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Elijah hates the way the smell of the lab seems to seep into his clothes and stick to his skin after he's been working there all day. When he gets back to his tiny eighth-floor apartment after twelve or fourteen hours, he smells like dank, half-rotted crates and dust and damp concrete and brine. It doesn't matter that he'd cleared out all the crates and sealed all the leaks and dusted until he was streaming-eyed and dripping-nosed months ago, that the warehouse is as clean and sterile and water-tight (for the safety and operating efficiency of the equipment it has to be) as Elijah can make it. It still smells like what it is: an old, moldering wreck of a warehouse. It's too close to the docks, but at least it's not right downtown. There's no way Elijah could keep a lab in the heart of the city. He can't afford the cost of an alarm system.

He strips down less than two feet in the door, and then just stands there in his skin for a minute, taking his glasses off to rub at his face with one hand and the back of his neck with the other. He's tired and his back and neck ache from hunching over instrument panels all day, and it's another damned day with nothing to show for his work.

"Ninety-nine percent perspiration," Elijah mutters and grimaces, toeing the pile of clothes out of the way as he heads for the bathroom. "Where's my fucking inspiration?"

A nice long shower would be just the thing, relax some of the ache of of Elijah's muscles and erase the stink of the docks from his nose.

Unfortunately, he can't have one. The hot water heater serves the entire floor, and there's never more than a minute or two of hot water. Once he'd made himself get up at four a.m. to shower, because who the hell would be using hot water at four in the morning? Someone, apparently. He'd got three and a half minutes that time, and to his mind the extra minute and a half just isn't worth the effort.

Like today's results.

He steps naked into the water and sighs, already fumbling for the bar of soap. It's harsh and smells blindingly antiseptic, but it's cheap and plentiful, so it'll do.

He's tired, so damned tired, and he's starting to wonder if there's any point to this. Since he'd lost all but one of his grants, he can barely scrape up enough money to both continue his experiments and still eat. He's been toying with the idea of moving into the warehouse (he'd tried thinking of it as his lab for weeks after he'd lost the money necessary to keep his facility on the campus of the University, but he just can't manage to do it, it's the smell, it doesn't smell like a lab, this stupid goddamned soap smells more like a lab than the fucking warehouse) to cut costs, but the idea of smelling the place all the time, of not being able to come come to his tiny, cluttered apartment at the end of the day makes him feel panicky and slightly ill.

It's not like the place is anything great, but it smells like smog and whatever the people down the hall have been cooking and slightly musty laundry, and Elijah never would have imagined what a relief that was until he'd had to move his lab.

His two minutes are up before he gets the soap out of his hair (more of the bar soap, he's too broke even for fucking Suave, pathetic) and ends up rinsing it in water that's cool and headed rapidly toward freezing.

"I hate my life," he mutters as he steps out of the shower and gropes for the towel on the bar. It gives him pause because he's thought it before, of course, but he's never believed it before. Maybe he doesn't even quite believe it now, but...

He's pretty close to believing it.

He hasn't made any real progress in a month, his lab is in a stinking, damp, probably dangerously wired (Elijah hadn't been able to bring himself to look, not with the juice he's pulling when he runs the bridge full out, because it doesn't make a difference, he can't afford anything else, so this has to do, and since that's the case he doesn't want to know what his chances are of starting an electrical fire whenever he flips the switch) wreck of a warehouse, his apartment is so small he can jump from one end to the other, and he's so tired of this shit.

He drags on a pair of sweats and a plain white t-shirt, and slumps into his desk chair (though he doesn't actually have a desk, just a deskchair) at the table, eyeing his computer balefully.

He's so tired he isn't even sure he wants to put forth the effort to pull up some porn (bookmarked for his convenience) and jerk off.

God, pathetic.


It's late now, dusk tinting the dirty skies with purple and sooty clouds barely outlined in dying sun rays, and it's starting to get cold in the van. Viggo shifts on his seat, uneasy, flips the visor down to extract his parking slip and grimaces at the sticky feel of the old nylon plastic. His sense of touch has heightened in the past weeks, ever since he's gone through the fine taming tuning shit with the Pet, and he's not yet used to it. He can feel several things at once when he's either focusing on purpose or on the contrary, when he's not thinking about it at all, and it's just... weird. Not a word Viggo often uses, that, since for most people he knows he probably would embody weirdness, but that's the proper word nonetheless, yeah.

The Pet moves in the camo-patterned plastic cage, the tips of its limbs sliding against the paper towels Viggo lined it with, and once again Viggo's fingers twitch despite himself, disturbed at the soft spongy paper feel mixed in with the index-card robustness of the parking slip, the glossy magnetic strip.

Maybe he should give it a name, but the thing—Pet—doesn't really require it, answering as it does to unvoiced commands when the tuning is complete—and it is, finally. Viggo turns the key in the ignition and fiddles with the heating dials, performs his usual checking procedure as he turns the headlights on mechanically. Transmitter, datachip, extra battery, sodium and magnesium pills, the disks he needs to download into Elijah's systems, everything tightly packed in his shoulder bag, okay. Good. Oh, peppermint gum, nice. Might be welcome later.

He exits the parking slowly, stopping once to tightly close the opaque separation window between the cabin and the back area (the parking has human employees to collect the fee, and Viggo has no intention to let anyone glimpse the jumble of hi-tech equipment and ragged 'hippie' belongings laid out in the van, thus endangering the image of dumbass cheap-o he tries hard to project around here) and blocking out the churning of his upset stomach. Viggo despises all means of ground transportation, on rails or on wheels; it's one of the many ironies of his life that what is closest to pass as his home is a four wheeled vehicle.


Elijah gets his computer booted up before he realizes he's laid his glasses down somewhere. "Fucksticks," he sighs, and gets up to look for them (because he won't even be able to see porn without them), promptly tripping over his pile of discarded clothing and taking an inelegant nosedive onto the living room floor. He lies there for several seconds, trying to tell himself he should be grateful that he didn't fall on anything, since there isn't a lot of empty floor in the apartment to fall on. Then he sighs and drags himself to his feet.

He spots his glasses on his way up, an indistinct but slightly reflective blur on the arm of the couch, and fumbles them onto his face.

He seriously considers just going to bed for about ten seconds, but... There's just so much to do, still. He stands there, undecided, for nearly a minute before he takes the six steps necessary to get him to the cupboard over the sink, and reaches for a small brown bottle.

Adderall, the label says, or Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine, which is just a complicated way of saying uppers, central nervous system stimulant. Dangerous and oft-abused, mostly used to treat such charming conditions as ADHD and narcolepsy.

In this case, used the good old fashioned way, like company executives in the 60's: to stave off sleep in order to get things done.

He dry swallows two tablets, sixty milligrams, closing his eyes as the pills scrape painfully down the inside of his throat.

Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine. He's always thought it sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. It releases dopamine and norepinephrine into the central nervous systems and blocks the reabsorbtion of serotonin, the feel-good chemical, increasing energy and attention for several hours as well as providing a warm, pleasant sort of feeling.

It's addictive, of course. Big time.

Elijah understands the danger, and generally speaking he doesn't give in to the urge to dose himself chemically; at least not with anything stronger than caffeine and nicotine.

But he's feeling shitty and he's too tired to even jerk off, and he thinks if he just felt a little better, more alert and less like today had been a complete waste of time and energy, then maybe he could get something productive done, something that would reawaken the rush of success, the kind that had nothing to do with drugs.

He makes his way to the fridge and snags a Dr. Pepper —he can't afford shampoo, but he would die without Dr. Pepper —from the door.

Ten minutes, he thinks, and smiles slightly. Ten minutes tops and he'll be feeling it. There's a pile of notes and disks sitting next to the computer, and a whiteboard with a long, complicated, beautiful string of numbers and symbols pegged to the wall, and in ten minutes he'll feel better, he'll be able to look at it and maybe find the transposed variants or the forgotten decimal, and he knows that he's close.

He's been close, so close for months now, he just needs to keep going, keep trying.

He sits his ass down in front of the computer again, idly opening one of his bookmarked sites.

"Just until it kicks in," he mutters, right hand curling around the mouse, lips quirking slightly upward.

"It's a thing," he'd told his sophomore roommate once, rolling one shoulder in a shrug. He —his name had been Nick —had laughed for three or four minutes before he'd become distracted as Elijah scrolled through several drawings.

