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Courting Death Twice Over

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Green Curry’s mask sat primly on the night stand. He so rarely went without it that its absence made him feel naked; more so than his actual present nudity. There was no need to hide his eyes, though. Neither of his current companions were human. Indeed, it would have been difficult to mistake them for such wretched creatures.

Mantis had detached his own mask, and what remained beneath it was evidence of the tampering his body had suffered. He had no real jaw or mouth, simply a mass of wires and mechanical joints with a voice synthesizer nestled inside. Curry had asked him about it once. Apparently the humans had hoped to make him breathe fire, or poison, or some other flashy method of violence. Boston hadn’t given them the chance to finish that particular experiment.

Mantis’ mouth was a more hidden scar than his arm was - than his arms both were, technically. The damage inflicted to his right arm may have come from his own hand, but it was still the fault of humanity, as far as Curry was concerned. But the missing section of his face seemed to be quite the sore spot for Boston’s quiet companion. It was hard to miss the open jealousy in Mantis’ eyes when Boston sealed his lips over Curry’s in a kiss.

Once they parted, Green Curry leaned over and murmured into Mantis’ ear.

“Envy is unbecoming.”

To temper the sting of his words, he busied his hands with a part of Mantis’ body that was unmistakably flesh and blood.

Boston Lobster looked on in approval. He straddled Green Curry’s thighs, leaning back and watching his two closest He’d been worried, at first, how they would get along. Green Curry was Boston’s first and most loyal friend, and he wasn’t used to sharing ‘honorable brother’ with others. Mantis Shrimp was sensitive and clingy, and hated anything coming between him and ‘big brother.’

Looks like they’d worked things out in Boston’s absence.

As nice a show as it was, Boston was too restless to stay out of the action for long. He leaned forward and nudged Mantis with one of his antennae.

“Hey. While you two are having all the fun, I’m burning up over here.”

It was the truth. It was also a blatant excuse to get Mantis to press his prosthetic hand against Boston’s cheek, bringing a welcome burst of coolness to his flushed skin. His restless, clicking claws relaxed at the momentary relief.

While in this state of such heightened emotion, Boston’s mere presence made the room scorching hot, but Green Curry didn’t mind. One unexpected benefit of Palata’s brutal desert climate. And Mantis, well...temporary discomfort was a small price to pay to be this close to his beloved leader.

Still, Boston didn’t want to hurt Mantis. He knew damn well the food soul wouldn’t complain, even if Boston’s touch downright burned his delicate, sun-starved skin. So he and Curry had worked out a compromise.

It was, admittedly, a chore to get the three of them situated comfortably. None of their bodies were short. Boston’s bulky claws threatened to topple him off balance if he laid too close to the edge of the bed. And Mantis kept resting his weight on Curry’s hair, which had a bad habit of getting absolutely everywhere. All this was in addition to the effort inherent in accepting two men into one body.

It hurt. Curry would have been shocked if it didn’t. At the same time, having both of his companions between his legs, inside him - it was perfect.

For all his bluster and fearsome reputation, Boston was a kind lover. He waited for Curry to gather himself. It took longer than usual for the discomfort to die down. Again, not exactly small bodies, in any sense of the word.

The gentle scrape of metal against Curry’s stomach was a pleasant distraction. He frowned in annoyance when it withdrew only a second later. “You don’t need to be so careful, you know,” Curry muttered, craning his neck to meet Mantis’ eyes. “If I can work with his claws, do you think a little prosthetic is going to bother me?”

Boston let out a breathy chuckle, his hand ghosting across Mantis’ thigh where it lay over Curry’s waist. “Go easy on him, brother. Not everyone is as experienced as you.”

The words, though spoken in innocence, cut Green Curry deep. He’d been trying not to think too hard about how easy this was for him. How naturally the movements came to his body, now. That way lied a shame that would swallow him up if he let it.

Curry had always reserved his affections for his honorable brother, and now his - companion? Accomplice? Friend? The semantics of his and Mantis’ relationship mattered little. The point was, when Boston had first visited Palata after the long years it took for Curry to make the country dance by his tune, he'd quickly learned that Curry’s negotiation tactics didn’t stop at mere words. Court politics were a corrupt and sordid world, especially when one was thrust into them as nothing more than a particularly decorated slave. Curry had only done what needed to be done for his and Boston’s shared goal.

Boston said he understood. Curry believed him. That didn’t stop Curry from feeling like a traitor every time he opened his legs.

Green Curry knew that he could bring up his reservations to Boston. He knew that Boston would - awkwardly and gruffly - apologize for his careless words. Curry knew that, but he didn’t say a thing. After so many years of hiding his thoughts, it would have taken more effort to school his emotions onto his face.

Instead of dwelling on the matter, Green Curry tangled his hands in two different heads of fair, soft hair. A world apart from his own thick mane; one harsh tug and he felt like he’d tear the locks right from their scalps. He settled for gently pulling both of them closer. Moments like these were the only times he craved the company of others; the only time he actively sought it out without any underlying deception.

As a hot tongue ran over Curry’s throat and a cold nose nuzzled into his back, he mused that sometimes it was alright to want for the sake of wanting.