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Captivity is bliss

 

The air is stale. Unmoving and heavy, trapped within the dingy corridors. It is thick, and vile with the wretched scents of death and disease.

Axton lies on the cold, hard, floor, hands bound behind his back ensuring little to no movement. He can’t stand and so he just lays there. Lays there on the ground like a broken toy discarded when it became of little use to a child. The cement is wet with leaking water from the ceiling and his own fluids. It stinks. But then again his sense of smell was rendered almost useless many days ago. He hardly notices the smell anymore.

The putrid stink of decay seeps through the bars to his right. The occupant died several days back. Beat his head in on the bars, over and over again like some animal gone mad. He had watched as the poor bastard bled out right there on the cell floor, watched as the life slipped away from his bruised and broken body. Now he lies there, bloated and rotting, after death fluids pooling around his form. It is not a sight for the fainthearted. Flies buzz around his swollen belly, already laying their larva in the overly soft flesh. Axton feels the urge to vomit, but only succeeds in dry heaving quietly. There is nothing to vomit up. There’s not even stomach acid left. He spits onto the floor weakly. A coughing fit ensues and it sends waves of pain through him. Sharp stabbing pains shoot through his torso with every jolt of his body.

He’s certain he’s got a couple of broken ribs. Add that in with the laundry list of other injuries. He groans pitifully. Maybe bashing your head in on the metal bars wasn’t such a bad way to go. Too bad he can’t even make it over to the bars to do the deed.

How fucking pitiful. He curses to himself.

He’s far too weak to even support his own weight, much less snuff himself out by way of head beating. He can only imagine what a horrid sight he is…smeared with blood, dirt, excrement, and sweat. Curled up like a dying animal, alone in the dark. He hardly pays mind to the stabbing hunger pains anymore. He’s just accepted the constant feeling of his stomach gnawing away at itself.

He wonders how much longer his body can go like this. It’s been weeks, but it feels like so much longer than that. His stubborn nature does not want to accept the looming thought hanging overhead…the hovering knowledge...that he is going to die here.

He wants to believe that somehow, someway, he’s going to make it out of this. He will be ok, slip out at the very last second just like always. He lived for last minute escapes. This time should be no different. He will think of something soon. Somehow he will regain strength and figure out how to escape.

His stomach twists just thinking about it.

He knows that there is no false hope. There is no escape. There is no seeing the sun. As hot and rugged as the Pandora landscape is, god what he wouldn’t do to see it, just one more damn time. This wasn’t the way he was supposed to go out. His death was always meant to be a heroic one. He was always meant to die in a spray of bullets and grenades. Not here. Alone, filthy and naked in a hell hole that nobody even knew existed.

But he had chosen this. He had held off the Hyperion army and had been captured so his fellow vault hunters could escape.

He squeezed his eyes shut.

The memory was so damn clear. The wind was howling, blowing dust and fire like a mad tornado. He felt the blunt force of the loader slamming him to the ground. He tasted sand and blood in his mouth. The robotic demon slammed its foot down on Axton’s dropped weapon, crushing the Jakobs revolver to pieces. He looked up through the blinding sand. He could see them running.

Maya was screaming words that he could not decipher, trying hard to run to him. To help. Zero grabbed her before she got far and drug her away kicking and screaming. He knew Axton’s intentions. Salvador had a grim look on his face that the commando had never before experienced. Emotion was strange on the gunzerker. But they knew....they knew that this was the only means of escape. They would not let Axton’s sacrifice go to waste. Their forms disappeared into the ash and dust.

They were alive because of him. He supposed...in a way, this death would be heroic. That action, there, at the Hyperion base was heroic. But there was nothing heroic here. There was nothing glorious about starvation. There was nothing glorious about lying in your own urine. There was nothing glorious about dying. Slowly, painfully. There was nothing glorious about crying...

He felt the shudders rack up through his body. He broke into quiet, pathetic sobs that were tearless and ugly. He was not even able to have such a small favor as tears. His body just didn’t have the fluids for them. And so he laid there, crying nonexistent tears. Accepting that he would die here. It would come for him any day now. Death had been lurking here since the day he was thrown into the cell. Keeping just barely out of sight in the shadows. Every once and a while one could catch a glimpse of it. A flash of a reflective eye. A quick shadow across the hallway. A small snicker that echoed and died into the silence once more. He had just chosen to ignore it.

But now, here it was standing in the corner of his cell. Black, tall and distorted, flexing its wings every so often. Not even offering the mercy to help speed the process along. It was simply an observer. Watching and waiting as Axton’s body caved in on itself.

Death is a fucking asshole.

At this point he just wanted to get it over with. He was tired of being hungry, tired of being in constant searing pain, just...tired of being...tired.

He was so damn tired.

Exhausted. Mentally and physically. He wanted sleep so badly. He had never wanted anything more. Sleep was such a thing that before this he had taken it for granted. Whining every so often about the conditions he had to sleep in on this god forsaken planet. Laying against rocks, hiding out in small shifty shacks. God what he wouldn’t do to be sleeping in one of those rusty little huts right now. He’d take that any day over this. At least there he would have a warm fire and his comrades company. Small conversation underneath a sky bathed in stars. He could almost hear the wails of wandering skags, the wind whispering over the hills. But here...there was mostly silence. The only sounds were that of dripping water, the occasional skittering of tiny rodent feet, and the moans of dying souls. Axton made no sound.

He refused to.

He would not moan and fuss as death took him. He’d take it like a fucking man. Nothing more nothing less. He closed his eyes, for longer than a standard blink.

He just couldn’t come to terms with it. Dying and such. He wished he could, but he just couldn’t bring himself to be humble with it. He wasn’t ready. It was too early. He had so much more to do. There was one thing about dying...it sure made you think about all the things you should have done in life. Could have done, should have done. All the wrong you did do, and all the right that turned into wrong or vice versa.

Then suddenly there was the loud clang of heavy doors being flung open at the end of the hallway. The force shook the bars of his cell and the sudden loud noise made him wince in pain. A strong bar of light illuminated down the hallway, casting two long shadows along with it.

He had company.

He wondered if they were finally coming to drag that damned stinking carcass next door away. It was about fucking time they did something about that. Heavy booted footsteps echo off the walls and invade the once quiet space. Axton can hear them murmuring words to each other, seeming to stop for a moment at every cell.

The fuck are they doing?

He cranes his neck as much as possible trying to see down the hallway but his view is interrupted by cells. It seems like an eternity before they approach his cell. They pass by the cell with the dead man in it first.

“Jesus Christ how long has this fucker been dead? Good god, get Browns down here to clean this shit up. Lazy fucking bastard.” The tallest man exclaims holding his nose against the overbearing stench. The shorter Hyperion goon is already peering into the cell directly across from the dead man’s.

“Well what about this guy? He’s....mostly there...” He says slowly.

The taller man looks in and smacks the shorter man in the back of the head.

“He’s missing his legs you dumb fuck! We can’t bring that one.” He barks his voice booming through Axton’s ears.

They go from cage to cage, peering in and accessing the occupant with standards unknown to Axton. With intentions that are just as cloudy. Like potential adopters searching through the pound. Looking for just the perfect kind of mutt. The shorter Hyperion scum then comes to stand in front of Axton’s own cell. His shadow casts across Axton’s seemingly lifeless body.

“Hey-Hey Ron!” He calls over his shoulder.

The one called “Ron” lumbers over to his side and peers over the shorter man.

“Isn’t this that Vault Hunter we brought in a couple of weeks ago?” He asks questionably.

Ron grunts.

“I think so. Not sure.” He muses.

“You reckon he’s still alive?” The short man adds chewing his fingernail.

“Dunno. Don’t fuckin look like it. Go give him a kick.” Ron says gruffly.

The shorter man grabs a hefty set of keys off his belt and fumbles to find the correct one. He stuffs it into the lock and opens up the cell door with a high pitch squeal of metal hinges that are about to give way. Axton just lies there, because in all seriousness he can do nothing else. He has not the strength to stand. There will be no second winds or burst or heroic energy here. There is but a broken man to look at here. The short man then proceeds into the cell and walks a circle around Axton’s crumpled form. He leans down and puts his ear next to Axton’s mouth.

There is breathing, just barely detectable, but it’s there.

“Hey, I think he’s still fucking alive!” He says grabbing Axton’s chin in his grubby fingers and forcing it from side to side trying to get a good look at the man.

He shoves his finger into his mouth and pulls his lip away, assessing the quality of his gums, checking for disease or rot. And then, there it is that last little spark of energy, that little glisten of adrenaline. Axton bites down on the man’s finger hard. Not enough to completely bite it off, but enough to draw some damn good blood. He rears back bellowing like a sick buffalo. The taller man rushes in.

“The fucker bit me!!! Oh god he bit me!! I’m gunna die!!! I’m gunna fucking get rabies and die!!!” The short man howls.

The taller man smacks him in the back of the head again.

“Calm the fuck down you idiot!” Ron barks.

He whimpers and wraps his bleeding finger in his shirt. The one called Ron then walks, more cautiously than the shorter man, over to Axton.

“Well, well aren’t you just a feisty little shit. Still got some spunk left in you eh? Oh he’s gunna love you.” Ron sneers as he leans down to Axton.

“This one will do. Let’s get him up and get him to the medical floor. He’s gunna need a lot of work before we take him to the big man.” Ron says standing.

The shorter man digs a length of heavy chain from his side pouch and very cautiously loops it around Axton’s ankles. He pulls it tight and he and the tall man take hold of it. Axton may be severely malnourished, but even in this state he’s no lightweight to deal with.

Axton feels the chain pull tight around his ankles and then the movement of his body as he is dragged across the floor. The cement is littered with fragments of bone, glass and rocks. They bite into his naked flesh, cutting him, scraping him. He can’t even manage a sound of displeasure as his body is dragged like butchered meat down the dungeon hall. His voice has simply dissipated to nothing. Other occupants of the cells are staring at him being dragged away. Like a sick cow being dragged from the slaughter yard. Some howl obscenities at him, most just cower back in the shadows eyes wide and wild, fearing that they might be next. He just accepts it. Maybe where ever they are taking him will be a quick death. Anything is better than wasting away in that cell.

They come to the heavy doors that separate the cells from the outside world. The two men shove them open and light bathes over the three of them. Axton winces at the light, his eyes not used to such brightness. It hurts. He cracks one eye open, but just barely. The flooring is tiled now. Massive fluorescent lights flicker overhead. A small trail of blood is left behind as they drag him. He honestly doesn’t even care.

They drag him to a large elevator and push the button. Axton can hear mechanics working and finally the small “ding” as the elevator doors open. They haul him inside, where two other Hyperion workers stand.

“Fuck that guy looks like shit. He come up from death row?” One asks the tall man.

“Yeah. Bosses orders. We’re taking him to the medical ward.” The man says shoving Axton slightly with his foot.

“He’s bleeding all over the damn place.” The other man comments disgusted.

“We’ll call someone up to clean it up.” The tall man says in his gruff dead pan voice.

The doors come open, and they are on the move again. There are more voices, more discussions. Axton feels himself fading in and out of consciousness, barely holding onto it. He’s lost a lot of blood. Suddenly someone takes hold of his arms and his legs. He feels his body being lifted off the ground. God it hurts.

Every injury throughout his body screams a the sudden movement. He grits his teeth and screws his eyes shut. They drop him on a cold table. The freezing metal is a shock to his tender body. Large restraints snap up from the table locking around his wrists, his ankles, his waist and his neck. He feels like he’s being strangled. The neck restraint is so damn tight. He chokes and coughs. His ribs are on fire, stretched and shifting with the new forced position. A blinding light is pulled down close to his face, his pupils shrinking to mere dots. Then suddenly he feels a vicious stab into his abdomen.

He can’t see it, but he can feel it. It’s a needle, sinking ruthlessly into his muscle. For the first time he finds his missing voice. The pain brings it forth from his body. The scream comes out horse and raspy, so much so that he doesn’t even recognize it. That disgusting sound could not possibly have come from him...could it? His hands pump, fisting invisible objects, opening and closing frantically. His eyes roll back into his skull. More panicked screaming come. Then retching. Saliva runs down his chin and dribbles down his neck.

“Fuck! Don’t let him choke on his tongue!” a seemingly distant voice yells.

Fingers enter his mouth and grab his lolling tongue. Like a light bulb on its last leg, finally he flickers out. Unable to last any longer he slips into an unconscious state. Tired and worn he is finally granted a sleep, however violent it was, it was still sleep. At that point any kind was welcome. And so however rough and unkind the sleep was.

He slept.

Body broken, bruised and withering, he slept.

Chapter Text

The Perfect Male Specimen

 

His body feels hot, unbearably hot. Hotter than the murderous sun beating down on his back out in the dust. He groans irritably and slowly his eyes strain to open. They adjust to the new, blinding light his pupils growing to soak it all in. It takes a moment for his slow brain to process where he is. He’s no longer on the cement flooring of his cell. The constant smell of decay is no longer invading his senses. This place stinks in other ways. It smells like bleach and rubber. He blinks slowly, eyes still overwhelmed by the bright lighting. The florescent light above him hums and flickers slightly. He frowns as he looks up at it. That constant buzz is almost more annoying than the constant silence from the cells.

He lays there for a second accessing everything around him. This place is new, and though not dark and smelling of death, it still drips with a sense of danger. He swallows hard. His throat still feels dry and raspy, and his stomach is highly unsettled...but the ache in his body is considerably lessened. He tries to sit up only to realize he is bound to the hard table by massive cuffs.

“Fuck” He curses.

His voice comes out crackled and as rough as sandpaper. He coughs and clears his throat. He looks up at the ceiling again. It’s white. As are the walls, they are white too. And the floor...white. Everything is fucking white. What did they send him to a mental ward?? The small, but steady, beep of a monitor then kisses his ears.

He looks to his right to see a machine monitoring his vital signs. That constant little beat has more meaning to him than one could ever know. That little beep, a small little tone, insignificant to everyone else, but to him it’s a godsend.

That little beep means one thing, and one thing only. That he’s alive. He’s living. He’s breathing. And he actually feels alive this time. He no longer feels the looming sense of his body slowly slipping away. He feels his strength returning to him, and the bitter sense of hunger is gone. Whatever they are pumping into his veins and stomach, it’s some good shit.

He feels...somewhat...normal? Or as normal as possible after spending weeks bound and starving.

Axton flexed his hand just to test that it was even working, and just as it should it moved at his command. He then proceeded to test this out with the rest of his limbs. All in working order, all fingers, toes, legs and arms.

It was not possible to test them very far seeing as the cold metal restraints were doing an excellent job of holding him down, but the small action brought a grin to his lips. It was a small one, only there for a hint of a moment and then it was gone. Like a ghost, vanishing as quickly as it had shown itself.

These new accommodations roused all sorts of new questions and worries. Why was he here? What was here? Obviously it was some type of hospital or medical setup. But why would they throw him on death row for weeks and then drag him back from the brim of death? Maybe it was some sort of prolonged torture. That seemed like a very Hyperion thing to do. Let a poor soul slip to the door of death, then bring them back only to ensure a longer, crueler form of torturous means.

Axton perks up at the sound of footsteps approaching. If only he could fucking lift his head. He grunts angrily. Suddenly a shadow looms over him, two others following. They are wearing heavy robotic looking masks of some sort, and long white coats. One of them leans over Axton’s body. The mask he wears is splattered with blood, as is the white coat. Not a promising sign. Axton frowns, his brows knitting together in a displeased fashion.

The man reaches down with a gloved hand and pries open one of Axton’s eyes, shining a small handheld light into it, then does the same to the other. Axton blinks profusely and winces away. The man then forces Axton’s mouth open with a small metal device, obviously careful to avoiding putting his fingers inside. I guess someone told him I bit the fuck out of his buddy...Axton thinks to himself.

The man nods and makes a small “hrrumph” noise.

“He’s stable and showing signs of improving. Another day and he’ll be good to go.” He says to the other two.

“Should we put him under again?” One of the shadowing men asks.

“Yeah knock him out. He’s still got some healing to do.” The man still hovering over Axton murmurs.

Before he knows it, there’s another stab of a needle. This time much more gentle, and his body slips into sleep without much of a fight. Possibly this time his body actually recognizes that it is just sleep, and it isn’t death. Maybe he was so far gone the time before that he feared if he slipped away he would die. And that would be it.

It’s a shifty sleep. Not a heavy one, but rest all the same. He dreams mostly. A lot of dreams about his team. Wondering how they were getting along without him. He was usually the leader of things...without him how were they fairing? How would they know when to go into battle. How would they strategize? He figured Maya would take over that much. She was always quick on her toes, and smart as a whip. She would make a grand leader indeed. He dreamt of the outside world. Drinking from the highlands streams. He dreamt of the landscape. He did not dream of battles. He did not dream of bloodshed. As if his mind was done with that for the time being. Done with blood, and pain, and suffering. He just wanted to be at peace. Though Pandora was a hellish land it had its peace to go along with it. The view at sundown. The moons and stars at night. The hills, the mountain rivers. The ocean. He dreamt of those parts. Not all the hellfire that went with it.

 

When he wakes he doesn’t exactly feel very rested. He just feels...sad. And scared. He doesn’t want to admit it but he is terrified. Shaking off the sleep he blinks a couple of times...and realizes he’s no longer lying on the cold metal table. He’s sitting. Axton looks down quickly only to see his hands are bound in some kind of heavy Hyperion cuffs, and there is a large shackle around his ankle.

And his neck...why does his neck feel so heavy? He tries to turn his head, but it’s hard, there’s something constricting his throat. A collar of some type.

A fucking collar. Like a damned animal.

Axton lurches upward, attempting to stand. He pushes his back against the wall behind him and shakily manages to get his feet beneath him. For the first time in weeks he bears his own weight, feels his legs hold him. He feels strong, and alert. His legs are a little wobbly and he’s sure he looks somewhat like a newborn antelope struggling for its first steps, but he’s standing all the same. Without the use of his arms it’s a little hard to balance on his own, but with the wall to offer support he manages.

It’s a small victory, but he’ll take what he can get at this point.

Then the sudden feeling that he is not alone overcomes him. Axton whips his head around only to see, he is not the only occupant in the large room. There’s about ten other men, all eyeing him warily. All are chained and collared as he is. All looking equally frightened and confused.

Each one is spaced about ten feet apart, chained to a small round pedestal against the wall. Axton looks to the man next to him. He’s a little older, with dirty blonde hair. His eyes are glazed over and he just sits in a hunched position staring off into space. He’s in his own little world. Axton wonders if they dragged him up from down in the dungeons also. He looks to be in pretty bad mental state.

Axton looks down at himself. He’s the essence of perfection. Not a scratch on him. His ribs are still a tad sore, but the bruising is all underneath the skin. There’s no outwardly visible injuries. He takes in a deep breath, holding it in his lungs, stretching them to full capacity. The sting does not shoot through him as he does so. He sighs heavily. It feels so good to breathe again without staggering pain. For a moment he simply sets aside everything else and relishes in how good it feels to simply, breathe. To be healthy again. To feel whole again, and not like an empty shell that used to be a man. His muscles feel heavy and new, his body feels fresh, like he was just born back into life. He’d give anything to run his fingers through his hair, touch his face, be able to feel things again. But alas his hands are still rendered useless. He sighs heavily and scuffs his bare feet against the flooring. It’s white, and clean. Just like everything else in this damned place.

It’s only now that he really soaks in the realization that he’s practically naked except for a pair of, what do you know, white boxers. Axton frowns deeply and looks around again. All the other men are clad in white boxers as well.

What the heck kind of thing are they running here?...he thinks to himself coldly

Axton snaps his head to the right at the sound of doors opening. Down in his gut something riles up and makes him sick. Fear, raw and undeniable. Some of the men cower against the walls, or sit as if trying to sink into the floor.

Axton doesn’t.

He might be afraid but his bull-headedness keeps him from shying away from whatever might be coming through that door. He’s been through enough horrors already, whats one more. Just one more fucking hurdle. Footsteps echo through the room, slow, steady... and then finally...there is laughter. Deep, hollow, spine chilling laughter. Axton shudders at the sound.

That was the first glimpse he ever had of him.

The first time his eyes ever swept over him.

Soaked him in.

But from that very moment, he knew this was no ordinary man.

There was a monster there, standing disguised in man’s clothing.

He stood nonchalantly, arms folded across his thin chest. Dark brown hair whisked up and to the side, like a wave of chocolate locks. One peppered gray streak hidden amongst the rest. Maybe from stress, maybe from age, it was hard to tell. The second he enters the room a heavy feeling of fear and anticipation hits like a punch to the gut. The way he stands, the way he meanders slowly toward the first man, swaying like a ship at sea. Axton remembered the first time he saw a rattlesnake curled up in his path. This man didn’t look like any rattlesnake, but Axton knew he was. Inside he was all scales and venom. He knew from the instant he saw him, the very second his eyes took all of him in, he knew who he was.

Handsome Jack.

“Well, well! Look at this hearty bunch of fine male specimens huh! I mean whew look at the size of you, like a damned tank!” Jack chuckled his voice dripping with charismatic enthuse.

His hand snapped outward, like a serpentine strike, and grabbed the man by the jaw. He crushed his fingers against his lips, slowly tipping his chin to the left. The man was nearly white with fear. Axton could only think of how hilariously perfect it would be if the poor bastard just lost his stomach down the front of Jack’s shirt. Jack’s face twisted up in an expression of disgust and disappointment.

His perfect nose crinkling up in over exaggeration.

“Oh the kids shaking like a fucking Chihuahua. He won’t do.” Jack said dismissing the shivering man.

The two Hyperion goons clinging to Jack’s heels nodded and one took the liberty to push an electrified prod into the man’s soft abdomen. He screamed pitifully and crumbled to the floor like a paper cup. Jack sneered over his shoulder, soaking up the man’s screams. He slowly strode down the hallway. Stopping only for a moment or two to pick apart the man before him, giving up a reason why he would not suffice for unknown reasons, then heading onto the next one.

Jack’s expression was growing more and more un-amused. What was at first fun was clearly quickly becoming a disappointment to him.

“No, No, No, No, No...a big HELL NO, anddddd no. What the fuck I told you to bring me the best and this, this is what you come up with you friggin morons!?” Jack said angrily motioning to the men in the room and then to the Hyperion workers.

They both stood there, mouths opening and closing like dying fish, trying to come up with some type of words.

“Oh for fucks sake you two are complete idiots.” He scoffed.

Jack breathed in and recollected his composure. He swept a long fingered hand through his hair, snapping it back into order before continuing down the row. He stopped in front of the dirty blonde man next to Axton, frowned then motioned an accusative finger in the man’s direction.

“You see?? You see?? Like what the fuck am I supposed to do with that one!! I don’t even think there’s any lights on upstairs!!” Jack barked turning toward the two men, who were lagging farther and farther behind him crouching like dogs that had been kicked one too many times.

Jack stalled there for a second standing a few feet from the man. But as if he just couldn’t resist he then took a step toward him.

“Well? Are there any lights on up there huh pumpkin?” He cooed leaning forward and knocking on the man’s forehead.

Like a bomb set off, the man then exploded. He lurched forward jaws gaping like an enraged lion. Axton had never heard a man make such a noise. Like a gurgling yell and a beastly roar morphed into one. Jack casually stepped backward just out of reach from the flailing man. The man pulled at his ankle chain, extending it as far as it would have it, flinging his bound hands, barking, screeching, spitting. Jack’s emotionless face then curled into a disgusting look of amusement.

“That’s it cupcake, you let it all out. You just let it all out.” He teased in a baby like voice.

Jack casually pulled a Hyperion handgun off his belt, quickly butted it up against the man’s forehead and without even a moment’s hesitation...pulled the trigger. The man’s neck bucked backward, snapping like a rubber band. The back of his skull blew open and littered the back wall in blood and brains. He then fell in a scrambled heap to the white flooring. The unnatural limp pose of post death. His eyes were big as plates and empty as air. Axton felt a cold chill travel up his spine like a massive, slow, spider. Creeping up his being with big, ugly legs. Jack gently blows on the guns barrel, dissipating the small whisper of smoke that was there, then returns the gun to his hip.

“There. Now all the lights are out.” Jack chuckles to himself overly amused at his coy little commentary.

And then, he comes to Axton.

The moment seems to suck the breath right out of the air. Jack captures Axton’s gaze and Axton holds it. He will not look away, will not shy away frightened like the others. Instead he just stares back, eyes intense and unwavering. Jack’s mismatched green and blue marble eyes bore into Axton. There’s an electricity there, formed between the two males. Strong and fierce and unexpected. And finally after the long, wordless standoff a sleek grin breaks across Jack’s lips.

“Oh ho ho ho...well what do we have here...is that you...vault hunter?” Jack says leaning forward, hissing the last two words.

Axton bites his lip and stays silent. It takes every last nerve existing within his body to keep him from head butting the Hyperion CEO. Jack claps his hands together and cackles loudly. It’s overly annoying that even his laugh is not all displeasing to the ears.

Axton frowns.

Jack is nearly in hysterics now and it’s causing Axton to see red. Jack waves his hand trying to catch his breath to form words.

“Oh my god this, this certainly is rich! The Commando! All bound and tied and well...how do I put this? Oh yeah...pathetic.” Jack sneers.

His eyes sweep over Axton from top to bottom. His eyes move painfully slow over the commando’s body, observing every last little inch. And there is a flash of something. A hint of something sinister in Jack’s face. Maybe it’s the sly little grin hanging off his lips or the darkness forming in his eyes, but it’s making Axton feel more and more like meat and less like a man. Jack then turns on his heel his arms wide in a jovial motion toward the two workers.

“You guyyys this, this is just the best surprise ever!! When did you manage to get a hold of him?? It’s just so thoughtful of you to surprise me with this little gift! Gah it just brings a tear to my eye!” He exclaims laughing.

The two Hyperion workers look at each other confused. Finally one manages to speak.

“Uh, y-yeah sure boss.” One says finally.

They shrug to each other and just stand there dumbly. Jack then turns back to Axton, pressing his fingertips together deviously.

“I have to say, this could not have turned out any better...commando. You and I-” Jack pauses dramatically, raising his perfect eyebrows. “Are going to have lots of fun kiddo.”

Chapter Text

Breaking a Wild Thing

 

Axton was not sure what in hells name possessed him to take action then. The man next to him had just gotten his brains painted all over the back wall, Axton should have been feeling pretty lucky to be alive right about then. But his rebellious nature just took hold of him. He should have taken a moment to really process the chain of events that happened next before he went through with them, but alas he did not. Axton was more of a doer, and much less a thinker. He was impulsive. But of all times to be so.

He just could not hold himself back. Maybe it was that stupid grin clinging to Jack’s face that set him off. Maybe it was that hollow, cocky, disgusting chuckle. The way Jack was laughing at him. Mocking him. Taunting his pain, taunting his agony. After everything this man had already put Axton through, this was just the cherry on top. The threat of more horrors to come...no...not the threat...the promise or more horrors to be inflicted. Maybe it was a little of all that combined.

Axton hocked back and spit.

Everything seemed to stop for a moment. Not a breath was taken, not a sound dropped. Jack’s disgustingly pleased expression very quickly melted. He slowly wiped the spit off his cheek with the back of his hand. His mouth down turned in an un-amused, pointed frown. He made a little “hmmph” sound and wiped his hand on his pants daintily. All movements were very slow, painfully slow.

Jack’s eyes snapped up to meet Axton’s.

“So...” Jack paused slowly “That’s how it’s going to be, huh kitten?” He finished, heavy frown of displeasure staining his otherwise perfect face.

Axton was stuck between instantly regretting his course of action, and being quite proud of his ballsy move. Jack rocked back on his heels and turned away from Axton slowly offering a dark look over his shoulder.

“Well...seems you are just set on doing this the hard way kiddo.” Jack chuckled.

“Like...say...a wild horse. You can’t do shit with a wild animal like that. You can’t ride it. Can’t train it. It won’t obey you...until....you break it.” Jack hissed casually.

That smile was creeping back to his lips.

“Looks like I am going to have to break you, huh mustang?” Jack whispered deviously.

Axton just stood his ground. A stare off between two beasts from two different worlds. A full smile broke Jack’s emotionless stare. His ridiculously white, perfect teeth on full display for Axton’s viewing. Jack snapped his fingers and then turned away from Axton, now addressing his Hyperion goons.

“This one will do. Take him down to the lab. Suit him up, get him ready. I’ll be coming down personally to oversee the procedure.” Jack said sneering.

And with that he brushed past the two Hyperion workers and was gone. The room felt eerily empty of heaviness with the dissipation of his presence. Axton breathed out long and heavy. His eyes still focused on the door. What were the consequences of his stupid, bullheaded actions? He cursed himself. The Hyperion workers hurried over and grabbed Axton by the shoulders. They clipped a heavy wire lead to his neck collar and tugged.

Axton braced himself as they pulled him forward.

“C’mon fucker, let’s go.” The gruffer, heavier man mused.

The scrawnier one chuckled lightly.

“You gotta give the cuss some credit. Takes some balls to spit on Handsome Jack.” He said laughing.

The two of them chuckled as they dragged a very displeased Axton behind them.

They exited the doors, then shut and locked them with several automatic heavy mechanisms. The gruff man then pulled a large lever downward and typed a code into the small keypad below it. A light above the door began to flash and a loud earsplitting siren began to wail. Axton winced at the intensity of the sound, his ears still ever so sensitive to noise. Axton could hear hissing behind the doors...and then...screaming.

It was a gas chamber.

Axton felt his stomach drop. Their screams echoed off the space and seeped through the walls. Desperate and crazed with absolute terror. He could only picture them, still tethered to their posts unable to get away. They never even had a fighting chance. Like shooting fish in a barrel...it was not fair. Forcing them to choke down the poisonous gas as it filled the room. Their screams slowly became gargles, thick and wet...most likely choking on their own vomit or blood.

Axton turned away.

All he could think was god he hoped they would take him away from here before they opened those doors back up. He did not want to see the carnage inside. He couldn’t handle it. The man pushed the lever back into the off position and grunted lowly. He gave a tug to Axton’s lead and he slowly followed. Sick to his stomach he just followed. Accepting that there was no escaping what was to follow he simply allowed them to lead him without a fight. He felt like his head was in a daze. Mind wandering back to the gas chamber. How would it have felt to be gassed to death. Were some still alive? Left there to die slowly on the floor. To be sick on themselves. To drown in their own bodily fluids. Axton felt hollow.

The overwhelming feeling of dread overtook him. His feet felt like concrete as he shuffled along behind them. Being led into the unknown he went blindly, and willingly. Maybe it would have been better to be gassed. Possibly those back there in the chamber were the lucky ones. Released by death they no longer suffered. Maybe death was the only way out of this god forsaken place. If only Jack’s followers, his subjects, knew what went on behind these closed doors. This god of theirs was no god. He was Satan himself, sitting on a throne of bodies. Stepping over the dead to get to his riches, to get to his plunders. He was a madman.

The hallways were mazes of white, overly lit by bright bulbs, casting shadows along the walls as they walked. Leading Axton like beast to the firing squad. His bare feet were unaccustomed to the coldness of the tile. It was a shock to his skin with every step. Their footsteps echoed in his ears. Other workers passed them by, going about their work day. They looked at Axton as if he were some kind of disease. A wild beast taken from the hostile outside world. They avoided eye contact with him, as if fearing he may lunge at them, teeth barred ready to maul. To them he was a beast. Unpredictable, untamed like the wildlife of Pandora. The walk felt like an eternity. The longest mile he would ever walk, possibly his last. Were they leading him to his death? Jack had said... “procedure”...Axton could only imagine what he had meant by those haunting words. They were going to use him as a test subject. Experiment on him until he was merely a twisted form of the man he once was. Axton felt the dread wash over him, and he just let it come. He had been so strong for so long, he just didn’t have it in him to fight anymore. He didn’t have the strength left. He had his physical strength back, he was a whole man again...on the outside. Inside he still felt like he was lying on that cell floor withering away. He felt like a ghost. Going through the motions.

That’s all it was.

Right foot, now left.

They came to large double doors. A large silver sign hung on the door. It read “Eridium Testing Ward: CAUTION”.

Axton felt numb. He wanted to die. Just fucking kill him now. He didn’t want to become a sickly test subject. Ridden with the scars of experiments and test trials. He would not fucking have it. The dying spark of fight flared up in him. He would not become something used to give Jack more power. Whatever they were testing for, he wanted none of it. He would not participate. All these thoughts came crashing down upon him. He was a vault hunter. He was strong. He was alive. And so long as his heart was still beating like a drum in his chest...he would fight.

Axton stopped dead, bracing his heels against the floor.

The Hyperion worker gave a halfhearted tug. He’d had no trouble with Axton the whole way here, he figured nothing of it.

This was it, Axton thought, all or nothing.

Axton burst to life, pushing off his toes in a great burst of energy.

He let loose a bellowing roar and leapt up onto the shoulders of the gruff man, looping the man’s head through his cuffed arms, using the cuffs to choke him. The man gasped and flailed his hands, dropping Axton’s wire lead. Axton pulled on the man’s neck as hard as he possibly could, his biceps straining and bulging with all of the movement. His muscles were not used to this. After melting to nearly nothing on that cement floor for weeks, this burst of energy left his body wondering what to do. But he pushed it. He forced it to obey. With the last fragments of energy that he had to spare he would use it well.

He gruff man coughed and gagged, his face turning purple.

The scrawny man tried to cut in and help. He lunged for Axton with a taser ready. Axton ducked down and swung his foot, catching the man in the stomach. He rolled to the floor gasping for air that did not exist.

The big brute of a man was slowly slipping away, and Axton refused to let loose of his grip. This man pulled that gas chamber lever like it was nothing. Killed all those men without a second thought. He deserved to die. Axton pulled the cuffs tighter. They cut into the man’s neck, slowly slicing him open. The warmth of newly spilt blood began to run over Axton’s palms. He gritted his teeth.

Here, now, choking this man to death, sawing his neck open slowly Axton was the beast all the Hyperion workers believed him to be. He was wild, and he was unashamed. If they wanted to think he was a crazed bandit, he would give them a real reason to believe that.

“You deserve this you fat fuck!!!!” Axton growled to him, the cuffs gnawing deeper spilling more blood.

The man’s eyes were nearly popping out of his head. In the wild of the moment Axton had nearly forgotten the scrawny man on the floor. He had managed to crawl across the hallway and press the alarm. Sirens screamed through the hallways and Axton knew it was all about to be over. The man stumbled forward and crumpled to his knees. Axton let loose of him and stood over his great form now laying gurgling in a pool of his own blood.

This was the way he was meant to be. To go out with a damned brawl. Axton could hear the mechanical sound of loaders approaching. Their hydraulic workings hissing as they came for him. He turned on his heel and ran, springing over the dead man and running for it. In any direction but that testing lab. He would get as far from that as possible. His leg muscles pumped, willing his body to move faster. Pushing him beyond what he was really capable of in his weakened state.

But he had to push, he had to.

This may be his last chance to prove he was no thing to simply bat an eye at. Even if he did not escape, he did not care, this was his last stand. And even if they killed him for this, they would most likely have killed him regardless. This was all that was left to do. His feet slapped against the flooring and he skidded around the corner, only to be cut off by a loader unfolding itself as it generated from vats on the floor.

“Halt, prisoner!” It announced in its electronic voice.

Axton turned to run back the other direction but only came to face more loaders and workers coming his way. Axton had no choice but to take on the loader.

He forced himself forward and the loader let loose of a round of bullets, their spray penetrating the walls and floor around him. Axton rolled away and was back on his feet in seconds. He slid underneath the loaders legs and reach up to the workings in its left ankle. He ripped the wiring out with his awkward bound hands and the loader crumbled to the floor discarding bullets wildly, hitting another approaching loader and taking it down in the chaos.

But in seconds another loader came forward to make up for its downed comrade. It unloaded its round and Axton ducked behind the struggling loader on the floor. Axton stood to run, but as soon as he was on his feet, a stray bullet caught him in the shoulder. He bellowed in pain and fell to the floor, the searing burning consumed his already over worked body. He cursed loudly and tried to get to his feet, but workers were already there to swarm him. He reared back and kicked the first one in the groin sending him sliding to the floor. Axton was bleeding heavily and all the movement was only making it worse. Blood ran down his bare chest, staining the hem of his white boxers.

It was so red...and so alive. Alive right before the end, alive with such force.

Another worker came in and tried to grab Axton by the neck. Axton whipped around and sunk his teeth into his wrist, biting as hard as he possibly could. The blood tasted like metal. The worker tugged away screaming, ripping the flesh. Blood lulled down Axton’s lip and he spit it onto the floor rabid with the fight. But there were more workers than there was Axton. They eventually pinned him to the floor, they cuffed his ankles together and forced a metal bar between his teeth, tightening it behind his skull taking away his last minute defense of biting. He fought the whole way down. Struggling and screaming, trying to get loose. But there was no getting loose now. He was restrained in every way possible. It was over.

But Axton could not have cared less. He had fought. He let them know...he would be a wild thing until the very end. Pandora had made him that way, and that way he would stay. The workers grabbed Axton by the ankles and dragged him past the fallen loaders still buzzing and sparking, parts still twitching.

Axton yelled through the bar in his mouth. Cursing the workers. Cursing Hyperion. Waging war on Jack. Damning him to hell. He just let it all go. They burst through the double doors and dragged Axton into large laboratory. Rooms were sectioned off with glass like aquarium tanks. Axton could see into them, there were people strapped down to tables, hooked up to large machines, and it stunk of chemicals. Workers in lab coats looked up as they passed, dragging the kicking screaming man through the hall. They dragged Axton to an empty room, there were blood stains still clinging to the floor. Dull brown spots where they had tried to clean it but failed. The workers grabbed Axton by his shoulders and his feet and flung him up onto the operation table. His back hit hard and he cried out in pain, the bit in his mouth causing drool to slide down his chin. He was positive he looked as crazed as the man Jack had shot in the gas chamber. And he didn’t much care.

Let them think what they would of him. He’d give them hell if it were the last thing he ever did. Shame on them for thinking this might be easy. The five workers held down his arms as the undid his cuffs and strapped him onto the table. Axton flailed and pushed against them but five against one was not good odds and he was on the losing team.

They secured his wrists, ankles and his neck and then stepped away from the wild male. They left the bit in his mouth for precaution.

About that time a tall gray haired scientist entered the room briskly.

“What in hells name happened to this one?” He snarled to the workers.

“He got loose. A loader shot him to take him down.” One worker mused.

The scientist rolled his eyes.

“You do realize this is the one Jack chose to oversee the procedure on right?? He is going to be spitting mad when he finds out you idiots fucked him up.” The scientist growled shaking his head.

He whisked past the workers to the shelves next to Axton. He grabbed a pair of pliers from a drawer and walked back over to Axton’s struggling form. He pushed Axton’s shoulder down and shoved the pliers into the wound.

Axton lurched forward, screaming in agony.

The man twisted the pliers until he got a hold of the bullet and ripped it from his shoulder. He dropped the bullet in a metal tray next to the table with a small clink and returned to rummaged through the drawers. He returned with a syringe and a wad of gauze. He jabbed the needle into the fresh wound and injected the vile. Axton felt tears spring to the corners of his eyes. The pain was ridiculous. His body seared as if it were on fire. He almost wished he would just pass out but the adrenaline coursing through him would allow no such thing. The scientist stuffed the wad of gauze into the wound and brushed his hands together.

“Now get out of here you imbeciles.” He barked at the men.

They left the room slowly. It was obvious this scientist ranked higher than they did. Axton just laid there, paralyzed with pain the cold table biting into his skin, his heart thundering in his chest. Laid there a wild beast...now tethered.

 

Hours seemed to pass. And the pain had seemed to dull significantly. Occasionally the scientist would return to poke and prod Axton but other than that he was alone. Alone with his thoughts and alone with his fear. He listened to his breathing, listened to the sounds of power tools starting up down the hallway. Listened to voices commanding certain tools. Listened to the occasional yell of agony. Listened to the workings of the lab. Listened to the heavy sound of souls coming and going.

And suddenly, he felt a presence.

As if a ghost had entered the room the temperature seemed to drop and the air became thick and hard to breathe. The presence of something evil was there. His tall figure filled the doorway, like a shadow casting across the room. An unwelcome entity. He stood there for a moment in the doorframe, arms crossed across his lean chest before finally entering. Axton felt like ice. So cold he was numb. His breaths came in short unfulfilling gasps, fear choking the oxygen right out of him.

“So. It looks like we need to have a little...heart to heart chat Vault Hunter.” The figure breathed.

His voice sent chills spiraling down Axton’s spine. Handsome Jack stood at the mouth of the room, his eyes sweeping over Axton and his tethered state. He was not pleased. His voice gave away his utter displeasure.

“You see, here, in civilized places like such...we have rules to follow. I know that is hard to grasp for an uncivilized bandit like yourself...” Jack whispered unamused.

He approached the table slowly. With catlike grace that would color any normal human envious. His movements were so slow, so precise…so dangerous. His thin fingers loosened the bit in Axton's mouth and it slid down onto the metal table. Axton gnashed his teeth together and swallowed hard, the dryness in his mouth finally subsiding. “That little stunt you pulled...I am not pleased Vault Hunter...not pleased at all.” He finished.

Axton couldn’t hold his tongue anymore. He was tired of being spat at using phrases such as “bandit” and “vault hunter”.

“Axton...” Axton whispered.

These were the first words Axton had spoken to the snakelike man accompanying him in the room. Jack furrowed his eyebrows together.

“What?” He hissed.

“Axton...my name...is Axton. Not Vault Hunter.” Axton breathed his voice shaky with newness.

Jack blinked slowly and stood there silent. Then he broke out in small chuckles.

“Axton... Strong name for a strong man.” Jack said slowly.

Axton’s name on Jack’s tongue made Axton shiver. It was like silk. It was gorgeously poisonous. It was just the way he said it. The way it rolled off that devils tongue. Like a teasing breath on the back of one’s neck. A whisper in one’s ear. With that the gray haired scientist entered the room as well breaking apart the moment that hung in the air. Axton was left baffled by it. Disturbed by it. The scientist walked over to the table and then looked up at Jack.

“Shall we begin sir?” The scientist asked peering up over his half-moon glasses.

Jack simply nodded.

Axton could not help but to stare at Jack. His eyes darting over that cold face, that lean form. The mask...

He had noticed it before...but had not really given it his thought. Jack’s perfect face, was indeed a mask. One shade lighter than the skin underneath and the flesh of his arms it was pale and smooth made of unknown material. Three small metal hinges attached it to his face. Axton could only imagine how painful it had been to screw in those nasty things. But why a mask...

Before Axton’s mind could wander further he felt the scientist snapping off the temporary collar from his neck. He arched his throat ever so slightly trying to see what the man was doing next. The scientist lifted something off the table. It was a heavier, metal looking collar with glass compartments on each side. The man forced Axton’s head up and he snapped the collar around his neck. As it snapped down, four small needles pierced into his flesh. Axton bucked up, his teeth clamping down on the metal bit. He screamed a muffled bellow of agony, his hands and feet shuffling with the pain. But the collar was like a vice, the needles inserting four tubes beneath the flesh then retracting from him. His eyes watered pitifully. Had his body not been put through enough agony?

Through his teary eyes he could see Jack’s snide face sneering at him, his lips retracted in an amused half smile.

Fuck the bastard, Axton thought. Fucking psychopathic maniac. He wanted to kill him. In any way possible. He wanted to blow his face off. Rip his throat out with his teeth. He wanted to watch him die. More than anything else in the world. He wanted to watch him suffer, the way Jack watched him now. The scientist then raised a vile and injected it into the collar, the purple liquid filling the glass spaces, sloshing and swaying as he did so. The scientist tightened the collar and twisted a nob on the back locking a mechanism into place.

“It’s ready to go sir.” The scientist said rolling away from the table in his office chair.

“Thank you Dr. Riley.” Jack said approaching the table slowly.

The scientist nodded and left the room, closing the door behind him. Axton watched him go with horror.

Oh god don’t leave me alone in here with him...Axton thought frantically.

“Now...Axton...let me explain a little bit about your newest accessory kitten.” Jack chimed cheerfully.

Jack dragged his fingers up Axton’s arm, traced them up his shoulder and then came to the heavy collar. He tapped his fingertips on its surface.

“Pretty isn’t it? But it gets better. You see it’s not about how it looks really, but about what it...does.” Jack whispered into Axton’s ear.

The man’s breath was hot on his skin, laced with deadly intentions. Axton felt himself tense at the closeness of him. Jack circled the table casually, like a vulture over a dead carcass, observing, smiling, his eyes silently laughing. With one swift movement Jack popped the clip on the belt restraining Axton’s left hand. Then his right, his ankles, and finally he slipped the metal gag out of his mouth and let it drop on the side table.

Axton laid there for a second, afraid to move. He was free...but...why? Axton sat up slowly, his eyes never leaving the Hyperion CEO standing just to his left. The smile on Jack’s lips was unsettling.

“Stand up pumpkin.” Jack commanded to the almond haired male.

Axton just sat there, eyebrows furrowed, eyes narrowed. Why did Jack think he would listen?

Jack sighed.

“One last chance, I said stand up.” Jack taunted smile widening.

Axton frowned. What kind of game was this? Whatever it was, he wasn’t playing it.

“Fuck you.” Axton coughed finally able to form the words.

Jack closed his eyes and shook his head still smiling.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk, now is that any way to speak to your new master...I said, stand.” Jack said snapping the last word of his sentence off with vengeance.

He lifted his wrist and pressed a small button on what looked like some sort of watch.

Immediately pain shot through Axton, stemming from the collar it ran through him like electricity. Axton seized up and tumbled backward off the table hitting the floor hard. He cried out clawing at the collar madly. His ears rung, his brain felt like it might explode every nerve was wild with pain. He squeezed his eyes shut, yelling, begging for it to stop. He was mad with the agony, it was unlike anything he had ever felt. Like boiling water had been poured down his throat and straight into his lungs. And then as suddenly as it started... it stopped.

Axton was left in a crumpled heap on the dirty floor, sputtering and shaking. A pair of brown shoes invaded Axton’s vision from his curled position on the floor. Jack slowly crouched down to be face to face with Axton, those pearl white teeth flashing like fangs.

“You see, you belong to me now sweet cheeks.” Jack whispered reaching out and tenderly brushing Axton’s messy hair backward, feeling the softness of his locks against his palm.

“If you disobey, you will be punished. Every time you displease me...I just push this handy little button...and that collar of yours injects a dosage of concentrated Eridium. Not enough to kill you no...just enough to drive you mad with bone splitting pain.” Jack chuckled hollowly as he pressed the pad of his thumb against Axton’s lower lip.

Axton closed his eyes for just a moment, humiliated and disgusted, feeling smaller than ever beneath Jack’s gaze. He wanted this to be a bad dream. He wanted to open his eyes and wake up. He wanted to be anywhere but here. He wanted to melt into the dirty tile flooring. Away from this hellish place, away from Jack, away from the suffering. Jack ran his thumb over Axton’s chapped lip and then down his stubble ridden chin. Jack’s eyes were filled with intrigue and curiosity. There was a moment of silence as he observed the man laying before him on the floor.

“Now...are you going to obey me cupcake?” Jack whispered to him.

Axton felt bile in his mouth. A few seconds passed and Jack raised his eyebrow as if waiting for a response. He slowly reaches for that horrid button on his wristband. Axton could not take another punishment like that. His body could not handle it. There was no more of this “being strong”. At a point one must accept that there is nothing he can do. That this is out of his hands...That he must give in...he must be broken...

“Y-yes...” Axton croaked weakly.

Jack’s hand paused and he looked down at Axton with half lidded eyes, that smile tugging at his lips again.

“Yes what?” Jack pushed tauntingly.

“Yes Master.” Axton whispered.

He wanted to throw up. The words left an awful, horrid taste in his mouth. They tasted rotten as they came up. Like dead flesh left out in the sun. He was back to the conclusion he had made in the dungeons. Survive. Whatever it takes. Survive. But was this worth it...? Allow himself to kneel before this monster and take it...?

Survive. You have to survive. The small voice in his head reminded him over and over again.

“I told you I would break you...pet.” Jack whispered to Axton, taking Axton’s chin in his hand.

His words dripped over Axton, sweet and sharp and...terrifying.

Jack’s fingers ran over Axton’s jaw, long and perfect, nails all cut the same length, not a jagged one to be accounted for. Axton’s eyes darted down to his own nails, they were torn and cracked, dirt caked underneath them. He avoided eye contact with Jack this time. He did not want to look into those eyes and see what was lurking there. He did not want to see what they had in store for him.

“You know Axton you and your little Vault Hunter buddies sure have given me a hell of a lot of trouble.” Jack hissed venomously.

“Who would have thought four bandit scum could really get under my skin this much? I mean hell I just couldn’t get rid of you sons of bitches!” Jack laughed shrugging leaning back on his heels as he crouched before Axton.

Jack stood up slowly.

“Get yourself up off the floor. On your knees soldier.” Jack commanded.

He was having too much fun with the power now given to him over Axton’s poor form. Axton obeyed, as quickly as his body would allow. The bullet wound and the shock of Eridium to his body had him in a muddy mess. He struggled onto unsteady knees, muscles in his legs quivering slightly as if threatening to go out at any moment. He did not look up at Jack as he kneeled there before the taller man. His neatly ironed black pants were ridiculously clean for such a place as Pandora. It was stupid really. The way he was dressed.

Axton hung his head, just praying he obeyed well enough. Jack chuckled at the pitiful man before him.

“But...I am glad they got a hold of you more than any of the other ones. The others...would have been useful of course. Well I mean I really could have used that damned Siren...but the Gunzerker? Ehhh I don’t think I wanna deal with all that cannibal crap, and the assassin...I mean what is that guys deal!? Running around in a helmet and stuff I mean what is he even!?” Jack paused to laugh at his so called witty insults of the other vault hunters.

He wiped his eye and then addressed Axton again.

“But, you...you are a totally different story. The commando, brave, loyal, battle-ready at all times. The leader of the little clan of misfit vault hunters.” Jack sneered.

He reached down and grabbed Axton’s jaw again.

“And...I must say you are the pretty one of the group, aren’t you kitten?” Jack whispered voice dipping in a dangerous place.

He was a demon. Devious, playful, blood lust twinkling behind those green and blue eyes.

Axton’s eyes quivered as they were forced to settle on Jack’s face. Taking in every sharp angle of the mask, wandering over his thin lips, and finally settling on those wolves eyes. Like a creature come out of the night, the eyes of a predator...and he was hunting. Jack’s fingers raked through Axton’s hair again, almost gently. His touch was light and steady, and almost...pleasant. It was the most gentle thing Axton had experienced in so long...so very long....

Axton sighed breathed out slowly. The touch was soft, but the hand was dangerous.

Jack’s gentle hand slides down Axton’s neck, touching the pulse there. He pauses at the collar, fingers playing over it fondly. Then down his shoulder, coming to the bullet wound. Jack spreads his fingers over his muscled shoulder and without warning jabs his thumb straight into the wound. Axton yelled out with the unexpected sharp bite of pain. His voice is dry and raspy as it comes out. Axton breathes heavily, Jack’s thumb still firmly planted within his tender flesh.

Blood seeps through the gauze and slowly weeps down Axton’s chest. He grits his teeth harshly, trying to bite back more cries of anguish. He doesn’t want to give Jack the satisfaction of hearing him express the pain more.

The fucker knows it hurts. He doesn’t have to hear it. Jack twists the thumb sickeningly slowly. Axton teeters, slumping forward. He wants to reach up and break Jack’s wrist. Snap it like a wooden rod. But that button...that button keeps him from doing so.

“That feel good princess?” Jack taunts.

“Feels fantastic honey.” Axton spits back through clenched teeth.

At least his sarcasm was returning. Jack cocks a half smile.

“Feisty little fuck aren’t you?” Jack growls.

Axton looks up at him with dark eyes.

“You didn’t just think I would let you off without so much as a slap on the wrist for fucking up my loader, and my men did you? I mean really vault hunter, you should know better.” Jack laughed pushing his thumb in hard, blood weeping over the digit.

Slowly he retracted the finger and smiled. Jack circled around Axton, fishing a pair of heavy handcuffs from the side table. He clinked them around Axton’s wrists securing them behind his back.

“There now...I think I like you bound...suits you better. You just make such a pretty little prisoner.” Jack coos slowly striding back around to face Axton in his kneeling position.

Axton grimaces in response.

“Better keep me that way. I might choke you to death like I did your Hyperion fuck.” Axton spits before really thinking about it.

Jack chuckles and slides his thumb along Axton’s lip again, this time smearing it with Axton’s own blood.

“You’ve got a smart mouth. Getting tired of you talking kiddo.” Jack hisses.

Jack grabs a handful of Axton’s hair and snaps his head backward, forcing Axton to look up at him.

“Let’s fix that.” Jack says smirking.

There’s the jingle of Jack’s belt being undone. Axton feels his heart stop. His eyes flick down. Jack closed the gap between them, hands working to slide his belt apart.

God no.

Anything but that.

Not that.

Axton swallows hard.

“No.” Axton whispers mostly to himself.

Jack cocks an eyebrow and pauses.

“No?” Jack laughs his voice ice cold.

“No? Oh commando...I don’t think you have much of a choice. You see...I’m in charge now. I own you. And good pets...do what their masters say.”

There’s a pause of silence.

Then the sound of Jack’s zipper being ripped downward. It breaks the silent nature of the room like a whip. Axton’s eyes rest on the view in front of him. He can see Jack’s apparent want. His need. A tight line pressed against the expensive fabric of his pants. A certain eagerness that does not go unnoticed. He wouldn’t have expected anything less of the face of Hyperion. To get hot and bothered by matters such as torture. It was sickly fitting.

Jack hefts the front of his bunched pants down with one hand and pulls out his need with the other. Axton is immediately disappointed that he’s a formidable size. It would have been ironically hilarious for the Hyperion CEO to be packing a tiny dick. Jack stands proud in front of Axton’s face, thick and needy. He can smell Jack’s arousal, the scent invading his nostrils. Sharp and musky.

He felt empty. This is what he was to be reduced to. A slave, bound, nearly starved to death, brought back to life for...this. So this was the great plans Jack had in mind. He must be very pleased with himself...

Having his vault hunter and forcing him to give him pleasure.

“Well Axton...it isn’t going to suck itself. And keep those teeth in check kitten.” Jack snickered through his smile.

Axton wanted to break his nose. Or better...bite it off. But that button...Jacks fingers obviously hovered over the small wristband. He couldn’t do nothing forever...the obvious was there in front of him.... Axton was ashamed as he opened his mouth and leaned up on his knees, pained body forced into movement. His chapped lips stretch unwillingly. It hurts, opening the slits, they bleed a little.

Jack tastes husky on his tongue. Axton swallows back the urge to lose whatever small stomach contents he has.

Don’t vomit, he commands to himself.

He fills his mouth, fat, hot, swollen. Axton slides Jack from his lips, and then back in in again, the wetness giving a small relief to his bleeding lips. At least Jack is soft as he slides over them. Jack leans hard on the operating table, one elbow folded onto it to support him. The other hand comes to play in Axton’s hair.

There’s that touch again. The gentle one. Axton feels cold.

Jack’s fingers splay through the hair, not forcing Axton into the action, simply egging him on, making sure he knows his master wants him to keep going. Jack’s silence unnerves Axton. He no longer speaks, simply makes small noises of pleasure. Small sighs and grunts.

Axton runs his tongue along the underside of Jack as he slides him out again. Jack gasps loudly and bucks up, forcing into Axton’s mouth. Axton fights the urge to gag, he feels full and choked. The feeling is like drowning. He tries to breathe calmly through his nose, but his throat is full of Jack and it hurts a little. Pushed all the way back, Axton swallows hard, but the intrusion makes it difficult. He wants to cough. Axton pushes to slide Jack from his mouth, trying to get a good breath in without the feeling of choking.

He doesn’t want to think. Doesn’t want to feel. He just does. Does what he is asked, goes through the motions...and feels nothing. Feels hollow more than ever. He does not want to look up at the other man. He is too ashamed. A commando...reduced to his knees. Axton swallows Jack down again, bobbing his head, tasting Jack, over and over again. His neck extended forward. Trying to keep breathing.

Just keep breathing.

Axton let’s Jack pop from his mouth. His length is wet with spit it glistens in the dull lighting. His tip is angry red, swollen with arousal. Axton slides him back into his mouth with half lidded eyes. The silence from Jack helps. Every moment he doesn’t have to listen to the brown haired man’s taunting words, he savors. Jack’s hand entwines in Axton’s hair, fingers clenching slightly.

“Ah...AH!” Jack hisses his pelvis jerking upward ever so slightly.

The sudden sound causes Axton to look up, just for a second. Jack’s eyes are almost closed, heavy lids reducing them to slits. His mouth hangs slightly agape, breathing in short unsteady pants.

He looks...almost...human.

No longer vicious and venomous. That demon smile that had clung to his lips moments before had vanished. There was only a face made in pleasure. A strand of his perfect hair has come loose and now hangs sleepily in his face. His cheeks should be flushed...but there is no color there. No color shows through the mask he wears...instead his face is perfect as always. Perfect shape, perfect color. Perfect.

Jack grips the table harshly now. Axton sucks harder, gaining pleased moans from the CEO. His tongue slides along the intrusion in his mouth.

There’s a heat there. Something Axton tries hard to ignore. But the look of Jack in the throes of pleasure does something to him. It stirs something awake that he tries with all his might to shove back down. Suddenly as much as he does not want to admit it...the action is not...all bad. Axton feels his body growing hot. Doing things he does not approve of. He feels flustered. Lips encasing Jack…all of Jack. His taste invades every sense. Every nerve. His hand is pushing now, still slightly gentle, but the motion is more wanting now. More needing. More desperate.

Jack’s chest rises and falls with every quick breath. His moans are gruff as they slip from his lungs. A small amount of saliva dribbles down Axton’s chin, and he has no hands to wipe it away. Axton makes a small “mmph” noise as he takes Jack in again. The motion is fluid now, in out, in out. Bobbing ever so slightly up and down. Axton begins to move his head faster. Body and mind competing for what he feels. It is no longer all horrid. Axton is aware of the flush creeping across his pale cheeks. Pale from the lack of sunlight. His knees bite into the floor, and it hurts a little. But he’s too wrapped up in the deed now. Too gone to really think about all that is happening.

Jack is no longer Jack, and Axton is no longer Axton. Axton can feel a heat growing in his groin that should not be there. No, not like this. Not bound and forced to do this...he shouldn’t feel like this...but he does. Maybe it was the weeks without. Maybe it was something else. But he feels and he needs...and he doesn’t care.

Axton’s erection rubs against the soft material of the boxers. He would do anything to have use of his hands. The thought of begging Jack to have his hands crosses his mind. Maybe in this state Jack would comply. Axton quickly dismisses that. He doesn’t know if he even wants the Hyperion CEO to know how he has been swayed at the moment. It was not Axton’s first time with a man...no...but this was no man. This was a monster. He tried to remember that. But his engorged dick seemed not to care. The material felt too good on his overly sensitive head. It had been so long. He just wanted that small moment of pleasure. That small fragment of ecstasy. To feel like a male again. To have that release.

He involuntarily moaned against Jack’s need, the sound humming around him. Jack gasped out thrusting forward, fingers white on the table.

Jack’s voice is like syrup, it’s thick and delicious and Axton eats it up like candy. It’s so pleasant in his ears. Axton weakly thrusts upward, rubbing himself on the material more. He feels hot all over and he knows he is close. Jack moans out lowly, his eyes are shut now, his hips pushing into Axton’s mouth more forcefully. The air between them has become so heavy and hot, it’s nearly unbearable.

“OH FUCK!” Jack exclaims jolting forward.

And he comes. The taste of his finish invades Axton’s mouth, it’s salty and sharp and overwhelming. Axton swallows almost too eagerly. And he’s there too. He ejaculates into the white material of his boxers, his cum sliding down his pulsating cock. Pumping his pleasure into the small space. He’s panting and groaning with the much needed release. Swallowing Jack until there is no more. He lets Jack slide from his mouth, wilting, softening slowly.

Now there is just two spent men, panting, hot. Axton looks down and see’s the damp spot he’s made in his boxers and instantly...he feels sick with himself. He let the moment of weakness go too far...way too far. He’s angry with his body, and his mind, and his willpower. Axton looks up at Jack for a second. There is something washed across his face too. It’s a form of regret, something the same as Axton is feeling. Maybe because he enjoyed it a little too much. It became less of a punishment for the vault hunter and he indulged too much. Jack hikes his pants back up without a word. Like he’s at a loss for smart ass comments.

He runs a hand through his hair, fixing the strand that got loose and recollects himself gracefully. His green and blue eyes are now boring into Axton like needles.

There he is again.

That wolf in man’s clothing.

Jack breaks a half smile, thin lips curling up in amusement.

“Oh look what a mess you’ve made of yourself. That’s cute.” Jack chuckled patting Axton’s cheek.

“Good pet.”

Chapter Text

Dinner Date

 

Axton sits there, unable to get off his knees. He feels dead inside. What had this horrible place turned him into? A ghost of himself. A confused soul broken beyond any form of repair.