"Holy shit," Nic muttered, peering at the screen, eyes wide and cheeks flushed, and Elijah'd had to look away to conceal his smile. "What the fuck is that thing doing to her?"

"It's fucking her," Elijah had drawled, amused and knowing because he'd had this kind of reaction from people before. First they laugh and possibly mock, and then they looked —idle curiosity, maybe, but Elijah really doubted it —and then they looked some more, because no matter how disturbing it was, it was hot.

"With it's..." Nick said, and then stalled out, but he'd edged closer to Elijah, and Elijah was sure he was about five seconds from dragging up a chair.

"Tentacles," Elijah'd supplied helpfully, and Nick had just murmured distracted agreement.


The traffic is shit, bumper to bumper on first one then the second interchange, but at least the air is now blasting warm in the cabin, and the Pet must be asleep since Viggo can't feel anything coming from his quarter.

Once he's back on surface streets, between the freeway and the docks, Viggo takes the time to get some food from a Mexican drive-through. He's had a long day, huddled in front of his screens to monitor the transfer of the blueprints he'll need, keeping an eye on some money swapping from his latest clients into his bank account.

It's taken months for all the leads to come in and all the ends to tie up, not to mention the time it took for those crazy flying nuns managing the kennel to come around and sell him the Pet, and Viggo should have foreseen how taxing it would be, this day, the moment things come together, but he didn't. Still dizzy from the last jump, from teaching himself how to deal with the beast, from merely fucking feeding it, dammit. From the pull in his belly towards the square-jawed and bespectacled, common sense impaired, socially akward physicist despairing in his cheap ass lab.

The double burrito combo is more than welcome, spicy, comforting even though the melted cheese is obviously more fermented plastic than anything else. The area is quiet and dark, few cars, most street lamps burnt out, and Viggo drives slowly, one hand on the wheel, chewing and thinking.

He lets the Pet out of the cage once he's done, cramming the polystyrene packaging in the paper bag reserved for trash under the glove box and steeling himself as he opens the latch. It's sleeping but it wakes up as soon as Viggo touches it, and it unfurls with a soft noise and undulates up his arm slowly, some of its—tails, bits, whatever, wound around Viggo's fingers and forming rings over his knuckles. It's small-ish, still, won't grow til it can form another bond to a second human, or at least til it starts getting fed more than one brand of sweat. It looks gentle like this, shining in the gloom, its skin reflecting the dashboard's light.

The weight of it settled on his wrist reassures Viggo, centers him. He circles the building twice, looking for a free spot and adjusting again to the creature's senses meshing with his own, impatience rising up. He hasn't checked in on Elijah since last night (except if you count the flash check around 3 pm he couldn't help but make, but it wasn't good or quiet or anything, just—practical, therefore Viggo doesn't count it), and he's about to meet him, and he really needs a moment to regroup and peer through his window, just watch Elijah be, move, hear him swear profusely; whatever it is he's doing now, Viggo yearns to witness it, yearns for the comfort of his peeping corner. He counts on it to settle his nerves.


The mellow curl of the drug in Elijah's system makes it easy to ignore his own ten minute marker. What's it going to hurt, anyway. The data isn't going anywhere, it's too late to go back to the lab tonight anyway, and the white board with its numbers and symbols will still be sitting on his table in the morning.

Elijah doesn't surf aimlessly anymore.

He doesn't use any of the search engines (God forbid, the fucking popups) and he doesn't hit the pay sites (which he couldn't afford anyway). He has a dozen or so free sites with reliable content and not too many popups bookmarked, and sometimes those link other sites and he gets lucky with new images.

As far as pornography goes, he is both particular and not.

What he looks for is a very specific type of image, almost always drawings, never actual people (the live action images are usually trash, though he's come across a handful of real-person clips and photos that have been, God, so good, but they're rare, like finding diamonds in your toilet), but as far as straight or gay, explicit or not, it doesn't matter.

As longs as it's good, as long as he can suspend disbelief just enough, it'll do.

Hentai, manga, anime, yaoi: it's all good as long as it's a quality image, as long as Elijah can believe, if only for a few seconds.

It's not the easiest thing in the world to believe, either.

Elijah occasionally wishes he'd hit upon an easier kink, bondage, maybe, or golden showers. Hell, anyone would piss on you, after all.

He clicks on a thumbnail, and his palms are already sweaty, his dick already firm and uncomfortable, stuffed into his sweats. The seething buzz of the perverse is already making him twitchy, and he grins and licks at his lips, which are suddenly dry.

It's a good one, too; one he's seen before, but not for a while, and his eyes flicker greedily over the computer screen and his right hand steals down between his thighs to squeeze his dick through the worn fabric of his sweatpants.

He likes these best of all (and he utters a brief, snorting chuckle, because he likes them all best), the ones where the girl (in this case, though boy would be fine, too) looks shocked and wide-eyed, but her pussy is dripping and her nipples are tight little peaks, and she clearly likes it whether she wants to admit it or not. Non-violent (more or less) rape fantasies, yeah, he knows the psychology, knows it's as common as brown hair or green eyes, but still. He likes it when they like it (okay, he likes it when they don't, too, when their huge eyes are full of tears and they look agonized and horrified), likes the bright red cheeks and wet lips. And the creature is good, too, vaguely humanoid but armless, pale purple and it slick with something (alien slime or something, Elijah doesn't give a fuck). It has tentacles where it's arms should be and sprouting from its groin, it's tongue is long and glistening against the anime girl's cheek.

Elijah clicks and there's another frame (so few of them are strips like this, same monster, same girl, a progression), and the girls is spread wide, tentacles wound around her arms and legs and a couple of them have inched up her thighs, nudging at the lips of her pussy, and its tongue has slithered into her mouth, prying her jaws wide, and there are droplets of... whatever, spit or some kind of slime, fleck her chin several of the sinuous appendages preparing to push into her.

Elijah groans softly and presses the heel of his hand hard against his erection, but doesn't take it out. Not yet. He knows himself, and as soon as his dick is out of his pants it'll be all over. He's in no hurry, and it's good to push with his hand and press up with his hips, good to make himself wait.


Viggo heaves a sigh of relief as the picture in his mind resolves into clarity - he's been doing this a long time but he's nervous enough tonight, and the transmitter doesn't always get a perfect reception in urban areas. His pulse speeds up immediately as he takes in the familiar posture of Elijah, slouched in his chair and pressing his hand against his crotch.

He watches it unfold, unsurprising, lets himself get lulled as Elijah scrolls through drawings, goes forward and back between them, the heel of his hand increasing its rhythm. There's something Viggo finds incredibly erotic in it, not only the fact he's watching something, after all, forbidden (he's almost forgotten that by now, after months of dropping in uninvited to spy on the boy, and the power of it has dwindled a bit) but the way Elijah does it, teasing himself almost, waiting until the second to last moment to touch himself unimpeded.

Viggo's breath comes shorter and shorter, something weighing on his chest, and he suddenly realizes that the Pet has gained a size and is nested on his sternum, swishing tails around his neck and shoulders and wrapped along his ribs over the shirt. It must have been awoken by Viggo's hammering heartbeat or a change of taste in the sweat on his skin. It's still swaying softly like it was earlier on Viggo's wrist when its body was the size of a kitten, but the effect is very different now.

Closing his eyes again, Viggo wonders if Pet can feel Elijah through the wormhole as well, and if not, if it will one day have leeched enough of Viggo's secretions to be transformed by them and gain the same abilities. But the question is too complex to examine just now when Elijah's finally taking his dick in hand, sweats pushed hastily down, barely stroking. Viggo pants, only now comprehending what the Pet can do as he feels not only the hardness of his cock pushing in his palm under the denim of his jeans but also the contours of his own pectorals that Pet is fondling slowly, and the warm fuzzy rasp of his body hair rubbed at his waist by a stray tentacle insinuated under shirt and waistband.

It's fucking breathtaking, dizzying, and Viggo rushes towards orgasm with the same ease than Elijah, who's twisting his wrist cleverly for the three honest strokes it always takes him to finish off. It's the first time he ever managed that, his older body demanding more than a few instants of hard pumping habitually—fuck, he came in his jeans.

