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Been Sleepless in my Head

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Fingers fisted into Shiro's hair, yanking him along where they wanted him to go.  Not that he needed it. Shiro eagerly took the cock deeper into his mouth. Each yank sent another bolt of arousal through him, starting at his scalp and pooling hot in his stomach.  

He felt the cock bump against the back of his throat, but there was no pain or discomfort.  Just the bone-deep satisfaction of a job well done, and the moans above that made him want to grind onto the bed.

"That's good."  The voice was raspy with pleasure and satisfaction.  "Just like that." Shiro was pulled back, until the cock popped wetly from between his lips.  Saliva dribbled down his chin, splashing onto his lap.

Whining, Shiro didn't even try to strain forward.  That wasn't what he was supposed to do. He knew without being told that he was to stay still and keep his mouth open no matter what.  When the cock pressed inside his throat again, he'd feel so much pleasure. But only when he was allowed.

Shiro let his tongue hang out and his eyes go wide, begging without words.

The fingers tightened, enough to really pull, which only earned another whine.  

"That's my boy.  That's exactly right."  

Distantly, there was clicking noise, distinctly digital.  It faded immediately, and Shiro stopped worrying about it.

He had much better things to think about.  Like the cock that was sliding back between his lips..

As it did, pleasure pulsed through Shiro, lighting him up from within.  A vibration ran through him, like Shiro was holding a powerful toy in his hand, but it felt just as amazing as if it was inside.  

Moaning, Shiro sucked on the cock.  He wanted to draw it further into himself so his lover would never pull back.  He'd keep his cock in his mouth forever and the heat would continue to spark through Shiro's veins.  It was as if his prostate was being milked each time the shaft touched the back of his throat.

He never wanted it to stop.  All he wanted was to exist here, in this pleasurable space where he didn't have to think.  Just relax and feel the pleasure. The longer he stayed, the stronger the sensation in his arm, which shot straight to his own, aching cock..

Just a little more.  He was so close. If he could just keep sucking for a little while longer, then the vibrations would be enough to push him over.  His thighs tightened, trembling with need. He spread them wider, debasing himself further as he tried to entice his lover into fucking his throat deeper.  

It wasn’t enough.

Making a desperate noise, Shiro pushed down, pressing his nose hard into the pelvis below.  The tremors up his arm got even more intense, until he could feel his cock twitch and tense-

Then, Shiro woke up.

He froze in place, realizing his mouth was open against a very wet spot on his pillow.  His eyes were shut, and his hips were angled down onto the bed. Arousal continued to arc through him, lighting up his spine until he could taste his orgasm.  The constant vibration had him grinding filthy circles into the bed.

Wait.

Vibration?

Why was Shiro vibrating?

Turning his head over, Shiro licked his lips and looked for his arm.  He hadn't fully developed a habit of where to keep it overnight, so it tended to end up in odd places.  This time, it was perched on the top of his dresser.

It was also lit brightly and shuddering in place.

Once he was sure nothing was in the way, Shiro pulled back with his shoulder.  The arm floated up and snapped back to him, like a metal ball to a magnet. It continued to vibrate like a sex toy, sending more and more of that pleasure shooting through him.

It felt amazing.  Even if it wasn't actually touching anything but his bed and air, Shiro was being injected with heat.  He closed his eyes and rocked down on the bed again, grinding his boxer-clad cock onto his sheets. Just a little more...

There was a digital click, like in Shiro's dream. The sound was unusual enough to drag his thoughts back to reality, rather than letting the waves of sensation drag him under.

Wait.  What was he doing?  Shiro's arm was going haywire.  He had to focus.

This couldn't be Haggar.  That arm was totally gone, her influence finally purged from Shiro.  He'd seen the reports from his surgery himself.

But there was one other being who had access to his arm, via the bond and Allura's gem.

"Atlas?"

Yes, Captain?

The response was immediate and calm.  Downright professional. Shiro already knew that was a lie.  Atlas had a mind of their own, very willing to override what the crew or Shiro ordered to suit their own ideas.  Whatever leftover magic from the rift and the castle was in Atlas' crystal heart, it had given them a strong-willed personality, not dissimilar to the Black Lion.

Shiro ground his teeth, focusing himself again.  His thighs tensed, aching to continue rocking. The arm felt amazing enough as it was, but what would happen if he actually used it on himself.  If he wrapped his fingers around his cock and pumped, or if he pressed a finger inside to start to open himself up.

His mouth fell open, eyes starting to roll back from just the thought.

No.  Shiro needed to handle this, not give into his body.   "Are you doing this to my arm?"

There was a pleased warmth from the back of Shiro's mind.   Yes, the mental voice replied, clearly pleased with themself.   You have been stressed.  Medical records show this has a negative effect on your health.  Your memories prove that pleasure and relaxation are the most effective stress release for you, so I recreated them for you.

Wha-

Oh.

Shiro knew what he'd been dreaming of.  It was piecemeal, bits and pieces of memories brought together like a quilt.  But that had been when Shiro was too stressed at the Garrison, and he'd asked to be fucked out of his head.

Those had been memories of Adam.

A fresh wave of guilt and sorrow crashed over him, though less potent than they'd been when they first came back to Earth.  Shiro swallowed and curled in further on himself. "Stop."

Immediately, the arm stopped vibrating.  It became the usual prosthesis, with no sign that Atlas had ever turned it into a sex toy.

Captain? Atlas asked, far less confident now.   I did not mean to cause you pain.  Did you not enjoy those memories?

"That's not the point," Shiro said.  He pushed himself up to a sitting position, and put his pillow in his lap.  Atlas was bonded to him, aware of all his memories and his body like the lions had been, but it still felt awkward to talk with a visible erection.  "Those memories are private. More importantly, you should never affect someone's body like that without explicit permission. Ever."

Unbidden, the memory of his previous arm crawled out of the back of his mind.  The clone's memories weren't quite as clear as Shiro's original ones, but it was more than enough.  He could feel the pain, the fear, the confusion. The quiet, faint horror as he acted on a will not his own.

Alien dismay pulled Shiro from the recollection.   I was trying to help, not hurt.  I am very sorry, Captain. I wished to make you healthy and happy.  A warm sensation wrapped around Shiro's shoulders, like he'd been dragged into a hug.

"I know," Shiro said, sighing.  Most of his anger and fear drained away, leaving him simply tired.  Atlas was young. They were still learning what was acceptable and what wasn't.  This was better than trying to close than hangar doors on the Black Lion's tail, at least.  That had just been petty. Shiro would rather their mistakes come from something positive. "Just don't do that again.  And don't mention it to anyone either. This is very personal."

Atlas sent along the mental equivalent of nodding, if reluctantly.   But what if you need it?  You are very tense, Captain.  I wish for you to be healthier.

Sighing, Shiro closed his eyes.  "I'm used to stress. This is better than it was.  I'm fine."

That is not acceptable.

Oh, boy.  Shiro rubbed over his face with his left hand.  "Atlas, if it gets too bad, I'll ask for your help myself, okay?  But otherwise, don't bring it up, and never help without permission.  Understood?"

Yes, Captain.   Atlas was content with that, at least.   You were close to orgasm before.  Would you like to continue so you can sleep more comfortably?

It was a very good thing that no one else could hear Atlas.  Shiro wasn't sure he could explain properly about human social taboos and why a ship shouldn't be encouraging him to hump his pillow like a dog.  Even being in his head wasn't doing the trick.

Shiro flopped back down on the bed and pulled the covers up.  "No, I just want to go to bed again. This time, I would appreciate if you left my dreams alone."

There was a pause.   I would be able to prevent nightmares.  The dreams do not have to be sexual.

Oh.

"Just no nightmares," Shiro finally allowed.  Besides, if helping would keep Atlas from trying more creative solutions, that was probably the best.  "Good night, Atlas."

Good night, Captain.

With that, the connection went quiet.  Shiro put his right arm on the bedside table and concentrated until it went dark again.

Then he laid in bed, cock still hard and a wet spot on the front of his boxers.

Dealing with it would just be encouraging Atlas.  Besides, Shiro didn't think he could touch himself without remembering the dream.  How nothing had mattered but pleasure and obedience. How it had been okay to just stop thinking and be in the moment, no demons and no stress.

Shiro bit his bottom lip and curled up on his side, banishing his thoughts.

No.  He didn't need that.  He was fine on his own.  After all, Shiro was Captain now, and the former Black Paladin.  Losing control like that wasn't right anymore, especially when he could be needed at any moment.  What if there was an emergency, but Shiro was too busy touching himself and remembering when his dead ex-boyfriend used to fuck him stupid?

It wasn't worth it.

That in mind, Shiro pressed his eyes as tightly shut and tried to will himself to sleep again.

It didn't work.

***

The next day, Shiro could barely breathe.

Last night's sleep wasn't the worst he'd ever gotten, but it had been pretty damn bad.  It had taken over an hour to fall back asleep, and more than once he woke himself up in the middle of a heated dream.  By morning, his hips ached and he was uncomfortably flushed and sweaty. A shower had taken care of the residue, but not anything else.

Really, he's had so many worse days than this.  Those early weeks with Voltron were a constant haze of stress.  It was him, a young alien princess and her adviser, and four untested cadets against the ten thousand year old empire that had kidnapped him for a year.  Even now, Shiro barely remembered those days as more of a blur of barely contained panic and fear. They'd had no choice, but part of Shiro was always sure he was about to lead the others to their deaths (if they were lucky), and deliver the lions to the Galra.  

Even not counting those awful days, he’d had far worse than today.  Shiro remembered the clone's memories of nights spent awake with headaches, the sheer coordination and complication of the Blitz, those days where he couldn't fly Black and Keith just kept walking away.  

So, really, Shiro had no business being such a tense ball of energy.

Yet here he was.

A month into deep space launch, Atlas still felt untested in a way that sent ice down Shiro's spine.  Allura's wormholes let them bounce around the universe as needed.

They did have to do another Weblum run to make sure they had enough supplies.  Voltron had done most of the distracting, while Atlas only served as back-up, at the MFE pilots flew inside.

(He hadn't heard the end of that from Rizavi yet.  Griffin had stopped complaining the second Shiro had mentioned Keith succeeded just fine.  He still felts a little guilty for that manipulation, but not enough to take it back.)

For all they’d been ready, Atlas had done basically nothing in that fight.  After so many other battles, the five lions were able to run circles around the Weblum.  They’d fired off the occasional distracting shot, but they’d never been in the danger zone.

Atlas had faced Galra warships, but those were barely more than pirates, now.  Sendak had lead far the biggest faction of the shattered Galra empire, and they'd defeated his army in that first, chaotic battle.  No one else had even required Atlas to shift, really.

That wouldn't last.  Haggar was out there, along with all the Alteans she stole from Lotor's colony.  

(The colony she knows about because of the clone.  It makes it hard to look the Alteans in the eye.)

One of these days, they were going to get into a real fight.  The scramble-for-your-life, near-miss kind of battle where the slightest miscalculation could lead to disaster.  Atlas had formed in one of those fights, but they hadn’t been in one since.

It all left Shiro in a limbo he couldn't shake himself from.  Atlas was a wonderful ship, powerful and protective in ways that made Shiro's heart soar.   But once again he was leading an untested team into deep space on nothing but his own faked confidence.  

At least this time they weren’t cadets.

