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Eames prefers to spend nights like these indoors, because if he looks up at the sky he'll end up maudlin and resentful.

It's not that he minds his assignment – if anybody ever tries to take it away from him, well, for one thing they'd have to face an extremely pissed-off Arthur, never mind what Eames himself would have to say about it. But Eames has his darker moods, much like anyone else. Is it really unreasonable that he gets homesick?

"I'd take you out and get you drunk," Arthur says, raising his eyebrows at him. "But I'm not even sure alcohol works the same way on you."

It – does and doesn't, it's complicated, and Eames is irrationally annoyed by the very difficulty of having to explain.

He's about to snap at Arthur when he thinks better of it, letting out one of his gripping tentacles to wrap around Arthur's ankles, binding them together. It settles in place, and Eames exhales shakily, feeling Arthur's fine bones and warm skin secure in his grasp. Something loosens inside him with that. "I'd rather stay in," Eames says, honest, checking Arthur's expression.

There's still a flicker of surprise there when Eames lets himself – show, for lack of a better word. A flicker of lust, too. More than a flicker, even. And at last, a good-humored smile. "Oh yeah?" Arthur licks his lips, sets out an arm in such an infuriatingly casual way that Eames would have to be blind not to see it was meant to provoke. Eames takes Arthur's wrist in his hand, in a light grip that could easily turn harsh.

"Yeah," Eames says, and leans to lick Arthur's lips for him.

No, he truly can't get himself to mind this assignment one bit.

~~

Still, it niggles at him, from time to time. Eames knows he's good at keeping to himself, but the very point of this thing (again, for lack of a better word - relationship seems almost insufficient, somehow) with Arthur is... Well, not so much the inability to hide, as how unnecessary hiding would be. There are no vital secrets to keep away from Arthur; Arthur knows.

"I worry when you start sulking," Arthur says, nipping lightly at Eames' jaw. It's as good as an invitation to wrestle Arthur down and hold him, but Eames is in a ponderous mood and doesn't take it. He'd rather lie on Arthur's chest and let Arthur pet his gripping tentacles. Eames' penetrating ones are sheathed at the moment, waiting.

"I'm not sulking," Eames says, even though he very much is. "I just think Jensen's an idiot."

Arthur snorts agreement, and pets him some more. It's soothing and exhilarating simultaneously, the taboos that Arthur doesn't even know he's breaking, the uncomplicated intimacy of it. They fall into a companionable silence until Eames says, "I wonder if they sent me here because they knew how I'd like it."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

Face tucked into Arthur's chest, with his heart beating against Eames' cheek, it's easy to talk. "Isn't it?"

"Why would it be? You want to send someone who can adapt. If you were miserable here, what good would you be?" Arthur's hands still. "You aren't, are you?"

Eames nudges him until they move again. "Of course I'm not miserable, don't be daft." He rolls to his side, then, taking in Arthur's face, sober and so very beautiful. "It's just worrying, isn't it? What it says about me."

"That you can fit in with new environments?" Arthur suggests. "That you're open-minded?"

It's flattering, but it's almost as though Arthur's intentionally ignoring the crux of the matter. "That I'm a deviant," Eames says, because, well.

Arthur bursts into full out laughter at that, gently holding Eames' tentacle so it curves around his wrist. Eames moves with it instinctively, altering the grasp to be secure. "Um, hi," Arthur says. "Have we met?"

"Fortunately, yes." Eames shifts, lightning quick, and has Arthur pinned under him in seconds. Arthur grins up at him, lazy and satisfied. Eames presses a kiss to his mouth, a bite to the corner of his jaw. "I am very, very glad we've met."

"Then stop worrying about it," Arthur whispers, and Eames takes his advice very thoroughly.

~~

It later occurs to Eames that maybe he shouldn't have said all that. It's not that Arthur hovers, precisely, but his voice when he puts job offers on the table has a questioning tone to it, and he won't take any that separate him from Eames for any length of time, and when Eames stays up late Arthur will come and distract him with food or kisses.

Fuck, Eames realizes, Arthur is hovering.

As he comes to that realization with Arthur's tongue in his mouth and his hands on Arthur's arse, it's not as unwelcome as it could be.