Jack is gone now. The door hangs open from his leaving. Axton could run. But he doesn’t. He just sits there. Dead. In a haze from the events that just took place. He doesn’t feel anger, or fear, or....anything. He’s just...void of all emotion. An empty glass cracked and shattered, he can hold no more. A Hyperion worker comes to fetch him. He’s fixed with a lead again, and Axton struggles to his feet. More walking. More leading. More following.

They ride an elevator for what seems like an eternity. Axton leans hard against the wall, trying to keep himself standing. He’s still very weak. His body now feeling all the aftermath of his actions. His muscles hurt and he aches all over. His stomach is twisting with hunger, and his mouth feels incredibly dry. He’s beginning to remember how broken he really is. The horrors of torture are catching up with him. He feels a little lightheaded.

The ding of the elevator nearly makes him jump out of his skin. The Hyperion worker doesn’t seem to notice nor care. This floor is different. The walls are no longer white, they are a warm yellow coloration. Wooden floors shimmer with fresh wax as does the wooden molding. Every once and a while there was a small table, decorated with a vase, sometimes a book.

This wasn’t very Hyperion at all.

It felt...almost inviting.

The Hyperion worker pulled a set of keys from his belt and stopped at a heavy looking oak door with a small window in it. He popped the lock and pushed the door open. Axton cautiously followed the worker inside, half fearful it was a trap. The room was not as glorious as the hallway. This room was much colder. It had those same green walls, but it was much darker. A weak bulb hanging from the ceiling was the only sort of lighting. There was a meager cot butted against the back wall but that was the only type of furniture or dressing to the room. It was small, barely able to be considered a room. There was a small door on the back wall containing what Axton could only guess was some kind of bathroom. The Hyperion worker undid Axton’s cuffs quickly and before Axton could even ask what he was doing here, the worker slammed the door shut. Axton heard the lock click and the steps of the worker leaving.

Axton stood there for a moment. Assessing the room and the surroundings.

If this was to be his prison...he could not complain...it was much nicer accommodations than the dungeons....

Axton flexed his hands slowly, standing unmoving in the middle of the space. He was alone. Alone to his thoughts. Axton slowly began to explore the room, with hesitant movements...fearing traps with every step he took. Fearing this was some false safe haven. Axton slowly opened the door at the back of the room. It was a small bathroom arrangement. Just a feeble sink, small toilet and a shower with no curtain, just a small drain into the floor. Axton sighed heavy. A shower had never looked so good in all his life.

The grime of the terrors still clinging to him, blood stained down his front from his bullet wound, he was the utter definition of filthy. Axton shed the white boxers, the hem red with the collection of old blood, the crotch sticky and a displeasing reminder of losing control of his own body and sanity.

He threw them out of sight, disgusted with himself. He turned the nobs on the shower. The water was warm. A godsend if there ever was one. Steam began to billow from the streaming water. Axton stepped into the stream, the hot water was a shock to his body.

He sighed out involuntarily.

His muscles seemed to unwind with the touch of the waters warmth. He simply came undone at the seams. The water ran down his back, coming off him in warm sheets. He braced his hands against the wall just letting the feeling wash over him. He closed his eyes, it felt too utterly good. For a moment he simply forgot about all the thoughts haunting his brain. Jack, Hyperion, everything was gone for all but a moment. He ran his hands through his wet hair slowly, sighing loudly. He had never been so thankful for something so small as a hot shower. His tense muscles finally relaxed, the blood clinging to his skin washed away, little runs of red being swept down the drain.

His eyes opened into little slits.

The fatigue was finally getting to him. One can take only so much from a day...and today had been way more than he could handle. His body was still too weak for all the events pushed upon him. Axton turned off the water and grabbed the small white towel neatly folded on the back of the toilet. It was much too small for him but he dried himself the best he could. Axton dragged himself to the cot. He felt so heavy. Heavy with a lot of things. Guilt, anger, and utter defeat. He just needed to sleep. His body and mind just needed to shut down for a while.

He was so tired. And so upset with himself. Disappointed. Ashamed. But mostly just...tired.

He curled up on the soft surface and his body just melted. He hadn’t had the courtesy of a bed in so many weeks, it was such an alien feeling to be comfortable. Axton ran his hands over the bedding, god it was so soft. He closed his eyes and slipped into hard slumber.

 

Axton was shaken out of sleep by the heavy door being flung open. He was pretty sure his heart stopped beating for a second. Axton leapt out of bed, ready for whatever was coming. The Hyperion worker didn’t even flinch at the movement from the other male in the room. Axton seemed to get his bearings and then stared stupidly at the worker, unsure of what the situation was going to be. The worker set a pile of folded clothing on the floor with a soft plunk.

“Put these on.” The Hyperion worker commanded to Axton his voice gruff and un-amused.

Axton looked at him with narrowed eyes.

“You gotta dinner date with the boss.” The worker mused slamming the door behind him.

That sick feeling washed over his body again. Dinner? Date? Boss?

Jack...

A deep frown stained Axton’s face. He approached the clothing as if it were a snake coiled in the middle of the room, with slow steady steps. Caution ever present. You couldn’t trust anything in this Hyperion hell hole. Axton picked up the shoes first. They were black, shining, dress shoes. By the smell of them they were brand new, and real leather. They looked to be quite expensive... His curiosity was peaked now. He could only imagine what the rest of the getup looked like.

Axton unfolded the clothing and sure enough found it to be a dress shirt, jet black men’s blazer, a pair of slacks and a tie.

A fucking monkey suit by Axton’s standards.

He snorted at the clothing un-amused. Was this Jack’s way of “transforming” him into a civilized member of society? What a load of skag shit. Axton grimaced at the task before him. He slowly pulled on the soft boxer briefs provided in the pile and as he did so his stomach growled loudly. Axton sighed, he had half forgotten his biting hunger. Whatever had been pumped into his stomach in the medical ward to save him from starvation had quickly been digested and left him with a once again empty stomach. This hunger was not nearly as intense, just the mere feeling of a skipped lunch maybe.

He guessed that was a good thing coming from this “dinner date”, there was at least the promise of a meal. Hopefully. Hell knowing Jack he’d sit him down just to watch him eat and provide him with nothing. Axton sighed. He hoped with all his might that there would be some kind of nourishment. He at least deserved that for having to put on the ridiculous outfit.

Axton pulled on the slacks, and flung the shirt up over his shoulders, taking care to properly button it. It was just a plain white dress shirt with black buttons down the front. Axton put on the black tie and straightened it. It was awkward to dress with the collar constantly in the way. It was a heavy thing, leaving his neck slightly sore. Next came the jacket, and then finally the shoes. Axton walked into the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror.

He looked downright dapper.

If it wasn’t for the dark circles under his eyes, the paleness of his face, and the sickly look still clinging to him he’d be quite presentable. Axton snorted. He looked ridiculous. He just wanted his combat uniform back.

The heavy door slammed open again, and the same heavy Hyperion worker entered. Didn’t anybody knock around here? Axton thought to himself frowning.

“Well don’t you just look fucking wonderful?” The man said sarcastically.

Axton’s frown deepened.

“Now turn around and don’t give me trouble. Heard you are quite the fucking rowdy thing. Don’t try that funny shit with me.” The man grumbled.

Axton rolled his eyes. The man took cuffs off his belt and Axton put his hands together willingly. No reason to fight. Where would he go? He’d already tried that once, and had the wound to prove it. He didn’t really feel like being shot up again.

“You aint worth my energy.” Axton sneered.

“I hope Jack breaks your neck you little fuck. That was a damn good man you killed.” The worker snaps.

Axton raised an eyebrow at the worker and shrugged nonchalantly.

“Oops.” Axton said sarcastically.

The Hyperion worker gritted his teeth in anger.

“If Jack wasn’t so damn fond of you, I’d kill you myself.” He growled in that gruff tone of his.

“Too bad I’m boss’s favorite.” Axton taunted through narrowed eyes.

The Hyperion worker clipped a chain to Axton’s hands and jerked him with such force Axton nearly lost his footing. He braced forward awkwardly. Before Axton could pop off another snide comment the worker was practically dragging him out the door. They walked briskly down the hallway, Axton in displeased tow. Until they came to two heavy oaken doors. The Hyperion worker pressed a code and a small speaker crackled.

“State your business” A mechanical voice mused.

“Delivering the prisoner.” The Hyperion worker snarled.

“Access granted.” The voice crackled.

The doors unlocked and the worker pushed them open. They closed with a slam that caused Axton to jump a little. The inside...looked...like a house? They seemed to be in the entryway of some sort of living quarters. Two staircases lead to a second story, there was a door to the left, and the right both leading into massive rooms.

The worker chose the left. The room had tall ceilings, a crystal chandelier hanging proudly, casting small rainbows on the room every once and a while. The room was occupied by a massive dining table that pretty much accounted for all the space there was to be had.

It looked to be able to seat at least twenty people. The chairs were all wooden, with tall carved backings and green cushions. The table was set elaborately, adorned with many decorative candles that flickered lazily, swaying back and forth. But as far as place settings went there were but only two. One on each head of the table. Axton swallowed hard. What kind of charade was this shit?

His thoughts were scattered by a booming voice.

“Ah! My expected guest! Right on time and not a minute late!!” Jack’s sing song voice chimed.

Axton looked up to see the CEO dressed in much fancier attire that of their first encounter earlier in the day. He was done up in a full dress suit. Black as night with a Hyperion yellow undershirt.

Axton felt numb. He wanted to run again. Jack crossed the room in several long lazy strides and before Axton knew it he was but inches from him. Axton’s whole body tensed. He immediately looked at the floor.

“Tick, un-cuff the poor man would you? We can’t have a nice dinner with those on.” Jack barked motioning towards Axton’s cuffs.

The Hyperion worker that Jack had addressed as “Tick” listens obediently. Seems like everybody around here just lived to kiss Jack’s ass.

Axton grimaced.

He settled his free hands at his sides, still refusing to look at the green and blue gaze he knew was upon him.

“You can go now.” Jack said dismissing the worker.

Tick nodded and then was gone. Here they were, alone again. Axton felt like his stomach was going to drop out of his ass.

Jack snickered fondly.

“Well just look at you! Don’t you clean up nice kiddo? You actually look like a human being!” Jack said thumbing at Axton’s tie.

Axton nearly shied away from the touch.

“I knew all you needed was a little patching up and even a bandit scum like yourself would look acceptable.” Jack teased grinning.

Jack sure did enjoy hearing himself talk.

“Ohhh what’s wrong cupcake? You don’t seem very chatty eh?” Jack teased pretending to pout, sticking out that perfect bottom lip of his.

“Aint got anything to say to the likes of you.” Axton hissed, his voice finally coming to him.

Jack burst out in hearty chuckles.

“That’s cute vault hunter.” Jack said smiling.

Jack flipped Axton’s tie playfully and then abandoned him to stride to his place at the other side of the table. Jack pushed the chair out dramatically and plunked himself down. What a fucking queen, Axton thought grimly. Jack folded his arms up over his head.

“Well, take a seat kitten.” Jack said nodding his head toward the empty chair at the other side of the table.

Axton looked at Jack and then back at the chair. He took a seat slowly, the chair squealing as he slid it back. Axton sat down stiffly, his back straight against the chair, eyes looking anywhere but at the man across the table. Well at least there was a considerable distance between them. That was the only upside. Axton shot a glance Jack’s way.

It was like being trapped in a room with an alpha skag, best to at least know where the beast was at all times and what it was doing...

Jack leaned back in his chair, stretching upward slowly, like a cat would after a nap. Jack pushed a button on the side of the table and instantly a man appeared. Axton could only assume he was some kind of butler, or waiter...or servant.

“Bring us a bottle of wine would you? And oh what will you be drinking, Axton?” Jack asked drumming his fingertips together.

“Whiskey. On the rocks.” Axton said dryly.

If he was going to get through this stupid charade, he’d need something strong. Jack’s smile was haunting even from across the table.

“And a whiskey for the pretty man.” Jack echoed nodding to the man.

The man left with a “Yes sir” and was gone behind double doors that Axton assumed was the kitchen. The man returned quickly clinking a tall wine glass in front of Jack and pouring a healthy amount of deep red wine into it. He then gently set a glass of whiskey on the rocks in front of Axton. Axton grabbed it and took a long swig. It burned like hell going down. Not unlike Jack to have the good stuff. Axton took another drink.

It was good. Really good.

And on a slightly empty stomach he knew he’d be feeling it in no time flat. Jack was peering over at Axton clearly amused. He took a sip of his wine slowly, painfully slowly.

“Strong drink for the big strong vault hunter.” Jack chuckles.

Axton takes another sip and rolls his eyes.

“Needed something strong if I’m gunna put up with you for however long you decide to keep me.” Axton growled darkly over his glass.

Jack finds that funnier than he should have. His laughter is interrupted by the arrival of dinner. The wait staff sets a large plate down in front of Jack first and then Axton. The servant removes the silver covering revealing to Axton a massive, steaming chunk of steak, laced with vegetables. They also bring him a large bowl of soup and a basket of some kind of rolls that are dripping in butter.

Axton’s stomach groans at the smell alone.

His eyes flick up at Jack as if to question if he can really eat this or not. It seems too easy. He hasn’t done anything but sit down and insult Jack. The smell invades his every sense. He has to do everything in his power to stop himself from drooling. Jack cuts a piece of his steak, pops it in his mouth and chews. He swallows, seeming to savor the taste and looks to Axton.

“You don’t like steak?” Jack questions innocently seeing Axton has not yet to even pick up his fork.

“Oh so I am actually allowed to eat this?” Axton questions darkly.

Jack chuckles as he cuts another piece.

“Well of course. Only the best for my pet.” Jack says slowly the words rolling off his tongue dramatically.

Axton ignores the comment. He picks up his fork and knife. He can’t cut the meat quick enough. The knife slides through the meat like butter, its rich and pink in the middle, juices flooding out onto the decorative plate. Axton shoves the cut into his mouth and chews. He swears it’s the best thing he has ever tasted in all his life. If he didn’t hate the bastard so much he’d thank Jack. He stuffs bite after bite into his mouth, making delighted little noises as he does so. It’s so good. Heavenly.

God he’d forgotten how good it felt to simply eat.

That shit they had given him to bring him back from the brink wasn’t exactly anything he could taste but man could he ever taste this. He’s too lost in the meal to notice Jack peering at him curiously, smile tugging at his lips as he eats, much less slowly than his company.

“That taste good big boy?” Jack teases.

His voice shakes Axton out of his food indulgence session. He shoots a dark look over the table and takes a drink of his whiskey. Jack smiles in response.

“Next order of business, work on those table manners of yours cupcake. But I mean not half bad considering you are a former heathen and all.” Jack pushes.

Axton ignores him. He polishes off his steak in no time flat. His stomach begs for more. It feels like eons since he’s last tasted food on his tongue, eons since he’s shoved enough of it into himself to extend his stomach and give him that warm feeling of fullness. He starts on the vegetables. He doesn’t even care for squash, and broccoli and whatever other kinds of greens are decorating his plate, and he doesn’t care, he eats them anyway.

The waiter brings him another whiskey.

By the time Axton is scarfing down rolls he’s well into his third whiskey. The room seems a little more fuzzy than it was thirty minutes ago. Axton feels considerably less worried about the man across the table. His belly is full and he feels warm. Light and hot, like he’s floating.

Axton leans back in his chair slowly, still nibbling on one of the sweet bread rolls. He loosely runs his other hand through his hair, it feels softer than usual. His motions feel slow, and lazy. He feels like he’s wrapped in blankets, comfortable, full and drunk.

“Enjoying yourself?” Jack asks smugly.

Axton chuckles.

“I’m a prisoner in the fucking Hyperion headquarters, I’ve got a collar like a fuckin’ dog, pretty sure I mighta been dyin couple days ago, and I’m wearin a god damn monkey suit...what’s not to be- hic- enjoyed!” Axton slurred throwing his hands up.

Jack seems a little surprised at the outburst from the commando, but recollects himself quickly, his smile is back in a mere second. His smile is wider than normal, and his eyes droop slightly. His neck his flushed red, suggesting his drink is getting the better of him as well.

“Well first off, consider yourself a...guest. Not a prisoner. I don’t like prisoner, sounds too...I dunno, strong. Not a prisoner...but a pet. My pet.” Jack taunts hauntingly.

Axton frowns.

“I aint your damned dog. Quit callin me that shit.” Axton growled in return.

“I believe I can call you whatever the hell I like, Axton.” Jack purrs.

“And if the shoe fits...” He finishes.

“So do I get to piss on the furniture and fetch you the newspaper?” Axton snapped.

Jack laughs to himself, sipping his wine again.

“My, my, you sure have a dirty mouth on you don’t ya kitten?” Jack says finishing his fourth glass of wine.

“Dirty...but I must admit, talented to say the least.” He adds evilly.

Axton nearly chokes on his whiskey.

“Fuck you.” Axton barks.

“Is that what you really want?” Jack says coyly.

Axton furrows his eyebrows at the comment. The hell did he mean by that?

Jack pushes his chair back from the table slowly and unfolds from it, planting his feet firmly on the ground. He slowly stalks over toward Axton, long, slow steps. Like a big cat stalking prey.

Axton feels...hunted.

“W-what?” Axton slurs shortly.

“You wanna fuck me?” Jack lulls placing his palms flat on the table and leaning over Axton. Axton leaned back a little, his back hitting the chair, trying to get as far away from the Hyperion CEO as possible.

What kind of sick game was this?

Jack cocked an eyebrow.

“What kind of fuckin game are you-hic- playing?” Axton hissed.

Jack leaned in closer.

“No games pet.” Jack ran his fingers up Axton’s throat, gently, slowly.

Axton cringed.

“I want you, to fuck me pumpkin. Fuck me nice and hard.” Jack whispered to Axton.

Axton choked a little and coughed in a state of surprise.

“I’m not gunna fuck you.” Axton snarled disgusted.

Jack laughed and pinched Axton’s cheek.

“Now, now pet...aren’t we forgetting an itsy bitsy, little detail?” Jack scolded drunkenly.

The wine seemed to be influencing his motions more than just a little.

“What’s that?” Axton spat.

Jack grabbed him harshly by the chin.

“You have to do as I say. And I say I want to be fucked, by you. Now.” Jack snickered.

Axton wanted to punch him in the jaw, but his movements were slow and his brain wasn’t exactly “all together”. If that’s what Jack wanted...that’s what he’d get. Oh what had fucking whiskey done to him? Axton knocked his drink back and shot Jack a vicious, toothy grin.

“Whatever you say boss.” Axton slurred.

Axton reach up and firmly entwined his fist into the back of Jack’s chocolate locks. He threw out any fragment of a conscience he had, any shred of decency, of pride. He’d give Jack what he wanted. He’d give it all to him. Axton yanked the taller man’s face toward him, slamming their drunken lips together. Jack’s eyes widened in surprise, but eventually closed into small pleasurable slits. The kiss is heavy with tongues, sliding against each other’s. It’s hard and mean and needy. Drunken lips slide against one another’s, lazy tongues play together, wet and sloppy. Axton’s grip tightens, fingernails dipping into Jack’s perfect scalp.

Jack falls into Axton’s lap, Axton’s hand instinctively cradles Jack’s ass, pulling him toward him. His fingers splay across the soft material of the suit.

It’s wrong in so many ways.

If Axton had half his brain working he would know that. He would be disgusted with himself. But drunken Axton does not care. Doesn’t seem to register all that is happening. To drunk Axton, Jack is a warm body and an open invitation. Jack breaks the sloppy kiss to take a strained breath. He’s flushed and gasping, pathetic really. Axton had never seen the maniac so uncollected before.

Axton kissed down Jack’s chin. The mask felt foreign beneath his lips. It was smooth and soft, but just not quite the same as real skin. A good mimic...but just not exact.

Jack tipped his chin up, exposing his throat to Axton. Axton ran his tongue up the length of Jack’s neck leaving a small trail of wet there. Jack gripped Axton’s shoulders harshly, and a small breathy moan escaped his perfect lips. He was a mess. A hot and bothered, absolute, mess.

Axton nipped at Jack’s collarbone, teeth dragging more moans up out of the slighter man. Axton pushed Jack’s shirt upward with one big, gruff palm. Fingers sliding up Jack’s heaving abdomen. Jack was thin, but he was not soft. His abdomen was not as doughy as Axton assumed it would be. He felt his stomach rise and fall, every breath heavy and quick.

“Well-hic-...are you gunna fuck me or not big guy?” Jack hissed breathlessly.

His voice was much less venomous now. He was trying to maintain his vicious tone, but it was all falling to pieces with the alcohol and the arousal. Without another word, Axton grabbed Jack by the hips and slammed him backward onto the table, sending dishes crashing to the floor. Jack seemed not to notice nor care.

“I’ll just have you know...-hic-...I normally don’t fuck on the first date.” Axton mused fumbling with Jack’s belt.

“Oh don’t I feel special.” Jack stuttered trying to keep up his snarky facade.

Axton grunted at the attempted sarcastic remark from Jack.

Jack moved against Axton rough and vicious even when splayed so shamelessly on his back. Even in the throes of weakened pleasure he gripped onto his territorial display of power. His hands grabbed at every inch of Axton they could find, fingers tugging hair too hard and scraping over his abdomen too mean. Axton grabbed Jack’s pants and hauled them down, taking his underwear with them. The clothing hit the floor in a sad heap, abandoned, and crumpled.

Jack’s swollen cock bobbed in front of him, his tip angry and red. A small tear of pre-cum wept from his head. Axton observed him with cold eyes. It was ironic really. A Vault Hunter fucking the Hyperion CEO. It was almost a small victory for Axton. In a weird way. A very weird way.

Axton grabbed Jack’s member in his large palm and squeezed. Jack threw his head back and moaned pitifully at the rough motion. Axton positioned himself between Jack’s thighs, forcing Jack’s legs open to make room for himself.

“How rough you want me to be.... princess?” Axton snarled his fingers digging into Jack’s thigh as he leaned over the other male.

Jack opened his mouth as if to reply just as Axton gave his cock another good squeeze, and his response was lost in moans. Axton can tell Jack is not fond of the little pet name.

“I like it fucking rough you pretty little bitch.” Jack hisses as Axton’s hand slides around him, gently lifting his hips upward.

“Look who’s talking.” Axton growls back drunkenly.

Jack only chuckles to Axton in return to the comment. It’s like he feels Axton doesn’t deserve a witty response to that.

Axton abandons his grip on the masked man to release himself of his clothing. Axton clumsily undoes his belt, buttons and zipper, then hefts his pants down just enough to let his fat erection pop free. If there was something Axton had never been called, it was small. He was more than a formidable size to be reckoned with. He was deliciously thick from base to tip, head fat and throbbing.

Jack’s eyes were mixed with anticipation and concern for a split second, and if Axton hadn’t been really looking for it he would have missed it completely. It was there and gone in a matter of seconds. Axton hovered over Jack, placing his palms flat on the table one on each side of Jack’s shoulders. Caging the other man with his hulking body. Axton’s fat erection rubbed against Jack’s as he did so, ringing a breathy gasp from Jack’s throat.

“What’s wrong princess? Too big?” Axton taunted leaning down to nip at Jack’s ear.

“Oh get over yourself...hic...I’ve taken bigger kitten.” Jack hissed bucking up against Axton, grinning like a damned Cheshire cat.

Axton just grunted in response. Axton reached clumsily across the table for the dish of butter that managed to remain intact even after he threw Jack onto the surface. Axton scooped a handful and slathered it down his swollen erection. He hissed at the warm, dripping feeling of the substance. He squeezed his member with his palm, a low groan rumbling up from his chest. He considered dipping two fingers into the bowl then stretching Jack out...but he decided against it. Jack wanted this. He wouldn’t be easy on the arrogant fuck. Axton grabbed his base and with a little guidance shoved the tip of his head against Jack’s puckered flesh. Axton pushed harder, giving little time for Jack to adjust. Jack arched up and cried out, fingers digging into the wood of the table, but he never said stop, and so Axton didn’t. His head passed into Jack’s body with a small pop and Axton gritted his teeth.

Gods he was tight.

Axton pushed in more, absolutely needing more of that delicious squeeze around his fat cock. Jack looked gorgeous stretched around Axton. His body trying it’s best to accommodate the large intrusion. Axton thrust his hips forward, forcing the rest of himself inside.

“GOD FUCK!” Jack cried out loudly his face strained.

“ Can’t, hrrrmph...handle it, princess?” Axton grunted pushing into Jack harder.

Jack looked at Axton with dagger like eyes.

“Let’s not....forget....pretty little collar…around your neck...pumpkin...” Jack managed through short breaths.

Axton frowned at the man below him. He’d almost forgotten the heaviness of the collar, and the power it held over him. Axton chose to pretty much ignore Jack’s warning and simply snorted at it instead. Axton’s fingers raked against Jack’s thins hips as he dragged Jack into each heavy thrust. Axton closed his eyes as he thrust in, beginning a steady, hasty, animalistic pace. Jack wanted a piece of Pandora, Axton would give it to him the way a true bandit would. He may have been dressed in Jack’s fancy clothing, but you couldn’t take the wild out of an animal that easily.

Axton slams into Jack, taking little mercy on the Hyperion overlord. His nails bite into Jack’s perfect hips, short nails digging in. Jack doesn’t seem to care. He arches his back upward, pushing back to meet Axton’s thrusts. His mouth hands open slightly, panting noises coming out hot and heavy. He’s moaning and sighing and moving. Axton’s eyes flutter into slits taking a good long look at the man beneath him. Jack flings his arms up over his head drunkenly, hands pumping and grasping the tablecloth. His hair falls in his face, messy and distorted from its naturally perfect state. Axton reaches a hand up and runs it through Jack’s hair as he continues to push into him rhythmically. Jack’s hair is soft as his fingers part it. His hand slides down Jack’s neck slowly.

The slight urge to choke him comes to mind....but he doesn’t. Even drunken Axton isn’t sure why he won’t allow himself to do so. He’s positive he could wrestle that wristband away from Jack in this state. But...does he really want to? Axton feels flushed and hot and...needy. He needs this as much as Jack does, whether he wants to admit it or not. The shift in the universe comes to him in fuzzy fragments. Something was different now, here, in this moment.

Jack feels hot inside. Hot and tight and smooth. Axton feels a bead of sweat run down his forehead in slow motion.

He’s gasping and grunting and pulling and touching. Jack leans up on his elbows, and pulls Axton down. He hangs his arms loosely around the commando’s thick neck. Axton isn’t the fondest of the new closeness, but accepts it all the same, never losing his rhythm. Jack moans and hisses against Axton’s neck. His breath is hot and sharp. He smells like red wine and shame.

One of Axton’s hands comes to the small of Jack’s back, grabbing him and helping him to move along with each thrust. Jack’s legs are looped around Axton’s hips tightly. He’s all legs and arms and gasps and sudden movements.

“Say my fucking name...” Jack breathes hotly in Axton’s ear.

Axton doesn’t want to. But...he does.

“Jack...” Axton groans.

The name feels wrong as soon as it comes out. It leaves a sharp, strong, shameful taste on Axton’s tongue.

“Again...” Jack moans.

“Jack...Jack....oh god JACK!” Axton breathes the words like moans. They come out faster, and easier each time, turning into more of a prayer than a dirty word.

Axton’s heart races, his breath comes in heaving pants. He feels so damn hot. Everything is fucking hot. It’s like being out in the Dust with no protection from the murderous sun. Only hotter. Jack is moaning and sighing, fingers clutched into the material of Axton’s shirt. Axton can’t control himself, he’s thrusting like an animal. No regards for anything accept to fuck Jack stupid. The muscles in his rump work to slam into him again, and again, and again. Faster and faster. Jack’s so smooth and so tight and so delicious. Axton is losing it. He’s close now. Embarrassingly close, pushed by having gone weeks without and how tight and wrong Jack feels fluttering and pulsating around him.

“J-JACK! O-oh fuck I’m close, I-I’m so close!!” Axton bellows like some sort of beast.

Jack looks up at him wildly amused by the commando’s inability to last for very long. Like a goddamned teenager on prom night.

“Well isn’t that pathetic kitten? A little quick on the trigger there huh? Oh how fuckin cute.” Jack snarls meanly in Axton’s ear.

And Axton cums. Cums on the hot insults pumped so thickly into his eardrums. Hands still gripping Jack harshly he continues to thrust into him, pumping every last drop of his finish into him. He fills him, cock throbbing, chest heaving. Jack’s hands fist into the material of the clothing and he buries his face into the crook of Axton’s neck, half moaning and half laughing. Axton wants to feel ashamed of himself…but he can’t find the will to. Jack’s teasing him from beneath him and the mean words are blurred and hardly registering. Jack is fisting his own cock then, not seeming exactly annoyed with Axton’s quick finish but more cheekily amused with it all.

After a few long breathless moments Jack comes shamelessly up between his thick fingers. Long ropes of cum spurt in the space between his body and Axton’s. He grits his teeth as he comes all over his dressy clothing.

The seconds pass and they can do nothing but pant into each other. Axton does not loosen his grip on Jack and Jack does not un-fist his hand from the back of Axton’s shirt. Jack droops against him, spent and tired and worn. The silence between the two men is almost eerie. It’s unnatural for Jack to be this quiet. But all he can manage is short erratic breaths.

The room smells like musk and arousal.

And fine dining.

Chapter Text

Leashes and Collars

 

A loud slam startled Axton out of heavy, alcohol induced sleep. His eyes slowly opened, protesting the action in every way possible. The light was intense and bright, much brighter than normal. Being roused from sleep only made him that much more aware of his pounding head and aching body. He groaned lowly from his curled up position on the bathroom floor. The tile was cold and hard and very uncomfortable. But he couldn’t bring himself to get up off of it.

He felt like shit warmed over. He’d had way too much to drink in his weakened state and now he was paying for it. He could hardly process thought through the throbbing of his head. He never wanted to so much as smell whiskey again at the moment. Just the thought of it made his stomach turn. But he refused to let himself even considering vomiting. This was the first time in weeks he’d had anything substantial in his stomach and he’d fight everything to keep it down. He rubbed his aching head and moaned lowly. He’d almost forgotten the good old feeling of a retched hangover. It had been a while.

It took him a moment to really get his bearings and think about what had gotten him into this nasty situation.

That bastard Jack.

The whiskey.

The food.

More whiskey.

Even more whiskey.

And then...that bastard Jack...underneath him.

Axton felt his stomach drop.

The sudden realization of the night’s events hit him like a ton of bricks, bowling him over, making his heart nearly skip a beat. He only remembered pieces of the night. Fragments coming back to him like fluttering pieces of paper in the wind. Memories slowly slipped back to him, allowing him to revisit the night previous. The heat between him and the masked man. The drunken kisses. The loud untamed moans. The fucking...the coming.

Axton’s lips down turned in a displeased frown. He felt shame and disgust and a whole lot of regret. That was a tall drink that he couldn’t really manage to keep down. He felt even sicker than he already did. Even worse...he wasn’t entirely sure he regretted everything. He was losing it. Or had already completely lost it. That was it, he was nuts, he was now sure of it.

The fact that the nights events left him with a little burning in his gut and a twisting that was not all bad led him to believe he was indeed crazy. Totally crazy. Over the course of being in this nightmarish place, he’d managed to lose the better part of his common sense. His moral most likely went with it.

That was all that could explain last night, and the feeling he was dealing with now. Last night could be blamed mostly on the drink, but now...what could now be blamed on? The way Jack had looked beneath him. Panting, and flustered, and needy. Hair a mess, mouth huffing, neck flushed, body moving and asking for more. For more of Axton. For more of everything.

The stir in Axton’s groin at the thought only convinces him further that he has lost it.

Get yourself together Axton....He thinks to himself frantically.

Suddenly there’s a loud clap right next to Axton’s ear. The sharp, quick sound of hands slamming together might as well have been cannon fire to Axton. He startles and jumps into a sitting position, feet scrambling against the tile. He immediately regrets the quick movement as a wave of nausea washes over him. He moans and clutches his stomach. The room seems to be spinning from this new position and Axton’s stomach only threatens more harshly to empty its contents onto the floor. No. Hold it down. You need the nourishment. He thinks squeezing his eyes shut. God only knew when he might get another meal like that, he needed it. Needed to keep it to keep what little strength he had found.

“Hey! Rise and shine kiddo!” Comes an all too familiar voice.

Axton raises his eyes wearily. He is met by Jack’s bright smile and playful taunting eyes. Axton grimaced. Of all the people. Why him? It was too early in the morning for Jack’s shit. And Axton did not want to deal with the cause of his reasoning that he was indeed crazy right now. That was the last thing he wanted to have to confront.

But alas here he was, green and blue eyes, white smile, no longer done up in dress attire. He was now back to wearing his normal facade. Collared shirt, orange underneath, sleeves rolled up to the crooks of his arms. Axton had no knowledge of where he was. All he knew is that he was in a bathroom of some sort. Had he been dragged back to his room last night? Or stayed in Jack’s living quarters... Axton was used to being awakened by Jack’s workers. Always fetched by a third party, so Jack’s presence unnerved Axton greatly.

Jack just chuckled lightly and plunked a glass of some unknown solution down on the bathroom counter.

“Oh kid, you look like shit.” Jack taunted smiling.

“Thanks.” Axton snarled shortly.

“Drink this. Clean yourself up. Be ready in five. We have much to do today pet.” Jack said over his shoulder as he whisked out of the bathroom door, slamming it behind him.

There was that word again. That ugly word that Jack had taken such a liking to.

It made Axton’s blood boil just at the mention of it. He hated the way Jack addressed him as such. He was not a dog, or an animal. Though it was up for debate that he may act like one occasionally...still he was no “pet”. Axton’s eyes flicked up to the glass left abandoned on the counter. It was greenish in color and looked anything but appetizing.

He frowned deeply.

He managed to haul himself up off the flooring and shakily grasped the glass in his palm. He figured it best to knock it back like he’d done the expensive whiskey last night. Don’t let it touch your tongue. Axton breaths out disgusted after finishing the drink. What the fuck was that stuff? Whatever it was, it was retched. Axton leans hard against the counter, eyes catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror. He’s got some of his color back, but the dark circles under his eyes are still hanging around stubbornly. The limit of five minutes hangs above his head. He’d better get moving. Jack’s orders were final after all.

Axton pushed back off the counter. The nausea was fading quickly, and the headache was beginning to do the same. Whatever that nasty drink was, it was a miracle worker. He took a second to observe his state from head to toe. It was only then that he realized he was without a single shred of clothing. His dress clothes obviously hadn’t fared well throughout the night and had gotten lost along the way. Axton groaned. He didn’t remember how he lost them and he preferred to keep it that way if possible.

He reluctantly took the door handle into his palm and forced the door open. The room was wide, and bright. Heavy lighting bathed Axton as he stepped onto the carpeted flooring. The carpet was plush and comfortable. It was a bedroom of some sort. Axton immediately wondered if it was Jack’s own bedroom.

It wasn’t grand enough. He figured it was a guest room of some sort. The furniture was grand, but not nearly grand enough for Jack’s personal sleeping quarters. Axton immediately felt eyes upon him. Jack was straightening his collar in the full mirror across the room, his dark gaze wandered over to the clothing lacking commando. A sneer instantly spread across his lips.

It was vicious and frightening as ever.

Axton instantly preferred drunk Jack...sober Jack was...dangerous. Jack turned on his heel slowly and shifted his weight to one hip, crossing his arms across his thin chest. That same hard chest that Axton had been running his palms up so eagerly the night before. Axton shuddered.

He hated himself.

“Well don’t you look just nice and bright and chipper huh pumpkin?” Jack hissed smiling.

Axton wanted to knock all his perfect teeth out. That smile was haunting and taunting and evil...and perfect. Ridiculously fucking perfect.

“Shut the fuck up.” Axton growled irritably.

Jack shook his head smile never abandoning his face.

“Well someone got up on the wrong side of the bed huh kitten?” Jack pushed turning back to the mirror to admire his reflection again.

Once he was certain he was presentable he turned back to Axton.

“Well, I got you a little something, trust me you are gunna really love this. Picked it out myself.” Jack burst out cheerily, crossing the room to grab something off the bed.

He thumbed the little black box tenderly and walked over to Axton. Axton just stood his ground unsurely. He could only imagine what Jack had in store for him now. Jack popped the little box open, smile wide, seeming to be holding back chuckles. Whatever it was, he was clearly more amused than he should be. Jack plucked the small object out of its velvet stand in the black box and dangled it between his thumb and forefinger.

Axton felt anger well up in his throat as soon as he realized what it was.

A dog tag.

Shaped like a small bone, encrusted with small diamonds, and engraved in gold letters it read “Axton”. Jack burst out in uncontrollable laughter. Axton was shaking with anger.

“I mean I really wanted it to say Pet, but you insisted your name was Axton, so you know, I made a little exception.” Jack sneered clearly overly amused with it all.

He turned the small tag around, the shining surface glinting and sparkling in the lighting.

“I even had the back done up! So just in case you get lost people know who to bring you back to. Wouldn’t want my pet out there all alone and scared.” Jack made a fake sad face as he presented the back to Axton.

It read, “Property of Handsome Jack”.

Axton was seeing red. Reduced to this. To this. Reduced to Jack’s little plaything.

Jack thought he was really funny. Axton wasn’t laughing. Jack reached up and attached the tag to the front of Axton’s collar. It dangled brightly, swaying ever so slightly, sparkling the way it was meant to.

“And of course the diamonds were my little touch.” Jack smirked flicking the tag gently.

His hand moved up Axton’s neck and over his jaw where he squeezed his cheeks a little harder than what could be considered gentle. 


“There. Don’t you look fucking adorable sweet cheeks?” Jack teased, voice almost a whisper as it touched Axton’s ears.

Axton avoided eye contact with the taller man. He was a toy. That was all. A toy for Jack’s enjoyment. And when Jack tired of him, he was certain he would be thrown away, just as any old toy would be. Jack was close now, lips only centimeters from Axton’s sensitive ear.

“You like it? huh pet?” Jack hisses, breath spilling hot down Axton’s neck.

Axton’s eyes close for the moment, body melting uncontrollably. Maybe it was the adrenaline of the anger, the humiliation, and now the teasing. God the teasing. Axton’s cock twitched with interest, solely on Jack’s hot breath, and his hot words.

“Y-yes...” Axton breathed without even thinking.

He wasn’t sure if he meant yes to the present, or yes to Jack’s advances. Jack chuckled against Axton, clearly amused by the commando’s reaction.

“Good. It was expensive. But like I said...only the best for my pet. Only the best for you....Axton.” Jack breathes.

Axton is nearly melted butter. His name on Jack’s tongue is so wrong, and so right. It sounds like heaven and hell mixed together in a dangerous concoction that Axton can’t help but to lust over. Jack moves away from Axton, taking his hot teasing words with him, vicious smile cutting across his perfect face. His eyes sweep over Axton slowly, taking him all in from head to toe. Axton is instantly ashamed of how he is presented. Naked, cheeks pink, cock half hard with merely the small gesture from Jack. He looks at the floor, avoiding Jack’s amused gaze.

“Pathetic. Really commando.” Jack snarls, laughter hinting at his tone of voice.

Axton grimaces. It’s unfair really. Naked and on display for Jack’s amused gaze. Without control of his body or its reactions. That was it. He was crazy. Through and through.

Jack abandons Axton where he stands and grabs a pile of folded clothing off the bed.

“Put these on, gotta have you decent for the workplace. I mean if you are going to get hard every time I so much as speak to you, we are certainly going to have to cover you up. I mean, well, I don’t blame you I do have a way with words. Shame though. I much prefer you naked.” Jack chimed eyes like serpentine slits, words coming out like venom.

He tosses the clothing to Axton.

Plain yellow shirt and grey pants with grey shoes. The prefect prisoner attire if there ever was one. Axton pulls them on, quiet and ashamed. He has no witty come backs to throw at the CEO across the room. Jack had won this round, if they were keeping some kind of mental score. There was tension in the room. Anger, and shame...and some lust from Axton’s party. Certainly unwanted but it was there all the same.

He was sick with himself. Even more so than the first two encounters with Jack. The first was forced. The second was due to drunken mentality. But this...this was all on Axton and his muddied perception of want for something that was evil. For the thing that had nearly killed him. For a crazed man high on power. If that was Axton now found attractive he had a lot more to worry about. This place was doing weird shit to him. Maybe this is what happens when you spend weeks without food, or human contact. This is what happens when you nearly die. You form a weird attraction to that which nearly did you in.

The clothing was slightly uncomfortable and itchy with newness. Axton pulled the zipper of the shirt to the top and then looked slowly over to Jack for further instruction. He was quiet and embarrassed, he was certain he looked even more pathetic and prisoner like. He was also sure Jack was enjoying every second of it.

Jack approached Axton slowly, he now had a leash in hand. He swung it lazily in big slow circles. Axton rolled his eyes. Jack just wasn’t going to drop this whole pet thing. He seemed to get quite the kick out of it.

Jack clipped the leash to Axton’s collar and his devilish eyes swept over Axton’s face slowly. No words were spoken, just gazes and fiery eyes. The hate for Jack bubbled up through Axton. That hatred he had felt from the very moment he laid eyes on Jack. It brewed within him, hot and strong. Only outmatched by the unsettling lust he was building for the other man.

Jack chuckled and gave a tug on the leash, commanding without words for Axton to follow him.

Axton did willingly. He had been through this before, being led around by one of the Hyperion goons. But this time was different. Now he was being led around by the Hyperion CEO...and it felt different. So different. In ways he couldn’t fully explain.

As Axton followed behind Jack, it became clear that he was right about the room being a guest quarters. They were clearly still somewhere in Jack’s personal living quarters...but that room was not Jack’s. Axton curiously took in the hallways as they passed through them. The furniture was tasteful at least. Mostly deep forest colors. Dark woods and greens. Lamps cast weak light setting a strange almost homey feel. Almost. Not quite though.

Axton tried very hard to look anywhere, but at the man leading him. He simply did not want to. Tried to avoid it. Really, he did. But alas his wandering eyes found Jack to be indeed the most interesting thing in the room at all times.

Damn the fucker.

Axton’s lips down turned into a frown.

Jack had a loose hold on the looped handle of the leash, thin fingers fondling it absent minded as he held it. He wasn’t really forcing Axton to follow, Axton just knew it was implied. Axton’s eyes rested on the back of Jack’s head. Short in the back, soft looking hairs falling running to the nape of his neck. His longer hairs up top were swept to the back as always, perfect and flowing in rows of dark brown. His hair was soft to the touch, from what Axton could remember of last night. When he pulled him in to...kiss him. Axton swallowed hard.

Jack walked at a lazy pace. In no big hurry to really get wherever they happened to be going apparently. His strides were long and fluent, giving his body a graceful sway that made him only that much more predator-like. The teeth and the claws may have been hidden, but it was clear...he was a wolf. Wolf in man’s clothing. You can’t hide what you really are. Didn’t seem Jack was all too keen on really “hiding” it, but more so embracing it. In his eyes, he was the hero. But you couldn’t be the hero and the villain...could you? At this point Axton wasn’t sure.

Maybe Jack could be both. Jack could be whatever the hell he wanted apparently.

They exited the large housing quarters and continued down long twisting hallways. There were a few elevator rides in-between, and more hallways. Axton tried to possibly map the place out but it was impossible. This place was a fucking maze.

Jack stopped at a pair of double doors with circular round windows. He punched a code and they slid open with the hiss of mechanics. Axton watched hesitantly. Having Jack lead him around was no better than having a worker do it. He was still uncertain of his final destination and if it included more pain and torture for Axton. To his relief the room opened into a large screening area, lined with rows of workers and computers. All clacking away, some viewing holograms or writing on note pads.

The room seemed to come to a stop when Jack entered. Every head turned, every eye was on Jack, giving him their undivided attention. The level of fear in the room was as heavy as tar. Even Axton was instantly aware of the rising terror and obedience in the room.

Jack grinned, eyes sweeping the room.

He didn’t say a word, just continued to a large computer in the middle of the room. He pulled back the massive office chair and eased himself down in it, the chair giving a little as he did so. He pulled on Axton’s lead and motioned for Axton to kneel beside the chair. Axton shot Jack a dark look. But after a few seconds obeyed. Axton folded his knees underneath him and sat still beside Jack’s left arm. A worker slowly approached Jack, timid and meek like a small animal fearing being eaten. He looked at Jack and then down at Axton. Clearly confused by the company beside Jack.

“Sir, would you like the morning report?” The worker asked slowly.

Jack waved his hand in a circular motion.

“Yes, yes, what do you have for me?” Jack said sighing and booting up the large computer.

The worker displayed a hologram next to Jack’s screen.

“Our efforts in the highlands have been overall successful. We sent loaders into a couple of towns, wiped out some bandit camps that were festering there. Efforts in the Dust have been more difficult. Bandits have higher tech vehicles there and air support.” The worker said displaying images on the flickering hologram of both locations.

Jack made a gruff grunting noise and grabbed the hologram from the worker.

“Well. You know how we deal with stubborn bandits?” Jack asked raising an eyebrow at the worker.

“Um...” The worker stuttered.

“We wipe them out.” Jack hissed.

“Get me a constructor with badass loaders, here, here and here.” Jack finished pointing at the problem locations on the screen.

“Well we lost some loaders on our last excursion; it will take about two days to have more ready for deployment.” The worker said.

Jack shot him a dark look, eyes flashing, lips formed into a thin line.

“Did I say I wanted this done in two days?” Jack said deadpan.

“Well, that’s how long it takes to get the parts and the...” The worker countered but Jack abruptly cut him off.

Jack put his finger to the workers lips and shushed him like a father would a child.

“You did not answer the question. Did I say I wanted this done in two days?” Jack asked the question again slowly.

The worker fidgeted a little and opened his mouth then closed it again seeming to rethink his answer.

“No...” He said finally.

“Good. Then get it done. Today pumpkin.” Jack said his smile fake and pointed.

The worker scurried off like a whipped dog, clutching his portable hologram for dear life.

“Fucking morons. The lot of them.” Jack cursed under his breath.

Axton’s eyes flicked up to Jack, who was now clicking away, scrolling through documents, viewing reports and bringing things up on the large hologram above his computer.

“Well, not everybody can be as damn intelligent as the great Handsome Jack.” Axton mused under his breath sarcastically.

He just couldn’t resist the comment. Jack was so damn full of himself it was sickening. Jack’s eyes darted down to the kneeling man beside him.

“Couldn’t have said it better myself sweet cheeks.” Jack sneered.

“Prick.” Axton shot back sharply.

Jack looked at him with dark, intelligent eyes, pondering to respond to Axton’s comment, and ultimately deciding it wasn’t worth his time. Axton felt a little defeated that it hadn’t gotten even so much as a rise out of Jack. Axton returned to his silent state on the floor and shifted a little. The floor was hard on his knees, and the least bit comfortable. He grunted as he tried to shift positions.

“You comfortable cupcake?” Jack snickered, never looking away from his screen.

Axton bit his lip.

“Oh very much so.” He snarled.

“Good. You look so much better on your knees. Gives me something nice to look at while I work.” Jack said slowly, green and blue eyes venomous slits as they side glanced at Axton.

Axton swallowed down the enraged insults on his tongue and looked at the floor instead. He’d be better off just holding his tongue. He wasn’t sure how many insults he could actually get away with before Jack ceased to find it amusing and sent a good dose of Eridium coursing through Axton’s body. Axton shuddered at the mere thought. He resorted to counting the floor tiles around him. He hit about one hundred and twenty when Jack broke the silence. If there was one thing Jack was not good at it was silence. He liked to hear himself talk.

That smooth, silky charismatic voice that was like honey to the ears. Thick and drippy and laced with poison.

“See all this?” He said reaching down to grab Axton’s chin and forced him to look at the screen.

It was littered with red dots all over a large map of Pandora.

“These are all the filthy bandit camps I’ve wiped out of existence. Every last stinking one, gone, just heaps of fiery ashes and ruins where the filth stood. God, isn’t it gorgeous.” Jack chimed smiling to himself in adoration.

Axton’s eyes darted over the screen. There were so many of them. Everywhere. How many families had been within the midst of this? Woman, children, mothers, fathers? How many had he wiped out in his mad quest for a perfect planet. Axton snapped his chin to the side, out of Jack’s grip. He didn’t want to look at that anymore. The lives lost, littered all over the screen like trophies of accomplishment.

Jack only snickered at Axton’s reaction.

“Figured you’d like that. All your little bandit buddies, begging for their lives. It was pathetic really.” Jack said smiling and leaning on his elbow.

Axton frowned. He had killed many a bandit in his time also...he had to admit that. He’d killed more than his share of Pandora’s outlaws. But that was different. That was for survival. That was to ensure he lived. That was different...wasn’t it? He ensured himself that it was. He wasn’t wiping people out for the sake of some crazed dream to form a perfect planet.

Jack was a maniac.

Axton was just a vault hunter...and not so much a maniac. Or so he’d like to think. Silence settled back over the two of them. The sounds of the workplace invaded the empty space instead. Clacking of keyboards, beeping of alerts and ringing of phones. Axton chewed his lip uncomfortably. He could feel eyes upon him every so often. Workers obviously intrigued by Jack’s new...pet...for lack of a better word. Axton wondered if this was a regular thing. Jack dragging prisoners around for his amusement. But the curious glares offered the conclusion that this was not the norm. Guess Jack had made a special exception for Axton.

Lucky him, he thought sarcastically. He felt like some sideshow freak. He was quickly tiring of the wandering eyes. Had they never seen a prisoner before?? A prisoner sporting a collar and a pretty little name tag announcing his belonging to Handsome Jack...well then they most likely hadn’t.

Axton sighed.

This was humiliating and frustrating all wrapped into one. Not to mention he still felt the slight after effects from the night before. Jack didn’t seem to be that affected though...or he was better at hiding it. One of the two. Hours seemed to pass slowly. Time ticked by, no, crept by. Limped along like a wounded three legged dog. Axton’s knees were practically numb. He’d give anything to get up off them but he dared not. They ached and throbbed.

Axton groaned involuntarily. Jack’s eyes immediately flicked down to Axton’s kneeling form and Axton instantly regretted letting the small noise slip out. Jack’s hand moved to Axton’s hair, running his blunt fingertips through Axton’s dirty blonde almost caramel locks.

“What’s wrong pet? Uncomfortable?” Jack whispered leaning in close to Axton’s face.

Axton turned away, refusing to look at the CEO.

Jack smiled coolly.

“Good. All part of teaching you discipline cupcake.” Jack snickered, letting go of Axton’s scalp.

How much longer did Jack expect Axton to stay like this? His kneecaps were throbbing impossibly. Axton gritted his teeth, no matter how he moved, it was still painful. He was at the point where he almost wasn’t above begging Jack to let him up off his knees. But he wasn’t there yet. Not just yet. A little longer before he reduced himself to begging. Axton closed his eyes, trying hard to cope with the pain. Trying hard to will it away, ignore it. He’d nearly died days before, he could get through this.

And suddenly, Jack pushed back from his chair and stood.

Axton looked upward as Jack pulled on the leash willing Axton to stand. Axton slowly got up on trembling knees, blood rushing back to his lower limbs as he did so. The tingling sensation running through him as he regained feeling.

“C’mon pet.” Jack barked.

Clearly something on that screen had annoyed Jack. That was the only explanation Axton could possibly come up with. And with that Axton was practically being dragged down the hallway away from the screening room. Jack unlocked a heavy looking door with a gold placard on its left side announcing this was Jack’s personal office. Jack pulled Axton inside and slammed the door.

“Just sit over there.” Jack spat pointing to a small chair in the corner.

Axton obeyed.

It was a better offer than kneeling on the tile floor at least. Jack crossed the large office briskly cursing obscenities under his breath. Mostly about how nobody could do anything right around here. He rounded the massive, dark red wooden desk that swallowed most the room and gently eased himself down into the maroon plush office chair. A slight pain shot across his face that made it clear to Axton that sitting was difficult for the CEO today. Axton couldn’t control it, a small smile snuck across his lips.

“Having trouble sitting boss?” Axton could not resist. He had to comment.

Jack shot a dark look across the room, a lock of hair falling in his face as he thumbed through documents. He was not amused. There was no grin on his face.

“You think you’re real damn funny huh vault hunter?” Jack hissed eyes boring into Axton.

There was nothing light about the insult apparently. The playful Jack was not to be dealt with now. Apparently Axton now realized that this was the limit for his sarcastic remarks. Shit...Axton thought gritting his teeth.

“Well? Do you?” Jack barked pushing back from his chair to stand.

This was a Jack Axton had not yet seen. A crazed, frustrated, insulted Jack. Juggling some unknown troubles, now frustrated by his pet’s disobedience. Axton was unsure how to respond. So he didn’t he just stared at Jack.

The pain was sudden. Like electricity jolted through his every nerve. Axton crumpled to the floor, hitting hard as he fell from the chair. The heavy dosage of Eridium pumped from the collar, flooding his body with intense pain. He screaming out loudly, hands immediately coming to the collar grasping it helplessly.

“JACK PLEASE GOD MAKE IT STOP!!” Axton bellowed.

He was now thrust into the point of begging. He was pretty sure he would die if he didn’t. It was either beg Jack for mercy, or be pumped full of a deadly dose of Eridium.

“JACK...PLEASE!!” Axton cried tears springing to his eyes.

And the pain stopped. Axton laid there motionless. He wasn’t quite sure if he was alive or dead. Even after the seconds passed, ghost pain still reverberated through his body. The floor smelled freshly waxed as he laid upon it. He tried to focus on the pleasant scent and tried to push out the pain racking his body. It didn’t really work. Axton’s eyes were wet with tears, stinging his cheeks, running down his stubble painted chin.

Jack was silent from across the room. It’s eerie when he is quiet. Like some sort of calm before the storm, or in this case maybe after it.

Axton just lies there, defeated and upset with himself. He wasn’t dealing with anybody less than a psychopathic mass murderer. He should have known better than to toy with him. You don’t tease a lion when you are in the same cage with it. There will always be teeth and claws as consequences.

Axton makes pitiful noises on the wooden floor, curled into a defensive, pained little ball. Body aching with the aftermath of the Eridium dosage. Jack glances over at Axton’s crumpled form for a mere second and then goes back to the computer screen.

He’s not sorry. He’s merely teaching lessons. You can’t rule a planet without an iron fist.

“Gotta learn to keep that mouth in check kiddo.” Jack scoffs from the desk.

Axton opens his eyes slowly and grimaces.

“N-never....was good...at that...” Axton manages in short raspy breaths.

Jack’s eyes wander over Axton, fingers pausing on the keyboard. Jack snorts and goes back to his work. Axton lies on the floor for a while, trying to regain his bearings. Finally after what seems like an eternity he feels he’s able to haul himself to a sitting position.

His mouth is dry and sticky.

He’d do anything for a drink of water. He feels like he’s been dragging himself across the dust without so much as a drop of liquid to ease his thirst. He’s hungry too...but thirsty more than anything. His eyes flick up to the water dispenser sitting just behind Jack’s desk.

Axton licks his lips dryly.

“Jack...” Axton croaks.

The CEO’s name burns his tongue. It feels awful...and exotic all at once. He immediately goes back to the memory of moaning Jack’s name. He swallows hard. Jack simply side glances at the commando.

“What?” Jack growls.

He is most certainly not in a good mood that’s for sure. Axton feels about four inches tall in the shadow of an angry Jack.

“Could I have some water?” Axton almost whispers.

Jack smiles hollowly and puts his hand to his ear dramatically.

“What’s that? Can’t hear you kiddo, gotta speak up.” Jack sneers.

Axton look darkens at Jack’s taunting.

“My mouth is very dry. Can I have some water?” Axton says loudly, angrily, words heavy with displeasure that he even has to ask Jack for some water in the first place.

Jack spun in the chair, now facing Axton with a dark, teasing look hung like drapery across his face. He pressed his fingers together as if pretending to ponder the request.

“I dunno...can you kiddo? I mean do you really deserve it?” Jack said shrugging and narrowing his eyes.

Axton avoided Jack’s two colored stare.

“Gotta earn it kid. Then maybe, maybe you can.” Jack said his lips pulling up in a twisted off smile.

Axton was pretty sure he knew what Jack meant by that.

Gotta earn it kid...Those words swarmed Axton’s every thought. Hadn’t he earned it enough already? Been left to rot in the cells, been forced to suck Jack off, been ruthlessly tortured ever since he set foot in this place. Wasn’t that earning enough?? He was angry with the comment.

He was furious with it. Axton was not having it.

“I’d rather die of dehydration.” Axton scoffed lowly.

Jack shrugged.

“Have it your way. Give you an opportunity and you shoot it down. Seemed like you woulda jumped on the chance this morning kiddo. But hey, whatever, no skin off my teeth. Suit yourself.” Jack mused turning back to his work.

Axton felt his stomach flop. Jack wouldn’t cease to hang that over his head. Axton knew better than that. Shit. Axton scowled. His eyes wandered over the taller, slightly older man. He sat slumped against the desk, elbow planted firmly on the dark wood, palm supporting his sharp chin. Pictures of plans and structures and robotic armies flashed across the screen. It was all Latin to Axton, he couldn’t understand a piece of it. Plus Jack was scrolling through it much too fast for Axton to actually read any of it. He wasn’t even sure how Jack himself could read it.

For fucks sake this was skag shit, Axton thought.

All this over a fucking glass of water.

Jack’s hair was disheveled from raking his fingers through it in distress. Hard day’s work Axton guessed. Wasn’t easy trying to overtake a planet he guessed. Jack look flustered, brows knitted together, deep frown set in on his thin lips. The metal hinges on the side of his mask glinted in the dull light from the desk lamp.

He looks like a mess. Almost as much as he did last night. Only...not as needy. Axton takes a sharp breath inward. He hates to admit it...but one could easily say Jack was easy on the eyes...really easy on the eyes. It’s stupid really.

Axton’s mind wanders without his consent. Jack’s stance alone is enough to make a poor sole want to fuck him. It’s just the way he sits in the obviously very expensive chair, legs open, left foot tapping the floor irritably. His hunched shoulders, material of his grey jacket stretching over his muscular back. Axton relishes in the finding that Jack is much more built than he would have ever expected him to be. He looked so scrawny and average on the posters spread around Pandora. They did not do the man justice. Jack pushed his right sleeve up to his elbow again seeing as it had slid down slightly.

Axton wanted to peel off that jacket. Peel of the layers of clothing Jack seemed insistent on wearing. Jack rubbed his chin thoughtfully, fingers splaying across his mask, wrist tattoo now visible for Axton’s viewing. He Hadn’t noticed he had a tattoo. He wondered where else he had them...

Axton blacked out before he could really see...all...of Jack.

Damn...he wanted to see all of him. Touch all of him, kiss all of him....taste all of him. Before Axton could even think about his next actions he was standing. His legs were a little wobbly beneath him, but he didn’t let that stop him. Jack looked back over his shoulder eyebrows raised at the movement from the vault hunter.

“Sudden change of heart huh kiddo?” Jack teased turning slightly in his chair.

Axton almost too eagerly closed the gap between the two men.

“Shut the fuck up and kiss me you god damned bastard.” Axton snarled as he leaned one hand on the chairs armrest and snaked the other gruff palm around the back of Jack’s neck. Axton pushed his hungry lips into the taller mans, his body hulking over Jack in his seated position.

Jack was almost instantly in motion. Hand’s moving through Axton’s hair, down his neck, underneath the collar of his Hyperion uniform. The kiss was eager and hard, all tongue and hot mouths. Axton’s tongue ran along the back of Jack’s teeth, exploring the hollows of his mouth, tongues sliding together, teasing meanly. Jack tasted like mint. Sharp and spiced and strong. It was not the least bit unpleasant.

“I like it when you talk dirty cupcake.” Jack hissed in Axton’s ear breaking the kiss for only a mere fraction of a second before Axton was upon him once more.

“You like it when I call you a bastard?” Axton huffed against him, hands fumbling on the front buttons of Jack’s brown waistcoat.

Jack chuckled.

“Along those lines...” Jack breathed

“Normally I prefer goddamned sexy bastard...” Jack snarled teasingly.

“Self-absorbed prick.” Axton growled finally undoing the last button and peeling Jack’s waistcoat open.

Jack chuckled darkly.

“You fucking like it commando.” Jack whispered hotly.

Axton merely grunted in response. Jack just pretty much just liked to compliment himself. And that was fine with Axton, then at least he didn’t have to do it. Axton grabbed Jack’s outer jacket and ripped it off, almost too roughly. He tossed it into a heap on the floor. He was determined to see Jack. All of him this time, savor none for later. He didn’t care how much he hated himself afterward. He was beginning to care less and less about those things with each added encounter with the Hyperion overlord.

That fact should have scared him. But it didn’t. It got tossed to the back of his mind like a crumpled piece of litter blowing around the streets of Sanctuary. It was something about the masked man, something brutal and intriguing and wanting. Something that just drew Axton to him like a moth to a flame. He hated him. God he did. But hated him in a different way now. Hated him for being cocky, and smug, and an all-around asshole. But then again lusted over the fact that he was. He loved to hate him. But wanted him all in the same breath. The man had tortured Axton, insulted him, abused him...and yet here Axton was ready for more. He’d take the abuse for this. Take it for this moment. That hot moment where lips collided without shame, where bodies were hot and needs were met. He’d take the abuse for just a few minutes with him. Jack bit Axton’s bottom lip hard, Axton tasted a little blood, and he’d be a damned liar if he said he didn’t like it.