Which was all plenty to deal with when Shiro hadn’t spend the previous night trying not to deal with his boner.

"Message, Captain."

Shiro snapped his head up from the screens he wasn't actually reading.  He looked to Veronica, who stood at perfectly professional attention. "Yes?  From who?"

"Sending the details to you now."  Veronica tapped on her tablet. A moment later, a new window popped up on Shiro's screen.  "It's a request from a potential coalition planet."

Curious, Shiro opened it up.  

Then he froze.

"Did they request an immediate response?"

Veronica shook her head.  "No, sir. I only opened the message so quickly because it was flagged as coalition business.  But I think I might be misunderstanding the context. What is the Voltron Show?"

Immediately, Coran whirled around, eyes bright and smile wide.  "They want another Voltron Show?"

Next to him, Sam ducked his head, but it did nothing to hide his smile. "Ah, yes, I didn't get around to sharing that particular piece of information.  Maybe it would be useful to hold a showing for the whole crew."

Shiro's heart iced over.  He’d already skipped two ranks to end up as Captain, and he was absurdly young for the position.  Adding this on top would just be too much. "I don't think that's necessary."

But Veronica's lips curled in the same way they did before she teased her brother.  "If we're going to keep getting communications about this show, I think it would be best if we knew what we were talking about."

Grinding his teeth so hard they felt like they would crack, Shiro looked down at the damn message.  He wished it was printed off so he could rip it apart. "We can give you a summary. That's plenty."

"Why take the time when we can just show them?" Coran asked, all brightness and cheer.  He caught Veronica's eyes and grinned wider. "There's no need to be modest about being Shiro the Hero."

Shiro fought back against a blush, but still felt the heat bloom over his cheeks.  "Coran," he groaned, eyes slamming shut.

This time, even Iverson looked up.  "Alright, what’s this about?"

Coran launched into an enthusiastic explanation of the show, only tempered by his sheepish admission of, ahem, mental performance boosters for the latter stages.  The rest of the crew listened, clearly enraptured, and more than one set of eyes darted to Shiro.

Grinding his teeth, Shiro wondered if he could get away with a ship-wide ban of mentioning the show at all.  

Your heart rate is elevated, Captain.

Shiro nearly jumped out of skin at Atlas' sudden words.  He had to physically bite his tongue to keep from accidentally responding out loud.  He was fine. Just tired and not enjoying the conversation.

There was a pause, then what felt like a poke in the middle of Shiro's back.  It highlighted exactly how tense he was, his muscles utterly locked up. Are your crew being inappropriate to?  You should speak with them like you did to me.  They will listen to you. You are Captain.

Well, it was a little different for them.  And technically they weren't doing anything wrong.  Intellectually, Shiro could appreciate that they were having fun and just teasing.  No one was threatening his command or trying to undermine him. On a better day, Shiro would be game.

Today he just... wasn't.

The fingers of his right arm curled around the edge of the console.  He gripped tightly, trying to get rid of some of the antsy energy coiled in his muscles.

All that happened was that the edge of the machine started to buckle.

Shiro snatched his hand back, glancing up to make sure no one had seen the slip.  Thankfully, Coran was in the middle of recounting some of the show's choreography.  Iverson made a truly strange joke about picking teenagers with attitude that earned a bark of laughter from Sam, but made everyone else look confused.

They were having fun.  This was fine.

But Shiro's stomach churned.

Maybe he really was too stressed.  It seemed ridiculous, but his life had changed very abruptly.  Until lately, he'd been consistently busy. Now that they had nothing to do but chase stray Galra generals and deal with the occasional planetary disaster, he had more time to just think.  Worry.

Would you like to go to your quarters?  Atlas asked.   You could relieve your stress there.

Shamefully, a bolt of arousal shot through Shiro, settling in his pelvis.

No, he decided.  At least not until tonight.  There was work to be done.

Tonight.  Atlas sounded content with that, maybe even a touch smug.

Shiro hadn't said he'd be using Atlas' method, thank you very much.  But stress relief in general was a good idea. He'd find something to do.  Maybe Keith would want to spar later. It had been a while.

For now, he had a crew to distract.

***

Shiro hit the padded floor of the gym with a pained grunt.  A heavy weight crashed down on his chest less than a second later, shoving his prosthetic arm against his stomach.  His other arm was grabbed by the wrist and held down firmly next to his head.

Pinned again.

This was getting embarrassing.

Keith frowned down at him, his face barely inches from Shiro's.  By now, his hair was so long at the dangling ends could just tickle Shiro's cheeks.  "Are you sure you're okay? That's the fourth time today."

Expression twisting, Shiro arched up to try and shove Keith off of him.  Normally, that would work, but right now there was the added weight of his arm keeping him down.  All he did was scramble his feet against the floor and knock his hips with Keith's.

Which did absolutely nothing for the heat boiling in his veins.

This had been such a bad idea.

"I'm fine," Shiro said, keeping his voice even.  He gave up struggling and went limp for the moment, biding his time.  "I'm still adjusting to the different arm. I keep thinking I have the Galra prosthesis.  It was much better for hand to hand."

Keith started to nod, then narrowed his eyes.  "You've been getting better about that. But this was worse than it's been since we started.  Is something wrong?"

The problem was that Keith's thigh was twisted between both of Shiro's for balance.  It was just shy of touching where Shiro was aching, and it was making it hard to concentrate.

This entire spar had been that way.  The first pin had been because Shiro was distracted from work and stress, and Keith had managed to shove him against the wall and hold him there.  Since then, Shiro had been thankful that his Atlas-issue suit hid everything under thick fabric. Otherwise Keith would have some very unfortunate questions.

"I slept badly last night," Shiro finally replied.  He closed his eyes and let his head fall back down. "It was a long day, too."

Keith snorted but pulled away, letting Shiro sit up.  "I bet. I heard Veronica asking Lance about the Voltron Show.  He wants to try and recreate his weird ribbon gymnastics thing."

Son of a bitch.

"Tell him I'll eject him out an airlock if he encourages this nonsense anymore," Shiro muttered.

Brows up, Keith looked him over.  "Seriously?"

Shiro winced.  "No, not seriously.  I just deal with the teasing all day.  I don't need around two. I'd rather be fighting the Galra."

Laughing, Keith stood up completely and offered Shiro a hand up.  He took it and tried not to notice how warm Keith's hand was. He failed, and his mind decided to offer how good it would feel pinning Shiro against a bed instead of a mat.  Or better yet, pin Shio on his stomach this time, then run those hot hands over Shiro's ass like Keith owned it.

Holy shit did Shiro need to stop this.  Damn Atlas for bringing up those old memories.

"Do you want to try another round?" Keith said, once Shiro was upright.  "I can go again, but if you're that tired you should probably just sleep.  Why did you want to spar in the first place?"

"I'm wound up, like I said." Shiro rolled his left shoulder until his neck cracked, then sighed.  "It's probably not very helpful or engaging for you. I owe you a better fight on another day, when I can put up a real fight."

Keith's expression softened.  "Hey, I'm glad to help. I just didn't think this was helping your mood.  Usually you hate to lose."

True, but usually losing didn't result in Shiro getting pinned in just the way he craved.  He was mad, but it was at his body, along with his stupid frayed temper for getting him here in the first place.

Are you mad at me, too?

No, Shiro wasn't.  A bit frustrated that Atlas had started this, but his temper and reactions were his own fault, not theirs.

The presence retreated again, thoughtful but not hurt.

"I still do,” Shiro said.  “I'll just get you back another day.  Thank you for your help." Shiro clapped Keith on the shoulder, selfishly enjoying the solid muscle under his hand.  "I'm going to try to head to bed early, I think. I'm no good to anyone right now. Do you need anything before I go?"

Keith leaned into the touch, barely noticeable, and looked over Shiro's face.  "I'm good. Is there anything else I can do to help?"

He could relieve you, Atlas offered, downright cheerful.   You do not want to remember your Adam, but Keith would help you instead.

Terror and arousal crashed in equal measure, leaving Shiro frozen in place.  No, Keith didn't see him that way. Even if Shiro wanted touch, wanted relief, Atlas just didn't understand the implications of what they were offering.  It was a terrible idea, and it would ruin everything.

Atlas hummed dubiously, but didn't press.

So Shiro gave a bland smile and shook his head.  "No, what I really need is a couple of hours extra sleep."

"You do have a sleep debt of about a decade," Keith agreed fondly.  He hesitated, then squeezed Shiro on his remaining bicep. "Seriously, go hang out and rest.  You need it."

Shiro relaxed despite himself.  As biased as Keith was, it helped to have someone other than Atlas telling him that he wasn't being dramatic to take some time.  It soothed the anxious fear that he was wasting time they didn't have. "I will. Thanks."

Nodding, Keith patted him firmly, then gave him a gentle shove on the back.  "Go, I'll clean up."

It wasn't worth arguing when Shiro was this tired.  So he smiled back and obeyed. "Thank you. I'll see you tomorrow."  

Once he started down the hallway, Shiro heard that digital click again.

Immediately, Shiro's stomach clenched around another flood of heat.  

At first, he was afraid Atlas had set something off in his head or arm again, but he didn’t feel different.  No, the arousal was just from the memory of last night, both in the dream and in his bed. Both time he’d heard the noise, it had felt so good he just wanted to rock down and let the pleasure wash over him...

Shiro barely made it to his room.  He actually jogged down the last hall. Atlas opened the door and slammed it shut for him before he could reach for his keypad.

Once he was in private, his hand dropped to the slight bulge through his suit.  The pressure was dulled by the fabric, but it still felt utterly amazing. His spar with Keith had gotten him halfway hard, and the click and his imagination had done the rest.

Thankfully, Atlas remained silent as Shiro stripped out of his suit.  He was left in just his boxers as he leaned against the wall. His palm ran up and down the shaft through the fabric, massaging himself.

The ship had been right.  This was an easy, effective way to relieve stress.  He should have listened last night, and not let the awkwardness keep him from doing what he needed.  If he'd just come last night, he could have gotten a good night's sleep and avoided all of this.

There was another click.

Shiro shivered, no longer caring why the sound made him feel good, or why Atlas was doing it.  All he knew was that he wanted to get this all out of his system, and to actually feel good for a little while.

That in mind, Shiro shoved himself off the wall and stumbled into his room.  The lights brightened inside and went a pale yellow. It was the farthest color from Galra purple that Shiro's eyes could detect, and thus was the most effective at keeping him in the moment.

Shiro spared only a second to be embarrassed that Atlas was monitoring him.  He was inside the ship, there was no avoiding it. The throbbing, aching need was getting too powerful to care about anything else.

He crashed onto his knees on the bed and kicked his boxers off.  Then he finally took himself in his left hand and started to pump.  Groaning, he slumped forward, pressing his face to his pillow but keeping his ass in the air.  It was utterly undignified, but it would only take a little while. He was already so hard and so needy.  This couldn't possibly take long.

Bucking into his palm, Shiro groaned at the delicious, dry friction of his skin.  His head leaked precome, just enough to barely dampen his fingers, so it didn't soothe all of burn.  Which was good, It was perfect. He'd always liked it a little rougher. He'd wanted to prove he could take it, that he was sturdier than everyone thought.

(It hadn't been enough to convince Adam.  But after everything Shiro had survived, that didn't sting as much anymore.)