The Pet emits a little squeal-y sound and moves upwards on Viggo's chest, tails slithering over his face shortly. Viggo tries to focus, remember the next steps of his plan... Fails for a while. It's mind-numbing to contemplate more possibilities between them and though he's done it countless times before, has planned and plotted to make it happen—this is the first time Viggo's been brushing the reality of it, and he's in shock.

It helps him come down to just sit there and keep watching Elijah. Elijah wiping himself up quickly with a tissue, Elijah mock-playing basketball as he lobs the bundled up tissue into the waste basket, Elijah drinking from his Dr. Pepper with a blissed out face that makes him look about four years younger.

Viggo moves to retrieve the cage from the passenger seat in the cabin and unhooks the Pet from himself to put it back in, which proves a little tricky with the added bulk on the replete, sated creature. He manages, and locks the cabin behind him once he's charged with the things that count - backpack, precious shoulder bag, wallet and the cage. Back in the living quarters of the van he changes into clean trousers, extracts the offering he's prepared to win Elijah over with and turns all the monitors off.

He does all this with the window onto Elijah open, because it's a way to distract himself from the jitters and the doubt, a way to keep his goal well in view, as it were. Watching Elijah go about his solitary business has been Viggo's soothing drug of choice for a long time. There's nothing for it, though, he's out of ways to stall, it's time to go.

The elevator in the dirty building is old enough to be slow; Viggo fists his hands around the handles of his load and closes his eyes, spies Elijah scratching his ass and tilting his head in front of his wide open fridge. He looks both sad and jumpy. And beautiful; he's always beautiful to Viggo.


Elijah peers into the fridge for a while, debating the wisdom of another Dr. Pepper. The caffeine, on top of the amphetamine, would guarantee a big dose of not sleeping in Elijah's near future, but he's thirst and the only other option is beer, which is a no no while medicated. Or water, but Elijah doesn't really trust the water from the tap. Sometimes it's a funny color.

Elijah is wide awake, and is going to be for the foreseeable future, his mind running along at a hasty clip, and suddenly his mind veers sharply right and he's thinking of the whiteboard, numbers and symbols in an oh-so-meticulous arrangement (one that he hasn't got right, not quite, not yet) in stark black and white (and green when Elijah had run out of black dry-erase marker), and he turns away from the refrigerator, barely aware of the door slowly pulling itself shut. He grabs his cigarettes from the counter as he walks by, mentally calculating how long four (the number in the pack) will last him, since he just doesn't have any money for more.

In three more days he can give plasma again, an easy sixty bucks, but four cigarettes into three days equals... well, the bottom line of that equation just isn't pretty.

Once, not quite six months ago now, Elijah had been walking home from the University (he'd spent his bus pass money on Dr. Pepper), just ambling slowly down Carlso Street with one foot on the curb and one foot on the street, thinking about imbalance and its effect on matter and anti-matter (he'd added nine steps to the formulae that night, he remembers) and some guy had offered him fifty bucks if Elijah would let him suck Elijah's dick.

He'd turned it down. Politely. And then hurried the rest of the way home.

He'd still been getting three grants then, though, and while things had been tight, they hadn't been desperate.

He's pretty sure he wouldn't turn it down, if it were to happen again.

"And hey," he says out loud without meaning to. "Blowjob!" He grins as his hands close around the whiteboard, and props it up against the computer monitor so he can stare at it from his chair.

He's about to sink down into it, having forgot entirely about getting a drink, when someone knocks on the door.

He pauses, half-sitting, thinking that it must have come from down the hall. No one knocks on Elijah's door. Ever.

He's about to lower himself the rest of the wait down when the knock comes again. This time, Elijah's fairly certain that it is someone at his door. He straightens up and looks at the door for a few seconds. Then, because he really can't think of anything else to do, he walks over and opens it.

His first thought is that a homeless guy somehow managed to get into the building, even though the entry door is keyed and supposedly secure. The guy has a knapsack over one shoulder, a plastic shopping bag in one hand, and what looks to Elijah like a pet caddy in the other.

But no, he reconsiders a moment later, because the guy standing in the hall is clean and neat, even with what looks like a weeks worth of beard on his cheeks. His hair is a darkish blonde, dirty blonde, except it's too shiny to be dirty, and longish. He's dressed in jeans and a neat blue shirt, and he looks... nervous.

Elijah frowns.

"Um..." he says uncertainly.

"Hi," the guy says, "good evening." He sets the camouflage thing —Elijah's mind insists on thinking of it as a pet carrier, even though he's pretty sure that doesn't make any sense —on the ground and offers Elijah his hand.

Elijah looks at the guy's outstretched hand, and the only thing he can think is that he can't shake hands with this guy as he had just beat off, and he hasn't washed yet. "Um," Elijah says again. "I think you have the wrong apartment. Who are you looking for?"


"You," Viggo says, and he remembers to add hesitation there, "at least I think. Mr Wood?"

Elijah nods, but doesn't take Viggo's hand, so Viggo bends his knees to lift the Pet's cage again and steels himself. "I can help you," he says, and strides decisively into the apartment, past Elijah. "In your research."

He turns around to perform a quick survey, immediately spots the whiteboard propped up where the porn was a minute ago; Elijah must've decided to get some more work in his day after Viggo closed the window and turned the transmitter back off. Some more nigh-useless work.

He puts the cage down again, and the supermarket bag, and passes the strap of his shoulder bag over his head to dump it on the floor, keeping the backpack on for now. Elijah closes the door.


"You, uh..." Elijah says stupidly, thinking, what, research, what?. He turns and closes the door pretty much out of habit, and then it occurs to him to wonder if he's just cut off his only avenue of escape.

He doesn't know this guy, he could be a homicidal maniac!

"Um," Elijah says agin, and the guy turns to look at him, and Elijah's suspects he'd been imagining it earlier, when he had thought the guy looked nervous. Now he looks calm and certain, and something else, something weird about his eyes.

Elijah's mind is a jumble in spite of the normally clarifying effects of the Adderall. On top of that, he's starting to feel a little itchy nervousness, a sometime-side effect that Elijah is familiar with, but doesn't usually suffer. He takes his glassed off to rub at his face for a second, half-convinced that when he puts them back on, the blurry shape of the guy will be gone.

He's hallucinating, maybe? It's technically possible, considering the nature of the drug and Elijah's overall state of perpetual exhaustion lately.

When he slides his glasses back on his nose, though, the guys is still standing there. Looking at Elijah. No, staring at Elijah.

Something moves in the pet carrier, a soft, shifting sound, and Elijah fights the urge to take a step back.

"Look," he says, going for firm, but he'll be happy enough if he even comes across as calm. "I don't know you, and I don't know what you think you know about..." he hesitates on the cusp of saying the bridge and substitutes, "my research, but I think it's better if you come back in the morning, Mr....?"

He trails off when he realizes he doesn't know the guys name, thinking, Yeah, when I'm not half-stoned would be good.


"Mortensen, Viggo Mortensen." Viggo runs his hand through his hair.

"Look, I realize this is odd, but I really came here to help you out. I know you have funding problems right now, and--" he frowns, annoyed at himself for not having prepared this bit a little better. It's not like the guy knows anything about him, and he can't launch into a whole confession about how exactly he himself knows everything there is to know, that would freak Elijah right out.

It's hard to get out of the stalker's mindset and to play it cool. Viggo's thrown off enough that he has a pang of yearning for his comfortable window—there's a lot less struggle in watching. The apartment, the air, the temperature, Elijah's faintly agressive and panicked countenance, everything feels a bit too real, less nice than what he's used to experiencing from his normal vantage point.

Viggo opens the plastic bag and fishes the 12-pack of Dr. Pepper out, takes a step closer to offer it up to Elijah.

"Here, take this. It's for you—I figured we'd both need some caffeine to go through this. There's a lot I need to tell you, really, and I'm finding it hard to, um, begin."

The gesture has to show at least a certain amount of good will; and hopefully Elijah won't wonder how Viggo knew what beverage to take along.


Elijah takes the twelve-pack that Mortensen, Viggo Mortensen thrusts at him, open-mouthed and uncertain. "What are you...?" Elijah begins, and then Viggo is reaching back into the bag and pulling out a pack of Marlboros.

This guy knows all my Achilles' Heels, Elijah thinks bemusedly, but his hand is already reaching for the pack of smokes. The edges of his mind feel dull. He's pretty sure he isn't quite grasping things. He can't be. This kind of thing doesn't happen to him.

