Claude could almost taste the scent of mutants in the air, his senses tingling whenever one drew too close, and though the compulsion to kill them had burned away in the fire of passion with Hector Freimark, he still felt the urge to become them. His body needed desperately to absorb their power, to feel his starving cells rejuvenate, taking on whatever form of mutation they carried. It was harder to control the desperation in solitary confinement but the warden had released him back to his cell a few days earlier and now the other prisoners were almost within striking range.
He took a deep breath as another mutant passed by his locked cell, feeling the sensation prickling over his skin for a few seconds, his bones softening and stretching like elastic until the man moved too far away and his body cells rebounded back to their dormant state. Claude cursed at the stab of pain that accompanied the reversion and then smiled. Now he knew what skill that mutant possessed. Next time he would be quicker and try to slip between the bars of his cell as soon as the power began to fill him.
There were others here that he could mimic so long as he stayed within their orbit, using their power to overthrow the guards and escape and yet he didn't intend to go far, having no plans to leave the top security prison. All he wanted was to reach the firestarter, Freimark. He wanted to fall into orbit around the man and taste the flames that burned within his cells. He wanted the searing touch and the heat of possession, licking into the hot mouth as the passion raged like an inferno within them.
And he knew Freimark wanted it too.
Two days later, Claude's chance came again and he mentally prepared himself by the bars of his cell as the elastic mutant moved closer on his way to the exercise yard, only to curse under his breath as the guard called the man to a halt just beyond Claude's range.
"No exercise today. There's a storm breaking overhead."
As if to punctuate the guard's words, Claude heard a rumble of thunder that vibrated through the metal and concrete of the prison. The lights dimmed and brightened several times in quick succession, finally giving out altogether and throwing the place into chaos. Power filled him as the elastic mutant stumbled closer, and Claude knew he had to take the opportunity. He elongated his body to slide between the bars of the cell while silently hoping the mutant didn't move off before he was all the way through, or it would be both painful as well as embarrassing.
The strobe of flashlights illuminated the cell block but Claude didn't need to see to know where to go. He had committed the layout of the prison to memory and moved swiftly through the anxious crowd, picking up small changes in body chemistry from low category mutants who were probably not even aware of their mutation. Unlike those lesser mutants, Claude could expand upon their puny genetics, absorbing their abilities into his own unique body. Only a powerful mutant could have any hope of fighting back and forcing a standoff, and Freimark was that powerful, having proved it several weeks earlier.
Claude felt the shift in his body from a pathetic excuse for a shape changer, instinctively knowing how to harness that power and become one of the guards who had grown so familiar to him over these past months. Not wanting to lose this particular gift, he grabbed the shape changer by the arm and marched him forward, wanting to keep him within his grasp as he moved towards the exercise yard.
The wind and rain hit him as he took a step outside, pushing him back a step or two but Claude pushed onwards, ignoring the dismay and outrage of the shape changer. The rain soaked through his shape-shifted uniform, droplets finding their way beneath the collar and running in rivulets down his face as he strode towards the double gate separating him from the other compound. Claude almost gave the game away by grinning as the stupid guard bought the cover story and let him through both gates with a friendly nod. His body was thrumming now as Freimark's fire-starting abilities began to overpower the weaker shape changer, and Claude stopped abruptly as a dark shape moved within the shadows against the wall.
The flash of sparks dripping like molten rain from the dark shape's fingers made Claude's heart stutter and he shoved the shape changer aside roughly, uncaring as the man slipped in a yard turned almost to mud from the heaviness of the storm. A flash of lightning illuminated Freimark's face, electrifying blue eyes fixing on him like lasers, and that half-downturned mouth lifting with eager anticipation.
This time, Claude had no intention of fighting Freimark. He didn't want to overpower him or kill him. He simply wanted to touch him, so he let the shapechanger's ability fade away, revealing his true form and drawing Freimark's mutation into his own DNA. Claude gasped at the pleasure of heat running through his veins, melting into strong arms that wrapped around him, a hot mouth covering his own as they kissed ferociously. Claude threw back his head as Freimark tore his mouth away to lick and kiss down his throat, the cold water of the storm filling his open mouth yet unable to douse the flames of desire that fired through his body.
He whimpered as a hand snaked between their bodies, rubbing his hard erection through the strained material, his cries growing wilder as flames licked at his groin, burning through cloth yet leaving his now fire-resistant flesh unmarked. His own hand wrapped around Freimark's cock, stroking him hard and fast, dragging a guttural moan from him as the torrential rain doused the flames.
The wet heat of climax was lost in the cold rain as it washed the evidence from their straining bodies, and they slumped to the ground, boneless in satisfaction as the last shudders flickered through them.
Soft kisses replaced the hard, passionate ones from before, spreading a different kind of warmth through Claude's veins as he drew back and stared into pleasure-sated eyes. He reached out and pushed the saturated strands of hair back from Freimark's wet face, moving in for another kiss slowly only to draw back fast as he felt another powerful mutant move into range. This one bent metal to his will, and Claude fought against the strength of the man's mutation in a bid to hold onto Freimark.
"Quite remarkable," the older man stated. A thin shield of metal that was probably no more than a few millimeters thick acted as an umbrella, stopping the rain from reaching him, and Claude felt a sudden urge to take that ability so he could shield himself and his new lover. "Impressive."
"Who are you?" Claude demanded before Freimark could speak.
The old man smiled. "Salvation... for both of you." The mutant looked back across the yard to where the metal fences had twisted back leaving a clear path to freedom.
When the judges of Gotham sent him to this place, they'd told Claude that he would die in here and he knew from questioning others that Freimark would be an old man by the time he walked through the gate to freedom, if they both served their sentences.
With a grin, he jumped to his feet and offered his hand to Freimark, eyes meeting as a lifetime of promises were made in an instant.
Following the older mutant, they walked out of the prison under cover of the violent storm, and they never looked back.