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one long and disastrous aside

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Sometimes Jon considers timing how long his visits with Elias take until he’s resisting the urge to snarl, to scoff, to barge out of the room of the room only to barge back in with more arguments on his lips. Lately it’s been worse, faster, a simmering tension looping in on itself as they go through the same old script -- demands for answers, denial and condescension, ‘it’s for your own good, Jon, and one day you’ll see that.’

This meeting is no different, Jon’s fingers digging into his skin and dull nails sure to leave little crescents across his palm when he’s through. Sometimes he imagines he’ll break skin and they’ll scar like all the other marks left by monsters, like Elias’ unintentional signature across his hand.

“Is there any damn point then?” Jon asks, nearly losing the topic with all the roundabout. The Unknowing, the Eye, I Do Not Know You and Elias’ brand of I will not tell you. There’s static on his tongue as he asks, “What else did Gertrude know?”

Elias thus far has been calm, hands folded over each other and gaze steady, unimpressed and indulgent. It isn’t the first time Jon’s compelled him, uselessly and petulantly, and it isn’t the first time the static he swears he can feel buzz between them shudders through Elias’ expression like a ripple on deep, glassy water. Maybe that’s why Jon does it, that singular moment when his desperate struggles make an impact, no matter how small, no matter how pointless.

( And maybe, more damningly, for the way Elias looks at him in the split second after, an unguarded pride that sinks deep into Jon, traitorously into Jon, submerging in the part of him that’s always been so damnably desperate for someone to look at whole of him and tell him he’s done well, done better, done more than anyone else could. The childish, pathetic part that used to glance away in shame when those small praises sent heat through him.

It’s so hard to look away from anything anymore, even Elias. Especially Elias. )

The passing waver of Elias’ attention refocuses with a new intensity, a digging of heels Jon recognizes as Elias’ patience wearing thin. “I told you what Gertrude knew, Jon.”

“About the Unknowing, maybe.”

“Would you have me make a list of the decades of knowledge she accumulated so you can have it spoon-fed to you?” Elias’ tone grates, the slow crawl of a man who finds the person he’s speaking to unreasonable or dense. Placating, perhaps. Indulging a tantrum.

Which Jon feels he’s more than ready to give him. “What if what she knew could help- or if there was useful knowledge hidden in between the nonsense? Given how useless you’ve been in matters I don’t see why you should be the one to decide what information is relevant and what is not.”

“And you believe your need to overanalyze every angle rather than make a concrete decision will be helped if I give you a lifetime of information to sift through?” Elias asks, dry as dust and Jon’s patience snaps.

“What did she know? What are you hiding purposely?” His demands buzz between them, set Elias’ eyes closing and jaw tensing.

“We will not have this conversation if you insist on being so belligerent with your ability,” Elias tells him cooly, eyes opened again and sharp. “You cannot slam your fists against a door until it opens Jon, and I’ve indulged you enough.”

“Indulged me?” Jon sneers. “Please, tell me how this- this ability is belligerent when you’re the one always-”

Even as he speaks his words are buzzing, and something in Elias seems to snap, glass cracking down in fine lines. Suddenly Jon feels a buzzing of pressure that is not his own, not even the Archives, like those belligerent fists Elias spoke of slamming against the door to his head. It, whatever it is, doesn’t break through, can’t seem to, not until some insatiable part of Jon lets it in without thinking.

When he does his body- well, tingly really is the word, buzzing down his skin that leaves him raw. He feels a reverent pulse through his whole, through pieces of himself that shouldn’t exist, through echoing old halls he lost to time and through it all a warm, vibrating glow of something so lovely, so impossible and large and knowing.

It all hooks into him, tries to coax out answers with exquisite violence. He feels something deeper still, this long aching need to create what may be sitting before him, what may be asking him questions with plying compulsion, this stubborn and curious man who falls and gets up and keeps asking why why why.

