"They dosed me with something, K," Cassian says. "I'll be fine."
He isn't fine when he comes aboard the ship, their ship, and it's been their ship for months, even if Cassian insists it's no one's but the Alliance's. Well, and the Empire's before that, though the Alliance had stripped it to its frame looking for trackers, bugs, cameras.
He isn't fine, and K-2 does know if that's a product of whatever they dosed him with or plain exhaustion or a combination of the two. He doesn't know if an organic would sense the increased rate of respiration, the moisture on his skin, or the way Cassian keeps curling and uncurling his hands into fists. None of this is within the parameters of normal; Cassian just shrugs when K-2 mentions all of this and says. "I'll be fine," again, as if K-2 hadn't heard him the first time.
"Your temperature is well above baseline," K-2 says, though the perspiration dotting his forehead is likely his body trying to thermoregulate itself back to normal. Humans have such small margins of error.
Cassian gives another shrug, but then removes his jacket, shirt, boots, trousers, socks, and underclothes, leaving them in a heap in the bay and padding off toward the sonic. "So turn the cooling system up."
"That isn't -" and none of this is Cassian-like behavior, or even Cassian-like behavior when he is impaired by various substances. K-2 checks his logs, in case he's forgotten (as if he can forget) any set of circumstances in which Cassian has not returned from the mission to an immediate debrief. He, of course, cannot.
The sonic runs for five minutes, six, seven, eight, and that's enough, three minutes longer than a cursory rinse-off, to send K-2 toward the 'fresher.
In it, he finds Cassian not-quite upright, leaning heavily on the translucent panel separating the sonic from the remaining fixtures. "I'm fine," he says, but his voice sounds strained, blending with the background hum of the sonic.
"You aren't," K-2 says. "If you're hurt -"
"I'm not hurt, K," Cassian says. "At least, you can't help with it."
"I have extensive medical directories," K-2 says, slapping the wall switch; the panel clicks open, tipping Cassian out. "I can help with - oh."
"Like I said, K," Cassian says, and he flushes then, deeply, like there are mysteries remaining about the human body that K-2 doesn't have files and files about, diagrams, holovids, and yet -
None of them do Cassian much justice, not standing there, in the bright light of the fresher, shifting his weight slightly between his feet. "Um," Cassian says.
"They dosed you with a stimulant," K-2 says. "You appear ... stimulated."
“That's one word for it, K," Cassian says. He makes no move to cover himself, but K-2 can tell he's fighting the urge to do so, arms held stiffly by his sides. "My skin feels like it - you know, never mind. Could I get some privacy?"
He's sweating, still, even after his time in the 'fresher. K-2 does a scan for his heart-rate; it is, unsurprisingly, elevated, his cheeks and chest flushed, veins prominent in his hands and wrists.
K-2 should leave, should duck out of the cramped-in 'fresher, leaving Cassian to take care of whatever organic processes necessary to return his vitals to normal. K-2 wonders what they drugged him with, what its secondary metabolites will be, its half-life, the duration of Cassian's -
"Please, K," Cassian says, and he knows it's Cassian imploring him to leave, but he cannot help but hearing a dual meaning in it.
"I could stay," he says. "And be of assistance. If you would require some."
"I thought it would go away," Cassian says. "I've been trying."
"It should metabolize out," K-2 says. "Eventually."
Cassian laughs, but it doesn't sound happy at all, doesn't have the accompanying facial expressions that K-2 has come to associate with Cassian's happiness. "It's the ‘eventually’ I'm worried about. But you're right. I should go debrief. Draven will want the intel and -"
The cooling system kicks on, sending a current of air through the tiny room, and it must feel somehow different, on the pressure and temperature neurons K-2 knows humans have so many of, in their hands and faces and across Cassian's thighs where it pricks up gooseflesh.
Cassian shudders, hands going tense, skin stretching across his knuckles practically white and it occurs to K-2 that this is a pain response.
"Does it hurt?" K-2 asks.
"Yes," Cassian says. "And no. It's - it's hard to describe, K. My skin feels like it's on too tight."
K-2 clicks his ocular sensors and then tilts his face plate toward his chest - a 'yes, I understand' signal he's picked up from Cassian - because he's had a similar experience, not with skin but with his casing, one alleviated by readjustment and a dip in the oil baths.