"Come to bed already," Arthur says, breathless. Eames is incredibly tempted to parrot at Arthur one of his own lectures about work etiquette, but he's a weak, weak man. For a given value of man, anyway.

Arthur's never shy in bed, but he's more aggressive than usual tonight, pulling Eames' clothes off as soon as the hotel room's door closes behind them. His hands are insistent, drawing Eames closer, working his buttons with quick grace. Eames does his best to undo Arthur's belt without withdrawing from his mouth, with mixed success.

When they're finally naked, Arthur sprawled on his back over the sheets, Eames leans over him and feasts his eyes. And not just those. Eames has let go of his human forgery already, so that Arthur's skin is almost unbearably soft under his fingers, so tantalizing it’s almost obscene. Eames licks a long line down Arthur's chest, inhaling his scent, biting without care until he draws blood and a sharp gasp from Arthur.

Eames raises his head. "Okay?"

There's a fierce joy glittering in Arthur's eyes, and Eames loves him impossibly.

"More than okay." He spreads his legs, blunter than a hint. "Come on already."

Eames can feel a smile rising to his face, smug satisfaction that he can both quell his own basic needs, more fundamental than sex, and keep Arthur where he needs him to be. His gripping tentacles know their places around Arthur's limbs by now, so it feels easy, natural. Arthur doesn't struggle for once, though he likes the punishing strength Eames holds him with when he does, has said so.

Eames touches two fingers to Arthur's lips, and Arthur licks at their tips, obliging. Eames grinds down against him, once, to feel Arthur all over, strength hidden under skin that feels like silk to Eames, soft and resilient and wonderful.

He feels one of his penetrating tentacles come out to brush at Arthur's mouth too. He's mesmerized by the feeling and the sight: Arthur's lips parted, pink tongue darting out to lick at Eames' slit, the touch electrifying. Eames is about to push in, to see how deeply Arthur will swallow him down, when Arthur turns away slightly and says, "I was thinking."

"Dangerous words," Eames says lightly, his penetrating tentacle rubbing against the soft skin of Arthur's neck. Eames ought to give him a pearl necklace one of these days – yeah, that would be nice, Arthur covered in his come, all fucked out. Eames resists the urge to push at Arthur's mouth again – Arthur will doubtlessly take him in, and then who knows how long until Eames would know what he meant to say?

"The – um. Two-in-the-ass, one-in-the-mouth thing," Arthur says. "Is that, uh, how it's – is that what you like to do best?"

Arthur isn't criticizing him, Eames doesn't think. He pulls away a bit, frowning in thought, to lessen the distraction of Arthur spread out under him. "I like it well enough." Better than having to fuck with his cock alone, with what felt like half his body kept firmly shut away and screaming for contact. "Why? Don't you?"

"I like it fine," Arthur hurries to say. "Just, look, if there's other things you want, you should ask, okay? I can't – you didn't exactly come with a manual, Eames."

Eames laughs. "Does anybody ever?" He bends to bite just below Arthur's nipple, licking the droplet of blood that wells up. He ought to be more careful, he knows his teeth are sharp and Arthur's skin is thinner than his own, but Arthur doesn't seem to mind. "I'm happy with what we do, love." He rubs against Arthur in emphasis. "More than happy."

"But..." Arthur purses his lips, his nostrils flaring as he takes in a breath. "Okay, fine. Do you want to fuck me with your cock and both tentacles at once?"

Eames stares at Arthur, feeling like he's had the breath punched out of him. His grip has tightened everywhere he's got hold of Arthur, an involuntary response. It must hurt, but Arthur shows no sign of it, staring determined at Eames.

"Yes," Eames says, soft and raw, before he can think it through. "I would very much like that – but are you certain?"

It's strange to remember at times how fragile humans are, the bones that snap so easily, the skin that tears at the lightest prick. A thousandfold so when it comes to sex, their private parts so very delicate that Eames used to live in terror of inflicting damage.

But then he met Arthur, who has taken everything Eames could throw at him and then some; Arthur, who accepts pain and pleasure with the same flexible grace.

"Wouldn't have asked if I wasn't." Arthur's voice is oddly hushed, his eyes grave. Eames kisses his cheekbone and his forehead.

