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Underneath the Skin

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Logan opens his eyes to moonlight and silence. He lifts the blankets away and sets his bare feet to the floor with care, weight going from ball to heel to rise with hardly a whisper. Nothing in the air suggests danger, but that's no cause for getting sloppy. He crosses the room slowly, awake in an instant but there's nothing to hurry him.

Once outside, he scents the light breeze and heads northeast at an easy jog. He finds Victor standing naked on a boulder overlooking the rushing brook cut into the hillside. Just yesterday they were here, using the natural swimming hole to cool off during the worst of the late summer heat.

"Trouble?" Logan asks, approaching.

The muscles in Victor's back jump and just as quickly lose their tension again. He doesn't turn, but Logan catches the way his lip curls back in silhouette. Flakes of bark flutter down around his legs, his claws picking a branch apart down to the raw wood. "Couldn't sleep," he says, after a time.

Logan hangs back where the dew-damp ground is soft as moss. These sorts of moods don't take Victor often. Though they're not an unknown, Logan still hasn't ferreted out a way to deal with them.

"Mind some company?"

"Suit yourself." More bark shavings patter to the smooth surface of the stone.

Logan makes himself comfortable, leaning his shoulder against a tree, and closes his eyes. The air is warm and close enough that he doesn't regret leaving the cabin bare ass naked, but whenever the faint breeze stirs up it wrings a shiver out of him. The night sounds slowly return, buzz of insects, scurry of small game, the faint crackle of deer picking their way through the brush to drink at the brook. Sleep gnaws at Logan, and it's Victors voice, low and harsh that jerks his head up out of the wool.

"War's coming," Victor says. He's crouched down, palm pressed to stone like he can sense the clash of nations through the very bones of the earth. "Heard it on the radio."

"That thing works?" Genuine surprise tugs Logan's brows upward. The cabin they've taken over is older than them, and the trapper that had called it a home long gone. Though it's been months since they settled in, aside from plunking a few canned goods on the shelf and laying their own sleeping gear in the bed, Logan hasn't bothered nosing around a dead man's things.

"Rigged it to the battery in the truck." Victor twists, gaze fixed somewhere in the distance, and Logan's hackles rise for no good reason.

"Sick of this place already?" Logan likes peacetime more than Victor. It takes longer for the restlessness to creep into his bones, and he doesn't mind the blur of seasons one into the next until a year becomes five and nothing has changed besides the styling of the automobiles the folks in town drive around. But with Victor, it's like he needs to go out and remind himself that he exists by fighting alongside boys who are ripe with the fear of dying.

"A bit." Victor stands, giving the vista of moonlit treetops one last look before heading back into the shadows to Logan. "Huntings good here, but town's too far and too small to keep busy."

If Logan had his way, they'd fix the trapper's old place up, spend their time making a plot of land worth living on like they had back in '46, but there's some truth to Victor's words. And if there's one lesson they've learned it's that staying in the same place leads to questions, and questions lead to people getting killed. Selfishly, Logan wants to keep his hands clean for a little longer. "Let's go home," he says, heading back the way he came without waiting to see if Victor follows. "We'll pack up early, resupply down in Belmont and pick a direction to drive."

A silent shadow, Victor trails behind him, closing the gap only when the trees thin out and the outline of the cabin is in sight. "Need to touch you," he says, dark purr of his voice getting under Logan's skin just like that.

Logan's hard before he's to the rough row of planks that pretend at being a porch. He sucks air through his teeth as Victor crowds in, arm wrapping around his chest to pin him close and prove that Victor's just as hard. Victor noses at his neck, soft puffs of breath right beside his ear.

"We're two steps from the door," Logan snarls. He shakes his head when Victor's tongue at his ear sends a jolt buzzing through his skull. Tomorrow they'd be moving again, and even if Logan's fond of these hills, he finds an eagerness in his gut for the blur of scenery, the easy silence that often falls between them during travel. "Inside, Victor, I'm tired of splinters."

"Always such a princess," Victor says, loosing his hold.