"How do you know--" Elijah begins, and then something moves in the pet caddy again, and they both look down at it. Elijah frowns and absently shoves the twelve-pack onto the table, nudging aside a pile of files to make room. He puts the cigarettes on top of it and turns back toward the carrier, bending to look inside.

"How do I know what?" Mortensen says a little sharply, and Elijah's attention swerves away from the carrier and back toward the man.

"Um," Elijah says, trying to recall what he'd been thinking about. There's kind of a smell coming from either the man or whatever's in the carrier. It's spicy and interesting. Elijah can't quite put his finger on it. "Um. Funding. How do you know I'm having funding problems?" he manages to get out, mentally cursing the Adderall. His skin is starting to itch in earnest now.


"I'm afraid I can't tell you that just now," Viggo answers briskly, "too complicated. All in good time." He pulls the cardboard open to get at the cans and cracks one for himself; Elijah looks at him with one of his eyebrows doing what seems to be an involuntary nervous wiggle.

Viggo takes a long swallow of soda and tries to project certainty. "Do you want money or not?"

"You should sit down," he adds, crouching next to the cage, which brings his head suddenly very close to Elijah's (and he'd not calculated that, fuck, up close Elijah smells of industrial soap and come), and he opens the latch to draw back the top part of the container and expose the Pet, wanting to deluge Elijah with more surprise, to disorient and fascinate and shut him up so there's time to think.

He desperately needs time to think. To get used to. Things.

"We all need to get comfortable. You'll probably ask enough question to keep us busy for a few hours."


Elijah thinks it's more than slightly ironic that less than five minutes ago he'd been thinking he wouldn't turn down a blowjob for money.

Now there's a stranger in his living room offering him money, bribing him with good cigarettes and better carbonated beverages, and crouching practically at Elijah's feet, but all of that seems distant and unimportant because there's a monster in a pet carrier in Elijah's living room.

Huh, Elijah thinks, quickly followed by, it's too small, and his face prickles hotly with blood, because for fuck's sake, what kind of perverted, twisted fuck is he anyway.

The thing in the pet carrier moves, all sinuous, writhing curves, its... appendages (tentacles) making a kind of whisk-shh-whisk sound on the paper towels lining the bottom of the carrier.

Is it house trained? Elijah wonders, and has to bite his lip to hold back the kind of hysterical, tittering giggle that had got him beat up a few times in high school. He rubs fiercely at both arms, his itchy skin abruptly too much to take.

He can see Mortensen from the corner of his eye, watching Elijah. He hasn't moved, is still crouched beside the carrier and within arm's reach of Elijah, and he's holding a Dr. Pepper in one hand still.

The... creature uncoils itself (it looks a little like a knot of snakes or something, like an Indiana Jones movie where there are twenty of them of all sizes and species in a big, deadly pile) in what comes across to Elijah as a leisurely fashion, until it's sort of propped up on two of the thicker appendages. The rest are in motion, not whipping around crazily like in some of the video's Elijah's watched, but kind of quivering, like it's responding to a breeze that Elijah can't feel. It doesn't have a body, exactly —at least not one that Elijah can see right now, but the way it's moving makes it hard to tell. He doesn't see eyes or a mouth. Just... tentacles, maybe twenty or more, in varying sizes and colors —earth tone colors, sort of bronze-ish along the bigger ones, the smaller ones paler, the color of sand.

Elijah swallows hard, mouth and throat suddenly completely devoid of moisture. He hears and odd little click from his throat.

"What is that?" he whispers, low and kind of hoarse, and several of the quivering tentacles sort of sway in Elijah's direction.

Mortensen doesn't say anything for what feels like about six years, but Elijah can't drag his eyes away from the creature in his living room to look at the man long enough to try and figure out why.

It shifts again, the motion rippling along the bigger, supporting limbs, and raises up, sliding several smaller ones along the edge of the carrier. They slip along the plastic a few inches before encountering Mortensen's knee, pause there, and then it moves very fucking fast.

Elijah hears himself gasp as it just seems to boil up and out of the carrier, all frenetic motion and rippling, smooth... flesh? And then it settles on Mortensens's leg, limbs coiled around the curve of knee and thigh.

Elijah lets out his breath in a slow, unsteady sigh.

"Sit down," Mortensen invites, like it's his fucking house, but his tone is calm, solid, gentle.

Elijah sinks down to the floor, folding his knees up under his chin. He doesn't have the mental fortitude to do otherwise. His skin is prickling and tingling more than itching now, and his hard on is poking him in the belly.


If there was ever any doubt in Viggo's mind that the Pet was a brilliant idea (and there was, never before but in the past few minutes, ever since he'd plunged into all of that realness and got sort of confused by it), Elijah's reaction to it vaporized that completely. He looks strangely young hunched over his knees like this, a defensive posture, but there was absolutely nothing childlike about the movement of his Adam's apple a second ago, or in the gasp that teared out of him as Pet rose out of the cage.

Viggo smiles and lowers to the ground next to him, tired of crouching, knowing it'll prompt Pet to move and reposition itself.

Elijah stares and stares, obviously entranced as Pet moves up sinuously. His mouth is parted and shiny (he has started to lick his lips at regular intervals, every two seconds or so, it's one of the most erotic unconscious little tics ever); Viggo almost has to suppress delighted chuckles at the view.

"I haven't named It yet," he says softly, stroking the, um, back maybe—the sort of central bundle-y part of the Pet's body that Viggo thinks of as its back, anyway.

Elijah's sudden intake of breath is audible. They're really close now, close enough that if Viggo wanted he could think at the Pet a command to slither from his own knee to Elijah's calf, and Pet wouldn't need more than two or three big ripples of its largest appendage to go there.

"Is it okay if we both crash here for the night" Viggo asks, "me and It?" sliding a finger along one of the more deeply colored tails, one that looks (and is) as soft as the inside of someone's mouth.

Pet coils itself more tightly around Viggo's thigh and sends two thin tails curling around his wrist slowly, and Viggo shivers, almost gasping in turn as the sensations relayed from Pet (of his own skin, the little hair raised on the back of his wrist, the knobbly shape of his own bone) twine in his nervous system with his own. Fuck, yeah, and to think soon he'll be feeling Elijah like this—

"Yeah," Elijah whispers dreamily, "whatever." He obviously didn't listen to the words, responding only to the interrogative tone of voice.

It's so heady, so good, that immediate branding assurance that Viggo can ask anything of Elijah and he'll get it, that Elijah's won over, vulnerable, eager even; Viggo can't help but smile to himself.

"Might take a few days for everything to get sorted out," he adds pensively, moving his fingers over various parts of Pet with feigned nonchalance, watching the blush of blood rise into Elijah's cheeks and creep over the bridge of his nose under the thick frame of his dorky glasses (there's really not many things in life better than watching Elijah, and watching him at the height of sensual excitation is unspeakably nice). "Hm, you should probably get to know one another."

Elijah nods again, eyes never leaving Pet.

"Do you want to touch It?"


"Is it, um, nice?" Elijah hears himself ask as if from a great distance, but his hand is already moving, a tentative sort of reaching gesture, like one would offer a hand to an unfamiliar dog.

He has time to think that this, the whole thing, is insane. That he's dreaming, asleep in his desk chair, the victim of too much porn, or barring that (unlikely, considering the stimulants) he's hallucinating the man and the creature and the spicy, good smell that seems even stronger now.

Whatever. Doesn't matter. It's not real.

Can't be.

But he's reaching anyway, and Mortensen —what did he say his first name was again? —chuckles, a low, deep roll of mellow sounds. "Yeah," he says. "It's nice."

"I j-just," Elijah stammers, and licks his lips. "I thought h-he might bite or something."

Mortensen laughs again, full-throated this time. "Pet doesn't bite," he assures Elijah. "I don't think it can. It doesn't," —hesitation, which Elijah hears but can't be bothered to think about just now —"it doesn't eat that way."

"Pet," Elijah repeats dumbly. Mortensen says something Elijah doesn't catch then because the creature, it, Pet lifts itself up in a ripple of movement, and all of its tentacles are shivering in Elijah's direction. His hand is close enough that it could reach, but Elijah can't bring himself to close the distance, initiate touch himself. What if he startles it, what if it runs away?

