The First Imperial Magitek Laboratory is never quiet. By now Nero finds the noise comforting, the background hum of machinery, the whir and clang of artisans at work. The whole great machine of the lab is working as it should. None of the junior engineers need his supervision. No emergency demands his attention.
Which is good, because he's not sure he can move. He's stretched out on the lab bench in the central experimental lab, the one they use when they need to troubleshoot the larger pieces of hardware, and his hands appear to be pinned above his head. He isn't worried about that, though he does wish the work lights weren't shining down so brightly in his eyes. At least they're warm, and that feels good on his bare skin.
"You never could take my word for it," Cid says, as if they're in the middle of a conversation already.
Nero turns toward the sound of his voice, trying to remember what they were talking about. It's slipped his mind somehow. "Someone has to keep you honest, and it won't be any of your flunkies around here," he shoots back anyway. That's always true.
Cid chuckles. "Lucky I have you here."
"At last you admit it," Nero says as he watches Cid wheel over a tray of equipment.
"Mmm," Cid says, which Nero will take as agreement. He picks up some arrangement of struts and joints off the tray—it has that spindly, aggravating grace his designs have favored since they were children—but he's not looking at his work. He's looking at Nero's cock. So that's all right.
Perspective shifts and Nero's looking down at himself on the bench as Cid fits the device to his skin. It prickles, uncomfortable and cold against tender flesh, but he doesn’t mind. This is Cid’s latest creation, isn’t it? And it’s all for him. It’s up to him to judge how successful it is.
He can't see as clearly as he wants to. The angle is strange. He tries to move. He still can't. That bothers him, distantly, but Cid is so focused, there's hardly any point in trying to get his attention, is there? Trying to get his attention up here. Instead of where it belongs.
"Tensile strength appears to be within acceptable parameters," Cid says, sounding satisfied.
Nero snorts. "Of course it is." As if he would ever have a problem with that. Chilly metal locks into place, holding his balls just slightly away from his body, a thin scaffolding wrapped snugly around the shaft of his cock. It's one of the new high-carbon alloys that Midas pioneered and Cid improved—if only because he managed to find the right proportions slightly faster than Nero, this time. It makes exactly the kind of restraints he's always known Cid would design, fine and lightweight but entirely unforgiving.
It's just barely too small—on purpose, he's sure—and makes him ache, unyielding alloy pressing in against rigid flesh. He swears. Probably. He's not sure the words come out right.
Cid isn't paying attention to what he says anyway. Cid never pays attention to what people are saying when he has an experiment to run. Nobody knows that better than Nero.
The thing, the awful thing, the maddening thing about this: it feels good. Cid fucking Garlond is a genius who's earned every accolade he's ever won and Nero hates him so much for every last one. Especially this one, the careful clever grip of bare metal that's already warming to skin temperature and that holds his cock just a little more tightly than a lover would. It makes him want to squirm, thrust, get some damn friction to go with that squeeze.
"Current tension levels look good," Cid says, like it's a compliment. Nero doesn't thank him. Maybe that's why he adds, "Good enough to start integrity testing."
"Integrity's fine and you know it," Nero scoffs.
"Now, you know they're always after us to test more thoroughly," Cid answers. That's probably true. It sounds like a thing other people would say. People who don't understand how important their work is, how good they are at it.
Cid reaches up for an armature that must have been there the whole time and pulls it down over the table, gleaming metal and beautiful hydraulics tapering to a single precision point. Cid maneuvers it into place so it interlocks with the cock cage, its power bearing down as Nero's dick strains up to meet it. "Think you're ready?"
"Get on with it," Nero says. He can't look away from the machine.
It switches on, a new hum joining the background noise of the lab, but this one he can feel vibrating faintly through his trapped cock. Whatever this thing is actually for, it's already a success as far as he's concerned.
A probe extends slowly from the machine, its tip rounded, its bright metal glistening as it stretches toward his cock. Into his cock, pushing unerringly at his slit and then pressing in. The metal is cold and unyielding and the flesh it's touching is too tender and Nero howls, his back arching off the table.
"Too much?" Cid says. "Should I stop?"
The probe is still sliding deeper, a fraction of an ilm at a time. "Don't you dare," Nero gasps. Trust Cid to give him almost enough and then threaten to take it away again. "Give it to me, I can take it."
Cid makes a skeptical noise but he doesn't turn off the machine, so let him doubt if he wants. The probe slides in until it's buried to the root of Nero's cock, and it didn't look that thick but it feels like it's splitting him open, rubbing up against impossibly sensitive flesh. He's barely had time to start adjusting to that feeling when it's pulling back out again, making him shudder and swear.
This time at least Cid doesn't ask if he wants to stop. The probe slides most of the way out and then changes direction, pushing back down his shaft, precise and inexorable. His nerves can't decide if it hurts or not, but either way it's amazing and he needs more.
When he tries to say so, he trips over the words, but the machine speeds up until it's fucking his cock, pistoning into him and giving him no choice but to yield. It’s all wrong, not the kind of strokes he should need, but it’s working. His cock is as hard as flesh gets and he’d be leaking if the probe weren’t plugging him up, and it’s all Cid’s fault, Cid and his godsdamned genius for magitek.
The sound of the alarm rips through the scene and the whole thing dissolves. Nero lunges for it, tangled in the bedclothes, cursing as he smacks the damned thing into silence. It's gray dawn outside, they're supposed to start prep for the Eorzea campaign today, and he has a raging hard-on from dreaming about Cid fucking traitor Garlond. It's fine. He can ignore it. He'll be pissed all day and thinking about it when he should be reviewing intelligence, but he can ignore it.
He shoves a hand down his shorts and grabs his cock. He's so hard it hurts, even without some fantastically elaborate cage to confine him. Even long gone, Garlond still manages to get to him, that bastard. Fuck, he can still feel the ghost of that invasive probe, the unyielding mechanical thrusts into his cock, the way that felt—
He can't replicate that here, now, would need supplies he doesn't have on hand, but jerking off doesn't feel like enough. It will be if it has to be but he wants more, wants something like that perfect magitek touch. He slides his other hand down and teases his piss slit with his thumbnail and he can't really get in like that but it's just enough of a reminder, just enough discomfort, and he comes, sudden and explosive as a blown fuse.
The room is quiet after that, just Nero's harsh breathing as he stares up at the ceiling and feels the wetness soaking into his shirt, the thudding pulse of his heart slowly calming. "Damn it, Garlond," he says, though the man's probably hundreds of malms away. Still he distracts Nero from the important things.
No. Nero's going to get up, and wash, and prepare for his day. He's going to go over those intelligence reports and see if there are any rogue elements that need to be dealt with before the campaign starts. He's going to do his job, which he's good at, and maybe finally when his research lets them take Eorzea people will see.
And if he thinks about a magitek device designed entirely to torment pleasure out of a captive, if he's tempted to sketch out plans for such a thing in between preparations for war—he can ignore it.