The action pulled a low moan from Axton’s now slightly bloody lip. Jack reached up and smeared the blood down his chin with his blunt thumb.

“You like a biter don’t you kiddo?” Jack whispered to Axton venomously.

Axton didn’t reply he simply moved against Jack still leaning on the chair hard for support.

Jack snaked two hands up Axton’s hardened chest and ripped the zipper of his uniform halfway down, exposing Axton’s sun-kissed, battle scarred flesh. Jack leaned forward, tongue coming to run along the skin, leaving a pleasant warm wet sensation. He came to Axton’s collarbone, and then there were teeth. He bit down slightly, dragging a long heady moan from Axton’s throat.

“Yeah you do like it huh commando, like it a little rougher...would have expected nothing less from a bandit heathen.” Jack huffed, breath hot as it poured down Axton’s neck.

Jack moved to the other side of Axton’s collarbone, shoving aside the shirt material as he did so, pushing it back off Axton’s shoulders. He unsheathed his perfect teeth again and sunk them into Axton. Axton groaned louder.

“Bite me harder.” Axton begged.

The sound came out of his mouth alien to him. At first he was not even sure if he’d really said it out loud, or simply thought it to himself. But the increased pressure from Jack’s teeth told him he had. Axton’s cock throbbed as Jack bit him mercilessly. He was pretty sure he might be bleeding, or at least a little bruised. But he didn’t care. He’d wear the bite marks like fucking badges of shame.

Jack stood suddenly, forcing Axton to stand, and with a quick shift in positions Axton was pushed back into the plush chair and Jack was clambering into the much bigger man’s lap.

Jack ran his lithe tongue up Axton’s jaw hungrily. Axton tasted like salt, and the cheap soap Hyperion issued all its underling workers. Jack hummed against Axton’s neck just before the collar took over the space. Jack ran his tongue along the collar too, coming away with a cold metal taste. He caught the dangling dog tag in his teeth and seemed to suck it for second. Axton would have been disgusted with the action...had it not been so hot.

Jack’s hands were in Axton’s shirt now, splaying across large pecks, perfect nails biting in a little.

“I’ll just have you know, you better feel fucking special. Not very many get to sit in the boss’s chair.” Jack whispers into Axton’s ear.

Axton coughs amused.

“Not very many get to fuck the boss in his chair.” Axton snorts.

Jack’s lips are pulled up in a smile.

Axton knows it’s safe for coy remarks now. He’s slowly learning how to read Jack. When its ok to be a cocky shit, and when its only acceptable to be a very, very obedient prisoner. Now was the time for cocky remarks whispered between hot breaths. Jack seemed to like sex that way. Even more so now that he was sober for the action.

“No. Not many are allowed, to fuck the boss in his chair.” Jack corrects Axton with dangerous, sparkling eyes.

“Yes of course. You are allowing me master.” Axton huffs fisting Jack’s messy locks in his knuckles.

“I like that. Fucking say it again.” Jack barks the command his voice shaky and unsteady.

“Master...” Axton breathes quietly in Jack’s ear, taking the next moment to run his tongue around the rim and gently suck the lobe.

Jack shivers at the word, letting Axton know he likes it more than he should.

“God Axton AGAIN!” Jack snaps pitifully rocking his hips against Axton’s, hands still groping and kneading Axton’s muscles.

“You want me to fuck you master? I’ll do whatever you want. I am your pet, and you are my master. Just give me orders. Bark them at me master.” Axton growls to Jack his voice gruff and thick with stupid arousal.

Jack bites his lip at every mention of the word. His hands force the zipper open farther, hands coming down to rest on Axton’s rock hard abdomen.

“Fuck you are solid...and fucking...hard.” Jack stuttered.

Axton wasn’t sure if the words were actually meant to come out...but he responds to them anyway.

“Yeah always running and trying not to get killed by you makes for a good workout.” Axton pants sarcastically.

“I’m not even fucking sorry.” Jack mused raking his fingers over the muscles.

“I bet you aren’t” Axton snapped, insults were lessened in intensity when the two males were this wrapped up in each other.

Jack pushed the Hyperion uniform backward off of Axton’s shoulders and Axton slumped it off, if fell from the chair and added to the pile on the floor. Axton pushed his big palms up underneath Jack’s shirt, wanting for skin and not for clothing. Axton buried himself in the crook of Jack’s neck and Jack leaned his head back to let him. Axton’s fingers swept across Jack’s torso, nails dragging across the skin. Jack hissed at the movement.

“You aint so bad yourself.” Axton groaned touching the lithe muscles of Jack’s stomach.

Axton’s hands pulled Jack closer, big palms winding around to Jack’s rump, squeezing harder than he really meant to.

“You got a fine ass.” Axton breathed dazed fingers groping the full flesh.

Jack snorted.

“I know my ass is fine.” Jack hissed.

Axton rolled his eyes that was just like Jack...pompous asshole. Jack weakly thrust against Axton, his need apparent to the other man. A sharp, thick line was pressed against his pants, a small dark spot where pre-cum was seeping through.

Axton reached down thumbs working to slowly undo Jack’s belt. Jack didn’t protest the action so Axton kept going. He peeled the front of Jack’s pants open, letting Jack spring free from it. He hissed at the release. Jack’s cock was swollen and red, a bead of pre-cum forming at his tip. Axton could smell his arousal. It hit his nose heavy and thick. Axton inhaled it like a bong hit, holding it in, savoring it, releasing it only after he’d had his fill. He wanted to bury his face between Jack’s legs. It was an overwhelming feeling that he needed to, had to, would not be satisfied until he did.

Axton hefted Jack up and plunked him on the desk hard. Axton grabs the hem of Jack’s pants and tugs them down, all the way down, until he’s successfully stolen those too and Jack is left with only his unbuttoned waistcoat and his undershirt. Axton sunk down to his knees, palms sliding up Jack’s thighs holding him in place. Jack’s legs came to rest on Axton’s shoulders, loosely, lazily.

Jack leans back on his sharp elbows, head thrown back, hair hanging loose and in disarray.

Axton buries his nose in the space just beneath Jack’s erection and his balls. Jack smells like deep musk. It’s a hard smell, a heavy smell...a delectable smell. Axton groans into the space, tongue extending to run up Jack’s testes. Jack hisses and grits his teeth at the small, wet contact. Axton’s tongue explores the tender flesh, sliding and tasting, and then sucking. His mouth makes satisfying little wet noises as he sucks and licks. Thumbs dig into the undersides of Jack’s thighs as Axton spreads him wider.

Axton runs his tongue up the flesh between Jack’s balls and his now throbbing cock. And finally he comes to his shaft. It’s hot beneath his tongue, and he tastes heady. Axton moans against Jack’s hardness. He sucks Jack’s head into the hollows of his mouth, and then he is sucking, and bobbing and moving.

“A-AH god F-Fuck!!” Jack stutters in broken breaths.

Axton’s eyes flick up to meet Jack’s dazed slits. The masked man is panting and twitching and sighing. His mouth is slightly open, allowing moans and sharp breaths to kiss Axton’s ears. Axton runs his tongue up the slit of Jack’s head and tastes the sharp salt of his pre-cum. Jack is a disintegrating mess. He shifts onto his left elbow and frees his right hand only to slide it through Axton’s soft hair. Axton groans needy, humming against Jack’s erection.

“Ah-Ah-AH....g-god....you should l-live on your knees k-kiddo...” Jack manages through panting breaths.

Axton doesn’t respond to the comment he just takes it as a sign he’s doing a good job. Axton frees his mouth for a moment to suck on his first and second finger diligently. He folds Jack more and gently touches the puckered flesh of his back entrance.

Axton slides one finger in, and slowly adds another all the way up to the knuckles. Jack hisses in response and pushes down onto Axton’s fingers wanting more. Fuck he was so greedy. Axton thrusts his fingers into Jack shallowly, and returns his mouth to his erection. Axton massages deep inside Jack’s body, skillfully pressing against his prostate.

Jack moans out loudly his voice jagged and as rough as sandpaper. God it sounds hot. Too hot. Axton can feel his own erection throbbing for some attention. He’s so hard it’s almost painful. He reaches down to unzip himself but Jack’s voice stops him.

“I didn’t say you could touch yourself pet. Leave it.” Jack commands through rough breaths.

Axton involuntarily whimpers against Jack’s dick and Jack snickers. Axton continues to suck, and finger, and lick, thrusting his hips weakly as he knelt before Jack. It was so Jack to not allow Axton to get off. It was mean, cruel, downright awful...and it turned Axton on more than he’d like to admit. His erection twitched with interest as he sunk Jack’s cock back into his mouth, into his throat, swallowing him down.

Jack’s hand was forceful now. Pushing Axton down onto him, fat erection filling Axton’s throat over and over again.

Jack let loose a low drawn out moan and thrust upward just as the large door to his office flung open. Jack turned his head furiously eyes wild with anger.

A worker stood dumbly in the doorway, just now realizing what he had walked in on, and how much deep shit he was possibly in. Axton paused between Jack’s legs, unsure of what was to happen next.

“Uh-uh-uh s-sir...t-there’s a c-call for you...about the emergency l-loaders you requested....” The worker stuttered through chattering teeth.

If looks could have killed, the worker would have been dead where he stood.

“Can you not FUCKING see that I am FUCKING busy!? GET OUT! Or so help me I will SNAP YOUR NECK!” Jack bellowed at the worker.

The worker scurried out of the room, nearly tripping over himself, slamming the door behind him. Jack sighed out and ran a hand through his hair slowly. He shook his head angrily. Axton’s hand slid over Jack’s abdomen and he gently pushed his fingers into Jack once more.

“Relax.” Axton breathed over Jack’s cock.

Jack shot him a dirty look, but said nothing in return. Axton was not going to let an interruption ruin his chances at getting a fucking glass of water. A few good, wet strokes to Jack’s large erection and he was sinking back into his lethargic, pleasure induced state. He pushed down on Axton’s fingers and Axton began to thrust them into him again, pushing against his prostate. Jack looked strained and ragged, taking short raspy breaths. Axton could feel him swelling on his tongue and he knew he was close. Axton bobbed his head faster, sucking with more enthuse, fingers working diligently. Axton’s tag jingled lightly with the motion of his head, it mixed with Jack’s now overly loud moans. Axton suddenly felt the need to push him farther. Make this better.

“Mmmph, Jack....Jack...come for me Jack.” Axton whispered down Jack’s cock.

Jack bucked up at the sound of his own name on Axton’s tongue. He bent forward, hair falling in his face and cried out hoarse and weak.

“Ah-Ah AH!!” He groaned his voice cracking.

And then he was coming into Axton’s awaiting mouth. His taste invading Axton’s senses. He was salty and so heavy, so thick...

Axton swallowed over and over again until he could only taste his own spit. He slowly retracted from Jack, a string of semen and saliva connecting from Jack’s tip to Axton’s bottom lip. Axton’s eyes wandered up to Jack, as if looking for praise. Jack just sat huffing and panting, shaking a little. Axton slowly removed his fingers from Jack’s body, but remained loyally on his knees.

“G-Good job Kiddo.” Jack managed.

“May I have some water now?” Axton said deadpan.

Jack just pointed to the water dispenser, still panting too hard for actual sentences. Axton rose from his knees slowly, the tent pitched in his pants had not dispensed. He was still painfully hard and paying for it with every motion. He grimaced as he poured himself a paper cup full of water. Axton crossed the room and returned to his small chair in the corner, clutching the cup of water drinking it slowly because he was pretty sure this was the only one he was allowed.

Jack moved back to his chair and slumped down, head resting on the back tiredly.

He hadn’t even bothered to pull on his pants instead he just sat half naked, spent cock sticking to his thigh limply. Axton’s erection jumped and throbbed at the sight of the spent man. He looked like a fucking hot mess. And Axton liked it....

Chapter Text

The Ringleader

 

Jack’s belt jingled quietly as he hauled his pants back up and worked on redoing all the catches. He sighed out slowly, the breath escaping his thin lips in nothing more than a whisper of a sound.

Axton took another slow sip of the water, cool liquid easing his dry throat. He looked at Jack, and then back down at his own predicament. He was still hopelessly hard, even without stimulation, even just looking upon Jack was enough to keep him aroused. He whimpered almost silently, pitifully.

He needed it so badly.

Just another form of ridiculous torture that Jack had found to press upon him. It was so unfair. Jack seemed not to notice and instead turned in his chair, pulling up his documents once more, clearly more physically relaxed and unwound than before. Axton guessed that was one good thing...maybe he’d be easier to deal with...and not so quick to push that button of his...

Axton chewed his lip.

He was hot all over, cheeks flushed, erection angry and needing.

“Jack...” Axton croaked.

Jack turned and raised his eyebrow at the needy man in the chair across the room.

“Please...” Axton sighed weakly.

Jack’s smile was justification enough for Axton to realize it would not be that easy. Axton sat eyeing Jack, eyebrows drawn, dog tag swaying ever so slightly, the diamonds catching the light and reflecting it around the room in tiny rainbows. Jack motioned for Axton to pull his chair up to the desk, beside Jack’s. Axton reluctantly did so, and returned to his seated position, just about a foot and a half from Jack.

“Go ahead. Take care of it.” Jack said sneering.

Axton looked at him with pleading eyes. He wished Jack was not so greedy with his pleasure. What Axton wouldn’t do to have Jack’s smart mouth around him. But part of him new that was fantasy alone. Jack would never kneel before a bandit.

“Myself...?” Axton questioned quietly.

“Yes yourself. So go ahead pet. Just don’t get it on me.” Jack snarled teasingly.

Axton groaned. He guessed it was better than nothing. But this was beyond awkward. Axton had never partaken in actions such as this, where the other party simply...observed. Jack turned in his chair. Eyebrows raised in curiosity and intrigue.

What a dick, Axton thought angrily.

But god he needed it too badly to complain.

Axton slowly undid the button of his uniform and drew the zipper down. He pushed the bunched material downward and pulled himself from its confines. His shaft was sticky with wept pre-cum. He took his hardness into his own gruff palm. The skin of his male anatomy was so soft against his calloused hand. Axton squeezed upward, pulling the skin, head disappearing into his fist, then reappearing again as he pushed and pulled himself.

His mouth hung a little slack, a low moan slipping out without his consent.

Jack looked with interest, smile clinging to his perfect face.

“That’s it commando. Feels good doesn’t it...?” Jack whispered slowly.

So this is what he had in mind. Watch and simply egg Axton on with his voice alone. Normally Axton would give anything just for the Hyperion president to shut the fuck up, but now...oh now he couldn’t get enough of his honey sweet voice.

“Y-Yeah...” Axton answered softly, eyelids drooping.

Axton squeezed harder, pressing his thumb to the underside of his swollen head. Jack’s snickered lowly.

“Bet you wish it was my hand...don’t you pet? Bet you wish I was stroking that fat cock of yours.” Jack let the words roll of his tongue slowly. Every word was sweeter to Axton’s ears. Thick with tension and danger and god was it ever delicious.

“I-I do...” Axton answered almost involuntarily.

His breaths were scattered and sloppy, his big palm pumping faster. He leaked cum onto his fist every time he brought his hand upward. Axton huffed out hotly. He only wished for Jack to speak up again. He needed to hear that silky, murderous tone of voice again.

“You are such a pretty prisoner. Nice and hot...and obedient. You like being obeying me, don’t you? You were just made to be a bitch, god you are so good at it pumpkin.” Jack breathed heavily.

Axton just moaned in response. The heat in his groin was growing out of control. He was teetering on the edge of finish just with Jack’s words alone.

“That’s it. Harder Axton.” Jack whispered the words to the commando.

Axton groaned weakly, hand moving faster, body heat rising. Thoughts were hard. Words were hard. Everything was hard. Especially him. He thrust into his fist faster, gripping tighter, almost too tight but he didn’t care.

“You imagining fucking me huh vault hunter? Imagining the other night. When I allowed you to get inside me. Wasn’t I tight Axton? Nice and tight and warm...” Jack cooed reaching over and sliding his fingers down Axton’s rough chin, over the scar that was scrawled there.

“Ah, Y-Yes! God you were T-TIGHT!” Axton moaned uselessly.

He closed his eyes, savoring Jack’s touch, wishing it was more.

“C’mon bandit. Come. Come into your grubby little hand.” Jack hissed.

That was all Axton needed.

Axton pushed hard against the back of the chair, feet scrambling over the flooring, hips thrusting into the air. Long ropes of ejaculation exploded over his heaving chest. One after the other, powerful cumshots littered his uniform. His cock jumped with each dispersion of semen. Axton could feel some running down his slacked cheek. He was panting and heaving. He was wrecked with his orgasm. Axton opened his weary eyes only to find Jack’s gaze observing him amused as ever.

“So kiddo you always gotten off to the sound of my voice huh?” Jack teased meanly.

“Bet you loved hearing me come over the echo-net didn’t ya? Bet this isn’t the first time you’ve rubbed one out to my voice. Oh what would your vault hunter buddies say?” Jack scolded fondly.

Axton didn’t respond, he just sat in the midst of his pleasure, panting, heaving. Spent and broken he just sat silent.

“S-Shut up...” Axton stuttered, his words coming out much less confident than he’d expected.

“Sh, sh, sh don’t be embarrassed. Oh trust me I’ve gotten off to my voice many times. It’s nice isn’t it?” Jack chuckled hollowly.

Axton shot him a dark glance.

“That’s sick.” Axton snarled.

“Ha, it isn’t sick when you sound this good. I mean let’s get real. And that’s just my voice! Hell I bet it’s real nice actually fucking me huh kitten?” Jack taunted grabbing Axton’s chin again, smearing Axton’s own finish down his neck.

Axton frowned deeply.

“You are fucking full of yourself.” Axton snapped darkly.

Jack turned around in his chair, returning to work laughing hauntingly.

“Yeah, I guess I am kiddo.” He snickered.

 

 

Axton lay on his back on the small cot, looking up at the ceiling absent minded and dazed. Days had passed since Jack had dragged him along to the office. He was returned to the small room with the single cot, and had not been bothered since.

Axton wondered if Jack had tired of him. Or was simply too busy to mess with him.

Axton was allowed two small meals a day, mostly consisting of bread and some kind of sloppy stew, accompanied by only water. It was not as grand as the steak meal Axton had enjoyed that first night with Jack...but it would do. At least he wasn’t starving. It was better than nothing at all. This small confinement was a five star hotel compared to death row. Axton scratched at the flesh beneath his collar, it chaffed him a little and overall it made everything uncomfortable. Dressing, showering, sleeping, they were all awkward tasks with the thing around his neck. Axton was nearly going mad here though, with absolutely nothing to do. His only daily entertainment was visits from the Hyperion goon known as Tick. He was the one who brought Axton his daily rations and his new set of clothing every three days. Tick had grown to really rather hate Axton, and Axton did not blame him. Axton was as big a shit as ever to the worker on a daily basis. Hell it was the only shits a giggles he got out of the day. He assumed Tick was already rather displeased with the fact that he was given the job of taking care of Jack’s little pet, and it didn’t help that Axton always had some smart remark for him.

Axton assumed he’d be here any minute now. It was just about feeding time.

Axton listened intently for footsteps outside the hallway, still halfway lost in daydreams. Suddenly there was the creak of the door opening. It slammed against the door in its usual fashion. Tick lumbered in with his hunched form of walking, tray of food in hand.

The smell instantly hit Axton’s nose and nearly bowled him over. That was not bread and the shit stew.

Axton sat up on the bed as Tick plunked it down on the small table next to the cot. It was a pasta of some sort, complete with garlic bread, and a side salad. Glass of water and glass of wine to go alone with it.

Axton felt his stomach growl at the smell. Well this was certainly a change in pace.

“Boss sends his love princess. Sends apologies for his absence.” Tick growls roughly to Axton.

Axton faked a look of surprise.

“Oh? All for me? Well gosh tell him he shouldn’t have.” Axton said smiling brightly.

Tick seemed to squirm with anger.

“No. He really shouldn’t have. You eat better than half the workers ‘round here. Fucking bullshit.” Tick snarled shortly.

Axton shrugged.

“Awww is someone a wee bit jealous?” Axton pushed pulling his plate toward him.

He twirled a forkful of the noodles and popped it into his mouth. Axton made a little satisfied noise and grinned at Tick.

“It’s good really it is.” Axton purred.

“Fucking ridiculous. But I guess if I was sucking the bosses cock I’d get the same treatment.” Tick said darkly.

Axton frowned at him.

“Watch it prick.” Axton snarled through a mouthful of pasta.

“What can’t handle the truth princess? I mean that is what you are doing right? Figured as much when the boss put that collar on you, and got you that pretty little name tag. He’s real fond of you. You must be pretty damned good with your mouth, seein as he’s a picky sunnofabitch.” Tick growled through his teeth a small smile peering through.

Axton felt anger rise in his throat.

“I said watch it.” Axton growled fiercely.

Tick folded his arms across his great chest.

“Or what cock sucker?” Tick taunted.

That was it.

The only living soul on the face of this planet that could call him such a dirty thing and get away with it was Jack himself...because somehow when Jack said it...it was kinda hot. But this poor excuse for a human being calling him that? Oh no. He would not stand for that shit.

Axton stood up suddenly.

“I’m about four seconds from turning your face inside out.” Axton warned.

Tick laughed loudly, a low sound that rattled up from the depths of his stomach.

“Oh the man actually stands? Kinda thought you only knew how to get on your knees.” Tick sneered.

It took Axton about a half a second to grab the fork off his plate and launch toward Tick. He tackled him with all his weight, slamming into the man dressed in yellow Hyperion getup.

He grabbed him by the back of his head and shoved the fork into his eyeball, then pried it out, taking the eye with it. Tick screamed like a sick animal, clawing at Axton wildly.

“Call me a cock sucker one more fucking time you god damned behemoth!!!” Axton yelled prying the eyeball off the fork flinging it across the room with a spurt of blood and fluids.

Axton jabbed the prongs into his cheek harshly, blood running over his palm forcing the whole fork in. Axton grabbed the man’s mouth and shoved the fork into his throat.

“I’ll give you something to suck on you fucker!!!” He screamed forcing the sharp prongs downward resulting in the man coughing up blood.

It took no time at all for sirens to start wailing. For feet to come running down the hallway. The hurry of workers to contain the wild animal let loose again. Axton went with little fight. They swarmed him and one worker jabbed him in the neck with a hard sedative. That was the last thing he remembered. When he came to he was standing, or more slumping, lashed to a heavy pipe in the middle of a steely white room. Arms bound by thick leather straps, ankles were the same. He groaned and shook his head. He wondered how long he had been out. His arms were already aching from being tethered.

Why couldn’t he just fucking control his temper. Just when things were getting good. When he was well fed and had a place to sleep at least...and now he most likely fucked all that up.

You stupid mother fucker, he thought to himself angrily.

There was the creak of door hinges, and he was no longer alone in the room. He tried to crane his neck and look backward but he couldn’t.

“Axton, Axton, Axton...what am I going to do with you?” came that sweet, sharp, voice that Axton knew all too well.

He hung his head pitifully as the footsteps neared. In seconds Jack was standing before him, arms crossed, stance as cocky as he always was. He shook his head at Axton and made small scolding noises as if accessing what a child had done wrong and how to punish them for it.

“I leave you alone for a week, I send you a nice meal to make up for it, and this, this is how you repay me? Oh Axton I’m hurt. Not my pet. My pet shouldn’t behave this way. A fork to the eye? I mean really I have to give you points for creativity...but c’mon now I can’t have that, you know better cupcake.” Jack scolded putting on a very fake hurt face.

Axton avoided his eyes weakly. He knew he’d fucked up. His anger had gotten the better of him....again.

“He called me a cock sucker.” Axton protested quietly.

He knew this was not an argument he would win, but he had to at least let Jack know he was provoked. He was pretty sure it wouldn’t help his case...but it was worth a shot. Jack peered at him questionably, eyebrows furrowed, fingers tapping his sharp chin.

“Well....but you are.” Jack said raising his eyebrow and gesturing toward Axton in a “duh” sort of fashion.

Axton bit his lip in rage. Jack stepped closer to Axton. He traced the small markings on Axton’s forehead.

“You know, I mean you do really like sucking my cock. And I really like you sucking my cock. But technically...that would make you a cock sucker. Soooo he wasn’t completely out of line saying that.” Jack said patting Axton’s head.

Axton frowned deeply. He was embarrassed he’d even said anything. He instantly regretted the action.

“Seems I’m going to have to teach you another lesson pet. We’ve really gotta get over this little wild stage of yours or this, this just isn’t gunna work out well kitten.” Jack scoffed shaking his head and shrugging.

Axton gritted his teeth and waited for the shock of Eridium to flood his body. At least this time he’d be ready for it. He waited...and waited, but nothing happened.

Axton cracked an eye open.

Jack was nowhere in sight. This instantly worried Axton. He could hear Jack fumbling with something just out of reach of Axton’s visuals.

Fuck. God fuck.

Axton gritted his teeth. He heard Jack approaching again. He was holding something. Jack twirled what looked like some kind of leather, flat, flogger in his fingers, whistling cheerily as he came closer. Jack paused for a second processing the scene before him, figuring out how he was going to go about it.

“Cut his clothes off.” Jack hissed.

Axton was not aware that he and Jack were not the only ones in the room until that very moment. Two workers hurried over with scissors and went about cutting Axton out of his uniform.

“For fucks sake Jack...” Axton pleaded.

Jack put his fingers to his mouth and shushed Axton.

“Ah-ah-ah, you know I have to pumpkin. Figured you’d like a little change of pace from the Eridium collar. Something a little more....old school.” Jack said slowly.

“Out!” Jack commanded the workers and they left like scurrying mice.

Jack flipped the flogger over in his hands, testing its weight, giving a few halfhearted practice swings. Axton felt a cold chill rush over him, the cool air nipping at his naked form.

“Jack please...” Axton begged quietly.

With that Jack reared back his arm and swung the flogger as hard as he physically could. It cut the air with a quick “zip” and made contact with Axton’s bare right cheek.

“PLEASE!!” Axton screamed as the flogger hit, eyes widening with the impact.

It hurt.

It really hurt.

Jack reached out and rubbed the struck area as if to sooth the tingling sensation away. The flesh was already beginning to flare pink with the strike.

“I like it when you beg.” Jack whispered, almost in a daze like tone.

Jack took another quick swing and the flogger’s flat end cracked against Axton’s flesh. Axton cried out as he took the hit, pulling against his wrist restraints.

“JACK!! GOD PLEASE!!” Axton yelled louder as Jack took another powerful swing.

“Nnff louder Axton, can’t hear you pumpkin.” Jack hissed.

There was the whip of the flogger cutting the silence and the smack of contact. Axton jolted forward. Jack’s hand replaced the flogger, rubbing the flesh, now reddening in color, the sting setting in. Axton could hear Jack practically panting behind him. He faced forward, chose not to look at him, straining against the leather bindings weakly. He didn’t want to see how much of a rise Jack was getting from the punishment. Another powerful hit from the flogger, Axton nearly bit through his lip to bite the screams back.

Jack rubbed the heavy flogger against the raw skin and Axton tried to shy away, but there was nowhere for him to go.

“FUCK!!” Axton screamed as he took another hit that reverberated up through his being.

In this instance he was wishing for the Eridium collar. A sweet, short, quick shock. It hurt, but this...this hurt more. This was hurting more than just his physical being. He was naked, vulnerable and shamed. Jack was good at that.

“YOU’RE A FUCKING MANIAC!!!” Axton threw the insult out without hesitation. He didn’t care. He just laid it all out.

Jack hit him harder. Axton felt tears spring to his eyes as he fisted his palms into tight bundles.

“THAT’S WHAT YOU FUCKING ARE!!! YOU CAN’T DENY IT!!!” Axton screamed even louder.

Jack was swinging the flogger faster, striking harder, with a vengeance.

Jack let out a low groan, one that Axton knew was not from anger. That groan welled up from other sources. Axton gulped sickly.

“You like insulting me Vault hunter?” Jack snarled sharply.

Axton said nothing. Another crack from the flogger.

“Do you?” Jack pushed.

Axton still said nothing. Another solid contact across his rump.

“I DON’T FUCKING KNOW JACK I JUST WANT YOU TO STOP!!!” Axton bellowed finally, weakly, broken.

Jack massaged the now bleeding flesh with the same weapon that made the wound.

“Well, that is certainly not the way to go about it...” Jack warned lowly.

Axton shuddered against the large pipe, leaning hard on it. There was no getting out of this. He just had to will through it. He waits for another hit from the flogger. But it doesn’t come. His eyes slowly open, Jack is back over at the table where the flogger came from. He picks up something, but Axton can’t quite see what it is. He feels his pulse rising rapidly. It’s only then that he catches a glimpse of what Jack now has in his perfect hands.

It’s a bullwhip.

Jack lets the long end fall from the bundle in his hands as it drags across the floor softly. Jack clenches his fist around the thick leather handle.

Axton’s eyes grow wide.

God, please no.

“J-Jack PLEASE. PLEASE NO.” Axton begs struggling against the pole.

“You need to watch your language...Axton.” Jack growls darkly.

He then reared the torture weapon back, and brought it down with force upon Axton. Axton screamed shrilly as it came down, slapping across half his rump and part of his back, sending up a bloody mist as it did so. Jack cracked the whip again, this time across Axton’s shoulder blade and part of his arm. Jack swung the whip like a ringleader at a circus, disciplining a lion who’d bared his teeth one too many times. He brought it down without mercy again and again, opening up Axton’s back mercilessly. Axton slumped against the pole now, feet unable to hold him, his whole weight being bore on the wrist restraints.

He’s hopeless now.

All fight is gone.

There were just tears then. They slid down his cheeks slowly, silently, mixing with the spray of his own blood splattered there. He’s wracked with shudders, sobbing uncontrollably now. Jack seems to notice the new development in Axton’s actions.

Axton waits for another punishing blow from the whip, but out of the corner of his teary eye he can see the end lying still on the floor. The floor is red. Very red.

He’s lost a lot of blood.

Jack is still now.

Axton fears this more than when he was whipping him. Axton dares to take a small steal of look over his shoulder, still sputtering with sobs.

Jack’s just standing now. Mouth a hard line across his face, whip limp in his hand. His eyes are staring blankly. There was a look that Axton had not seen before.

Something close to human emotions.

Close to real feelings.

Axton couldn’t take anymore. The pain was too much.

Darkness took over where his body could no longer handle consciousness.

Chapter Text

Drunken Late Night Visits

 

Axton’s eyes flicked open. He sat up slowly, expecting pain...but there was none. He warily got up, the room was dark, he fumbled around for a light switch and after minutes of searching he finally did. The lights bathed the room richly.

He was back in his room. The one with the lone cot and the small table.

Axton felt weak, and wobbly. He stumbled to the bathroom and turned in the mirror, looking over his bare back. He expected to see jagged wounds where the whip had cut him open, but there were none. Just several long jagged scars now decorating his tanned skin. He reached back and touched them tenderly. They weren’t old scars yet, but they were healed.

He instantly wondered how long he had been asleep. How long it took Hyperion’s doctors to patch him up this time. Could have been weeks, could have been days. Who knew?

Axton felt like it may have been more on the weeks end of it, judging by how weak he felt. Axton decided on a shower. That would help a little he figured. He turned the water on and slid down the shower wall into a sitting position. The water felt good running down his muscles. He felt the tension in them melting away down the drain. He sighed loudly. He ran his hands through his hair, working the water through his soft, short, locks. He ran his hands up his chin, he was more than stubbly now. He was in need of a shave desperately.

His mind wandered back to the last events he remembered.

The flogger.

The whip...

God the whip.

Axton shuddered coldly.

He’d never felt something so damned painful. He can almost still feel the sharp biting pain of the whip against his back and it makes his skin crawl. He hated him. He was absolutely certain now. If he never laid eyes on the son of a bitch again it would be all too soon. It didn’t matter that he had built these weird sorts of feelings for the man, that didn’t matter anymore. How could he feel attracted to someone who had done that to him...whipped him like an animal?

Whipped him without remorse...

Well nearly no remorse. Axton flashed back to the look in Jack’s steely eyes.

Green and blue confused with unknown feelings. Dealing with things that shouldn’t have been stirring there.

Was it regret? Or had he simply become bored with the action. No...it had to have been some form of guilt. But does Handsome Jack even feel things such as guilt? It didn’t seem likely. But Axton could wonder all the same. He lathered himself up with the cheap bar of soap left for him in the small shower shelf. It smelled odd, but better than what he already smelled like. It was obvious he hadn’t been allowed a shower in a while. He pressed his palms against his eyes and groaned lowly.

How long could he really withstand all this? How much more could he possibly lose? His dignity had gone out the window a long time ago. His sanity was about gone. He’d lost it all really. Lost his friends, his way of living...any shred of normal life was gone. Not that it was very normal to begin with...but it was better than this. Better than being pushed and pulled by a crazed maniac.

One second Axton was his prized pet, the next he was lashed to the whipping post. He shivered again and pulled his knees up to his chin. The water was warm. It served as this little slice of a false heaven in this insanity he had fallen into.

But he was still alive. That counted for something...didn’t it? He wasn’t even sure anymore. He half wished he’d just starved in that damned cell. Then he wouldn’t have had to go through all this mess. All the loss of his conscience, and feeling and morals...that was all gone. He wasn’t even sure who he was anymore. He just sat silently in on the shower floor. Letting himself be buried in the thoughts. Buried in the realizations. It was unpleasant. He wanted it to all stop. But he knew it couldn’t.

And suddenly, as if to break him out of his depressing thoughts he heard the door handle rattle. Axton perked up curiously. He hadn’t even bothered to actually close the bathroom door. He wasn’t expecting company. He wasn’t sure what time it was...it was dark in the room and there were no windows. Was it feeding time? Sending in a new goon to do it?

The door yawned open and a male form filled it.

Axton felt all the color drain from his face.

Axton sprung up off the floor and shoved his back against the back wall of the shower, frozen in fear trying to scramble away from the new company in the room.

Jack clumsily shut the door and obviously noticed the frozen Axton in the shower.

He began to cross the room but his movements were strange and uncoordinated and slow. He acted as if the floor was moving, holding his hands out for balance. He made it to the open doorframe of the bathroom and leaned on it hard. Axton’s heart was racing, he pushed backward harder, trying to get away. But there was nowhere to go. He was trapped.

Utterly trapped.

“Ax-Axton, no no-hic- don’t be afraid...don’t...be afraid of me…” Jack slurred tripping over his words as if his tongue were way too heavy for his mouth.

Axton looked at him with narrowed eyes.

He was drunk.

Really drunk, by the looks of it.

Jack looked over Axton with slow eyes.

“Oh...guess -hic- I shoulda knocked first...huh k-kiddo...I’m sorry...I just barge in. It’s a bad habit...” He chimed whirling his hand in a circle.

Axton cocked an eyebrow at him and relaxed a little.

Drunken Jack was much less intimidating than sober Jack. He was absolutely stupid drunk, Axton figured he couldn’t do much harm to him in this state.

“What the fuck do you want?” Axton growled, clearly displeased by Jack’s company.

Jack’s eyes sparkled with disappointment at the tone.

“I-I knew....you wouldn’t be happy to see me...b-but -hic- I-I...” Jack started but Axton cut him off.

“You nearly whipped me to death. Why the fuck would I be happy to see you?” Axton snarled viciously.

A pained face washed across Jack, like he’d been kicked in the gut or something. His mouth was a down turned grimace and his eyes were full of shame.

“I-I -hic- didn’t mean to....you had to be taught...I mean what’s a president gunna do? C-Can’t let crime go -hic- unpunished.” Jack retorted helplessly.

Axton frowned at the drunken man in the doorway.

“Just fucking leave. The collar is punishment enough. But that...that was too damn far Jack. Normal people don’t do that.” Axton whispered.

“And it’s not just that. It’s everything you’ve done to me. Tried to kill me multiple times. Left me in a cell to rot when you finally captured me. Slung a punishment collar around my neck. Made me suck your dick. Humiliated me, defiled me, diminished me. What the fuck is wrong with you??” Axton finished.

For some reason he felt it was ok to lay it all out on the table. Jack wouldn’t remember this in the morning by the looks of him, so he might as well. Jack just looked lost. Like a kicked puppy. No witty comment to be had from his normally quick mouth.

“I-I don’t know what the....fuck...is-hic-…wrong with me...I-I’m fucked up, I’m real fucked up...” Jack moaned pitifully, leaning hard on the door to support himself.

Gods he was drunk.

Axton rolled his eyes. Was he just being dramatic or did he actually feel some sort of guilt? Or was that just drunk Jack’s nonsense talking.

“Whatever Jack.” Axton spat turning his back to him.

He just wanted him to leave. Jack stumbled into the bathroom.

“N-No...I’m...I’m sorry...” Jack said waving his hands slowly, leaning on the counter for support.

“C-can I get in?” Jack questioned drunkenly.

Axton shot him a nasty look.

“No.” Axton protested.

“I-I’m gunna get in.” Jack concluded clumsily attempting to pull his jacket off.

It took him a good four tries and ten minutes but eventually Jack had struggled out of all his clothes. Axton stared at him darkly. Jack fumbled into the shower and leaned hard against the wall. He noticed he still wore the small wristband that held Axton in his power. He could wrestle it away from him. He could beat him senseless. But what good would that do? Running hadn’t worked. Sneaking out was nearly impossible and he had no earthly clue how to get out of the maze of a structure. And then he’d be in serious trouble if he mangled...or murderer...the Hyperion President. As fucked up as it was, Jack was the only reason he was still alive in the first place. He wasn’t exactly thankful for the way he went about it...but he’d take whatever he could get.

Axton sighed annoyed at the drunken man before him.

“Y-You’re still- hic- mad, huh?” Jack slurred looking defeated.

Axton just grunted.

“Here, slap me, righ...t...on the cheek-hic-.” Jack patted his cheek willing Axton to do so.

Axton just raised his eyebrows questionably.

“I’m not gunna slap you Jack. You’re fucking drunk.” Axton growled.

Jack dismissed the protest with a wave of his hand.

“Fucking slap me...c’mon!” Jack urged drunkenly.

Axton groaned. It would make him feel a little better.

He reared back his hand and slapped the CEO as hard as he could. Jack seemed to be stunned by the hit. He slid down the wall clutching the struck side of his face.

It did make Axton feel better...kind of.

He looked down at the crumpled man at his feet. He was making weird noises as he curled into a little ball on the tile. Wait was he crying? Axton immediately felt bad.

Had he really hit the poor fuck that badly? Shit he shouldn’t feel bad not after all Jack had done to him. But he was more human than Jack as he liked to believe and he still felt things such as guilt. Axton crouched down and pried open Jack’s folded arms.

“Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to slap you that hard.” Axton offered awkwardly.

“N-No, I-hic-deserved it...I’m kinda an...asshole...” Jack slurred speech impended by too much drink and now sloppy sobbing.

“Yeah you kinda are.” Axton agreed.

Axton sat down on the tile flooring. He didn’t really know what else to do so he just pulled the drunken man into his lap. He used to do this for Salvador when he got too drunk and started blubbering about weird shit from his past, so Axton figured this would work just as well on Jack. Jack instinctively curled up against Axton’s wet chest, still whimpering a little.

“You’re...you’re really warm...” Jack sniffed petting Axton’s chest slowly.

Axton just sighed and reached up to stroke Jack’s hair. That always worked for Salvador too. Kind of like comforting a wild animal really. Made him really miss the short, socially awkward man. Axton shook those thoughts out of his head.

“Do...do you think I’m -hic- handsomee...?” Jack slurred against Axton’s chest.

Axton sighed. He was way too tired to deal with this.

“Yes Jack, I do.” Axton sighed.

“Realllyy...?” Jack pushed reaching up to stroke Axton’s stubble.

Axton just nodded absent minded.

“Y-You wanna-hic- fuckkk me? Y-you can be realllyyy rough...” Jack murmured running his fingers along Axton’s lip.

“No, Jack you’re drunk.” Axton mused.

“Pleeeeease....” Jack sung drunkenly.

Axton rolled his eyes.

“No.” Axton said flatly.

“Why?” Jack pouted.

“Because I already told you, you are drunk. Really, really drunk.” Axton repeated.

“So...-hic-..?” Jack said playing with Axton’s hair.

“So, no.” Axton insisted.

He was not about to stoop that low. Especially not with Jack in this state. With his luck Jack would end up remembering something...and be pissed. That was like playing with fire. Even having Jack here, piss drunk, was playing with fire.

“Why...are you such a -hic- party pooper..?” Jack complained loudly.

“I’m naked....you are naked...soooo” Jack commented sitting up and attempting to kiss Axton’s neck, but missed and ended up bumping jaws with the commando.

“Jack you are making this really difficult.” Axton said pulling away rubbing his jaw a little.

“Then just....just fuck me...and put me -hic- to bed....can I sleep with you tonight?” Jack managed through his heavily mixing words.

“No, you can’t. And no, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Axton said frowning.

It was like talking to a stubborn child. Jack was not soaking in anything. He was just continuing on with his ramblings.

“Y-yes it is-hic-” Jack argued stubbornly.

His hands were on Axton’s stomach now, brushing, touching, groping, sloppily...but not all bad.

Axton frowned at him.

“Jack, really c’mon.” Axton growled.

Jack shushed him with a heavy finger as his hand snaked between Axton’s legs.

“Jack...!” Axton began but was cut off at the feeling of Jack’s palm squeezing around his limp cock.

All he could manage was a small hiss after the contact. Jack’s sloppy hand stroked up Axton with precision that he didn’t think was even manageable in his state. Axton was pretty near helpless to Jack’s advances.

“Jack...no...” Axton tried to be firm but his words trailed off into soft recommendations instead of orders.

Jack pushed his lips into Axton’s, nearly missing, but somehow making it to their target in the end. Axton wanted to pull away from the kiss...he wanted to...but there was that mixed up attraction again. It seeped into him like tar and stuck to him. He tried to will it away. Tried...but it wouldn’t just dissipate. It kept flickering back like a flame that refused to snuff out.

He pushed against Jack the kiss was sloppy, and warm. Jack tasted like whiskey. He’d been drinking the hard stuff apparently. His taste burned against Axton’s lips. Axton hummed against Jack as his hand continued to push and pull him. Axton broke the kiss panting eyes darting down to Jack’s fisted hand. He watched as his now swollen head disappeared into Jack’s palm, then reappeared as he stroked.

Jack kissed at the line of Axton’s jaw, free hand coming up to touch the skin just below the collar. Axton felt frozen, in limbo between right and wrong.

He knew this was wrong.

But he couldn’t help but to really want this strange, drunk, almost caring Jack. He knew it was a small window of time that he would be this way...was that taking advantage of him? Jack was the one pressing so hard...but Jack was also very drunk. If he remembered a small fraction of this in the morning, Jack would be furious. And it would be Axton’s hide....literally. Maybe Jack would just skin him alive and use it as an entry way carpet.

Axton shuddered at the thought.

“Jack...Jack stop....please...you...are drunk…” Axton breathed lowly.

Jack seemed to ignore Axton’s pleas. He slid his tongue along Axton’s scar ridden chest, the feeling was warm and wet and it made Axton gasp. Jack descended downward. Slowly. Painfully slowly. Axton watched with anticipation dripping from his face. He wasn’t really sure how to feel about all of this...go along with it? Stop it? Would Jack be even more pissed if he did stop it?

He’d most likely never get an opportunity like this ever again...

Axton felt sick even thinking that. Did he really need this that badly...need Jack that badly...?

Yes he did.

This ridiculous infatuation with the Hyperion overlord was getting out of hand, and yet he did not really want to stop it. This was from his wildest dreams, to have Jack in this state. So...willing. Jack was between Axton’s legs now, leaving sporadic kisses on the insides of his thighs. Axton’s erection flexed at the small touch. Gods he looked good down there. Looked so damn good. Too damn good. Sober Jack would have flipped his lid.

Axton shoves that out of his mind as Jack extends his tongue and drags it hotly up Axton’s shaft. His tongue flattens against the velvet anatomy, dragging slowly, warm, wet....talented. Axton presses his back against the wall hard and his hips jerk upward involuntarily. Jack’s mismatched eyes flick up to meet Axton’s. The gaze is held firm as Jack sucks Axton’s head. Axton groans out, face twisted in pleasure and unsure thoughts. The locked eyes only forms a burning heat there between the two males.

Axton looks at Jack through hooded lids.

He can’t deny how much he wants this. Needs this. Has to have this.

“Keep going.” Axton whispers to the man between his knees.

Jack smiles against Axton’s need, not his normal wicked sneer, something softer, something more human. He swallows Axton down, pushing his heat into his mouth, feeling the weight of Axton on his tongue. Axton takes a sharp breath and screws his eyes shut. Jack’s thumbs press into Axton’s thighs, holding him as he bobs his head hungrily. His tongue is fast, and lithe, and god it’s good.

Axton swallows hard. Where the fuck did he learn to give head like this? Well...Axton doubted Jack got to this high position without having to do a few...favors. Maybe that was how. Jack’s tongue swirled up Axton’s erection and Axton nearly doubled over. He was disintegrating into a sloppy mess. Jack’s hand came to Axton’s shaft, squeezing and twisting while his mouth did the rest of the work. Sliding and sucking and pulling all in a fluid motion. Axton moaned weakly and cautiously outreached a hand to Jack’s head. He tangled his fingers in the wet brown locks of the older man’s hair and pushed him down gently.

How far could Jack go?

Axton pushed farther, suggesting he wanted to find out. Jack obliged. He forced nearly all of Axton down his throat, then brought him out again, only to plunge him right back in.

Did he not have a gag reflex? Axton wondered wantonly.

Axton felt an all too familiar burning growing in his groin, his pleasure swelling, needing. Gods not yet, he thought.

Not yet.

He gritted his teeth and managed to finally find the words.

“J-Jack...god if you keep going like that I’m not gunna last much longer...” Axton groaned.

Jack left Axton’s erection with one final drag of his tongue. Axton’s groin was wet with Jack’s saliva and he’d be damned if it wasn’t the most delicious thing he’d ever fucking seen. They were kissing again. Jack tasted musky. He tasted like Axton, and Axton didn’t care. He pulled him in hard, needing to taste it all, to have it all. Axton pulled away gasping for air and his eyes wandered down Jack’s own flushed body. He was heaving and panting, chest rising and falling, erection bobbing before him. Axton reached down, big, battle-worn palm sliding around Jack’s swollen cock. Jack moaned like a virgin. His moans were much more pitiful than Axton’s. Much more loud, and hopeless. Axton figured it was because of the drink.

Jack thrust into Axton’s fist eagerly, wanting it so badly. He was so hot with the drink and the need. His eyes closed and his mouth opened pitifully to let loose another loud moan. God he was loud when he was drunk.

“Nnnngg...A-Axton!!” Jack moaned weakly.

It was weird hearing him moan his name. It was undeniably hot. It made Axton shiver. He wanted to hear it again. Wanted to feel that slight bit of power over the other man....it had just been so long since he’d felt anything like it.

“Say my name again.” Axton whispered in Jack’s ear, stubble brushing Jack’s neck.

Jack humped jerkily into Axton’s fist.

“Axton!!” Jack moaned loudly, his voice ringing in Axton’s ears.

“Louder.” Axton commanded nuzzling his face against the edge of Jack’s mask.

“AXTON!!!” Jack practically yelled bucking up.

“Yeah...that’s it...” Axton groaned now setting about licking the strange material of the mask.

“I like your mask.” Axton said dazedly.

Jack simply moaned in reply, Axton’s fist still slowly pumping him.

“I’m gunna cum all over it.” Axton snarled roughly.

Jack let a squeak of a moan pass his lips and nodded drunkenly.

“P-Please!” Jack begged pitifully.

Axton couldn’t get enough of Jack’s wasted state. Why couldn’t he be like this all the time? Jack had told him to be rough....and so he was. Axton grabbed the back of Jack’s hair with his free fist and pulled his head back gently. Axton licked up Jack’s neck, feeling his atoms apple beneath his tongue, pulse pounding against him.

“Sit on it.” Axton commanded gently.

Jack breathed out slowly as Axton released his grip on his member and reached for the cheap shampoo on the shelf. It wasn’t the best lubricant, but it would have to do. He lathered his fingers and slowly reached around Jack, pushing them into his warm body. Jack sighed and moved against him, not at all protesting the intrusion. Axton stretched him, adding a third finger, feeling Jack hiss against him. Axton poured a thick line of shampoo down his fat erection and then went to lift Jack’s unsteady hips. Jack held onto Axton’s shoulder for support. Jack slowly lowered down onto Axton’s need, face squinting up with slight pain as Axton’s thick head pressed in. Jack gasped and whined lowly, sitting down slowly, body swallowing Axton up.

Axton was in utter bliss with the newfound tightness.

God he was so tight.

Ridiculously tight.

Axton reached around and touched the skin where Jack was stretched around him, the tight ring puckering in protest when Axton attempted to add the finger also. Axton smiled darkly. Jack’s mouth hung open in pain and pleasure, breathing erratically, wet hair falling in disarray.

“G-God....you’re-hic-...big...” Jack huffed lowly.

Axton kissed along Jack’s jaw, sucking the hinge that was there.

“You can take it.” Axton egged gently.

He pushed Jack’s hips down a little and Jack cried out pitifully. Finally Axton was fully sheathed within Jack’s body. Jack began a sloppy, steady rhythm, rocking his hips against Axton’s need. He thrust Axton in and out, over and over again.

Axton was practically seeing stars.

He snaked his fist around Jack again, making sure to give him much needed attention as well. Jack looked down huffing and gasping, watching as Axton slid in and out of him. Axton cupped Jack’s balls in his palm, shifting them, rubbing them slowly. Jack moaned loudly and pushed down on Axton faster, with more drunken urgency. He looked like a broken mess, eyes nearly closed, mouth expressing shameless pleasure, breath coming out hot and steamy.

“A-Axton...I-I- I’m gunna....” Jack breathed out weakly, but he wasn’t even able to finish the sentence before he was coming.

Jack bucked up as he came into Axton’s thick fist. Axton pumped him hard, allowing him to finish on his toned stomach. Lines of thick ejaculation decorated Axton’s heaving stomach. Cum dribbled weakly from Jack’s angry red tip as Axton squeezed him between his thumb and fingers. Jack slacked a little spent and weary.

Axton would do the rest.

Axton gently pressed Jack into the shower floor, never disconnecting from him. He grabbed the undersides of his thighs and nearly bent Jack in half, picking up the pace where Jack had left off. Axton slammed into Jack, hard, quick thrusts that sent recoils up Jack’s body.

Jack’s mouth was wide as he moaned and screamed and was just all around noisy as fucking hell.

Axton was lost in the sloppy sex, the messy humping, the jackhammer fucking. He grunted and rutted like an animal pushing quicker and quicker to his peak. He had no regards for how rough he was actually being on the man beneath him. He pounded into him, almost hell-bent on breaking him.

Jack’s fingers dug into Axton’s shoulder blades.

Somewhere between the steady, wet sounds of Axton’s hips snapping against Jack’s skin and Jack practically begging Axton’s name...he’s there. Axton jerked out of Jack’s stretched body and stroked himself off frantically. Axton came in a rush of guttural pleasure, groaning as he shot ropes of cum over Jack’s perfect mask. He thrust weakly into his hand, last remnants of orgasm dripping off his fist and onto Jack’s chest.

Jack opened one eye, the blue one, the other layered in ejaculation and grinned up at Axton.

Axton panted over him, trying to regain himself. Recollect what sanity he had. He knelt there for a moment simply basking in the pleasure of seeing Jack so winded, so broken and so dirtied. The sight of his own finish streamed across Jack’s face brought on a whole new wave of slight pleasure chills. He helped Jack into a sitting position and washed the mess from his face gently.

Jack wrapped his arms loosely around Axton’s shoulders, seemingly pleased with himself.

“See...I-hic-...told you...it was a good...idea...” Jack slurred through panting breaths.

Axton just chuckled. Jack nearly fell into Axton as Axton attempted to clean Jack’s mess off himself.

“Soo...can I stay with youuuu?” Jack drawled.

Axton bit his lip. If Jack stayed with him, it was not going to be drunk Jack he’d be waking up to.

“I dunno Jack. You’re probably gunna be pretty pissed in the morning.” Axton huffed.

Jack looked confused.

“Pfffffttt, no I’m -hic- not.” Jack said snickering.

Axton sighed.

“Oh trust me I think you’re gunna be.” Axton groaned.

Axton helped Jack up and attempted to get him back into his clothes. He supposed he could drag him back to his room? Maybe? Or maybe Hyperion goons would mistakenly think he was kidnapping Jack and shoot him...yeah that wasn’t a good plan. But either way he couldn’t even manage to get Jack to cooperate with clothing.

“Goddamn it Jack quit moving.” Axton hissed as Jack stumbled backward and caught the counter for support.

Jack just snickered stupidly in response. Axton groaned and rolled his eyes. This was utterly useless. He grabbed Jack by the arms and tried to lead him out of the room but after a few almost nasty spills Axton ultimately decided on carrying the poor bastard. Axton dropped the still naked, very drunk, Jack onto the mattress and Jack automatically curled up in the sheets muttering things Axton couldn’t even make out. Axton pulled on his boxers and slipped into bed slowly. He scooted Jack over a little and made room for himself. Jack was instantly clambering back onto Axton’s side of the bed, drunken hands touching and gurgling weird comments.

Axton sighed.

He rolled Jack over again toward the edge of the bed.

“If you’re gunna puke, puke that way, got it?” Axton huffed.

Jack slurred what Axton thought was some sort of “I’m not gunna puke in your shoes” and Axton shook his head.

“These blankets...smell funny.” Jack muttered drunkenly.

“Go to sleep Jack.” Axton sighed.

After what seemed like forever, Jack finally fell silent, tangled up in Axton’s sheets leaving Axton with pretty much none. Axton frowned. Whatever. His eyes flicked over to the sleeping man next to him. God he dreaded the morning. He grimaced and tried to close his eyes to sleep.

Chapter Text

Breakfast and Bad Words

 

Axton awoke slowly, being dragged out of sleep by low groaning beside him. His eyes opened just a crack and looked to his side. The realization of everything that had happened washed back over him harshly. Axton could feel his heart thumping in his chest.

Jack was still next to him, right where he’d left him the night before...except he was waking up much less easy going... Axton swallowed hard and just laid there. It was most likely best not to make any kinds of sudden movements. The man’s back was toward Axton, bare except where the covers had tangled around his waist. He stirred slightly, another low groan from that side of the bed. Jack shifted more now, slowly pulling from sleep’s confines. His hands immediately went to his head where he pressed his palms against it groaning.

“What...the fuck...” Jack groaned lowly, still rousing himself.

Axton stayed absolutely silent, fear rising in him. God this was such a bad idea.

“Shit...my fucking head…” Jack moaned pressing against his eye sockets now, trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

Jack slowly leaned up on one elbow, groaning with the slight bit of motion. And then he seemed to stop dead, as if the realization had hit him that he was not in his own room. The biting question of where the fuck was he hit him like a ton of bricks. He threw the sheets off him as if they were snakes that had come right out of the bed. He made a disgusted little sound when he realized his naked state, and then whipped his head toward Axton’s side of the bed. Confused eyes were instantaneously furious as they laid on Axton.

Axton sat up slowly, cautiously.

“Don’t freak out.” Axton said slowly.

Jack’s eyes seared holes through Axton.

“What...the fuck...happened here?” Jack spat, nearly shaking with rage.

Axton scooted back a little, hands raised in defense.

“Look, Jack you showed up really drunk, you wouldn’t leave so I just put you to bed.” Axton countered fearfully.

Jack’s eyes were merely narrowed slits.

“Where the fuck are my goddamned clothes!?” Jack bellowed.

Axton just pointed toward the bathroom.

“You fucking took them all off and I couldn’t get them back on you...you were stinking piss drunk!” Axton defended weakly.

Such a bad idea.

All of this.

Bad, bad, bad.

Jack gritted his teeth in anger. Jack threw the sheets away irritably and stood as quickly as his body would allow possible. Immediate pain from his head...and other areas was apparent across his face. He whipped back giving Axton possibly the dirtiest look he’d ever had the pleasure of seeing.

“My ass...hurts. Did you fuck me???” Jack snarled loudly.

Axton winced at the accusation.

“I asked you a goddamned question!! DID YOU FUCK ME???” Jack yelled.

He stuttered for an answer shrugging and trying to make words.

“Jack you...you were kinda insistent...I didn’t know what to do! You told me to obey you! You were drunk but you gave me orders!” Axton retorted.

Jack looked like he might implode on the spot. He crossed the room without another word and disappeared into the bathroom. Axton could hear the jingling of pants being redone and the rustling of clothes being put back on. When Jack emerged, his face had softened...but only slightly.

“What happened?” Jack barked not even looking at Axton.

Axton sighed.

“Like I said you showed up really, really drunk...mumbling about being sorry for nearly whipping me to death, then you walked in on me showering, insisted you join me, then insisted we needed to....uh...you know...then I couldn’t get you back in your clothes you were so drunk and you kept asking to sleep here so I fucking let you.” Axton explained quickly.

Jack pushed his hair slowly.

“Don’t you ever, ever, EVER mention this again. Or I really will whip you to fucking death.” Jack spat.

Axton nodded quickly.

“This NEVER happened.” Jack continued viciously.

“Ok.” Axton said quietly.

Jack seemed to be pondering what to do next. What action might be appropriate. He looked to be battling whether to strangle Axton...or thank him. Axton sincerely hoped for the latter.

“God fucking damn kiddo. Just...fucking dammit....” Jack groaned wearily.

Axton wasn’t sure if that was a question, statement, or even directed at him really...so he just stayed quiet. Jack seemed to ponder saying something, but opted against it suddenly. He turned to Axton one more time with those wildly angry eyes, eyebrows dipping over them.

“Never happened.” He snarled one more time, as if making sure that Axton truly got the point.

And then he was gone, door slamming behind him so hard Axton thought the frame might come down the way the wall shuddered under the impact. Axton sighed out slowly with the leaving of his bedside partner. It hadn’t gone nearly as bad as he had expected...but the day was still young and Jack could still decide that punishment needed to ensue for such an act of rebellion. Though...it was not really rebellion, he had been following Jack’s orders. Drunk or not they had still been orders.

And like Jack always said, his orders...were final. Axton’s eyes flicked to the empty side of the bed, still crinkled with Jack’s shape.

He almost missed the company.

 

Later that morning the door opens and there’s a Hyperion worker that comes. Only now he is clad in full out battle armor, complete with helmet and face visor. Axton chuckled lowly guess they finally wised up on who got to bring him food. The worker brings a tray of food. It’s overflowing with bacon, eggs, pancakes, and biscuits. It comes with syrup, the good kind, milk, and orange juice.

The worker set it down on the table.

Axton looks curiously up at the armor clad worker.

“Compliments of the boss.” The worker says through a mechanical voice modulator.

When the door shuts behind him Axton can’t help but to smile. He supposed this was about as close as he would get to any thanks from Jack for taking care of his drunken ass. As Axton scarfed down the crisp bacon, he was pretty sure this would do.

Better than nothing.

 

Three weeks later:

It was evening, Axton supposed judging by the dinner he’d just been served. Regular stew just like the past twenty one days, minus Jack’s overly nice, weird, “I’m kind of sorry” breakfast.

Axton polished off the last piece of bread and walked over to the door. Finding a pass time had become much more challenging now that Tick was gone. Axton was pretty sure he’d go mad with boredom any day now.

He put his ear to the door and listened intently. Trying to catch a hint of a conversation from workers outside. That had become his only form of any sort of entertainment. The conversations weren’t all that interesting. Mostly about the weather, or their workload, and of course the occasional story of what girl they fucked the night before. Those were the rare better stories.

There didn’t seem to be much activity outside. Axton sighed.

Jack really must have been cross with their last encounter to go this long from summoning him for some stupid task or what not. Axton would take being lead around like a dog over sitting here going nuts on any given day.

And then, there were footsteps.

Axton perked up at the heavy boots. Sounded like his armor clad caretaker. Maybe he’d finally get a chance to do something else other than look at the damned walls of this place tonight. Axton stepped back from the door and waited. And waited.

He was beginning to lose hope when suddenly the door came open.

Axton’s caretaker stood there holding a large pair of handcuffs.

“Boss wants to see ya.” He said simply.

This caretaker was not a talker. He wasn’t really too good with words. Always one sentence, just one. He wasn’t fun to taunt. Axton had found that out within the first two days.

Axton turned around and put his wrists together.

He hoped he wasn’t being drug to a torture session. Maybe he was. Who knew. Maybe a few weeks of brewing over the little incident had finally made Jack decide punishment was in order. Or maybe this was a summoning for well...something else.

Axton hoped for something else.

So many weeks alone had him crawling. More than he’d like to admit. A lot of time alone...does things to a man. Especially when the only thing he could think about...was Jack. Jack seemed to regularly take up his thoughts to pass the time. The man did like to be the center of attention after all...and in Axton’s little world...he was. It was hard to just not think about him. To hate him one second...and lust after him the next. The whole ordeal had Axton in a flip flopping type of mindset. He was still sure he hated him with a burning passion. He was most certain of that. But in that same breath that brought up hate, it also brought up a burning desire to simply take out the hate and anger on him by fucking him stupid.

