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Pretty Tied Up

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Chris doesn’t know which is worse, that Zach has a definitive You Are A Disaster, Pine face, or that he is so used to seeing it by now that he can spot it a mile away, long before the inevitable accompanying sigh and eye roll.

“Did your mother never teach you how to dress yourself, Christopher?” And that would be the You Are A Disaster, Pine tone of voice that he is using, which almost always comes shortly after the face. It’s a strange mixture of disappointed and fond that never fails to make Chris feel like squirming and blushing. And because God or the universe or genetics hates him, the latter is somewhat inevitable. He can already feel the blood rushing to his face as Zach steps in front of him and reaches for his tie.

“Leave my mother out of this,” Chris grumbles back. “My failings as a person are definitely in spite of her, not because of her.”

“You’re right. Your mother a lovely woman. Shame she has a walking human disaster for a son.”

Zach is fumbling with the knot of Chris’s tie, and Chris lifts his chin a little to accommodate, his eyes fixing on the ceiling to avoid awkwardly staring at Zach’s face.

“God, what did you even...how did you…” Zach mutters as he tugs and twists. “I’m not sure this is an actual knot so much as it is a gigantic mess. How can you not know how to tie a tie at this point in your life?”

Chris winces a little as Zach’s tugging and jerking gets more insistent. It doesn’t hurt really, but it’s embarrassing. There are cameras, and probably people watching, and he is getting scolded and tidied like he is an unruly child...which perhaps isn’t the most inaccurate of descriptors, but still.

“I’m just going to have to start over,” Zach says, his tone more exasperated than ever, and Chris looks down as Zach’s hands start picking the knot apart.

“I swear it was perfectly fine when I left the hotel.” Chris is trying not to sound petulant, but it isn’t really working.

“It was not perfectly fine. It was crooked, and the knot is supposed to be snug against your neck, Chris, not halfway down your sternum.”

“Okay, whatever, Mr. Tie Wizard. Just fix it then.”

“So touchy.”

Chris looks up just in time to see Zach smirk, and he feels his cheeks getting hot again. And fuck, the cameras are still flashing. They are probably getting some truly stunning shots of Chris’s massive humiliation right now.

Zach finally untangles both ends of his tie and sets about tying it again. Chris watches his face this time, the look of concentration, the way he sucks his bottom lip into his mouth and chews on it a little bit, the furrow between his eyebrows. His hands are working quickly and deftly, and Chris can’t really see it, but he bets the end result is going to be fucking immaculate. It’s probably a work of art. It’s probably the best tie anyone has ever tied in the history of ties. Fucking Zachary Quinto, always doing everything exactly, perfectly right. Even his face is perfect. It’s infuriating.

Chris’s slightly bruised ego wants to remind Zach that it’s probably better to have a crooked tie than be caught wearing the same hat everywhere for a span of weeks. Or be seen in public in those God-awful cut-off jean shorts. But if he did say that, he is sure Zach would come back with some comment about how it’s meant to be ironic or he just does it so he can laugh about what Perez writes about him the next day or something. Zach is patently unembarrassable. Chris opens his mouth to attempt some witty jab anyway, but as if he is reading his mind, Zach jerks him forward a little and slides the knot right up against his throat, his knuckles brushing Chris’s skin, effectively cutting him off before any words can actually make it out of his mouth.

“There,” Zach says with an air of finality, and Chris just barely catches a glint of mischief in his eyes before he gives one last tug, pulling the knot just a fraction too tight.

It isn’t tight enough to cut off blood flow, but stars erupt in Chris’s vision anyway. All of a sudden, the camera flashes and the voices and the people around them fade away, and his knees feel weak, and, fuck, he can feel the blood rushing to his dick, making it twitch in his slacks.

Well. That’s new.

Reflexively, Chris brings a hand up to cover one of Zach’s, though he isn’t sure whether he means to encourage him to stop or keep going. Zach doesn’t seem to notice his indecision though, and his expression instantly turns sheepish. He loosens the knot a little. Chris isn’t sure whether he feels relieved or bereft.

“Sorry,” Zach murmurs, swaying a little closer for a moment so he can tuck the back of the tie through the little loop. Then, he smoothes the fabric down Chris’s front, gives his lapels a little jerk, and steps away, giving Chris room to breathe.

Room that he desperately needs, because as he is just now realizing, he has been holding his breath for who knows how long. It all leaves him in a rush, and Zach shoots him a slightly concerned look.