There was just two problems.  The first being that this was Shiro's off hand, and so he couldn't jerk his hand as smoothly and fast as he needed.  Even when he bucked his hips, it wasn't quite good enough.

The second being that Shiro wanted something inside.  It had been so long since he indulged. It took prep and time and care that Shiro hadn't afforded himself since before the Kerberos mission.  Now, he had the chance, and he ached for it. But he didn't have the supplies, and he only had his fingers.

Check your drawer, Captain.

Huh?

Your bedside table drawer.

Shiro cracked open his eyes and stretched out with his right hand.  The drawer opened, and Shiro rummaged through what was supposed to be abandoned pens, a book he hadn't even started, and the official notice of his rank from Admiral Keaton.

There was also a new squeeze bottle.

When Shiro pulled it out, there was no label.  But he recognized the thick, clear liquid inside.

That was lube.

"Atlas?"

This should be safe for use in the manner you require.

That raised so many questions, but Shiro could deal with that when his head was clear.  Right now, his cock throbbed with every heartbeat, and his hole clenched when he realized he could finally give himself proper relief.

He needed this.  Shiro needed this.

Atlas sent along their satisfaction, along with the sensation of someone petting through his hair.  Normally, he'd hate the indignity of being rewarded like a dog, but right now he just closed his eyes and enjoyed the pseudo-touch.

Popping open the cap, Shiro hesitated, looking down at both his hands.  He was having enough trouble jerking himself off comfortably with his left hand.  It would be even more difficult to finger himself open without fine motor control.  Then again, the fingers of his right hand were so much bigger. That was a lot to take after so long.

A memory pushed to the forefront of Shiro's mind.  Himself, back at the Garrison, groaning as he rocked against the cock head of his largest dildo.  His stretched rim caught the edge, pulling a whimper out of Shiro. There was encouragement, but the voice and image were muffled.  Then, Shiro pressed the toy inside, toes curling as his hole swallowed the huge toy. The pleasure and satisfaction wound up Shiro's spine like a snake.  He done it. He'd taken all of it, and it felt amazing.

You like large, Atlas reminded Shiro, still in that calm, cheerful voice.   Your right arm will satisfy you better.  Use it.

Shiro blushed, despite the absurdity of the situation.  He didn't need his ship to know what a damn size queen he'd been, back in the day.  But Atlas was right. So he squirted the lube over his metal fingers, slicking them up thoroughly, before pressing his pointer finger against his rim.

There was that click again, and Atlas rumbled fond encouragement into his head.

Biting his lip, Shiro pressed his finger inside.  It was thicker than he'd expected, more akin to an average vibrator than his own digits.  The metal only added to the sensation, inorganic and unyielding. The lack of give felt amazing, and it was pleasantly warm against his inner walls, but it was definitely far more than he’d taken in a very long time.

Captain, I believe you require more relaxation, Atlas said.

Pausing, Shiro bit his bottom lip.  On one hand, it was galling that he needed to be walked through fingering himself open.  He’d taken so much more than this before. On the other, Atlas was monitoring his health.  For them to speak up, it had to be important.

“Yes, alright.”  Shiro took a deep breath and let it out.  But even in his needy hazy, it was hard to unwind.  Tension seemed to be the permanent state of his muscles, most days.  Even baring that, Shiro was fighting the urge to just buck back or shove his fingers in farther.  The promise of pleasure was so tantalizing, but he didn’t dare damage himself.

There was a huff from Atlas that didn’t sound truly disappointed.   This method is not effective.  Perhaps breathing exercises will help you.

Frowning, Shiro looked up at the ceiling, as if that did anything to help him ‘see’ the ship.  “I think I can manage, Atlas. Thank you.”

There has been no change in your level of tension since I spoke, Atlas said back, downright prim.   I am offering a better solution.

Damn whatever part of the castle’s magic, Sam’s programming, or Shiro’s own bond that had made Atlas so damn stubborn.

Even so, Shiro took a deep breath, held it, then let it out slowly.  It was the best method he’d learned for controlling his temper as a teenager, and now it helped with panic attacks.  If it didn’t help with this, nothing would.

One, Atlas counted, the tone suddenly soothing.  A warm feeling rushed through him, like a hand smoothing from his neck to the small of his back.  The gentle ‘touch’ cut through the tension almost as much as the deep breaths. You’re more relaxed, now.  

The narration was odd, but the contact was so soothing that Shiro couldn’t be bothered to care.  Instead he repeated the breath exercise again, letting his muscles unwind more each time. Two.  More relaxed than before.  You’re doing well.

After the first few breaths, Atlas stopped petting.  But they kept up the counting. The more he relaxed, the less strange that seemed.  

Soon enough, Shiro felt plenty calm enough to take a finger or two, even the metal ones.  But Atlas hadn’t stopped counting or said anything, so Shiro continued to listen, unwinding further and further.  It was nice, anyway. Like the pleasure, it helped to smooth away his worries and leave him just feeling the delicious, glorious pleasure.  

Eventually, Shiro’s head felt light, like the breathing exercises were getting him too much oxygen.  It didn’t feel bad, though. Actually, it felt great. Soothing. Even the fingers waiting patiently inside of him didn’t feel strange anymore.

There you are, Captain, Atlas said, once Shiro hit twenty.   So completely relaxed and ready, now.  As relaxed as you can be. Go ahead and touch yourself while you begin pressing in your fingers.  Just stay calm and keep listening.

Shiro's cock twitched in his other hand, forgotten until then.  He ran a thumb over the head, keeping himself under control while he worked in the finger.  The angle was amazing, since his arm didn't need to stay attached to his shoulder. He could angle it down and from behind, like a lover was stretching him open for them.  Like the arm didn't belong to him at all, but was just a toy.

He really should have grabbed a real toy while they were still on Earth.  Maybe next time they headed back for shore leave, Shiro would discreetly order something.  But that wouldn't be for months yet, and right now his cock was leaking into his hand.

Right now, it didn’t matter.  He only needed relief. Shiro needed to stop thinking and just feel and listen.

He needed what he'd felt last night.

Responding to his thoughts, the arm began to vibrate again.

That same, amazing pleasure shot through Shiro, ripping a moan from him.  He had to clench his thighs to keep from coming on the spot, and he desperately fought the urge to fuck into his own fist in desperation.  

How was it even this good?  Shiro could only assume it was because the arm was directly linked to his nervous system.  It was like directly injecting pleasure into his brain.

This time, though, the arm wasn't vibrating in air.  The single finger inside shook, pressing deliciously deep inside of Shiro.  It wasn't touching his prostate, but it was so achingly close that Shiro could taste it.  He twisted his finger up and further in-

Stop.

Shiro did, freezing on pure instinct.

There was another click, and a burst of pleasure from his arm so powerful that Shiro's eyes rolled back in his head.  He whimpered and slumped forward again, once again presenting himself on pure instinct.

"Please.  Why?" The words barely came out, slurring through the haze of dazed pleasure.  

You were about to release.  If you do so now, it will not have been enough to relief enough of your stress.  It would not help.

Shiro whined and bit his bottom lip. He understand what Atlas was saying intellectually, but he wanted the pleasure so badly.  He wanted to come.

There was a sensation like a side hand smoothing down his back.   Wait.

So Shiro did.

It was the longest twenty seconds of Shiro's life, but the aching pressure in his cock and balls calmed down, at least until he wasn't one brush of his prostate away from losing control.  Shiro relaxed along with his muscles. He suspected he'd waited long enough, but he wanted to wait for Atlas' confirmation.

He wanted to listen.   He wanted permission. It would feel better with permission.

Another click.  Then a flood of affection and pleasure.   Good, Captain.  You may continue.  Do not let yourself come yet.

Shiro's mouth fell open as he sank into the rewarding sensations.  He didn't even respond, just obeyed. This time, rather than try to find his prostate, he worked in a second finger instead.  Combined, they were almost as much as an average dildo, and they felt amazing pumping in and out of him. He shifted his grip on his cock, no longer holding, but gripping at the base to help hold off his orgasm.

It felt good.  It all felt amazing.  But not as good as it felt when he was obeyed.

Shiro's hand worked, technically under his control but independent of him.  Not enough of his mind was active. Instead, it followed Atlas’ order like muscle memory, pumping in at the same, slow, teasing pace despite how much Shiro desperately wanted to come.  His whole body was shivering, and he panted with his tongue out as he stared blankly at the far wall.

He continued on like that for a while.  How long, Shiro didn't know. In that hazed out mental state, he couldn't keep track of time.  When he got close to orgasm, his left fingers would tighten farther, and his right hand would stop completely.  He'd hold that until the new spike of mind-melting pleasure shot through him, sinking him even deeper into obedience and mindless need.  Then he would begin again.

Finally, when his legs shook from the effort of holding himself up, and every jerk of his cock hurt like a bruise, there was another click.   Now, Captain.

Shiro released his punishing grip on his cock, pumping slowly instead.  His vibrating fingers pressed in all the way, crooking exactly right to immediately press against his prostate.

He saw stars.

Slumping forward, Shiro went limp.  His right arm fell placidly to the bed, while the rest of him slumped bonelessly down on his own release.  It didn't matter. He couldn't barely be bothered to notice the wet spot below him, much less care. There were fireworks going off in his head, so glorious and wonderful it was barely sexual anymore.

When the feeling finally started to fade, Shiro's eyes stayed closed like they were weighed down.  His whole body was wrung out, the way he'd wanted to be from the spar from Keith. There was nothing in his head except for the happy haze.  If Shiro needed to, he could have dragged himself out of the state. But why? It was so much nicer here. He didn't know why he'd fought this in the first place.

Atlas' affection washed over him like a balm.  

Smiling to himself, Shiro gave in the rest of the way, dropping into a heavy sleep.

He hadn't slept so well in years.

Chapter Text

Surveying the battlefield, Shiro let out a sigh of relief.

Voltron floated in front of Atlas, sword drawn and shoulder cannon still at the ready.  But as he watched, the form broke apart back into the component lions, making the returning MFE pilots have to scatter to avoid crashing.

Rather than any cheers, there was only grim relief from the crew.  They were alive, and with no significant casualties, which was a minor miracle in and of itself.  The planet-killer weapon, which had been orbiting Rixanius below, continued to crumble and break away.

That had been Atlas' big contribution to the fight.  Voltron was faster, and had more destructive force in how adaptive and wide-spread its fire could be.  But Atlas' concentrated beam hit more like the Galra quintessence canon, though they had to charge it.

The problem was getting that chance.  It took nearly a minute to fire a fully prepared canon, and just shy of ten more to charge a second shot.  The first had been deflected by a sudden suicide run from a ship below, knocking Atlas up until they only barely avoided shooting the planet itself.

Which meant that the paladins and the MFEs had to defend Atlas against the combined might of three different Galra general groups.

Barely a week ago, Shiro had been nearly begging for a test of the new Voltron set up.  He'd been eager to prove himself up to the challenge, and to learn that Atlas' abilities were as strong as he'd wanted to believe.

Then today, they'd walked right into a trap.

Shiro should really know better than to make foolish wishes.

But they'd done it.  They'd destroyed the planet killer, defeated the alliance of rogue Galra factions, and survived.  Shiro couldn't ask for anything more.

In the back of his mind, Atlas thrummed as the ship regained their standard form.  Shiro could see in his mind how the ship moved, knew where every room was and how it rotated.  The damage on Atlas' hull felt like bruises on Shiro's own skin.