Axton felt hot at the thought.

The handcuffs somehow weren’t helping. They reminded him of Jack. Everything reminded him of Jack. Axton was too lost in thought to even realize the leash had already been attached and he was already following the armor clad man down the hallway.

Axton followed almost...too willingly.

And yet he didn’t really care if it was or wasn’t. They go through the motions, the caretaker leading, Axton following. They pass through the big doors of Jack’s living quarters. But this time they ascend up one of the large sets of staircases. The top floor looked many times more modern than the bottom floor. It’s mismatched and strange. As if Jack couldn’t decide on what interior design he really wanted so just made two floors, one for each. That sounded about right for Jack. Always wanting everything.

The caretaker finally opened a large door at the end of the hall, and basically shoved Axton inside.

Axton cursed a little.

“Woah, c’mon gentle jeezus.” Axton snarled.

The worker just grunted and proceeded to remove Axton’s cuffs and leash. Then slammed the door, leaving Axton standing stupidly in the new room.

The room was massive.

Three enormous black couches in the middle, accompanied by several modern looking egg shaped chairs. Black and white paintings adorned the walls, and a large screen hung on the wall directly in front of the barrage of couches. But by far the grandest part of the room...was the wrap around windows. They stood taller than Axton, a whole semicircular glass wall open for viewing to the outside world.

Axton couldn’t help himself, he dazedly walked over to the windows.

It had been so damn long since he had seen the outside world. Darkness cast over the city of opportunity. Lights from homes sparkled over the streets, lamps lining the walkways shone brightly. Some townspeople were still wandering the pathways. Families heading out to dinner, coming back from a late night grocery run, or just coming back from a date.

Axton pressed his palms against the window.

What he wouldn’t do to actually be out there. Smell the scents of the restaurants, feel the breeze through the buildings. He looked past the city, off into the distant hills of the highlands. Stars twinkled in the blue black abyss, like someone had spilled salt across the Pandoran sky. Hyperion’s moon base glowed in the closer distance, lighting up the sky brilliantly.

Axton was enthralled with it all. He could stand there for hours, just looking at it all. Remembering what it was like to be...free. A pang of sadness hit him hard in the gut.

He might never be free...

He had to remember that.

“Nice view isn’t it?” came a voice from across the room.

Axton whirled around wild eyed and startled. Jack sat lethargically stretched across one of the massive black couches, feet propped up on leather pillows, a hardcover book in hand.

“Woah kiddo, didn’t mean to give you a heart attack. Jumpy thing aren’t ya?” Jack said smoothly.

Axton’s eyes swept over the other man in the room, he had been too dazed by the view to even realize his presence. Axton felt like his feet were frozen to the spot in which he stood.

Jack peered at Axton over his pair of dark rimmed reading glasses, small smile forming on his lips.

Axton furrowed his eyebrows.

Since when did Jack wear glasses?

That may have been what took him so long to even take in the rest of Jack’s attire. Which consisted of nothing but a pair of tight, black, boxer briefs.

Axton was unsure of what to do, so he simply stood there dumbly.

Jack snapped his book closed loudly, causing Axton to jump a little, and he tossed it onto the small table next to the couch. He swung his legs off their resting position and planted them on the floor stretching upward slowly, catlike and lithe. Axton watched as his abdominal muscles moved with the stretching motion.

Good lord.

“So...how you doing buddy? Been a long time since we’ve...chatted.” Jack said leaning his elbow on his knee, blue and green eyes coming to rest on Axton.

God he looked good in glasses, was the only thought Axton could even possibly hope to manage. He looked like a college professor. The kind you spend the whole semester staring at and end up failing the class. The kind you’d beg to fuck, regardless if it earned you a grade or not.

Jack seemed to be displeased with Axton’s standoffish nature. He raised his hands up as if to show he meant no harm.

“Look no whips, no floggers, I’m not gunna punish you pet. I didn’t invite you up here for that....I mean and get blood on my new skag skin rug? No, no pet you’ve got it all wrong.” Jack explained grinning wider.

Axton was sure Jack got a kick out of how jumpy he was. Axton looked to the floor and then to Jack nervously.

Jack made an over dramatic sighing noise and motioned for Axton to come sit next to him.

Gods could he even handle being that close to him looking like that?

Axton grimaced and slowly crossed the room.

He eased down into the couch seat next to Jack and sat stiffly.

Jack, as if knowing how frightened and uncomfortable Axton was, leaned over and brushed Axton’s hair back softly, eyes glinting with delight.

Axton took in a sharp breath at the touch, fear, want, desire, everything coursing through him.

“Why so tense commando?” Jack hissed smiling wryly.

Axton shot him a dirty look.

“You know goddamn well why.” Axton snarled his voice rough from not using it often.

In confinement there was nobody to converse with, except himself...and he wasn’t that crazy yet. Jack shot him a playfully sinister look.

“I already told you, you aren’t here for punishment kitten.” Jack said pawing at Axton’s uniform softly.

Axton tensed up at the touch again, muscles clenching, breath catching.

“Oh for fucks sake would you relax? You know why I asked for your presence.” Jack hissed.

Axton frowned darkly. It was all so confusing. Wanting him, hating him...also wanting to strangle him.

“No. I don’t.” Axton lied.

He was pretty certain he had a slight idea why he was here. But he wanted Jack to fucking say it.

“Oh, yes you do.” Jack insisted, glowering eyes lazily running up Axton, and back down him.

“You can’t fool me pet. I know better than that. But...since you do seem to be insistent on being a stubborn little fuck, I’ll humor you.” Jack sneered perfect teeth inches from Axton’s face.

He smelled fresh. Like cinnamon. It fit him really, sharp and sweet all in one. Potent. Heavy. Mean.

Jack groaned moving closer to Axton, glasses falling ever so slightly down his nose, eyes hiding behind them darkly.

“I’ve got an itch I need to scratch cupcake.” Jack continued hotly.

Jack nosed against Axton’s neck, teeth unsheathing to scrape along his jawline. Axton moaned out louder than he really should of. But it was too late to catch it in his throat.

Jack chuckled at the low, needy sound.

“Sounds like you’ve got one too huh kiddo?” Jack sneered.

“Oh fucking bite me.” Axton snarled sarcastically.

“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” Jack hissed as he let his perfect teeth fall lower on Axton’s collarbone.

Axton made a quick hissing noise and clenched his teeth. Jack grabbed Axton by the chin and forced him to look at him.

“Nobody can resist me kiddo. Nobody.” Jack whispered.

Axton wanted to make some snide remark to the ridiculous comment but all that came out was a low moan as Jack ran his tongue down his jaw.

“Son of a...bitch...” Axton groaned weakly.

Jack just laughed pleased with Axton’s reaction.

Before Axton could object, or even really wrap his head around the current situation, Jack was shoving Axton backward onto the plush couch. The leather groaned noisily with the quick movement of bodies and changing of positions. Axton breathed out as Jack’s weight was now firmly planting his hips to the couch cushions. Jack pushed his slim fingers up underneath Axton’s uniform shirt, bunching the cloth up around the tops of his wrists. Fingertips slid along Axton’s muscles, light, almost featherlike. Ghosting along the flesh driven by experience and the simple need to touch the bigger man.

“So many clothes Axton, we need to fix this kitten.” Jack purred leaning down to bury his face in Axton’s neck again.

Axton could only hum a moan in response. Jack took hold of the uniform zipper and ripped it downward, allowing Axton to shrug out of it beneath him. Jack’s eyes flared with interest and anticipation as Axton did so, leaving his chest bare for Jack to admire. Jack’s palms splayed across the swells of muscle, devious grin pulling at his lips.

Axton looked up at him through hooded eyelids.

Jack pushed his glasses up daintily, eyes drawling over Axton as if he were a four course meal.

“Nice glasses. Bet you got called four eyes a lot in high school.” Axton huffed breathily.

Jack sneered at the insult.

“Was that supposed to be an insult kiddo? That was sad even for your standards.” Jack snapped rocking his hips against Axton’s, rubbing slowly against Axton’s already swollen erection.

Axton shot Jack a dirty look but was at a loss for anything snarky to snap back at the masked man pinning him down.

“Besides kiddo...seems like you like em. Hard already... and I’ve barely even touched you. Pathetic, really.” Jack hissed meanly pressing his groin into Axton’s.

Axton gasped out loudly at the pressure.

“Tell me you like them.” Jack snarled, gaze hot over the rims of the glasses.

Axton felt his breath get caught in his throat as he struggled for use of his brain.

“I-I like them...ah!” Axton breathed pitifully, in an almost begging tone.

His words came out weak and needy, and he didn’t care. It was all part of the way Jack wanted this. It was always Jacks way. And surprisingly, here, now, Axton had little problem with it. Jack closed his eyes as he slowly dragged his tongue up Axton’s peck, sucking his nipple when he got there, lips pleasing and warm. Jack suddenly reached up and grabbed Axton’s neck.

He could feel Axton’s pulse rise beneath his fingertips.

Axton swallowed hard.

He should have been terrified, Jack’s hand around his neck, that would be enough to frighten anybody. But it didn’t feel frightening. It didn’t feel threatening. The grip was hard, tight, but not enough to cut his breathing. Just enough to stir something primal...animalistic in Axton.

Axton groaned under Jack’s grip.

His mind melted in utter ecstasy, he liked the dangerous feel of Jack. The dangerous feel of it all, and the added danger of his hands around his throat.

“T-Tighter...” Axton begged lowly.

Jack cocked a perfect eyebrow and grinned at Axton wryly.

“You like that commando? God I have trained you well.” Jack hissed tightening his grip ever so slightly.

Axton could feel the change in pressure, causing breathing to become more difficult. Causing him to grow even harder, his erection throbbing beneath his uniform, pressed tight against his leg begging for room when there was none.

“J-Jack...please take...my pants off...it’s fucking tight...” Axton begged pitifully.

Jack’s hands loosened slowly from their grip around Axton’s thick neck. Jack’s amusement was clear, plastered across his perfect face like a fresh painting.

“Axton, sweetie, you can beg better than that. I know you can beg better than that.” Jack whispered running his thumb over Axton’s bottom lip gently.

Axton rolled his eyes impatiently.

“Oh Handsome Jack...please...” Axton breathed.

Jack shivered, enjoying the sentence all too much.

“Oh kiddo, say it again.” Jack huffed wantonly, his hand coming to massage himself through his black boxers.

“Handsome...Jack.” Axton hissed as if he were telling a dirty secret.

Jack moaned lowly, squeezing his own erection that now pushed against the stretched material of the undergarments.

“Oh Jack, Handsome Jack...have mercy on me…” Axton begged slowly, words dripping off his tongue.

“Only...because...you’ve been a good pet...” Jack breathed gruffly.

Jack fumbled to undo Axton’s uniform, fingers clumsy now, driven by his need to have the other man. Jack’s fingers dug underneath the hem of Axton’s pants, quickly, roughly, and hauled them down. Axton pushed them off the rest of the way with his feet and breathed a sigh of relief as his need was freed from his overly hot clothing.

And suddenly Jack was on him.

Kissing him almost too roughly, pushing against him almost to urgently, moving against him almost too meanly. Neither man was soft. Nor was their lifestyles. Fucking was no different. They fucked the way the killed. Mean, messily and quickly. Axton’s fingers worked through Jack’s hair, pulling slightly to force into the rough kiss. Jack’s tongue was hot as it slid against Axton’s toying with him, teasing him. Axton’s hands wandered down, coming to rest on Jack’s thin hips, running his thumbs over the bone beneath the skin ever so slightly.

Jack rutted against Axton, the soft material of his boxers rubbing against Axton’s proud erection. Axton leaned his head back, breaking the kiss, offering his flushed throat to Jack’s tongue and teeth. Axton could see the flickering of the stars as he leaned his head back on the couch. They were gorgeous. The windows open to the world, Jack on top of him, the warm spirals of pleasure ringing through him...it was perfect. He hadn’t felt this alive in weeks...months...what felt like eternity.

It shouldn’t feel this good. Captivity, being a pet to the Hyperion President, entwined in this madness that was the here and the now. But it did.

It was so good.

He shouldn’t like it.

The kissing, the moving, the touching, bodies forced against one another’s.

But he did.

It was too good.

He shouldn’t need it.

The wanting, the hot insides of a body, the thrusting, the coming.

But he did.

It was better than good.

His tongue slid up Jack’s sharp cheekbone, the rubber like material cold to the touch, whereas Jack himself was not. He was so hot, flushed...burning, against Axton. Jack leaned back a little, huffing and panting, eyes half lidded in pleasure. He put a hand on Axton’s stomach to steady himself as he looked down at Axton’s state. A thin line of pre-cum strung from Axton’s leaking tip to Jack’s now damp boxers. Jack hooked his thumbs underneath the hem of his boxers and hefted them down slowly, allowing himself to spring free with a weak moan.

Axton reached down to help Jack completely strip off his meager clothing. Once removed, Jack resumed his seated position on Axton’s stomach. Axton reached down lazily to wrap his palm around Jack’s thick need. Jack moaned out raggedly and jerked forward into Axton’s grip.

“Oh Jacky you are so damn thick.” Axton cooed meanly.

He knew the ridiculous pet name would get a rise out of the egotistical man on top of him. He cracked a smile as soon as it passed his lips.

Jack’s displeased eyes were on Axton in seconds.

“What...the fuck...don’t call me that stupid shit.” Jack snarled, trying to sound menacing but failing as his sentence trailed off into a moan.

“Why, don’t like pet names huh Jacky?” Axton swooned.

Jack made a disgusted sound as Axton said it again.

“Kiddo, I’m fucking warning you...” Jack hissed through thick breaths.

“Personally I think it suits you.” Axton smiled stroking Jack fluidly.

“Personally...if you weren’t...giving such a good hand job...I’d punch you in the jaw...” Jack groaned through gritted teeth and closed eyes.

“So aggressive.” Axton teased pulling on Jack’s hardness, his dripping pre-cum sliding over Axton’s thumb.

“You...should know that by now kiddo.” Jack retorted weakly.

“I like it.” Axton hissed hand moving faster now.

Jack nearly doubled over groaning roughly body shuddering in pleasure. Jack leaned backward and thumbed through the drawer of the table beside them. He came back with a small bottle of lube. Axton looked on, licking his lips in anticipation. Jack lifted up onto his knees, face twisted with concentration. Axton suddenly took the small bottle from Jack’s hands.

“Let me.” Axton insisted pouring the lube over two of his thick fingers.

Jack seemed to more than oblige.

Axton reached around Jack’s perfect ass and felt for his back entrance tenderly. He sunk his digits in slowly, painfully slowly, little gasps and sighs from Jack pushing Axton to proceed. He pumped the fingers in Jack’s tightness, opening him, readying him. Jack braced one hand on the back of the couch and with the other he stroked his length slowly. Axton was entranced as he watched Jack fist his own cock, sliding it in and out of his hand, tip red and swollen and fat.

Jack removed Axton’s fingers and positioned himself atop Axton’s cock. Axton grabbed hold of Jack’s hips and almost too roughly guided him down onto his hardness. Jack cursed a little under his breath as Axton entered him. One of Axton’s hands came to play over the soft trail of hairs on Jack’s hard stomach, while the other kept steady hold of Jack’s hips as he sat on him. Jack hissed and sighed as he did so, Axton’s thick cock stretching him in all the right ways.

Just a little more, Axton thought dazedly as Jack pushed the final inches of his length into his body. Jack sat for a moment, groaning and adjusting, Axton could barely stand it. He needed him to move. Axton prodded Jack for movement, forcing him with his hands, and finally Jack did. He began slowly rocking against Axton, hips swaying ever so gently, like a ship at sea. Jack’s hand’s came to spread across Axton’s stomach as he thrusts shallowly, steadying himself for the ride. His eyes screw shut behind his glasses lenses and Axton bites his lip to muffle a moan.

Jack’s body clenches around Axton’s hardness, and it’s good and tight and warm all in the same breath. Jack thrusts deeper now, body ready for a rougher treatment. Axton’s fingernails dig into Jack’s hipbones, anchoring the other man to his dick. Jack rides him like a thoroughbred, faster, harder, more urgently. Jack’s gasps and quiet sighs were quickly turning into guttural, throaty, moans. Axton relishes in the sounds, leaning his head back, sinking into the feeling of Jack riding him. Jack grabs a handful of Axton’s hair and pulls him up, slamming their lips together almost too hard. Axton’s pretty sure he tastes blood as Jack forces himself upon him. Axton kisses back though, meaner, rougher.

“I want it hard Axton.” Jack growls breathlessly, pulling away from the all too violent kiss, a trickle of blood running down his sharp chin.

“Sure boss.” Axton groans.

He lifts Jack up, swings him as if he weighs nothing and slams him into the couch. There’s the slap of a bare back against the leather sofa and Jack makes a noise that suggests he nearly knocked the wind out of him.

Axton’s on him like a bad habit. Hands scrape Jack’s hips lifting them to him, forcing Jack to spread his legs like an offering to him. He fucks him deep and fast, each thrust reverberating up through Jack’s body, lurching him forward. Jack’s heels hook around Axton’s hips, digging into his spine harshly. Axton winces but doesn’t stop, only fucks harder. Jack’s hands run down Axton’s shoulder blades, nails digging in, leaving red bleeding wounds in their wake. Jack leans his head back, practically yelling, his honeyed voice dripping with pleasure. The couch groans under all the action, knees scrambling, hips thrusting, hands desperately searching for things to hold onto.

There’s hair grabbing, more rough kissing, biting, lots of biting.

Axton’s chest is bleeding from a particularly merciless bite he’d just received from Jack’s perfect teeth. Jack knocks his head on Axton’s metal collar and curses through moans. Axton’s body slaps against Jack’s. The wet clapping of sweaty bodies only mingles with the rest of the chaos. Axton runs his tongue over the metal hinge of Jack’s mask, its cold and metallic on his tongue. Jack takes the opportunity to grab Axton’s face and bite his lip.

Axton only groans against him.

Jack releases him with a long breathy groan. Jack’s marble like eyes clench shut tightly.

“Son of a fuck!” He yells loudly as Axton thrusts in harshly.

Axton’s vision is dazed with it all, mind going a million miles an hour. All he knows is its rough, its mean, and he cannot stop.

“I’m gunna break you in fucking two...” Axton moans to Jack, his voice low and booming, like a cannon.

Jack’s hands snap to Axton’s rump, fingers clenching on the tight muscles as they worked. Jack may have claimed to be better than filthy bandits....but he sure knew how to fuck like one. This was Pandoran sex if there ever was.

“God damn it!! HARDER!!!” Jack bellows, back arching up off the couch slightly.

Axton knows he’d hit his sweet spot. Axton complies. He tilts Jack’s hips and drives into him with a vengeance. Between Jack’s heels and his nails, Axton isn’t sure which one hurts more. Sickeningly it’s not all unpleasant, and has him spiraling downward quickly.

Jack throws his head back, mouth agape, and suddenly he’s coming. His orgasm hits hard and he’s ejaculating thick, powerful bursts up over his chest, his face, and his neck. Over and over again, his erection jumping with every cumshot, until he’s spent and utterly filthy. He just lies beneath Axton, fingers loosening, legs falling slack. The sight of Jack’s finish topples Axton over the edge as well, and he’s filling Jack with everything he’s got.

His cock throbs as he unloads himself in Jack’s body. He see’s stars as it happens, body shuddering, hands grabbing every bit of Jack that they can find. Axton can’t even form enough of a thought to loosen his grip on Jack’s thighs. Where yells and curses had filled the room moments before, now there is only heavy breathing and gasps for oxygen.

Axton isn’t sure which one of them is slicker with sweat, him or Jack. Jack’s hair is a mess, he can see more of his grey streak in its wild state. His eyes are still closed as he heaves for breath beneath Axton.

“You....fuck....like a goddamn...champ....” Jack finally manages to say.

“What....did you expect....from a filthy, uncivilized, rough around the edges....bandit?” Axton counters tiredly.

A tired smile cracks across Jack’s face.

“Maybe...I had you bandits...all wrong.” Jack huffs letting his hand fall slack on the couch beside him.

Axton grins wryly.

Axton slowly opened his heavy eyes to access the damage. Jack had blood running down his perfect forehead and nose. Possibly from where he head butted Axton’s collar. That’s what he got for putting the damn thing there in the first place. His hips were already showing hints of bruises where Axton had gripped a little too hard.

Jack’s eyes are open now, seemingly doing the same damage check on Axton. Axton’s bleeding a hell of a lot more than Jack is. Jack was a little overly enthusiastic this time with the biting. Axton leaned back on his knees and Jack hissed in response. Axton grabbed the base of his cock gently and slid it slowly from Jack’s body, coming away with a small sucking noise. Axton’s finish leaked out of Jack’s stretched hole and puddled on the couch.

Jack groaned as the feeling of fullness left him. He slowly reached up and removed his glasses that were now decorated with his own cum. He whispered a small “fuck” underneath his breath and threw them on the floor. Axton was almost sad to see them leave Jack’s face. The compliment was slipping out of his lips before he had time to stop it.

“You do look hot with glasses.” Axton breathed slowly sitting backward on the couch.

“You don’t have to tell me, I know I do cupcake.” Jack sneered sitting up.

He grunted displeased with the mess he’d made of himself. He slowly roused himself to a standing position with much effort, some grunts of pain, and a clear expression that it was a lot of work to get upright.

“Gotta shower. And I can’t very well leave you alone kiddo. Looks like you gotta join me pet.” Jack commented looking down at Axton.

Axton looked hesitantly at the Hyperion President. He’d never been offered such things as a shower afterward...

“Oh freaking hell I’m not gunna drown ya. Just can’t give you free reign, you know that. Every time I do that you manage to kill somebody.” Jack huffed annoyed.

Axton stood obediently and followed the slower moving male.

“You need me to carry you boss?” Axton commented snidely.

Jack shot him a dark look over his shoulder.

“I take it back, now I might drown you.” Jack snarled.

“And then who would fuck you stupid?” Axton retorted sarcastically.

“Oh have we met? My names Handsome Jack, and yes there are lines of people who would love to do it with me. Like the whole planet. Glad we cleared that up cupcake.” Jack snapped grinning.

Axton rolled his eyes dramatically at the self-centered CEO.

Axton followed the nearly limping Jack to a room forming off the large sitting area. As soon as the door swung open, Axton knew that this...was Jack’s room. It had a fine view, much like the other room, only with a wide balcony jutting off into the sky. It was adorned with a pool that glittered in the starlight, dim underwater lights tinting it a ghostly blue. The inside of the room was even grander. The enormous bed took up almost half the room, four posters surrounding it like a grand temple. The walls were decorated with large paintings and images, another sitting area was arranged on the other side of the room. Chairs all grand, tables all thick heavy wood. The carpet was high and soft, it looked and felt expensive.

Axton stared in awe as he loyally followed, his steps slow as he took it all in.

The bathroom followed suit. Marble counters, a silver toilet. Four sinks. What the hell did he even need that many sinks for? The shower alone was as big as Axton’s small Hyperion living quarters. It was all stone with a matching four shower heads.

Jack slid open the perfectly clear glass door and with a touch of his finger the shower was running, hot billowing clouds of steam seeping out the open door. Axton cautiously stepped inside. Jack was already lost in the warm waters. It was weird. Very weird. And a little uncomfortable. Axton awkwardly moved to stand underneath his choice of shower heads. It felt good. His shoulders slumped as he let the waters run down him, relaxing him further. He was pretty sure he could have fallen asleep right there, standing up. He felt heavy and slow, his body spent by a damn good orgasm. He just wanted to lie down and sleep. Jack was slowly washing himself without a word to Axton, as if he’d forgotten he had company. Axton figured it was lack of Jack’s commentary that made the whole situation that much more uncomfortable.

Axton ran his hands through his hair closing his eyes tiredly.

Jack wasn’t all that bad of company. At least now he wasn’t. Jack’s back was to him, water rushing down his shoulder blades, running off his perfect ass. Axton sighed as he looked over Jack’s form.

They didn’t call him Handsome Jack for nothing...

He was pretty easy on the eyes. It pained Axton to admit that, but he couldn’t ignore it. The man was downright pretty. Axton wasn’t sure what possessed him to do it, but as normal, he acted before he thought it through. He stepped forward closing the gap between the turned man and himself and snaked his hands around Jack’s waist.

“So is that all for the evenings agenda boss?” Axton whispered in Jack’s ear resting his chin on his shoulder.

Jack tenses a little at the advancement but didn’t shove Axton away.

“Pretty much. I mean what else are you useful for?” Jack snickered darkly.

Axton frowned but chose to overlook the coy remark. Jack turned around slowly, forcing Axton’s hands off him. He then returned to the closeness by hanging his arms around Axton’s thick shoulders.

“I mean you are a bandit. All you know how to do is eat, fuck, kill, sleep, repeat. Must be easy being so damn simple minded.” Jack swooned sneering at Axton.

Axton just threw him a half smile.

“What can I say?” Axton muttered shrugging.

Jack snorted.

“You’re amusing kitten. I’m real glad I didn’t kill ya.” Jack mused grinning widely.

“Cause I mean the torture was much better than just making it quick and killing me.” Axton grumbled.

Jack chuckled lightly.

“You know me, I’m just such a giver. So you consider this torture huh pumpkin?” Jack questioned raising a heavy eyebrow.

Axton shook his head slowly. Before he really knew what he was doing, his body took over and he was kissing Jack. With the water running over two spent and tired bodies, their lips collided once more. But this touch was different. The kiss was different.

Jack didn’t struggle against the advancement. He accepted it. Even kissed back. Hands running up through Axton’s short, wet hair. Eyes closed, passion seeping through heavy tongues and wet lips. Axton slowly kissed down Jack’s neck, eyes half-lidded slits.

“No....this...this isn’t.” Axton whispered slowly lips pressed against Jack’s ear.

Jack seemed to breath out at the words, eyes still closed, hands still in Axton’s hair. Pulling him to his body, pressing Axton to him.

“Good. It wasn’t meant to be.” Jack breathed.

That night Axton never went back to his small quarters. The bed was big and the blankets were warm. Tangled sheets around two tired and worn bodies. He could hear the running water of the pool fountain outside, the sounds of the city even into the late hours...and Jack’s heavy sleep induced breathing. Axton had wrapped his arms around Jack, and Jack had never said stop, and so he’d fallen asleep like that. Axton slept with his nose buried in the nape of Jack’s neck, legs all entwined, bodies pressed together.

That night Axton went to bed with the enemy.

Chapter Text

The New Dog of Hyperion

 

Axton’s eyes rolled beneath his lids. Even behind them he could tell that it was light outside. He blinked awake slowly eyes not wanting to open, body not wanting to cooperate. The sheets were tangled around him like a living thing. Growing out of the mattress entangling him with its soft twists. He heard the slam of a door and his eyes opened with the startle.

Axton blinked against the bright light and lifted up on his elbows. His head was foggy. Waking up out of a dream...wondering if he was still dreaming. Had everything last night been a dream? Jack showing...emotion? It had to have been. Jack being something other than cruel and menacing. Definitely a dream. But As Axton peered around the room, at the bed beneath him, the sheets still swallowing him...he knew it wasn’t. Everything...was very real.

“Well good morning fucking sleeping beauty.” Jack prodded suddenly leaning over the bed causing the mattress to dip with his weight.

Axton groaned and sat up slowly. Axton looked at the clock on the massive bedside table. It was barely passed six.

Axton grunted.

“Why the fuck are you up so early?” Axton snarled groggily.

“I’m always up this early. Got a planet to run kiddo.” Jack chimed straightening his jacket.

He tossed a new uniform onto the bed that Axton had yet to pull himself from.

“Get up and get dressed, we’ve got a meeting in twenty minutes pet.” Jack cooed before leaving the room with another slam of the door.

Axton moaned and slowly dragged himself out of bed. Even after such a hard night’s sleep he felt so utterly drained. That bed was too comfortable, he never wanted to leave it. Axton picked up the uniform, and furrowed his eyebrows. This one was different. It was mostly black, with yellow striping here and there and a Hyperion logo on the right side. He slid on the shirt and hauled on the matching pants. Axton turned and admired the newer uniform in one of Jack’s many mirrors. It was only right that a man as self-centered as Jack was to have about a million fucking mirrors. Axton slipped on the black Hyperion boots and wiggled his feet. They were nice. A lot less plain and prisoner like. Axton took note of that. They were combat boots that was for sure. They had a homey feel to them. He almost felt like a soldier again. It gave him a whole new spring in his step.

Maybe he’d fucked Jack so good, he felt inclined to be somewhat giving this morning. When Axton finally emerged from the bedroom Jack was already waiting on him in the large living area.

“C’mon kiddo, damn you are slow as Christmas. We need to work on that.” Jack mused hurrying Axton along.

Jack paused though as his eyes slunk over Axton, who was still fiddling with the new uniform and its different fit. He took a step toward Axton and pinched his cheeks.

“Oh don’t you look fucking adorable. You like? Figured you needed a fresh look. Matches your collar perfectly.” Jack swooned over Axton.

Axton jerked his head back, away from Jack’s hands and frowned.

“I look like a bumble bee.” Axton grimaced.

Jack burst into hysterics at Axton’s deadpan comment. He patted Axton’s chest still chuckling.

“Always such a snarky little shit.” Jack snickered.

“Now, does my sweet little bumble bee think he can behave himself without handcuffs and the leash?” Jack questioned in an overly fake sweet tone waving a finger at Axton.

Axton curled his lip up in distaste for the new nickname.

“Yeah.” Axton responded gruffly.

“Promise?” Jack pushed giving Axton a stern look that a parent might give their small child.

Axton rolled his eyes and nodded.

“Say it.” Jack chimed raising his eyebrows.

“Promise.” Axton growled.

“You aren’t a morning person are you kiddo?” Jack said over his shoulder as he opened the door and motioned for Axton to follow him closely.

“And you are too much of a morning person.” Axton murmured.

Jack just laughed in response, eyes glinting in amusement.

 

When they finally got to what Axton assumed was their destination Axton was even more annoyed with Jack’s early cocky attitude than he had been fifteen minutes ago. He might have been fucking attractive, but that didn’t lessen Axton’s want to tape his mouth shut. Jack led Axton into a large meeting room, and to Axton’s surprise it was filled with other seemingly higher ranking Hyperion workers. Axton immediately felt eyes upon him, scrutinizing and observing him. Jack seemed not to care.

“Morning, morning, had a little hold up, which is why I wasn’t here sooner. So let’s get straight into this shall we?” Jack chimed pulling out the largest chair at the head of the meeting table.

Axton followed awkwardly. Jack motioned for him to stand beside him. Axton stood loyally at his left side, silent, feeling the eyes wandering over him.

“Got a couple little announcements and such soooo where do I start? Well just so all of you know, this-” Jack pointed toward Axton. “Is my new personal body guard/ hired dog. His names Axton. You fuckers have any tiffs with me, this is who you go to now. Tired of hearing your complaints anyway. And by that I mean if you complain, he snaps your neck. I don’t even have to get my hands dirty.” Jack explained quite amused with himself.

Axton shot Jack a dark confused look. Body guard? Hired dog?....ok well hired dog made sense...with the whole collar thing ,but that was beside the point. Body guard???

Axton frowned. Did he somehow miss the memo on this whole event? Last time he checked he was a prisoner, and a pet. Not hired help.

Jack completely ignored Axton’s looks.

“Questions anybody?” Jack said tapping his chin lightly.

A slender man at the other end of the table cleared his throat, suggesting he did indeed hold a question for the president.

“Mr. Ridley?” Jack questioned cocking an eyebrow.

“Sir, is this...new body guard...not the prisoner we have had so much trouble controlling?” Mr. Ridley asked concern washing across his face.

Everything from his tone, to his demeanor said he did not agree with this decision. Jack shrugged and waved his hand in a little circle.

“Yeah, yeah he had a few issues when I first drug him up from death row, but, under my careful supervision he has been completely rehabilitated. Isn’t that right Axton?” Jack swooned looking deviously at Axton.

“Yes sir.” Axton answered his face still twisted in confusion.

Jack motioned toward Axton in a “see” sort of fashion.

“Sir...did he not rip a man’s eyeball out with a fork just a few weeks ago?” Mr. Ridley asked slowly.

Jack chuckled at the mention of the incident. Axton did not.

He was caught in the middle of a meeting that had been dropped on him like a bomb. Apparently Jack had just woken up this morning and decided this was how today’s events were going to go. Why the sudden change of heart? Upgrading him from lowly servant...to somewhat higher ranking servant.

“Oh don’t any of you old fucks have a sense of humor? Besides, that’s all behind him now. Unless...unless I tell him to kill, he will be on his best behavior from now on. He knows the consequences of when he doesn’t listen now. Don’t you....Axton.” Jack said smoothly.

It was very clear what was happening here. Jack was to have his way, and his tone of voice said it all. Work for him, or die.

“Yes, of course sir.” Axton responded with a military stiffness to his tone.

Like answering to a general. The general of Pandora.

“But sir...I hardly think this is a good idea. He is still so feral, can he really be trusted? Around you? Around us? He’s already killed men, injured several more and cost us in robot repairs...” Ridley went on before Jack held up a finger to cut him off.

“That’s great and all, but Ridley you aren’t getting the point. Here, let me demonstrate. Axton.....kill him.” Jack whispered the last two words over his crisscrossed fingers, laced together like twine.

His eyes were dark and vicious. Axton swallowed hard and looked down at Jack. Jack did not look at him, simply stayed focused on the man he had just ordered Axton to kill. First Jack was nearly torturing him to death when he killed someone and now he was giving him orders to do so. But they were orders. And Jack’s orders were absolute. Axton felt a sort of adrenaline rushing up through his veins. Given permission to kill. He hadn’t killed in so long. Down on the plains of Pandora killing was a regular thing. You killed to survive, you killed for fun, you killed for riches. He’d killed more than his share. He’d killed for all of those reasons and more. That was how Pandora worked, the way you had to be to keep your hide alive. And that was the way it had to be now. Kill to stay alive.

Axton was in motion before the so called Mr. Ridley could even get out of his chair. Axton came upon him like a dark shadow, quick and mercilessly. Mr. Ridley opened his mouth to scream, but it never made it out of his lips. Axton grabbed the thin man’s neck from around the back of his chair and snapped it as if he were snapping a twig. A quick jerk, a pop, and he slumped limply onto the table. Axton was heaving, the rush of the kill flowing over him, making his heart beat like a thundering drum in his chest.

He looked to Jack, searching for praise. Jack was grinning brightly like a kid on Christmas morning. He motioned for Axton to return to him, and Axton did. Axton stood at attention beside Jack once more. A loyal dog come back to his master, his name tag swaying on his neck, casting light on the table before him. All the others in the room seemed to look on in horror at the slumped man now on the meeting room table.

“Now....any more questions?” Jack asked chuckling, his eyes darkening in their sockets with amusement.

The other men at the long table seemed to avoid eye contact with Jack, all silent. Jack’s grin was wide on his face, he was loving every second of this. It wasn’t enough for them to be afraid of Jack alone, he wanted to fear everything associated with him as well.

“Good then. Looks like that’s settled. Now I’ve got other business to attend to men, remember, any complaints you bring them to him now. Toodles.” Jack sung cheerily as he unfolded from his chair, motioned for Axton to follow him and they were gone out the door.

Axton’s heart was still racing, his pulse thundering against his neck. His hands shook a little. He wasn’t sure if it was from excitement or from nerves. Axton kept up with Jack’s brisk walk, staring angrily at the back of Jack’s head. He could have at least clued him in on what was going on, not just dumped him into the situation. He wondered if it was indeed some sort of test Jack had thought up, to see if Axton was really worthy. To see if he was truly obedient.

Axton frowned.

“What the hell was all that about Jack...?” Axton snarled to the man in front of him.

Jack paused for a second, eyes glinting with amusement.

“Well weren’t you listening? You just got promoted kiddo.” Jack snickered.

“And I must say you put on quite the show, I was a little nervous if I threw that order out there you wouldn’t listen, buuuuut I just had to test it out. And look at you! Obeying orders just like a good little pet.” Jack praised clapping his hands together.

Axton was furious. It was a test.

“You just wanted to see how far I’d go, what kind of orders you could give me.” Axton snapped angrily.

Jack shrugged innocently.

“Well I mean yeah kinda, I just had to make sure you’d listen to anything I say pumpkin! Or else I couldn’t have given you your new little...position.” Jack cooed.

Axton sighed loudly.

“And what’s my new position?” Axton asked gruffly.

“You see kid, Pandora is a big planet, and sadly there is only one of me....well minus those body doubles I had done...but whatever that’s way off point, you see I need...a little extra help keeping things in check around here. Like a right hand man. And a body guard, and a hired personal killing machine all in one.” Jack explained to Axton as if he were daft.

Axton just stared at him annoyed and confused.

“And kid, I like ya. You listen...for the most part. And you’ve got those filthy bandit roots going on, you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty. As much as I love killing people, it’s messy and I need to look presentable at all times...soooo I figure I can just get you to do it. You didn’t seem to have a problem snapping that guys neck, so you officially get the job!” Jack said clapping Axton’s shoulder in a congratulatory motion.

“So I’m just your right hand grunt?” Axton snarled.

“Body guard, enforcer, right hand man, dog you can call it whatever you want.” Jack shrugged.

Axton grunted un-amused. He guessed he couldn’t argue with it. It was better than being a prisoner. Better than being on death row. This new position could possibly entail great things. Like more freedom.

“Personally I like to call it something along the lines of...you’re my bitch.” Jack said sweetly.

Axton narrowed his eyes at him. How could he not have seen that coming. Fucking asshole.

“Real fucking funny.” Axton sneered distaste clear on his face.

Jack merely smiled in response those venomous eyes flickering over Axton fondly. Jack ran his finger over Axton’s lips slowly.

“Don’t be such a queen, besides, I’ve got another little gift for you kitten.” Jack swooned tilting his head ever so slightly as he looked over Axton.

Axton felt small under Jack’s gaze. He felt a chill run down his spine like ice water.

“Oh I can’t imagine what it is this time...a dog harness?” Axton mused.

Jack snorted.

“No. Though not half bad idea, bet you’d look real good in a harness...” Jack turned the thought over in his head for a moment, then turned to keep walking.

Axton sighed heavily and followed reluctantly. Jack pushed the elevator button and with a ding the large doors yawned open. Axton and Jack were the only ones in the elevator. Every other time Axton had had the pleasure of being dragged onto one of these things, it was always full of workers. Axton found this odd. The ride was uncomfortably silent. Jack went about fixing his hair slightly and readjusted his collar a little. Axton decided he might as well break the silence.

“Where are all the workers?” Axton asked quietly.

Jack turned to look back at him over his shoulder.

“Oh them? They’re all down in the loader garages getting my badass loaders ready for tomorrow. I ordered all hands on deck to get those big boys tuned up.” Jack answered smirking.

“What’s happening tomorrow?” Axton continued.

“Oh just gunna take down a whole village, you know the usual.” Jack mused.

“What did they ever do to you?” Axton snarled.

“They disobeyed me. That’s what.” Jack growled back.

“Is that your solution for everything? If it doesn’t listen, kill it?” Axton pushed.

Jack seemed to think on it for a second, pursing his perfect lips.

“Um, yeah. Duh?” Jack responded in his usual, smooth, snarky tone.

Axton snorted and shook his head. Fucking psycho.

It was moments like these that Axton was forced to remember who Jack really was. A dictator. Hell bent on breaking this world to his will. And nothing would get in his way.

The elevator dinged and the doors came open.

Instantly Axton’s ears were met by the sounds of tools working. The buzzing of saws, the hissing or torches, the grinding of metal on metal. This was the bottom floor of the Hyperion headquarters, a massive, open warehouse made for the processing and building of loaders and other Hyperion robotics. The ceilings were high, thousands of floodlights hanging from the rafters.

Axton followed behind Jack closely, it seemed very easy to get lost in the maze of robots. They passed a massive badass loader, one of its arms was being hoisted up into place by huge chains. Workers yelled orders and adjusted the chains hanging from the crane that lifted it. It creaked and groaned with all the motion, the worker’s voices echoing through the massive room. Sparks flew from another robot being worked on as the passed it, they rained down at Axton’s feet and he quickly stepped out of their reach.

Jack walked right through them unfazed. He had obviously done this thousands of times before. But Axton...Axton was all new to this. Seeing where these hellish beasts were born and bred….where they were birthed. They loomed over Axton like monsters, several stories tall, large hulking bodies taking up all the empty spaces. They were dead of power, lone eyes black and lifeless, but that didn’t change the fear that they roused in Axton. He had been faced up against these things many a times in the heat of battle, the beast’s rockets and gunfire coming down over him life hellfire. Axton grimaced.

He’d had one nearly crush him to death after Zero had killed it. Fell backward and Axton had rolled out of the way just in the nick of time. He’d avoided death like that many times, but all the ones nearly caused by these machines flashed through his brain.

The hum of drills swarmed through his skull. It was incredibly loud. Jack had no idea how terrifying it was to be in the shadow of one of these things, its sites all set on you. To stare it down and know that it was either it, or you. That you might die at the hands of a machine. Jack new nothing of the other side of things. He knew nothing about what it felt like to be the hunted. He had little regard for that, little regard for the damage these things could deal...the lives they took.

The room of loaders seemed to never end, they seemed to walk for what felt like an eternity. Jack suddenly turned the corner and came to a garage sectioned off from the rest of the bays. He punched a code and the large door rolled open, clicking with the sound of mechanics working as it did so. Jack beckoned to Axton and Axton followed him inside.

Once inside Jack shut the door behind them, cutting off the droning noises of the shops. There was a large metal table taking up most the room, shelves lined the walls, tools and extension cords hung lazily from the ceilings. Axton was a mixture of concerned and confused. Jack walked to the table and plucked a small box off of it. He flipped it over in his hands lazily a small smile pulling at his lips.

Axton knew what that little box was.

He would know that anywhere. Jack bounced it in his palm as if weighing the small object, then his eyes flicked up to Axton.

“I put in a special order from my lead mechanic, kinda figured if you passed my little test this morning I’d give it to you...as a little gift. You know since I’m feeling generous.” Jack mused grinning.

He tossed the box to the ground and instantly it began opening, exploding into a whirl of pieces and parts, growing into a full-fledged machine.

A turret.

Axton’s eyes grew wide.

His own turret had been crushed in the commotion when he was captured by Hyperion. He’d always had that turret and having been without it for months he felt almost naked. This turret was nearly five times the size of his last, it was chrome red and orange, mimicking the coloration of a hot-loader. The turret sat idle, sensing there was no danger it chose not to shoot the two men. Axton couldn’t help himself, he approached the machine gingerly and slowly ran his hand down the barrel, over the housing unit, down its pieces, its mechanisms. It was smooth, and new, absent of all the dings and scratches from battle.

It hadn’t earned those just yet.

Axton could easily fix that if Jack would allow him to take this thing to battle...which he assumed was the point. Axton bent down still looking over every nook and cranny of the beast. His hands couldn’t touch enough, eyes couldn’t soak in enough.

“Son of a fuck...” Axton whispered slowly.

“I knew you’d like it. If I am gunna have you as my big bad dog, figured you’d need a big bad gun....other than the one in your pants.” Jack teased leaning on the housing of the turret.

He pushed a button on the side and the machine re-folded itself into a small box. Axton picked it up slowly and held it gingerly in his palms. He looked over at Jack, words failing him uselessly.

“T-Thank you.” Axton said dumbfound.

He turned the turret over in his hands and eventually tucked it away in his shirt pocket. Jack shrugged and waved it off as if it were nothing. Axton wasn’t really sure what came over him. Maybe it was the gesture of kindness from Jack, or the absence of others within the room. Maybe it was the overwhelming feeling that Jack in some sort of way actually might...care. No matter how small of a care it was, there was the possibility that it was there. Axton stepped forward and grabbed Jack for a kiss.

Jack tensed slightly.

These sudden outbursts from the other male would take some getting used to. Jack hesitated for a moment, but eventually sunk into the kiss, slowly wrapping his arms around Axton’s heavy shoulders. Axton pulled back slowly, eyes flicking up to Jack’s. Jack’s eyes were half lidded as he looked upon Axton.

“You’re a damn good kisser kiddo.” Jack whispered lowly.

Axton just half smiled. He bit his lip slowly.

“Hey Jack...you mind if I work on her? You know make a few adjustments and such?” Axton asked.

Jack raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah I guess, but I’ve got stuff to do, people to see, things to get ready I can’t just hang out here with you all day. Doesn’t work like that kiddo.” Jack said looking sternly at Axton.

“Well I could stay here while you go to that stuff.” Axton pressed timidly.

Jack gave him a dark look.

“Huh. You’re pushin’ it kid.” Jack said in a warning tone.

“There’s an army of Hyperion workers and loaders between me and that door...and I don’t feel like dying today. I’ll be good.” Axton practically begged.

It had been so long since he’d gotten his hands into the inner workings of a turret, he needed that so badly. Jack sighed heavily and shifted his weight slowly.

“I dunno kiddo...” Jack groaned.

“I promise I won’t leave this room.” Axton added.

Jack looked at the door then looked back at Axton.

“I’m setting an alarm on the door. You open it and it goes off, there will be deadly consequences.” Jack growled jabbing a finger into Axton’s chest.

Axton nodded understandingly. Jack smiled a little.

“Only cause you’re cute, kitten.” Jack said over his shoulder as he headed for the door.

“See you at dinnertime.” he added before the door closed loudly.

Axton sighed and looked around the room. He wasted no time at all in scanning over all the tools that were now available to his waiting hands. He throws the turret out and watches with fond eyes, the way a proud dad would look at his child. He walks over to the vibrating machine, humming as it comes alive and steadies itself. Axton slides his hand down the smooth metal and pats the weapon fondly. It isn’t the same as his old faithful...but with a few adjustments he could fix that. Axon grinned widely and then set about gathering all the tools he would need.

 

Hours later:

 

Axton was so wrapped up in his work he never even heard the door open, nor Jack enter. It also didn’t help that he really couldn’t hear much of anything over the radio he had blaring in the window. Jack furrowed his eyebrows seeing as he hadn’t yet laid eyes on Axton. He approached the turret and peered around the other side. Axton was splayed out on his back singing along to whatever racket was pumping through the speakers, turning a ratchet adjusting something on the turret’s side.

Axton looked up at Jack started by his sudden company. Axton popped up and ran to punch the radio off.

“Shit, uh, sorry...just found it sitting there, figured I’d work to some music...” Axton explained rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

Jack’s eyes ran over Axton slowly. He was shirtless, and covered from head to toe in dirt and grease, some smeared across his left cheek like war paint. Jack chuckled and then went on to do a walk around of the turret. It was now enforced with four barrels and what looked like a rocket launcher up top. Painted across the side in black typography was “The Misses”.

Jack rubbed his chin and made a little grunt of approval.

“Like what you’ve done to the thing kid.” Jack mused looking up at Axton.

Axton shifted his weight onto his other hip and wiped his face with the rag in his hand.

“Thanks, just wanted to...make it more me you know.” Axton said shrugging.

Jack lent Axton a fond smile.

“I mean I knew you were good with your hands, but this, this I must admit is pretty amazing kiddo, I mean considering your bandit intelligence and all.” Jack sneered.

There could never just be a compliment without an insult. Typical.

Axton rolled his eyes and slung the rag over his shoulder. He walked over to the turret and leaned on it lazily.

“So how was your day boss?” Axton asked leaning on his elbow.

“Since when do you give a rat’s ass about my day kiddo?” Jack scoffed laughing.

Axton frowned.

“Just trying to make nice asshole.” Axton growled.

Jack’s eyes trailed lazily up Axton and then down him again. He looked like something out of a porn magazine. Something that may have been labeled along the lines of “hot weapons and even hotter men”. Jack licked his lips at the thought.

“You’re filthy kitten.” Jack whispered taking a step toward Axton.

“Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been called that.” Axton sneered.

Jack chuckled and ran his thumb through some grease smeared across Axton’s chest.

“And it won’t be the last...” Jack huffed dazedly as he soaked Axton in.

“Take the rest of it off.” Jack whispered thickly.

Axton looked at him cocking an eyebrow curiously. Axton shrugged and complied. He kicked off his combat boots, the left and then the right. His actions were much slower than Jack would have really liked. Axton’s hands went down to his fly. They teased there for a moment, playing with the button, thumbs hooking and un-hooking in the hem of the material. He undid the small button, slowly peeling it open. And then took the zipper down. Each motion seemed to be slower than the next. Axton eased out of his pants and shoved them to the side with his foot. He looked up at Jack, who was leaned against the turret, looking too hot and bothered already.

After a long day...this was just what Jack needed. A hot sweaty Axton was exactly what the doctor had ordered.

Axton smiled and slowly stripped off his boxers, hands sliding them down muscular thighs, powerful calves and finally he kicked those off too. Axton put his hands on his hips and spread his legs slightly, shooting Jack a devious grin.

“How’s that boss?” Axton purred.

Jack peered at him with needy eyes.

“C’mere pet.” Jack commanded beckoning gently.

Axton strode over slowly, flaccid cock wagging proudly in front of him. Even soft he was a size to be reckoned with. Axton leaned against the turret inches from Jack.

“You look good all filthy.” Jack growled cocking a wicked smile.

“Who woulda thought big bad Handsome Jack likes big sweaty bandit men.” Axton teased meanly.

Jack scoffed at Axton. Axton came a little closer to Jack, and he could feel Axton’s heat radiating off of him. A little bead of sweat ran down his perfect stomach, down into his navel.

Jack groaned, back against the turret.

“So what’s it gunna be boss?” Axton swooned looking at Jack deviously.

“Do me on this big turret of yours pet.” Jack hissed thickly.

“You’re such a slut.” Axton whispered nosing against Jack’s neck.

Axton’s greasy hands went down to Jack’s fly. He ran a big palm up over Jack’s pants crotch, massaging the thick line pressed against his leg. Jack leaned back harder on the big turret, staring down at Axton as he rubbed him slowly. Axton proceeded to draw Jack’s zipper down with slow precise fingers. Jack groaned lowly with impatience. Axton slowly pulled the front of Jack’s overly tight pants down and pulled his swollen cock out. Jack bit his lip hard, gaze set on Axton as he proceeded.

“You gunna take all fucking day kid?” Jack snarled weakly.

Axton’s eyes flicked up to meet the other man’s.

“Impatient aren’t we?” Axton sneered.

“You know I don’t like waiting.” Jack hissed.

Axton suddenly wrapped his palm around Jack’s length and squeezed. Jack bucked up slightly, palms gripping the metal of the turret to keep himself steady. Axton slowly rubbed his own swollen member against Jack’s, he opened his palm wider, and attempted to squeeze it around both their erections. Axton began to steadily stoke both himself and Jack. Jack’s erection was hot against his, the smooth skin rubbing together pleasingly. Axton pressed his thumb into his own underside and he moaned softly at the touch. The sight alone was enough to bring Axton to his knees.

Jack was long, by far above average, not at thick as Axton was, but formidable all the very same. Jack’s tip oozed fluid onto Axton, his excitement clear as day. Jack looked down at Axton with fire in his eyes. He didn’t have to say it, his eyes said it all.

Fuck me already, is what they said.

Axton cocked a half smile.

He grabbed Jack’s hips and hefted him up onto the turret, splaying him out on the machine’s top. Jack grunted at the impact, but did not complain. Axton climbed on top of him, hovering over him like a moth to a flame. Couldn’t fight it, couldn’t resist it. The metal of the turret was cool under Axton’s palms. He nipped at Jack’s neck, fingers returning to his counterpart’s swollen need, pushing and pulling pitiful moans from the CEO. Jack was so shameless. He didn’t care how needy he looked. He just wanted it. Needed it. His body begged for it. The day had worn on him. Now all he wanted was to be fucked by his favorite pet.

Jack stretched out on the machine, ready, willing, like an offering to Axton. Axton wasted no time in taking what was given to him. Axton grabbed Jack’s hem all too roughly and ripped the pants off of him. Dragging them down as if they had done him nothing but wrong. Jack’s less tanned skin was exposed to the world as Axton lifted him to himself, rutting against the half-naked man, his erection sliding against Jack’s.

Jack was lost in another bout of breathy, pitiful moans.

His vibrant eyes were screwed shut, mouth open only slightly. He looked utterly gorgeous. It was really quite unfair. Axton was useless against the attraction he’d formed for the other man. And he didn’t even feel bad for it. He didn’t fight it like he had in earlier months. Questioned his sanity against it. Now he just accepted it. Jack was coursing through him, a force that could not be ignored. He was master. And Axton liked that. Axton’s grimy fingers left oil down Jack’s thighs as he grabbed them, finger-pads digging into the pale flesh like it were dough. Jack had strong thighs. Axton groaned as he molded them underneath his palms.

He needed in. Needed Jack. Now.

A tub of Vaseline Axton had been using earlier would do. He raked the small container toward him and dug his filthy fingers in. His own palm around his engorged dick had him reeling. He knew once he was in Jack...he wouldn’t last long. This was to be short and sweet. And by the look of the ragged Hyperion president...he wouldn’t either. Jack was flushed behind the mask, neck red, chest heaving, hands scrambling over the turret. He looked at Axton now, through drunk, heavy eyes.

“God you’re a fucking pretty bandit.” Jack groaned lowly.

Axton cocked a devious smile at him.

“Is that why you picked me?” Axton cooed softly, cock in hand, preparing to press into Jack’s body.

“Well of course...I needed someone...almost as pretty as I am to fuck me.” Jack moaned uselessly.

Axton’s head pressed bluntly against Jack’s entrance. Tight muscle pulsing around the intrusion, making Axton moan. Axton thrust his hips forward, jolting in almost involuntarily. He just couldn’t control it any longer. He needed Jack. Needed him so badly. He needed nothing more. Jack cried out at the all too rough entry, the pinch of Axton forcing in smarting around Jack’s asshole. Jack made a low whimper and Axton leaned up to capture his mouth with his, greasy hands cupping Jack’s jawline. Axton kissed hard, and pushed in harder, muffling Jack’s whines and moans at the slight pain of Axton’s intrusion. Axton rolled his hips forward as his lips slid against Jack’s. Jack’s hands were in Axton’s short hair, nails scraping his scalp, fingers running down over Axton’s thick shoulders.

Axton held nothing back. He was already starting his downward spiral to orgasm. Pathetic...he’d barely even started and he was already feeling like he could cum at any second. Young and quick on the trigger....it was his downfall every once and a while. Jack was reeling beneath him, hips rising, pushing back into Axton’s every thrust like a greedy whore. Axton broke the violent kiss, face twisted in a pained look of concentration, trying to fight off his orgasm, determined to go for longer.

Jack was a mess beneath him, eyebrows furrowed together, sweat beading on his exposed forehead. Axton wished he could see Jack blushing beneath that mask of his. The thought of Jack blushing was enough to do a strong man in.

Jack jolted his back up, legs scrambling for a hold around Axton’s thick waist. Jack let loose a loud, shameless, indulgent moan that made Axton’s knees buckle at the sheer sound alone.

“A-Axton...K-kiss me AGAIN!” Jack bellowed raggedly.

Axton forced his lips against Jack’s, biting his bottom lip harshly, leaving it swollen. Axton’s hips snapped against Jack’s making obscene slapping sounds as he did so. Jack’s moan was muffled against the kiss, his eyes lulled closed. Suddenly his fingers dug into Axton’s shoulder all too harshly. Jack bucked up and he was coming shamelessly, ejaculating harshly in the small space between his torso and Axton’s.

Axton could feel Jack’s thick finish dripping off his stomach, and he groaned at the feeling. Oh god it was too good. Axton nearly doubled over, humping as fast and as hard as his body would allow.

“Come...come on me!” Jack breathed lazily, drunk on his own orgasm.

Jack’s words alone were enough to have Axton rushing to orgasm. Axton yanked himself from Jack’s body, big palm coming to his swollen erection. He came through his thick fingers, exploding up Jack’s body, decorating Jack’s chest and torso in thick, hot, cum. Axton steadied himself on shaking elbows, leaning over Jack, head hanging tiredly. He opened his eyes just a crack.

Jack lay beneath him heaving, and covered in cum. God he looked good. Like a little cum covered slut.

Axton couldn’t help but smile.

“Now look who’s all filthy. Gotta say you look pretty good boss.” Axton breathed.

Jack’s eyes opened slowly, still struggling for breath.

“S-shut up...” Jack sighed breathlessly.

Chapter Text

Gun Play

 

The morning came all too soon. Axton’s stomach was still ridiculously full from the dinner served to him the evening previous. He awoke in his own room. The invitation to bunk down with Jack for a second night had not been extended, and Axton wasn’t about to ask to stay. Though he’d wanted to. He’d returned to his small quarters with a twinge of disappointment to swallow down. It was not at all a good taste. But Jack was like that. An unpredictable thing. One night he’s inviting Axton into his bed...the next he could make him sleep on the cold ground of a cell. You never knew with him.

Maybe that was half of why Axton felt so god damned attracted to the bastard. He was a loose cannon...much like Axton himself. His whole life was a loose cannon. And now his...partner...lover...master, whatever you would call it, was too. Axton’s muscles groaned for more sleep, his eyes not wanting to open to the new morning. It was always night in the small room. With no windows it was always dark. But something had awoken Axton in the early hours of the morning. Something nipping at his heels, something prying him from sleep.

Suddenly there was a loud bang from the hallway.

Axton’s eyelids snapped open and he sat up halfway in bed, the sheets pooling around his naked torso. He could hear quite the commotion outside. Heavy footsteps running here and there, the clamber of voices and objects and running and yelling. He furrowed his eyebrows together. Axton hauled himself from the bed and dressed cautiously.

Just as he was pulling on his boots, the heavy door to his room clicked and flung open. Workers. Three of them. Axton looked at them in surprise and curiosity.

“Going on a takedown mission today. Boss want’s his body guard front and center.” One man said gruffly.

Axton nodded understandingly. The workers handled him like fragile cargo. Cargo that could go off at any moment. Though Jack had taken to not using handcuffs on the commando...the workers still did. For their safety. It was probably better that way. Just in case. He followed willingly. They wound through hallways and corridors, stairways and elevators until finally two sets of massive sliding doors opened to the outside world.

The sunlight bathed Axton’s body in a flash of light. He shielded his eyes blindly with the sudden intensity. Axton blinked. Once, twice, three times. Pupils shrinking in the sunlight, eyes squinted into slits. It was the first time in so many months that he’d so much as touched sunlight. True, hot, Pandoran sunlight. God did it ever feel damned good.

Axton paused for a moment, savoring the small second in time. Soaking in the sun, the light, the daytime. He felt its warmth, tasted its rays. It had been so damned long... Like coming out of a long coma. It was so new, so alien to his eyes that had only been in darkness day in and day out. He felt a tug to his lead, and he lurched forward. The worker was not pausing to let Axton relish in the moment. They had places to be and things to do. There was no time for a captive to become re-introduced to the real world and all that dilly dally. Axton’s feet instinctively moved, and he was following the workers again. Boots crunched the ground before him, the hot cement hard underneath him.

It was only then that he really took in his surroundings.

Hundreds of loaders stood at the ready. Massive Hyperion technicals sat idling, ready to be set into motion. An army of Hyperion robotics and soldiers all at the ready, armed to the gills...prepared to fight. To fight for Jack. This was his war after all. And he was king here. If he wanted war, he would get it. He always got what he wanted. Always.

They lead Axton to the biggest and most armored technical of the army. It was more ship than vehicle. Its large doors yawned open and Axton was ushered inside. The inside was massive. Two pilot chairs sat at the front then there was a door dividing the pilot room from the back of the technical. The worker punched a code and the door hissed open.

“Well morning kiddo.”

Axton’s eyes met with the steely mismatched gaze that all but melted him to pieces. Jack sat in the middle of the back room, lounged in a chair much too big for him, arms hanging lazily on the sides, legs crossed in his stupid fancy fashion.

Axton grunted in response.

The workers undid Axton’s handcuffs, and as if knowing Jack could take it from here, they dismissed themselves. The door snapped closed behind them, leaving Axton alone with the crazed dictator. Jack said nothing for a moment, finger pressed to his lip, eyes soaking in Axton. Axton stood awkwardly, staying still, letting the other man assess him with mean, cold eyes. Axton took careful note of how...dangerous...Jack appeared on this day. Behind those vibrant eyes there was a sick evil stirring. Just beneath the surface. Just under the skin. Brewing, unfolding, growing.

Jack’s lips retracted over his gums, resulting in an ever so slight, wicked, grin.

“Sooooo...” Jack mused in a sing song manner, folding his arms behind his head casually.

“How you doing cupcake?” Jack questioned innocently.

Axton shrugged. He wasn’t really sure where Jack was going with the petty conversation. What were they going to discuss the weather next?

Jack sneered.

“You miss me last night?” He cooed wickedly.

Axton shot him a displeased look.

To be truthful...he had. But he would not admit that fact to the asshole. Not in a million years.

“Don’t flatter yourself.” Axton growled.

Jack only grinned and spun in his chair.