"Perhaps lubrication would help," he says.
It seems that Cassian's body is already attempting that as a solution, tears pricking from the corners of his eyes, sweat coalescing to become rivulets, and the crux of his problem, flushed red from blood and gathering moisture, an unexpected slickness that K-2 catalogs among human responses he'd been aware of previously, but had little experience with first-hand until now.
Cassian breathes loudly, evenly, enough that K-2 can tell he's modulating his breath. Like its control will give him control of his other physiological responses. "There's uh, if you look in the compartment," and he shivers slightly as he raises his hand to point.
Inside the storage compartment are various tubes that K-2 scans, mostly ointments, one infused with bacta for faster healing, one a foam necessary for when Cassian shaves, one that he has not seen before and whose purpose is opaque to him, though Cassian grunts in affirmation when K-2’s hand closes around it.
Its contents have little discernible temperature difference compared with K-2’s palm. He extrapolates that it will be cool relative to Cassian’s skin, particularly in areas made hot with blood. It’s also less viscous than he was expecting, slick between his fingers and settling into the gaps in his palm. “Should I -” he begins, but Cassian’s breath hitches.
“Please,” Cassian says, again, and he clenches his eyes shut, tension lining his forehead.
K-2 approaches, feet ringing against the hard tiling of the floor. The world seems to focus, in a way, on the rise and fall of Cassian’s breathing, the heat of him in the cool of the room, the way that K-2’s processes call up and dismiss all external stimuli and thoughts - the ship, on autopilot, humming around them, the inky depths of space, the necessity of calling in their intel - all these forgotten or at least deprioritized in favor of negotiating his hand toward Cassian, on the three drops of slick the rain from his hand onto the floor, on the way Cassian seems to brace for contact, body tense, the way he’s seen him react to uncomfortable physical stimuli.
“I can -” K-2 says. “If you’d rather. Do this yourself.”
Cassian’s hand darts out, gripping K-2’s wrist, directing him to make contact and hissing at the coolness of the slick, as if in relief.
K-2’s hands were made, in part for combat and in part for repairing instrumentation too small for human vision, and he modulates his grip now, light, too light, only tightening it when Cassian closes his hand over his and guides his fingers.
Cassian responds, suddenly, wetly, a response pouring out of him and onto his belly and thighs, onto K-2’s hand and wrist, and he groans and pitches forward, curling in on himself.
“Oh,” K-2 says.
When Cassian looks up, his face is wet, and he looks - abashed? Ashamed? A combination of facial cues and markers K-2 has seen in him rarely.
“Did that help?” K-2 asks.
“Yes,” Cassian says. “But, uh, not entirely.”
K-2 looks down, expecting to see the aftereffects of such a response, a return to baseline physiological function, relief.
Instead, he finds Cassian much the same, if wetter now, shiny and slick and K-2 does not have a mouth or any orifice in which to fit such reactions, but has the urge to contain it, to surround Cassian and somehow induce another similar response, and another after that, if such an action would bring him peace.
“Again?” K-2 brings his hand up, and this time Cassian leans against the wall, shoulders resting on it, feet braced on the floor to steady himself. He cants his hips up toward K-2’s hand and makes no action to help, other than this motion.
K-2 has words for this, objectively, has installed thousands of possible iterations and configurations of phrases to describe just this motion. But the experience - Cassian slick in his hand, the little rhythmic motion of his hips, the way he shudders when K-2 interrupts his routine to twist his hand, the drip of the slick down and back, and K-2 has two hands, one of which cups Cassian and the other is more exploratory, wet with lubricant and Cassian’s own provided slick.
Cassian does not object. He does not object when K-2 weighs him carefully in his hands, both encompassing him, when he applies pressure, lightly, when he reaches under him to rub and there should be a response point there, a bundle of sensory neurons whose purpose had remained as unknown as the container of slick that now speeds his hand and he presses, up up, definite, and catches Cassian as he shivers apart again.
Cassian’s face is warm against his chest. Warm, and damp, and he’s crying now, or at least his eyes are wet, and K-2 brings his hand up, stroking it down Cassian’s back, though it’s likely unpleasant, given the state of K-2’s hand. He doesn’t seem to be able to hold his own weight, and K-2 considers guiding him, out of the ‘fresher and to his bunk, the image of Cassian on his back, K-2’s hand disappearing into him, enough to temporarily flood his circuitry and depress his auditory inputs.