“Sorry,” Zach repeats. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“What?” Chris says, feeling a little dazed. “No. No, you, uh...No, you didn’t hurt me.”

He makes the mistake of reaching up to finger the knot at his throat, and Zach’s eyes track the motion, then slowly drift up to his face. They hold each other’s gaze for just a moment longer than is strictly comfortable, and Chris really hopes that he is imagining that there is something knowing in the way Zach is looking at him.

Zach opens his mouth to say something, but Chris cuts him off, stepping up to his side and giving his shoulder a squeeze.

“Come on, man. We gotta catch up with the others.”

He waits until Zach nods and turns away before subtly adjusting himself and willing away his semi. Unfortunately, he can’t will away the memory of the expression on Zach’s face as he jerked the tie a little too tight, and he can’t will away the sense memory either. He can almost still feel it, the almost unpleasant snugness, his pulse throbbing, the slightly panicked need for air even though he was still more than capable of breathing.

Chris reaches up and pulls a little on the tail of his tie, tightening it just a little more, until it’s just shy of uncomfortable.

Zach is several steps away when he realizes Chris isn’t with him and turns around.

“You coming?” he asks, arching an eyebrow.

Chris half-jogs the distance between them and gives Zach another thump on the shoulder.

“Yeah. Let’s go.”

He keeps touching his tie all night. He is pretty sure Zach notices.

--------

Chris tries to tell himself he isn’t doing it on purpose, but deep down he knows that he is. He keeps tying his ties as sloppily as he can manage without giving himself away, just so Zach will step in and straighten it or tighten it for him. He nevers tugs it quite as tight as he did that first time, but a little thrill still goes through Chris every time, and he always ends up half-hard and wanting more.

The thing is, Chris always thought he was a pretty vanilla guy. He didn’t think he had any weird kinks or fetishes or latent desires that he wasn’t aware of. But apparently he had been so very, very wrong, because ever since that night, all he wants, all he can think about, are Zach’s hands on his throat or tugging too hard on his tie, Zach’s mischievous little smirk, Zach’s put-upon voice telling him not to move.

So maybe Chris has some stuff to work through. Maybe he doesn’t really know himself as well as he thought he did.

The thing is, he is not so great at subtlety, so it figures that it is only a matter of time before his little secret isn’t so much of a secret anymore. The press tour is long over, which means there haven’t been many opportunities for subtle tie adjustments lately, but one night Zach invites Chris out to a sort of fancy bar in the area, and naturally, there is one clothing item that Chris isn’t even going to consider leaving the house without. When Zach shows up at his house to pick him up, he looks Chris up and down, taking in his dark jeans, his light blue shirt, his navy tie, and raises both eyebrows.

“Looking good, Pine,” he says appreciatively. “I’m surprised to see the necktie. Thought you’d had more than enough of them on the tour.”

Chris shrugs one shoulder and grabs a coat off the hook before stepping out into the night air with Zach, closing the door behind him. “Why do you say that?”

Zach raises his eyebrows at him like it should be obvious. “You always looked uncomfortable. You were constantly tugging at your collar and...adjusting. Plus, half the time I had to fix them for you. It just didn’t seem like ties are really your thing.”

Chris is so glad it’s dark out, because he is blushing like mad.

“They’re my thing,” he blurts. He and Zach have reached Zach’s car, and Chris pauses with his hand on the door handle. “I may not be Mr. Windsor Knot, but...I like wearing them.”

Zach studies him over the top of the car for a moment, then shrugs. “Hey, I’m not complaining. They look good on you.”

He ducks into the car before Chris has a chance to say anything, but he doesn’t really know that he could have formed a coherent response anyway. He was too busy being distracted by the way Zach’s eyes definitely slid down his throat before he looked away.

Their evening out is largely uneventful. They don’t see each other as much since the press tour ended, so there is a little bit to catch up on, but for the most part they just shoot the breeze. It’s nice actually. With a lot of other people, Chris feels sort of obligated to talk about work, but with Zach things seem more relaxed. They talk about the truly divine steak Chris grilled for himself the other night, the new yoga class Zach is going to, their upcoming vacations plans, their families. By the time they leave, Chris is feeling relaxed and happy and a little bit buzzed.

Maybe that is why he is brave enough to ask Zach if he wants to come in for a beer when they make it back to his place. It’s not like they haven’t drank beer in his living room dozens of times, but most of those were before Chris started fantasizing about Zach choking him, and now the ground feels significantly shakier, at least on Chris’s end.