“Gunna take that snide remark as a yes.” Jack commented sassily.

“Disappointed I didn’t take you to bed again huh commando? God you are such a little cock slut.” Jack insulted.

Axton grimaced. It was going to be one of those days.

Jack chuckled lightly at the insult.

Axton simply stayed still, staring the CEO down with cold, un-amused eyes.

Jack cleared his throat daintily and leaned back in his chair.

“Anyway. Let’s get down to business. I’m going to take down a bandit city, and I want you to help. Fuckers have been rather rambunctious and I’m down right sick of it. It’s well past time to snuff them out.” Jack mused inspecting his perfectly cut fingernails.

Axton sighed.

“Yes sir.” Axton whispered obediently.

“You’ll be riding in the front technical. Going in first, figure I’d let you lose first since I know what you can do in battle. You gave me a lot of trouble before I captured you. I wanna see that fire, but fighting for my side. Got it commando. I wanna see it all. All the fight you got, I want it fighting for me.” Jack sneered viciously.

“Any sign you stop fighting for me. I’ll fucking kill you. Got it kiddo?” Jack tacked on the comment darkly.

Axton nodded.

Jack extended his hand then, a small earpiece was there in his palm.

Axton took a step forward to take it.

“I’ll be listening to your every move, giving you commands, and you’d better listen...just like the good pet you are.” Jack hissed eyes as cold as the ice out in The Fridge.

Axton took the piece of equipment slowly, handling it the way one might handle a poisonous snake. Carefully. Cautiously. He attached the piece to his ear and looked at Jack with dark eyes, as if searching for approval. It felt fairly normal for Axton. He’d worn a headset almost always when roaming Pandora in search of bounties. He could recall all the times he’d had to hear Jack’s cocky voice seeping through the echo net, buzzing in his head like an annoying wasp. He’d hated Jack so damn much back then. He still hated him. But only slightly. Not enough to really even be categorized as hate anymore. More just mild dislike. But lust tended to do that. Muddy the lines between right and wrong. All this was wrong. Indeed.

There was a smile tugging at the corner of Jack’s mouth, his eyes were daggers on Axton’s skin. He was a wolf in man’s clothing. Every once and a while you’d catch a glimpse at all those rows of fangs he kept so well hidden. A hint of cold, yellow, wolfish eyes. The shadow of pointed ears. The scent of blood on his tongue.

Axton swallowed hard.

“Now run along pet.” Jack chimed waving Axton away.

Axton heard the doors at his back open. With Jack’s dismissal the workers returned to fetch their cargo. Axton wasn’t sure what to feel as the prodded him up into the lead technical. Fear, anxiety, nervousness...or all of it at once. He was going to war....for Jack. He felt a little sick to his stomach. God what would the others think if they ever found out what had become of him? He was a vault hunter...protector of Pandora...and now...he was just another Hyperion fuck. He sat down in the chair offered to him. The workers accompanying him all have heavy weapons. One slowly approached Axton and handed over an SMG all shiny and new...and Hyperion yellow of course.

Axton had nearly forgotten what the heaviness of a good weapon in his hands felt like. He clenched his fingers over the metal. God it was good. He missed this. Missed it so damned much. Maybe...maybe when they got to the bandit city...he could make a break for it. Run. Run away. Forget all this ever happened. Claim it was all due to madness brought on from captivity. Forget Jack. Be free again.

Axton instinctively ran his hand up over the collar around his neck. He couldn’t run. Not with that damned thing around his neck. He’d be dead before he hit Sanctuary.

He was pretty sure Jack would pump him so full of Eridium his heart would pop like a god damned balloon. He sighed heavily and shifted the gun’s weight in his lap. There was no running from this. He was a dog of Hyperion...and that...was that. The ride was everything but smooth. Axton could swear whoever was driving this thing was intentionally hitting very rock, crack and crevice on the face of Pandora. Axton gripped the arm rest of the seat hard, steadying himself from another rather jolting bump. It was like trying to ride some wild animal that hadn’t been broken yet. It felt like they had been traveling for hours. Maybe they had been. It was hard to tell really. The armored vehicles didn’t exactly have windows. And suddenly, the big technical hauled to a stop, brakes screeching, wheels sliding over sand, trying their best to grip.

The technical rocked to a stop, teetering like an unsteady child.

“Alright Commando, lemme see what you can really do kiddo. Better not disappoint me. Real excited to see my favorite bandit in action.” Jack’s voice crackled through the headset nearly sending Axton jumping out of his seat.

He’d forgotten all about the headset in all the commotion of travel. Axton regained his bearings and looked around. All the workers were standing, readying their weapons. Axton did the same. He felt his heart racing in his chest. He had no idea what was out there. What he was up against. Suddenly there was the sound of a rocket whizzing by the technical, and an explosion only feet away. The large door of the technical slammed open, creating a cloud of dust as it hit the sand.

The Hyperion captain was screaming now.

“GO, GO, GO, GO!!!” He yelled waving the troops forward with his hand.

It’s all instincts from there. Axton’s feet hit the dirt and his body just goes. Knowing what to do even as his mind fails him. He’s running, dodging, looking for cover, shooting, ducking again. Bullets whirl by him and hit the sand heavy. He can hear the mechanical groans of loader’s at his back...he has to admit it’s nice to have those monster’s on his side. He jumps over a wall, a bandit lifts up ready to shoot, but Axton’s faster. A spray of bullets across the bandits chest and he hits the dirt hard. Axton leaves him there, pressing forward, moving in. Attack and conquer. The commotion takes the city like a wave. Rushing over it, taking it mercilessly. Axton reloads as he comes around a corner, and shoots when a bandit rushes him. He crumples to Axton’s feet like a paper cup.

Axton stands still for a moment to assess the happenings around him. Rockets whirl overhead, leaving streams of light, and then the deafening crash of the explosion as they fall. Hyperion grunts have swarmed the city, Axton just see’s yellow uniforms to his right and left. It almost moves in slow motion. Time seems to pause and all the happenings are lethargic as they go. Axton lifted the barrel of his weapon and pushed forward, onward with the flow of the army. Axton’s boots were heavy on the ground as he approached a small building. The door remained closed.

Most the other doors had been kicked down and cleared by the workers. He supposed they missed one. Axton raised his boot and kicked the door in, sending it flying off its hinges and crashing to the floor. Inside Axton is met by two beady little eyes and the shivering barrel of a gun. Axton raises his weapon finger on the trigger...but pauses. As his eyes adjust to the darkness, he realizes what is really inside. He’s an older man, middle aged maybe, clutching an out of date handgun for dear life. In the corner two children cower like puppies, shivering and shaking looking at Axton with fearful eyes. Axton looks to the children and then back to the man. His eyes are wet with tears, streams running down his dirty face.

“P-please....I’m all they have. They have no mother, they will die without me. Please spare us...” He stuttered lowering the weapon.

“It isn’t even loaded...I can’t afford bullets...” The man pleaded opening the chamber pitifully to show Axton, and then letting the weapon drop to the floor.

Axton started to lower the butt of the gun, his eyes softening slowly.

“Woah now commando. Don’t go soft on me now. He pulled a gun on you, and I want this city cleared out. Kill him. Oh and the kids too.” Jack’s voice crackled in Axton’s ear.

Axton grimaced darkly. The skinny man on the ground dropped to his knees before Axton’s feet.

“Please, please spare us. They are but children!” He begged groveling at Axton’s boots.

Axton felt his heart racing, his breath leaving him. He felt sick. How could he kill them? They were children... How could Jack even ask him to do such a thing?? If it were Jack he’d already have shot them. He would have shot children. Little ones...helpless and weak. He didn’t care. Axton felt anger well up in his chest.

“I’m waiting Axton.” Jack’s voice hissed.

He was a fucking psychopath. Axton may have been converted to a Hyperion goon, he might have been Jack’s little pet...but he was not a child killer. He would not stoop to that. He refused.

“I won’t kill them Jack.” Axton spoke into the headset.

“Excuse me?” Jack scoffed through the microphone.

Axton dropped his gun to his side, a stern look on his face. And then he turned to leave the house, running as fast as possible to get away from them. He didn’t want to be anywhere near the vicinity, if Jack came looking for Axton he’d find them too. Axton wouldn’t let that happen. He’d made his decision and it was his to carry. His feet carried him over the dirt, beating the ground hard, faster and faster until suddenly....pain rushed through him. The shock hit him like lightening and he fell into the dirt, skidding to a stop in the sand. Axton screamed out loudly, writhing onto his back, arching up wildly.

He felt like he was on fire, like his body was caving in. The shock lasted longer than normal, god it just wouldn’t wane. Tears streamed down Axton’s cheeks leaving little trails of wetness in their wake. Axton thought about begging Jack for it to stop through the headset...no...no he wouldn’t beg he would just accept this. Take it. If this was the punishment for keeping those innocent children safe...he would take it. He clawed at the collar weakly, his voice echoing off the buildings around him. Minutes passed and the pain continued to sear through him like a wildfire.

Finally after what felt like an eternity...the pain ceases. Axton feels like an empty shell, ghost pains still running through his muscles. He just lays there, crumpled and used...barely more than a corpse. He closed his eyes and breathed out into the sand, cheek lying pitifully in the dirt. His hands clench into fists as he lies there uselessly. And then there are footsteps. Great, Axton thinks...it’s either a bandit...or a Hyperion worker...either one was not something pleasant to run into. The Hyperion workers resented him, and the Bandit’s saw him as an enemy.

The steps grow closer. They are rhythmic as they come across the sand, one after the other, slow and steady. Like a painfully slow dance. Before Axton knows it, the footsteps close in. Axton opens his eyes trying to see which side of the war was approaching him...but the figure is just a blur in the blinding sun piercing Axton’s vision.

Suddenly there’s a hand tightening around Axton’s collar.

The figure roughly grabs him by the collar and drags him through the sand. The collar pulls in all the wrong ways. Axton screams out in pain as he’s dragged across the sand and into one of the abandoned shacks nearest to him. The figure tosses Axton into the filthy room. The smell immediately hits Axton’s nose like a ton of bricks. It’s a slaughter room. Axton can feel that the floor is wet, but he doesn’t want to think about what the source of it could be. The smell of rotting meat invades his senses.

He gags and coughs as he attempts to lift up on his elbows...but the much higher dose of Eridium is rendering him useless for much longer than the norm. The door to the slaughter room slams shut, and Axton is thrown into darkness, the only light is the rays that manage to make it through the dirty window at the back of the room. Axton can hear chains as the figure pushes some of the hanging carcasses out of his way. They clink together like wind chimes. He can hear the company in the room breathing. Axton opens his eyes into slits and shakily lifts up on his elbows. But just as he’s up the figure is on him, and he catches a heavy kick to the gut.

Axton yells out loudly, clutching his stomach, curling in on himself pitifully.

“WHAT THE FUCK!?” He bellows from the floor his voice gruff and useless.

Suddenly the figure crouches down beside him, and grabs him roughly by the chin. Axton’s eyes snap open. That touch...those fingers...it can’t be...could it?

“Kiddo you’ve really done it this time.” The figure whispered venomously to Axton.

It could be. Jack did not loosen his harsh grip on Axton’s chin, his nails digging into Axton’s face like razors. He was livid. Axton could hear the anger in his terrifying tone. Axton swallowed hard. He downcast his eyes from Jack’s glowering devil like orbs.

Jack’s mouth was but a thin line across his face.

“How dare you Axton?” He hissed throwing Axton’s face aside.

Axton choked weakly.

“I couldn’t kill them...they were kids Jack....how the fuck did you expect me to!?” Axton begged from the floor.

Jack looked at him with wild eyes.

“When I give you an order. No matter what it is....you DO IT.” Jack barked, venom dripping off every word.

Suddenly he was grabbing Axton by the neck again. He hauled him up by his collar, causing pain to sear through Axton again. Jack was so much stronger than he looked. He shoved Axton against the filthy wall, his shoulder blades biting the surface hard, causing Axton to cringe. Axton could smell the anger pulsing from him, he could hear it in his tone see it in his burning eyes. His fingers were unkind in their torture.

“Jack please....I’m sorry!!” Axton choked out between labored breaths.

Jack barred his teeth at Axton, all pearly and shining in the darkness.

“Sorry? Oh you are sorry?” Jack snarled leaning in close to Axton’s face.

Axton could feel his hot breath pouring down his neck. He closed his eyes. It was like waiting for a wolf to finally sink its teeth into you. Axton was but the prey. He’d ran. Ran so hard his little heart nearly popped, but the wolf was faster. The wolf was stronger. The wolf was meaner.

“I don’t think you know the meaning of sorry Axton...no no...not yet.” Jack hissed in that maple syrup rich voice that rung through Axton’s ears.

The moment seemed to hang there, Jack’s fingers never loosening from his grip on the collar. Jack’s glowering eyes never left Axton’s face. He was watching him, observing him....soaking him in. He was loving the taste of Axton’s fear. And Axton could not stop it. He was afraid. Beyond afraid. He was terrified.

Axton could hear explosions outside of the shack he could hear the bellowing of voices, the hiss of Hyperion robots. Jack seemed not to notice nor care.

“Jack...please...” Axton whispered lowly.

Jack raised a hand and brought it down hard across Axton’s left cheek. The smack seemed to rattle Axton’s brain loose and he saw stars for a moment. He let a little “fuck” escape under his breath as the sting of the hit began to tingle and set in.

“Don’t you beg to me. Don’t you fucking dare.” Jack growled.

Axton had never heard Jack like this. His voice was like poison. Dripping, thick, poison. He’d really fucked up this time. And all over the lives of children. This...this was Jack. A deranged serial killer. A psycho. A madman if there ever was one. It only made things that much harder. Axton could see the crazed man there...and yet his feelings were still biting at his heels. He wanted Jack to stop...wanted that to be some sort of sign that he really wasn’t all that crazy. That he really did in some odd way...care for Axton... Axton knew this was not reality...

Jack cared for nobody. Except himself. How could Axton have kidded himself with false hopes that somehow Jack would be swayed the same way Axton had been. It was childish and stupid. Axton was a prisoner. Not a lover. He’d never be a lover. He was always a plaything. Even when he thought Jack meant it. When he was almost certain Jack cared for him, and his wellbeing. It was all in his head. In no way did this monster care whether he lived...or died...

Axton closed his eyes and hung his head. He wouldn’t cry that was just even more pathetic. But god did the tears want to fall. Imagining that Jack had actually formed feelings for him was the only way he’d been surviving this god awful place. He needed to come back to reality. And there reality was. Staring him in the face like an unwanted guest. Heavy, dark, and menacing.

Axton said nothing as Jack forced him into the wall, he just felt like a hollow shell. He felt like he had disappeared. Curled up within himself to prepare for the punishment that was to come.

Jack’s lip snarled up in a displeased grimace.

“Nothing to say commando?” Jack hissed shaking Axton a little.

Axton shook his head. This seemed to rouse even more anger from Jack’s depths. Jack’s free hand snapped to his belt. The action was so quick. Axton couldn’t have even hoped to react to it properly.

“Open your mouth!” Jack barked digging his fingers into Axton’s lips, opening it up harshly, digits pulling at his cheek.

Jack ripped his pistol off his belt, and shoved the barrel into Axton’s open mouth.

Axton felt numb.

The barrel tasted metallic as it settled on his tongue, heavy and hot. His mouth was so full with the weapon he could focus on nothing else. Axton could hardly process thought. Was this it? This was how he would die...at the hands of Jack after all? After everything he’d been through...it would still be Jack that would do him in. And then the tears came. A lone, solid, tear rolled down Axton’s cheek without his control and dripped onto the gun lazily.

Jack seemed to enjoy the outpour of emotion from the trapped man.

“Are you afraid Axton?” Jack whispered pushing the gun in farther, his lips centimeters from Axton’s face.

Axton nodded honestly, squeezing his eyes shut in defeat and shame.

“Good. You should be.” Jack continued, his words lolling off his tongue slow and menacing.

Axton swallowed hard, the barrel moving as his tongue did. Jack watched with sick intrigue.

“Suck it.” Jack hissed lowly.

Axton’s wet eyes flicked up to Jack’s in confusion. Jack met his confused gaze with steely, cold, eyes.

“The gun. Suck it.” Jack repeated.

Axton felt sick to his stomach. His whole body was shivering like a dog left out in the cold. He couldn’t feel his fingertips. Everything in his body threatened to give out. His legs, his arms...his being. But he did as he was told. Axton extended his neck forward and took more of the weapon into his throat. He gagged a little.

Oh please don’t throw up...he thought to himself desperately. The fear was getting the better of him. The fear of the weapon, too much of it in his mouth. The smell of death invading his every nerve. It was putrid. Rotting. Dead. So fucking dead. More gagging. Before he could stop it he was choking up vomit.

Jack pulled the weapon away as Axton retched onto the slick flooring.

Axton’s body lurched and shivered as he lost what was left of last night’s supper.

Jack looked on un-amused and cold, as if he were watching an animal in the zoo. He tilted his head to the side as Axton hurled, choking and spitting.

“Oh how pathetic.” Jack commented darkly, looking at Axton’s shaking form.

Before Axton knew it...Jack was prying his mouth open again. He shoved the barrel back into his mouth. All Axton could taste was metal, and vomit. He was crying harder now.

“I said suck.” Jack snarled.

Axton looked at him with pleading eyes, wet with tears and humiliation. He wrapped his tongue around the barrel and did his best to swallow it down again. He couldn’t look if Jack were to pull that trigger...he didn’t want to see it coming. He just wanted it to be quick. Was that too much to ask?

A wicked smile spread across Jack’s lips as Axton molested the gun with his mouth, sucking and working, making disgusting little wet noises as he did so.

“Oh that’s it Axton, take it further...I know you can.” Jack whispered tipping Axton’s chin up and forcing more of the weapon into his mouth.

Axton choked and sputtered but took it like a good prisoner. He just didn’t want to die this way...so humiliated...so broken....

This was no way for a man to die. Jack’s grin was haunting. He was enjoying this far too much. Nobody should enjoy this. Torturing another poor soul like this. But Jack seemed to get such pleasure from it. Such joy from it. It was sick.

“God you have a pretty mouth.” Jack whispered lowly.

Axton downcast his eyes and sucked his lips around the gun barrel, trying to suppress the fear rattling through his bones.

“You know if I pulled this trigger right now...you wouldn’t feel a thing. It would be so quick Axton...I could blow your brains all over this back wall, and nobody would ever find you. You’d rot away and nobody would care kiddo.” Jack whispered to him brushing Axton’s hair back soothingly.

Axton felt more tears roll down his cheeks.

“Oh kiddo you’re shaking. How cute.” Jack hissed as he leaned in closer to Axton’s quivering face.

Suddenly Jack extended his tongue and ran it up the bell of Axton’s ear, his breath pouring down Axton’s skin, causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end. Axton’s eyes snapped open fearfully, shaking in their sockets as the rested on Jack.

“Why do you just keep on insisting on disobeying me? Huh commando? I saved you, clothed you, fed you, gave you a bed to sleep in...and this...this is how you thank me? I’m disappointed Axton. I thought you wanted to please me.” Jack huffed stepping closer to Axton.

Axton swallowed hard the gun barrel lolling in his mouth.

“Do you want to please me?” Jack hushed wiping Axton’s cheek.

Axton nodded involuntarily. He didn’t want to enrage Jack any more than he already was. All he wanted was to run. To escape. He just wanted his freedom back. But it was too late, he was too trapped...too beaten down.

Jack pulled the gun barrel from Axton’s mouth, saliva stringing between the weapon and his abused lips.

“Let me hear you say it.” Jack growled his voice low and heady.

“I want to please you Jack.” Axton whispered.

Jack ran his fingers through Axton’s short cropped hair.

“God that’s good.” Jack hissed.

Suddenly Jack grabbed Axton by the collar and flung him over the nearest table. Axton braced with his hands as he hit the table hard. It was covered in old blood, pieces of meat and flies. God the flies. They buzzed around Axton’s eyes relentlessly. If he’d had anything left to vomit up, he would have been losing it right about now. But there was nothing left in his stomach. He just heaved, his stomach tightening, crying out as it had nothing to bring up.

Axton coughed and leaned on his elbows, smearing them in the retched remnants on the table.

Jack was behind him.

Axton could feel his presence lurking there.

Jack placed a hand on Axton’s ass and soothed it slowly.

“You know Axton...I normally like taking it, better than I like giving it. But I’m feeling generous today.” Jack whispered.

Axton’s lips downturned into a grimace. What was that supposed to fucking mean? Jack’s fingers squeezed a healthy portion of Axton’s muscled ass. Jack leaned over Axton, and pushed the gun barrel into the back of Axton’s skull.

Axton felt every muscle in his body tense.

“You wanna take it. I know you do.” Jack hissed grabbing Axton’s pants and tugging them down.

The chill licked over Axton’s exposed flesh. He closed his eyes. Fucking shit. The gun barrel was hard against Axton’s head, pushing in harshly as Jack grinned down on the man presented to him. Jack pushed up against Axton’s rump and Axton jolted forward slightly. He could feel Jack was hard against him. His engorged erection pressing against his tight jeans. He was a sick fuck.

Axton frowned.

His stomach felt like it had fallen out his ass. He felt the way he did the very first time Jack had ever forced this on him. And here he was again. There was the jingle of pants catches being undone. The rustle of clothing. Eagerness in Jack’s movements as he freed himself. Jack groaned out as he rutted dryly against Axton’s backside, his swollen erection sliding between the commando’s cheeks.

Jack spit into his free hand and rubbed his wet fingers over Axton’s puckered back entrance.

Axton did not welcome the advancement. He’d taken it before...but he didn’t prefer to. Jack obviously knew this. It was just like Jack to do this to him in spite.

Jack forced his fingers inside, moving them, flexing them, opening Axton up like an offering. Axton hissed and groaned, clenching his teeth in preparation for what was to come. From the barrel at the back of his head, to the crazed man at his rear end, nothing about this situation seemed to be going Axton’s way. He hung his head and squeezed his eyes shut as Jack spit into his hand again. Axton could hear the disgusting little wet noises as Jack slicked up his own cock, readying it for Axton. Jack pushed his swollen head against Axton’s entrance and Axton drew in a sharp breath.

He could feel Jack chuckle against him.

“I’ll be real gentle sweetie.” Jack snickered darkly.

“Fuck you.” Axton choked out shakily.

Jack simply laughed in response. Jack forced himself into Axton, giving little time for him to adjust. Axton cried out weakly. Jack was too big, and the spit was not enough. Jack didn’t seem to care. He pushed in farther, groaning and hissing. Axton’s body squeezed around Jack’s member, protesting further intrusion. Jack gave a final little push, and he was fully sheathed in Axton’s quivering body. Little tears clung to the corners of Axton’s eyes.

It hurt.

Really fucking hurt.

Axton’s nails scraped the old wood of the table leaving deep trails in response to his pain.

“Oh god pet you are fucking tight.” Jack breathed out shakily.

He pressed the gun barrel into Axton’s skull harder as he began to move. The thrusts were slow at first. Axton prepared for each one, hanging onto the table for dear life, crying out as Jack’s hips snapped against his rear. Jack’s rhythm gained in speed, and harshness. Jack’s eyes lulled into little slits as he watched his dick slide in and out of Axton’s abused body. Axton clenched his teeth hard.

Jack applied more spit, and Axton was mentally thanking him for it. Slowly...it wasn’t as painful. It wasn’t as bad. Maybe Axton was just becoming numb, to save himself from the abuse, but either way the pain was subsiding. His cries of pain were fading into weak little moans. His death grip on the table began to loosen. But he couldn’t ignore the feeling of the gun at his head. The danger that was there. He was still at the door of death. One wrong step and Jack could pull that trigger. Axton swallowed hard. Jack was groaning and mewling on top of Axton, the fingers of his free hand digging into Axton’s rump harshly.

Axton closed his eyes and breathed out softly. Jack filled him so well...fit so well. Axton let a little moan escape his lips. Axton slowly let his hand wander down his body. Jack seemed to notice the small movement from Axton. Before Axton could reach his hand down, Jack had beat him to it. Axton gasped loudly as Jack snaked his palm around Axton’s half hard cock. Axton moaned lowly and let his eyes fall as Jack began to pump him in time with his thrusts. Axton wanted to question the motion, the act, but it felt too good to argue with at the moment. For just a second he didn’t want to figure Jack out. He didn’t want to know. Didn’t want to care. Jack’s hand was smooth and big, and god damn was he talented at this.

“J-Jack!” Axton moaned weakly.

He didn’t mean to. Really he didn’t. He didn’t want that bastards name on his tongue, and yet in the heat of passion, it just spilled out. Jack was a bad habit. Axton couldn’t kick him.

“Uh-uhmphff y-yeah Axton say my name baby!” Jack moaned uselessly.

“F-faster! Please Jack!” Axton begged as he thrust into Jack’s palm.

Jack moved his hand faster, stroking, twisting, pulling. His thrusts were merciless now, hips slapping against Axton’s sweat slick body. Axton looked back over his shoulder at Jack. Jack’s eyes were full of lust and passion as they looked down on Axton. There it was again. That thing that had confused and drawn Axton in, in the first place. That false passion. That face that makes you think he cares. Those eyes that say he does...but he really doesn’t. Those lips that you want to say they care, but they don’t. The false idea that Jack could possibly care about another human being. The barrel at Axton’s head reminded him how truly false this all was. Jack was as fake as the mask he wore over his face. False emotions, false acts of love. False everything.

“A-Axton!!” Jack moaned weakly.

There. That. The false acting that didn’t sound like acting at all. When Jack moaned Axton’s name it felt real. The passion, the love, the feelings...they felt so damned real. The sound of Axton’s name on Jack’s tongue was enough to make a grown man fall to his knees. And it was enough to make Axton spiral into a rough, hard, orgasm. Axton bucked forward, fucking Jack’s hand as hard and as fast as he possibly could and then he was there. His cock jumping with every ejaculation. Cum splattering on the wooden floor beneath them shamelessly. Axton was moaning and begging, hands trying to find a place to hold, eyes squeezed shut in the ecstasy of the moment.

Jack was nearly yelling.

God he was fucking loud.

They were lucky nobody had walked in on them yet. But then again...there was a lot of screaming going on at the moment. His hand continued to pump the remnants of orgasm from Axton’s spent cock as Jack came into Axton’s abused hole. Axton could feel Jack’s dick pulsating as he unloaded himself within his body. Axton groaned lowly and leaned hard against the table as Jack slumped on top of him. The hand holding the gun was slumped between Axton’s shoulder blades as Jack panted above him weakly.

The two men just laid there, panting in the Pandoran heat, wilting in the aftermath of rough, disgusting sex. Jack pulled himself from Axton’s pulsating, chaffed ass and Axton hissed in protest as he did so. Jack leaned away, shoulders slumped and tired, allowing Axton to get up. Axton turned around slowly, getting his naked rump out of the air. He could already tell he was going to be sore for a few days. He grimaced and pulled up his pants tiredly. His motions felt sluggish and forced.

He leaned up to a standing position and his eyes met with the barrel of Jack’s gun. Jack’s arm was extended, forcing the gun right between Axton’s eyes. Axton couldn’t even take a breath before Jack...pulled the trigger. Axton closed his eyes and startled, waiting for the sound of a gunshot, the blackness to come....death to take him...but...it didn’t. Axton slowly opened his eyes, the gun barrel hadn’t moved, nor had Jack. A wicked grin was spread across Jack’s playful face.

“Bang.” Jack whispered peevishly.

Axton felt like he was going to pass out. He looked at Jack stupidly. Jack chuckled slowly and lowered the weapon. He popped the magazine out and showed it to Axton.

“No bullets kiddo.” Jack mused grinning wryly.

Axton’s face must have said it all. Jack shrugged innocently.

“What a guy can’t have gun play fetishes?” Jack said smiling devilishly.

Axton saw red.

He thought he was going to die. He thought Jack was going to shoot him. All this for one of Jack’s little fetishes??

“You...you...” Axton whispered his voice shaking with rage.

“Oh c’mon kiddo don’t be mad, it wouldn’t have been near as much fun if you’d known I wasn’t gunna shoot you. I wanted it to feel real.” Jack argued redoing his pants.

“You fucking sick bastard...” Axton growled the anger bubbling up his throat.

“Oh that’s harsh, it was all in good fun kiddo, no hard feelings.” Jack said rolling his eyes at Axton.

“So all of this....this was just so you could live out some sick little fetish of yours?” Axton bellowed.

“Well yeah, I mean c’mon making you kill kids? Even I’m not that mean. Just had to find something to...you know, get you riled up.” Jack said in a matter-o-fact kind of way.

That was it.

Axton lost it.

He snapped.

Like a twig stepped on in the forest. He cracked. Axton reared his fist back and punched Jack square in the jaw.

Chapter Text

Maid Service

 

The impact was like a shock wave that reverberated up through Axton’s arm as his fist connected with Jack’s face. He felt the bite as a hinge dung into his knuckles. He knew there would be blood. Jack stumbled backward, bracing unsteadily. And then Axton noticed it. It seemed like everything was in slow motion suddenly. The impact of Axton’s hit...had shaken loose the mask that Jack was never, ever without. The hinges came undone, and the skin colored mask was now tumbling into the dirt. It hit, and teetered to a stop a few feet from the two men.

Axton drew in a breath, arm still outstretched from the hit, his eyes wide as they traveled up to Jack. The motion was so fast, Axton barely got a glimpse of Jack’s mortified look. His eyes were wide as dinner plates. Axton’s face screwed up into a look of confusion.

What was that across Jack’s face?

He didn’t have much time to get a good look, and it was hard to even really make out what he was seeing in the dark room. Jack’s hands snapped up to cover his face and he let loose a horrified screech like Axton had never before heard.

“MY MASK! WHERE THE FUCK IS MY MASK!?” Jack yelled in panic, burying his face in his hands away from Axton’s eyes.

Axton let his hand slowly fall as he watched Jack spiral into a full on panic attack. What was so fucking important about that stupid thing anyway? What was Jack hiding under there...? Axton’s eyes flicked to the mask on the ground and then back to Jack. He didn’t make a motion toward it. He just stood there, frozen and unsure of how to handle the situation at hand.

Jack fell to his knees, facing away from Axton, still covering his face with one hand and began blindly searching the ground for the mask. Axton had never seen Jack in such a state of horrid panic. He’d never seen the collected man so unraveled. Axton instantly felt guilt creep up his spine. What had he done? He hadn’t meant to...

“H-HELP ME FIND IT!!” Jack yelled his voice cracking as he barked the order.

Axton frowned Jack was really getting worked up over this. Axton crossed the room and picked the mask up off the dirty floor. He dusted it off lightly and crouched down before Jack, who was still on his hands and knees searching for the lost mask.

“Hey, it’s ok look I found it.” Axton whispered gently trying to help Jack up.

Jack swatted Axton’s hand away with his free hand.

“NO DON’T! DON’T LOOK AT ME, JUST GET AWAY!” Jack choked.

Axton frowned deeper.

“Jack, hey, it’s ok just calm down.” Axton pushed, trying to put his hand on Jack’s shoulder.

Jack flinched away and grabbed the mask from Axton’s hand. Jack hurriedly went about clipping it back to its hinges. All Axton could do was watch, and feel awful. After the mask had been properly re-attached, Axton felt Jack’s burning eyes upon him. Jack’s eyes were trembling in their sockets, as if he’d almost been on the verge of tears.

Axton swallowed hard.

“Jack I-I’m sorry...I didn’t mean to.” Axton offered awkwardly.

Jack just shot him a “go die” kind of look and stood up off the floor. He turned his back on Axton and stormed out of the shack. Axton was left alone in the room, confused and shocked. He immediately felt the need to follow the other man. Axton pushed to his feet and ran after Jack. Jack was already a good ways away, walking with haste back to the Hyperion technicals.

“Jack! Jack would you wait!?” Axton yelled, now jogging to close the gap between himself and the other man.

“Why the fuck are you still here?” Jack snapped over his shoulder, never slowing down nor looking Axton in the eyes.

“Because you kind of fucking own me. And I’m trying to apologize.” Axton breathed tiredly.

“I don’t want your fucking apologies.” Jack barked angrily.

“Well too damned bad, because I’m going to give them to you anyway.” Axton snapped back keeping pace with the thinner man.

Jack looked at him with wild, livid eyes.

“Do you have any IDEA what you could have done!!???” Jack snarled stopping dead and getting into Axton’s face.

He spit a little on Axton’s cheek as he yelled at him.

“What if you had BROKEN it!!!” Jack yelled shakily.

“So? You’d have had to go without your stupid mask. Big whoop. What are you hiding under that thing anyway Jack? Seriously it can’t be that bad.” Axton blurted exasperatedly.

Jack looked as if he were about to implode on the spot, or break down in tears.

“You don’t fucking understand at all.” Jack snapped turning away from the commando and continuing to the vehicles.

“No, no I don’t understand why you are being such a fucking queen right now.” Axton argued.

“Don’t ever speak of this again. Drop it.” Jack ordered jabbing his finger into Axton’s chest.

“But-” Axton started but Jack abruptly cut him off.

“I said DROP IT!” Jack bellowed in such a tone that shook Axton down to his very core.

He knew right then this was not a subject that was to be touched on again.

“Fine.” Axton breathed lowly.

He’d never seen Jack get so emotional about anything. He was bratty and moody yes, but Axton had never seen him get so damned worked up. All Axton was left with was a nice view of the back of Jack’s head as he stormed toward the vehicles, and a whole lot of new questions. But for fear of Jack actually blowing his head off, he stayed silent. There was no room for asking questions here. Jack had made it very clear that there would be none of that. Axton followed a few paces behind Jack, keeping his distance. Jack was like being in very close quarters with a very wild animal. It was always best to give him his space. Otherwise you might get your nose bitten off. Or worse.

Upon entry of the vehicle Jack thrust his finger in the direction of a chair in the corner of the cab and instructed Axton to sit. Axton sat, obediently and quietly. There was no reason to get the CEO more riled up than he already was. Axton really didn’t feel like being beaten up more than he already had been today. He took a moment to really assess the damage his body had been through. His muscles ached from the running, the jumping, the dodging. Also the heavy dose of Eridium to his veins didn’t help that fact. His jaw ached where the gun’s barrel had caused it to stretch too far.

He grimaced.

His rear end ached where Jack’s cock had stretched him too far...

His eyes flicked up to the CEO, who had taken his seat in the plush chair at the center of the cab. He was speaking into a mic, barking orders at his army, ensuring they took down every last filthy bandit in this sorry excuse for a civilization. By the sounds of it... this was already over. Axton looked out one of the bullet proof windows. The city was in ruins, billowing smoke spiraled up into the air in several locations. Life seemed to be wiped from the town. Just as Jack had planned. Jack clicked off the speaker and then sat still for a moment.

Axton watched him cautiously, eyes curious and wide. Jack slowly reached up and rubbed his chin where Axton had struck him. He frowned deeply, fingers touching where bruising should have been but instead there was only mask. Axton could only imagine the damage beneath the false flesh. Axton wasn’t known for hitting like a pussy.

“Haven’t been hit like that in a long, long time kiddo.” Jack mused suddenly, not looking at Axton directly but obviously addressing him.

“Sorry master.” Axton whispered back automatically.

God he hated the way that word tasted in his mouth. He wasn’t even sure why it came out...why he just so habitually used that title. Maybe Jack had conformed him. Molded him. Maybe Jack had broken him.

Jack’s eyes swept over to the chair Axton sat in, his eyes cold and unblinking. Like a snake, tasting the air for fear.

“Your master is not pleased.” Jack continued still rubbing his chin halfheartedly.

“I lost my temper.” Axton whispered submissively.

He hoped if he acted pitiful enough, Jack would have some sort of mercy on him. Maybe he’d avoid another punishment of some type. He had a sinking feeling that would be what was waiting for him back at Opportunity. The look in Jack’s eyes confirmed that fear.

“Huh. Lost your temper. Lost your temper...Oh Axton you have no idea what I’m going to do to you. I think it’s my turn to lose my temper with you.” Jack hissed sweeping his fingers through his luscious hair.

Axton swallowed hard.

“Jack...please...” Axton breathed pitifully.

He’d been nearly shocked to death, beaten, had a gun pulled on him, and been fucked in the ass, hadn’t that been enough for one day?

Jack help up his finger and shook it slowly at Axton.

“No, no pet. None of that. Master is very angry with you. I’d advise you just shut your damned mouth until we get back to Opportunity.” Jack snapped sternly.

Axton downcast his eyes and sat with his hands in his lap. Just when he thought this day couldn’t have possibly gotten any worse. He should have known better. The ride home was long, and fiercely uncomfortable. Jack was unusually silent for most the ride and that alone was enough to really turn Axton’s stomach. Jack was never silent.

Except for when he was plotting ways to inflict pain and suffering on souls. In this case Axton’s soul, this Axton was pretty sure of. He had nothing to do but wait for his unavoidable punishment upon return to Opportunity. The journey seemed to take a lifetime. Axton was pretty positive time was standing still.

Finally the large vehicle pulled into the docking bay, flanked by the others that had survived the attack. Many had streaks of burn marks down their hulls and broken windshields, but it seemed to Axton that Hyperion had suffered few losses. Somehow deep down that displeased him. Even as he stood, a dog of Hyperion...his heart still lay with the Vault Hunters. He still wanted to root for those trying to save Pandora from Jack’s clutches. The lines of which side he stood on were incredibly blurred. That only added to his deteriorating mental state of being.

As the vehicle came to a halt, Jack suddenly rose from his chair, never even looking at Axton and opened the large doors.

“Cuff him. Bring him up to my quarters I’ll have further instruction there.” Jack barked to the two workers outside the doors.

Axton watched him leave, the sinking feeling in his stomach now growing tenfold. He let the workers take him. He didn’t care. Bring on whatever Jack had in store for him. It couldn’t be worse than what he had already been through. But then again...he had thought that foolishly before. Axton’s feet felt heavy as they dragged him mercilessly up to Jack’s quarters. Axton just wanted to lie down and die. He could hear the muffled sound of Jack’s voice in the worker’s headsets on the way up. He could only assume Jack was giving them the orders that held his punishment.

Axton grimaced.

They dragged him through the doors and into the living room just before what Axton knew to be Jack’s bedroom. The door to the bedroom was closed and the quarters were extremely silent.

Not a good sign.

“Uniforms on the table. Put it on, and take the other stuff on the table into Jack’s room with you. Quickly. Don’t fuck around.” The bigger works grunted motioning toward the table in the middle of the room.

Axton looked to the workers and then to the table.

They were gone before he could ask any questions, and he heard the telltale sound of an alarm system being armed on the other side of the door. He wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Axton sighed as he stood alone in the massive living room. Put on a uniform and take some shit into Jack’s room. Couldn’t be so bad could it?

Yeah right, he thought shaking his head and approaching the table slowly. Axton gingerly picked up the uniform, letting the light cloth unfold as he lifted it. As it unraveled all he could see were ruffles of black and white, along with lace and ribbons billowing out from the heap of cloth. Axton felt anger and disgust rise up through his throat. He held the uniform out in front of him. He hated Jack. He really fucking did.

A maid outfit.

No, not just a maid outfit.

A ladies maid outfit.

Axton looked over the frilly maids apron in disgust. Did Jack really expect him to put this shit on!? His eyes flicked back down to the table. There was a pair of jet black ladies stilettos next to where the uniform had been folded, along with a feather duster, and a silver platter piled up with chocolate covered strawberries.

Axton outwardly groaned and threw the outfit down in a fit of rage. He walked away from the table and groaned throwing his hands in the air.

“What the fuck did I do to deserve this!!” He moaned to himself before turning on his heel and storming back to the table.

Axton began reluctantly peeling off his battle uniform.

God he was filthy, the least Jack could have done was let him take a fucking shower. He was covered in blood and remnants from the battlefield. He was pretty sure he didn’t exactly smell all that desirable either. Axton stood awkwardly in just his briefs. Was he to take those off too? Axton fingered through the pile of clothing again, and a small black piece of clothing tumbled out onto the floor.

Axton picked it up and made a disgusted face.

He stretched the skimpy, black, lacy thong out in front of himself and frowned. That wasn’t even enough material to cover his left testicle.

“This is such bullshit.” Axton muttered as he fumbled to take his boxers off.

He stretched the elastic of the lingerie out and stepped into it, hauling it up his thighs, and letting it snap around his hips. He grabbed the apron and flung it around his head then tied the massive white bow in the back. He ripped the shoes off the table and irritably slipped them on. Axton looked across the room and caught a glimpse of himself in one of the full length mirrors hanging on the wall. He didn’t exactly make the prettiest cross dresser. He groaned loudly and grabbed the feather duster and plate of chocolate covered strawberries off the table.

Axton slowly started his maiden journey in the sky high shoes and prayed with every step that he would just trip, bang his head on something good and sharp and it would just put him out of his misery. This...this was just humiliating. He could feel the string of the thong crawling deeper and deeper into his ass crack with each movement. Axton waddled over to the bedroom door and knocked irritably.

“Who is it?” Came Jack’s sing song voice through the closed door.

“Who the hell do you think?” Axton barked back.

“See I was expecting maid service. Not someone with a bad attitude.” Jack chimed.

Axton rolled his eyes. Of course he just had to add insult to injury. Of course.

“I mean, maid service.” Axton grumbled.

“Oh well then by all means do come in.” Jack called through the door.

Axton took a deep, reluctant breath and pushed open the door. He teetered inside, trying his best not to spill the platter, or himself all over the floor. Why the fuck would women ever want to wear these ridiculous things, Axton thought to himself shutting the door unstably. Axton stood in the entryway irritably and was met by the cool collected gaze that he knew all too well.

Jack was stretched across his massive bed, sporting a Hyperion yellow silk robe. He was all propped up by his plush pillows, and had the stupidest grin plastered across his perfect face.

“Oh aren’t you just the prettiest little maid I have ever laid eyes on!” Jack exclaimed clapping his hands together.

Axton rolled his eyes and sighed.

“You see I have had the longest, hardest, most awful day. I need to be taken care of. Come here with those strawberries you sweet thing.” Jack cooed softly.

Axton tried his hardest to perfect a smooth walk, but he felt like he looked more like a new born calf struggling to walk. Axton teetered over to the bed and stood next to it awkwardly.

“Oh don’t be afraid of big bad Handsome Jack cutie, how’s about you crawl on up in bed with me.” Jack swooned flashing Axton one of those million dollar smiles.

Axton just grimaced at him.

“But sir, that really isn’t our service’s policy. I could get fired for inappropriate actions with a customer.” Axton growled.

Jack snickered loudly, clearly amused by the comment.

“You’re a fiery one aren’t you? God I like that. Get your sweet ass over here.” Jack groaned lowly.

Axton rolled his eyes and set his feather duster down on the night stand. Axton carefully crawled onto the bed and sat as best he could in the empty space next to Jack.

Jack leaned back on his pillows, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

“Why don’t you feed those delectable little delicacies to me huh sweet cheeks?” Jack cooed lowly, his eyes falling to little slits as he made a little relaxed noise.

If looks could have killed Jack would have been dead on the spot. Axton picked up one of the plump juicy strawberries by its leaves and offered it to Jack. Jack opened his mouth like a baby bird, expecting its meal. He bit into the fruit, leaving only the top.

Jack made a pleased little noise and closed his eyes as he chewed.

“Oh yeah that’s the stuff.” He mused, still chewing the fruit dramatically.

Axton put the stem down on the tray and reached for another. Jack gently sucked the strawberry before slowly biting into it, the juices staining his lips a delicious red. Axton was suddenly more intrigued with the whole stupid thing than he’d have really liked to be. It was the way he sucked the plump fruit. Thin lips wrapping around its form, tongue coming to play over the chocolate covered surface. It was downright unfair. He sucked like a fucking slut. He was doing it on purpose too. Axton felt a thin hue of blush form across his cheeks without his control.

Jack looked at him with playful, intelligent eyes.

“Oh sweetie are you blushing?” Jack whispered raising a hand and running his thumb pad over Axton’s lips.

“No.” Axton retorted stubbornly.

“Oh yes you are, that’s ok, I know how handsome I am. You just can’t help it.” Jack hushed gently, a wicked grin clinging to his lips.

Axton wanted to bark back, “don’t flatter yourself” but he caught it in his throat.

If he wanted this to be painless...he’d best just play along.

“Oh sir, you caught me. I’m sorry I just can’t help it.” Axton faked an embarrassed tone.

Jack presses his finger against Axton’s lips in a shushing way.

“Sh, sh, sh... no need for apologies you delicate little thing.” Jack swoons evilly.

He motions for another strawberry and Axton offers it to him, almost too willingly. He’d expected torture, whips, chains, pain...blood...but this, though humiliating, was a much more desirable alternative.

He’d take a thong and heels over the whipping post any day.

Jack sucked the strawberry and held it between his perfect teeth. He made eye contact with Axton, and Axton downcast his eyes, feeling more hot blush spread across his cheeks. Jack made a little moan that sounded anything but PG and Axton found his skin crawling at the sound. Jack just had this...way with sounds. His voice was so soft, and smooth but god it was so poisonous at the same fucking time. It was dangerous, and maybe that was what had Axton all wrapped up in it.

Axton let his gaze creep back up as Jack bit into the fat strawberry. A little bit of red liquid ran down Jack’s chin. Axton watched it in slow motion. He couldn’t help himself. He was acting before the better half of his brain could command him to stop. Axton leaned forward and slowly ran his lithe tongue up Jack’s pointed chin, collecting the juice with porn star precision. Jack groaned lowly at the action, the sound rumbling up through his throat. Axton pulled away, his cheeks hot and his head fuzzy.

Why the fuck had he done that?

This was the man that had pulled a fucking gun on him earlier. Lied to him, tricked him. And yet...all that considered...somehow...he still wanted him. Like a stupid crush that he knew was unhealthy. He just didn’t care. Couldn’t shake it away. Couldn’t will it to leave.

Jack grabbed a strawberry off the platter, a devious look in his eyes, and he coyly tossed it over the bed. The fruit rolled to a stop in the middle of the floor. Axton looked to the fruit and then to Jack.

“Oops. How clumsy of me. Why don’t you go clean that up hun.” Jack whispered lazily.

Axton gingerly got up off the bed and sashayed over to the dropped strawberry. Axton leaned over intentionally slowly, giving Jack a front row view of everything underneath his apron. Jack licked his lips dazedly as he soaked in the ridiculously hot picture. The thin lace thong tracing a line up between Axton’s muscled ass cheeks, his balls creating a tight, soft, bulge underneath the material. Jack groaned and let his hand wander down his torso, slowly massaging himself through the silk robe. The silken clothing slid pleasingly against his growing erection, soft and smooth and god was it good. Axton took his time retrieving the spilled food, allowing his rump to hang in the air for much longer than what was needed.

“Mmmm master likes. Why don’t you take that little thong off for Jack huh cupcake?” Jack growled gruffly as he squeezed his erection through the robe.

Axton brought his hands to the thin strings and slipped a thumb underneath each side at his hipbones. He hooked the material in his fingers and slowly began to slide the ridiculously thin piece of clothing down his rump. He snapped the elastic against his left cheek and grinned backward at Jack, who’s eyes were the size of dinner plates. Axton could just sense that he was blushing bright red underneath that mask of his. What a thing, to think he could so easily make the great Handsome Jack himself blush like a school girl.

Axton stepped out of the thong as gracefully as physically possible, and wagged the underwear in his fingers. He playfully tossed the lingerie to Jack and it landed on Jack’s chest. Jack daintily picked up the underwear, and balled them up in his fist, rubbing the soft lace across his cheek. He took in a deep breath, seeming to huff the lace material and looked at Axton with wonton eyes.

“You smell like a good battle.” Jack whispered dazedly.

Axton returned the dropped strawberry to the tray and slowly slid onto the bed. He stalked toward Jack on all fours, the way a predator would approach its prey. Hungry, needy, slowly. Axton hovered over Jack’s reclined body, faces inches apart, breath heavy, eyes devouring each other.

“I’ll take that as a compliment. I would have just said I stink, you didn’t let me shower before all this.” Axton muttered nosing Jack’s neck before planting a small, wet kiss to the skin there.

Jack drew in a sharp little breath and tensed up.

“N-No, I like the husky way you smell kiddo. God...god I love it.” Jack moaned weakly as Axton ran his tongue over the sensitive flesh of Jack’s collarbone, pushing the collar of the robe aside.

“Well thanks boss.” Axton whispered hotly into Jack’s ear.

“Jack, kiddo, call me Jack. I like it when you say my name.” Jack practically begged, his eyes falling closed as his arms wrapped around Axton’s thick neck, and heavy shoulders.

His fingers came to play in Axton’s dirty blonde locks, grasping for something to hold onto as Axton made him fall apart.

“Of course Jack.” Axton whispered his lips centimeters from Jack’s.

Axton slowly kissed Jack, lips pressing into his gentle and kind. This was not the norm for their usual sex. But Axton felt after the particularly mean sex they’d had earlier, some soft core would suffice. Jack seemed pleased either way. Jack kissed back eagerly, his tongue sliding along Axton’s teeth, a weak little moan coming through his parted lips.

“You like that Jack?” Axton whispered in-between small kisses.

Jack nodded breathlessly, at a loss for words, his eyes barely open as he peered out at Axton.

“I’m gunna make you feel real good boss...uh I mean Jack.” Axton whispered smiling against Jack’s lips.

Jack’s arms linked around Axton’s neck, as if to pull him in closer, to close the gap between the two men.

“P-Please...” Jack begged softly into Axton’s neck.

Jack had to be bipolar. Just had to be. Earlier he’d been some crazed maniac playing out his horrible gun fetish on the poor commando, and now he was begging to him as if they were long time lovers. The sweet kind of lovers. The real kind. Axton tenderly let his hand slip down Jack’s heaving body as he pinned the CEO to the bed. Jack was very obviously hard beneath the silken robe, the material lifted to the shape of Jack’s swollen erection. Axton snaked his fist around Jack’s shaft and Jack hissed pitifully into the crook of Axton’s neck. Axton slowly began the stroke Jack beneath the cloth, letting the silk bunch beneath his palm as he worked it up and down.

Jack made a loud gasp and moaned pitifully against Axton’s flesh.

“Y-Yes! More!” Jack begged rutting up into Axton’s fist.

Axton complied, placing small kisses to Jack’s forehead, in-between his wispy locks that had fallen into his face. It was when he was like this. In this state, so gentle, and weak, and needing Axton more than anything in the world.

It was now...that Axton loved him.

The thought nearly punched the breath right out of Axton, he squeezed Jack almost a little too hard and paused as he place another kiss to Jack’s flesh. It wasn’t love. No. It wasn’t. Axton shook the thought away, needing it to dissipate as fast as possible. He just wanted to enjoy the moment, free of any ridiculous thoughts of ridiculous feelings.

Jack’s fingers played in the straps of Axton’s apron as he clung to the bigger man. Jack was moaning like a porn star, mouth agape, eyes screwed shut. Axton stroked him faster, harder, meaner. He could feel Jack swelling beneath his fist, his thick cock engorged and throbbing. It would be over soon. Axton knew all too well.

“A-AXTON YES!!!” Jack bellowed bucking up into Axton’s clenched fist.

Axton could feel Jack’s erection pulsating with orgasm. Jack came into his robe shamelessly. Moaning with each ejaculation, his cum seeping through the silken material and wetting Axton’s palm. Jack slumped against Axton, shuddering pitifully into the commando.

Axton breathed out slowly and leaned up. Jack settled heavy against the stacked pillows at his back and looked up at Axton with sleepy eyes. Jack grimaced at the wet spot beneath his robe. He shrugged his shoulders out of it and dropped it on the floor, accessing the puddles of cum between his legs and up his torso.

“Oh Jack what a mess.” Axton cooed softly pushing Jack’s hair out of his face.

“Let me clean that.” Axton whispered his tone low and devious.

He leaned down slowly, hand sliding beneath the small of Jack’s back. Axton extended his tongue tenderly, and slowly lapped up a little puddle of cum from Jack’s flushed body. Jack tasted sharp and heavy on Axton’s tongue. It was bitter sweet. It was slutty. It was so fucking good. Jack made a little gasping noise as Axton’s tongue made contact with the sticky skin. Axton ran his tongue along Jack’s inner thigh, suckling gently as he cleaned Jack’s flesh. His eyes flicked up to Jack’s testes, pulled tight to his body after orgasm, cum oozing down his shaft and dribbling down his sack.

Axton sucked the soft anatomy into his mouth and cleaned Jack’s balls of the mess. Jack leaned his head back onto the pillows and groaned.

“A-Ah Axton! C’mon gentle...i-it’s sensitive...” Jack begged his leg jerking up as Axton sucked a little too hard.

Axton ran his lithe tongue up Jack’s wilting shaft and placed a kiss to his head.

“Sorry boss.” Axton whispered teasingly looking up at the spent CEO.

Axton wiped a small strand of semen off his lip with the back of his hand and resumed his position on top of Jack. Jack looked more spent than Axton had ever thought possible. The CEO watched Axton with lazy, heavy eyes. Axton slowly eased Jack’s legs apart and settled himself between them. The commando’s own proud erection bobbed in front of him, lifting his apron menacingly.

Jack looked down at the other man’s state, and then to Axton’s eyes. Axton cocked a half smile at the Hyperion president and spread his legs wider.

“Don’t even think about it vault hunter. I’m fucking exhausted. Take care of it yourself.” Jack heaved tiredly.

Axton chuckled lightly.

“I think you can go another round.” Axton whispered leaning down to run his tongue up Jack’s throat.

Jack moaned lowly and halfheartedly attempted to push Axton off.

“Get off.” Jack whispered his voice trailing off into another moan as Axton nipped at his bottom lip.

“C’mon Jack.” Axton cooed softly.

Jack sighed out raggedly as Axton’s palm came to gently massage his balls. He twitched and cringed, his cock flexing with interest as Axton sucked a hinge on Jack’s mask.

“You can come for me one more time.” Axton pushed gently snaking his hand around Jack’s cock.

He slowly began to stroke it back to life, despite halfhearted protests from the president. He kissed Jack deeply, lips plump against each other’s. Jack moaned into the kiss, his cock swelling beneath Axton’s coaxing palm.

“That’s it Jack.” Axton hissed against Jack’s lips.

“Lube, where is it?” Axton commanded sharply.

Jack motioned toward the drawer in the bedside table and Axton was on it in seconds. Axton gently lifted Jack’s rump and inserted one lubed finger. Jack hissed and clenched around Axton’s digit. Axton groaned at the feeling. He was going to fuck Jack stupid. He may have been in an apron and heels but that wouldn’t stop him from fucking Jack like a bandit. Axton added another finger and pumped them gently, Jack’s flesh throbbing around the intrusion. Axton leaned down next to Jack’s ear.

“I swear you get tighter every time.” Axton breathed hotly down Jack’s neck.

Jack just moaned in response as Axton took the fingers away and urged his fat head against the entrance instead. He pushed in a little until he could hear Jack hiss at the sting and felt his body tighten around his anatomy.

“Shhh relax Jack.” Axton hushed softly.

Jack seemed too tired for witty come backs, so he just whimpered softly beneath Axton’s hulking body. Axton pushed in further, feeling the tightness swallow up his throbbing need. He groaned out throaty and gruff, the sound rumbling up through his chest. He began to roll his hips slowly, leaning on his elbows that were placed on either side of Jack’s shoulders. Jack’s arms weakly snaked around Axton’s lower back, nails trying to grab hold of the tanned skin. Axton pressed Jack into the bed with every hump, fucking him soft and slow. The way a lover would. With the care a lover would take. With the rhythm a lover would have. Axton leaned down and gathered Jack’s lips into a kiss, fucking slow and steady, abdomen working into every gentle thrust.

Jack was mewling and moving beneath Axton, feet sliding over plush bed covers.

Axton could feel the minutes tick by, but he gave them little thought. All that mattered was him, and Jack and how good everything felt. Jacks fingers were tangled in Axton’s hair, his chin resting against Axton’s shoulder, eyes shut, eyebrows furrowed together tightly. His mouth was slightly open, allowing pitiful little moans to slip through. Sometimes they were just sounds, other times Axton was pretty sure he heard his name on Jack’s heavy tongue.

Jack’s tip was swollen and red, his orgasm not far away. He was just on the brink, but not quite there. Axton’s pace quickened as he looked down lustfully at the CEO beneath him. He had forgotten about how utterly stupid he must look in the maid apron, or the fact that he was wearing stilettos. He had forgotten about how awful Jack had been to him earlier. He’d forgotten everything, except the pleasure coursing through him. Axton wrapped his palm around Jack’s shaft as he felt his own need biting at his heels.

“Come with me baby.” Axton whispered in Jack’s ear.

Jack only moaned in response. Axton slapped his hips against Jack, orgasm building quickly. Jack bucked up weakly, tossing his head back dramatically. Axton fucked him faster and pumped him meaner.

“Yeah, C-come for me!” Axton half yelled half moaned as he came to his much needed peak.

Jack clawed the bed harshly as Axton filled him with his load, his own orgasm spiraling down on him. Jack came hard. Harder than the first time, his hips leaving the mattress, his feet sprawling over the bed. He came onto Axton’s apron, again and again, until he had no more to give. Jack lay in a weak heap beneath the commando, heaving and sputtering for breath.

Axton steadied himself on shaking arms as he looked tiredly down at Jack.

“F-Fuck...” Jack huffed tiredly.

“Told you...you could...go again...” Axton managed through heaving breaths.

Jack shot him a weak displeased look.

“Fuck you...” Jack whispered his snarky words coming off as mere weak sarcasm.

Axton chuckled lowly and gently pulled himself from Jack’s weak body. Some of Axton’s finished leaked from Jack’s gaping hole and Axton would be damned if it wasn’t the hottest thing he’d ever seen.

Axton leaned back on his knees and sighed heavily.

“So can I take this ridiculous shit off now?” Axton breathed playing with the hem of the frilled apron that was now littered with the Hyperion CEO’s finish.

Jack snickered weakly from the bed.

“I personally think it suits you. You make a pretty fucking hot maid kiddo.” Jack managed weakly looking up at Axton with a deviously tired half smile.

“Oh thank you sir, I do try my best.” Axton said playfully fluttering his eyes at Jack and pulling at his apron in a fake curtsy.

Jack snickered tiredly.

“So you single or what sweet thing?” Jack cooed coyly looking up at Axton.

“Well seeing as I am imprisoned at the moment, and the only thing close to a friend or contact of any kind is my captor, yeah I’d say I’m single.” Axton scoffed.

Jack fake pouted as Axton began stripping off his heels.

“Oh kiddo you consider us just friends? That hurts.” Jack mused rolling onto his side.

Axton peeled off the apron and looked at Jack with furrowed eyebrows.

“Well I mean I wasn’t even sure we were friends really. Much less anything more. Kinda thought you were my master...and uh...punisher.” Axton said rubbing the back of his head.

Jack scoffed and patted the bed.

“Come lay with me Axton.” Jack whined lowly.

Axton crawled over the bed and slid up behind Jack, wrapping his arms awkwardly around Jack’s body.

“I considered us lovers of some kind. Fuck buddies at the very least.” Jack mused breathing out tiredly.

“Ok then.” Axton whispered nosing into the nape of Jack’s neck.

“Does that mean I get to take the fucking collar off?” Axton said yawning.

Jack leaned over and clicked off the bedside light sending the large room into darkness, the only light being the moon shining through the large picture windows.

“Don’t push it kiddo.” Jack growled over his shoulder as he nuzzled down into the pillows.

Axton rolled his eyes and let his body fall into a state of rest as well. 


Chapter Text

Old Scars

 

Axton’s eyes rolled underneath his lids. Natures calling rudely shook him out of his heavy sleep. Axton grumbled softly and his tired eyes pried open. His bladder gave another weak throb for release and he sighed heavily. He rolled onto his back and stretched his arms up over his head. He opened his eyes fully and breathed out. The comforters we wrapped around his body up to his chin, thrown around him in a tangled mess. His eyes flicked to the space next to him, where Jack should have been. It proved empty. There was just a bed, absent of its occupant, the comforters thrown back where Jack had left them. Axton pushed up on his elbows and furrowed his eyebrows together. He sat up in bed and yawned widely. He would have given anything to just stay in bed. But his full bladder begged to differ.

He pressed his palms against his eyeballs and tried to pry his body from its lethargic state. Axton peered around the room slowly, in search of his counterpart but the room lay empty. He shrugged and hauled himself out of the oversized bed. He shuffled across the room, trying to get his bearings clumsily. Axton grabbed for the bathroom door handle in the dimly lit room. His fingers wrapped around the knob and he yanked the door handle open.

Axton was too tired and too focused on his need to take a piss to even think about knocking. He never heard the shower running. Axton did not even notice the figure through the fogged glass of the shower. His bladder was too full and he was too lethargic to even realize he was not alone. Axton wandered over to the toilet and went about his business. Axton closed his eyes and breathed out at the sweet feeling of release. It was only then that his tired eyes noticed something odd on the bathroom counter next to him. Just as Axton finished...he realized what it was.

Sitting on the luxurious counter...was Jack’s mask.

Axton’s eyes grew wide as he turned on his heel...just in time for a very, very surprised Jack to turn in the shower...and realize he wasn’t alone. Axton’s eyes widened as he looked upon Jack.