The bond wasn't new, but this level of connection was.  They’d gone deeper than ever before, reached a level that let Atlas literally duck out of the way of stray fire.

If Shiro had still been as wound up as a few days ago, this battle could have gone a lot worse.

"Good job, everyone," Shiro called, his voice steady and even.  "Voltron, MFEs, how are you doing?"

"I want to sleep for ten years," Hunk groaned immediately.  "Maybe twenty."

Shiro cracked a smile.  "You have at least ten hours, assuming there are no other emergencies.  I think the Coalition can handle the clean-up on the surface with the locals."  They were more equipped for ground-level relief anyway. Even as shattered as they'd become over Voltron's three year disappearance, they still shined when it came to resources and numbers.

"All MFE pilots reporting and safe," Griffin said.  "The ships are in need of a good charge."

Kinkade snorted, his version of 'and the pilots, too'.

Nodding, Shiro looked around at the bridge crew.  "I think we'll use our stored wormhole to get to a safe sector of space and lie low, unless we get another emergency call.  This time, we'll make sure to vet our exit location better, too." There weren't so many groups that could band together into a full-fledged army like that anymore, but Shiro still didn't want to walk into this twice.  "Someone contact the night shift and tell them to be prepared to take over the bridge within the hour. I want fresh eyes and minds while we recover."

Veronica gave a heavy nod.  "Yes, Captain."

That should take care of that.  Shiro sat down heavily in his own chair and nodded to Matt.  "Is Sector Yavnion still Coalition territory?"

Nodding, Matt rested both his elbows on the console.  "Yeah, unless something changed in the last three weeks.  There's a system in it with three suns in each other's rotation.  The radiation from that would be a great place to hide from anyone trying to finish the job.  I'll send you the coordinates, Coran."

"That would be appreciated."  A new window popped up, and Coran tapped on that.  "Ready to wormhole when ready, Shiro."

"Everyone on Atlas?"

"We're in," Keith said, voice rough with exhaustion.

"MFEs are all in, Captain," Griffin reported, no less tired.

Well, Shiro could relate.  The sheer volume of ships and threats to keep track of had been terrifying, and they only had to deal with the planet-killer.  It would have been worse for the more mobile teams. "Engage wormhole."

A few taps activated Atlas' inbuilt teludav, charged with the castle's energy and stored magic from Allura.  In a flash, they were cleanly halfway across the known universe.

That was it, then.  Safety, at least as much as they ever got.  Now, they'd have the evening to rest, rebuild, and recharge.

Sam patted Shiro on the back, dragging him back to reality.  "All due respect, Shiro, but you look ready to head out. I can handle the bridge until the night shift comes.  I'm sure you want to check on the teams, too."

Smiling sheepishly, Shiro inclined his head.  Heading to the hangars to greet and review with both teams had become something of a habit.  He'd started it with the other paladins without even thinking about it. At the time, Shiro had just wanted to congratulate them immediately, going over training or talking over the battle.  But he also didn't want to favor Voltron too heavily, not when the MFE pilots worked equally hard, so Shiro had done the same for them.

By now, it was just what he did, at least when he could.  Sometimes he had other business, like speaking with the engineers or quartermaster, reporting to Earth, or trading intel with the coalition and remaining Blades.

He absolutely wanted to go check in, but his responsibility was to Atlas and the bridge first.

"I won't dump my work on you, Sam, thank you," Shiro said.  "I can manage for another half an hour."

But Iverson turned and snorted, his remaining eyes narrowed.  "Dump, nothing. I can't say I understand all of...." He trailed off and gestured in a wide circle, encompassing Atlas, Voltron, and the general Altean magic.  "Everything. But it's clear today took something extra out of you. Go sleep, Captain."

Not for the first time, Shiro mourned having a crew that was mostly made of former commanding officers.  They had absolutely no problem bossing him around, even now. Then again, Shiro had also spent plenty of time telling the crew to call him Shiro and relax around him.  That had its downsides, just as it had with Voltron.

Under the combined beady eyes of two former mentors, Shiro wilted.  But he felt as wrecked as he apparently looked, and he really did want to give the teams a quick glance over.

"Okay," Shiro finally said, his shoulders slumping.  "But if you need absolutely anything, call immediately."

Veronica eyed him, her brows rising over the tops of her glasses.  "We will if we can't handle anything in the next twenty minutes."

That was the most subtle 'we're trained professionals, not idiots' that Shiro had ever heard.

He finally nodded to the rest of the bridge and allowed himself to be all but thrown out.  On the other side, he took a deep breath, then trudged down the hall toward the hangars. The MFEs were the first to come out, since their ships had less damage to deal with.  All four were basically asleep on their feet, so Shiro had no problems ushering them off to their quarters with little more than smiles and thank yous.

The MFE pilots might be older than most of the paladins now, but in terms of combat they were greener.  Most of their fighting had been on the ground around the base, with only a few full-fledged dog fights under their belt.  These battles drained them badly, the same way it did to the Voltron team in those early days.

It was nice to touch base, though.  The little daily rituals made life in space and combat that much more comfortable, and did wonders for morale.  Shiro knew better than most how much of a toll the void of space could take on someone. That wouldn't happen under his watch.

The paladins were hardly any better than the MFEs.  Shiro smiled at them all as he approached. "Great job, guys."

"Mmph," Pidge replied.  She slumped against the wall and gave him a thumbs up.  "You too, Cap."

Shiro ignored the new nickname completely.  Reacting would only make them find it funnier.  "How's everyone? Any injuries? Speak now while you can.  If I find out anyone downplayed injuries, I won’t be pleased."

"I believe we're all unharmed," Allura said.  "It was a fight of endurance rather than damage."

"Speak for yourself.  Poor Yellow needs some serious TLC," Hunk said.

Lance nudged him with his elbow.  "Buddy, that's 'cause you fight by ramming into everyone."

"What's your point?"

Shiro ushered all of them along toward the crew quarters.  "Alright, if you're well enough to banter, you can't be too badly injured.  Bed before you decide to sleep in the hallway."

Frowning at the floor, Pidge thoughtfully tapped her chin.  "It wouldn't be that bad, actually."

"Bed."

As the reluctant paladins were trudging along, Keith held back and his shoulders against Shiro’s.  "You're crashing too, right?" Of everyone, he looked the most aware, though he was clearly sweaty and rumpled under his suit.

Really, it was unfair.  Shiro remembered how exhausting Black could be, especially while forming Voltron.  According to the Alteans, the Black Lion had the greatest quintessence requirement and drain of all the lions.  He'd collapsed in bed more than once, but Keith looked like he could still go in for round two.

"I am," Shiro admitted.  "I basically got ejected from the bridge."

Keith smiled and nodded, clearly pleased with that.  "Good. Atlas must take it out of you. That whole huge ship transforming like that has to require a lot of energy."

Brows jumping, Shiro considered.  "The castle's crystal takes care of a lot of the quintessence requirements.  It's not that much different from Black, honestly."

Very different, Atlas interjected, more than a little sullen.   Much more efficient change than that lion.

Oh, boy.  Please, no.  Shiro couldn't deal with Atlas being competitive right now.  He just wanted to unwind, and then sleep.

Atlas nudged him.   You would relax better with a physical companion , they said.   Physical contact between humans reduces stress.  Ask Keith to help you.

This again.  Shiro resisted the urge to scrub over his face.  After that first night had gone so well, Shiro had indulged in Atlas' version of stress relief a few times.  Each time, Atlas had made this same suggestion, which wasn't going to happen. End of discussion.

Atlas pulled back, relenting but not defeated.  Instead, there was a quiet, mental clicking noise.

Head flooded Shiro's veins as his whole body clenched.  Despite being so close, Shiro had to fight the sudden urge to bolt into his room.  It was where he was supposed to be. Right now. He was supposed to be on his knees on his bed, preparing himself.

Irritation churned in his stomach, mixing with the arousal.  This was Atlas’ attempt to manipulate him. Make him so eager and needy that he’d stop thinking about the consequences.

It changed nothing.  No matter how much Shiro wanted, and how much he was supposed to obey, it wasn't enough.  Shiro wasn't going to ruin his relationship with Keith because Atlas didn't understand the difference between friends and lovers.

There was as mental grumble, but no other response.

Shiro's quarters were technically the closest of the group, but everyone else was just a little further down the hall.  The close proximity helped, keeping up the same level of connection they had on the Castle of Lions. Shiro would have missed it desperately if that had changed.  "Rest well, everyone."

There was a chorus of sleepy well wishes as the rest of the group shuffled off.  Shiro waited until everyone was heading into their rooms before opening the door to his quarters, despite the desperate call to get inside.  To get ready. To relax.

Keith hesitated by his own door.  "You okay?"

"Just mother hen-ing.  It's habit."

Humming, Keith nodded.  "You need anything? I'm up if you want company before going to bed."

It would have been a very nice suggestion if Shiro didn't have other pressing plans.  Instead he shook his head and smiled. "I'm really about to crash, so I think I'll be alright."

Keith eyed him, but nodded again.  "Alright. That applies all night if you need."

Unlikely, but Shiro still appreciated the offer.  "I'll keep that in mind. Good night, Keith."

With that, Shiro stepped into the living room section of his quarters.

He immediately crashed to his knees and groaned, bending double.  His cock arched as it tried to harden too quickly. "Atlas, that was uncalled for."

There was no 'verbal' response.  Instead, Shiro's arm activated.

It was like a switch being flipped.  Shiro's mind immediately sank away, dropping him down into the whirling, comfortable depths of pleasure.  His arms dropped to his side, and his eyes fluttered and fell shut.

There was another click, and this time Shiro only shivered as the sensations jolted.  After, he settled back down, a small, contented smile on his lips.

When he was more aware, Shiro didn't have a name for this state.  It was somewhere between meditation and subspace. But even if he didn't have the language for it, Shiro didn't mind.  For once, it was nice to have something he didn't have to analyze or double think. This was Atlas, who he knew down to the individual screws.  He could trust them, and know they had his best interests in mind, even if they didn't always agree.

There were so few people Shiro trusted like that.

Despite the lightning in his veins, Shiro made no move to try and touch himself, or even to free his hardening cock from his flight suit.  Instead he stayed obediently limp on his knees, letting the buzz of his arm drag him farther and farther down. It was the best place. It was where his mind belonged, bundled and warm where anxieties and nightmares couldn't find him.  

Count your breaths, Captain.  Use that to help you fall.

Closing his eyes, Shiro took a deep breath, held it, then let it go.  “One.”

This was almost a ritual between them, now. Atlas had counted for him the first time, but after that, it had been Shiro’s job.  He liked it. The way his voice started to slur the farther he sank just reinforced how deep he was sinking, which in turn made him sink more.  

Besides, he liked the confirmation that this was his choice, in the end.  Shiro was doing this because it felt good and it helped. If he ever wanted to resist, he could.  If he ever wanted to stop, he just wouldn’t count. If he wanted to wake up, it was as simple as standing up.

Shiro just didn’t want to.

“Fourteen.  Fifteen.”

Each breath sank him deeper, like an anchor falling into the depths of the ocean.  Down here, he was safe from the churning waves on the surface. He simply floated comfortably with the current.

“Twenty.”