It seems too great a risk. Come on, he thinks stupidly, uselessly, but he can't help it. "Pet," slides out from between his lips again, almost a whisper, and then it is moving, that same burst of quick and sinuous energy, scuttering across Elijah's open hand —Elijah gets the confused impression of warmth and smooth flesh and tickling, feather-like brush of the Pet's locomotion —and up to his forearm where it settles as quickly as it had erupted into motion.

Elijah feels the blood rush to his face and neck and dick as it winds sleek limbs around his naked forearm; he can clearly feel the ripple of muscle under the skin of the creature, the strength of it as it settles, several of its tentacles anchored around Elijah's arm.

"Oh," Elijah says, and his hand clenches into a fist and then spasms open helplessly. He glances up at Mortensen, he's not sure why, wanting to make sure it's okay or something, but Mortensen seems hardly aware of Elijah at all. He's smiling slightly, but his eyes are closed and his head is tipped slightly back.

Pet shifts on Elijah's arm, dragging Elijah's eyes downward helplessly, and Elijah watches one of the smallest tentacles —so pale it's almost yellow, and faintly speckled, Elijah thinks —slither it's way up to the crook of Elijah's elbow and trace the visible vein there for a few seconds. "Hungh," Elijah breathes, and it retreats, winding around Elijah's arm like the others.

"Pet likes you," Mortensen rumbles, but Elijah doesn't look at him.

Instead, he touches a tentative fingertip to one of the tentacles wound around his arm. Pet shifts, and one of the others, still raised and quivering in Elijah's direction, snakes around Elijah's finger with a little ripple of constriction.

"Oh," Elijah croaks dumbly, and he feels absolutely stupid with shock and disbelief. Two of the smaller tentacles stroke lightly along the back of his hand. "Wow," he adds.

Mortensen is speaking again, and Elijah makes a vaguely affirmative noise, doesn't even give a shit what he's agreeing to. He is sure the spicy-good scent in the air is coming from this creature, and he can't quite stop himself from tipping his face down and inhaling deeply, eyes fluttering closed in appreciation. Yeah, it's definitely Pet, it smells like... he doesn't know, not quite, but like something good, and he licks his lips again.

Then his eyes snap open as something soft brushes lightly across his lower lip —not something, but it, the thing, the Pet, nothing else it could be, of course, touching his mouth —and blood rushes again to his face and his groin, but by the time he can focus, it's stopped.

He looks at Mortensen, mute with shock and unsure of what he would say anyway, but in desperate need of some kind of reassurance or information, or something.

Mortensen is just looking at him, though, staring, pale eyes practically drilling holes in Elijah's face, and Elijah wonder's blearily if he's angry, and if he'll leave and maybe take the Pet with him, and his belly clenches in tight, greedy possessiveness and he bends his arm and pulls it close to his chest.


"Yeah, wow," Viggo tells him, shaken out of his tactile transe by the sudden movement. That sums it up nicely.

Elijah's attention doesn't stay on Viggo for very long; his free hand moves over Pet for a shy sort of caress, fingers bent in a cup as if to measure it, desire and curiosity and awe clearly written on his face.

The animal must perceive something it wants, because it moves of its own volition (Viggo's sure he didn't send any kind of mental tug to it to that effect) to spread with swishy noises and wrap Elijah's palm into several tentacles, and then as Viggo and the boy both sigh in unison Pet pulls at the hand, a regular traction (that Viggo can feel as a twinge of strength, a definite increase of pressure in the crooks of his knees and into his armpits, as if his own body was bent and snarled around Elijah's hand and curling tighter) until the hand is positioned palm up close to Elijah's opposite elbow where Pet sits for now... and Pet quietly, smoothly transfer its body into the ready receptacle of Elijah's palm.

Viggo's heart jumps against his ribs, because Elijah's hand is damp with perspiration and Oh fuck of course it's tasty to the Pet—come, traces of come on his skin from before, Viggo thinks in a daze—and it moves its underbelly in tiny waves against it, membrane thinner and receptive, it moves and absorbs what it can of Elijah's body fluids microscopic remains with a gluttonous enthusiasm that Viggo's only experienced on himself before, but recognizes instantly.

The taste of it floods his tongue despite the fact that his tongue is safely in his mouth; it is, in fact, drying slowly from too much exposure to air, as Viggo's lips are staying dumbly parted from incredulity and shock. Elijah's taste is bitterness and peppery tang, fading in and out of the lightly musky flavor of his sweat as Pet gently takes it all away from his skin, amazing, surreal. Viggo has to fight to stop his eyes rolling back in his head.

Elijah's shoulders and biceps are covered in goosebumps but he doesn't seem to notice at all, he's not shivering, only content to watch and feel Pet feed on him (though Viggo doubts Elijah's understood yet that this is what is happening). His breaths are deep and long, powerful inhalations; his knees have spread and lowered, his thighs parted and giving Viggo a perfect view of the bulge in his sweats—None of that matters to Elijah, apparently, anymore, to the point where Viggo wonders (he's closed his hands in fists to avoid touching himself, to avoid jumping in or laying back and letting himself get drunk on it, because there will be time for it later, there will, Viggo wants there to be and will do anything to make it happen) if Elijah would even react to his touch at all, or his voice, or what.

"Elijah," Viggo tries then, moving away from him just a little, a few inches on the carpet; it's the first time he pronounces the first name aloud when there is someone else than him to hear it and Viggo's heart clenches a little at that, at how the word feels intimate and beautiful and fragile just now. "Elijah," again, since Elijah hasn't responded in any kind of way, too busy that he is (fuck me, Viggo thinks, you're fucking shitting me, how does he do that? and he congratulates himself once more for having brought these two creatures together, because though Fate was too stupid to see it it doesn't mean they don't absolutely belong together, so madly right, so painfully good) undulating under Pet's selfish attention, "I'm gonna leave you with It a second, okay? I need to go get something from my van, it's parked down in the street."

If he doesn't get away, Viggo will come in his jeans again.


It does have a body, or a least a palm-sized expanse of smooth flesh where all the tentacles merge, and it's smooth and soft, so soft, like the perfect, flawless skin on the backs of knees, thin and sleek and warmly lovely in Elijah's hand. The myriad colors of its limbs sort of ripple as it moves, a soft undulation, the grip of its tentacles firm and comfortably tight around Elijah's wrist and hand, a couple of them still upright and wavering, tips brushing against Elijah's other arm.

He has no idea what it's doing, but it's something, feels good like the light tickling of fingertips brushing against sensitive skin.

He hears Mortensen talking, but it's just noise, unimportant. Pet flexing and wriggling gently around his hand is important, the grinding, mind-bending pulse of blood in his groin is important, and the smell of it, even stronger now, like it's excreting some kind of powerful pheromone that affects Elijah on the deepest levels, is important. Everything else is secondary.

He isn't even aware of Mortensen leaving until Pet stops what it's doing, tentacles unwinding from Elijah's wrists to sway alertly toward the door. It quivers a little with what Elijah understands is tension, and Elijah's belly lurches in sympathetic unhappiness.

"Oh, no," he croons softly, and strokes his fingertips across Pet's largest tentacle, hoping it's something soothing for it. "No, it's okay, shh." It quivers and a few sinuous appendages sort of drift back toward Elijah in a way that at least seems to indicate attention. "He'll be back," Elijah murmurs, "he--" and he has to wrack his brain to try and sort out what Mortensen had said before he'd gone out the door, but he gets it finally, along with the unlooked for but welcome recollection of Mortensen's first name --"just went to the van," he finishes. "Viggo wouldn't leave without you," he assures it, and some distant part of him is able to marvel that he doesn't feel in the least stupid talking to it, though he isn't at all certain that it understands him. And more immediately, he's sure Viggo wouldn't leave without Pet, so he isn't lying to it. Elijah can't imagine that anyone would, ever, and if Pet were his, Elijah wouldn't ever leave it alone, not for a single second. "I'll take care of you," he whispers, and more of Pets limbs sway toward him, tickling gently against Elijah's cheeks for a moment. It makes a sound, a kind of high-pitch crooning sound, and Elijah smiles and twiddles his fingers against it.

It wraps tentacles around Elijah's fingers and twiddles them back, and Elijah laughs delightedly even as his belly knots with heat. He doesn't care if it's real, doesn't care if he's dreaming, doesn't give a shit if he's entirely lost his fucking mind.