Jack seemed to freeze as their eyes met.

Through the clear shower door Axton had a clear view of Jack’s unmasked face. A massive scar spread up one side of Jack’s face and fell down the other, directly over his left eye, which seemed to be blind. His one good eye, the blue one, was wide with horror.

“Shit...Jack...I’m sorry I shoulda knocked...” Axton stuttered backing away and nearly tripping over his feet.

“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING !?!?!” Jack bellowed turning away from Axton, seeming to crumple in on himself, covering his face instinctually.

“Jack, fuck I’m sorry I didn’t mean to...” Axton stuttered standing dumbly in the bathroom, stumbling for words and thoughts.

What in the world could even make such a scar? Axton thought grimly.

He instantly felt...somewhat...sorry for Jack. The mask was a front. A feeble way to cling to looks he must have had at one time. This was what Jack was hiding...his past. The mask was simply something to hide behind. Handsome Jack was the god of this planet he feared nothing, bowed to nothing. And yet even he had secrets.

A deep frown formed on Axton’s lips.

“GET OUT!!!!!” Jack yelled desperately.

Axton could hear the change of tone in his voice. The shame and the sadness. The anger.

“Jack...” Axton tried sadly as he approached the shower.

“I SAID GET OUT!!!!” Jack screamed.

Axton frowned and took a deep breath. He was putting his very life in danger by doing this...

His brain screamed for him to stop. But his body insisted. His bullheadedness insisted. Axton opened the shower door and stepped inside. Jack was faced away from the other man, palms pressed against his face. Jack peered out from his fingers, his blue eye shaking with rage.

“W-WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING???” Jack bellowed stepping away from Axton.

It was so unlike Jack to shy away like this. To act like some kind of kicked animal. Without the mask, Handsome Jack was not Handsome Jack. He was just Jack.

A human.

A man.

A man who had flaws.

Axton stepped closer to the enraged CEO, throwing out any regard for his own safety. He was sure he’d pay for this. Possibly pay with his life. But he couldn’t help it. He had to do this. Axton closed the gap between him and Jack. He reached out and grabbed Jack’s wrists. Jack struggled against him.

“STOP!!!! STOP!!!!” Jack yelled feebly as Axton pried his hands away from his face.

Axton never said a word as he did so. Jack thrashed against him, trying to pull his arms out of Axton’s vice-like grip. Axton held Jack’s wrists out in front of Jack’s heaving chest. Jack avoided looking up at Axton, his eyes closed, his teeth gritted in shame.

“I-I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!!! TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF ME!!!” Jack yelled pulling and bucking in Axton’s grip.

Axton just grunted and watched the struggling man. Axton closed his fist around both Jack’s wrists, freeing one of his strong hands. He gently reached down and grabbed Jack by the chin.

The skin was soft underneath Axton’s thumb. It was silky and pale, constantly shielded and preserved underneath the fake skin Jack chose to wear. Jack yanked his head away angrily. Axton grabbed his face harder and forced Jack to look up at him. Jack’s lone blue eye was wide and angry, as he peered at Axton’s face.

Axton looked over his face.

The scar was deep, and bluish in color. It was old, having been set in Jack’s skin for many years by the looks of it. Jack’s blind eye sat dormant in its socket, absent of a pupil it was as glossy and white as fresh snow. Axton was not sure if he had ever seen anything more horrifying...and yet gorgeous in the very same breath. Axton drew in a sharp breath. To see Jack like this, truly naked before him, it swayed him in ways he had never been before. Axton let go of Jack’s face and touched his fingers to his own scar scribed across his stubble ridden chin.

“Guess we both have scars huh...” Axton whispered softly.

Jack said nothing, and looked away from Axton his demeanor full of shame. Suddenly Axton shoved Jack against the shower wall. Jack made a pained noise as the wind was knocked from his lungs. Axton pinned Jack’s wrists to the tile and looked over Jack’s pained form. Axton’s lips were inches from Jack’s face, the water falling around their silent forms.

“Your scar is way cooler than mine though.” Axton whispered a small smile breaking across his thin lips.

Jack furrowed his eyebrows and glared at the commando. Axton’s smile widened across his face as he pushed his body up against Jack’s.

“Fuck you’re even more handsome without the mask...” Axton hissed dazedly as he crushed his lips against Jack’s.

Axton kissed Jack feverishly, grinding his hips into Jack’s defined form. Axton bit Jack’s lip maybe a little too hard and he felt Jack flinch against him. Jack broke the kiss, gasping for breath. He pushed against Axton’s chest.

“Just quit it ok.” Jack snarled avoiding eye contact with Axton.

“Quit what?” Axton asked looking over Jack with dazzled eyes.

“Alright, you got to see what’s under the fucking mask. Fine. But I don’t need your fucking pity. So quit your bullshit.” Jack growled.

Axton looked at him in confusion.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Axton countered.

Jack shoved Axton away irritably.

“Just leave it the fuck alone.” Jack said his voice wavering.

Axton frowned at Jack. Jack attempted to push past the commando but Axton stopped him. Jack looked at him wildly, anger rising up in him like some kind of beast.

“Don’t fucking touch me kiddo.” Jack snarled warningly.

Axton simply stared at him.

“Or what?” Axton snapped.

Jack’s teeth bared up in a wicked snarl. He lunged at Axton, slamming Axton into the shower wall, causing the glass doors to clatter with the impact. Jack’s hands were instantly on Axton’s throat. He pressed his fingers against Axton’s windpipe harshly, feeling his quickening pulse against his palms. Axton choked against Jack’s tightening grip, but did not attempt to fight back. Jack crushed the breath out of Axton’s throat, his vibrant blue eye wild and unforgiving.

“J-Jack...fuck tighter...” Axton wheezed shallowly.

Jack’s eye flicked to meet Axton’s gaze. Axton’s eyes were half lidded as he looked upon Jack’s scarred face. He wanted nothing more than to be allowed to touch it, kiss it, run his tongue along the deep gash. Between Jack’s unforgiving grip, and his unmasked face Axton was not sure which was hotter. Jack squeezed tighter, teeth gritted, eyebrows knitted together in a deep scowl. Jack pressed against Axton roughly, and Axton’s swollen erection pressed into his abdomen. Jack looked down, and his eyes then flicked back up. A wicked sneer spread across his lips, all his pearly teeth on full display.

“You like when I strangle you don’t you kiddo?” Jack whispered in Axton’s ear hotly.

Axton moaned lowly, his voice strained with lack of air. Axton’s arms curled around Jack’s body, his fingers digging into Jack’s toned ass.

“That’s it commando. I could fucking squeeze the life right out of you, and yet you’re still begging for me. You’re such a fucking slut. A damned filthy, little, fucking slut.” Jack insulted Axton harshly.

Axton’s vision was beginning to go fuzzy, and he could hear the blood pounding in his ear drums. Axton moaned lowly.

“Say it. Say you’re a fucking bitch.” Jack snarled against Axton’s lips.

“I-I’m a fucking bitch...” Axton strained.

Jack loosened his grip slightly his fingers hovering over Axton’s throat. Bruising was forming where Jack’s digits had squeezed too hard. The breath rushed back to Axton’s lungs and he felt light headed.

“That’s it commando. You want it, get down and fucking beg.” Jack hissed.

Axton dropped to his knees without a second thought, looking up at Jack’s unmasked face in awe.

“Please Jack....” Axton whispered from his knees.

Jack grabbed Axton by the hair and ripped his head back. His dead eye rested on Axton’s pained face.

“Beg harder.” Jack whispered, his tone tainted with danger and need.

“Please Jack, god I’ll do anything....Handsome Jack please...” Axton begged pitifully, throwing out his last shred of decency and pride.

“Yeah...you’re mine commando. You belong to Handsome Jack...” Jack breathed darkly, hand coming down to stroke his own member to life.

Jack’s head disappeared and reappeared into the ring of his thumb and forefinger, his wrist flicking fluidly. He grabbed Axton’s head and forced him forward. He rubbed his head across Axton’s thin lips, propping for entrance.

“Open up kitten.” Jack hissed viciously.

Axton blinked the water from his eyes as the streams drizzled down his defined cheeks. He opened his mouth and instantly Jack was filling the empty space. His cock was heavy on Axton’s tongue. He was so big in Axton’s mouth, his smooth underside rubbing over Axton’s taste buds as he began to thrust into the hollows of his cheeks. Jack’s mouth was curled up into a devious smile, loving the way his cock looked sliding in and out of Axton’s lips. Axton swallowed him down eagerly, taking more than he could handle, and choking as a result. Jack felt him choke around his shaft and instead of pulling out to let him breath, he forced in farther. Axton gagged harshly and Jack moaned at the sound.

“That’s right pumpkin. Gag on my fucking cock.” Jack swooned running his slender fingers through Axton’s short cropped, wet, hair.

Axton tried desperately to breathe through his nose as Jack filled his throat harshly. His lips closed around Jack’s fat dick and he sucked his cheeks in, pulling a loud, shameless moan from the scarred man.

It was as if Jack were meaner without the mask. Naked to scrutiny he curled around the only thing he knew. Torture, abuse, rule, dominate. Without the mask he was human. Without it he was not perfect. There, without the mask, he had to be even more Handsome Jack. He had to bring forth the heavy artillery. Make sure Axton knew, even if he’d seen Jack’s weakness, Jack still owned him.

He was still master. And Axton was still his pet. Lovers or not, that was still the order of power.

“You like when I treat you like this don’t you kitten. You like when I demean you.” Jack snarled fucking into Axton’s throat, his fingers clawing at the nape of Axton’s neck, tapping the Eridium collar lovingly.

Axton nodded quickly, bobbing his head as he blew Jack. Jack was so heavy in his mouth. The water ran down Axton’s nose and made it hard to breath. Axton sputtered and tried to push back from Jack, but Jack refused to let him do so.

“Tsk, tsk, pet. Take it all.” Jack moaned pushing back into Axton’s throat harder.

“I like it when you can’t breathe...” Jack mused deviously.

Axton could swear he was sprouting horns and fangs. The way Jack looked down upon him made his blood run cold. It was like staring down a demon. And god was he ever beautiful. Painfully so. Finally Jack slowly eased out of Axton’s stretched lips, the corners of his mouth smarting after being forced full of Jack’s thickness. Jack teased at Axton’s lips, his swollen, red, tip oozing pre-cum onto Axton’s abused mouth.

“You make me so fucking horny kiddo....” Jack breathed patting Axton’s cheek.

“Because I know I can do anything to you. And you still come groveling back for more. You are such a damn good pet....” Jack praised Axton fondly.

“I aim to please master.” Axton whispered from his knees.

Axton nosed against Jack’s cock, sucking on his balls obediently. Jack groaned out and curled his fingers around Axton’s collar.

“More, please...” Axton begged, breathing down Jack’s cock.

Jack yanked Axton by the collar and pushed into his hungry mouth.

“Say my name.” Jack ordered, dragging Axton into each thrust.

“H-Handsome Jack...” Axton murmured his mouth full of Jack.

“Tell me why you love me.” Jack spat yanking Axton’s head back.

“Because you are the most gorgeous man I have ever laid eyes on. Because I want to hate you, yet can’t. Because my lust for you outweighs my common sense. Because I need you.” Axton breathed before he could catch the words in his throat.

He didn’t mean for truth to come out, but in his state, it just all came loose. Jack forced back into Axton’s lips, fucking with a vengeance. Fucking with sloppy need. Jack let a loud, pornographic moan slip through his parted lips and Axton felt the first cumshot spurt across his tongue and hit the back of his throat. Jack pulled from Axton’s reddened lips and let loose across the commando’s face. Axton opened his mouth, wanting to please, wanting all that there was. He felt the warmth as Jack came onto Axton’s cheek, down his neck, more in his mouth. Jack let the last remnants of his finish ooze across Axton’s bottom lip. He looked down at Axton with fiercely pleased eyes.

“Stand.” He commanded Axton through panting breaths.

Axton got up slowly, steadying himself on feeble legs. Jack grabbed Axton’s cheeks in his palms and closed the gap between them, forcing his lips against the other man’s. With the taste of his finish still on Axton’s tongue, he kissed him passionately. Axton’s fingers raked through Jack’s brown locks, parting the grey streak with ease. Jack came away with cum and saliva stringing between his lips and Axton’s. Axton leaned forward and kissed Jack’s cheek, lips touching the scar that was there. Axton ran his tongue along the scar tissue riddled skin and rung up a breathy moan from Jack’s lips. Jack bucked into Axton’s form spent and weak. Axton kissed Jack’s other cheek, pampering the scarred flesh in attention. Jack gasped and pushed into him, wanting nothing but to be closer. Jack closed his eyes, breathing out as Axton kissed him

Axton’s hands snaked around the small of Jack’s back and yanked him toward him, pressing their wet bodies together tightly.

“I-I love you Axton.” Jack breathed almost pitifully.

Axton paused as he placed another kiss on Jack’s scar. The words washed over Axton like a wave of sea water. They were strange and alien to his ears. The sentence hung in the air like wasps, buzzing, threatening to sting. Axton pressed his lips to the scar one more time.

“I love you too Jack.” He whispered against Jack’s skin.

Chapter Text

Hyperion’s Power Couple

Two Years Later:

 

Axton’s eyes were cold as they looked over the Hyperion worker that cowered before him. He looked like a rat. Curled up in the wake of Axton’s boots.

“You wanna run that by me again?” Axton snarled.

The worker fidgeted nervously and fumbled to form words.

“T-The shipment of weapons going to the Hyperion outpost in the highlands...was compromised by...bandits....w-we lost the shipment....” He stuttered looking at Axton with wide, fearful eyes.

Axton’s grabbed the front of the workers shirt and hauled him up off his feet. His shoes dangled off the floor and he choked against Axton’s grasp.

“Shame. I didn’t like your answer the second time either.” Axton snarled.

Axton dropped the man on the floor and grabbed the worker by the neck. He snapped the man’s neck to the side with a quick pop and the worker fell to the floor limply. The screening room had seemed to pause with the outbreak of commotion. Axton looked up to the workers clacking away around him. They all seemed to hurry back to typing as Axton scanned the room. It was almost as if he’d cracked a whip and screamed at them all to get back to work. Axton snorted and stepped over the body of the worker. Axton trudged over to another worker and grabbed his chair, flinging it around, forcing the man to look at him.

“You. You’re head of looking after shipment orders now. Got it.” Axton said jabbing his finger into the man’s chest.

The man nodded dumbly. Axton stepped away from the chair irritably and crossed his arms, observing the room again. He never would have thought overseeing these Hyperion fucks would be so damned difficult. Keeping them all in line proved to be quite the task most days. Axton sighed out and ran his hand through his hair.

Suddenly the large double doors to Axton’s back burst open.

Axton turned to looked over her left shoulder casually. He was met by the million dollar smile he knew and loved all too well. Jack closed the gap between them, looked down at the floor and gingerly stepped over the dead worker.

“Oh pumpkin looks like someone’s been busy. Rough day?” Jack mused whisking his fingers over Axton’s broad shoulders.

“You’re getting so ruthless. Love the way you’re handling these idiots kiddo.” Jack hissed leaning on Axton coolly.

Axton cocked a little smile at Jack and shrugged.

“What can I say, I learned from the best.” Axton chuckled.

Jack laughed and patted Axton’s back.

“I can’t argue with that statement. So kiddo, have you forgotten about tonight or what?” Jack whispered in Axton’s ear.

“Naw. Just about done here. Gonna get a shower, then get dressed.” Axton said turning to look at Jack.

Jack smiled fondly.

“Well get a move on kiddo. Can’t be late to our own shindig.” Jack said clapping Axton’s shoulder.

Axton nodded and followed Jack out of the room. Conversation about the day filled the trip up to Jack’s living quarters. As soon as they were behind closed doors Axton was peeling off the day’s work clothes and tossing them onto the floor. He had to admit, Jack’s hired cleaning workers really had him spoiled. You’d leave clothes on the floor and in the morning they were freshly washed, folded, and put away as if they’d never been worn in the first place.

Axton turned the nobs on the shower and stepped into the steaming water.

“Mind if I join kitten?” Jack said soaking in Axton’s naked, wet form.

“You sure about that boss? Like you said, can’t be late to our own party.” Axton said grinning at him through a lather of soap and water.

“Quick shower, we’ll be fine.” Jack countered rolling his eyes and stripping himself of clothing.

The last to come off was the mask. Axton stared fondly at his partner’s scarred face. It had taken months of convincing but slowly Jack was becoming more comfortable with taking the mask off around Axton. Right now he only did so for showers and sleep, but Axton saw that as a victory, no matter how small.

Jack stepped under the water gracefully, tilting his head back, letting the stream run through his perfect hair. Axton turned to curl his strong arms around Jack’s form and rest his thick chin on his shoulder.

“How the hell am I supposed to make it a ‘quick’ shower when you are distracting me?” Axton mused gently kissing Jack’s neck.

Jack chuckled a little.

“Oh kiddo I know I’m distracting. These looks have stolen many hearts. But I think you can manage.” Jack hissed deviously.

Axton groaned against him. Jack’s teasing, maniacal voice was not helping the situation.

“You aren’t helping.” Axton growled biting Jack’s collarbone.

Jack hissed through his teeth.

“Now, now kiddo. I said quick shower.” Jack said turning and wagging his finger at the younger man.

“But Jack...c’mon just a quickie...?” Axton begged pitifully.

Jack sneered wickedly.

“No. You’re just gunna have to wait until afterward.” Jack snickered washing out his hair.

Axton groaned outwardly.

“Oh c’monnnnn!” Axton whined.

Jack put his fingers to Axton’s lips and shushed him coyly.

“Now pet...don’t make master have to punish you.” Jack teased meanly.

Axton sighed and washed out his own hair. Jack came up behind Axton and pressed his lips against the shell of his ear.

“That is...unless you want me to punish you...” Jack whispered, his breath tickling Axton’s ear.

Axton shivered and let out a breathy little moan, his cock twitching with interest at the hot words. Jack laughed deviously and stepped out of the shower, leaving Axton a flustered mess.

“That’s not fair.” Axton whined stepping out of the shower and slinging a towel around his waist.

Jack put his hands on his hips, standing stark naked in the middle of the room, flaccid cock wagging in front of him.

“Handsome Jack doesn’t play fair kiddo.” Jack snarled evilly.

Axton just chuckled lowly. With that Jack had disappeared into the other room and was dressing himself. It was a black tie affair, and Jack was dressed to the hilt. He really did look like a million dollars. Axton passed by him, entranced with the other man’s beauty and began dressing as well. Jack reattached the mask and looked over to Axton who was adjusting his tie. Jack strode over to him and pulled on his tie a little.

“Have I ever told you how fucking hot you look in a tux kiddo?” Jack mused looking at Axton with devious eyes.

Axton chuckled lightly.

“You aint so bad yourself boss.” Axton whispered leaning forward to steal a kiss from the Hyperion CEO.

Jack was hungry for the kiss. He pushed into it, needy and heavy, taking it almost too far. Axton pulled away from the escalating kiss and shook his head at Jack.

“Remember...can’t be late boss.” Axton teased.

Jack rolled his eyes and seemed to pout slightly. With that, both men disappeared from the room, walking close, chatting fondly. It was hard not to be in a good mood. The holidays even seemed to be having an effect on the unshakeable Handsome Jack. Axton had noticed he’d been a little less on edge lately...and hadn’t strangled as many workers. Any day where Jack didn’t strangle someone was a small victory.

Axton wrapped his arm around Jack fondly as they walked.

It had been Axton’s idea to throw a Christmas party. He thought it would be a nice holiday gesture. Those workers that had survived the year without having their neck snapped, were rewarded with good food and drink. Seemed logical.

Jack didn’t seem to really think they deserved it, but Axton had convinced him it would be nice.

The ball room was large, a massive tree taking up the space in the middle, decorated to the hilt with Hyperion themed ornaments. Wreaths and garlands strung along the ceilings and lights flickered around seemingly every inch of the room.

Axton patted Jack’s shoulder as they entered.

“See aint this nice boss?” Axton said smiling at the decorations.

“Sure kiddo, whatever you say. After I make this stupid speech, direct me straight to the wine. I wanna be shit faced in at least an hour so being around these idiots is less painful.” Jack grumbled rolling his eyes.

“Don’t be such a grinch.” Axton chuckled kissing Jack’s cheek and watching as Jack left him to take his place at the speech podium.

The speech was short and sweet.

A charismatic chain of lies congratulating the workers on a job well done. But at least it sounded...somewhat genuine.

Axton poured himself a glass of whiskey on the rocks and gathered a plate of food. Some of the higher ups came to greet him and tell him what a good job he was doing through their teeth. Most of them didn’t much approve of Jack promoting Axton to his second in command in less than two years. They didn’t really see it as fair, or logical. But Axton had decided they could just choke on it. He was in charge of them, and that was that. Axton sat at one of the grand tables, and looked out upon the marvelous room.

The past two years had brought a lot of change. So much it was hard to process on some days. Axton popped a slice of turkey into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. Some days, the fact that he was now a Hyperion higher up, was a hard pill to swallow. He used to be a Vault Hunter. A damned good one too. Wild, and ruthless. Trying to save this planet from Jack. But now...he inhabited a plush office...and was helping Jack in bringing Pandora down. Sometimes that sat well with him. Other days it didn’t. But the years had made the guilt of the matter less so.

He was...happy.

Despite having this place forced upon him. Despite the horrors he’d been through. He’d come out on top, per say. It wasn’t too bad. Being owned by a madman, it wasn’t all too bad. Too bad. That’s what it was. Not too bad. Some days were hard...but they were getting better. Axton’s eyes flicked up and scanned the crowd. Jack was held up talking to a couple of the older higher ups, and his face was all but pleased.

Axton chuckled lightly.

He could only imagine how utterly annoyed Jack was by the entire thing.

He was...something else. There had been a time where Axton had hated the thin, well put together, pompous man. Hated him with all his beating heart. That was back when he’d been...on the other side. Nobody said switching sides between good and evil would be easy, and it was not. But somehow...someway...the very man that had put Axton in this situation, was the only one who made it ok. Jack was the only sanity that Axton could cling to. Ironically the most insane man he knew, and yet he was the glue that held Axton together. He’d accepted that loving Jack...meant leaving the old Axton behind.

And he was ok with that.

Axton looked up again only to find Jack striding toward the table. He yanked the chair next to Axton out from its tucked position beneath the table and sunk down into it irritably.

“Remind me again why I haven’t strangled Charles yet?” Jack hissed under his breath to Axton.

Axton looked at the CEO over his turkey dinner and shrugged.

“He handles most of our finances. He comes in handy.” Axton mused.

Jack made a little “hrrmph” sort of noise and rolled his eyes. Jack snapped his fingers for a waiter and was brought a bottle of wine and a fine glass. Jack leaned back in his chair as he sloshed the wine in its glass thoughtfully. He tilted it to his thin, perfect lips and drank generously. Axton couldn’t help but to stare at the gorgeous man. It was like looking at something grand and dangerous. A force of nature that was both confusing and sensible. He was mean and rough, yet soft and caring. He was everything that was, and everything that would be.

Jack’s mismatched gaze swept over to Axton, eyes searching over the commando’s ridiculous grin.

“What?” Jack snapped furrowing his eyebrows.

“Haven’t you ever heard of the Christmas spirit?” Axton whispered sneering.

Jack just grunted.

He sipped more wine.

“Ba humbug.” Jack snarled.

Axton snickered lowly, green eyes hinting a sense of playful lust as he looks upon his counterpart. Axton leaned into the CEO, invading his personal space, stepping into the intimate boundaries where only he dared to tread. Everybody else feared Jack. They were afraid for their lives when his name was so much as mentioned in conversation. But Axton...oh Axton had a key into the walls that Jack had put up. Axton used to fear him...sometimes maybe deep down he still did. But it was a fear of another kind. Fear that one day Jack...might stop loving him. That was the only fear Jack roused out of the commando’s heart. There was no fear of dying. There was only fear of loving too fiercely. Falling too hard. Needing too much.

Axton ran this thumb down the sharp cheek of Jack’s mask, sliding it over the false flesh until he came to the glinting hinge. He swirled his finger-pad around it softly, looking on in adoration, eye’s soft, small smile draping to his lips.

“Stubborn bastard.” Axton whispered hotly his lips so close to Jack’s.

Close enough to feel the spark of electricity that formed there.

The night wore on slowly. There was more conversing and more drinks. The alcohol had Axton feeling warm and relaxed. He stayed near Jack’s side as the Hyperion CEO sipped his wine and discussed business with a group of higher up engineers. Axton could tell how the CEO bored with the conversation, his eyes un-amused. Axton grabbed the Jack by the arm and bid the workers a good night. Jack shot Axton a thankful look, his eyes sparkling with the warm tingles the wine was putting upon him.

“What do you say we get out of here?” Axton whispered in Jack’s ear, his breath a warm, pleasant sensation on the sensitive flesh.

“I thought you would never ask.” Jack sighed.

The elevator doors dinged and slid open to allow the two men entrance.

Jack stood in the elevator, his stance proud, elegant, and dangerous. Simply the way that he held himself was enough to inflict utter fear into the hearts of men. His arms crossed over his defined chest, his legs parted only slightly, face unmoving and fierce. He was a gorgeous creature to be withheld. He was utterly, ridiculously, gorgeous. Even more so in his current attire. Black as ebony, clean and strict. The clothing falling over his form in all the right ways.

Axton drew in a sharp little breath. His motions were spontaneous. Acting before thinking was dangerous business, and Axton was all too good at it. He shoved Jack into the elevator wall hard, his lips colliding with the CEO’s harshly, their teeth clinking together with the rough onset of motion.

Jack’s eyes were wide with surprise, his body tensing against the commando’s advancements.

“God I can’t stand it anymore. I’ve gotta have you right here, right now. Fuck I need you Jack.” Axton breathed hotly over Jack’s sharp chin.

Jack’s name seared Axton’s tongue with dripping need. It was hot and heavy as it rolled off his lips, leaving a tingling sensation that only his name could. His awful, fearsome, malicious name.

“Handsome Jack.” Axton swooned his body grinding desperately against Jack’s thin frame.

Jack groaned at the mention of his own name. Oh he was full of himself. Nothing got him off more than his name on the commando's lust heavy tongue. The way he said it with such urgency, such ridiculous need. The way he prayed it to Jack, like a believer to an altar. Jack was his shrine and oh did he ever bow to him with such enthuse. Jack sneered against Axton’s lips. That devious, dark, breathtaking sneer that shook Axton down to his very core. Jack tilted his head and gathered Axton’s lips into another feverish, rough, kiss. He bit the commando’s lip almost too hard and Axton was but putty in Jack’s palm. He moaned into him, letting loose of the pathetic sound without a second thought.

“Slut.” Jack whispered against the kiss.

Axton let a hiss of a moan pass over his lips. Something about Jack’s insults did unholy things to him. Especially in the heat of the moment. He hated to admit that, but god was it ever true. More, he thought desperately. More.

Axton’s gruff palm flicked to Jack’s undershirt, where it was tucked into his pants. He grabbed a handful of the expensive clothing and ripped it out of is tucked position. He pushed the cloth upward, his hand gliding up Jack’s already heaving abdomen. He could feel the swells of muscle under his thick palm, feel every heavy, desperate breath Jack drew as arousal crept up his spine. He could feel the coarse little hairs trailing from Jack’s navel downward, until they disappeared below his belt line.

God he loved the way they looked. Brown as the hair atop Jack’s head, so masculine and rough....so rugged. Axton let his tongue run over Jack’s mask, leaving a little trail of wet in his wake. He knew Jack liked it when he gave attention to his mask. He knew exactly all the right buttons to push. Jack was territory that Axton had spent two years mapping out. He knew the other man like the back of his hand. Axton’s wandering hand treaded over Jack’s nipple, where he squeezed the sensitive bud between his thumb and forefinger. Jack gasped loudly and his back arched off the elevator wall, forcing into Axton’s hips.

Axton chuckled meanly against the Hyperion overlord’s neck. He pressed his lips to his pulse and kissed down Jack’s throat. Axton pushed Jack’s shirt up farther, allowing it to gather at his collarbone, keeping it there with his large palm. Axton descended upon Jack’s flushed chest, where he gather his already abused nipple in his lips. Axton lapped at it talented and mean sucking gently, tongue dancing around the flesh with a vengeance. Jack’s fingers fisted in Axton’s jacket, crinkling the ebony cloth as he bit back an obscene moan. Axton planted several heated kisses around Jack’s peck before sliding to his other nipple, intent on evenly spreading the pleasurable act. Jack whined pitifully as Axton pressed the bud between his front teeth, biting very softly at first, then harder and harder. Until Jack was crying out loudly, his neck arched back, his mouth wide with breathless moans. Jack bucked into the hips that pinned him to the wall, his throbbing erection pressing against his slacks, searching for more room when there was none to be had.

Axton suckled the now purple anatomy gently, and placed a teasing little bite to the flesh next to it. Axton’s free hand slid between Jack’s quivering thighs, and palmed Jack’s engorged cock. Jack hissed lowly and rubbed himself almost involuntarily against Axton’s hand. The CEO was lost in ecstasy, his body taking over when his mind failed him miserably. Axton thumbed Jack’s swollen head through the soft, overpriced material, pressing just hard enough, rubbing just quick enough. His teeth were on Jack’s left nipple again, the one he had not yet violated as much as he could. Jack managed a labored breath that carried Axton’s name upon it. Axton removed his palm and instead wrapped it around the underside of Jack’s thigh, hiking the tattered president’s leg up, forcing it to hook around his hip.

Axton ground his own erection against the tight bulge Jack was sporting. Jack nearly doubled over, his words falling off his tongue in unintelligible gasps and pleas. Axton was mean in his torture. Jack’s nipples were red and tortured by the time Axton was done with them, all the while his lust heavy hips grinding against Jack’s crotch. Jack slacked against the commando.

“A-Axton...n-no, hold on! Please I-I’m gunna cum...wait....until we get home...” Jack practically begged against Axton’s body.

Axton cocked a wicked smile.

“Why? What if I want to see you come in your new tux?” Axton whispered deviously, thrusting his swollen jeans against Jack once more.

Jack shot him a half lidded, disheveled look.

“I want you inside me.” Jack whispered through heaving, strained breaths.

Axton kissed down the side of Jack’s mask.

“If you insist Jack. I’m gunna fill you up until you’re fucking overflowing. I wanna see your asshole so red and raw from taking me over and over again. I’m gunna fuck you so hard you won’t even have the energy to open your gifts tomorrow morning.” Axton said suckling Jack’s lobe sweetly.

Jack groaned lowly, thankful that Axton had stopped grinding his hips against his sensitive hardness, but in the same breath regretting it as the commando, resorted to filthy talk instead.

“That is...if you’ve even gotten any presents. Old man Christmas doesn’t give gifts to bad little boys.” Axton snarled biting down Jack’s neck.

“I-I’m the fucking hero, I’m always good.” Jack retorted dazedly.

“Oh have you been? Last time I checked, good little boys don’t like nasty, rough, disgusting sex with bandits.” Axton teased meanly.

“I know better than that. Good little boys don’t like being pumped full of cum like a god damned sperm bank.” Axton hissed.

Jack moaned weakly, his cock twitching with need, throbbing for that sweet release of orgasm.

Axton’s words alone were enough to push him almost to climax.

“You wanna be filled up don’t you?” Axton asked running his fingers along the sharp line of Jack’s chin.

Jack nodded weakly.

“That’s what I thought. Sorry to tell you this but I think you’ve made the naughty list this year.” Axton whispered grinning like a Cheshire cat.

After what felt like an eternity the elevator doors dinged again and Axton let Jack free from his caged state against the wall. Jack collected himself raggedly, shifting his pants annoyed with the tight heat that was persisting there. Axton followed close behind him, smiling wickedly. They couldn’t make it in the door quick enough. As soon as their feet hit the living room Axton was on Jack like wildfire. He pushed Jack over the plush couch, forcing him onto his hands and knees. Jack’s ass hung in the air obscenely, allowing Axton a perfect view of his luscious rear and the bulge of his erection between his legs.

Axton slipped his fingers between Jack’s shivering thighs and massaged the taught cloth there, feeling Jack’s cock throb at the touch. Jack hissed against the fine leather, his face pressed into the couch, the hinges of his mask making deep little indentions. Jack whimpered pitifully from his ridiculous position.

“You want it, huh baby?” Axton swooned lovingly massaging his partners lifted hindquarters.

Jack nodded quickly, his hair swaying gently.

“Oh you are a naughty boy.” Axton mused lovingly.

Axton reached around Jack, undoing the CEO’s expensive belt and sliding it out of its loops. A fire was already lit in the massive fireplace across the room it crackled and swayed sending heat and light dancing over the two lovers. Axton gently flipped Jack over, and hefted him up into his arms. He carried Jack over to the skag-skin rug splayed out in front of the crackling fire. He laid Jack down on his back, pushing the other man into the floor with his body. Jack gasped and snaked his arms around the commando’s shoulders.

“You look expensive baby.” Axton snarled in Jack’s ear as he rubbed his hips into the president’s.

Jack chuckled breathlessly.

“I am expensive kitten. I don’t think you can afford me.” Jack hissed staring at Axton with evil, needing, eyes.

Axton simply snickered as he ran his tongue down Jack’s neck. Axton grabbed at Jack’s hem meanly.

“Take off my clothes.” Jack hissed the order through clenched teeth.

Axton obeyed quickly, stripping off every shred of Jack’s clothing, and then his own. Until there was no material between the two of them. Jack’s bare back pressed into the soft, leathery rug beneath him. He could feel the velvety, hardness of Axton’s male anatomy rubbing against his own need. Axton leaned down and captured Jack’s lips in his own. He kissed roughly, needy, wanting everything that Jack had to offer. Jack arched up, his hips leaving the floor and driving into Axton’s. He could see the glint of Axton’s green eyes in the firelight. His pupils were blown with the onset of heavy arousal, his masculine cheeks flushed pink and vibrant.

“Fuck me already kiddo.” Jack barked, the order meant to come out mean, but instead it slipped out as a half moan.

“Love to.” Axton hissed.

He left only for a moment, to retrieve the lubricant from the table beside the couch. Axton kneeled between the president’s spread legs. Axton drizzled the oozing lubricant down Jack’s thighs and Jack hissed at the cold contact. Axton simply smiled deviously. The lubricant drooled down between Jack’s legs, pooling around his entrance. Axton lathered two of his fingers and gently went about stretching his lover. Jack tightened around the two digits, moaning and moving, eyes rolling back as Axton curled and flexed them inside his body. Axton fisted his own hardness, letting the lube slather over the thick flesh. He pressed his fat head against Jack’s puckered flesh and pushed, ever so gently.

Jack let loose an exasperated gasp and his fingers dug into Axton’s biceps. Axton sagged at the feeling of slowly being encased within Jack’s tightness. The ring of muscle flexed around the intrusion, throbbing and swelling with pain and pleasure. Axton had to do everything not to just slam into Jack. Make him his, abuse his tight body. But he wouldn’t. He was always easy on his lover. He was kind, and gentle. Never pushing Jack farther than he could manage.

Axton leaned down to kiss Jack gently as he let his lover adjust to him.

“You like that baby?” Axton cooed.

Jack didn’t like pet names. At all. Except during sex. In which case was the only exception. Only then were pet names acceptable, and only certain ones. Jack seemed overly fond of the term “baby”. It had a nice ring coming off Axton’s lips. It went down easy and caused pleasurable chills to run through Jack’s nerves when Axton whispered it to him.

“Y-Yes!” Jack managed finally, his eyes squeezed shut, his breaths coming in short shallow pants.

Axton began a slow, steady rhythm, rolling his hips into Jack’s with controlled urgency. He wanted so badly to fuck him absolutely raw…but he held it back, continued to savor the slow, shallow thrusts. Jack was moving and gasping and touching. He was all legs and arms and fingers and toes. He was shallow gasps, and loud moans, and heavy slurs of Axton’s name.

“H-Harder!” Jack begged.

That was all the consent Axton needed. He fucked into his lover brutally. Hips snapping against Jack’s rear as he clawed at Jack’s thin hips. His mouth hung open slightly as he sheathed himself within Jack over and over again. It was so damn good. Too damn good. Jack’s erection bounced in front of him with every thrust, his face contorted into a sheer look of pleasure. Axton wrapped his fingers around Jack’s erection, sliding his palm up and down the hard anatomy with a quick, fluid, motion. The poor president was already ridiculously close, his muscles tightening, every nerve in his body crashing together. He tried to form words. Tried to cry out that he was going to come. But the only thing that came out was Axton’s name. Over and over again like a damned prayer.

“AXTON!!! AXTON!!!!” Jack yelled tossing his head back and squeezing his vibrant eyes closed.

He bucked into Axton’s palm, and he was coming. Thick ropes of finish decorated over his chest one after the other. Some slid down the cheek of his mask, some down his abdomen, until he was left dribbling his remnants over Axton’s thick fingers. Axton seemed determined to squeeze every last drop from him, his fist sliding up Jack’s cock, coaxing it to ooze more onto him. Axton smiled down at his spent lover, leaning down to capture his gasping lips in a sweet kiss. Axton’s hips never ceased their motion. Jack’s ring of muscle pulsated with his orgasm and it was more than Axton could stand. He gritted his teeth and pushed in harder, faster, fucking Jack like a god damned rag doll.

“OH baby I-I’m gunna fill you up!!!” Axton bellowed through a low, needing moan.

He snapped his hips into Jack as many times as possible before his orgasm washed over him. He pumped himself into Jack weakly, legs tired, arms shaking, his cock pulsating with every ejaculation. He sagged tiredly over the president. Jack lay beneath him still panting, and still a mess. Axton caught his breath weakly, little beads of sweat forming on his forehead, his chest rising and falling with every heavy intake of oxygen. He gently retracted himself from Jack’s body, his finish oozing from the CEO’s abused hole. Jack grimaced at the feeling. Axton chuckled and kissed his lovers cheek.

“Nice and full. Like a damned Christmas turkey.” Axton whispered teasingly.

Jack shot him a displeased look.

“You can call me baby kiddo, but you may not call me a fucking Christmas turkey.” Jack snarled from the floor.

Axton chuckled and fetched some towels to clean up with. He wiped Jack’s stomach lovingly, cleaning him of the mess he’d made of himself. Jack eased himself up off the floor. Once he was clean again, with a little bit of effort he waddled to the couch where he gently curled up into the leather. Axton chuckled and kissed Jack’s hair over the back of the couch.

“You want hot coco?” Axton asked wandering to the small kitchen that branched off the massive living room.

“God yes.” Jack muttered hauling a heavy quilt off the back of the couch and tangling it around his naked body.

When Axton returned he had two very festive Christmas mugs steaming with hot chocolate in hand. He handed the Rudolph adorned mug to Jack and slipped down next to the CEO. Jack wriggled his hands out from the blanket to take the warm drink. Axton tucked himself into the heavy quilt as well tilting his cup to his lips, savoring the warm, smooth, chocolate taste. Jack seemed lost in the sweet beverage, his eyes tired and his body relaxed. Jack went about unclipping the hinges of the mask with his free hand and gently pried the false flesh away. He very gingerly set the mask on the table, then scooted closer to the commando, leaning his head on his shoulder.

Axton looked fondly at his lovers scarred, gorgeous face. He reached over and ran his thumb down the deep, blue, taught flesh. Jack didn’t flinch, he was too tired, and possibly becoming used to the way the commando swooned over his ugly scars. He’d never understand it, so he’d just accepted it. The only sound the room had to offer was the crackling of the fire that danced across the room. The moment was precious. It was quiet and sweet. Two men basking in the firelight. So different and yet the same.

Axton sighed out heavily. It was moments like this that he savored. These loving, soft, moments that came and went. He kissed the side of Jack’s forehead softly.

“Merry Christmas Jack.” Axton whispered fondly.

Jack smiled gently.

“Merry Christmas kiddo.” Jack whispered back.

Chapter Text

I Love You Because I Own You

 

The early morning silence was broken by the sudden, shrill, chime of an echo device begging for attention. Jack rolled over in bed, searching blindly in the dark for the source of the noise. His hand thrashed across the bedside table, knocking over an empty glass and his contact container in the process. Finally his slender fingers grabbed the box like form of the echo, and he punched the answer button on its side. There was the sound of static, and then a jagged voice came over the echo-net.

“Sir, we have a bit of a situation.” The broken voice uttered.

Jack groaned and squinted in the faint glow of the echo device.

“You better pray it really is quite the fucking situation. Because if it’s not, I will personally find you, and rip your windpipe out.” Jack snarled maliciously, lethargy and anger intermixing in his gruff voice.

“Sir, I assure you it is an emergency. You are needed in the new prisoner holding deck, right away.” The voice crackled.

Jack ground his teeth together and scratched the back of his head tiredly.

“New prisoner holding deck...? Why, what the fuck is going on?” Jack snapped.

“Sir...we’ve...we’ve successfully captured...a siren.” The voice managed through the heavy static.

Jack’s eyes widened, and then sunk into terrifying little slits.

“I’ll be right down.” He snarled, a devious grin spreading across his lips. Jack’s feet hit the floor with a thud that jolted his counterpart out of his slumber.

Axton leaned up on his elbows, eyes furrowed and tired. He threw Jack a confused glance as the president went about tugging on his clothes in much more of a hurry than the norm. Jack was an early riser...but this was ridiculous.

“Boss, what are you doing? It’s way too damned early to be up...” Axton groaned from the bed.

“We’ve got an emergency. Get dressed, now.” Jack snapped pulling on his overcoat.

Axton swallowed his pride, shrinking at the barked order. He knew when it was time to shut up and obey Jack this was obviously going to be one of those times. What in the world had his feathers so rustled? Axton jumped out of bed and was throwing on his uniform before Jack could bite off another pointed order at him. Jack was out the door in seconds, the commando trailing his heels. He could hardly keep up with the CEO’s quickened pace as he wound down the hallways, fists clenched, eyes fierce.

Axton did not question. He knew better than to question Jack when he was like this. Questions, words, comments, all were off limits when Jack was like this.

They stood before the massive doors labeled, “New Prisoner Holding Deck”. Jack slammed in the code and the doors slid open with a hiss. The deck was a mass of running workers and clattering tools. Axton stood behind Jack, eyes prying the situation with curiosity and worry. It was then that the double doors at the end of the corridor burst forth, and the entire space was filled with screams. They were blood curdling. Shrill, vicious, and panicked.

A group of workers sprinted toward them, all gathered around a gurney, wheeling it frantically toward one of the medical rooms. All Axton could see was a flash of an arm hanging from the gurney through the huddled figures of the workers. The hand was slender, fingers fine and feminine. The skin was pale, save the parts that were covered in blood. There was so much blood. The gurney had left a trail of dripping crimson in its wake. The workers wheeled the table into the medical lab, scurrying like roaches, yelling at each other in panic and hurry.

Jack was instantly in motion, leaving Axton behind.

Jack disappeared into the room. Axton stood in the hallway for a moment, eyes flicking over the massive trail of blood left behind on the shining, white, tile floor. Another spine chilling scream echoed through the space around him and his eyes darted up to the doorway. Something deep inside his gut screamed at him to just walk away. Turn away from the entire situation...and just leave it. Whatever was in those doors, he needed no part of it. He swallowed hard, his fists clenched at his sides, eyes fixated on the doors.

He had to.

As Jack’s underling...he had to go where Jack went. No matter what. No matter how hard everything within him tried to get him to just turn away and forget he’d seen anything in the first place. His feet went into motion before he could have a second thought. Axton’s form filled the doorway, and everything seemed to flow in slow motion.

Doctors scurried, wielding tools and syringes, screaming things at one another. Axton saw their mouths moving, but heard no sound coming from them. It was as if all sound had been sucked out of the very air. Everything slid through time so slowly, his eyes soaking in everything, taking it whether he wanted it or not.

There, on the table...was a figure.

A woman.

Strapped down to the gurney she thrashed and fought the bindings as if her life depended upon it. Her mouth was wide, but silent to Axton’s ears. His eyes were wide with horror as they settled upon her. The doctors were on her then, blocking most of his view. They cut her armor from her, revealing the source of the blood that was now pooling on the floor as it ran off the table. Her stomach was gashed open, down through layers of flesh, exposing bone and intestines. He could see shimmering tears clinging to the sides of her eyes, running down her cheeks as she screamed. Axton felt dead inside. Her blue locks fell in her face as she bucked her head back, fists clenching weakly, legs scuffling over the table she laid upon. With every breath, every movement there was more blood. It oozed out from the yawning wound. So red, so alive. She’d lost so much blood. Too much blood. Her skin was becoming a dull, pale, grey. There was no time for anesthetic. She’d die before it could take effect. The doctors descended on her like buzzards to a carcass. Tools flashing in the overly bright lighting as they worked. Her chest was heaving, her body arching, her eyes screwed shut in pain. Pain that Axton could only imagine. Her tattoos glowered brightly, illuminating the room with ghostly light.

Axton watched a drop of blood drip from the table in slow motion, only to land in the puddle below. Red was such a vibrant color. The color of life. The color of pain. The color of death. An evil color. So powerful. So thick.

Axton felt his breath catch in his throat. His heart seemed to have stopped beating.

Axton burst into motion, shoving a worker aside in the process. His gruff palms came to Maya’s clamped fist. He uncurled her fingers and clutched her hand tightly. Her hand was so much smaller compared to his. So much more slender, so much more delicate. She was a deceiving creature.

The first time Axton had laid eyes on her, he wasn’t even sure she’d last on Pandora. Pandora didn’t have room for such pretty, slender things. But she’d held her own so well, displaying power beyond anything he’d ever seen. The way she wielded weapons was complete and utter art. He’d never seen anybody make blowing a bandit’s head off look so gorgeous. She was feisty and unpredictable. One moment she liked you, the next she was swearing death upon you. You never knew if she was going to kill you or fuck you. She was just like that. She had the temper of a wounded skag and all the strength of a full grown bullymong. She was a force of nature to be reckoned with. He’d seen her disintegrate a whole mess of bandits with just the flick of her wrist. God that was a sight to be withheld. She’d kissed Axton once. Back in Sanctuary. It had been a warm night, and Axton had chosen to perch outside headquarters on an old bench instead of mingling with the others.

He’d just wanted time to be alone. She’d come to him and sat beside him. She didn’t pry, didn’t ask what was wrong, she simply leaned into him and kissed his lips softly. A kiss that was neither romantic, nor just friendly. Then she had whispered a thank you to him. A thank you for keeping their team safe, for always knowing what to do, for always caring about their wellbeing.

Axton was the leader of their little misfit band, and he took pride in protecting them. She’d smiled against his lips and then left him there with the taste of her still clinging to him. She’d sashayed away and he had watched, wide eyed and confused. She was always confusing, and that was part of why she and Axton had become such close friends. After that, something had changed. They had bonded in a weird way. There were many late nights spent talking about their pasts and futures. Talking about battle strategy, and how bad Salvador’s cooking was. A friendship had blossomed in the strangest of ways. They were polar opposites, and yet they had grown together.

Axton looked down on the gurney, just as Maya’s weak eyes cracked open. They were hazy and confused, the glisten in them fading slightly. Axton felt a lump form in his throat.

“A-Axton....?” Maya strained through labored breaths.

Axton squeezed her small hand in reassurance.

“How you doing sweet thing?” Axton whispered his tone shaking with the threat of tears.

He tried to mimic the light, teasing, flirtatious tone he’d always kept with her but it came out so pitiful and weak.

Maya cracked a weak, pained smile. Axton rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand soothingly.

“Axton...it...it hurts....” Maya rasped weakly, her voice raw and jagged.

Axton bit back the sobs that wanted to come forth from him. He leaned down, bringing himself closer to her, his face nearly touching hers.

“I know hun, I know. But god damned it Maya you gotta hang in there. You gotta stay with me, you hear me??” Axton whispered to her shaking her hand slightly, intensity rising in his stern eyes.

Maya’s eyes fluttered closed, and then strained to come back open.

“MAYA! STAY WITH ME!” Axton bellowed cupping her face with his free hand.

“B-But....I’m so tired...” Maya whispered her words slurring slightly.

“You gotta fight it baby girl, you gotta fight it. C’mon keep those eyes open.” Axton barked the order sharply.

Maya strained to keep her eyelids peeled back ever so slightly.

“That’s it. C’mon gotta keep yourself awake, don’t you go on me. That’s an order Siren.” Axton said soothing her shoulder lightly.

The doctors worked tirelessly, until her wound had been stitched shut, disinfected and tended to. Axton continued to hold the Siren’s hand as they wrapped the wound in gauze. The Siren’s breathing was more stable now, her eyes falling closed with exhaustion, but she was alive and stabilizing. Axton stayed with her as they moved her to another room, one with a more suitable hospital bed. They hooked her up to an I.V. and monitor. The electronic beep of the machine was reassurance to the commando. That little sound was a symbol that she had made it.

She was alive.

Axton leaned over her protectively, her small hand still firmly clenched in his.

“C-Can...I sleep now?” Maya questioned softly looking to Axton tiredly.

Axton nodded slowly, eyes sweeping over the weak woman.

“Yeah. You get some rest.” Axton whispered to her.

“W-Will....you be here when I wake up?” She questioned softly sleep already threatening to take her.

“Of course. I’ll be here. I promise.” Axton whispered giving her hand a little squeeze.

Axton waited for her to drift off to sleep before letting go of her hand. She looked so weak lying there. The color all drained from her, the bags of blood and fluids hanging beside her bed. Her hair sticky and slick with blood and sweat.

Axton’s stomach clenched and turned.

He covered his mouth and barely made it into the hallway before he vomited through his fingers and onto the tile flooring. He braced an arm against the wall and wretched up his stomach contents. He heaved and gagged, his body turning itself inside out. He coughed weakly as the stomach bile burned his throat and nostrils on the way up. His eyes stung with the tears threatening to fall and his stomach tightened unforgivingly. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand coming away with the foul smelling remnants of last night’s meal. He wiped his hands on his uniform pants and shuddered weakly. He pressed his forehead against the wall, legs shaking dangerously. This couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be real. It had to be a bad dream. It had to be.

He’d given his freedom so his fellow vault hunters could have theirs. He’d sacrificed himself so very long ago. He’d had to, to keep them safe, to keep them from Hyperion’s clutches. How could they have captured her? She was a Siren. A goddess in her own rights. They couldn’t have. She was far too powerful. She was far too strong.

“Oh god...” Axton breathed to himself squeezing his eyes shut.

He slammed his fist into the wall hard enough for it to echo through the new prisoner ward. He yelled out in rage. He’d given it all so this would not happen. Now...it was.

Suddenly Axton felt he was no longer alone.

He turned slightly, breathing heavy, shaking pathetically. Jack stared at him with scrutinizing, narrowed eyes. His arms were crossed across his thin chest and his mouth was but a taught line across his sharply featured face. He looked to Axton, then to the vomit on the floor.

He grimaced in disgust at the commando.

“You wanna explain to me what just happened?” Jack questioned pointedly, his voice low and full of displeasure.

Axton lowered his eyes and gritted his teeth together. He didn’t need this, not now. Not from him. From the likes of him. It was all his fault. His fault Axton was here. His fault now Maya was too. It was one thing to take him...but not her....not something so gorgeous and so powerful. Things like her were not meant for cages. He could only assume that was what she was destined for. To become a prisoner...just like...him. The thoughts rattled Axton down to his core.

“Not now Jack.” Axton snarled spitting, attempting to get the burning taste out of his mouth.

Jack’s eyes darkened at the response.

“No, actually I think right now is just fine kiddo. Now what the fuck happened?” Jack snarled taking a step toward Axton.

Axton whirled around, shaking, anger bubbling up from his deepest core. He looked at Jack with cold, unforgiving eyes.

“What’s wrong? Don’t tell me you and the Siren being little buddies in the past is going to be an issue. C’mon commando I thought you were less of a pussy than that.” Jack insulted watching Axton with slitted, piercing eyes.

He did not like the way his pet was acting about the new prisoner. This Siren was a fucking gold mine. He had big things in store for her. He wouldn’t let the commando’s pathetic old feelings of friendship toward her get in his way.

“That Siren, means great, new things on the horizon for us...” Jack sneered pondering fondly.

Axton’s lips pulled back in a wicked snarl.

“Are you going to turn her into some fucking slave? Like you did me!!??” Axton barked balling his fists up into tightly clenched positions.

Jack seemed a little taken aback by the comment. His eyebrows knitted together in surprise and anger.

“What I do with her is none of your concern pet. Are you forgetting who you are talking to? Seems to me you are very much so forgetting your place commando.” Jack snapped shoving a finger hard into Axton’s chest.

Axton’s hand launched forward and shoved Jack hard. Harder than he had meant. But he was so angry. So fucking angry. Jack stumbled back a little, and now looked at Axton through rage ridden eyeballs.

“You think everyone and everything should just fucking bow down to you. Because you think you are some sort of god. Not everything is for you to take!! You have no right capturing her!!! You can do whatever the hell you want with me, but not her! She doesn’t deserve this, nobody does!!! I take it because I have to, because I’ve been so fucked up by this place that it’s all I know. I bow to you because some fucked up part of me fell for you and I can’t even say why!!” Axton spat his pupils wide and the veins in his neck throbbing.

Jack looked ready to tear Axton’s throat out.

Before Axton could say another word his body was being overtaken by the sharp sting of Eridium coursing through it. He clattered to his knees hard, straining, teeth clenched and eyes closed in pain. It had been so damned long since he’d felt the shock of the collar. Been so long since he’d felt this bone rattling pain. He’d been nothing but Jack’s favorite, Jack’s lover, Jack’s second in command. And in a matter of mere seconds he’d fallen from his throne. In his eyes it was all worth it. The defiance was needed.

Axton yelled out as the pain seared through him like boiling water. It invaded his every nerve and his every muscle. He slumped forward slightly as the pain finally faded away. He was left breathing ragged and uneven, panting and gasping.

Jack took a step toward the kneeling commando. He grabbed Axton by the hair and ripped his head backward, the collar pulling harshly.

“I am a fucking god. Everything should bow to me, and honestly I think you’ve forgotten how. I love you because you are mine. My plaything. My little trophy Vault Hunter. I love you because I own you, you silly little maggot. But now I see you have gotten a little too comfortable. Understand this commando, I only love you because I can do whatever I want with you. You are my pet. No matter what rank I give you...you will always be my pet.” Jack snarled through clenched teeth.

Axton felt his gut twist in anger and sadness. He loved Jack because he was fucked up in the head. He’d wanted this to be some sort of strange relationship, even when he knew it wasn’t. The only thing Jack loved whole heartedly, was himself. Axton gained love only through his willingness to obey. His willingness to please Jack. His willingness to appease Jack’s every need. He got a high title, got to sleep next to Jack, was adorned with fine meals and fine drinks. Jack had dressed him in fancy clothing and treated him to the finer things in life. He’d fawned over Axton the way any good owner would their prized pet. But no matter how well Jack had pampered him...he still wore this collar, he still obeyed Jack when an order was given. He was still just a god damned Hyperion dog.

Chapter Text

The Whole Truth

 

Axton sat with his head in his hands, his elbows leaned on his knees as he folded in on himself. He sat silent and unmoving. His pitiful form seemed to wilt into the floor. Melting away like some sad memory of the human he once was. He couldn’t even call himself that anymore.

He could barely remember what it was like.

Freedom, free will, the right to think and act like anything other than an animal.

That was all he was.

An animal.

A dog.

A mutt.

He sighed into his palms and rubbed his skin against his stubble ridden chin. His five o’clock shadow was getting a little out of hand. He needed a shower and a shave. Not to mention there was still the lingering taste of vomit in his mouth.

Axton grimaced.

But he dared not even attempt leaving the hospital room. He couldn’t go back to Jack’s quarters after their...disagreement. Hell that was a massive understatement if ever there was one. Disagreement nothing. More like a full on cage match of a fight, and Jack had won. Just like Jack always does. Jack wins.

No matter what.

Didn’t matter what game it was, or what fight it was....Jack would always come out on top. Jack had turned his back and left Axton lying there on the hallway floor hours ago. Left him there like unwanted garbage that had not been taken out on trash day. He’d squeezed Axton’s cheeks, in that rough, not so loving way he always did when he was displeased and he’d left him there. His eyes had been cold, and his grin had been even colder. He’d left him with nothing but that icy madman like grin and a few simple words to mull over.

“I believe you really need to think about what side you are on commando.” Jack had said slyly before disappearing down the hallway.

His footsteps had become more and more distant until they had faded completely, and Axton had continued to lay there. He hadn’t even been sure he really wanted to get up at all.

What was the point? Haul himself up only to most assuredly be met by Jack’s wrath, and what for? For nothing.

After what seemed like an eternity Axton had scraped himself up off the tile and had wandered into Maya’s room. It seemed like the only place he really had to go. He couldn’t go back to Jack. Not now. Not after all that. Jack hadn’t called for him, and so he would wait it out here. He could only imagine the punishments Jack was stewing up in his twisted brain. He didn’t want to have to deal with that...not yet at least. But most important of all, he could not leave. He’d made a promise. A promise to be here when Maya awoke, and he didn’t plan on letting her down.

His eyes flicked to the hospital bed where the weakened Siren laid.

Her heavy eyelashes fell over her soft cheeks, closed in heavy slumber that she desperately needed. She looked like a fragile china doll, constantly at risk of simply breaking apart on spot. That was certainly one of the most disturbing aspects of the whole thing. Maya was anything but fragile, and yet here she was...reduced to such a state.

Axton frowned deeply.

The monitor provided a steady sound in the otherwise silent room. It was late now, and most the workers and doctors had faded away from the new prisoner ward. The hallway’s lights were dimmed, leaving the space outside the hospital room shadowed and dark. Like something out of a horror film the few florescent lights that were still on flickered and buzzed tiredly.

Axton’s eyes settled on the dark hallway.

The hospital room’s lights kept the darkness outside at bay. Like keeping monsters out of the doorframe, it stopped them there. The soft lights kept the two of them safe here. Safe from all the beasts and crawling creatures just waiting to get a taste of them.

Axton’s eyes downcast sadly.

The worst part was he was just about as dangerous as any monster outside this room. He was Hyperion, and therefore he was a monster. No better than the wretched workers that tortured and took. No better than the demon of a man that he had sickly fallen for. To think how blinded he had been. Caught in a little slice of false heaven.

To think he was...happy.

He really thought, if only for a moment that he was happy. Happy with Jack and happy being here. He’d felt happy, so fucking happy. The other Vault Hunters had faded from mind and thought. But all of it came crashing back now. How could he have thought everything could just go on the way it had been. He had always known, somewhere in the back of his mind that the past years had been too good to be true. That eventually his run of good luck would fade. It certainly had faded out now. His luck had run drier than the Dust.

He sat there in the lone, uncomfortable little chair, fighting himself. Jack’s words buzzed in his head like flies to a dead carcass. What side...was he on? For a long time he was sure he leaned on the side of Hyperion. He’d given up being a Vault Hunter two years ago. He had given that away for a life as Jack’s second in command...for a life as Jack’s lover. Or slave. Whichever way you looked at it.

Axton was feeling more like child that was lied to now. He’d been fed Jack’s lies and twisted truths like a fat and happy little pig. When all along he’d just been being led to slaughter. Jack was only fattening him up to get something out of him. He liked Axton’s strength. He liked the prize of having a Vault Hunter enslaved. It was warning to the others that Jack could capture them, and would do so in a heartbeat. It was just proof to the Vault Hunters and the Crimson Raiders that Jack was stronger. Axton was the example. He knew that now.

Axton cursed under his breath and kicked a trashcan to his left, causing it to clatter to the floor and spill its contents on the tile. Why did he feel so fucking shitty? It wasn’t like him to have such strong emotions. Yet, here he was...hurting. Hurting like he really hadn’t before. Sure it had hurt when Sarah had left. Yeah it hurt, but not like this. This hurt in a different way. It hurt deeper. This hurt because all Axton had come to know was now in danger of coming apart.

This hurt because Jack’s harsh words still stung Axton’s ears.

This hurt because Axton loved Jack far more than he should.

This hurt because Axton had a heart, and it was broken.

Axton looked over at Maya again.

The lingering question hung in the air like a dark creature....what now? What did Jack have in store for the Siren? Could Axton stop it? Did he dare go against his boss...his lover? What could he do to save her from the horrors of this place...? Or could he save her at all....? He never thought he would have to make a decision like this.

It was either her...or Jack.

Suddenly the women made a small, strained noise. Axton perked up and brought his chair closer to the bedside. Maya’s eyes slowly flickered open, and immediately she shied away from the overly bright overhead lights. She blinked weakly several times before looking over to the man at her side.

“Hey there...how you feelin?” Axton whispered reaching up and touching her arm gently.

Maya offered him a weak smile.

“I feel like I got hit by a truck...” She whispered gruffly.

Axton chuckled.

She was such a strong little thing. He only wished he could be as strong as she was.

Maya’s eyes opened fully and she breathed out shakily as she looked around.

“Where am I?” She whispered slowly.

Axton breathed out slowly.

“Opportunity.” Axton said softly.

Maya cursed weakly.

“Those fucking badass loaders blindsided me. I didn’t stand a chance. There was too many.” She said shaking her head as if ashamed of herself.