Shiro was still and quiet.  The worries and adrenaline of the fight bobbed on the surface of his mental ocean, unable to reach him.  He couldn't even see them anymore. They would be there when he came back up, but they would only act as buoys, keeping him from finding this safe space.  When he was down here, he couldn't hold onto them, and so he let go.

It was probably the best part of this, even compared to the pleasure.

Once Shiro was settled at the bottom of his mental ocean, there was another click, and another jolt of need.  Shiro's mouth hung open, his moan tumbling out without any effort to maintain his dignity and keep it inside. That was another thing bobbing up on the surface.  The little things that held him back from feeling good and obeying couldn't live down here. Shiro was free to be as open and loud as he wanted to be.

A phantom hand brushed through Shiro's hair, passing by without ever actually moving a strand.   So relaxed for me.  Good job.

There was no click this time, but a moan still tumbled out of Shiro's lips.  He would have leaned into the touch, but his head was too heavy. That wasn't his job right now, anyway.  His job was to be loose and ready, and to listen to instructions.

The sensation passed by again, this time even firmer.  At the same time, non-existent fingers curled under Shiro's jaw and tilted his head up.  He followed the pressure limply, like there was a physical hand actually lifting him, then dropped when it vanished.

Perfect, Atlas said, openly satisfied.

A shiver ran through Shiro in response.  He'd done a good job.

The sound of footsteps echoed in Shiro's ears, getting farther away.  With his eyes closed, and so far under, it was impossible to tell if there was someone physically there.  It didn't matter anymore. Atlas was there. Someone was there. Shiro was getting what he needed no matter what.

Get to your room.  Do not stand.

Vaguely, Shiro detected a hint of hesitation to the voice, though no regret.  Closer to curiosity, like they were testing him.

Shiro had never liked to fail a task, and this was no exception.  Without his dignity to torture him, it was no trouble at all to crawl his way through the entrance way and down the short hall to his room.  The door opened for him, so he never had to so much as pick up his head. Working his arm reminded him of the delicious, constant pleasure of the vibration.  Each step on his knees shot that same pleasure down to his cock, which freely dripped inside the flight suit.

Once inside, Shiro bit his lips around a moan, already anticipating his reward.  It came just a second later, the click accompanied by a bolt of sheer, liquid need.  It drenched his already saturated mind until his vision whited out behind his closed eyelids.

There was no direct praise, but the voice hummed gently, clearly pleased.  Shiro continued to scoot forward, stopping only when he was kneeling by the base of his bed.

A finger pressed against Shiro's lips.  He opened his mouth eagerly to the intrusion, sucking on the tasteless digit.  Two more hands cupped Shiro's chest, the palms pressing through his clothes as if they had never existed.  Nails scraped against his nipples, teasing them to full hardness, and then pinching tightly.

When Shiro cried out, the finger in his mouth did nothing to muffle the noise.

You are so responsive, the voice said, equal parts pleased and regretful.   You crave touch so deeply.  Even this soothes you. I could make you come without ever undressing you.

As if to prove it, something nudged Shiro's prostate, despite having nothing inside.  It felt like his own metal fingers from the other night, but it was still braced on the floor to hold him up.

Shiro keened, eyes rolling behind their lids.  He bucked back against the press, but nothing followed it - no delicious full feeling, stretch or thrust.  It was there and then gone.

You need this.  Relax and obey for me.  On your stomach and prepare yourself.  

Yes, Shiro needed it so much.  He whined again, fingers scraping against the carpet, but then obediently turned and laid himself out on the floor with only a few extra sleepy movements that were immediately forgotten.  Even without the click, simply obeying made his cock twitch and his chest feel warm with contentment.

Fingers circled his hole.  Shiro spread his legs farther until he was nearly doing a split.  It gave the person even more access, though they didn't seem to need it.  His cheeks were pulled apart, and hot breath ghosted over his rim.

A tongue flickered out, wet and hot against the relaxed muscle.  Shiro's breath caught in his mouth, then burst out as a desperate whine.  Spread out as he was, he could barely buck his hips back or squirm. All he could do was lay out and take what was given to him.

Someone is going to take care of you.  I'm going to take care of you. Concentrate on my voice and my body.  Tell me who you feel.

Shiro's head bobbed, a tiny, jerky movement.  It felt like someone and tugged on a string at the top of his head, moving his head for him.  "Yes."

Another of those pleased hums, this time deeper.  The voice sounded more solid, more present, like someone was in the room with him.

Two fingers pushed into Shiro's hole, already slick with lube.  They didn't feel like the hands pulling his cheeks apart. These were bigger and thicker, but still amazing inside him.  Shiro relaxed, making sure there was absolutely no resistance as he was toyed open. As he did, the two slimmer hands skimed up his back, curling into nails as they went.  They raked on either side of his spine, hard enough to mark but not to break skin. This person would never hurt Shiro. He trusted them with his whole heart.

The hands on him paused, then slowly went flat.  The person leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to the back of Shiro's neck, their hair just barely falling down to brush his skin.  Meanwhile, the fingers inside him continued to work. A third pressed him open, drawing out another moan.

Another kiss drew his attention back up.  The person tilted their head up, nipping the outer shell of his ear.  Their hot tongue slid out, drawing his lobe into their mouth and pressing with teeth just shy of too sharp.

Hm.   Just as I said.  You need to listen to me more, Captain.  I want what's best for you.

When had Shiro not listened?  Jolting, Shiro whined, this time in dismay rather than need.  His head jerked, but he didn't manage to pick it up all the way or open his eyes.

The hands smoothed up and down his spine as the voice shushed him.   You've done well.  I'm sorry to confuse you.  Relax again, no need to worry.  No need to think. Just concentrate and tell me who is taking care of you.  I want you to say it for me.

With that, the fingers withdrew, and the blunt head of a cock pressed against Shiro's hole.  He didn't even have time to gasp before it pressed inside, spreading him open wide in one delicious thrust.

Shiro saw stars.  The cock pressed just right like it was designed to pleasure him.  The sensations rolled through his body, seeming to seep through his brain and then rush to the rest of him.  His mouth hung open, tongue lolling as he was fucked hard. Every thrust rocked him with the force, short and powerful.  Despite that, there was absolutely no pain. Even the fingers digging into his back didn't hurt, just held him firmly in place as he was fiercely pounded.

This person would never hurt him.  

Shiro's eyes fluttered and nearly opened.  His instinct to look fought with, then lost to the earlier order.  Instead he moaned and rocked back onto the cock, clenching around it.  

"Keith," he groaned, a smile curving his lips.  "Keith, please. More."

That's right, the voice - Keith's voice, undeniably - said warmly.   That's what you need.  That's who you want to be good for.  You need someone there who can touch you and hold you.  Wouldn't you be happier?

How could Shiro be happier than right now?  Even so, his head bobbed. "Yes."

Yes, what?

"I need you.  I'm happier with you.  I'm more relaxed with you.  I trust you. Keith, please.  I want all of you. I want to be good for you, just tell me what to do."

I want you to tell him that.

Before Shiro could even begin to wonder at the strange wording, the heat against his back was gone.  So was the mouth against his ear, the hands on his back, and the cock inside him.

What- no!  Where was Keith?  He had just been here.  Shiro whined as his heart broke.   It was cold without Keith, without the delicious warmth and security he provided.  Even the pleasure from his arm didn't begin to compare to how much better it felt with something there to really touch him.

A hand ran through Shiro's hair, and calm flooded his system.  He went back down limply, breath even again. Shhh, Captain.  You said you want Keith?  Do you want me to bring him back?

Yes!  Shiro had felt so good with Keith inside him.  Why did he pull away? Why couldn't Shiro hear his breathing?  "Yes. I want Keith."

Smugness flashed through Shiro, utterly disconnected from his own situation.   As you wish, Captain.  Relax, now. In a few moments, I will stop the arm.  When I do, you will be aware and like yourself, but not fully awake.  

Relax.

Shiro slumped down again, even as his chest twinged at the continued loss.  But he no longer fought or complained, just waited until his breathing was slow and his heart rate was even.

Then, the arm stopped.

Shiro's eyes blinked open, staring dazedly at the wall.  He remembered... he remembered almost all of it, actually, including the part where there had been someone here with him?  Pushing himself up on his left arm, Shiro froze when something shifted against his ass.

He glanced back and saw an empty room, with his right hand floating behind him.  Three fingers were extended, still dripping with lube. His other hand curled around a container, the top popped open.

Wha-

There had never been someone in the room.  That had been his mind, combined with Atlas taking control of his arm.  Shiro had utterly believed he had a partner pressing him down to the floor, when he'd been alone the whole time.

Color bloomed across his cheeks, but the shame felt distant.  When he shifted, his cock bobbed between his legs, proof he hadn't found release at all.  "Atlas?" Shiro asked. "Why did you stop?"

You said you wanted Keith, Captain.  I have informed him of the situation.  You may want to get dressed.

Wha-

Shiro looked back down, eyes wide.  He hadn't remembered taking his clothes off at all.  Atlas had just told him to get prepared and- and his mind had skipped, and then he was laying out on the floor, legs spread and hole exposed.

Holy shit.  That was amazing.  It would have been terrifying, except it was Atlas, and they posed absolutely no threat to him.  He knew them completely, and he knew they could never actually hurt him.

Except emotionally, apparently.

Keith was coming.  Keith was coming to fuck Shiro while he was out of his head.

And Shiro was still sitting here naked.

Cursing, he scrambled to his drawers and pulled out the first pair of sweatpants he found.  Getting them over his hard cock was uncomfortable, and they did absolutely nothing to hide the large bulge.

Shit.  What else did he have-?

There was a knock on the door.

"Atlas, stall him for a minute," Shiro hissed out.  He scrambled through his doors for something thicker that wouldn't be torture (like his jeans) or wasn't already covered in precome (like his flight suit).

There was silence.  Then the door in the other room opened.

"Shiro?" Keith called.  "I got a weird message. Uh, from Atlas.  Can the ship do that?"

Shit.  Shit shit shit.

This was going to ruin everything.  It had been such a good evening, despite his exhaustion.  Now he was going to either have to think of a very convincing lie for what Atlas sent Keith, or else kiss the best friendship of his life goodbye.

Trust me.  I would not harm you, Captain.

Not physically, but Atlas was doing a great job of trying to assassinate him emotionally.

There was a huff, then a sudden swat to his ass.  Shiro had to muffle a sudden moan before Keith heard it.   Trust me.  Speak with him.

Well, there was no getting around it.

Shiro opened the door to his room, but leaned against the frame to hide his obvious arousal.  "Hey, sorry. I was having a- a conversation with Atlas. They decided I need company. I'm sorry if they woke you."

A fond smile spread over Keith's lips?  "Yeah? Don’t apologize. I might have told you I would be awake for a while, so I’m glad Atlas called.  Is something wrong?" He gave Shiro a keen look over. Hopefully he would assume the sweat and flush were from the day’s work.

"Nothing's wrong," Shiro said.  He held up a hand, trying to forestall Keith's worry. "I've been a little stressed lately.  Not even that bad, if I'm being honest. Not like in the past. But Atlas just sees the symptoms and wants to fix it, and apparently human contact eases stress."

Keith's eyes brightened.  He took a step forward as the door behind him closed.  "And you wanted me?"