Pet wraps itself around Elijah's hand again, anchoring itself with a half dozen of it's thickest tentacles —about three inches in diameter —and resumes the gentle, warm ripple of movement that seems to echo in Elijah's belly.

He can't help imagining how that would feel around his dick, the sleek-warm smoothness of its skin and the firm strength of its limbs wrapped around Elijah, and Elijah groans quietly and shifts his thighs open a little further, giving himself some room, torn between the desire to wriggle one hand free of Pet so he can push it against the bulge in his sweats, and entirely unwilling to stop touching it, even for a second. He contents himself with wrapping his fingers around one of the tentacles that's not attached to his wrist and stroking it gently, cheeks heating because the gesture is almost like stroking his own dick, curled fingers and careful pressure and a little twist. He wonders if it feels good to Pet.

Pet croons, a sound that effects Elijah viscerally, makes him shudder, and he whispers, "Oh, Christ, this has to be a dream." His voice sounds shaky and uncertain, and without meaning to he lowers both hands, keeping them steady and even so as not to disturb the creature, and presses the back of the hand it's sitting on to the ridge in his sweats, exhaling breathily at the wash of heat and almost unbearable pleasure, his eyes drifting half-closed but still fixed on Pet.


As soon as he's out the door and into the (antiquated and slow as fuck, but it means more time alone, which is what Viggo needs right now) elevator, Viggo slips a hand in his pants to cradle his throbbing dick—cradle, yes, nothing more, just to relieve some of the mad heated itch, using the other to deftly turn the knob on the transmitter and reopen the window into Elijah's apartment.

The image behind his eyelids flickers alive as the keyring in his hand jangles against the hard black shell of the electronic widget, but Viggo is too swept up in touch to even notice it at first; the hand in his pants aflame with the many sensations relayed by Pet. It's insane, the ghost silkiness of Elijah's skin in his palm layed over the softness of his own cock, the little back and forth that he finally understands, using his eyes again, is the motion of Elijah's finger stroking one of Pet's tails.

Elijah whispers soothing things to It as it moves bits over his face and Viggo's stomach lurches when Elijah says his name, his name to Pet, and laughs softly.

Watching and listening intently now, trying to forget about his dick for the time it takes him to cross the dingy lobby and make it to the van (though he keeps his hand where it is, curled protectively over what feels like the rocket about to fucking explode in his briefs), Viggo can see that the animal is bigger now, its tails longer and more thick, his body more plump; the whole mass of it probably approaches that of an overfed cat, the lazy, castrated kind that hardly ever drags itself away from the bed.

Nothing about Pet is missing though, not that Viggo knows much about its reproductive system or even if it has one, but the nuns had promised a perfectly sane newborn specimen, and he knows that's what they delivered.

Once in the van Viggo needs to sit down, his knees buckling under the many assaults, and he pulls the zipper on his trousers down and pushes them off along with his underwear, heaving a sigh of relief. Taking his hand away from himself proves a little hard, tempted as he is to close it around his dick and squeeze immediately, but he does it too, focusing instead on Elijah's trembling voice and thinking Oh no, not a dream, more like a dream come true in silent response.

Elijah's hands falls slowly to his crotch, holding ground for the beast that now spills over them, larger, and the noise coming from Elijah's mouth as the back of his hand finally weighs on his groin is a perfect echo of Viggo's own breathless moan.

Viggo shuts his eyes tight and rotates the angle of the wormhole, one light finger twiddling the tiny scroll wheel on the transmitter, gritting his teeth as his new point of view enhances by leaps and bound the clarity and the hotness of the tableau Elijah and Pet form together.

The creature pushes down on the hand (something Viggo can feel as a tightening in his chest before it's visible), and then it pulls itself half out of Elijah's palm with a burst of energy, slithering its strongest tentacles in the creases where thighs give way to torso, and Viggo keels backwards on the crumbly foam mattress in the van while Elijah mewls surprise and tips his head back, bliss on his face, his throat working convulsively.

After that it's a jumble of things Viggo can't separate for a while, too many visual, tactile and auditive stimuli entangled at once as Pet wriggles bits of itself over and into the distended elastic waistband of Elijah's sweatpants, revels (Viggo knows this by the flash of pure animal happiness spreading in his belly as the Pet's underbelly plasters itself on the spongy cloth and sucks) in the traces of sweat soaked in the fabric and rounds its shiny back, curling a thin freckled tentacle into the mess of soft wiry hair at the root of Elijah's cock—undiluted, uncut heaven.


If it's not real, Elijah doesn't have to bother with pretending disinterest or resistance or shame, he reasons.

There's a little shame anyway, hot cheeks and the fervent, desperate hope that Mortensen doesn't come back anytime soon because it's unlikely that he'd look favorably on Elijah molesting his Pet, but mostly there's just warm, pressing sensation.

It has one limb still wound around one of Elijah's wrists, but the others are all pressing warm and heavy —it seems heavier, but Elijah thinks that has to do with where it's weight is resting rather than its actual bulk —into his lap. The bulk of it's body is centered over the searing ache that is Elijah's dick, excruciatingly good, painful, needful, fucking ecstatic, and its limbs seem to be everywhere, firmly wound around his thighs in a few places, one thick one around his waist, above the sweats but beneath the hem of his t-shirt, flesh to flesh contact.

Elijah's head falls back and he hears himself, "uh uh uh," that overlaps, slippery, with Pet's quiet, rhythmic croon, and it is moving in his lap, moving against him in a way that Elijah wants to think is deliberate, not just the random shifting of an animal because that would be, that would be just, something, not right or something, but that's a lie.

He wants it to be deliberate, yeah, but if it isn't —it doesn't matter enough for Elijah to try and stop it, oh, because it's good, he's shivering and burning and it's not really even doing anything, just stroking Elijah's belly lightly with the tips of several tentacles and lying in his lap, crooning like a cat might purr (not that Elijah would get off on a cat purring in his lap, but this isn't anything like that, not even remotely).

He tips his head forward again to look at it, hunched over his own lap, and one tentacle —sort of shiny, Elijah notes, more gold than bronze and with swirls of different coloration mottling it artfully —drifts upward, quivering, until it finds Elijah's jaw. Elijah swallows hard, throat working, shuddering a little; sweat prickles on the back of his neck and his upper lip, and he really really hopes Mortensen will stay gone for a little while, and then he forgets to think about it at all because the tentacle on his jaw slides up around the back of his neck and tugs. Elijah folds down without even considering it, and the tentacle continues around until it's all the way around Elijah's throat.

It isn't choking him. It's just there, firm pressure, presence, just holding Elijah, just holding him.

Elijah's free hand goes up dreamily. He isn't sure what he even means to do with it; his head feels full of white noise, his skin crackling with the crazy itch of deep want. His fingertips brush the warm flesh, feels it ripple, and he's pretty sure he has not intention of pulling it away, maybe just wants to touch it, feel it. He's not afraid.


But another tentacle comes up and affixes itself around that wrist and tugs, pulling Elijah's hand away from his throat, and it draws his hand downward to rest along the top of his thigh like his other hand, but once it's there Pet doesn't let go, and Elijah can feel the slip-slick-slide of it's tentacle moving through the sweat on the back of his neck. "Oh," he says, and there's a slight tightening around his neck, like it's responding to the vibration of the sound, and it tugs him forward more so that Elijah thinks crazily that it's a good thing he's flexible, aware that at least one of Pet's smaller tentacles is sliding under the waistband of his sweats, slithering through Elijah's pubic hair, not really like a caress Elijah tells himself, but he groans a little and his dick throbs with heavy, urgent weight.

It's like it wants to touch of all him at once, and he thinks again that it should be bigger so that it could, and he wonders what it wants, and he wonders if he's going to come in his pants, and then he doesn't wonder anything because what it wants becomes clear.

It wants to touch his mouth again, it wants to push the tip of one tentacle against his bottom lip until Elijah's mouth falls open, helpless reaction, and push just slightly into Elijah's mouth, just barely brushing the tip of Elijah's tongue so that Elijah finds out it tastes just like it smells, spicy and a little smoky, something foreign, salt that might be from it or might be from Elijah's own skin, and Elijah's breath rushes out of his throat like he's been punched in the stomach and he chokes as he tries to take another, a garbled half-moan, high and incredulous.