Zach makes his way into the living room while Chris stops at the kitchen to grab a couple beers out of the fridge. He opens them and then shuffles into the other room and plops down next to Zach on the couch before passing one of the bottles to him.

“This was fun,” Chris says, leaning his head back against the back of the couch. He absent-mindedly reaches up and pulls at his tie, loosening it a bit.

When Zach doesn’t say anything, Chris turns his head to look at him. His eyes are focused on the knot of Chris’s tie, and he is frowning slightly, thoughtfully.

“Earth to Zach,” Chris says slowly, waving his beer bottle in front of his face. Zach looks up at him finally.

“I’ve never seen you do that before.”

It is Chris’s turn to frown now, confused. “Do what?”

“Loosen your tie.” Slowly, painfully slowly, Zach reaches out and brushes his fingers over the navy fabric right where it emerges from Chris’s collar. “Usually you’re tightening it up. I thought maybe it was a nervous habit, but…”

Zach searches Chris’s face, and Chris feels his cheeks heating up under the scrutiny. Just having Zach’s fingers so close to his neck is making his heart start to race, and he has to struggle a bit to keep his breathing normal.

“It’s not a nervous habit, is it?”

The direct question catches Chris off guard, even though Zach has clearly been building to it. For a moment, he can only panic, his brain frantically searching for a way to talk his way out of this. But the more moments that tick by, the more Chris realizes that his inability to come up with an answer is an answer in and of itself, and Zach is obviously coming to the same conclusion. His fingers are curling under Chris’s tie, and then he tugs just a little bit, dragging Chris forward an inch or two.

“It was that night in Auckland, wasn’t it?”

Chris nods.

“You liked it when I pulled your tie too tight?”

Chris nods again.

“You think about it a lot?”

Another nod. Zach sets his beer down on the coffee table, then grabs Chris’s out of his hand and does the same. Then he has both hands on Chris’s tie and he is tightening it up again, painfully slowly, the satiny fabric making a soft hush sound as it slides against itself.

“Tell me what you want, Christopher.”

Chris feels like he is standing on the edge of a cliff, and he can’t even hesitate really, because Zach’s hands at his neck are tugging him forward and over. He sways forward another inch or two and has to brace a hand on Zach’s thigh to keep himself from crashing into him.

Zach makes a low sound and pulls on the tail end of the tie until the knot is as tight as it was that first time, biting into the skin at the base of Chris’s neck, just tight enough that it hurts a little bit, tight enough that he can imagine the ring-shaped bruise around his neck if the collar of his shirt wasn’t in the way and if Zach would just…

“Zach, Zach, just--” Chris knows he is supposed to be asking for something, but he doesn’t have the words. Hell, not that long ago he didn’t know he was into this at all, and now Zach expects him to be able to give him step-by-step instructions? He isn’t sure he is capable of speaking in full sentences right now, even if he did know what to say.

“You don’t even know, do you?” Zach says. He is smirking a little, and he is using that voice again, the exasperated one that makes Chris feel ridiculous and embarrassed. “You have no idea what you want.”

“Anything,” Chris gasps, because it’s the only thing he can think to say, and also because it’s true.

He is rewarded with one of Zach’s hands leaving his tie and wrapping around Chris’s neck, just above his collar. Zach doesn’t press or squeeze or do anything but let his fingers rest there, against Chris’s jumping pulse, but just the thought of what he could do pulls a desperate sound out of Chris’s mouth.

“Have you done this before?” Zach asks. He slides his hand up until the edge of his palm is snug up under Chris’s jaw, forcing his head up a little.

“No,” Chris answers. “Didn’t know I wanted it until…”

Zach nods, and there is a flash of uncertainty in his eyes, like he is second-guessing whether he should be doing this. And that is the last thing Chris wants to see. He reaches up and covers Zach’s hand with his, squeezing a little to encourage Zach’s fingers to dig in a bit.

“It’s dangerous, Chris,” Zach says, but his voice has a rough, aroused edge to it that does very little to convince Chris that this is a bad idea.

“I trust you.”

Those are apparently the magic words, because the uncertainty melts off Zach’s face and his eyes darken all at once. His hand returns to Chris’s tie, which he twists around his palm and then jerks, pulling Chris forward until their lips are almost touching.

“Bedroom.”