He sounded so happy about it.  So honestly warmed. Shiro should lie and deny it for their own good, but he just couldn't turn down that face.  "Yes. But this is different from what you're thinking, Keith. Atlas is being... stubborn. About the best ways to relieve stress.  They don't really understand the nuances of human interactions or social boundaries. I don't think this is something you want to be involved in.  You should head to bed."

Brow furrowed, Keith looked Shiro over.  Slowly, his eyes darkened and he took a step forward.  "Why are you hiding like that? Is Atlas hurting you? Shiro, if you need help, say the word."

"No!  I'm not hurt.  Not at all." The exact opposite, really.  Shiro tightened his grip on the door, his heart pounding. If Keith got too close, he'd see.  "Please stop. It's not what you think."

Keith listened, freezing immediately at the word 'stop'.  He took a deep breath, like he was trying to keep himself calm.

Then he froze, his eyes going wide.

Oh.  Keith's sense of smell had always been strong.  In hindsight, that was almost definitely the Galra genes.  

Could he smell...

Shiro's face flamed red.  He pressed his forehead to the door frame and bit back a groan.  "I'm sorry. This- it's not what you want. I know it's not. I shouldn't have said anything to Atlas, and I'm sorry they dragged you out here.  Let's just both pretend this was a weird dream and ignore it, okay?"

Emotions flickered over Keith's face.  Confusion, realization, shock, embarrassment.  Something darker and more predatory that Shiro usually only saw in a spar.

Biting his lip at the look, Shiro rocked his hips forward, pressing his aching cock against the door, just for any contact at all.

"Atlas was helping you with..."  Keith's nostrils flared. "That. And you mentioned me?"

Shiro closed his eyes tightly and held his breath.  "I'm sorry. Please. I don't want to ruin things any further. I can't..."

Silence hung, awkward and heavy.  Shiro strained, listening for the sound of disgusted scoffs.  Apologetic murmurs. Footsteps and the door closing as Keith walked away from him.

"What if I want to help?"

Heart stopping, Shiro froze.  He slowly opened his eyes and looked to Keith again.

The hungry look on his face went straight to Shiro's cock.

"You..."  Shiro felt his cheeks burn with a blush, and he had to grip harder at the door to keep from visibly shuddering.  "You said before..."

Keith's shoulders slumped as he gave a bland smile. "About being brothers?  Yeah. I'd take what I could get. If I'd known this was on the table, I'd have said something.  Why didn't you speak up?"

The same reason Keith hadn’t.

Swallowing hard, Shiro looked over Keith's earnest, eager face.  He was waiting for Shiro to respond. To say something back. He was actually, really offering.  This couldn’t be happening.

Then a thought struck, freezing his heart.  "Atlas? This is real, right?"

"What?"  Keith said.  "Why wouldn't I be real?"

Yes, Captain,  Atlas said.   I am not affecting what you perceive.

This was real.

"Shiro?  Why would this be fake?"  Keith stepped forward again, concern washing away his tentative hope.

Oh, god, he was actually going to have to explain.  "I think you should come in my room for this. Are you sure?"  Shiro paused, then narrowed his eyes. "I mean that. I don't want you doing this just because you think I need it, and you'll go along with what makes it easier for me.  I want this to be real."

Keith stared, then barked out a laugh.  "Shiro, I promise, I’m not lying about wanting this.”  He shook his head and set his jaw. “I want you. I- I love you.  Is that really so hard to believe?"

It wasn't how Shiro had ever expected to hear those words, but it still made warmth spark through his chest like a firework.  

So he strode forward and put his hand on Keith’s shoulder, like he had a thousand times before.  But this time, he slid his palm up to his jaw, then used that to pull him into a kiss.

Shiro tried to keep it gente.  Chaste, even. He wanted the first kiss to be like in stories, like seeing the sunrise after being in deep space for too long.

But the heat continued to churn in his gut, egging him on.  Shiro wanted, and he wanted Keith most of all. He’d ached for him for so long, and now he was finally here, in his arms.

Luckily, Keith seemed entirely on board.  The moment Shiro’s lips started to part, his tongue slid inside, exploring with the same ferocity he applied to flying.  Shiro moaned into Keith’s mouth, scraping his teeth along the muscle. Keith groaned in return, which sent delightful shivers down Shiro’s spine and to his still hard cock.

Keith arched forward, then paused when he brushed against Shiro’s bulge.  He laughed. “Oh. That’s why you were hiding.”

"Yeah.  It is."

“Better than I thought.  I’m glad you weren’t hurt.”  Keith pulled back, licking his lips.  He paused, then went up on this tiptoes for an extra peck, like he couldn’t resist another taste.  “Okay. What’s going on? Why wouldn’t I be real?”

Shiro managed a thin smile, and gestured for Keith to step into his bedroom.  "Has Black ever shown you something that wasn't there?"

Keith slowly shook his head as he followed Shiro inside.  His eyes drifted back down to Shiro's crotch, his mouth open in obvious desire.  "Um. No. There was that time with Blue with all of us, when we first found her.  Nothing else."

"Well, I know Black can.  While you were at the space mall?  I really thought we were flying around space, but we were really just in the castle hangar the whole time."  Shiro bit his bottom lip, flushing at Keith's roaming eyes. It made him want to crash back down to his knees and show his appreciation back.  

But if Atlas activated his arm again, Shiro was going back down in that mental place, and this time Keith would be seeing it.  

Better to explain now.

"Okay," Keith replied, drawing the word out like he was stalling.  He blinked rapidly, then focused on Shiro again, eyes slowly dragging up his stomach and chest to settle on his face.  "I’ll guess you’re bringing this up because Atlas can do it too."

Shiro nodded, but bit his bottom lip.  "Yes. And, uh, we've been working on... worrying less.  Relaxing without my anxiety getting in the way. It's taken some practice over the past little while, but Atlas is pretty good at getting me to kind of... settle down.  Almost like meditating."

At first, Keith's brow furrowed.  Understandable, because that was a very weird sentence from just about every angle.  “Settling how?”

Shiro’s cheeks burned.  “Um. Breathing exercises.  The first time she counted down each long breath and encouraged me to relax a lot.  Distracting me when I start thinking too much. Visualizations, like sinking deeper down.  That kind of thing.”

Keith’s eyes lit up with understanding.  "Atlas has been putting you in a trance?"

What?

That wasn't a word Shiro had associated with what he and Atlas had developed.  Trance was something on TV, a fake state in stories induced by corny stage hypnotists with pocket watches and spirals.  

But then he thought of how those characters had been talked down into sleepy, obedient states.  How they'd obeyed what their mind told them, even if it didn't match with reality.

Maybe it was the right term after all.

"Something like that," Shiro admitted slowly.  He sat down on his bed and patted the edge for Keith to settle down as well.  A second later, he realized his very dirty flight suit was still abandoned on the ground, along with the lube container.  Blushing, he grabbed the suit and tossed it haphazardly into the corner, where it wasn't so in the way.

Keith watched with open amusement.  "I think that's the first time I've seen you choose not to fold something."

Rolling his eyes, Shiro tried and failed to control his blush.  "I was a little distracted."

"I bet."  Keith sat down next to him, so close their shoulders brushed.  "So, okay, Atlas had you in a trance to calm you down. And it got you interested, and you asked for me?"  Despite how absolutely bonkers the sentence was, Keith only seemed pleased.

The wording only made Shiro's cheeks burn hotter.  "You're very calm about this. Especially the trance part."

"Our lives have been so weird for the past several years that this barely even scratches the surface."  Keith shrugged one shoulder.

Shiro snorted.  “This is a little beyond that.  I wasn’t even thinking of it as a trance, but it was still weird.”

Pausing, Keith looked down at his lap.  Color dusted his own cheeks. "Not that weird.  I used to have the internet. There’s porn of stuff like that.  I’ve seen some videos."

Keith had looked up porn of people in trances?

Well, considering that Shiro was now the guy in the trance, he really didn't have any room to find that odd.

“Oh,” Shiro said.  “Huh. Well, that’s good, then.  One of us will know what we’re doing.”

Glancing up through his bangs, Keith looked over Shiro’s face.  When there wasn’t any judgement, he relaxed. “Yeah. Guess so. What, uh... What were you doing tonight?”

"I thought you were here," Shiro admitted, ducking his head.  "Atlas just told me to imagine who I wanted, and that was you."

A hand curled around Shiro's bicep.  He jolted at the sudden grip, but settled right as his lips captured in a kiss.  Keith used his hold to yank Shiro where he wanted him, then suddenly backed off and let go.  "Shit, sorry. Was that okay? I just- I couldn't help it. When you said that. I won't do it again if you don't like it."

Seriously?  

Shiro turned and cupped Keith's cheek, then pressed their lips together.  This time, he was actually able to appreciate it, enjoying the glorious way Keith's soft lips fest against his own.  Sparks of pleasure ignited the stoked flame in Shiro, making him want to press up against whatever part of Keith he could reach.  "It's very good. I don’t mind you getting a little rough. Is the trance stuff really okay with you? I would just listen to you.  That’s what I was imagining."

Keith’s eyes darkened.  He looked like someone had dumped his fantasy right in his lap.  "Oh. That- I'd like that. Yes. Very much. Um. We should talk about more limits later.  But right now, what's okay?"

"Anything normal, I guess?"  Shiro winced. "That's a bad way of putting it.  Um. I like listening. It feels good when I complete tasks.  I'm happy blowing you and if you'd want to..." He cleared his throat.  "To fuck me, I would like that. I'm already stretched from earlier. And, uh- Atlas, if something crosses a line, please turn off the lights or wake me up, alright?"

Yes, Captain.   A pause.  I told you this was the best solution.

Yes, yes.  The ship could be smug later.  Right now, Shiro had better things to do.

Those things included being shoved down into the bed, Keith straddling him with fever-bright eyes.  "Of course I want to fuck you. Jesus, Shiro, you can't just say stuff like that. I'm going to pass out from all my blood leaving my head if you keep talking like that."

Shiro smiled up, unbothered by Keith pinning him down.  It was far too familiar from their spars. This was Keith, who would never hurt him.  "Do something about it, then. I'll do whatever you ask, so you can set your own limits.  And if you tell me no I'll be able to respect that."

Leaning down, Keith kissed him again.  "Okay. What about triggers?"

"What about what, now?"

"Triggers.  Uh, like..."  Keith blushed.  "Things that stick with you.  Like, on TV, when then snap their fingers and the person acts like a chicken.  Except better. If I bite the back of your neck, you start to go back into a trance, maybe.  Or if I rub between your shoulder blades you feel like I'm fucking you. That kind of thing."

Shiro blinked up at Keith as realization dawned.  That's what Atlas' damn clicks were about. It immediately got him eager and made him want to obey.

They were also very, very effective, and felt amazing.

"Yeah," Shiro said.  "Only something you can set off, and nothing you'll do on accident in the bridge, okay?  Otherwise, I'd like that."

Keith stared at him and shook his head.  "You're amazing. I never thought- Hell, I never thought I'd get half this far, much less get this too.  How are you real?"

"If either if us aren't really right now, it's still you."

Rolling his eyes, Keith kissed the tip of Shiro's nose.  "Can I see you go back under?"

Shiro nodded.  "I'm pretty much under still, I think.  Atlas just woke me up most of the way."

Keith curled in on himself and moaned so loudly it sounded like it was punched out of him.  Immediately, an answering heat shot through Shiro, just from Keith's obvious arousal. "Holy fuck."