He expects Victor to be on him again as soon as the door's latched, but Victor's restraint lasts and Logan falls to the bed unmolested. Victor looms at the edge of the bed, watching for a long moment until Logan waves him close. He sets a knee to the mattress and crawls over Logan with a deliberate slowness that trips little alarm bells at the base of Logan's spine. "Victor," he says, unsure if it's a question or a warning or a hungry plea.

"On your belly," Victor urges, fingertips touching light to Logan's knee. "Gonna make you squirm."

Logan's nerves crackle, and his dick aches when he rolls over, traps the hard heat of it against his stomach. "Crisco's on the sill."

"Won't need that just yet," Victor says. He straddles the backs of Logan's thighs, weight pinning him firmly in place. "Want to touch you a bit before I stick you."

"Well that's a first." Logan's head spins, dizzy with the thick scent of Victor's lust and the rare nervous tingling of being unable to read Victor's mood. His mouth is dry as paper, nothing on his tongue to wet his lips, and he twitches at the first touch of Victor's hands to the space just below his shoulderblades.

"First time for everything."

Logan fights impatience; it's not that Victor is incapable of taking things slow, it's more that once he knows what he wants, he ups and takes it. Whatever Victor's fixing on doing to him, it's something new. Whether it's to his favour, Logan can't guess.

Pressed flat, Victor's palms heat Logan's skin, and Logan braces himself for the prick of claws. He's not disappointed as the sharp tips find his back, but there's no hot scratch, no warm trickle of blood, only a faint graze as Victor's fingers trail down, thumbs pausing to knead at the tender spot above his kidneys. Gooseflesh raises in the wake of Victor's touch, a phantom chill that summons a powerful need to shiver. Logan fights the urge down as stubbornly as he refuses to react to the ticklish skitter along his nerves when Victor's broad hands sweep to the side and up to frame his ribcage.

"Your heart's beating like mad," Victor says. He splays his fingers out, leans forward and presses his lips to the back of Logan's neck. "I can feel it shaking under your ribs like a little bird."

Logan's breath sticks in his throat, frees in a high whine as Victor's tongue drags a wet path over the slope of his shoulder. Victor's hands inch higher, curl under Logan's arms to push them up, fingers wrapping around the meat of his biceps in a grip that'd leave bruises on any other man.

"How much more touching are you planning on?" Logan turns his head, bracing his forehead against a rucked up lump of blanket to get some fresh air flowing against his face. The air turns stale in a few breaths, heated to match his skin. The hairs on his arm raise as Victor sucks a gentle bite at the nape of his neck, the soft slide of lips and the sweep of bristling whiskers triggering a cascade of sensation down the length of Logan's limbs like a domino fall.

"Some. Now I've got my mind on tasting."

Lust slides into Logan's belly on slivers of ice, going from chill to hot with each brush of Victor's whiskers against his skin. Victor mouths kisses along Logan's back, the soft whuffling of him scenting Logan's arousal only making Logan's insides twist up all the more, his dick so damn hard it's all he can do not to rut against the sheets. But he'd be lucky to get more than one thrust before Victor'd flatten out over him, pin him under the weight of pure muscle and insist that things go on his terms. Logan snarls, not much liking how far the scales are tipped in Victor's favour, and even less so when Victor's tongue curls at his underarm, licks at the dampness of sweat gathered there and nuzzles his cheek up the soft underside of Logan's arm. Logan's arms jerk at the light scrape of teeth but Victor's grip holds.

"Trying so hard not to show it, but I know you, baby brother." Victor smiles, a fresh prickling scratch that lights up Logan's nerves. Those same nerves go into overload, blown like fuses when the dirty wriggle of Victor's tongue slips back into Logan's armpit, goes from quick lapping strokes to a long rasp up to his elbow that rips a filthy string of curses out of him.