"Tell me if it hurts," Eames says, because that's the best he can do. Arthur rolls his eyes and nods.

It's fortunate that they've been together for the last week, fucking most nights, because Eames isn't sure he could've held back otherwise. It's difficult as it is, retreating for long enough to get slick to pour into Arthur, trying to somehow divide his attention between kissing Arthur and pushing two fingers into him where it makes him squirm.

"Fight a little," Eames murmurs against Arthur's jaw. "Just for now? I like feeling you move."

Arthur, obligingly, tries to wrest out of Eames' grip, which tightens accordingly. It's so fucking amazing like this, when he can have Arthur panting and striving under him, held in place, and still have his hands free to finger him and pinch his nipple. Eames bites Arthur's other nipple, careful this time, but it still makes Arthur whine softly, a noise that barely makes it out of his throat.

"Let me hear you," Eames whispers, but Arthur shakes his head, contrary. Eames smiles slow. A challenge, is it?

It takes hardly any prep at all before Eames can push his cock into Arthur. He fucks him just like that for a few moments, enjoying the rare ease of it, how Arthur's body yields to him. His penetrating tentacles touch Arthur's mouth, and Eames shivers whenever Arthur licks at them, desultory. He wants to fuck Arthur's mouth with both of them at once, but settles for sliding one in while the other moves downwards, waiting at Arthur's opening.

This is familiar: just what they've been doing the last few months, Arthur, held fast and taking all of Eames in. Perfection, except for how Eames knows Arthur would be tight around all his cocks at once, the simultaneity of sensation that can't be matched by anything.

It's pretty fucking amazing just like that, though, his tentacle pushing slow into Arthur while he fucks him hard, Arthur's face pinned in place by Eames' other cock-tentacle, cheeks hollowing as he sucks. Eames can feel a tension in Arthur's thighs that means he wants to spread them further, and he pulls until Arthur's wide open, stretched in a way that seems almost uncomfortable.

With that change of angle, Eames can see himself where he's fucking into Arthur, tentacle and cock opening him up, the slick red rim of his hole. He rubs a finger over it, smirking when Arthur moans around his other tentacle and tries to push into the touch.

"Patience," Eames says, and pulls out of Arthur's mouth. Arthur has a dazed look in his eyes, his lips swollen and distractingly wet. Eames rubs the tip of a holding tentacle over them, dipping shallow into Arthur's mouth.

"You gonna fuck me or what?" Arthur's voice is quiet, wrecked. Eames bends to kiss him, deep and thorough, his clean hand settling on Arthur's cheek.

"I am," Eames says, and his second tentacle settles at Arthur's entrance, rubbing at the rim before he tries inside.

It's hard, fuck the bloody puns, it's just bloody difficult to do. Arthur's body resists him, and Eames doesn't suppress the savage grin this brings to his face. Because Arthur may struggle and he may not always yield at first, but he always does in the end, and it just makes everything so much fucking better.

Then it's in, it's in, and for one glorious moment Eames revels in the tightness, in all of him inside Arthur, contained, and he's moving to push all three cocks together into Arthur when Arthur makes a noise.

Eames knows Arthur's sex noises, and this isn't one of them. This is more akin to the time Arthur had to walk on a broken ankle to get out of a burning office, and it's not a sound Eames is in any hurry to hear ever again.

"You stopped," Arthur says, but that's genuine pain lurking in the back of his voice, and Eames needs it to cease right now.

Thankfully he's retained enough presence of mind to slip out of Arthur slowly, one cock at a time, careful not to hurt him further. The wonderful tightness has become crushing, Arthur's body fighting back, and Eames is careful as he pulls out, coming to curl around Arthur once he's finished, gripping tentacles clinging. His penetrating tentacles have retreated into their cavities.

"I'm fine, geez," Arthur says, but his voice doesn't have the bite it normally would. "Look, we could try again later."

Eames' arms and tentacles tighten around Arthur. "Did you miss the bit where I almost broke you?" he says, more vicious than he means to be.

"Oh please, as if you could," Arthur says. "I'm more durable than you give me credit for."

Eames considers being offended at this. He knows very well how durable Arthur is, and he knows too well how strong he himself is. “Believe it or not, I don’t enjoy having you in pain.”