"Not yet."  Shiro beamed at Keith, waiting until he was looking again.  "Atlas, go ahead."

Yes, Captain.

Shiro's arm turned back on, the vibrations gentler this time.  It was a sign - a trigger - more than it was a source of pleasure.

Shiro immediately sank back down, like trance was his natural state, and being awake was a temporary game.  All the tension melted completely out of his body, leaving him boneless and pliant under Keith. His worries bubbled up to the surface without him, until his eyes glazed over and his mouth fell open.  Shiro stared up at Keith, his adoration openly displayed on his face, and waited for his orders.

Keith jolted like someone and taken him by the hips and shook him.  He bit his bottom lip as his hips rocked, pressing against Shiro's. But his eyes never left Shiro's face, as awe overtook his expression.  "Wow. You're really..." His hand came up, fingers splayed just over Shiro's face. "Can I?"

Shiro made no move to stop him.  It didn't even cross his mind. It was what Keith wanted, and Shiro wanted to be touched.  What could possibly be wrong with that?

When Shiro didn't object, Keith let the pads of his fingers touch down.  He ran his finger down the length of Shiro's nose experimentally, like he was looking or feeling for something.  Shiro only continued to stare, eyes heavily lidded and breathing even.

Luckily, that seemed to be what Keith wanted.  His lips curled up, and his eyes lit with that same awe from before.  His thumb pressed against Shiro's bottom lip, pulling up his jaw. Well trained by Atlas already, Shiro moved with the tug, relaxing his jaw until his mouth hung open with no resistance.

"It's not fair," Keith breathed.  He leaned down to kiss Shiro's slack lips and breathed into his mouth.  "Do you know how long I've imagined this?"

Shiro blinked up at him, letting the warmth of the kiss and the compliment wash through him.  "No."

"No?"  Keith pulled back, eyes wide, then paused.  "What's wr- oh. You were answering." The smile came back as he gave Shiro another kiss.  "A long time. Longer than you, I know. Before Kerberos."

Oh.  Shiro had known Keith admired him then.  Shiro had been a kind, older figure who reached out to help Keith when very few other people had.  The resulting support and loyalty had been gratifying, even cute. But Shiro had never thought Keith desired him.  In hindsight, it wasn't surprising. Keith had been a teenager, ruled by impulse even for a fifteen year old. With all those hormones, it wasn't strange he would latch onto Shiro for his fantasies.

What was surprising was that the resulting years hadn't ruined them.

Then again, it hadn't been until later, when Keith first saved him in the Black Lion, that Shiro had felt the stirrings of something different.  Maybe Keith had felt something shift too.

Shiro didn't reply, didn't move, didn't even change his breathing.  He just let the knowledge settle. He could deal with it more deeply later.  For now, all he had to do was listen and relax.

Thankfully, Keith didn't need a response.  Instead, he carded his fingers through Shiro's hair, tugging at the mid-length hair on top.  It wasn't hard, just a sudden jolt, like another test. Shiro's eyes fluttered instinctively, but his trance stayed steady.

"Fuck," Keith breathed.  He ground down again, desperate like he couldn't help himself.  "You're gorgeous like this. You're gorgeous all the damn time, but this- goddammit, Shiro.  I've only ever..." Leaning down, he bit down on Shiro's lip, another jolt of sensation.  It worked like the clicks, complimenting the constant, thrumming pleasure that traveled from his arm and directly into his nervous center.  

"I saw you once,” Keith continued.  “You didn't know- I saw you duck down that hall with the wonky cameras.  I thought I was going to catch you sneaking a smoke or something. Instead you were there.  With- yeah. He gripped you by the hair and bit your neck. You let out this moan.   I thought about it for weeks.  Months. I still do, sometimes."

The scene was familiar, even if Shiro didn't know the exact time Keith had mentioned.  That one section of the main building was well known to everyone, cadets and officers alike.  If a class was particularly frustrating to Adam, or if training had been too stressful for Shiro, they would meet up there.  Not for anything special, just for five minutes to kiss and tease and promise more later.

They'd been careful, but apparently not careful enough.

Trust Keith to worm his way exactly where he shouldn’t have been.

While Shiro floated along on old memories, Keith's fingers threaded through his hair again.  This time, Keith gave a harder yank, forcing his head backward and exposing his throat. "Moan for me.  I want to hear you this whole time. Every noise."

With that, Keith ducked down and bit the long column of Shiro's throat.

A moan ripped out of Shiro, reedy and utterly undone.  Fuck, he'd forgotten how good that felt, and there was nothing in the way.  Nothing to worry about, no split to his concentration.  Just Keith over him, sending hot sparks flooding through Shiro's veins.

"Just like that."  Keith pulled back to grin, his eyes darting over Shiro's flushed face.  "You're louder for me."

"Yes," Shiro said, still that flat tone.

This was chatty for Keith.  He wasn't usually a 'talk through his mental process' kind of a guy, more like 'jump in and tap my foot until everyone else catches up.'  

All this talking, this narrating - it was for Shiro.  It keep him involved even when he was so deep in trance.

That was nice.

Keith dragged both his hands down Shiro's neck, settling over his pecs.  His fingers curled into the softer flesh, not doing anything but enjoying the sensation and holding himself up.  The move arched his back farther, pressing his cock harder into the bulge of Shiro's sweatpants. "What were you thinking about?  When Atlas made you think I was here. What was I doing?"

"You had me on my stomach," Shiro said, with no hesitation or shame.  "My legs were spread and I couldn't move them or get up. You scratched my back and bit my neck, and you held me open and fucked me hard."

"Did you like it?"

A shiver ran through Shiro.  "Yes."

Keith's smile grew, fanged now.  "Do you want me to do that again?"

"Yes."

Chuckling, Keith kissed him.  "I can do that for you. Sometime soon, we're going to sit down and talk about every fantasy in that head of yours.  Every dirty little want you never told anyone you craved. And I'm going to check them off for you, one. by. one." With that, Keith pulled back, the heat gone so suddenly that Shiro whined.  "On your stomach."

Despite the loss, Shiro obeyed eagerly.  He flipped over, and obligingly shifted when Keith pulled his sweatpants free.  It left Keith still in his pajamas, while Shiro was utterly bare. The difference just highlighted how much more in control Keith was right now.

"When I make a suggestion, will it work?  Or can Atlas do it?"

Your paladin's commands should work, but I will reinforce them this time to be sure.

Shiro repeated that to Keith, hardly aware he was doing it.  He wasn't part of this portion, not really. Atlas and Keith were just having a conversation that required Shiro to translate, but it wasn't important he pay attention.  Only that he listen.

The bed shifted as Keith moved again.  He smoothed one hand up Shiro's back, starting at the dip of his spine and running up to his neck.  "Okay. Good. Then, here." He took hold of both of Shiro's wrists, even the metal one, and pressed them down into the bed in front of him.  "These are so heavy now, Shiro. They're not held down by anything. You're not chained. It's just that they weigh so much that even you can't move them.  You can tug and tug, but nothing you do will budge them until I release you. Do you understand?"

"Yes."  The word came out as a moan.  Shiro arched, despite the how sleepy and lax his muscles still felt.  "I understand." True to Keith's words, Shiro could already feel his heavy wrists sinking into bed.

Keith kissed the back of his neck.  "Good. That's perfect." He paused for Shiro to groan again, pressing his smile into the sensitive skin at the end of Shiro's spine.  "One more thing. I'm going to open you up. But the lube I'm using is special. The second it touches you, you'll feel it start to tingle, and that's when you know it's working.  It's going to sink into you and make you very needy. Every second it stays inside, the more turned on you'll be. It'll build slowly, bit by bit, until you can't control yourself.  You'll need it so much. You'll need to come.  But you can't until I say so.  Do you understand that too?"

A distant, sleepy part of Shiro filled with awe.  Keith had always been effective, even ruthless in pursuing his interests.  It was one of the things they had in common. But that was amazing.

"Yes," Shiro repeated.  "I understand."

Keith kissed his neck again, this time a peck.  "Good boy." Then he slid his fingers through Shiro's hair once more.  "Now, when I pull, it's going to wake you up. Not all the way, but enough that you can move and talk and be part of this.  Okay?"

This time, Keith didn't weight for a confirmation.  He just pulled.

Shiro gasped, surging into partial awareness.  He'd just been under, and he's just been listening to what Keith told him, but the precise details escaped him.  It was like trying to pay attention to a conversation while doing something else. The words penetrated, and he could vaguely recall responding appropriately, but he didn't know what had been discussed.  "Keith?"

"Hey.  You okay?"  Keith rubbed along his scalp, giving a gentle massage.  "If you're uncomfortable, we can stop now."

Shiro snorted.  "No, uncomfortable isn't the word I'd pick.  Unless you're talking about how long I've been hard."

The blunt wording made Keith pause.  It was rare for Shiro to speak so plainly, at least when he came to himself.  He could make all the heartfelt speeches in the world, but that was different about being honest about his needs.

But it was easy now.  There was no shame, no fear of weakness, nothing to hold him back.  Shiro could just want.

"Alright, stay right here. I'm going to start getting ready, but you can get comfortable while you have the chance."  Keith patted Shiro on the flank like a horse, then climbed off the bed and bent down to retrieve the lube off the floor.

Shiro rolled his eyes at the joking treatment, then shifted to improve his balance.

Or, rather, he tried.  Because when he went to move his shoulders, his arms stayed exactly where they'd been.  Shiro blinked down at them, confused. Was his prosthesis malfunctioning?

But no, it was perfectly fine.  Both his arms stayed firmly on the bed, pushing into the comforters.  They were simply too heavy to pick up, like they had cores of thick steel.

...Oh.

"Sneaky," Shiro called.  He looked over his shoulder at Keith, his brows up.

Keith shrugged, though a pleased smile continued to tug at his lips.  "I figured you'd like it. Everything's okay?"

Nodding, Shiro gave another, powerful tug.  His muscles strained, and his knees scraped uselessly against the comforter.  But his arms didn't move an inch.

Shiro's naked cock throbbed.  A bead of precome drooled down the shaft.

"I'm going to take that as a yes."  Keith climbed back up, lube in hand.  He settled in comfortably behind Shiro.  

Chuckling, Shiro nodded.   "Yeah. This is good. A little far apart, though.  It's going to be a struggle not to fall forward like this."

"I know."

That sneaky little shit.

Shiro didn't bother to hide his grin.

Fingers traced around his hole without so much as a word of warning.  They were dry and warm, playing with the leaking slickness of the previously applied lube.  It hadn't been long enough for it to dry, yet, and even that gentle touch to the sensitive rim drew a groan from Shiro.

Shiro licked his lips.  "I'm pretty stretched already.  I was using three prosthetic fingers, and they're not small."

The fingers paused.  Keith gave a breathy moan, then swallowed audibly.   "Fuck.  You're going to have to show me sometime.  But I want to be sure. Just a little more lube to make sure you don't get sticky back here."

Yeah, that wasn't a good time for anybody.  Shiro made a face at the covers and nodded. "Okay.  Quickly?"

There was a beat, and then the other hand smacked over Shiro's ass.  It wasn't painful, but he certainly felt it, and the sound was startlingly loud.  "Not your call, Shiro. Your job is to stay upright and be good for me."