Chris can only nod dumbly and let Zach drag him to his feet. Zach walks backward down the hall, tugging Chris along like a dog on a leash, maintaining tension in the tie but not jerking overly hard, like he is saving the good stuff for later. Which suits Chris just fine, because he already feels like he is on fire, and he isn’t sure he can handle much more than this without his knees giving out. His hand keeps going to his collar, tugging at the fabric like he is testing how tight it is, and Zach just lets him, allowing Chris to get used to the feeling.

When they reach the bedroom, Zach lets go, and it’s all Chris can do not to whimper.

“Get undressed,” Zach says. “Leave the tie on.”

That is a tone of voice Chris hasn’t heard before, but he isn’t complaining one bit. It is a little strange how…not strange all of this is. Chris feels like he should be freaking out about the fact that he is about to have no-doubt kinky sex with a man who had been nothing more than a close friend up until a few minutes ago, but somehow it feels completely natural, like they have been doing this all along, or should have been. Chris wasn’t lying when he said he trusted Zach. He does trust him. There is no one else he would trust enough to do this with.

Zach doesn’t watch Chris undress. Instead, he goes to Chris’s closet and starts rifling around. Chris doesn’t ask, just slowly unbuttons his shirt and shrugs it off his shoulders, leaving his tie in place, then strips off his jeans and briefs and toes off his socks.

Just as he finishes removing his clothing, Zach reemerges from the closet with another tie in his hand, a gray silk one, the one Chris had been wearing at the premiere in New Zealand when this all started. Chris’s heart rate ratchets up another couple notches in anticipation.

“Get on the bed. In the middle,” he says in that same commanding tone, and Chris rushes to comply.

Zach is still completely dressed when he climbs on the bed, straddles Chris’s chest, and grabs one of his hands. He loops one end of the gray tie around Chris’s wrist and ties a knot, pulling it snug.

“You can make it tighter,” Chris says tentatively, then wishes he hadn’t when Zach shoots him a dark look.

“Do you trust me or not?”

“I do,” Chris says quickly. “I do.”

“Then I expect that to be the last time you second-guess me.”

Zach tugs on Chris’s wrist until it’s above his head, next to the headboard. Then he threads the tie behind a couple of the slats and grabs Chris’s other wrist. He ties that one up too, then gives the tie a couple little tugs to make sure it will hold.

“Comfortable?” he asks Chris, skimming a hand down one of his forearms and over his bicep. Chris pulls a little at his bonds experimentally, flexes his fingers so the muscles in his forearms shift and bunch. The silky fabric feels almost obscene as it glides over his wrists.

“Yeah. It’s...it’s good.”

“Good.”

Zach scoots down the bed a little until he is kneeling between Chris’s legs. He reaches out and grabs the tie around Chris’s neck again and pulls, shaking a moan out of Chris’s mouth and making his hips come off the bed, thrusting against the air. He has been so focused on the newness of everything that he hadn’t realized until just now how hard he is. He feels it now though, and he is suddenly desperate for Zach to touch him there. Or touch him anywhere. Other than the brief caress to his arm, Zach’s hands have only been on the tie, and Chris is enjoying that, but he needs more.

And, thank Jesus, Zach must be a mind reader, because a moment later one of his hands is wrapping around the base of Chris’s cock, then giving it a slow stroke from root to tip.

“Fuck,” Chris gasps. He strains against the restraints on his wrists, arches his back, and then groans when Zach gives another tug at the tie around his neck. Zach chuckles, and Chris feels himself flush a little. He can only imagine what he looks like right now, tied up and stretched out and straining for more

“What is it about this that gets to you, I wonder?” Zach muses, rolling his palm over the head of Chris’s dick before jacking him slowly again. “Is it the pain?” Zach pulls the fabric tight against the side of Chris’s neck, and Chris can feel it biting into his flesh, just shy of uncomfortable, just shy of bruising. He doesn’t think it’s the pain itself that does it, but everything else makes whatever discomfort there is fade into the background. He barely notices it under his arousal.

“Is it the fact that I could cut off your breathing at any time and you’d be powerless to stop me?” Zach continues. He abandons the wide end of the tie and wraps just the tail end around his hand, so that when he pulls a little bit the knot tightens against Chris’s throat. Chris gasps, pulling in a deep lungful of air as if he is preparing himself to not be able to breathe anymore.

“Don’t,” Zach warns. “You’ll know when I’m about to do it.”