Pinned with nowhere to go, Logan growls. His fingers dig into the sheets as his claws creep up into his hands. Victor clucks his tongue, grip tightening, thumbs pressing hard into the space between the bones of Logan's forearms. "Now, now, no need for those," he says, biting lightly at Logan's elbow, and for a moment the slicing pain halts, leaving Logan's hands aching and his wrists stiff as boards. "Unless you wanna play rough."

"Want you to quit treating me like a plaything and shove your dick in my ass." Logan's claws force their way free and his hands flatten, palms on the twisted gather of sheets turned damp. He shoves against Victor, the force hardly budging Victor's solid weight.

"Sweet talker," Victor purrs. His hands skid down Logan's arms towards his wrists, claws trailing as light as before, gentle like Victor almost never is. The tips don't come close to breaking skin, just trace soft as fucking feathers and force another curse out of Logan.

Weight shifting to the side but not enough to give Logan an opportunity, Victor's long reach snaps out and in a flash, there's the smack of leather on leather. It's hard to deny that the coil of Victor's belt doesn't send a fresh rush of blood straight to his dick, and even tougher to pretend that his interest isn't renewed when Victor loops it around his wrists and pulls it taut.

Victor strings the end of the belt through the metal frame of the headboard and yanks hard, stretching Logan's arms to their fullest. Logan's claws come close to puncturing the slatted wood wall, and he shudders, feels a pulse of something thicker than precome leak out of his dick when Victor ties the thick leather over on itself.

"How much is it going to take to get you to squirm?"

"A lot," Logan says through gritted teeth. He's rarely concerned about watching his tongue, but goading Victor on is and always has been plain foolishness. He can't help himself. He feels like he's going crazy, body trying to turn inside out. Hell, with Victor's hands back on his ribs and Victor's face nuzzling against the hyper-sensitised skin of his neck, Logan's lucky he can still breathe. He twists away from a teasing swipe of claws and the metal of the belt buckle grinds into his wrists, too dull to rip his attention away from the drag of Victor's fingers.

"Is it," Victor says, digging in to Logan's side hard enough to reward him with pain. The sharp familiarity of the hurt comes as a relief. Easy to process, the sensation doesn't tip him off centre. It's the softer touch that follows that brings sweat to Logan's brow--flutter of fingers and claws and the faint brush of lips. The assault hits him all at once, tangling up under his skin before he can sort out which is which and whether to roar his outrage or suck in a gasping breath and hold it in his tingling chest.

Victor is relentless, licking all over his back and sides, tongue painting him wet. Every so often he bites too hard, forgets and squeezes too hard, and yet with the gentle drift of his fingers and the slick wriggle of his tongue a near constant, the brief flashes of pain get lost in the mix of not-enough, too-much, can't fucking breathe.

It's not until Victor's jaws close on the back of Logan's neck, teeth bracketing Logan's spine in a grip that could snap the fragile column of bones that the sparks in his vision clear and the dizzying rush fades enough for him to realise that Victor's rubbing against him, has been for a while. The hot length of his cock rides slick in the cleft of Logan's ass. Logan manages a groan, but even the dirty grind of Victor's cock starts to hit his nerves in all the wrong ways. His skin feels like it doesn't belong to him, alive with something that isn't pleasure and isn't pain but is both and neither at once. He snarls and thrashes, long claws banging uselessly between the bars of the headboard.

"That's it," Victor says, darkly triumphant. He fucks up against Logan harder and it'd be enough if he didn't bury his face against Logan's side, dig his chin into the muscle there and follow the desperate twist of Logan's body. His claws run frustratingly, teasingly light from the point of Logan's elbows to rake through the curls of his underarm. "Squirm for me, Logan."

Logan's lungs are near ready to burst, and he loses his breath on something that isn't a laugh and isn't a moan--just a hot rush of air that the bed shunts straight back into his face. His skin tries to crawl in on itself, every fibre of his body trying to escape the prickle of Victor's beard, the brush of skin on skin, and the maddening patterns Victor's claws swirl along his sides. "Victor, I can't--"

"Sure you can," Victor says, mouth trailing to hover hot as a furnace near Logan's ear. The push of his words slipping through Logan's hair teases a whine out of Logan. "Just a little bit longer and..." Victor trails off, his hands going still, and his quick sniff of the air forces Logan's body to jerk.

