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let the black bubble burst

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> Crytum: Give him a piece of your mind.

CRYTUM: O> Fuck you so much, Byt.

He spits the words out, scathing and sharp. Bytcon is squirming underneath his body and hands as he tightens the grip on his throat. It's disgustingly easy to undo him like this. He spends so much time with that stupid tie around his neck, lopsided and creased no matter how many times Crytum teaches him how to do it up. Sometimes it's necessary for him to get something else to choke on.

But if it's kind of repulsive how effortless it is to get a rise out of Bytcon, to rile him up either mood- or mating-wise with a bit of mistreatment, then it's downright dirty how much he likes it. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that he hates it? Either way it's fucking filthy.

It's important not to yuck your partner's yums, be they black or red, but Crytum is an engineer, trained to see the myriad ways in which a complex system can be compromised, damaged, destroyed. The body is no different to him. Every brittle calcium nugget, each fragile fold of tissue: all of it is breakable, and so all of it is valuable. And there's something about just how eagerly Bytcon throws himself into potentially harmful situations, both in and out of the bedroom, that rubs Crytum the wrong way. And that something comes out as a friction in the mechanism of their dalliance; something gumming up the obsidian wheels driving their relationship, something lurking in the pitch black recesses of interlocking teeth and bodies, something which grinds and rasps against the oiled, caliginous routine in a way that Crytum can't ignore. And because he can't say what that something is, it chafes him bitterly sore.

BYTCON: 0-> ...

Bytcon, for his part, can't say anything right now. Mostly due to a chronic lack of air, but also because of the cacophony of confusion bouncing around his cognition sponge. Through the usual heady haze of blackrom lust, one thought makes itself known.

He's scared.

The fingers clamped around his protein chute are the same as ever, but there's something about their grasp that's more ominous than he remembers. More painful. Not a physical pain perhaps, but the kind that digs into you when something isn't quite right. Crytum's touch seems now to be something to shy away from, a hard metallic surface scraping against softer, more delicate flesh. It all comes together to sit as an ache in Bytcon's chest, as he fights the urge to reach out and brush gently against his loather's skin; feels his bones begin to tug upwards as though tied with a thousand hair-thin threads; feels the blue blood in him boil, froth with longing. He's overcome with a sensation he's been trying to ignore for blinks, so strongly this time that he thinks if Crytum were to cut him open right now he'd bleed purple instead. And it doesn't stop, but just keeps building, like he's a bubble being blown up past the point of bursting.

Everything starts to mix inside him, black and red sloshing into each other. They don't dilute: instead each emotion coaxes, inflames the other, waging an ever-escalating war of anxious, frustrated sentiments. The hurt and confusion quickly overcomes the dull ache of pleasure that had been building slowly as Crytum tended to him. He looks up and sees his kismesis' face in shadow, eyes veiled, dark and sinister. A terrifying mask.

He begins to panic. The tap on a shoulder, their usual get-out-of-pail-free card, turns into a desperate clawing motion, his sharp yellow fingernails raking against Crytum's skin.

CRYTUM: O> OW FUCK!

Crytum's hands fly from Bytcon's neck as he hisses through his teeth at the pain.

CRYTUM: O> UH, what the hell?!

He rolls off of Bytcon, gripping his shoulder tightly where the skin is beginning to welt. Bytcon scrambles backwards, up against the headboard of the bed, breathing heavily. They stare at each other for a while.

Bytcon's pulse is racing. He's been naked for the past half hour, but somehow he feels... nakider. He clutches at the sheets, drawing them up over himself instinctively. White shielding him from black. He hasn't felt this vulnerable around Crytum for a long, long time.

Crytum is pissed the hell off, and not just because of the mauling. He was just managing to get back into his stride, swallow his misgivings and fuck this idiot, but then the mechanism didn't so much come unstuck as it did lurch violently back into motion. And now he can't stop it. He's looking at Bytcon tangled in the bedclothes, eyes wide and panicked, and he can't for the life of him understand why he wants so, so very badly to cup his face in his hands.

 

> Crytum: Kiss him, gently.

I'm afraid not. If only it were that simple.

It's easy, from our viewpoint, to get frustrated with them. We see how they dance, orbiting frantically around the common centre of mass of their emotional arrangement, a deep well of affection that they daren't recognize for what it is; we see them scramble at the walls of it, clinging on with sharp fingernails and sharper teeth, clawing at each other as they try and escape its pull; we see them spiral inwards, glance off one another, and ricochet outwards again, bruised and battered and hurting. Punishing themselves, over and over.

And yet... they keep going. Isn't that what's important? Though they can't see it, something deep within them can sense it. Sometimes, through the chaos, they manage to catch glimpses. Perhaps in time they'll work out what they're both looking at, but failing to see. I can't say for sure, one way or the other. You know the rules.

They know the rules too. Even now, with their feelings so thinly veiled, they're already settling back into what they know. The panic subsides. They slip back into the black, telling themselves it's relief.

Perhaps one day they'll figure it out. But for now...

 

> Crytum: Kiss him. Hard.

They compromise.