Pride, reverence, the breathless hope of watching something so small and so full of purpose and potential bloom. Each question always like the electric feeling of a lover’s lips against his skin, the sweet, dull pain of the bended knee in a holy place. It’s--

It’s gone, Jon finds with a shuddering gasp, the tingling sensation and the thoughts, the whole of it he now understands wasn’t him at all. It was Elias, it had to be Elias, he just… just leaked the sensations and thoughts into his head. He shared the experience as though it were something for Jon to sample. “What-” he starts, but Elias is staring too.

“Oh, Jon,” Elias breaths, like a prayer.

“What did you- how-?”

Elias is standing now, circling the desk, eyes so blue and bright Jon feels pinned like a butterfly to a board. “I thought I’d give you a taste of the sensation you put me through, but you- Jon, you reached back and took more.”

“I didn’t-” Jon tries but Elias is in front of him, knee bent, taking Jon’s hands still curled into fists that will leave crescent marks in his palm. He unfurls them and Jon lets him, watches Elias’ knelt before him and tracing cool fingertips down his palm. It’s nice, it’s so nice, the simple touch. When was the last time someone touched that didn’t involve wooden fingers and lotion and knives and--

“I only gave the sensation but you dug deeper. You pulled out my thoughts, my reflections. Jon, you wanted to know, didn’t you?”

Jon swallows. “Yes.”

“And what did you see in what you took?”

“Reverence,” Jon answers, throat tight. “Zealotry.”

“And?” Elias pushes, fingers now up to Jon’s wrist. They skirt over scars, slip under his sleeve and press to his pulse. They leave lines of humming under his skin.

“Pride.” Jon’s voice is so small, and he knows he should pull away as Elias lifts himself, fingers now to Jon’s jaw. He should leave, just like all the times he stared Elias down instead, all the times he lingered in his office in hopes of learning more, all the times he caught himself warming at the memory of Elias’ pure, sincere pride.

The last word, the answer Elias is looking for, is the most dangerous. Murderer, Jon tries to remind himself as he answers, “Adoration.”

Elias smiles then, that pure and sincere wonder at how Jon flayed him open. Adoration, fixation, anything but love because Jon can barely breath thinking of it, terrified and disgusted and weak in equal measures. When his fingers reach Jon’s lips, his hands cupping Jon’s jaw and tilting his head up to regard Elias’ pride, that’s when he feels the knocking against his skull again.

The person Jon should be would reject it. The person Jon so unfortunately is needs to know what’s on the other side of the door.

When Elias’ power slips into him this time it brings with it that dangerous adoration, that intensity to a god Jon hates but doesn’t hate enough, not nearly enough, not humanly enough. It must be Jon who twists deeper, wrings out the feeling for why why why, why this, why these sacrifices, why this horrible being that would watch us all perish in agony.

You know why and he does, he does, that damnable part of him that needs to know does and it terrifies him, it makes him sick.

For a moment he can feel as Elias does in this cocoon, lives a few moments being so blessedly content with who he is-- what he is. A beast, a zealot, monstrous and terrible and needed. Different but not wrong, and so very beautiful in his potential. So lovely now in his growing pains and suffering. So necessary, so wanted, so--

(loved.)

--part of something greater. How could he ever doubt it? How could he ever--

Jon comes to, comes back, with his lips against Elias’ neck, with Elias’ hands under his shirt and clutching his back, clutching Jon closer, breathing Jon’s name against his temple. The feeling of Elias’ cavernous depths remains under Jon’s skin, the knowledge of much of this man there is, how long and how hard and how intensely Elias existed, how treacherously human bits of him remain, how strange and rare Elias is in turn. Jon tries, he tries not to confront that Elias is fascinating. He tries not to accept how much it draws him.

Instead he wonders which part of Elias has him craning Jon’s head back to get at his neck, to press that reverence into his skin in bites and opened mouth longing. “Jon,” he murmurs in that breathless way and Jon shivers, Elias’ teeth dangerous against his pulse. A sharper pressure of those teeth has Jon gasping, jolting and pulling Elias practically on his lap with how he grabs at him.

He can feel Elias’ knowing smile against his skin and he snarls, “Prick,” only for Elias’ teeth to return with smug certainty. Of course Jon groans, a sound he can’t swallow, and it proves whatever point Elias is writing into his neck. Possessive declarations, he’s sure without even being inside Elias’ head.