He has to clench his eyes closed tight to get his breath back, get it to steady out into something useful for oxygenation, but he carefully doesn't pull away from the soft, barely-there invasion of his mouth, just wishes he could somehow push his hips up into the pressure of it against his groin in this position, not that he thinks he's going to need it for much longer because what it's already doing is good, God, so good, and it's not like anything Elijah's ever seen or even fantasized, not quite, it's all subtly different, but it's so much realer even though it can't be, feels so good, so good.


A persistent beeping yanks Viggo out of his erotic daze; some computer signal or other about money movement from some oversea bank to one of his off-shore accounts that he doesn't give a flying shit about right this minute, but it's good for something in that it gives Viggo back just enough grasp on here (inside the van, splayed like a starfish on the mattress with his legs sticking out and propped unvoluntarily on a jungle of network and satellite cables) and now (45 seconds away from shooting his load over a clean fucking pair of trousers again, dammit, why did he only push them off a ways and not completely?).

Something tickle inside his nose, like a sneeze building slowly, and Viggo shakes his head to try and dispel it. He keeps his eyes open as he does to make sure that the pornographic scene unfolding 8 floors up doesn't immediately reassert its hypnotic power over him, and clenches his toes in his boots. Toe action is always a good, grounding move. The whole of his skin is tingly from sheer empathetic excitement, a sheen of sweat (that Pet would luxuriously absorb if it could) covering his face and palms and the back of his neck.

Viggo stands and strips from the waist down properly this time, chucking his boots, taps the right combination of keys blindly on the small keyboard of the protected data terminal to kill the beeping and shakes his head again, dizzy.

He briefly considers using a little of the arnica lotion he keeps in the first-aid slash pharmacy box, maybe rub the palms of his hands with it to numb the overwhelming sensitivity and make things last longer; but ends up dismissing the idea.

It's probably useless considering how the inside of this mouth feels raw and full of blood and pulsing, taking into account how round and heavy his balls feel, how taking a step is enough to make him want to bite his lip, so powerful is the magnified sensation of his own asscheeks rubbing against each other—Fuck, even the inside of his asshole is somehow affected by the Pet's fucking waves of sensation, even the soft fragile inner surface of his goddamn lungs.

It's probably something to do with Pet's eagerness at finally feeding from a second person, the biological need in it that grew after Viggo's first imprint on it, a structural hunger getting slowly satiated for the first time.

Whatever the reasons, though, Viggo's in no state to conduct scientific observations now. What he wants to be doing is an experiment for sure, it fully qualifies, and Viggo's brain will no doubt manage to extract useful data from it that he'll be able to churn through later... But it is foremost an existential experience (a taste of paradise).

Settling back on the mattress and leaning (carefully now, don't end up breathless again before you even sit) against the pillows, Viggo spreads his legs, knees bent, feet flat on the covers, and takes a few deep breaths. He closes his eyes.

The picture is nearly the same (Elijah hunched over his lap and rocking in small jerks, his knees open, his feet touching one another, and the Pet moving over him in slow waves and holding him captive by his throat) but the sounds are different now, each of Elijah's exhaled breath carrying a whiny moan of ecstasy—Viggo's chest seizes up lightning-fast, his mouth opening to let out a deep groan as both his hands meet at his groin and squeeze.

He takes his balls in one hand, mindful not to start rubbing upwards quite yet, not to roll them around and make himself delirious; with the other hand Viggo forms a tight circle of fingers around the base of his cock and fiercely holds his would-be orgasm back. To think he came earlier today, not so fucking long ago—age has been kind to him so far but it's still quite a festival for him to end up so madly aroused again so soon, which makes Viggo wonder briefly how absolutely uncontrollable the effect of all this would be to a younger guy, someone the age of say, Elijah.

But anyway, he's here now, he's hanging there, oh fuck yeah, not quite done, not all of his neurons fried dead, and it's time to get down to business, man, to get down and dirty.

Viggo concentrates and sends a gentle injunction to his Pet (still his, huh-uh, his to direct and feed and even, in that weird sexual way, feed from), just a little tug on the loose multidimensional leash, asking it to wiggle the tentacle tip resting on Elijah's lip. And Pet does, and gives a little jolt of its body in Elijah's lap at the same time—the rush of it (faint wetness from Elijah's soft, soft mouth, the brush of air as he inhales, probably tickled or aroused further by Pet's provoked movement, the amazing heat of his hard-on pressed against his belly by Pet's weight, the flavors erupting on Viggo's taste-buds all at once, not to mention the fucking technicolor display behind Viggo's tightly clenched eyelids) makes Viggo heave a gasp and squeeze himself harder.

Whoa, okay.

The next minutes carve themselves in Viggo's memory with such ferocity that he could probably live the rest of his lifetime with them for sole masturbation material and still be some kind of content.

Alternating orders, Viggo plays Pet as if it is an instrument, or maybe as though it is the accessory used to make the instrument respond with sound: the drumstick for Elijah's drum, the bow to his violin. Every one of Pet's swishy bits gets a turn to wiggle and insinuate and grope, one after the other and then in twos and threes as Viggo gains assurance in the way Pet meets his queries. He's losing the physical battle and he knows it, his fingers white-knuckled on his aching, burning dick, a furiously hot stone drilling a hole of pain in his belly, but it almost doesn't matter.

Elijah's beautiful, it's fucking unreal how he writhes and pants, the little 'Oh's and 'Ha's and whispered "fuckfuckfuck" streaming out of the corner of his mouth, the slight distortion of anxious guilt that he gets at weird intervals when he can't help but throwing looks at the door.

Slowly Viggo changes the whole topology of Pet over Elijah's body—leaving the tentacles wrapped around his neck and teasing his mouth so delightfully, of course. When he's done with that part, Pet has curled several tails around Elijah's dick in a quasi-human replica of a hand, it's got a thick tentacle pressing upwards at the boy's taint and slithered up his crack, it holds one of Elijah's nipple hostage with a slow maddening stricture and flutters over it with a lighter, faster bit.

Viggo's about to pass out, but it's all fucking worth it.


Elijah will die, he thinks he will just burn up, when the tentacle in his sweats shifts, finally finally to brush the furnace-hot skin of his swollen dick. He chokes for a second, disbelief and hope and soul killing want, and then it shifts again and it curls and, "ohgodohohoh," Elijah whimpers and jams his eyes shut (but somehow has the presence of mind to keep his mouth open). His hands twitch on his thighs, the habit of arousal driving them toward his own groin, but they are stopped, stilled, he had forgotten that Pet is still holding his wrists and there is deepening constriction when he tries to move them, there is tension in the warmth around his wrists, and he is stilled. He cannot move his hands.

He doesn't fight it. He can't, the impulse that tells him he should is so faint, drowned out and obliterated by the rushing demand that he doesn't want to, and his breath sounds like a series of high, aborted yelps.

Pet shifts again, its whole body this time, the weight of it dragging across the straining fabric of Elijah's sweats, and he can't even breathe to moan, he can't even think or move as he feels more of its limbs nudging at the waist of his sweats, sliding sleekly along the ultra sensitive skin between his hipbones below his navel, downward and under and around, and he isn't even aware of several other tentacles pushing up his shirt until there is a bright spear of friction-not-pain that burns around his left nipple, and he opens his eyes to see one smallish tentacle, red-gold, almost iridescent, beautiful curving up his pale, smooth chest, shocking against his skin, so bright, one of the slender ones, and it is, it has, the tip is curled around Elijah's nipple, it is wrapped around the pale pink skin (which is flushing into a deeper shade as Elijah stares at it) tightly. Another, paler, like sand, eases up, winds around its fellow until its tip hovers, quivering near Elijah's nipple. It darts forward, a quick brush, and Elijah chokes out a soft wail of surprise and shocked arousal, and the tentacle still pressed to his lip slithers forward, sleek and neat, two or three inches into his mouth.

It twists, nudges, presses against his tongue, and Elijah feels mindless, sensation-driven, no longer questioning reality or even thinking, and it seems the most natural thing in the world to close his lips, move his tongue against it, suck lightly as spicy-smoky flesh as slick spit floods his mouth at the flavor of it.

He can hear himself, "mmm-mmm-mmm," soft sounds of urgency muffled, and he is rocking, rocking against Pet's body, and it's hard to move, he has no leverage like this, he his bent and pulled into position and he has no choice but to maintain it, but he strains anyway, pulse of pleasure flaring white behind his eyes and so good, yeah, so much better, so much...