“I shouldn’t have taken that mission alone.” She finished.

Axton frowned at her.

She looked over his strong face and smiled again.

“But...god it’s good to see you, you big asshole.” Maya croaked chuckling.

Axton returned the laughter and squeezed her shoulder gently.

Maya’s face became more serious for a moment.

“We all thought you were dead Axton.” She whispered softly her eyes dark and sad.

The smile faded off Axton’s cheeks as he looked upon her.

“We even had a ceremony. To all of us...you’ve been dead for years. It’s...it’s liked seeing a ghost...” She breathed reaching out and touching his scarred chin.

Axton looked down shame pouring from his eyes.

“You were better off thinking I was dead.” He whispered.

Maya frowned.

“Why....why didn’t you come back to us?” She asked her voice cracking.

Axton shook his head.

“I...I couldn’t. I....I’m not here by choice. I can’t leave. Two years ago...Hyperion captured me. I...I’ve been a prisoner here ever since.” Axton breathed.

He couldn’t muster up the words to tell her the whole truth. He couldn’t make himself do it. How could he even begin to tell her? To tell her he had betrayed every moral underneath the Pandoran sun. To tell her that he’d fallen in love with the very same crazed dictator he had once sworn to kill. To tell her he was the enemy now. Axton felt his throat clench tightly and he squeezed his eyes shut, madly willing away the tears that wanted to fall. To say he hadn’t missed the others would be a lie. He’d missed them so much. Missed all the laughs they had shared. All the nights that had been spent held up in abandoned little shacks with nothing but a meager fire to keep them warm. All the missions that had lead them on ridiculous quests. The time Salvador had brought a Skag puppy back to camp and insisted on keeping it and naming it Scraps. The time that very same pup had chewed Axton’s socks and Axton had threatened to blow it to bits with a grenade. All the memories that had kept him company so far back when he’d lain on that prison cell thinking that the end was coming. When he’d thought he was going to die, the memories of his Vault Hunter’s had made it easier. Knowing that he had given his life to save theirs. They were worth it.

Sometimes at night he still dreamt of them and of the times that they had shared. He’d never thought he would see any of them again. But fate would have it differently.

Maya’s face was full of sorrow.

He could see in her eyes that she felt bad for Axton.

He knew in his heart he didn’t deserve the concern. That was what hurt the most.

“I’m so sorry Axton...if we had known....we...we would have come for you.” Maya said blinking away tears.

“No. I didn’t want any of you to come here. It’s....it’s a horrid place. I didn’t want them to get any of you too. I sacrificed myself....that was what had to be done.” Axton said sternly.

“God...and now all for nothing...I’m so sorry Maya....you don’t deserve this place....” Axton said through clenched teeth.

Maya shushed him softly.

“Axton it isn’t like it was your fault...It was my own doing that got me here...” She whispered.

“So....what...what’s going to become of me...?” Maya asked meekly.

The question hung there in the air for a moment. Dripping over the pair slowly.

Axton sighed heavily.

“I...I don’t know....but no matter what Maya...when you are strong enough...I’m going to get you out of here.” Axton said fiercely looking into Maya’s eyes.

“I’m going to help you escape. I won’t let you have the same fate as me.” He finished, anger welling up in him wildly.

Maya shook her head.

“Axton...” She started but Axton cut her short.

“No. I promise. Right here, right now. I will get you out of this place.” Axton snapped.

Silence hung over the two of them like heavy drapes for a moment.

Maya sighed eventually and nodded.

“I’m just happy to see you. Thank god I’m not in this alone.” Maya whispered.

“Maybe Jack will put us in the same cell and we can be prison buddies.” Maya chuckled wryly.

Axton chuckled outwardly, but inside his heart sank even lower. Such jokes only reminded him of what he wasn’t telling her. The night wore on and they filled it with conversation. Swapping stories that filled in the past two years. Axton avoided all mention of Jack. All mention of them. At some point in the new hours of the early morning Axton managed to drift off.

Axton’s eyes cracked open, his face pressed into the sheets of the hospital bed. He was slumped over the side, the rest of him still planted in the meager chair. He groaned lowly and lifted up on his elbows. That was definitely not the most comfortable position to have fallen asleep in and his body made that immediately obvious. He cracked his back and stretched his sore arms upward.

Maya’s curious eyes were upon him.

“I’m glad you finally slept. You needed it.” She whispered smiling at him.

Axton could hear workers in the now lighted hallways. The commotion of Opportunity headquarters coming to life with the new morning. He sighed out loudly and smiled at Maya gently.

“You sleep ok?” He questioned her softly.

She nodded.

“Yeah as best as I could. Whatever they’ve got me on, it’s healing that wound quick.” She said lifting her gown a little to show Axton the wound that was now just a fresh looking scar.

Axton nodded.

Hyperion didn’t lack when it came to high tech medical care, and of course...only the best for a Siren. He didn’t know what Jack had planned for her...but the look in his eyes said everything that needed to be known. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better.” Axton said smiling.

“Yeah...not well enough to walk...but getting there.” She said grinning.

“Not well enough to break out of this joint just yet.” She said winking at Axton.

Axton chuckled.

“The others will be so happy to know you’re alive...” Maya said suddenly.

Axton sighed.

“I dunno...maybe it’s better if you didn’t tell them I’m alive.” Axton whispered.

Maya shot him a confused look.

“Why!? I mean they are going to be ecstatic!! I don’t think you know how hard it was Axton...I mean don’t you understand what this is? It’s like you coming back from the dead. Lilith, Salvador, Zero...Roland...they are all going to be so glad you are alive! Not tell them? What are you thinking?” Maya said looking at Axton as if he’d lost his mind.

Little did she know he actually had.

“Because...I just....Maya there are things you don’t know...” Axton whispered gruffly.

“Oh c’mon stop that shit! The others will be so relieved to find you’re alive!” Maya exclaimed narrowing her eyes at him.

“No...Maya you don’t understand!!” Axton snapped his voice rising with anger and disgust with himself.

“Yeah Maya. You just don’t seem to understand what your little commando friend here has become.” Came a singsong voice from the doorway.

Axton’s head snapped to the direction of the sound his eyes wide and frightened.

Jack was leaned casually against the doorframe, arms folded, eyes playful and dangerous. Maya watched him warily as he slowly entered the room. His presence instantly made the tension in the room rise to an uncomfortable, frightening place. His sneakers slapped the tile floor with every step. One after the other, after the other. So slow. So calculated. So fucking dangerous.

Axton felt cold.

Like all the blood had drained from his body, and all his bones had frozen. He wanted to disintegrate right there. Melt into the floor and fade away. He just wanted to die on the spot. Jack approached the small chair that Axton sat frozen in, his mismatched eyes dancing over the commando’s frightened form.

Jack captured Axton’s chin in his long, lithe fingers.

“Isn’t that right sweetie?” Jack cooed viciously his tone dripping with malice.

Axton’s eyes adverted Jack’s mean gaze as the president slid the pad of his thumb over his lower lip.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell her Axton. Gosh I’m so offended babe.” Jack hissed tilting his chin back observantly as he looked Axton over.

Maya’s eyebrows were pulled together in a mix of concern and fear.

Jack jerked Axton’s face toward Maya, forcing him to look in her direction.

“You see, Axton....isn’t a vault hunter anymore sweetie. He works for me now.” Jack said swaying slightly as he smiled down at Axton fondly.

“Well...works for me is a bit of an understatement. Didn’t you hear, you delicate little Siren? Axton’s my second in command. All those big bad loaders, and all those shipments of weapons Hyperion moves every day, and sends out to wipe this little planet clean of disgusting bandits like yourself....that’s Axton’s doing too.” Jack cooed fawning over Axton like some type of proud parent.

Like he had created something beautiful out of Axton.

“He really is quite the ruthless little pet. I can always count on him.” Jack went on grinning that toothy, devious grin of his.

Maya looked sick to her stomach.

Her face was screwed up into an expression of shock and disgust.

“Axton...say it isn’t true....it’s not true....” Maya whispered.

Axton couldn’t even look at her.

Jack fake pouted at Axton.

“Oh what’s wrong kiddo, cat got your tongue?” Jack cooed squeezing Axton’s chin.

“Oh and that isn’t even the best part! He’s not just my second in command he’s soooo much more than that...” Jack sang smiling viciously.

“Jack don’t....please...” Axton whispered ashamed.

Jack frowned down at him.

“Oh Axty-poo is it that you are ashamed? Of us? Come now don’t hurt my heart.” Jack said with fake sadness clinging to his false frown.

Jack grinned at the appalled Siren, his lips pursing up into a pleased little grin.

“Axton is my little lover. My little pet. He’s such a good lover too. Always pleasing me in the richest of ways. Always doing as instructed.” Jack whispered wryly his smile spreading like a disease over his face.

Jack ran his tongue up Axton’s neck, making sure to breathe down the flesh hotly.

“Now pet, when you are done with your little Siren, won’t you join me in my office. We have much to do today kiddo.” Jack hissed biting Axton’s ear deviously before making his swift exit.

Axton sat still, the feeling of Jack’s saliva still warm on his neck. He didn’t know what to say, what to do.

Finally Maya spoke.

“Is that true Axton...?” She whispered lowly.

Axton took a sharp breath in.

“I’m so sorry Maya....” Axton whispered in reply.

There was a pause in the room. It was long and heavy. It was painful to endure.

“Get out.” She hissed finally, her voice shaking as she breathed the order.

Axton looked at her with pleading eyes.

“Maya...let me try and explain....” Axton whispered.

Maya held up her hand, motioning for him to stop.

“Just get out.” She repeated.

The chairs metal legs scraped the floor loudly as he pushed it back. Axton rose slowly and looked at the Siren one last time before turning his back and leaving the room behind. There was nothing left to say there. There was nothing left to explain. What was done, was done. That was just the way it had to be.

The way it was.

The whole truth of it all.

The awful truth of it all.

Chapter Text

Coming to terms

 

Axton’s footsteps echoed through the vast, empty halls. It was early. So damned early. Even too early for the workers to be out and about yet. His eyes were downcast and his heart felt like a ten pound weight. It hung there in his chest, clinging to his ribcage, rattling around when he so much as moved. Nobody gives you a fucking instruction manual for such things as this. Nobody tells you how to deal with this. How to deal with betraying friends, lovers, befriending enemies, becoming the enemy, leaving those you knew in the past behind.

Axton clenched his fists into balls.

Was it worth it? Fighting for Maya and now only having her hate his guts. Having her find out his greatest secret.

Axton scoffed.

It wasn’t a secret really. He’d known a long, long time ago that this day would come. The day he would have to face the choices that he made. The choices that really weren’t choices. He didn’t choose to love Jack. It just...happened. He fell hard and he fell heavy, and everything was easy...until now.

But he knew.

He knew one day the Vault Hunters would catch up to him. He’d avoided it for years, but here it was. He’d come to terms with being the enemy in his own little world, but that look in Maya’s eyes was far more haunting than he ever thought it would be. He hadn’t prepared himself for that. Nothing could have.

Axton shook his head in dismay.

There he was, standing before a decision that one should never have to make. A decision between allegiances and love. At one time he was loyal to Maya. Protected her like he would his own kin. He’d shared many laughs and many near death experiences with her. She’d saved his ass more times than he would like to count. He’d done the same for her. He was once a leader to her. Someone she looked to for advice, for answers, for direction. Now those big, gray eyes were full of disgust as she looked upon him. Looked upon the ex-vault hunter. Looked upon the commando that once was. Looked upon a man that was now a monster.

Axton felt his breath catch in his throat.

He was no better than Jack in her eyes. In fact...he was Jack to her. An extension of a madman. The right hand of a monster. She was right. He was a monster. He’d killed for Jack, done awful things for Jack, and had never given them a second thought. He had become wrapped up in the power and the strength that Jack had provided for him. Jack had the planet in the palms of his hands, had offered it to Axton

and Axton had willingly taken it.

Memories of all the cities he’d destroyed flashed before his eyes. All the loaders he had commanded move out upon the innocent. All the rocket launcher fire, and all the sprayed bullets, his turret used to take down the ones he once saved. Now Axton had never been a “good” man. As a Vault Hunter he’d killed many a bandits. For loot, for fun, for blood. That surely did not qualify someone as a good man. That was the farthest thing from it. They were all ruthless. Taking bounties for the money. Taking lives for the money. Stealing, drinking, killing. So what was so much worse about him joining with Hyperion?

Somehow...it just was.

He’d made a pact with the vault hunters. A promise. A promise to take down Jack. A promise to stop him from reaching the vault first. A promise to save this planet, no matter how lowly and disgusting it was. It really wasn’t even worth saving. It was a hellish place to exist. Full of crime, and killing and blood money. Full of dangerous, spiny creatures that would eat you in a heartbeat. The landscape was rough, and ragged. The nights were hot, the days were hot, and all of the in-between was fucking hot.

So why save it?

Because the crimson raiders seemed to see something in this planet that apparently Axton didn’t.

He sighed.

It wasn’t like Jack was exactly trying to take down the planet. Just recreate it. What was so fucking bad about that? This planet sure did need some sort of fucking overhaul. Jack wanted to bring order to this rugged beast of a land. Order, possibly some peace, humanize the animalistic Pandoran people. Was that really all bad?

Axton coughed.

God now he was fucking thinking just like Jack. He instantly felt disgusted with himself. Maybe deep down...he was becoming Jack.

Just as much a madman as he.

Just as much a monster.

Just as much a dictator.

Just as much a beast....all fangs and claws and tails.

All fur and wild eyes and wings.

All bite and bark.

All kill or be killed.

Adorned in Hyperion yellow, name and position scribed across his uniform pocket. It was shameful and it was prideful all in one. This was all he knew.

This place, these walls, this job...this was all he had.

Out there, he had nothing but his money, his guns, his want to take what wasn’t even his. He lived off stale bread and skunked beer. Shot those who didn’t agree with him, shot those that had more than him. He was a hired out bounty whore, taking on any job handed to him. No matter how rough, or how awful. He’d killed people just because the bounty stated they “wanted them dead because they stole my favorite shirt”. He’d killed over much stupider things than even that.

Here at least...he had a purpose for each kill.

He had a job. A warm bed to sleep in. He always had massive portions of only the best foods to eat. He always had warm water to shower with. No more showering with freezing well water, or even dirty rain water. There were times he’d bathed in rivers way back when. Rivers that were none the cleanest. Jack had allowed him to earn his own wages, so he always had plenty of money to do what he wished with. He had free reign of the city. He could go where he liked.

He had power here, respect even. The workers looked at him with fear and understanding that he was of higher rank than they. He wasn’t a grunt, or a lowly bounty hunter. He was Jack’s right hand man. His body guard. His protector.

Yet here he was, on the brink of losing all of that. Throwing all that away.

His legs worked slowly, carrying him over the pristine white tile. White tile that he’d fallen upon, been shot upon, been dragged upon. This place was haunting and yet in the very same breath...it was home.

Was he ready to give all of that up? Would he have to?

Jack was crossed.

Axton could taste that in his voice earlier. Jack did not like to be crossed.

Hyperion headquarters had changed over the years. The office Axton approached, was not the same office he’d experienced when Jack had first taken him prisoner. This office was much more grand. The double doors standing between Axton, and Jack’s office were massive. They sprawled from the floor all the way to the high ceiling, adorned with murals of Jack conquering Pandora in all his might. Axton slid his hand down the door, touching the face of the Jack painted on the door’s surface.

The Jack on the door was stupidly perfect. The Jack on the door had no mask. The Jack on the door had nothing to hide. Nothing like the real one Axton loved so sickeningly much. The real one with all his flaws, all his faults and all his secrets. The real one with the ugly scar, and the mask to cover it. The real one that sometimes had night terrors and would wake up in sheer panic screaming at unknown entities. The real one who had lost everybody he ever cared about.

Axton knew very little about Jack’s past.

Only the tidbits Jack fed him from time to time. Sometimes he would get like that, and share just a tad too much with Axton. He then would realize it and change the subject. Realize he’d almost let him in too far, and slam the door closed again. The night terrors happened from time to time. Axton had simply gotten used to them. One night though, in particular still haunted Axton. Jack had awoken screaming, crying, falling from the bed, hitting the floor hard enough to gouge his head. There was blood, and tears. His eyes wide as he scrambled to stand.

He was crying.

Axton hadn’t seen Jack cry until that very moment. He was begging someone, something, to bring “her” back. He had sputtered sloppy apologies to the empty room. Axton had been there, helping him up, calming him down. He’d been there because he needed to be. Because no matter how Jack had screamed for him to get away, Axton knew he’d needed him.

Axton had cleaned him up, patched his head, and all the while Jack was whispering words that came out in the form of “Angel”. Axton did not know what that meant. He knew not who or what that was. To him it was just a word. To Jack it seemed like a haunting memory that would not flutter loose. Every time his lips curled around the syllables, his eyes hollowed, his lips quivered, his body seemed to slack...like the word took the energy right from him.

Axton had never seen Jack so weak as he was that night. Sitting on the tile of the shower. Naked, afraid, blood rushing so vibrant red down the silver drain. Axton had touched his shoulder. He’d whispered it would all be ok, even if he did not know that for a fact. Jack had let him touch his skin. Jack had let him be there, because as much as he hated to admit it...he’d needed Axton that night.

Needed him in a way that he’d not before.

Needed him in a way a lover did.

A true lover.

Not a master, or a boss.

Not a keeper, or a CEO.

Just a lover.

Jack had looked at the floor and whispered apologies. Axton was not sure if they were to him, or to someone deep in Jack’s head, buried in the memories. So Axton had said nothing, and continued to soothe the great Handsome Jack. In all his glory. Bloody, shaking, and pitiful.

Axton closed his eyes, trying to forget the flawless Jack on the surface, and focus on the real one that was just beyond the doors. With a great push, Axton opened the heavy doors. Allowing them to yawn open in his presence. He stepped forward, letting them to close behind him with a small click.

The room was quiet.

So very fucking quiet.

The office was grand, floor to ceiling windows wrapping around the backside of the round room, screens hanging down from the ceiling for Jack’s viewing pleasure. His huge desk was planted dead center, raised on a light platform.

Axton’s eyes wandered up the room, over the desk, to its occupant.

Jack was leaned back in his chair, feet propped lazily upon his desk with little regard to the paperwork beneath his leather sneakers. He did not look at Axton for what felt like an eternity. Axton just stood in the entryway, rigidly, unsurely. The clock on the wall ticked mercilessly. Each small sound felt like nails in Axton’s skin.

Axton cleared his throat suddenly, breaking the silence harshly.

“You wanted to see me sir?” Axton said finally.

His voice was hollow and gruff. It was empty of all life. Of all feeling. It was breathless, torn, ragged.

Jack said nothing, and still did not look upon the commando. He simply motioned for him to sit in one of the plush chairs in front of his desk. Axton crossed the room. One foot after the other. The walk felt like miles. Like walking to his own funeral.

Axton pulled the chair out gingerly and eased himself down into it.

His eyes flicked up to Jack, who was unmoving, still avoiding eye contact with his counterpart. Jack laced his fingers together, pressing them against his lips. Looking thoughtfully at the screen before him.

Axton furrowed his eyebrows together.

What was so interesting about that screen? Axton crooned his neck just slightly to get a look at the monitor. Coming across the flickering screen, was Maya’s hospital room. She looked to be sleeping, her monitor still beeping rhythmically.

Axton felt sick.

That tearing need to be there for her rose in his throat again. The promise he’d made to her earlier that he would get her out of this place. That he would not let her suffer the same fate as him. Was that promise hollow now? Hell even he didn’t know...

It didn’t matter now. She most likely wouldn’t accept his help even if he did try to offer it again. Maya didn’t take handouts from Hyperion fucks. Axton shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

The silence from Jack was unsettling and disturbing. A silent Jack was a dangerous Jack. Silence from the Hyperion CEO meant he was thinking. Meant that brain of his was twisting and curling around ideas, and Jack’s ideas were always dangerous. Finally Jack’s eyes flicked to Axton.

Green and blue, cold and calculating. Evil and angered, displease and livid. All wrapped into two sockets. He ran a finger down his chin, slow and graceful. So fucking graceful. It was like watching death itself. Beautiful beyond anything you’d seen before, but dangerous in the same second. You knew it was here to take you away, but god he was so beautiful you didn’t care.

He made any sane soul want to drop to their knees and beg him for death. Those lips that were poison that tongue that was daggers. Axton felt so small in his presence. All that strength that had willed him to disobey his master was gone. Drained right from his body. Now all that was left, was fear. Fear and lust, and awe. Awe in the presence of power. The presence of a king sitting upon a throne made of bodies and bones. A throne stitched together will all of Axton’s sanity. All the sanity the king had stolen from him. Taken it with skilled hands, and Axton had willingly given it.

“Tell me Axton, what do you see there?” Jack whispered suddenly, pointing to the screen before him.

Axton looked to the screen and then back to Jack.

“Maya.” Axton answered weakly.

Jack nodded slowly, his eyes darting over the screen thoughtfully.

“Wrong.” Jack snapped looking at Axton with an intensity that would shake fear into the strongest of men and beasts.

Axton swallowed hard.

“Try again.” Jack snarled.

Axton felt his stomach twist.

Jack was good at conjuring up the heaviest and most confusing of emotions all at once. In one breath Axton was afraid, and wanting. Wanting Jack, wanting to please him, but fearing for his life. Fearing for the life that he had made here. The life he had Worked so hard to keep.

“The siren...” Axton whispered his voice small and sinking into himself.

Jack suddenly slammed his fists down on the desk, causing Axton to jump in his seat with fright, and some papers to scatter to the floor in a flurry. Jack shook his head slowly, a low, deep, dark chuckle rumbling up from his gut.

“Wrong again pet. You aren’t very good at guessing games are you?” Jack hissed.

Axton downcast his eyes.

His love for Jack was a curse in this moment. In this moment where he knew the storm was coming. A storm wide and dark, filled with rain and suffering. No matter how badly he wanted it. No matter how much he believed it...Jack would never love him the way Axton loved him. Axton loved the way souls were supposed to. He loved unconditionally, despite Jack’s flaws, and his cruel nature. Axton saw past the beast Jack was, and loved him anyway. As the word “pet” rolled from Jack’s tongue, Axton knew...knew that Jack did not love him in the same way.

Part of Jack still did not consider Axton a lover. Part of him still considered him a piece of property. A piece of property that did not always have to have a name. Sometimes it was ok to refer to it as “pet”. That was still ok. Despite Jack’s promises that Axton was no longer that. Jack had promised not to call him that.

He’d promised...

But Jack had promised many things...and not kept them all.

“I thought we agreed you wouldn’t call me that anymore...” Axton whispered placing his hands in his lap uneasily, hanging his head slightly.

Jack leaned back in the chair again, collecting himself causally, reworking his hair into the right position.

“Well yes....but you see I think you have forgotten your rank my dear, dear commando. I think I need to remind you of it pumpkin.” Jack snarled standing suddenly.

He made his way around the desk, his movements slow and dangerous. A beast coming to collect on a debt. Coming to put a misbehaving worm in his place. Jack was on Axton like a disease, his long fingers tracing up Axton’s shoulder, along his throat, touching his booming pulse. He thumbed the metal of the collar, looking down on Axton like dirt beneath his feet.

“You belong to me Axton. You will always belong to me. It seems this little fact...has slipped that little mind of yours.” Jack whispered, leaning down to Axton’s ear, his breath hot and heavy on the commando’s skin.

Jack grabbed Axton’s chin and forced him to look at the screen once more.

“One more try pet. What do you see there?” Jack said pressing his lips to Axton’s ear, seeming to inhale Axton’s fear.

“A prisoner.” Axton breathed shamefully.

Jack chuckled against the shell of the other man’s ear. He pressed his thumb into Axton’s lower lip too harshly.

“Close. Close. But wrong again.” Jack hissed chuckling viciously.

Jack suddenly leaned away from Axton, and Axton felt like he could breathe again. The feeling was short lived. With a sudden, quick motion, Jack grabbed Axton’s chair and ripped it out from under him. Axton fell forward to his hands and knees with a loud clatter.

Jack threw the chair away enraged.

Suddenly he lifted his heel and pressed it between Axton’s shoulder blades, forcing Axton down into the floor. Axton did not struggle, his simply accepted it as his nose was pressed into the clean tile. It smelled like bleach. A sharp, heavy, mean smell.

“That there, is the key to everything Axton. Not a prisoner, or a siren, or Maya.” Jack snarled digging the heel of his shoe in deeper.

Axton cried out softly and squeezed his eyes shut.

“With her...I’m going to bring this planet to its knees. She is the missing piece.” Jack spat viciously.

“With her, the vault key can be charged the rest of the way. With her...I can finally wake the warrior...and finally bring order to this god forsaken planet. With her...I can finish what I fucking started...” Jack hissed his voice rising to a crazed, maniacal place.

So that was it.

Jack wanted a siren to charge the vault key. Maya was his key. Maya was the missing piece. Maya was the rest of the puzzle.

“But pet...I will not fucking let you ruin that. I will not fail again...” Jack snarled.

Axton’s fingers scraped across the tile. Wait...fail again? Meaning Jack had attempted this before?

Jack pressed harder on Axton, it hurt...really hurt.

Axton gritted his teeth together harshly.

“So tell me Axton...who’s side are you gunna be on? Mine? Or theirs? You get one fucking answer.” Jack barked grabbed Axton by the hair.

Axton cried out weakly.

“Yours Jack!! I’m on your side!!” Axton managed through labored breaths.

“That’s right Axton. You’re mine. I own you. Don’t you ever fucking forget that.” Jack growled lowly.

He yanked Axton to his knees and scraped his scalp with his nails.

“Now stay on those knees until they are nice and bruised, and fucking pleasure your master pet.” Jack snarled through gritted teeth.

“Show me you like being owned.” He continued.

Pants buttons were undone, a zipper was drawn down, a want was pressed against Axton’s chapped lips. The corners of his mouth were pulled taught as Jack filled it. He was heavy, and thick, and hot. He was hot. The flesh warm and sharp. Axton's senses blurred together. Want and hate and anger and sadness. He wanted Jack to love him. Wanted to be treated right by the man he loved. Wanted to not fear him...and yet he did. The sudden realization that Jack would never love him the way he deserved washed over him. He never would because Jack loved the torture more.

Jack loved the power more. Jack loved owning him more. That was the bare bones truth of the matter. Jack would never return the love Axton had formed for him. Their versions of love were too vastly different. There was no middle ground.

Jack filled him too much. Jack fucked too quick.

Axton choked a little, pricks of tears in his eyes as he gagged. He stayed emotionless. Separating himself from the situation. Jack had been done wrong, and he would have none of that. He would make Axton bow before him, make Axton remember his place. His place on his knees. Jack’s eyes were mean, and his touch was meaner. Choking Axton with heavy fingers, ramming Axton’s mouth with overly eager hips. Just past Jack’s hip, Axton could see the screen, and the sleeping siren. He could see his past as it slipped away, and yet he felt nothing. Felt nothing but shame. He was so ashamed of who he had become. Once so strong, once so fierce, reduced to this. Reduced to his shaking knees, reduced to his full mouth, reduced to the hot need forced into it.

Lover turned master once more, forcing Axton to know where he stood. He didn’t stand. He laid in the mud beneath Jack’s feet. That was his place. Jack’s words were harsh, and they were mean. They demeaned Axton. Made him feel smaller and smaller with each barked sentence. Axton’s head throbbed with the emotion coursing there.

How could he have foolishly loved so freely. Loved so passionately. Loved so senselessly. What had it gotten him? It had gotten him nothing...but this.

But pain.

But shame.

But emptiness.

Everything came rushing back to him. The first time Jack had forced him to his knees. How much he had hated him then. How much he hated him now. How much he’d feared him...how much he still did. What goes around comes around. A spinning circle that never stops and here he was...right back at the beginning. The beginning where everything was forced and nothing was love. Where anger and hate muddied together into lust and where lust melted into some sickly, decrepit form of love.

With anger in his words and harshness in his motions Jack was coming. Filling Axton’s throat with the sharp, heavy taste. Forcing him to swallow down all the shame. Jack slumped now, slapping Axton’s cheek just a little harder than could be considered gentle. Jack rubbed a smear of cum across Axton’s chin. His smile was disgusting, the corners of his mouth pulled up, pleased with his pet’s good behavior.

“There’s my good boy. I knew you would come around.” Jack whispered soothingly.

Axton sat still, unmoving and empty.

Axton felt his chest burning, his throat clenching...

Don’t cry, he thought to himself harshly. Commandos don’t cry. He didn’t cry. But yet, here in the wake of things...tears seemed to be only appropriate. A single, slow tear ran down Axton’s worn cheek, mixing with the finish smeared there. Like some whore. Used and broken.

Jack’s fingers paused as the wet, warm, tear dribbled over his finger pad. He seemed to stop dead, vicious eyes softening for a moment. He took his hand away quickly, as if the touch had burned him. He looked down at the broken man on his knees before him. Handsome Jack did not feel remorse. He felt nothing. No regret, no guilt, no sadness. He was...hollow. Or so he wanted the world to think.

But here, now, there was something stirring. Something bubbling up from his deepest depths. The commando looked like a thrown out rag doll. Worn and tired, bags under his eyes and the color of his skin looked anything but healthy.

What had he done?

God what had he done?

Jack took a step back and leaned hard on the desk, like all the energy had been sucked from his body.

Axton looked up at him with red, wet eyes. Eyes full of shame and full of hate. Eyes that merely days before had looked at Jack like the world revolved around him. Looked to him with love and admiration. Looked to him with loyalty. Now there was only hate, and fear, and sadness. The way a prisoner would look at his captor. Jack suddenly wondered if he had wanted that...he didn’t really...he didn’t know what he had wanted from this.

What was he to gain?

All he was doing was losing.

“May I go now master?” Axton whispered from the floor, his voice cracked and shaking.

The title made Jack sick to his stomach.

That was all he was now. For god’s sake...what had he done?

What had he done...?

Jack nodded slowly, at a loss for words, at a loss for any kind of excuse. There was nothing to be said. Nothing to be added. He’d broken the only man he’d even so much as come close to forming feelings for.

Axton stood slowly, wiping his face on his sleeve, shame washed over his body.

“I’m sorry.” Axton whispered suddenly.

Jack looked at him questionably, and before he could stop himself he was already letting loose the question.

“For what?” Jack asked quietly.

Axton paused for a moment.

“For ever believing you could love me the way I love you.” Axton whispered softly.

“How foolish of me.” He continued before turned on his heel and leaving Jack standing there stupidly.

Why did he do this to himself?

Could he not just allow himself to love someone...the way one was supposed to? Could he not just allow himself to accept his feelings. That mean streak in him, that crazed streak just wouldn’t go away. He couldn’t make it. That want to hurt those that got too close. He knew not how to just...love. He’d come close with Axton...but now...now he was afraid he’d ruined that too. Just as he had ruined it every other time he’d almost gotten close to someone.

The same way he’d ruined it...with his own daughter.

Jack’s breath caught in his throat. He tried not to think about her most days. Tried just to put her in the past. But now, now all of those memories, of what he had done came rushing back. He’d just wanted to protect her. Just wanted to give her everything. It was such a blur. All the wrong he had done.

All of it leading...to her death.

Jack had wanted desperately to open the Vault. So much that he had sacrificed his own daughter. He’d wanted it too badly. The Eridium dosages were too much. He knew that. But he did it anyway. He forced them upon her, to charge the vault faster. She wasn’t experienced enough. She was too young of a Siren. She couldn’t handle it.

Jack buried his face in his hands. All he did...was destroy everything he touched. That was all he knew how to do.

Destroy, destroy, destroy.

Really...Axton was all he had left. A prisoner meant to just be entertainment, had become his only friend, and the only person on this planet that genuinely loved him. Yet here he was, destroying that too.

“What have I done...” He whispered to the empty room.

The walls all stared down at him scrutinizing his very being, the ceiling shaking its head. The windows shamed him and scoffed him. The most powerful man on the planet, and he was all alone.

Chapter Text

You Taste Like Cigarettes

 

The night was warm. Not unusual on Pandora. Their winters were temperamental and often hot. Their summers were enough to cook an egg right on the ground. Fall wasn’t much better. Spring about the same. Pandora was pretty much one big hot fucking season. Axton sat on the bottom of the pool, legs crossed, the occasional bubble slipping from his lips and racing to the surface. It was quiet here. Not a sound, just the silence the water provided. It was heavy over him, surrounding him...engulfing him.

His vision was blurred as he opened his eyes underneath the glassy water. The water was dark, the moon being the only light provided. For a moment he wondered what it would be like...to just not go up for air. Just simply fade away. He already felt like he was getting there. Fading slowly, until there would be nothing left, and nobody would miss him. Nobody would even know of his presence that was once here. He let loose a large bubble of air and his lungs seemed to squeeze, needing the oxygen that did not exist. It would be so much easier that way. On days like this, he wished he’d never come to this god forsaken planet. There was nothing here but pain. With a great push of his feet against the pool floor Axton jetted toward the surface and broke it with a gasp for oxygen. He treaded water and slowly made his way to the pool steps.

He sat down on them, half his body sprawled across the outside cement, half still in the water.

He looked up at the twinkling stars, all winking down at him and taunting him. Taunting him with far off places away from all this. Axton slowly drew little circles on the cement with his wet fingers. It had been nearly a week now. He’d simply just separated himself from everything. He hadn’t been back to the hospital room. Only checked on Maya’s medical records, making sure she was doing alright and still in recovery. He hadn’t been able to bring himself to go again. What more could he say to her?

“I’m sorry I betrayed us all?”

There was nothing more to say there. Nor was there more to say to Jack. There was nothing to say there. At least nothing he actually wanted to say. He had avoided him for days, and it wasn’t hard seeing as Jack had not been back to the living quarters in a week. Axton wanted to wonder where he was, and wanted to know he was ok....but he could not bring himself to care. Why should he care about Jack’s whereabouts or wellbeing, when Jack obviously did not care about his. So many thoughts raced through his brain.

What did Jack have in store for the Siren? Could he stop him? Would he stop him? Would she even want Axton help...?

Most likely not. Not after what he had done. The ultimate betrayal. He was no longer a bandit, or a vault hunter. That was all long gone. For so long he’d held onto that little sliver of thought, managing to convince himself that deep down he was still a vault hunter. That was such a lie. A lie to keep him sane. The moment he fell for Jack, he was no longer a Vault Hunter. He gave that up, and that was that. There was no going back.

No taking it back.

No fixing this.

No amount of tape and glue could ever put that allegiance back together.

Axton sighed out raggedly and leaned his chin on the cool concrete. The water lapped gently at his back and was soft against his skin. Everything around him was just utterly broken. Everything was shattered to pieces. He had nothing left to hold onto. Nothing left to loose. Nothing left at all.

The night was so quiet. Not a soul stirred down below. It was well past three in the morning. Everyone in the right mind was tucked into bed. Curled around their significant other, their nose tucked into the nape of their neck. The way he’d used to do to Jack...

Axton shook his head and closed his eyes.

He didn’t want to think about those times. They were all fake anyway...weren’t they? Axton was glad for the lack of company. Right now he wanted nothing more than to be alone. Alone in the cool water, his clothing left in a little pile by the door, his body soaking in the night. The week had felt like years. It had worn him down to the bone.

He ran his hand through his wet hair and down the back of his neck. He was so damned tired, and yet couldn’t seem to find sleep. He hadn’t slept in days. The looming question of how in the fuck he was going to make all this right would not leave him be. Axton breathed out and flicked a small rock off the balcony. Curse this fucking planet and everything on it.

Suddenly there was the sound of the glass sliding door yawning open.

Axton refused to turn his head. He didn’t want to see him, or hear him, or have anything to do with him. He half wished the sound and the now familiar presence was a figment of his imagination. He knew it wasn’t. He knew exactly who it was, even in the dim lighting.

Jack filled the doorway casually.

He leaned smoothly on the side of the open door, adorned in nothing more than black and Hyperion yellow boxer briefs, a glass of whiskey on the rocks in his left hand, a cigarette in the other. He pushed his glasses up his nose and took a long draw on the cigarette. He was absent of his mask, the ugly blue scar scribed up his face like a mark of shame.

Axton furrowed his eyebrows together.

Since when did Jack smoke?

Jack just paused there for a moment, letting loose a swirling exhale of smoke off into the night, then as if reading Axton’s thoughts, he spoke.

“I only do it when I’m stressed.” Jack said coolly, his voice smooth and unwavering.

Axton said nothing.

Jack closed the door behind him and casually walked to the balcony railing. He leaned over it slowly, that lean body of his positioned in just all the right ways. He took a sip of the whiskey, the ice clinking against the glass like wind chimes. He set it on the railing with a long, exasperated sigh.

“Kinda late huh? Shouldn’t you be in bed kiddo?” Jack said gruffly, never looking at Axton, but instead staring off into the night, taking another hit of his cigarette.

Axton did not answer.

Jack made a small “hmph” noise and swirled the drink around in its glass.

“I for one couldn’t sleep.” Jack grunted.

A long unsettling silence hung over the two males, invading the peaceful space Axton had found. Finally Jack broke it after he blew a long puff of smoke into the air.

“So this is how its gunna be Axton?” Jack whispered flicking the ashes off the balcony and down into the street below.

Axton stayed silent. It was as if neither the words, nor the will to say them would come to him. Axton immediately found it odd how Jack hadn’t once referred to him as “pet”. After their last meeting Axton had begun to think he might never hear his real name on Jack’s lips again.

Axton looked at Jack for the first time since he’d come onto the balcony. Jack’s eyes were dull and tired, dark circles clinging to them like unwanted guests. His good eye shimmering in the darkness. Blue and cold as fucking ice. Axton adjusted in the water, pressing his back against the edge, hanging his elbows on the cement. His green eyes collided with the glistening gaze of the madman before him. He searched Jack’s face, for what exactly he wasn’t sure. Searched for the slightest hint of remorse. Of an apology. Of sadness.

It sickened Axton down to his very core how even after everything, all the pain and all the torture, those heavy feelings within him were still roused by the man before him. He looked so rough, so exhausted and worn thin. His grey streak seemed more prominent in the moonlight. Axton didn’t much care. He didn’t care if Jack was sorry, or felt even the slightest bit of guilt. Jack had done what he’d done. There was no fixing that. Jack broken it all down. He’d thrown everything away. Axton knew the truth of it all now. There was nothing to be done about it. All Axton could do was wish he’d been less stupid.

Wish he’d been less foolish.

Wish he hadn’t fallen in love.

Love was a stupid word anyway. It didn’t mean anything. Not really at least. It was hollow. Nothing more than a word spoken, a noise made, a breath of air on the lips of some fool. Love was for the weak and for the incredibly naive. Axton was apparently both.

Jack’s lips downturned in a heavy frown, his eyes downcast and mournful.

“I wish you would say something...” Jack whispered finally, breathing out the cigarette smoke through his nose.

Axton could taste bile in his throat. How dare Jack feel sorry now? How dare he come to him tonight, after so many had passed where he should have apologized, where he should have been there for Axton...but he wasn’t.

“What would you have me say master?” Axton whispered, the words coming out like gasoline. They burned his tongue and cut his lips.

Jack made a distressed noise and took a long swig of the hard drink.

“Please...please don’t call me that...” Jack said his voice hushed and ragged.

He breathed in deep, hitting the cigarette hard, as if trying to ease away some kind of unwanted emotion with drug and drink.

“Why master? Does it not please you master? I thought you liked that master? When I know my place. When I address you by your proper title.” Axton forced the words out from his lips, his voice cracking with anger and sadness.

Jack’s face looked pained and shameful.

“I said stop. Don’t call me that...just...don’t.” Jack snapped his eyes pained his body seeming to stiffen at every mention of the word.

A title he’d insisted upon now seemed to burn him with every syllable. Axton fell silent. Simply watching the president. His cigarette glowed in the deep night, a fading red glint, flickering in the slight breeze. Jack seemed to hang. Like a puppet with all its strings cut. It was not the normal stance for the Hyperion CEO. Jack was proud, and full of himself. Jack was strong and he was ruthless. But now...now he just seemed weak. Ragged and torn, his eyes so tired and so distant. Looking out on a planet that was his. A land he ruled with an iron fist...and was it not enough? Here on the balcony Jack seemed not to care about all that was his.

Jack shifted his weight, looking out into the night.

His lips were still. Not forming words, nor attempting it. There were thoughts there, behind the silence...but not the dangerous kind. Not the mean kind.

These thoughts turning in his head were different.

Axton could tell.

Jack let loose a long, heavy, sigh. As if pondering the words that were about to spill from his lips. Wondering if he should really say them. He no longer looked at Axton, almost like he couldn’t force himself to.

“I wasn’t always like this you know...” Jack breathed softly, peering down at the city over his dark rimmed glasses.

“I wasn’t always this incapable of...loving someone else.” Jack closed his eyes, his words soft and coming out with much strain.

Axton watched him cautiously, eyes curious and wary. It could all be a front. He never knew when Jack was genuine, or when he was setting him up for some sick trap.

“I had a family...a long time ago.” Jack continued slowly.

He knocked back the rest of his drink and set it down on the railing, toying with it gently.

“I had a daughter.” Jack whispered as if the words seared him.

The sentence seemed painful on the slender man. Axton’s glance turned from cautious, to intrigue. Jack...had a daughter? Axton chewed his bottom lip, but did not lift the silence, simply waited for him to continue.

“It was outlandish. Holding her for the first time...and knowing...knowing I created this small, helpless little thing. I made her....” Jack whispered distantly.

“I loved her...” He continued, breathing the words like his last breath.

Axton looked at the pitiful man with concerned eyes. He looked so dead as he tried to explain. Like the story was something drawn up from his darkest parts. From the memories he tried his hardest to bury deep within himself. Everything was past tense. Axton swallowed hard, watching Jack as he seemed to fall apart.

“What happened to her?” Axton whispered slowly.

The words seemed to rattle Jack like a gunshot wound to the chest. He put his cigarette out on the balcony and flicked it away. He closed his eyes for much longer than the standard blink.

“I killed her.” He replied.

The words dropped from the air like lead weights. Scattering over the space and covering it in ruin. Axton stared at Jack with wide, fearful eyes.

Jack did not move. He was still as stone as he leaned there on the balcony.

Axton said nothing to Jack’s response.

“I created her, and I destroyed her. Neither were on purpose....I never meant for any of it to happen.” Jack wheezed his voice wavering and failing him miserably.

Axton breathed in deep. It wasn’t murder...but an accident?

The bit of Jack’s past hung there in the air, heavy and still. Like a drape cast over the two men.

“That’s why I need the Siren....so I can finish what I started...and her death...her death will not have amounted to nothing.” Jack finished his shoulders slumped forward like they weighed hundreds of pounds.

“I’ll finish this....no matter what...” Jack hissed lowly.

Jack clinked the ice together thoughtfully as he looked down into his empty glass.

“Are you afraid of me Axton?” Jack asked suddenly, his eyes dark and sad.

Axton swallowed hard and paused for a long moment before forcing up his answer.

“Yes...I am.” Axton admitted meekly, his voice low and unsure.

He did not know how else to answer the question, except with truth. He feared Jack more than he feared anything else. Because Jack was all he had. Jack could build him up, or strip him down in a matter of seconds if he wanted. Jack was all powerful in this fucked up little world of Axton’s.

Jack breathed out and stirred the melting ice cubes with his finger.

“That’s the way it should be...monsters are always feared. I’m no fucking different.” Jack said angrily slamming the glass down on the balcony.

Axton winced, half expecting the small glass to shatter.

Jack closed his eyes for a moment, as if regretting the little outburst.

“I have nothing left Axton. Nothing. That’s how you efficiently run a planet...you have to have nothing left to loose. It makes you ruthless and cunning...and vicious.” Jack said in a hushed tone.

Axton watched the drained man. Watched as he came apart at the seams. Watched as he caved in on himself. Watched as he admitted to himself and to Axton just how fucked up he really was.

“I’m...I’m a fucking monster.” Jack breathed out, his voice laced with the threatening onset of tears.

Axton’s heart sunk down into his chest. Never had he seen Jack so weak. So broken and pitiful. The Hyperion overlord was not weak. He was mean and unforgiving yes...but he was not weak. Most days Axton was not sure if he was even human...much less capable of emotions like this. Jack dealt with emotions through anger, and torture. He hurt others when he was upset. He knew nothing else. Yet here he was...attempting a rocky, stumbling apologetic conversation of some sort. It was pitiful in the same sense that it was disturbing. To see Handsome Jack call himself anything other than a god was something to witness. But to call himself a monster? To admit he was...it left Axton feeling confused...and sorry for the other man. What was it like to be in his head? The head of such a crazed man. A man that had lost so much. A man that had inflicted so much pain upon those around him. A man who had driven out any soul that dared get close. What was it like to be the ruler of the planet... and yet be utterly...alone?

Axton looked on Jack with heavy eyes now. Soaking in a soul just as broken, if not more than he was. Axton wanted to hate him. With every ounce of his being he wanted to. But here in the dark, with no other witnesses, he had nothing but love for the man with the ugliest of scars and darkest of hearts. Here in the dark he wanted nothing more than to love, and to be loved back. Here in the dark he was willing to try it again. Here in the dark he was ready to forgive the unforgivable.

Axton lifted himself from the pool’s waters, the liquid dripping off him lazily. The droplets followed him in soft little puddles as he rounded the pool, closing the gap between him and the most powerful man on Pandora. He came close without fear, without hesitation. Before Jack could utter another word, Axton’s arms were around his thin frame. Axton’s skin was wet, but the gesture was warm. Jack seemed to wither at the touch, letting all his weight fall on the commando as his arms encircled his neck. Axton was more than willing to be the strength in which he stood with. Jack needed him, and he was there. Because that was the man Axton was, and the man he always would be. He could not change his nature, and therefore he just had to accept it. This was all he had to offer.

That was all.

Love for the other man, monster or not.

Jack shuddered against Axton and all Axton could do was soothe him. His hands were rough and calloused as they ran over Jack’s shoulder blades. Jack fell to bits in Axton’s strong, thick arms. It was most unusual. Most unusual to see such strength all come crumbling down, o see tears stained over Jack’s sharp features, collecting in the ruins of his deep scar. Axton was unsure really of what to say, and so he simply chose to say nothing. He ran his fingers through Jack’s perfect locks, disrupting them with the motion.

Jack didn’t seem to care.

The moment seemed to last an eternity, until finally Jack wore himself out. He slumped against Axton, breathing out softly.

Jack leaned back from Axton suddenly and Axton rested his hands on Jack’s lean shoulders. He looked to the other male with concern in his green eyes. Jack wiped his face irritably and sighed.

“I’d appreciate it if you never mentioned this to anybody. Ever. I’m tired, I haven’t slept in days, I’m not in the right mind.” Jack retorted adjusting his glasses slowly.

Axton nodded slowly.

“Of course Jack.” Axton whispered.

Axton reached out and brushed a lock of hair out of Jack’s face, gently replacing it in its normal position.

“We’re both tired.” Axton sighed touching Jack’s face softly, fingers brushing the bluish indention there.

Jack’s eyes softened at the touch.

“This is fucking pathetic.” Jack scoffed suddenly.

There was the Jack Axton was used to. That sarcastic, dark, dictator that he knew him to be.

Jack shook his head.

“I think I need another fucking drink.” Jack growled heading for the door.

Axton gave him a distasteful look.

“Don’t you think you have had enough?” Axton questioned as Jack went to slide the door open.

Jack shot him a dark look over his shoulder.

“Actually no. I don’t think I’ve even come close to having enough. Haven’t been able to get any fucking sleep without it lately.” Jack growled irritably.

Jack threw open the door, Axton following close behind him. Axton wrapped a towel around his waist and closed the sliding door behind him. Jack was already fixing himself another strong drink. He sat down on the edge of the bed, letting his body sink into the mattress as he sipped the alcohol. He looked ashamed of himself, and frustrated with the fact that he had said too much. He took another drink, as if trying to drown the words that had been said.

Axton frowned and began drying himself off, ruffling his hair with the plush towel, then slowly sitting down next to the other man. It was against all his better judgment. Against his right mind. But then again...he hadn’t been right in the head since he fucking got to this place. Crazy just came with the territory. He didn’t know why he kept doing this to himself. He’d be sorry for it later, he knew so. But right now he didn’t much care.

Axton gently slid his hands up Jack’s face, fingers on his temples, capturing his eyes before pressing his lips to the presidents. Jack seemed to stiffen with the action, unsure, timid. Hesitation only made Axton want him more. Jack set the drink on the bedside table as the kiss escalated, taking them to the bed, Axton prodding Jack into the comforters. Jack tasted like cigarettes and whiskey. His taste burned Axton’s senses. It was mean and fierce...just like love. Unforgiving and unkind.

Axton framed Jack, pushing him to the bed, hovering over him like a great house. Jack’s fingers traced down Axton’s swells of muscle, feeling them move, feeling his stomach heave for breath as it became short. He wrapped himself in the bigger, rougher, male, like a present yet to be opened. Axton gently bit Jack’s bottom lip, tasting him, wanting him, needing him.

Hands touched and bodies slid against one another’s. Jack looked at Axton through his glasses and suddenly he was not the Hyperion CEO. He was just a man who had lost too much, suffered too much, and had never known anything but pain. He was just a man. A man with a scarred face, reading glasses, and a bad habit.

Axton kissed the scar suddenly, drawing a weak little moan up from Jack’s throat. Right now...he was just Jack. Not Handsome Jack. Not the President of Hyperion. Not the ruler of Pandora. He was just...Jack, and that was it. Axton half wished he would just be Jack all the time...that he would just be human most days. No more of this back and forth and up and down. He knew that was foolish to wish, but it was ok to dream wasn’t it?

Axton’s hand slid down Jack’s moving torso, his fingers light and tender as they went. He came to the hem of his boxers and he played there for a moment, testing the waters, teasing the man beneath him. Axton gently slid the Hyperion yellow boxers down Jack’s thighs, allowing Jack to come free shamelessly. Axton never strayed from Jack’s lips, kissing him deep and kissing him feverishly. Kissing him as if he’d never done him wrong. Kissing him the way it should have been. Kissing him just to taste the timid side of him. It was different to kiss his lips and not come away with poison and fire. Now he only came away with the taste of a broken life, with the taste of need settled there.

Jack wanted him, and needed him. Wanted the comfort of another body. Wanted the comfort of someone else...wanting him.

Axton’s hand came to Jack’s need, stroking softly, the warm flesh bunching in his fist as he worked his hand up and down. Jack leaned his head back, mouth open and breathless. His moan carried the hint of Axton’s name upon it, and it was gorgeous. Axton leaned in closer wanting to hear it again.

“Say my name.” Axton whispered softly.

Jack’s eyes were closed tight, his breathing coming ragged and tattered as he panted. Axton stroked upward again, leaking pre-cum down his clenched fist.

“Ah-A-Axton!” Jack stuttered his feet shuffling over the sheets.

Axton groaned out lowly, the sound rumbling up from his chest menacingly. His hands couldn’t move fast enough, touching, squeezing, feeling. He didn’t care how stupid it was. He just wanted it, and not a soul could convince him otherwise. Axton reached into the bedside drawer and came away with what he needed. His cock was slick and ready, as was Jack. He pressed his head against the puckered flesh, pushing in with a little pop. Jack cried out with pleasure and pain all wrapped into one. Axton crooned over him, kissing down his neck, sucking the flesh there until it was deep red. Axton’s hips rolled forward, stretching the man beneath him, making room for his girth. It was tight and warm and everything about it was inviting.

Nothing mattered now.

Not Jack’s cruel nature. Not the way he’d treated Axton. Not what he’d done. Axton just needed now, and nothing would stop him.

Jack leaned up, grabbing Axton by the hair, pulling him desperately to his lips, crushing them together. He kissed as if it were to be his last. Breathing heavy, bodies sweaty, voiced rough and loud. It all came together in a burning, heated passion. Axton gritted his teeth together as he drove into Jack mercilessly. He fucked him the way an animal would, rough and mean. Taking out some of that old anger on the one who’d caused it all. Taking out all the love and all the emotion. All the need built up there.

Jack hooked his arms around Axton’s thick shoulders and arched his back off the bed, his swollen cock bobbing before him. Axton wrapped his hand around Jack’s erection once more, pumping him in rhythm with his hard, bone shaking, thrusts. He jolted Jack forward with each impact, driving deep and hitting Jack’s weakness. Jack was chanting Axton’s name like a damned prayer. Over and over again like he knew nothing else but that single word.

Axton’s name was sweet on Jack’s tongue, sweet and sharp and mean. The name was as pretty as the man it belonged to. Axton pressed his nose into Jack’s neck, fucking harder, breathing rapidly, his fists balled in the thick sheets. Jack pushed his lips to Axton’s hot ear.

“Come for me.” He whispered through labored, heated breaths.

That was all Axton needed. The touch of Jack’s lips, the burn of his words. It had him unraveling to absolute pieces. Jack shuddered around him, warm strings of cum now decorating his heaving chest and Axton’s fist. Axton gave a few withering humps and breathed out weakly, his elbows shaking and threatening to give out. Axton rolled off Jack tiredly, struggling to catch his breath. He closed his eyes as he panted.

Suddenly he felt a familiar touch to his chest. Jack’s thin, precise fingers spread across his left peck. Axton turned to look at him his eyes tired and gentle. Axton breathed out slowly.

“You know...when you asked me if I was afraid of you...I really meant it when I said I was.” Axton breathed suddenly.

Jack seemed to recoil at the comment, his eyes flicking away from the commando sadly.

“But I never got to tell you that, even though I’m afraid of you...that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop loving you.” Axton finished crisscrossing his fingers together and looking up at the ceiling.

Jack looked at him with tired, pleasured eyes.

“Why?” Jack whispered.

Axton shrugged.

“Because it’s all I know.” He whispered.

“I’m sorry.” Jack whispered in the dark.

Axton wasn’t sure if it was purely exhaustion that made Jack utter such words, but he would take it all the same. He did not have to ask what he was sorry for. Jack needed to apologize for so many things, where to even start? Axton simply took it as an apology for it all.

An apology for being Handsome Jack.

Chapter Text

The Missing Piece

 

In the morning, Jack was already gone when Axton finally came around. Axton lifted up on tired elbows, his head foggy and his eyes still adjusting to the morning. He felt the way one may feel after a one night stand. It was damned good...to have Jack, to need him. But now in the reality of the new dawn, all Axton felt was sick with himself. He kept saying he wouldn’t do it again. Wouldn’t put himself through it again. Yet, he went back again and again. Jack was a drug, and Axton was a hopeless addict. A fucking junkie of the worst possible variety. He just couldn’t kick the vile habit of loving a fucking psychopath. He couldn’t stop it, couldn’t control it. It ruled him like a king ruled a land. Ate at his heels like a small animal begging for scraps.

Axton ran his hands through his hair and pressed his palms against his eye sockets. His breath came out in a shameful groan. He deserved better than this. This roller coaster ride of a relationship.

He shook his head slowly. This was all he had. The only thing he could call his. This life was fucked, but it was his. He owned it and it was he who had to deal with it. He had to take care of it, no matter how bad things got. It would always be his to own, and own it he would.

He threw the covers back from his naked body, just another reminder of how weak he’d been the night previous. Weak and worthless. Believing Jack was even the least bit sorry, how fucking stupid of him.

But the way Jack had looked...so sorry...so human...

All of that couldn’t have been a front? There was something genuine there. There just had to have been. Axton pried himself from the bed weakly. Axton looked out the large window. The day was nearly as black as the night had been. Massive ominous clouds clung to the sky like dark creatures. A rolling growl of thunder shook through the room from some far off storm creeping toward Opportunity.

Axton roused himself and began to pull on his uniform. For some reason this morning felt unusual. Something felt off....like some unknown sense of doom lingering in the air. Axton frowned as he pulled on his boots, glancing out the window just in time to catch a flash of lighting as it illuminated the outside world. Thunder followed it close behind, like a stalking thing, rolling across the heavens like a great beast.

Axton flinched at the cannon like boom and swore he felt the very frame of the building shudder at the sound. He adjusted the collar of his uniform and sighed outwardly. Something deep in his gut just willed him to stay in bed.

Don’t go.

Things are creeping out there, it said.

Things are crawling out there, it said.

Stay, it said.

You will be sorry if you go, it said.

Axton paused at the door for a split second, fingers just barely grasping the doorknob. He shook his head and willed the door open. He was just being stupid. He walked on, leaving the bedroom behind him, despite everything in his body protesting the action.

Suddenly there was a small crackle in his earpiece. The mechanical Hyperion default voice came across the echo net harshly.

“Commander Axton, your assistance is needed on the basement floor level, room 223”

Axton clicked the small button on his headset.

“On my way.” He responded gruffly.

The ride downward in the elevator felt slow. Axton was alone, standing there lost in his thoughts, feeling the machine rock slightly on its decent. The lights in the elevator flickered weakly and Axton looked up at them with curious eyes.

Odd....

The elevator hit the bottom floor and the doors slid open with a small ding. Axton stepped out cautiously and peered down the empty hallway. It was absent of all life, of all workers. This was highly unusual. Something didn’t feel right. Axton could feel a chill run down his spine. Something was wrong. He had to go. His easy walk quickly morphed into a frantic jog, then an outright run. His boots slapped the tile repeatedly, quickly, mercilessly, wildly. His heart pounded in his chest.

Suddenly the hallway went dark for a moment, all the lights flickering off then quickly flicking back on. Axton nearly jumped out of his skin when the alarms began wailing. The small lights placed on the walls flashed red and the shrill sirens sang mercilessly. Axton sprang to life once more, pushing harder, faster, the doorways flicking by him rapidly. The lights went off again, and then buzzed back to life. Thunder rolled outside, roaring with all its might and vengeance. The alarms continued to scream. The red lights continued to flash, over and over again, casting the hallway in blood red shadows.

Axton took his handgun off his belt, holding it defensively as he sprinted. His breath came in harsh, shallow pants. His head whirred, what the fuck was going on?

Axton finally came to the room labeled “223”.

Two huge metal doors kept its inside contents from the prying eyes of the outside world. Axton pressed his thumb into the finger pad reader and it beeped with a mechanical “Access granted” The doors slid open with a hiss, and immediately a commotion like nothing Axton had ver heard hit his eardrums.

It was loud.

So fucking loud.

Flashing lights and the sound of loaders slammed into his senses like a ton of bricks. Axton stepped inside, the doors slamming behind him, closing him in. Trapping him. He stood there in the doorway, feet planted to the flooring. The room was large and circular. Open completely. The entire space was occupied by one singular machine. Massive tubes snaked from the ceilings down to a glass chamber. It was a vicious, evil thing if Axton had ever seen one.

He drew in a sharp breath as he assessed the scene. Screams rang up from the room, and his eyes settled on their source. Two massive loaders were dragging a kicking and screaming Maya behind them. She was adorned in chains and bindings, hindering her ability, and so they dragged her. Like an animal to slaughter, they dragged her. Other gun loaders stood at the ready all focused on the bellowing siren.

Axton felt numb.

What...what were they doing to her? That was when he saw him.

Observing from behind a great control panel just to the left of the machine. His eyes were cold, his face unchanging. There was no hint of the weak, gentle Jack that had come to appear the night previous.

Now there was only Handsome Jack. The great and the powerful. The merciless...

Axton sprinted over to Jack, his eyes never leaving the screaming woman behind dragged across the room, toward the great machine.

“J-Jack...what’s...what’s going on??” Axton breathed in horror.

Jack did not look at the commando. Axton’s question hung there in the heavy, chaotic air like a veil. Jack did not answer for a long moment. His arms were folded across his chest, his stance was nothing less than terrifying. The devil himself would have been intimidated by the vicious man standing there. A man, a monster, or something in-between. Not quite either. Just a bit of both. Worse than anything the very meanest of nightmares could conjure up. Finally, his narrowed, cold eyes glanced over at the visibly shaken commando.

“I’m finishing what I started.” Jack snarled, his lips moving slow as the words passed through them.

There was thick malice laced between the syllables. Axton’s eyes flicked back to the screaming siren. They were blood curdling, panicked screams. The kind of screams Axton had only heard coming from soul’s that knew they were being dragged to their death. The kind of screams that stick to your bones and make you sick to your stomach.

Axton felt the energy leaving him, his stomach dropping to the pit of his being. He stood there, knees shaking slightly as if threatening to fail him at any second. As the loaders dragged the thrashing siren across the room, she suddenly turned her head toward the control panel. Her eyes latched onto Axton, her pale grey orbs widening with shock and anger.

“YOU MOTHER FUCKING TRAITOR!!!!!” She screamed shrilly.

Axton had never seen anything quite so wild, and angry. The look in her eyes was no longer human, it was all animal. All animal that was trapped and crossed. All anger behind her harsh words. There was bile in them as they came forth from her teeth. The words hit Axton like an electrical shock. He leaned hard on the edge of the control panel, his eyes downcast away from the siren’s gaze.

“NO! DON’T YOU DARE LOOK AWAY!!! LOOK AT ME!!! THIS IS YOUR FAULT!!! YOU BETTER LOOK YOU HYPERION SCUM!!!” She screamed at the top of her lungs her voice cracking at the intensity.