( And what does it say about Jon that he allows it, lets himself slip into the heady thrill of being wanted with such vulgar intent? Weak, it says, weak weak weak but Elias is still under his skin, still so certain that Jon is something wonderful in the making and maybe for just a weak moment Jon can believe-- )

“You’re thinking rather loudly,” Elias tells him, into the shell of his ear. His position half in Jon’s lap should be awkward but he wears it well, of course he does, as though Jon is a throne and not a weedy man in largely uncomfortable chair.

Jon tilts back, alarmed that Elias somehow slipped into his thoughts again without Jon realizing, but Elias has that faint air of personal satisfaction that Jon hates he almost found endearing once. “You’re not funny.”

“Maybe not, but I am right,” Elias murmurs, pulling a hand out from under Jon’s shirt to thumb at the bruise no doubt forming on his neck. He couldn’t look more satisfied and Jon can plainly see his trousers tenting, close to Jon’s abdomen and as perfectly self satisfied as any other part of Elias.

He tells himself wiping that satisfaction off Elias’ face is why he reaches down to press his hand to the bulge.

The brief moment of triumph is a heady one, that second of surprise flashing swiftly across Elias’ face before Elias is on him, pressing forward into Jon’s hand and tugging at Jon’s shirt until buttons threaten to pop. Jon freezes, unsure of where to put his hands, what he’s allowed to want and what he’s a dreadful fool for allowing, for participating in.

And Elias, like he can read Jon’s mind without that feedback loop between them, pauses his own explorations and demands to take Jon’s wrists. “Behind your back,” he orders, lips lifting in a dangerously fond way with how Jon scowls up at him in knee-jerk reaction to any command.

Elias moves them for him, takes away the wild uncertainty simply by taking away the source of Jon’s stressful indecision. It’s not particularly comfortable having his hands pressed between the chair and his back but Jon does ease, does find a level of comfort in having the choice cut off from under him.

He could move his arms of course, change his mind, but Elias looks down at him and murmurs, “Good boy,” when Jon keeps in place as if actually tied. The words send a hot flare down his gut and that makes Elias smile too.

“Shall I stop?” Elias asks, so smug and goading, and like the fool he is Jon falls for the bait leading him to escalate.

“Would you?” Jon’s words shudder through Elias, tingle down his skin, shut Elias up for the briefest moment as he shivers in Jon’s lap.

“Of course, Jon,” Elias answers, rewarding him with a lower tone as he undoes his tie enough to pull it off over his head. “But we’re both well aware you don’t want me to.”

“You don’t- don’t know that,” Jon tries as Elias loops the tie around Jon’s neck, fingers tying a complicated little knot that he soon tugs on, tightening the silk until Jon feels his breath come shallower.

Elias keeps one hand holding the tie up like a damned leash as he unbuttons his own shirt, the picture of debauchery yet still far too put together. Jon’s hands flex, wanting to reach out and muss Elias’ hair as Elias speaks again, “You can move your hands at any time, push me off and stand up at any time. I have no doubt you would if I crossed the right line, but here, like this? I’m echoing around in your head, aren’t I, Jon? And all because you took what I offered you then demanded more. My greedy Archivist.”

Elias pulls and Jon’s breath hitches, comes shallower still, almost cut off and forcing him to look up at Elias. “And now I’m going to use you, because you like it, because it makes it more comfortable for you to see my devotion as something sexual and thus largely alien to you. I’m going to pull out your pretty little cock and ride it until I’m satisfied, because you’ve gotten under my skin. You always do, in new and surprising ways.”

Jon’s heart races as Elias stands, loosening his grip on the tie as he works on his belt and pants. It stings how right Elias is, that he could move his hands right now but he doesn’t, doesn’t even have a good excuse. Even now he’s soft, watching Elias drop his slacks and briefs and still so dreadfully elegant in only a long white dress shirt unbuttoned.

That doesn’t change as Elias unbuttons him, touches him, pulls him out, up until Elias rewards his obedience with a soft, sincere excellent, Jon. Jon goes red, glances away as he feels himself begin to stir, Elias’ cool hand stroking him in time to quiet murmuring, “I didn’t think I could even pierce into your mind, and yet you were the one who dragged me in yourself. You’ve grown so much, in many ways more than I could hope.”

