. "That's right, Cecil, come on-"
When he comes, Cecil jolts like he's touched a live wire. He moans so loudly that surely the neighbors can hear it, and Carlos doesn't care at all. He keeps fucking him, taking him through it, taking him until neither of them can stand it anymore, until he finally pushes in hard, his cock pulsing as he comes deep inside of him.
Cecil lets his eyes shut, tilting his head back, panting. Carlos lets go of him, throwing away the condom; Cecil hasn't moved when he comes back, and Carlos becomes rather concerned that he might have broken him.
"Are you okay?" he asks, frowning.
Cecil makes a low pitched moaning noise, but he nods.
Carlos is pretty sure they can consider this a job well done.
When Carlos blinks awake, it's still dark outside. Cecil is out cold, laid out halfway on the bed and halfway on Carlos, but he starts awake when Carlos tries to extract himself.
"What time is it?" Cecil says hoarsely, his words perfectly articulated even when he's half-asleep.
Carlos peers at the clock on the nightstand. He looks back to Cecil. "You're not going to like what I have to say."
"Oh dear," Cecil says. He winces as he sits up. "Well, it was a good try."
Carlos raises an eyebrow. "That's all you have to say about it?"
"I have many things to say about it," Cecil says. "But for now, let's see if we can get to the kitchen and the shower."
"Probably for the best," Carlos says. Cecil smiles at him, leaning over, lacing his fingers into Carlos's hair and kissing him deeply.
Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he can stand to collect some more data after all.