Victor shoves a hand under him, searching. His mouth presses to Logan's shoulder, open on a quiet chuckle. "Haven't done that since you were a boy," he says, fingers coming away wet, sliding over Logan's heat-flush skin to leave a shameful trail along his hip. "You come, too? Or just ruin the bedding?"

Logan can't speak even though he's free for the first time in long minutes to gulp down breath after breath of air.

"Cat got your tongue, I gotta find out for myself?" Victor slashes at the knot of leather, shredding it to strips that slither free. He raises up, going to his knees, and hauls Logan with him. The line of Victor's chest is sticky with sweat and the sharp stink of Logan's piss rises up from the bed like steam. Logan groans; it's been longer than he can remember since the last time he felt a curl of shame in his belly. Victor's arm around him tightens, and his laugh digs like hooks into Logan.

Logan loses another groan, harsh as broken glass, when Victor slicks a hand through the wetness on Logan's belly to suck the taste of it from his fingers. Another slippery swipe of Victor's palm grazes his skin and Logan opens his mouth on reflex, but Victor's hand pushes down, curved backs of his claws dragging through the curling hair nestled at the base of Logan's cock. His fingers slide tight over the length in a backhanded grip, move quickly into a rhythm, each rough tug pulling Logan's dick to the side to smear against the piss shining on his thigh.

"C'mon, make even more of a mess for me, little brother." Victor moans shamelessly and grinds against Logan, his hips shifting in a fitful rhythm to match the pull of his hand. Logan's head falls back, his hands shaking free of the ruined loop of leather to fist at his thighs, nothing really to do but to give in to the shocking pleasure of Victor's hand when his brother knows just how hard he likes to be jacked.

He shudders when he comes, Victor catching the mess of it only to rub it right back into his skin, smear it up onto his chest. Victor's hand rests over his heart, pounding harder than ever, and Logan flattens his fingers over Victor's, makes sure he can feel the erratic drum of his pulse. With a snarling roar, Victor shoves him down again, his face grinding near the warm stain of his piss as Victor fucks against him.

Logan echoes Victor's cry when the hard rush of Victor's orgasm pumps slick and perfect against his back. He slumps forward as Victor licks it from him, swallows it noisily and moans obscenities into the meat of his thigh. Still dazed, riding the after-effects of adrenaline and shame and razor-sharp lust, Logan rolls to his side, forces himself to look Victor in the eye.

Victor stares straight back and plucks at the wet sheets. "You wanna sleep in this?"

"Not really."

Victor's teeth shine pale and vicious in the moonlight. "Too bad," he says, settling heavily beside Logan and dropping an arm over him.

Brow furrowing, Logan shoves at Victor's arm, aims at rolling away and bunking down in the bed of the truck.

"Fine," Victor says, catching him by the wrist before he's got even a foot on the ground. With one hard yank, Victor pulls Logan on top of him, grins and claps a hand to the side of Logan's neck. The slam of his heart is strong and steady as it echoes into Logan's ribs. "Sleep here, then."

Logan's settled against Victor's chest before he knows it. Some things aren't worth arguing over. Not when the storm of Victor's mood is soothed enough that he'll be all the better for company in the morning.

"We'll go east, maybe spend some time in the city, news'll come faster there."

"I hate the jungle. So many damn bugs."

Victor grins and pats him on the back, arms settling in a loop around him a moment later. "Forget the bugs and look forward to the food, Jimmy."

"Yeah, that's what you always say."

"Love you, too, honey."

"Yeah, well, you can stay here where it stinks and keep loving me." Logan pries out of Victor's hold and grabs up the clean blankets puddled on the floor. His bare feet slap against the floorboards as he arrows for the door. "I'm sleeping in the truck."

Minutes later, when Victor joins him on the pile of old feed bags that'd come with the truck and gathers him close again, Logan doesn't complain.