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It's a stupid, stupid inconvenience, but John doesn't have anyone to blame but himself. He's the one who lost track of things, and now he's on the second day of his cycle without so much as a pair of gloves. Stupid. At least his shirts are long-sleeved.

John has to admit that, finally back stateside after months of combat, of too much blood and too little sleep, he's running on fumes. Still, he needs those gloves, so going out is a risk he's got to take.

The next moment is another stupid thing in a row of stupid things. John takes the side entrance to the mall because there's only a handful of people there. A guy holds the door open for John to follow inside, not even looking back. Thoughtless and tired, John reaches for the handle. Their fingers brush. And John has a whole second left for a panicked, why the fuck isn't this a sliding door?!

Then lust slams into him and drowns out everything else.

He hauls the guy against the wall just inside the door, ignoring wide blue eyes and an incoherent squawk in favour of latching on to the guy's neck, licking and sucking until it bears his mark, a small satisfaction drifting on waves of mindless need. Hands shove at him, scrabble down his sides as John pushes closer, crowding the guy against the wall until there's not a breath of space between them, until he's pressed against the warm, sturdy bulk of him, his hard-on digging into the guy's hip. John grunts at the pleasure the contact brings with it, but still he's floating, drifting, the guy his only connection to solid ground.

Dimly, he's aware of the people passing them by, paying them no heed. He's aware of the button just a few feet from them, round and red and fucking huge, smack in the middle of the wall. But broad hands clutch at his ass and he groans, hips jerking, and it feels good so he does it again, heat rolling through him until his head is swimming with it. The guy makes a tiny, breathless sound. John wants to hear it again, so he shoves one hand between the guy's legs and squeezes the hard, hot length he finds there, trapped beneath the fabric of the guy's thin pants. This time, the guy whimpers, and John smiles as he sucks at the hollow of the guy's throat and rubs himself against him, their moans sounding out in unison.

But something keeps niggling at him, something going off in the back of his mind, fireworks, emergency flares, bright red like the button on the wall, the button just a few feet away, the button…

"The button," he rasps, reaching for the words like a lifeline without fully comprehending their meaning; rescue, safety, not for him, for…

"Are you kidding?" the guy pants, and John sobs out a moan as a thumb presses down hard on the seam of his own pants, right between his ass cheeks. "This is the hottest thing that's ever happened to me."

John doesn't care, can't care, so close to coming he can taste it on the tip of his tongue, bittersharp and salty, like the sea after a storm. He thrusts, blindly, caught between the guy's hip and the guy's thumb, mouth open as he pants against the guy's warm, damp neck. His tongue flickers out to taste salt; his fingers open and close erratically; things he can't control. The guy groans, hips jerking, sticky heat against the heel of John's palm, and John smells it, earthy and damp and his, his, and the guy yelps as John bites down on his neck, not hard enough to draw blood, but hard.

And then he's coming, gasping for air as his hips stutter and he's pulled under, away, knees turning to liquid. He starts to sink towards the floor, but hands close around his upper arms, pull him up again, keep him steady as he drifts, warmth rolling through him like Caribbean waves.

Then sanity slowly trickles back in and he stiffens. The guy clears his throat.

"So, uh. Since we seem to be genetically compatible and all," he says, his voice wavering a little, "how about I buy you a coffee?"

John lets out a shaky laugh. God. Is this guy for real?

"I," he starts to say, only to trail off when the guy's hands pull away. His arms feel cold. His whole body feels cold when he takes a step back. The guy looks miserable, one corner of his mouth turned down as he shifts on his feet, and John can't help but wonder how much of the slight pull he's still feeling is the cycle, and how much is the memory of warm, salty skin. There's a necklace of uneven hickeys circling the guy's throat, and it's still satisfying in all its possessive display.

Coffee, huh?

"Yeah," he says, and his heart is only beating a little faster, "how about?"

The guy smiles.