“I said I can probably manage from here, K,” Cassian says.
K-2 looks down between them, at the mess that Cassian has made of himself, at his … and K-2 has words for this too, but all condense into a single thought - at Cassian’s sex, that vulnerable place humans work to conceal, use to manipulate one another, use for pleasure and he didn’t understand until now, what that looked like, what it sounded and smelled like.
“If you’d prefer,” K-2 says. “I can leave.”
“I’m feeling better,” Cassian says, and it’s not entirely convincing, especially since he can’t seem to hold his own weight upright. He looks - wrung out, debauched, lips red and nipples flushed and there’s color high on his cheeks, on the planes of his chest, the wet, deep color at the pinnacle of his sex and K-2 doesn’t pause before he reaches, exploring with a finger and watching as Cassian gives a weak final spurt.
Cassian makes a noise like he’s been punched, and collapses forward, enough that K-2 makes a series of rapid decisions, clicking open the ‘fresher door and hauling both of them through until he’s in Cassian’s bunk, bedding on the floor, Cassian on his back.
“Do you -” K-2 begins, but he doesn’t know what he’s asking, really. “Have you - with objects, I mean.” But he himself is not an object, but not a body, either, in the sense of Cassian’s body, a container that seems to be betraying him even as it gives him release.
“I have,” Cassian says. “Though not with - generally, I was alone.”
Cassian had been alone, for a long time, before.
“Ah,” K-2 says. “Did you want me to -” and he proffers a hand, two fingers extended, and Cassian nods.
He does not do so directly, though, instead taking some of the slick and applying to Cassian’s chest, the points of his nipples, and he tugs them, listening to Cassian’s answering moan, the bob of his sex at the action, sensation in one causing sensation in the other. He tugs again, and again, when Cassian brings his hands up, rubbing desperately.
“Don’t stop,” Cassian says, though he moves K-2’s hands away from his chest, down, down, past his sex and to where his hips are tilted up. “Don’t stop ‘til I say.”
“I won’t,” K-2 says. He opens him with two immediate fingers, the first finger joint buried and he makes sharp quick motions, solid and unrelenting, watching as Cassian’s hips move in answer.
He wonders how long Cassian could do this, could summon enough energy and strength in his muscles and tendons, could cycle his hips until he reached completion. He wonders what the optimal timing for this would be, if humans' preference for duration varies like all other things seem to, if there are other sensations that Cassian will find pleasurable as well - a finger in his mouth, a sharp hand against the meat of his ass, a particular frequency to his touch and -
K-2 activates the small motors in his fingers. They give a responding whir, and Cassian goes rigid then and makes a keening noise, seemingly involuntarily and then hisses, before pouring out a last, desperate response all over himself.
It feels different, fingers buried inside Cassian, who clenches around him and throws his head back, and ejects an impossible-seeming amount of fluid onto his own stomach. Some hits him under his chin, and he laughs at that, laughs but does not ask K-2 to stop, and K-2 doesn’t.
“Fuck,” Cassian says, finally, dropping his hips back to the bedding, sex finally showing signs of satisfaction. “Fuck.” He wipes his hand against his neck, and then gathers it in his palm, circling his sex and encouraging it through its last exertions.
“Better?” K-2 asks, though he knows the answer already, and it sounds smug, even to his own sensors.
Cassian laughs. “Yes, K, I feel better.” He cracks an eye open. “You didn’t tell me you had a vibrate function.”
“Was that … you found that it increased pleasure?”
“I’ll say,” Cassian says. “Next time, let’s just skip right to that. It’ll save time before the debrief.” He pauses, considering. “I mean, if that’s something that would be - if you wanted.”
K-2 considers the possibility, considers performing the same actions with Cassian bent over the cockpit dash, with Cassian across his lap, with Cassian grinding against his hip in the confined space of the bunk. Considers Cassian reaching inside him and rearranging wires and sensors until he emulated such a reaction, until his vision went blurry and his vocabulator issued sounds that came as immediate uncritical responses.
“Yes,” he says, finally. “Next time.”