Arthur raises an eyebrow at him and Eames is uncomfortably reminded of the first few times he had a cock and a tentacle up Arthur’s arse, the gorgeous pained noises Arthur made, his body twisting up only to relax with the very next breath. “Not actual pain,” he says, but it feels weak and unconvincing.

Arthur punches him lightly in the shoulder. “I know that, you idiot. This is just a minor setback, okay? We’ll figure this out.”

Dear God, Eames thinks, faintly. If there’s anything more frightening and arousing than Arthur with a plan, Eames isn’t sure he’d survive encountering it.

His cock chooses that moment to twitch against Arthur’s thigh. Arthur looks at him, then shifts to lie back down, pointedly spreading his legs open. With some effort, Eames disentangles all his tentacles, sorting them away, and kneels to examine Arthur.

His hole is still slick, still red, but when Eames touches it Arthur makes an ill-concealed hiss and quite obviously holds himself from moving away. “So no more of that tonight,” Eames says, with only a little regret.

“What are you talking about, I can - “ Eames pushes his finger inside to make a point; from Arthur’s wince, he takes it. “All right, fine. Not tonight. Hey,” he says, when Eames moves away. “Where are you going?”

“To clean off,” Eames says. They can cuddle afterwards.

“Don’t you want to get off first?” Arthur says, and Eames finds himself back on the bed before quite registering he’d moved. It’s like his body has a mind of his own where Arthur is concerned. “Okay. Sit down, I want to try something.”

Far be it from Eames to discourage him. He sits down, and Arthur climbs into his lap, holding onto Eames’ shoulders. “I’m going to need you to steady me,” he says, and Eames already laces gripping tentacles behind his back.

Arthur pets down Eames’ back until his fingers are toying at the edge of his tentacle-slits, forbidden and breathtakingly exciting.

“Come out,” Arthur says, and the tentacle does, springing into Arthur’s hands. Eames sighs as he feels Arthur’s hand close on him, rougher skin that Eames can thrust against without thinking of caution. Arthur coaxes and pulls, rearranging them with subtle motions until he’s flat on his back again, Eames positioned to thrust his cocks between his slick thighs.

The best thing about this position, Eames finds, is that he can push his penetrating tentacles all the way against Arthur’s thighs, curling around them to grab and rub at the same time, the better to hold Arthur in place while Eames thrusts with his cock, touched everywhere, taken in.

He kisses Arthur, eyes shutting involuntarily, every bit of him coming to wrap around Arthur until he feels him groan and shake. He levers up a bit then, to look at the flush marking Arthur’s chest, and his penetrating tentacles both spurt together, adding to the mess on Arthur’s belly.

That makes everything slicker, and for a while Eames stares at it entranced, at his cock pushing through the come pooling on Arthur’s skin, before he comes once more and collapses over Arthur with a satisfied grunt.

~~

They both end up falling asleep for a little, wrapped up in each other and filthy with come. Eames opens his eyes maybe ten minutes later. Arthur is still snoring gently.

“Lazy,” Eames whispers in Arthur’s ear. Arthur huffs in his sleep and burrows closer into Eames.

It’s lovely and cozy and Eames hates to move away, except that Arthur can’t sleep soundly unless he’s clean or that’ll put him in a bad mood for the entire day. Can’t have that.

So Eames washes up and brings a towel for Arthur, trying to resist the possessive thrill he gets from seeing Arthur covered in his come, the bruises he left, the marks of his teeth. Yet there’s also a quiet satisfaction in washing Arthur up, making his skin clean and ready to be marked all over again.

He comes to lie beside him, kissing his shoulders, nosing at his neck. Arthur mutters and turns. Eames keeps his hands on him as he does and revels in the feel of muscles moving, of Arthur, complicated and human and alive. Eames smooths a hand over Arthur’s flank.

Durable, Arthur is, stronger than even he realizes at times, endlessly adaptable. He makes Eames thinks of things that would never have occurred to him; he pushes his own boundaries constantly. He’s every single thing Eames likes about humanity, and more.

Next time Eames looks at the sky and starts feeling angry, he thinks, he should turn his eyes down here instead. The view is much better.