He cries out when the lone tentacle wrapped around his dick moves, a ripple of muscle that lifts his dick so that his sweats tent and strain, and then holds his breath hoping for, wantingwantingneeding more, and then others, he doesn't know how many, several, wrap tight around him and flex not all together as one movement, but by degrees, different rhythms, varied in strength and speed and one of them pressed down between his balls and winds firmly around them and another, smooth and soft, slides behind his balls and back and Elijah rocks back without pausing to think, gives it room, and it nudges, just brushes, just barely touches his asshole, and Elijah's eyes stutter open but he can't see, and he's only vaguely aware that he's shifted past the point of balance and fallen backward until his upper back hits the couch and his legs and lower body follow, forced upward by the tight coils of the Pet so that he's helpless like a turtle on it's back, only the curve of his spine on the floor, shoulders jammed up against the couch, and the sound he is making might be sobs or screams, even he can't tell, muffled and distorted around one of Pet's softly thrusting limbs.

Please, he wants to say, pleaseohpleaseohpleasepleaseplease, but he just rocks slightly in the impossible creature's grip, just chokes out sobbing sounds of pleasure and wriggles and sweats as it tightens around him, tightens everywhere, pushes just a little, and gently, and he wishes it would push inside, be inside him, but it just nudges and teases and the screaming, thrashing rush of his orgasm comes so abruptly, hard undulation around his dick now, around his balls, his nipple, his throat and both wrists, mouth full, body burning, he screams, tries to arch and can't, is heldfastbentdouble, cries muffled and hardly even aware when his sweats are tuggedshoved down around his thighs by some incomprehensible combination of movements.

He comes forever, he comes so hard, shivering tension and unthinkable pleasure, and when it lowers him, shifts him carefully downward so that he's splayed out on the ground, he is so warm, so warm and lax and heavy. It fits itself into the cradles below his hips, soft underside pressed damply to his bare and come-covered skin, and its slow ripples of movement are perfect, perfect while he's coming down, it is perfect, wonderful, and he drags one newly freed hand up his thigh to rest on the bulk of its body, and when the tentacle between his lips pulls back, slow, careful tug of removal, it lingers at his open, panting mouth, the tip brushing lightly against his lips once, twice, again, like a goodbye kiss.


Something's beeping again—not the same terminal, but the main computer, signaling a landmark point of its churning through some of the blueprints Viggo fed earlier in the day.

Viggo comes to, his hand resting shaped like a claw on his thigh. Fuck, did he really pass out? He saw stars, literally, and then completely shattered, that's what it felt like... Or maybe he fell asleep. Probably that, yeah. Not enough rest in the past week, what with the taming and the jump and staying awake long hours to tie in loose ends and needle info out of stubborn people. Oh well. It'll get better with some food, a proper night between sheets.

His mind snags on the concept. Better. Mm, yeah, even though his body balks at the mere prospect of getting up right now, even though a few seconds ago (minutes? How long did he stay there, unmoving, recuperating?), he'd have said it can't really get any better than this...

Because it can. The pet will grow, and next time Viggo might even stay in the room, and he'll be rested and fed and the last of the general unease he feels because of the jump will have finally faded. Elijah will get used to him, both of them, and. Well. It'll be grand.

Viggo yawns, a huge noisy yawn that takes him by surprise as he staggers to his feet, bubbling up from the depths of him. He cracks his neck and bends to lift his clothes then slip them on, slides his ass in the chair facing the screen of the computer, turns it on.

The display comes to life, color patterns of mathematical analysis, and Viggo jolts in his seat and closes his eyes tight, looking for the window that he left open all this time. With a sigh of relief he takes in the slightly ridiculous picture of Elijah, rag-doll splayed on the floor in his apartment, apparently asleep. The creature is slumped all over him, man, really bigger now—of course, come this time, come and not just sweat and flakes of older secretions; the only sounds in the apartment are the low whine of the fridge and Elijah's occasional snoring intake of breath.

He laughs. It seems dumb now that he ever could worry about this, that he wanted to kick his own ass for not having prepared better as Elijah looked at him with puzzlement and asked questions all starting with 'Um'. Viggo had him pegged right eons ago, deep down he knew that it would all work out smoothly as soon as Elijah would get to touch and interact with the Pet... There's never been a thing to worry about.

And suddenly he can't wait to be back up there. He wants to see Elijah sleep but not like this, not from this removed (and don't forget fucking uncomfortable) position; he wants to be in the same room and share the same oxygen.

The desire isn't new—voyeurism is an inclination Viggo developed over months of following Elijah's life, but despite what a psychiatrist might think of his odd psyche (Viggo readily admits to being odd, and considering what passes for normal he even does so with a non-trivial amount of pleasure and pride), it's not the centerpiece of his behavioral make up. But it's never been this strong, and of course, never been possible until now.

Viggo rushes through the necessary nightly sweep of the nearby frequencies and of the network, saves the latest blueprints-extracted charts and launches the next tasks, all under five minutes. He stretches as soon as up, feeling the little pleasurable echoes of the mind-blowing experience travel in his tired muscles, and he's singing quietly to himself as he slips his feet back in his boots, grabs his sleeping bag and closes the van with a happy turn of key.

Elijah's keyring is still in his pocket (taking them from the bundle of discarded clothes on the floor had given him a particular kind of joy, such an intimate thing, his hand fumbling and fondling Elijah's jeans, jeans that he could make himself believe were still warm from skin) and Viggo lets himself in smoothly, much easier than before when he had to work a mix of social engineering with some magnetic magic to get access into the building.

Once more he spends his elevator time looking in on the place, eyes closed, at peace this time. His two companions are asleep; it's hard to be sure when Pet sleeps or doesn't but Viggo hasn't felt the mad overlapping sensations from its quarter since he, er, recovered, which is the clearest indication he has to judge. He closes the window, toggling the transmitter off.

Inside, Viggo puts Elijah's keys on the table and his transmitter back in his shoulder bag that he carefully zips and buckles closed before adding the heavy combination lock. Then he strips, toeing boots and socks off and changing to the sweats and a clean t-shirt waiting for him in the backpack. He looks around.

Elijah's head is wedged a bit sideways against the foot of his fold-out sofa bed (unfolded, of course, there never is a good reason for Elijah to fold it back, never a guest, no serious tidying up or cleaning either, Viggo knows), which explains the snoring; it looks very uncomfortable. He looks young, and maybe not happy, but... Sated and peaceful, his forehead smooth, the shadows under his eyes a little less dark than before. His specs are askew and his t-shirt crumpled under his elbow; when did he take it off and why does Viggo not remember seeing that? Elijah's belly is creased over and under his navel, skin folded over itself because of the awkward not-quite-flat position; his chest isn't really visible, hidden under the body of the Pet, and neither is his cock, buried under a barely pulsing tangle of thick and thinner tails.

He's easy to lift and he doesn't wake up (the added mass of the animal nicely centered and clutching just enough not to slip an inch as Viggo moves him means Viggo can't form a precise idea of Elijah's real own weight, only of the way Elijah fits in his arms, his lean petite shape), but when Viggo lowers next to him on the bed he's trembling from it, from that first contact of their skins, his teeth clamped on his bottom lip and holding back a groan of felicity.

It takes him a while to stop shivering, quiet his wildly beating heart and muster enough fortitude to finish the practical stuff: rid Elijah's legs of his tangled sweatpants completely, take his socks off, fold his glasses on the rickety tubular metal chair against the wall with the small electronic alarm clock on it.

Up again, Viggo gets a glass of water from the tap (absolutely disgusting, but he's fucking parched, and he can dismiss his growing hunger in favor of sleep easily enough but the thirst won't let up on its own) and goes to piss, washes his hands and combs his hair backwards with his fingers. Shit, what a day.

Elijah curled on himself and rolled vaguely more on his side facing the wall (not much, Pet's bulk and appendages preventing a bigger change in Elijah's position); Viggo joins him on the bed, happy to have enough space to lie flat on his back after days of sleeping in weird places and in the cramped van.

His hand reaches out unconsciously for the warmth of Pet's soft shiny skin, and settles down when a tail lazily comes to coil in his palm, the thin tip wound around his thumb. There's a lot he should be thinking of and a lot he could be celebrating, but Viggo can feel his entire body shutting down on him, surrendering, craving rest.

He falls asleep in no time.