“And yet you- you left me to die,” Jon tries, the tie just tight enough to make his already hitched breath all the more unstable.

“I left you to grow, and you did so well,” Elias smoothly answers and Jon groans, achingly hard.

“I hate you,” he informs Elias, watches Elias get something out of his desk and pop it open- lubricant, of course. “Is that workplace appropriate?”

Elias shudders full body as he pours some of the lube onto his fingers, and Jon realizes belatedly his compulsion laced the question. He swallows, watches Elias’ dick twitch and shoulders tighten when he asks with another mouthful of static, “Were you planning on this?”

“No,” Elias gasps, and Jon can’t see but Elias’ fingers must be inside of him, working and stretching, as clinical and to the point as Elias himself. He had left the tie against Jon’s chest but picks it up again as he works his way onto Jon’s lap, grey eyes bright as his knees bracket Jon’s thighs. “I never planned on complicating our already stormy relationship with sex.”

“And now?” Jon buzzes at him, gets a tug of the tie tightening around his neck for his troubles that sends a surge of heat down Jon’s spine.

“Impossible man,” is Elias’ fond reply as he lines himself up with Jon. “I’d say there was never any hope we’d be anything than a complicated mess.”

Jon hates how he almost smiles fondly back. Elias sinking onto him with one fluid motion is as good as any interruption, a burst of sensation that sends Jon’s head falling back with a choked gasp. Even still he watches Elias, the way his pale skin colors and perfectly styled hair starts to fall out of place. Jon squirms and it cracks Elias’ composure even more, pushes a gasp out of the man that Jon catalogues with all the shockingly human pieces Elias can’t hide-- maybe won’t hide, gifts to Jon as much as his praise.

He wasn’t really expecting Elias to have the strength he does, the ease in which he lifts himself and shoves back down again, thighs straining. The man did club Leitner to death with a pipe, a thought that should not be anywhere near him right now or should encourage him to shove Elias away rather than being used as his personal toy. It should be degrading but it only warms Jon’s blood, a fierce edge sharpening with each tug of the tie, each labored breath.

And Elias watches him, keeps eye contact, digs too deep until Jon can only stare back red faced and gasping. He wants to ask more, to make Elias shudder and to get answers in turn, but all he can manage is a pitched groan of Elias’ name that still somehow buzzes on his tongue. It’s not a question but it shoots through Elias still, as though the taut string holding them together trembled.

“Elias,” he gasps again and Elias squeezes around him, moves faster and more violently, tugs the tie all with a possessive thrill Jon can read from his eyes.

“My Archivist,” Elias breaths back, all that dangerous adoration and zealotry, the end of it breaking as he comes over Jon’s shirt.

Elias slumps, laughs in a helpless way, Jon still hard and aching inside him. “You are… such trouble,” he murmurs, still holding the tie tight, pressing lips to Jon’s damp and flushed temple as he grinds down on Jon’s cock. “Lovely man. Well done.”

Jon chokes on a sound, comes when Elias offers a few more languid thrusts downward, his words racing down Jon’s skin. Jon wishes he could say the way Elias leans into him, the way Jon finally pulls his hands out from behind him to wrap around Elias, isn’t just as good as the rest of it. That single moment of peace makes his eyes prick with heat, the strangest moment of sorrow for a kindness between them that could never be but might have, in another life.

The melancholy lifts with Elias pulling off Jon’s cock with a slick sound and Jon’s come trickling from his hole. Jon dazedly thinks about condoms, that Elias would of course know Jon is clean yet he somehow still feels indignant that Elias didn’t even ask. As if sensing his thoughts Elias breaths out in amusement, reaches with deceptively gentle hands to undo the knot of the tie and smooth the line of irritated skin circling Jon’s neck like a collar.

Jon doesn’t need to look up to know Elias looks at that mark with a deep, dangerous satisfaction. “So, any more questions?”

He shouldn’t laugh but he does, head falling to Elias’ shoulder.