Even as he says it, he tugs again, so the tie tightens another fraction more. Chris can still breathe just fine, but his brain is screaming for air anyway, like it is anticipating that it might get snatched away at any moment. He squeezes his eyes shut and focuses on the sensation of Zach’s large, strong hand working his dick, pulling him ever closer to the edge. The pleasure serves as a counterpoint to the uncomfortable pressure at his neck.

“Fuck, Zach, please,” he says, though he isn’t really sure what he is asking for. But Zach will know. Zach knows what he needs. Zach will take care of him. He repeats it in his head like a mantra.

Zach leans in and lets go of the tie, placing his hand around Chris’s neck again instead. Chris opens his eyes and sees Zach watching his face closely, his gaze intense and almost reverent.

“Keep your eyes on me,” Zach says, his voice firm but gentle. “Don’t look away.”

Chris nods and swallows thickly.

And then Zach’s hand is tightening. He is careful not to push on Chris’s trachea, instead gently increasing the pressure on the sides of Chris’s neck, just until Chris’s eyes widen a little. Chris tries to draw a breath, but he only manages to capture a tiny bit of air. Not enough. Not nearly enough. His hips come off the bed again, and he pushes himself desperately through Zach’s hand. The restraints at his wrists are digging into his flesh now as he pulls against them, desperate for something, anything, air or release or both or whatever it is Zach will let him have.

Zach’s hand increases its pace on Chris’s cock even as his other hand slightly increases the pressure on Chris’s neck. His fingers are so gentle, but so impossibly strong. Chris is dimly aware that Zach is being incredibly careful, not completely cutting off Chris’s air on purpose, not squeezing too tight, but there is some kind of psychology at play here, the feeling of a hand around his throat, the claustrophobic feeling of the tie around his neck, the fact that he is so much at Zach’s mercy. Everything is conspiring to make Chris believe that he can’t breathe.

“That’s it, baby,” Zach is murmuring. “God, you’re beautiful, trusting me like this. I’m gonna take care of you, okay?”

Chris makes a pitiful sound. He is so close. It’s like the more his lungs scream, the more heat pools in his gut, the more sensation is focused in his dick. If he could, he would be begging for more, yes, harder, but he can’t, so he lets his body do the begging for him. He stretches and arches and pushes up against Zach and pulls at the tie around his wrists, and all the while his eyes never leave Zach’s. That warm, dark gaze grounds him, silently promising him everything he could ever want.

“Come on, Christopher.” Zach’s fingers tighten just a fraction more. “Come for me.”

Chris has no choice but to obey a command like that, and Zach releases his neck just in time for him to suck in a deep breath and let it out with a shout as he spills over the fingers wrapped around him, over his own stomach. His lungs pull at the air as he pulses in Zach’s hand, which strokes him all the way through the last twitching aftershocks.

Before Chris has really come back to himself, Zach is tearing at his own fly. He leans forward and crushes his mouth to Chris’s, the first kiss they have shared, and Chris’s mouth falls open on a groan to admit Zach’s tongue. Zach licks at his mouth and bites at his lips, and Chris can feel his arm moving frantically between them. It’s only a handful of moments before Zach is groaning through his own release, his body shuddering against Chris’s.

Zach pushes his face into Chris’s neck, and for a while neither of them moves or speaks as they struggle to catch their breath and come down from the moment. Then, Zach slowly disentangles himself and gets up. He disappears into the bathroom for a moment and comes back with a wet cloth, which he uses to clean up the mess on Chris’s stomach. When that is done, he tosses the cloth back toward the bathroom and reaches up to untie Chris’s hands, taking time to rub the feeling back into each one. The tie around his neck is saved for last, and Zach’s hands are particularly gentle as they loosen it and then pull it up and over his head. He tosses it off the bed and then drags his fingers over Chris’s neck, where Chris can imagine there is a red ring.

“It won’t bruise,” Zach says softly. “I was careful.”

“I know you were,” Chris murmurs back, though truth be told, he isn’t the slightest bit worried about that at the moment. He feels too blissed out and satisfied to care about much of anything.

Zach looks a bit uncertain now. He is kneeling by Chris’s side, gnawing on his lip and not quite meeting Chris’s eyes.

“Was that...what you wanted?”

Chris sighs and wraps a hand around Zach’s arm, tugging him down until he is laying pressed up against his side.

“It was a good start.”

“A start, hmm?” Chris can’t see Zach’s face, but he can hear his smile.

“Yeah,” he says as he wraps his arms around Zach’s shoulders. “Next time I think you need to be a little more naked.”

Zach laughs, quiet and a little delighted. “Okay. Next time.”