Shit, that shouldn't have sounded so delicious.  Shiro had always hated being passive. Or, rather, he'd enjoyed the results, but hated how his mind took the chance to wander.

Not a problem, right now.

With that settled, Keith popped the cap of the lube.  He squirted some into his hands, and there were slick noises as he warmed it between his fingers.

Of course he did.  Shiro smiled at the covers, utterly charmed.

Or, he was until the finger pressed inside, and Shiro felt it tingle like there was menthol in the lube.

Jerking forward, Shiro gasped.  "What is that?" He clenched instinctively around Keith's fingers.  "Was that the same bottle?"

Keith laughed and kissed the small of his back.  "Hmm, I made it special."

Wha-

Oh.  Another trigger.

"How many of those did you set up?" Shiro asked, groaning.  He bucked back against the finger, eager to feel the odd tingle now that he knew it was intended.  The finger slid in further, and every place it touched began to prickle in the same way. Within second it started to heat, the burn travelling through Shiro's veins.

Keith just snickered, clearly enjoying both the results of his work, and Shiro's open enjoyment.  "Enough to be fun, that's all." He slid in a second slick finger, smearing the lube everywhere he could reach.

By the time he was done, a sweat was breaking out over Shiro's skin.  A shiver ran through him, different from the constant pleasure Atlas used through the arm.  That felt amazing, and it had made him crave more. But this prickled under his skin, making him want to shift and whine.  His nipples ached and hardened, straining for real touch, and he couldn't stop moving from knee to knee like a squirming child.   He wanted, and it felt good, but it was good like being teased. Like being denied.

A whimper bubbled out of him.  He could have held it in, but Keith wanted noise.

"Already?" Keith asked.  He pulled his hand away, then took one of Shiro's ass cheeks in each hand and eagerly massaged.  "That didn't take long at all. What happened to patience, Shiro?"

Biting his bottom lip, Shiro stiffened himself against the burn.  It didn't do anything to stop the growing arousal, which seemed to get worse with each heartbeat.  But it did keep him from showing just how affected he was.

Or, it would have, if he didn't let out another breathy groan.

Keith just laughed and continued to work.  He didn't seem to have an actual goal in mind, instead just tugging the rim wide, then letting it clench closed again.  His nails dug into the meet, hard enough that he was probably leaving little crescent moon-shaped white spots.

Despite himself, Shiro's hips jerked back.  Every time Keith exposed his hole, Shiro hoped this was the time he'd give in.  He'd have mercy and touch or lick or fuck or literally anything.   But instead Keith played like Shiro's ass was his toy, and he could play all night.

Not a wrong assumption.

Finally, Keith did stop.  He let go entirely, and gave Shiro's ass firm swack, apparently just to make the muscle work.  Then he climbed up, so he could drape over Shiro's back. Despite how tired he'd been earlier, the weight wasn't enough to affect Shiro.  He remained on all fours, holding his breath as he mentally begged Keith to line up. A fire was burning in his core, licking out over his heart and stomach, building in his pelvis.  The heat was causing pressure, his whole body filling with need of a release valve.

He needed to come.

Keith lined up, his chin hooked over Shiro's shoulder.  The bulge in his silken pajamas brushed against Shiro's sensitive inner thigh, earning a filthy, eager whimper.

"Poor Shiro," he soothed, nuzzling into the side of Shiro's face.  "I imagine it's got to be burning you up, huh? I can feel how tense you are.  I know you're trying so hard not to break. It would be so easy to make the heat go away if you would just come."

Bucking again, Shiro nodded.  "I- yes. That would help. Keith..."

There was a pause.

Then Keith's hands came up to cup Shiro's chest.  He took two handfuls of the flesh and worked them, digging his fingers in just as he had Shiro's ass. "Not yet."

Shiro's yowl of frustration would have been audible to everyone in the hall if the rooms were soundproof.

Laughing, Keith kissed over his jaw as he tugged on Shiro's nipples.  That sent bolts of pure electricity through Shiro's body, straight down to his cock.  But no matter how the head leaked, now matter how Shiro craved release, he didn't come.  Not without touch. Not without-

Something.

Another fucking suggestion.

The realization made the burn get even stronger.

"You're evil," Shiro groaned.  He rocked back to feel the clothed cock rub against his thighs.  It wasn't near enough, but it was better than what he was getting.  "Keith, come on."

Keith just nipped his ear.  "Ah, ah. That's not a very nice way to ask.  Manners, Captain, or else you'll never get what you want."

Hearing his rank in Keith's mouth, while Keith held complete control over him, nearly made Shiro come right then and there.

That would be something to explore later.  Right now, Shiro had a greater goal in mind.

"Please," Shiro finally breathed, throwing his head back.  "Keith, please, I'll do anything. I need it. I want you inside, and I want you to fuck me, and I want you to come over and over.  I want to be full of you, and I want to feel every bite, every scratch, the burn of you all through tomorrow. I don't want to be able to sit without remembering this and thinking of you.  Please, please, fuck me.  I need it. I need you.   Keith!"

Suddenly, the nails digging into Shiro's chest sharpened.  There was a dark, predatory growl against Shiro's ear, and then longer teeth sank into his shoulder, nearly breaking skin.

Shiro keened, his eyes rolling back.  "Keith!"

One hand reluctantly pulled free of Shiro's chest, yanking the pajama bottoms down just far enough to free Keith's hard, leaking cock.

He'd been commando under those the whole time?  Holy fu-

Shiro's brain stopped as Keith's cock finally sank home.  There was no warning, no further teasing or stretch. One moment he'd been empty, and the next he'd been gloriously, wonderfully full.

Only Shiro's locked arms kept him from falling forward.  He was unaware of anything but the naked, burning need consuming him, and the release and pleasure offered by Keith over him.  "Yes," he breathed, mouth open as he panted. "Fuck, yes. Perfect. You're perfect.  Keith, I need- yes, hard, please, I need you." He moaned, an animal, unhinged noise as he tried to grind back.  "More, please. I need more."

The free hand found Shiro's hip, sinking in to keep him steady.  Then, Keith obliged. He started to fuck, his hips snapping hard and fast with each thrust.  The force was enough to rock Shiro forward, nearly tipping him over his still arms.

It was perfect.

The burn continued, growing each time Shiro cried out.  He couldn't see through the tears in his eyes, couldn't care about the mess his face was from his open mouth, couldn't think of anything but how amazing this felt.  Each thrust scratched a tingling itch that Shiro hadn't been aware of, and the sheer relief was a euphoria all it's own.

He'd needed this.  Shiro had needed this for so long.

There was a smug feeling, and then a digital click.

The older trigger did its job.  Another bolt of sheer pleasure shot through Shiro, obliterating any sense he had left.  He sobbed with it, his balls clenching and his stomach tightening. But he couldn't get passed that final hurdle, just like he couldn't move his arms.  His mind knew he couldn't, and it won every time. Because Keith had said so.

The next bolt of arousal nearly bent Shiro double.  The moan turned into a scream as his whole body seized on the edge of an orgasm he just couldn't manage.

"Fuck," Keith breathed, the awe back in his voice.  The hand on Shiro's chest shifted down, until Keith's thumb could run over the head.  It drew another animalistic, almost pained scream from Shiro, as the touch only made the burning pressure that much worse.  "Just like this. I can't..." He choked off as his thrusts lost their rhythm. "You look so fucking hot like this. You have no idea."

Shiro couldn't even begin to care what he looked like, except that Keith seemed to like it.  He keened again and clenched around the cock, howling when one thrust hit his prostate just right.

The fingers on his hip clenched again, pinpricks of pain among all the other overwhelming sensations.

Then Keith came.

Shiro gasped, staring sightlessly at the wall.  The feeling of Keith's cock jerking inside of him, and the come dripping slowly out was unmatched.  He'd never felt so good, even while his stomach ached from the denied release.

"Please," he said, an outright whimper.  "Keith. Keith, yes, I need- please. Please, please please!"

Keith let out a happy grumbling, nosing against Shiro's neck like a big, lazy cat.  "Mmm, not yet."

Betrayal lanced through Shiro's heart.  "Keith! Please, it burns.  I need it."

"Shh, it's okay."  Keith pulled back. He had to work his hips to retreat, because Shiro clenched down so desperately around his cock, but he managed.  "It's okay, Shiro, I'm going to make it better."

The words didn't keep Shiro from continuing to whimper.  Tears dripped down his cheeks, unabashed.

Keith moved to his side, then tugged Shiro's arms up. Even though the movement had been gentle, they jerked up as the weight faded instantly.  Then Keith moved so his back was to the headboard, and he could tug Shiro into his lap. He paused at the sight of the tears, then leaned in to kiss them away.  "Just a little while longer. I'm going to make the burn stop, okay? Don't worry, I won't hurt you."

Technically, Shiro didn't really fit in Keith's lap.  His head ended up over the top of Keith's, chin brushing his hair, and his legs spilled everywhere.  Despite that, Shiro snuggled in, wrapping his arms around Keith. "Please."

"I know."  Keith looked over Shiro's face, his expression gentling.  "I'm going to touch you, okay? But it's going to make the burning go away, so long as you listen properly.  Just be prepared."

Touch with no release again?  Shiro buried his face in Keith's hair, but nodded.

Keith's hand wrapped around Shiro's cock.  The sheer heat and glorious pressure made Shiro keen again, his whole body seizing with another orgasm ended before it could even begin.  He gasped into Keith's hair, clinging to the shirt Keith was still wearing.

"There we go," Keith soothed, like he might talk to a spooked animal.  "Easy, now. I'm going to start pumping, okay? You can't come, but each time I do, the burn is going to fade away.  I'll pump you ten times, and each time you'll start to sink back down into the trance from before. The relief is going to feel so good that you’ll relax quickly and easily.  Every pump is going to sink you a little faster and further than the one before, until at ten you're ready to as deep as you can go. Then, I'm going to keep touching you. And when I do that, you don't have to pay attention.  You listen, but the words don't really matter. They just become true and you don't have to think about them at all. You'll remember when you're fully aware again, but not till then. Okay?"

Shiro hummed and nodded eagerly.  He'd agree to just about anything to get relief from the need.

Keith took a deep breath, then pumped his fist up and down.  "One. Starting to sink as the burn begins to fade."

True to Keith's words, Shiro relaxed into his chest.  He must have been heavier like that, but Keith was Galra, and made of sturdier stuff, so he didn't seem to even notice.  The torturous burn finally lessened, like water had been injected into Shiro's veins.

"Two.  More relaxed, now, going deeper."

Shiro slumped, his head lolling limply against the headboard.  His eyes fluttered as his breath began to even. Another burst of cool entered his body, leaving the arousal, but taking away the urgency and pain.

"Three.  Getting hard to concentrate.  You're very relaxed, now, and the burn is almost completely gone."

Nodding, Shiro snuggled in, preparing to fully settle into trance.

The numbers continued, but Keith's voice sounded farther and farther away.  Shiro started to float, anchored and dragged down only by the tug of the tone and the hand on his cock.  It was very distracting to be touched like that, after all. Who could concentrate on words well when there was such a delicious distraction.  The more he only thought about the pumping, the better he felt. The better he felt, the deeper he sunk. The deeper he sunk, the more he thought about pumping and nothing else.

Shiro had a faint impression he'd heard that somewhere.  Then the thought was gone.

"Ten."

Shiro was gone too.