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Well, well, well…This is a predicament you’ve never seen Illinois in before and you can’t help but snicker a little at the sight of it. Despite himself he laughs too, a short, embarrassed thing.

“Guess I took a misstep somewhere…We all make mistakes,” he admits, fidgeting where his body is wedged between the two walls that have closed in against him.

Relievingly, miraculously, the trap’s mechanisms have aged badly with time; they haven’t closed far enough to crush and kill him, but he’s well and truly pinned in place. Only one leg, the one closest to you, is somewhat free to move, his boot scuffing awkwardly in the dust on the tomb floor for purchase.

“Hey, partner…since one of us is a little held up at the moment,” he begins, his familiar sly grin briefly recapturing his face in a moment of humor, “I think the other should look around for whatever could get him out of this little bind.”

Taking the hint, you turn away to examine the cave walls, running your hands along them for any sign of a latch, a lever or a weight. If it’s the kind of trap that won’t reset unless something of equal weight is swapped in to take Illinois’ place, he might be screwed…

Craning his head awkwardly sideways, Illinois tries to catch glimpses of your progress—or lack of it. Now that your eyes aren’t on him, he feels free to flush and curse under his breath. He’s not used to being in this position; ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s his companions getting themselves caught and he who plays the dashing hero to the rescue. He’s not used to being this dependent.

Frustrated, he continues to squirm and wriggle as inconspicuously as he can, but it isn’t long before a shot of heat to his lower regions takes him completely off guard. Breath catching in disbelief, he risks a wide-eyed peek down at his pants, at the seam pressing hard into his groin, almost enough to hurt—but as he experimentally rotates his hips again, the sound of the fabric rasping against the coarse stone makes his blood sing.

Great. Fantastic. As if his predicament wasn’t uncomfortable enough before, his body has apparently decided to interpret his struggle as an attempt to grind himself against the trap wall. Gritting his teeth, he tears his eyes away from the evidence, opening his mouth to call out to you and ask if you’ve found anything.

His mouth stays open but no sound emerges as he finds that your attention isn’t on the levers and latches anymore. It hasn’t been for a little while now, and you're no longer laughing.

For the first time that you can remember, he’s speechless. What could he possibly say anyway?

Tentatively you approach, taking note of the way his free leg shifts to block your path. It’s ineffective. All he can do is watch as you come to his side, leaning against his closest shoulder. It feels like his heart is deafening in the silence as you lift a hand, running it through the short hairs at the base of his neck. It’s a gentle touch, one that has him slowly, slowly leaning his head back. As he does so, his hips naturally cant forward against the stone and he’s forced to stifle a soft murmur.

Lightly but not blithely, you ask if he wants your help.

It’s not his habit to get attached to his companions; in his profession he can’t afford to. Too much potential for loss and grief. For those reasons, it’s been a long, long time since he’s been touched, and the way your hand is moving over his neck and shoulders makes his starved skin crawl with pleasure, goosebumps and raised hairs begging for more. He’s already attached, with no escape in sight.

Letting his eyes close in surrender, he nods.

Getting his pants unbuttoned is something of a struggle thanks to the cramped conditions, but even the mere rifling of your fingers around his waist and pelvis is contributing to his aching bulge. As you work, you try to tide him over by occasionally sliding your fingers up under the hem of his shirt, gently tracing the curves of his tight, muscled stomach as it rises and falls with his quickening breaths.

He shouldn’t be this nervous! He tries to think of something witty to say, something that echoes his usual bravado, but as soon as your hand finally finds its destination he has to bite his tongue. It’s like a gunshot.

Nothing will feel better than that first contact, he’s sure—until you gently wrap your fingers around and drag them down the shaft, slow and steady. His gasp is followed by a low, deep moan; a hitched whimper is hot on its heels as you carefully circle his tip with the pads of two fingers, collecting pre-come to smear and massage over him like lube.

Your touch is maddening as you increase pressure, sending sparks through his nerves like he’s a live wire. He bucks helplessly against your palm, shrill breaths echoing, sweat chilling his skin in the cold air of the tomb. What a place to be doing this, he thinks, too overwhelmed to choke out a laugh. His toes are curling in his boots, his legs are weak and it’s all way too much too soon—

 “S-Slow down,” he pants, surprising you, his head falling against the wall behind him with a faint thud. “Nngh…slow down, please…” As sensitive and painful as this precipice is, he needs a second to breathe.

Dutifully you change tactics, shifting from squeezes to loose, easy strokes. That’s better. That’s so much better. Gentle, feather-light and tingly.

The roar of blood in his ears quiets somewhat, but even at this milder pace he’s trembling. Even when it’s just his own hand ridding him of unwanted tension, he doesn’t usually hold out very long. Another few pumps and he’s sure he’ll come.

He just wants to savor this; he wants to memorize the softness and shape of your fingers. The helplessness of his position only adds to the high emotion of the situation.

He had planned on leaving you. After so many adventures together, this was meant to be your last. Now this…this changes things. He’s completely compromised, vulnerable, putty in your hands. His charming but distant façade is down, and yet you’re still staring at him with that same loyal gleam in your eyes. There’s arousal too, but it’s as if that’s only a backdrop.

This isn’t just about lust. You really do love him, don’t you?

It’s that thought that makes him shudder and release; the drop over the edge doesn’t feel too fast, as he would have expected it to. He lets himself fall.