Axton felt himself die inside. Despite her screams, he just couldn’t. He just couldn’t look at her. Jack said nothing as he looked upon his right hand man. Looked upon the man with all the color drained from his face. Looked upon the man that seemed like he had just witnessed a ghost.

“Oh what’s wrong commando? Don’t have the stomach for it?” Jack hissed as he watched the loaders drag Maya into the machine and begin hooking her to it.

They attached the loosely hanging cords to her back, and lashed her arms and legs into the massive harness to keep her still. She cried out as the tubes were connected to her, piercing her skin like biting things. Tears ran down her cheeks like tiny rivers, flowing down her neck, down her hospital gown.

Jack's hands clenched into tight fists. Here he was again. Just like so many years ago. Back then he’d vowed never to return to this room. Never again, he’d said. But over time....the room had called....and he had answered. Handsome Jack had answered. As Jack watched the thrashing siren, his memory twisted the scene. For a moment she was no longer the blue haired Maya, suddenly she was a dark hair teen. So young and so willing. She’d gone to the machine because she was asked to. It was safe, her father had said. You will be fine, he had assured her.

Jack felt bile in his throat.

Maya’s screams slowly melted into those of....Angel’s. Screaming for her father to stop. It was too much. He’d run to shut it down, frantically he’d tried. She was not strong enough to handle the machine’s power. She just wasn’t. By the time the machine had stopped it was already too late. Her lifeless body hanging there as his frantic hands had unstrapped her. He’d pulled her into his lap as he’d collapsed onto the ground, sobbing over her unmoving form. Stroking her dark locks, begging to have her back. Begging does nothing in the presence of death. Begging is futile and useless.

Jack’s eyes bore into the siren currently strapped to the machine. She was older, stronger, more experienced. She would work. She would charge the key. She would finish it. She was the missing piece. Suddenly Jack felt the light touch of Axton’s palm on his shoulder. His eyes darted over to the other man encroaching on his space.

Axton simply looked at Jack. His eyes were shaken and frightened, but in the same breath they were strong. His hand on the Hyperion overlord’s shoulder was a simple sign, just saying “I’m here Jack. You aren’t alone”. Axton could see the memories flashing across Jack’s pupils. He did not agree with this. But right here, right now he had to choose.

Would it be the vault hunter’s? Or Jack?

He’d made his decision, even if it was the utterly wrong one...he’d made it. He loved Jack, with everything in his being. Maybe it was stupid, but he could not ignore it. He was Hyperion. That was all there was to say on the matter. Not born, but made. He belonged here. With Jack.

No matter how fucked up it was, he cared for the broken man more than he did his own life. Jack watched the younger man with mismatched eyes, wild and determined. There was an understanding between the two men. Jack reached out and stroked his thumb down Axton’s chin, and across his bottom lip gently. His eyes softened for a moment as he looked over his commando’s face. He said nothing. He figured the moment did not need it.

Then just as quickly as the tenderness had been there, it was gone. Scattering into the chaos of the room. Maya screamed from the machine wildly as the glass door to the tube slide shut, closing her in. Confining her. Jack took hold of a large lever and pushed it forward, bringing the great hulking machine to life. It groaned and whirred as it came to life. Bright Eridium was pumped through the massive tubes, down into the struggling siren. She cried out shrilly as the liquid was forced into her. Her body glowered bright purple as the Eridium flooded her. She bucked backward, eyes purple, fingers curled in pain and fear.

Axton looked away. He couldn’t watch. He’d made his choice...but this did not make his skin any thicker.

Jack began forcing more Eridium to pump through the tubing, pushing more into the screaming Siren.

“PLEASE STOP!!!! GOD PLEASE!!!!” Maya suddenly screamed, her voice barely legible over the sounds of the machine.

The words racked Axton’s bones.

Maya begged to nobody. He had never heard her sink so low as to beg. She’d die before she would beg for life...yet here she was. Begging for her life. Axton felt the tears silently sliding down his gruff face. He couldn’t stop them. Couldn’t change his nature.

Suddenly, without warning there was a great explosion to Axton’s left. Axton grabbed Jack and forced him to duck down, shielding him from the sudden blast of force and fire. Axton rose, his ears ringing from the blast, his eyes struggling to see through the smoke. Slowly his hearing crackled back into working order, all the gun loaders were streaming toward the doors that had apparently been blasted open. They were all screaming in their mechanical voices “Intruders! Intruders!”.

Axton saw a flash of darkness, and then a glowering blue before one of the loaders fell to the ground split right in half. Axton ran into the chaos. He had no idea what he was about to go up against, but he had to protect Jack. He had to protect him. No matter what.

Axton dodged between the fire from the loaders and the unknown intruders. The smoke billowed around the erupted battlefield, making visibility hard. Suddenly Axton stopped dead in his tracks as a glowering blue blade was pressed firmly to his neck. The smoke faded slightly and Axton was face to face with a flickering red hologram. First it was angry, then shocked and confused.

“Axton the commando, you are alive, what is this miracle?” Came Zero’s robotic, rough voice.

The Vault Hunters. They were here. No doubt to rescue the Siren.

Axton gritted his teeth together. Protect Jack. That was his objective. Protect Jack. Even if it meant going against those he once fought for. Axton ducked beneath the blade and tripped Zero, causing him to clatter to the floor. Axton stood with his boot into Zero’s throat.

“If you know what’s good for you, turn around and go! You shouldn’t be here!!!” Axton yelled before taking the butt of his gun and ramming it into the side of Zero’s mask knocking the man clean out.

Axton was met by the confused and angry eyes of the gunzerker, who had witnessed Axton going against the assassin. Their eyes met for a moment, and then Salvador was pulling both machine guns from his belt. He unloaded rapid fire at the commando, and Axton ducked behind a gun loader using the metal beast as a shield from the gunzerker’s wrath. Axton threw his turret and rolled away. The machine unfolded to life and began firing off rounds at the vault hunter. Sal ducked behind a wall, his back pressed up against it for protection.

“AXTON WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING AMIGO!?!?” Salvador yelled over the rocket blasts pelting the small wall that stood as the only thing between him and Axton’s turret.

Axton did not answer the question.

“YOU NEED TO FUCKING LEAVE!! NOW!! OR...OR I’LL HAVE TO KILL YOU!!” Axton yelled viciously.

Salvador gritted his teeth as another rocket launcher round shook the wall.

“HAVE YOU GONE OFF THE FUCKING DEEP END AMIGO???” Salvador yelled back frantically.

The machine continued to whirl and whine as it pumped Maya full of Eridium. Jack was steady on the control panel, too entranced in finishing the task to know what was going on around him. That was when Axton saw it. From the corner of his eye, a figure emerged from the smoke. His gun was raised and ready, pointed straight at the back of Jack’s head.

Axton’s eyes widened.

Suddenly everything was moving in slow motion. Axton would know that soldier like run anywhere.

He cocked the hammer back on his hand gun as he neared the Hyperion Overlord. Axton whirred around, his feet in motion before he could even think about the task. His body was taking over when his mind was failing. All instinct now. Jack was everything he had. Everything. He couldn’t lose him. He couldn’t.

Not yet.

Not now.

“JACK!!!!!!!” Axton screamed out as Roland neared.

It was all too quick. Axton had a decision to make. He had to make it now. Here. Right now.

Do it.

Don’t hesitate.

Do it.

Axton whipped his sniper rifle off his back, took aim through the long range site, and shot.

One single shot.

That was all.

It was so quick.

A shot that shattered the sound barrier and everything around it. The bullet hit Roland in the side of the temple, blood spraying out the other side in slow motion. He fell to the ground instantly in a limp heap. He lay there just inches from where Jack stood, unmoving. Jack looked across the chaos, his eyes meeting with his commando’s. Axton’s hands shook as he held the rifle, still smoking. Everything seemed to stop dead as their eyes collided. Holding each other’s gaze. Jack finally understanding what Axton was willing to do for him.

He was willing to do anything for the man he loved.

Suddenly something hard slammed into the back of Axton’s head. His eyes rolled closed and he fell forward. Then everything went black.

Chapter Text

The Other Side of the Board

 

Axton’s eyes rolled beneath his lids. He sighed out slowly, his breath coming out soft and muffled. His body felt heavy. So fucking heavy. Like he hadn’t slept in weeks, or years, he wasn’t sure which. His limbs were stone weights at his sides, unable to move, unable to be of any sort of use to him. His tired body felt surrounded in comfort, like everything around him was soft and plush.

He cracked one eye open. He was tangled in the plush comforters of Jack’s bed. The sheets, pillowcases, comforters, were all silky Hyperion yellow. Like being bathed in pure gold. Axton spread his fingers out over the soft material. It crinkled at his touch, so smooth and luscious to the touch. He sighed out a little louder, stretching his abused body, trying to rouse his worthless self.

It was then that he felt the soft caress of hands that did not belong to him. They ghosted over his hipbones beneath the sheets and drew small circles over his sides. Axton closed his eyes at the touch. It was light and playful and wanting. The hands pull away at the comforters wrapped around Axton’s body. He is suddenly very aware of he is absent of his clothing. The silk material teases over his flesh as it is drawn away. Axton makes a sound that is not quite a moan, but all the same it is a needing noise. The very beginnings of something more.

His eyes flick down to observe the working hands.

They are big, fingers blunt, nails all cut the exact same perfect length. There is no caked dirt beneath their nails, so much unlike Axton’s own dirty, chewed, misshapen fingernails. There is old ink wrapped around the right wrist. It’s blue green with age, wear and too much sun. A long time ago it must have been gorgeously black. Ebony and fresh. Time has not been kind to the small art embedded in the skin. Time is not kind to anything really. Time is a cruel bitch.

Axton rolls slowly onto his back, his elbows folding up over his head lazily. He watched with intelligent, curious eyes as the man he knows all too well sprawls on top of him, taking his time to kiss at Axton’s abs. He runs his tongue along a particularly merciless scar running like lightening across Axton’s torso. In that moment Axton’s brain is too fuzzy to even remember what had dealt him the punishing blow. Was it an alpha skag? Maybe a loader. Who knew. All he could focus on was the warm, wet feeling of Jack’s tongue dragging across the scar tissue ridden flesh.

Axton’s mouth comes open ever so slightly, his eyes drawing shut slowly. The bedding around him is so fucking soft, and Jack’s touch is even softer. His hands spark fires over Axton’s wanting body, burning him white hot, and he doesn’t care.

Jack’s naked body presses against Axton’s and it’s hot and demanding all in the same breath. Jack leans up on his elbows, framing Axton, placing teasing little bites to Axton’s throat. Axton swallows hard, his Adams apple bobbing with the motion.

Suddenly Jack’s hands are not so teasing. One of his gentle, mean, palms slides around Axton’s already hard cock. Axton gritted his teeth together and arched slightly, bucking up into Jack’s palm. Fuck he wanted it so badly. The undivided attention of a madman.

Jack’s lips find Axton’s and his gathers them in a hungry, vicious kiss. Axton kisses back just as hard. Like a battle for power, a battle over one another. It’s sloppy and wet and fuck is it hot. Axton’s tongue glides along Jack’s stupidly perfect teeth and a pure, sweet, moan slides up from Jack’s throat. The sound sends chills down Axton’s spine and causes his cock to throb with interest. Jack’s palm is big and smooth and talented. He is not greedy with his pleasure as he hands it out to Axton willingly.

Jack is whispering sweet, mean, vicious little nothings in Axton’s ear. Like all the ways he’d wanted to kill Axton. Every sick little detail causes Axton to melt in his palm like butter. The content of killing combined with that honeyed, malicious tone of Jack’s just has the commando falling apart at the stitching.

“I would have taken a good, sharp, blade...and sliced your soft belly open...spilled your innards all over the floor....nice and slow...watched you wither away so fucking slowly....listened to you beg me for life. Beg me to spare you. But I wouldn’t.” Jack whispered into the shell of Axton’s ear huskily.

Axton’s eyes rolled back a bit as he moaned out lowly and thrust into Jack’s working hand. It was something about the way Jack said it. The way he had wanted to...but never did.

“Then I would have fed your left overs to the skags. Nobody would ever have known you were missing. Except me. I’d know. I’d know where you were. In the bellies of animals.” Jack continued as he rutted against Axton’s flushed body.

Jack’s throbbing erection slid against Axton’s belly and he made a low sound in his throat.

“Talking about how you would have killed me gets you so hot huh Jack?” Axton whispered grabbing a fistful of Jack’s hair and dragging him downward.

Axton crushed his lips into the president’s, hard and unforgiving.

“God you know it does.” Jack husked lowly.

Suddenly Jack sat backward, prodding Axton’s fat erection into him. He hissed and sighed as he sunk down on Axton. Axton moaned out raggedly. He was so damn tight, and hot. Squeezing him in all the possible right ways.

“That’s right Jack....sit on it.” Axton snarled as he pushed Jack’s hips down farther, squeezing in deeper, feeling Jack stretch around him.

He was stretched nice and wide and full. Axton chuckled out amused as the president began to rock his hips nice and easy. Axton bucked up into him, his thumbs digging into Jack’s hipbones. Jack cried out loudly as the commando took him. Axton drew up his knees slightly as he fucked up into the Hyperion overlord.

Jack’s hair fell in wreckage as he splayed his hands over the commando’s chest.

“I shoulda...shoulda taken a shot gun to you....right in the fucking chest...” Jack moaned out his words broken and ragged.

“Oh yeah?” Axton questioned fucking up into Jack’s abused body harder.

“More Jack...tell me more....” Axton groaned out lowly his voice booming and demanding.

“I shoulda tied you up to a post out in the dust...and left you to rot!!! Left you for the Rakks!!!” Jack yelled out as he sat backward on Axton’s dick, thrusting him in farther.

Axton moaned out loudly.

“OH god Jack YES!!” Axton cried out as his nails dug into Jack’s skin with a vengeance.

“Put a gun right to your temple and blown your tiny brain to pieces!!!” Jack yelled out his face screwed up into an expression of sheer pleasure.

Untamed ecstasy. Unbound need. Dirty, rough, nasty, awful, and so fucking good. Axton couldn’t stand it any longer, in seconds he was rolling Jack to the bottom, shoving the slighter man into the sheets. His body hulked over Jack as he made him his. As he owned him. He bit at Jack’s throat, huffing and moaning at every broken sentence Jack managed.

“FUCK!!!” Axton bellowed out and he was coming.

His cock pulsating with orgasm, filling Jack with his pleasure. Some spilling out and running down his sack. He groaned out tiredly as he weakly humped into Jack, milking the last drops he could muster. Jack was coming too, his eyes shut, mouth open, ropes of come spilling between him and the commando. Decorating his heaving chest like Christmas lights.

Axton leaned down to his spent partner, pampering him in light kisses down his jawline. Jack’s chest heaves with every tired breath, his eyes barely open, just tiny little exhausted slits as they looked upon the commando. Axton nosed into Jack’s cheek, gentle and kind as he relished in the post orgasm bliss.

Suddenly Jack’s mismatched eyes were wide and fierce, looking at Axton with determination and something that was beyond what Axton had seen reflected in those eyes times previous.

“I’ll get you back Axton. I promise.” Jack whispered softly in Axton’s ear, his breath warm and heavy.

“What?” Axton whispered confusion washing over him.

Suddenly Jack was gone. The bed was empty, just wrinkled bedding where a body once was. Axton sat up in bed, panic consuming him like a great fire. He threw the sheets away searching, hoping, trying to find a being that was no longer there. Axton jumped from the bed, tripping and slamming into the hard floor. He could taste the blood in his mouth from the impact. It was sharp and metallic and strong. He called Jack’s name. Loud, frantic, pleading. Begging his name uselessly. Again and again and again, until his voice was ragged and strained. Until his throat burned with ever mention of the name.

 

Suddenly Axton’s eyes flew open, a scream breaking loose from his throat and echoing off the walls surrounding him. He looked at his surroundings in sheer panic. He was no longer in Jack’s living quarters. No longer was he in the bed so familiar to him, with the man even more familiar.

It was dark, these new surroundings of his, and dank. The air was old and musty, stagnant and unpleasant as it entered his lungs and passed his nostrils. Axton’s eyes flicked around frantically, combing ever space around him, every inch of gray brick wall. Every piece of cold dark cement flooring. Every single iron bar, row after row, now coming into vision. Axton tried to scramble to his feet, but as soon as he attempted to move his hands, he found them rendered useless.

He looked down hurriedly, breath coming in short, shallow, pants. His wrists were cuffed together with thick, shining metal handcuffs. Axton yelled out loudly, his voice echoing through the small space around him. His head was pounding and his heart was booming. He rolled onto his back and found his left ankle to be chained to the floor. He pushed himself up against the back wall and managed to shimmy up it, gaining somewhat of an awkward standing position. He shifted his bound hands angrily, the small chain between them jingling softly. He pulled at his leg chain, frantic and scared, like a trapped animal. He tried to pull too hard and ended up clambering to his knees, bloodying them on the flat cement floor. The floor was cold, and hard. Unforgiving and cruel.

“No....god no...” Axton whispered in disbelief.

It had been years since he had been in a situation like this. It had remained something that came back to him in the most wicked of nightmares from time to time. The starvation, the scent of death, the knowledge that he was slowly dying. That he would rot in a cell deep beneath the face of the planet and nobody would care.

“NO!!!!” Axton screamed beating his hands against his head.

He was so angry. So betrayed. So fucking angry. His tear blurred eyes searched around his cell once more. Strange though...this place didn’t look Hyperion.

Axton’s eyebrows raised slowly, his eyes soaking in the walls, the hallway outside the prison bars. There was nobody in the cell across from him, it lay empty, and surprisingly....clean. That was very much unlike the Hyperion prison he’d done time in.

He sniffed the air slowly.

Yes it smelled old, and damp, and faintly like rat piss....but it did not carry that looming scent of death Axton had become accustomed to his first round in a cell. This place was not Hyperion. Axton let loose of a long, shaky breath. But if it wasn’t Hyperion....where was he? The question hit Axton like a kick to the gut. He had no idea where he was.

His eyes widened. Where was Jack? If Axton wasn’t with him, where was he? Was he ok?

Axton felt all the breath leave him.

His heart raced in his chest. Roland....he’d killed Roland. The leader of the crimson raiders, Axton’s former friend....he’d murdered him.

Axton pressed his cuffed hands into his forehead.

What the fuck had he done?

Suddenly there was the sound of a heavy door creaking open, and voices filled the hallway outside his cell.

He could see a shadow in the flickering fluorescent lights overhead. Footsteps nearing. Axton crammed himself against the back wall, panting heavily, fright overcoming him like a demonic thing. The shadow cast across the bars as the figure stood outside his cell. Axton squinted his eyes and watched as the figure crouched down on its knees, placing it’s hands on the iron bars.

“Hey Ax...how you doing amigo?” Came that all too familiar, heavily accented voice.

It was like listening to a ghost from his past life.

“S-Sal?” Axton questioned hesitantly.

As Axton’s eyes adjusted he could just barely make out the features of Salvador’s face, his crooked smile visible in the dark, his beady little eyes glinting in the faint light.

“Yeah Amigo.” Salvador reassured Axton that it really was in fact him.

“W-Where the hell am I?” Axton questioned his voice shaky and weak.

Salvador’s face seemed to fall a little, a sad, dark look crossing his normally jovial features.

“Crimson raider headquarters...in the prisoner holding cells.” Salvador explained slowly.

Axton looked down at his cuffed hands and chained feet.

He was in sanctuary. Ironically probably the worst place for him to possibly wind up. He’d given up his allegiance to the vault hunters a long time ago. The logo on the uniform he still wore said Hyperion, and he might as well have had the word stamped across his forehead. He was Hyperion, and no Hyperion associate wanted to wind up in the hands of the crimson raiders.

Salvador breathed out a long, exhausted sigh.

“How long was I out?” Axton questioned avoiding eye contact with the shorter man.

“Couple days...” Salvador grunted.

Axton reached his cuffed hands up and rubbed the side of his head.

“Yeah my heads fuckin killing me...” Axton grumbled gruffly.

Salvador frowned a little as he looked at the chained commando.

“Yeah...sorry bout that amigo...” He apologized frowning deeper.

A silence settled between the two men. The conversation that neither of them wanted to have loomed over the small space. The questions, the answers, neither of them wanted to start it. So the silence filled the spaces instead.

Axton breathed in deep, the oxygen filling his lungs, expanding them slowly.

“Sal....” Axton whispered, his voice weak and strained.

Salvador’s tiny eyes met with Axton’s.

“Yeah...?” Salvador whispered back.

“I....I am so sorry....” Axton breathed shakily.

He had no idea what was to become of him. What the crimson raiders would do to him. People that were once friends now held his very life in their palms. He’d killed their leader, their hope...whatever they had in store for him was truly more than he really deserved. Salvador opened his mouth, as if wanting to say something, but never got the chance to.

Suddenly there was an ear splitting bang as the heavy door down the hall swung wide and slammed into the wall behind it. Salvador jumped a little and swiveled his head in the direction of the noise. There were footsteps, frantic and quick, closing the gap between them and the short man at Axton’s cell.

“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TALKING TO HIM!!!?? GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!” Came a screeching voice that damn near pierced Axton’s ears.

He flinched at the sound.

Salvador stood, his hands raised, an angry look on his worn face.

“I got every right to be talkin’ to him!! Aint no harm in talking!” Salvador spat as the red headed siren approached him angrily.

Her eyes were wild with hate and anger, rational thought thrown out the window with haste.

The planet’s most powerful Siren. Lilith’s eyes were on Salvador like a predator, seconds away from taking down her prey. She stared him down, inches away from him, her teeth gritted into a snarl.

“We don’t TALK to ENEMIES.” She barked her voice wavering in her throat.

Salvador’s eyebrows knitted together in anger as he stared her down.

“He aint no enemy. He’s a vault hunter...and my amigo and I’ll talk to whoever tha fuck I like.” Salvador snarled at the siren.

Lilith looked like she could implode on the spot, her fists balled so tightly her knuckles were bone white. She suddenly grabbed Salvador by his shirt collar, her eyes glowing wildly.

“That right there....” She pointed at Axton as she hissed the words.

“Is Hyperion trash. He’s no vault hunter. HE doesn’t deserve that title anymore. HE KILLED ROLAND!!!” She screamed her fingers tightening around the thin material of Salvador’s clothing.

Her eyes glowered dangerously, orange and as bright as a new Pandoran sunrise.

Suddenly the door down the hallway slammed open, the noise echoing through the hallway.

“GRAB HER!!” Came a bellowing voice, before two bodies were swarming the Siren.

A bigger male the size of a damned tank grabbed her by the shoulders and wrestled her off the gunzerker. His big arms clenched her tightly as she kicked and screamed until it seemed her very lungs may give out. Brick was a big man. Bigger than any normal male by far. He easily held the siren while the slighter male helped Sal up off the floor.

Salvador rubbed the skin on his neck where the shirt had pulled tight and coughed a little.

“YOU KILLED HIM!!!! YOU KILLED HIM!!! I’LL TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB YOU SORRY EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!!!!” Lilith yelled spitting on Brick’s arm as she screamed.

Mordecai shook his head in dismay and ran a thin hand through his dreads.

“J-Just take her upstairs Brick. Calm ‘er down.” Mordecai whispered his tone gruff and ragged.

His voice sounded unrested many days over. Like he hadn’t slept in days. He most likely hadn’t. Salvador brushed his shoulder off irritably and sighed out deeply.

“You ok man?” Mordecai said looking at the shorter man sadly.

Salvador grunted and nodded. Suddenly Mordecai looked up and through the cell bars at Axton.

“How bout you Ax...how you keepin? Glad you’re awake man....startin to worry bout ya. Salvador don’t exactly hit like a princess.” Mordecai offered the small talk hesitantly.

Axton had never known what it was like to be feared. He did now. He felt like a wild animal, chained to keep the rest of them safe. Chained and caged, and looked at with fearful, uneasy eyes.

“I’m ok I guess.” Axton whispered looking at the floor.

He felt the guilt wash over him as he looked upon Mordecai’s worn eyes. He was exhausted. They all were. Death did that to people. But a death caused by a comrade? That only made the whole ordeal that much worse. A stab to the back by one of their own. Well...at least someone who had been one of their own. So many years ago he’d been one of them. Now...he was the enemy. Hyperion coursed through his veins and reflected in his actions.

Axton sighed and hung his head, closing his eyes for just a moment. He didn’t know what to say to the tall man standing there before him. He didn’t know what to say to any of them. What was there to say? He had no excuse. He’d killed Roland, and he was not ready to give them all the reason why. That was for damned sure. How do you even begin to explain such a mess?

Axton breathed out shakily.

He wasn’t ready for all of this. Mordecai nodded slowly, clapped Salvador on the back and then was gone. Salvador watched him go, until the door at the end of the hall clicked closed. Salvador looked at Axton with tired eyes.

“You hungry amigo? All they’ll lemme fix ya is a damned bologna sandwich but eh...better than nuthin.” Salvador shrugged frowning at the commando.

“That sounds perfect. At this point I’d settle for eating my damned shoelaces I’m so hungry...” Axton admitted gruffly.

Salvador nodded and headed out the door. Axton was left there, in the silence, in the dark. He could hear the footsteps floors above him, muffled yells, curses, banging and fighting. He ran his hand through his hair slow and gentle. He couldn’t blame the poor siren. He’d known she and Roland had a past. Some sort of roller coaster relationship that was on again off again and all over the place. But she’d cared for Roland. The same way Axton cared for Jack. She loved Roland....and now he was gone.

Axton felt a lump form in his throat. He loved Jack. He’d had to save him. He chose Jack over Roland because of love. Love so strong it made him sick to his stomach. Love was a cruel, awful, monstrous thing. Love was stupid like that.

Stupid and painful.

But mostly painful.

So very fucking painful...

Chapter Text

Trade

 

The week dragged itself along. Limped by like a hurt skag with just three fucking working legs. It was slow, and painful to watch it go. The hours ticking by at a snail’s pace.

If Axton scrunched himself up tight enough to the right wall he could see the clock mounted on the wall there. It was covered in dust, except where the numbers were, as if someone had hurriedly wiped the caked on dirt away from just those certain spots. It was old, and Axton doubted it was actually reading off the right time. The thing looked to have been dropped on numerous occasions, maybe come loose from the wall when the door there next to it was slammed too hard.

Axton let loose a heavy, sorrowed breath. He hadn’t had much company in the week. Mostly Salvador came to visit him with offerings of sandwiches and a bottle of water. Along with the occasional soda he’d sneak from the machine upstairs.

Zero came around a lot too. He didn’t say much, and sometimes Axton only knew he was there by seeing the glitter of his cloaking device in the dark. But he knew he meant well. They were worried about him.

Axton had mixed feelings about the entire display of concern from the two of them. Yes they were old friends. But that being said they were old friends. Things of his past that he hardly knew anymore. They had come and went out of his life, and had stayed out for two whole years.

Axton chewed his bottom lip. Two years had been a long time. Though these people were once the comrades he’d trusted his life with, they were now strangers. He no longer knew them the way he had so many years ago. He felt just the way a prisoner should. He felt captured, and he felt uneasy in the presence of the enemy. The crimson raiders were the enemies of Hyperion, and that was just the way things were.

He shifted his boots on the cement floor.

It was more comfortable to sit down on the hard floor than it was to sit on the makeshift lumpy bed at the back of the cell. He didn’t like feeling like a trapped animal once more. He had spent too long in Hyperion cells, cuffs, collars and chains. He’d scraped his way to the top, come crashing down again, and now he was here. He was here because of his oath he took to Jack. He was here because he loved Jack. That wouldn’t stop and would not change.

Axton closed his eyes for a second.

Did Jack even care that he was gone? Was he looking for him? He didn’t exactly expect Jack to rally the troops over a lost ex- vault hunter become lover.

Axton clenched his teeth hard.

Even the Vault hunters had not come for him when he had been captured by Hyperion. He felt his heart sink into his gut. He hadn’t wanted to think about such things as that...but now, here in the dark...he couldn’t help it. The crimson raiders had never come after him when he had been captured by Jack in the first place. They had assumed him dead and moved right along with their little lives.

Why had they come for Maya....but not for him?

Because Maya under Jack’s control could easily bring the planet down? Because she was a siren, and much more of an asset than a trash talking, rough around the edges, ex-Dahl soldier. The truth of that hurt him deeper than he thought it would. He’d always known it was dangerous for them to come rescue him in Opportunity. It was heavily guarded, and a death wish to even attempt to breech it. So he had always forgiven them for not coming. He didn’t want them all to suffer the same fate as he. He’d known Roland would have made the call to declare Axton dead.

It was the right thing to do.

In all reality, Axton should have been dead. How were they to know Handsome Jack would take a liking to the kid and keep him for his own?

Axton would give them that.

But when Maya had been captured, just the same as Axton....they had risked it all for her. Risked it all and now Roland was dead.

Axton swallowed hard, anger rising in his throat like a living thing. He almost did not care that Roland was dead, and that he had done it. How dare they care about one vault hunter more than the other? They were supposed to be a team, and yet they had simply left Axton to die. Roland was a fucking bastard.

Axton spit onto the floor.

He wasn’t sorry. Here in this cell, lower than the dirt upon it...he wasn’t sorry. Not at all. Jack had pulled him out of the Hyperion prison. Jack had given him clothing, and food, a home, expensive things...a second chance. When Axton was half dead, it damn sure wasn’t Roland that came knocking down the door to save him. Axton owed Roland nothing. Roland had let him die. He did not regret choosing Jack’s life over Roland’s.

Axton’s eyes filled with sadness for a moment. The thought of Jack tended to bring that up. Axton looked to the small, sorry excuse for a cot, then to the tiny bathroom facility with no door and a crooked sink. He missed his and Jack’s oversized bed, with the sheets that always smelled like lavender and honey. The bed with the massive pillows and billowing silky comforters. He missed long showers, and bubble baths, and the Hyperion yellow fluffed towels.

He missed dinners with the boss.

He missed Jack. He missed his voice, that smooth snarky tone. In the same breath that he hated the man, he missed him more than life itself. They had parted in such rocky circumstances...and now Axton worried it may be the last time he saw the Hyperion president.

Axton’s hand reached up and instinctively went to his neck, touching the bare skin there where his collar used to be. About a week ago they had forced him to Zed’s and had it removed. Lilith worried it could be some tracking device, or have hidden cameras or some fucking shit. So it was yanked off, taken from Axton unwillingly. Such a device of torture...had become such a comfort blanket. He had become so damned used to the thing, it was like a part of him. The skin beneath it was about three shades lighter than the rest of his body, and it had left behind little puncture wounds like tooth marks.

Axton thumbed over the healing scabs where the Eridium tubing used to be. The collar had been a sick reminder of home...something that was pain and was pleasure all in one. He shouldn’t miss they very device that had tortured him for so long, but he felt naked without it. Just another one of his fucked up mindsets. Just another of his badges of insanity. He was insane. Fucked up beyond rational thinking or feeling.

He buried his head in his hands and breathed in shakily.

Suddenly, the door at the end of the hall slammed open. Axton stared through the bars, listening as the footsteps approached. The red haired siren. Her eyes were cold and unwavering as they peered down at Axton. Axton met her gaze with his green eyes, just as fierce, just as hollow. There was a mutual sense of hate swimming there. She said nothing to him. Simply jolted him with a wicked dose of power. Axton felt the fire swim through his veins as he fell forward onto the concrete, teeth gritted so hard he feared they may break apart.

He did not cry out, he made no sound.

He wouldn’t give her that pleasure.

He wouldn’t.

Over the week, he had been tortured like this many times by the siren. She would come, and watch him squirm with cold, dead eyes. He wondered if it were revenge, or simply the way she treated prisoners. Frankly he didn’t care. His body was sore from the constant doses of siren energy. It was a wicked feeling. Like being caught on fire, and put out, over and over again. Like a heavy bolt of electricity to his entire body. It left him shivering and quaking on the ground, breathless and panting.

Lilith kneeled down next to the bars, watching the commando as he coughed and sputtered.

“I know that hurts. Why don’t you cry when I do it to you? Huh? Why don’t you sob you little bitch?” She snarled lowly to the crumpled man.

Axton spit onto the concrete weakly, the saliva dripping off his chapped lips.

“You aint worth my tears you cunt.” Axton snapped.

Lilith sent another wave of energy through the broken man before her, anger spreading like wildfire across her face.

It hurt.

God it hurt.

Axton rolled onto his back, jerking and twitching with the burning sensation engulfing him.

Suddenly there were more footsteps echoing off the walls.

These were quick and hurried. Mordecai shoved Lilith hard, breaking her focus and cutting off the burning energy surrounding Axton. Axton let loose a shaky breath and clutched his chest as the fiery waves waned.

“What the fuck are you doing Lilith??” Mordecai bellowed at the crazed woman before him.

“We agreed on not torturing him!!” He yelled angrily.

Lilith was shaking with anger, her fists balled at her sides.

“HE KILLED ROLAND! We should be beheading him in the STREETS like a fucking DOG!!! Yet you insist on keeping him alive!!!!” Lilith screamed frantically.

Mordecai’s eyes blazed with anger at the unhinged siren.

“You KNOW why we aren’t going to kill him!!! Are you fucking stupid!!!??” He yelled at her thrusting his arms out.

Lilith took a step back, not wanting to admit that Mordecai was right. She was a stubborn woman like that.

She shot Mordecai a dark look.

“If we kill him. We all die Lilith. So stop. Don’t be stupid. That isn’t what Roland would have wanted.” Mordecai breathed helplessly to the angered siren.

She shook her head and looked away from the thin man.

“Roland would have had the balls to off the disgusting little insect already.” Lilith snapped.

“But Roland had the smarts not to. You heard that echo too Lilith, you know if we so much as harm a hair on his head, we’re all dead.” Mordecai snarled at her.

Lilith made an exasperated noise and stormed past the other male. The slam of the door signaled her exit. Mordecai did not look at Axton. He simply paused there for a moment, a sad, fearful look in his eyes, and then left. Left without a word to the commando.

Axton picked himself up off the cell floor. What echo were they talking about? What was going on that they were not telling him?

Axton brushed the dirt off his elbows and sat up.

Hours seemed to go by before the door at the end of the hall opened up again. This time it was Salvador that appeared in front of Axton’s cell.

Axton looked at him with tired eyes and Salvador seemed to mirror the expression.

“Gotta take you upstairs for a bit amigo. Turn around so I can cuff ya....sorry...Lilith’s orders.” Salvador said apologetically holding up a shimmering pair of handcuffs.

Axton stood slowly, and turned around allowing the gunzerker to gently cuff him. Once he was bound, Salvador slid the cell door open and led Axton out. Axton looked back at him curiously.

“What’s going on?” Axton asked quietly.

Salvador shook his head darkly.

“I’ll let them explain it...I don’t really know where to start amigo...I’m sorry...” Salvador breathed slowly as he opened the door and followed Axton out.

The light was bright, causing Axton to squint painfully. They wove through the halls of headquarters until they came to a screening room with a long table set in the middle. The others were already seated around the table when Salvador prodded Axton to take a seat at the far end of it. Axton sat obediently, his eyes scanning across the others, searching their faces for clues as to what was going on. Mordecai sat directly opposite of Axton, his fingers laces together on the table, pressing his thumbs together thoughtfully. The thin man drew in a long, shaky breath, as if the words were right on his tongue but would not come forth.

Axton pressed his back against the chair he sat in and stayed silent. They sat there in silence. As if nobody really wanted to start the conversation. Brick sighed out loudly and plunked an echo device on the table, right in the middle, with a loud thud.

Axton looked at the device and then at the vault hunters, confusion settled over his face.

Mordecai made a small motion toward the device with his finger, and Brick clicked the button on the side bringing the small recorder to life. The sound of static filled the room for a moment, and then, a voice. A honey smooth, venomous voice, rolled off a thick, dangerous tongue.

“Attention vault hunters Handsome Jack here....well....do I really need to introduce myself? No. I think not. You know who I am. At least you think you do. But really you don’t. You have no idea who the fuck I am. So let me tell you. Let me explain exactly who I am. I am the man that is going to burn this god forsaken planet to the god damned ground searching for what you took from me. I believe you fucking know what you took. WHO you took from me. Let me just tell you, I will rip every last building down board by fucking board in that hell hole of a city you call Sanctuary until I find him. I won’t stop until I level every last establishment on the surface of this planet. So that, Vault Hunters, is who I am. Your worst fucking nightmare until we get this little problem solved. He isn’t your little Vault Hunter anymore. He isn’t on your side anymore, and until I get my second in command back, I will rip this dust bowl to pieces. If I find, that you have so much as harmed one, ONE pretty little fucking hair on his head, I will end ALL of you. I’ve left your little Sanctuary alone, figured you’d be the last thing I’d snuff out. But you dirt huffing bandits have rocketed yourselves to the top of the list. Congrats on that. See where I am going with this? I’ve got your little Siren, and with her, I can wake the warrior. I can demolish every last one of your hopes and dreams. Tear them apart one by one. I want to know he’s alive. If you don’t give me proof by sunset tomorrow, I’m waking the warrior and I’ll watch you all fucking burn.”

Static ensued once more as the message cut off with a small click.

Axton felt his throat hitch at the sound of Jack’s voice. He was looking for him...and he wanted him back. He had never heard Jack sound like that. Mad with rage, mad with anger, mad. So fucking mad.

Mordecai shook his head slowly. His eyes flicked up to Axton suddenly.

“You got anything to say bout that?” Mordecai asked slowly.

Axton shrugged.

“Boss seems pretty pissed.” Axton said casually.

Lilith squirmed at Axton’s relaxed response.

“He called you his second in command. Wanna explain that? We need to know what exactly the fuck is going on, because as you heard...we are all in very real danger. We assumed you were his captive, this suggests otherwise. Start talking Ax.” Mordecai sighed.

His voice was not angry. It was short and a little afraid honestly. There was fear behind his questions.

Axton cracked his neck and breathed out slowly.

“I work for Jack as his second in command. I take care of all the shipments of weapons parts for Hyperion, oversee take down missions, and keep record of our Eridium mining projects. Since apparently all of you didn’t see me worth saving when I got captured by Hyperion, I changed sides. Jack apparently thought me more important than all of you sorry bastards did.” Axton snapped.

Anger rose like bile in his throat. It bubbled out and over, down his being. A deep frown set across Mordecai’s face.

“Axton it wasn’t like that...Roland...he...he made the orders...he was certain you were dead.” Mordecai attempted the feeble explanation.

“When Maya got captured he sure did seem to think she wasn’t dead and a rescue mission needed to be rallied.” Axton snapped.

Mordecai shook his head.

“With a Siren...Jack could wake the warrior...you heard what he said.” Mordecai tried, words failing him miserably.

“What just cause I aint no siren, meant I was worth less? Cause Jack could actually use a siren to harm you all? Funny...he seems to think I’m worth more than a siren. He seems to think I’m worth tearing the planet apart to obtain. Funny how that works huh?” Axton whispered darkly.

Lilith slammed her hands down on the table angrily.

“You’re right! You aint worth shit compared to a siren! Jack’s off his fucking rocker putting you as higher importance!! Roland made the right call you worthless little shit, it’s only a shame you didn’t really rot in a Hyperion prison like we all assumed!!!” Lilith bellowed shrilly.

Axton threw Lilith an un-amused look and cocked his head.

“I hope Jack kills you first.” He snarled to the siren lowly.

Lilith rose back in her chair, energy already glowering wildly. Brick was already popping up from his seated position and crossed around the table to grab Lilith and stop her.

“We can’t hurt him Lil!!! We can’t!!!” Brick yelled at her angrily.

She struggled against his weight, screaming and cursing Axton to hell. Axton threw her a small and wicked smile. Mordecai directed the attention back to him.

“So Axton, we have to do something about this. There are families here. Innocent people, women, children. We can’t just let Jack tear all that down.” Mordecai practically begged to Axton.

Axton made a small grunt in his throat.

“He said he needed proof I was still alive. Give him proof. Let me talk to him.” Axton said looking at the other male with cold eyes.

“I guess we don’t have much choice do we...” Mordecai sighed.

He slid the echo Axton’s way.

“We have to monitor it though.” Mordecai added.

Axton shrugged.

“Figured that.” He said blankly.

Axton clicked the button on the side, until the sound of static connected to a dialing tone. The room fell into silence as the device connected. Suddenly there was a click and rustling as the device was picked up.

“Vault Hunters. Finally decided to return my echo?” Came Jack’s dark, angry voice.

Axton sighed out at the sound of his voice, it was so familiar, so comforting to hear him...even if he was angry beyond belief.

“Hey boss.” Axton said softly.

There was a long pause.

“Oh god Axton you’re alive...holy shit kiddo thank fucking god. What the fuck are they doing to you? They torturing you? They feeding you? They better not be fucking starving you.” Jack fired off the questions like bullets. They were full of concern, full of relief at the sound of Axton’s voice.

“Naw, I’m fine. Really Jack. I’m ok. Nice and healthy on a steady diet of bologna sandwiches.” Axton replied chuckling.

“That’s torture in itself. The second you get home, I’ll have the cooks make enough of that stew you like to feed an army. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy, and you’ll never have to see bologna again as long as you live.” Jack replied, his voice lighter, more playful, just full of thanks to hear Axton alive.

Axton laughed louder.

“I’ll hold you to that.” Axton answered smiling a little.

“They monitoring this?” Jack asked suddenly.

“Yeah.” Axton answered truthfully, not even bothering to look up at Mordecai’s expression.

“Could of guessed that. Look, you fucking disgusting Vault Hunters, you have what I want...I have what you want. Your little siren. I kept my word, I didn’t wake the warrior. My second in command is alive. I want him to stay like that. I want him back. Since we both have things that the other wants...I propose a trade.” Jack snarled addressing Mordecai and the others.

“How do we know we can trust you?” Mordecai snapped.

There was a pause.

“Because I won’t do anything to risk Axton’s life.” Jack said his voice dead pan and blank.

Axton swallowed as he watched Mordecai’s face contort into confusion as he looked upon the commando.

“Fine. On neutral ground. You come alone.” Mordecai growled.

Jack made an understanding noise over the echo recorder.

“Only one of you comes with him. Best keep your word Vault Hunters. You know the consequences if you don’t. Meet in the highlands, at dusk. Three days from now.” Jack hissed darkly.

“I’ll see you soon Axton.” Jack whispered his voice faint and fading.

Then he was gone. The echo clicked off and the room was left silent. Nobody in the room moved, or said a word to each other.

Axton said nothing either. He just sat, silent and unmoving.

Chapter Text

In the Rain, In the Mud, In the Dark

 

Three days felt like an eternity. The hours passed slow and weak, dragging themselves through time and space. Axton laid on his back across the small cot, the lumpy mattress was hard and uncomfortable. A few more hours and he would be home. Back in Opportunity in a familiar bed where he could actually get a good night’s sleep.

He sighed lowly and blinked in the darkness. Hyperion was home, and he’d be damned if he didn’t miss it. His time as a Vault Hunter had long passed, he knew that now. He was not like them anymore. All he was, was angry with them. Backstabbing, two faced, bandits...just like the rest of them. He just wanted to be back to work, get back to moving shipments and keeping busy. He actually missed the work day, and damned sure missed going home to Jack’s living quarters after. Going home to their living quarters. A space in which they shared and existed. Things had been rocky, things had been rough...but they would heal. He just wanted to patch them. Wanted to talk with Jack, wanted to work through all the horrors they had been through. Axton closed his eyes for a moment. He was ready for Jack’s warm arms and soft voice. He was ready for the touch of the other man’s lips and the look in his mismatched eyes when he spoke to the commando. He was ready for warm showers and good meals adorned with wine and cheese.

He was ready for hot, after dinner sex with Jack on the grand couch. He was ready to put all the pieces back together. He was just ready to go home. Away from this place that stunk of his past and what he had been. This was no place for him anymore. He had no place amongst the “hero’s”. That was jus the way it had to be, and he was ok with that. The sooner he was gone from this stinking little cell...the better.

He wanted nothing more to do with these people he had once called friends. Lilith could go fuck herself. Axton gritted his teeth at the thought of her name. Axton laced his fingers across his chest and swallowed hard. Just a few more hours. He could make it. It would all be worth it.

The sound of faint footsteps kissed his ears lightly. He sat up on the cot gently as the gunzerker came into view.

Salvador silently grabbed a small folding chair and dragged it over to the cell door. He plopped himself in the chair and leaned his elbows on his knees peering in at Axton thoughtfully. He let loose of a long shaky breath and made a contemplating face at the commando.

“You sure you wanna go back amigo?” Salvador questioned suddenly.

Axton swung his legs over the side of the cot and sat facing the shorter man. Axton rubbed his fingers across his now bearded chin. He’d gone without a shave for over a weak and he was slowly beginning to resemble a lumberjack. He scratched his jaw and sighed before finally answering.

“Yeah. I am.” Axton whispered looking at Salvador.

Salvador chewed his lip and ran his fingers through his hair.

Conversation had always been hard for the gunzerker. He was better at just screaming, and running into battle and killing things. Talking was not one of his strong points. Most days he simply felt grunting noises counted as good conversation, but Axton could tell the short, odd, little man was really trying now.

“Amigo, I gotta ask you why, you know I do. Off record, doesn’t have nuthin’ to do with what all those idiots upstairs have been pestering you about. I just gotta know. I worry about ya.” Salvador breathed fidgeting with his fingers.

Axton let loose of a low, heavy breath.

“God damned Sal...If I told you, you wouldn’t ever forgive me...most likely wouldn’t believe me either.” Axton whispered.

Salvador frowned at him through the iron bars.

“Let’s get one thing straight amigo...Roland may not have wanted to save you and wrote you off as a lost cause...but Zero and I and Maya...we wouldn’t take that lying down. We tried to save you...how do you think Maya got herself into this situation? Jack’s loaders...they were stronger than we bargained for. We tried. The others didn’t agree with it...but we knew you were still alive. We had to. Couldn’t imagine the commando let those Hyperion fucks do him in. I just wanted you to know that.” Salvador whispered sadly.

“So that’s...that’s why I gotta know. Why do you wanna go back to all that?” Salvador breathed.

Axton’s eyes went to the cement before him where his feet rested.

“I didn’t know you all went to save me....I thought you’d all just left me to die....I’m glad one half of this little band actually cared enough about me...” Axton mused slowly.

Salvador shrugged.

“We came in on that train together, and from that moment on I considered us all....like a family I guess?” Salvador whispered.

Axton nodded.

“You wanna know the truth Sal? I’ll give it to you....it’s a little hard for me to...explain...” Axton whispered.

Salvador nodded.

“I think after you spend as long as I have on this planet, you kinda begin to think you’ve seen and heard it all.” Salvador chuckled.

Axton frowned a little.

“I doubt you’ve heard this...” Axton breathed.

Salvador looked at him expectantly, waiting patiently as the commando gathered himself.

“When I first got captured...I spent weeks in that damned Hyperion prison. Starving, broken, lying in my own filth...I watched as the prisoners around me died off. Rotting in their cells. I was pretty sure that was the end for me. But right as I was ready to give in, to give it up and finally let go...just let death take me....something happened. They hauled me up off death row, cleaned me up, patched my wounds. For some reason...I’ll never know why, Jack picked me as a... well...I can’t really explain it as anything other than a pet...like a plaything...fuck it was hell...” Axton whispered.

Salvador looked on with concerned eyes.

“At first at least. Jack’s not an easy man to get used to, he’s moody and rough and vicious. He’s pushy and arrogant and downright mean spirited. Went on like that for months, this weird pet and master charade. Until...I just... I dunno something clicked and then things were just different. It wasn’t all forced anymore, it wasn’t all mean and unwanted. Things got...fuzzy...the line of right and wrong got lost along the way. I started seeing a Jack that Pandora has no idea even exists. This weird form of Jack that cared for something other than himself. That shared his bed with me and promoted me to his second in command. A man that gave me a place to stay, a rank, a job, a title. Made me feel...I dunno...important I guess. The first time I saw him without his mask was the first time he said he loved me. I didn’t know what to make of it at the time...but after two years, I guess I do now. He’s not Handsome Jack to me...he’s just...Jack. Jack who is the most ridiculous morning person I have ever met, Jack who likes the blackest coffee possible....Jack who sometimes has these night terrors that wake me up. Sometimes he wakes up crying sometimes he wakes up so terrified he makes himself sick. To me he’s just a person, broken beyond what I ever thought he’d be. He’s not a good man. But who on this planet is? He’s....he’s just home for me...” Axton whispered avoiding Salvador’s eyes.

Salvador made an understanding little noise in his throat.

“Figured something like that was going on amigo. Aint never heard Jack talk to another human being the way he talked to you over that echo. Never thought I’d hear Handsome Jack care about another’s life so much.” Salvador shrugged.

“Yeah. I know it’s fucked up. Hell I know it is. Call me what you will, traitor, bastard, sick in the head...go ahead I sure as hell deserve it.” Axton sighed.

Salvador shook his head.

“I aint gunna call you none of that. I just wanted to know, I get it amigo. That’s your deal, I aint gunna tell you what not to do and what’s right and wrong. I aint got no place saying those things to you. I just wanted to make sure you going back was what you really wanted.” Salvador said offering Axton a genuine, understanding look.

Axton nodded slowly.

“I’m just ready for a hot shower and to actually eat a meal on a dining room table.” Axton breathed chuckling slowly.

Salvador laughed heartily.

“Yeah I bet you got it right fancy up there in Opportunity huh?” Salvador asked smiling.

Axton grinned and nodded.

“Oh like you wouldn’t believe. Jack’s personal shower has four shower heads I mean who even needs four shower heads?” Axton laughed.

Salvador shook his head.

“The city is nice too. Real pretty and organized. Everybody seems...happy and protected. Damn sure aint no bandit attacks and raids or people getting shot in the street.” Axton sighed.

Salvador looked at him his eyes soft and gentle.

“Whatever makes you happy amigo. That’s all that matters. I’ll never consider you the enemy. Promise.” Salvador said smiling at the commando.

“But I sure am gunna miss you once you go.” He finished frowning.

“Maybe I’ll come visit once and a while, we can go out to the Holy Spirits for drinks sometime.” Axton said grinning.

Salvador returned the smile and nodded cracking his knuckles. The two men sat in silence then, letting the words spoken fill the empty spaces. Axton would miss Salvador. Did he really know if he would ever see the strange gunzerker again? No. He didn’t. He may never see him again after he left. So he savored the small moment. A moment of friendship and a moment of sadness, for neither knew if they were ever to cross paths again.

 

A few hours later and the time had come upon them.

Axton sat fidgeting on the cot as the sounds of many feet filled the hallway. Handcuffs were slapped onto the commando’s wrists and he was taken from the cell. It all felt like slow motion. Them taking him, Brick leading him down the hallway. He assumed the large berserker would be the man taking him to the meeting point. They crossed through headquarters, Axton being shoved along by Brick’s stern grasp. One foot in front of the other Axton did his best to keep pace. Brick paused just before the open door to Headquarters. Lilith sat in the back of the room, arms folded across her chest, turned away from the commando. Her eyes swept the room slowly, finally whisking over his bound form.

“I will never forgive you for what you have done.” She snarled softly.

The sentence was weak and strained.

Axton could hear it in her voice that she had been crying. Lilith would never admit to it, Axton knew better than that, but he could hear the strained tone in her words. She was broken, having lost her own lover and Axton could never imagine what that felt like. It was his fault because he had chosen his lover over hers. Because he had been selfish and he had killed without a second thought, and he would do it over again if given the choice. He’d saved his love at the cost of hers. It wasn’t right, but he did not regret it.

He only felt sorry that Lilith was now left to suffer through the loss. Loss was not something anybody dealt with well, especially hardened warriors like themselves. Emotions came hard and strained. Often they had no idea how to handle them and so they hit them harder and with more vengeance.

Axton stared at the floor as the sound of a bandit technical rumbling down the street kissed his ears. He looked out the open door and to the outside world. The sky was black with the heavy onset of rain. Angry clouds hung thick in the sky threatening storms and wind like a curse.

Axton frowned deeply.

He looked over to the red haired siren that he had once considered a friend such a long time ago. He was sorry. Sorry for leaving her like this, to pick up the pieces, to become the leader of the crimson raiders not by choice.

She wiped at her eyes with the heel of her hand angrily.

“Lilith...I know it doesn’t mean a thing now...but I am sorry for putting you through this.” Axton whispered.

His words dropped onto the floor like loose marbles, rolling to a stop at her feet. She did not look at the commando as the words hit her. She did not say a word. She simply got up off the chair she was sitting in, and was gone. Brick shook his head and watched as the technical pulled up to headquarters.

“Let’s just get this over with...” He whispered sadly.

Brick prodded Axton out the door and into the daylight. Axton blinked and looked up at the almost black sky. It looked like the sky could just fall at any second. Brick made an observing sound and pushed Axton toward the gently humming vehicle. Mordecai climbed out of the cockpit and hit the ground with a little thump, dust whisking up around his boots. He walked over to Brick and patted the larger man’s shoulder.

“How’s Lil doin?” Mordecai whispered looking to Brick sadly.

Brick just shook his head. Mordecai sighed and looked to the commando.

“I’m sorry it all came to this Axton...” Mordecai sighed.

Axton nodded.

“Yeah me too.” He breathed.

Brick pushed Axton forward nearly causing the commando to stumble and Axton began heading toward the rumbling technical. Brick helped him inside and then took his position behind the wheel. Axton leaned back against the passenger seat silently. Brick put the beast of a vehicle into drive and in a flurry of dust they were gone, heading down the streets and toward the front gates of Sanctuary.

Axton watched as the town faded into the background until it was but a mere speck on the horizon. He frowned as he watched it go. All of his past fading into the background like it had never happened at all. He was ready to watch it go. There was nothing there for him in those barren streets. There were more enemies than friends in that place now.

The trip was quiet, Brick seemed to have nothing to say to the captive commando and Axton did not impose conversation. He and Brick had never been close, and frankly there was nothing to say anyway. Axton set his vision to the passing landscape and watched as the storm clouds finally opened up and a steady rain began to fall in sheets across the dusty ground. The ground seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as the quenching liquid hit it, soaking up the rain hungrily, desperately. It did not rain on Pandora often. Hardly at all. But when it did, it was a monumental happening. It would rain for days, sometimes weeks, quenching the dry landscape until it could hold no more and the land was left a muddy mess.

The raindrops hit the windshield like bees, steady and rhythmic.

Axton watched the droplets run down the glass like frightened animals, the wipers scattering them every once and a while. His eyes flicked over to Brick. He was hunched over the steering wheel a grim look on his hardened face, his knuckles white on the wheel. He looked unnerved and troubled but Axton didn’t dare ask what was wrong. There was a ninety-nine percent chance that whatever was wrong, was most likely caused by Axton’s doings.

So Axton just stayed silent and sucked in a sharp little breath.

Thunder cracked across the landscape and seemed to shake the very ground beneath them. Axton jumped a little in his seat and looked out the window. Lightening jolted across the sky, illuminating the dark word harshly.

Hours passed before they entered the borders of the Highlands.

Axton had nodded off into a weak sleep only to be jolted awake as the vehicle bounced over a particularly large boulder. Axton’s eyes snapped open and he looked around frantically. Still exactly where he was when he’d nodded off. He slumped back into the seat and sighed out roughly.

Suddenly Brick was letting on the breaks of the vehicle, coming to a stop in a little clearing of hills. He pulled the emergency break and turned the technical off completely. Brick just sat there now, still as a statue, looking out over the clearing with hard, unmoving eyes.

Axton chewed his bottom lip and listened to the rain pelt the vehicle harshly. The thunder and the rain all mixed together in this violent symphony that rattled across the land like a wild animal. Axton looked out over the clearing too, his eyes trailing where Brick’s vision fell.

Suddenly headlights cut through the darkness, streaming across the hills like pale ghosts.

The vehicle stopped on the opposite side of the clearing, its headlights bathing across the flat land and illuminating their technical. Brick flicked on their own headlights to match. A signal that they were here, and that they were ready.

Axton felt his heart in his throat. He wasn’t sure why he felt so anxious, so nervous. It was ok, this would all be over soon.

Brick looked over to Axton and opened the driver’s door with a loud creak. Brick rounded through the headlights, his shadow cutting the light in half for a moment. He opened Axton’s door and pushed him into the side of the vehicle, then began undoing his handcuffs. The rain washed down over him, soaking through his clothing instantly. His hair slicked to his face, beads of water running over his temples. Axton rubbed his wrists slowly and looked up at Brick’s stone like face.

He was frowning, deep and dark.

“Go.” He growled to Axton without looking at the commando.

Axton wiped the rain out of his eyes and began walking. He followed the pale light of the headlights, the brightness blurring his vision. He could hear footsteps approaching and he squinted his eyes in the rain straining to make sense of the figure coming toward him.

The siren.

Maya’s eyes were downcast as she walked. Her body looked tired and worn, she looked exhausted. Her footsteps were slow and weak. She looked up at Axton as they passed each other but she said nothing to him. Axton just watched as they crossed paths with each other, and looked back over his shoulder as she disappeared into the other vehicles headlights.

It was a bittersweet moment.

She was safe now with the other vault hunters, but she would never forgive Axton for what he had done. He guessed it was better that way. Axton’s pace picked up as he jogged to the other vehicle. His boots slapped the slick earth, splashing through the rain collected on patchy ground. The rain stung his eyes and pelted his skin as the wind whipped it, it felt like wasps as it hit him mercilessly. His pace turned into a sprint, his legs pumping as fast as possible. He could just barely make out the other vehicle and a figure standing next to it. Axton pushed harder, his pants caked with mud, his eyes burning with rain. Closer and closer and closer. Until finally he stood there before him, both men soaked to the bone, standing out in the stormy night. Jack’s hair was disheveled and wet, his dress shirt soaked all the way through, his green and blue eyes shimmering in the headlights.

“Jack...” Axton breathed and then he was running to him.

Axton wrapped his arms around the other man and Jack rested his chin on Axton’s shoulder.

“Hey kiddo.” Jack whispered to the commando gently.

“Hey.” Axton whispered back.

 

On a faraway hill Mordecai laid in the mud, the rain falling upon him, flooding over him without refrain. He leaned into the scope of his sniper rifle. The night was dark, and the rain was heavy. It was hard to see, but he managed. He breathed in deep and hovered his finger on the trigger. He closed one eye slowly, his lips but a thin line across his slender face.

“I’m sorry Axton...” He whispered into the night.

Then he took the shot.

 

Axton heard the distant sound of a gunshot, his eyes snapping open wildly. He heard the bullet whizz by his ear, and suddenly Jack made a pained noise against him. Time seemed to stop, freeze in place, the rain falling in slow sheets.

Axton leaned back, hands still on Jack’s shoulders. Jack looked down at his chest shaking hand coming up to his shirt as dark red liquid began to seep through the material. He looked to Axton his eyes wide and his pupils blown.

Axton felt all the breath leave him.

Jack’s fingers crinkled in Axton’s uniform and suddenly he crumpled to the ground. Axton could hear himself screaming, but it felt otherworldly. It didn’t feel real. It did not sound like it could come from his own lips. It was not his voice as it rung through his ears.

Axton grasped Jack desperately, leaning down in the mud.

He ripped Jack’s shirt open revealing the perfect little bullet wound in his chest. His blood ran red, so vibrantly red, mixing in with the muddy rainwater beneath him. Axton couldn’t stop screaming, like everything was instinct. Screaming Jack’s name over and over again. Jack made a pained, gurgling, gasping noise against the commando, his body shaking, fingers frantic. Tears ran down Axton’s face, ugly sobs that racked through his body like thunder.

Then...another shot rang out through the night.

Axton felt the impact to his back. He’d been shot plenty of times, but this one hurt more. This one dug into him like electricity.

Axton screamed out frantically.

He grabbed Jack’s limp body and laid him down in the cab of the vehicle. He had to go, he had to leave, he had to do something. Axton pushed himself into the driver’s side and pushed the vehicle into drive, bringing its motor alive with a great rumble. The tires skidded across the mud as he took off frantically, leaving deep treads in the earth behind him. He turned through the hills desperately, he had to get to a doctor and he had to get to one now. He pushed the vehicle as hard as it would go, the cab lurching over the muddy terrain.

Axton gripped the wheel with one hand and Jack’s palm with the other.

His grip was weakening quickly, his fingers slowly loosening around Axton’s.

“No, no, no, no Jack you gotta hold on!!! Stay with me!!!” Axton screamed yanking the wheel and taking a corner roughly.

Jack did not answer there was only the sounds of his ragged breathing, wet with blood in his throat. Axton could feel his own blood running down his back and staining the seat behind him, but he didn’t care. All that mattered was Jack and keeping him alive.

Axton could see the flickering of a small town just ahead, over the near hills. He pressed the gas harder as hard as possible, panic settling over him desperately. The lights became closer, the vehicle bounding over rocks and terrain rocking and swaying with the impact. Axton rushed into the wet streets of the town, tires eating at the mud. He slammed on the breaks as he saw the bright red cross illuminated atop one of the old decrepit buildings. Axton yanked his door open and sprinted across the headlights, sliding in the muck clumsily. He dragged Jack out of the bench seat. He was limp as a rag doll in Axton’s strong arms. Axton ran across the street desperately. He kicked the small door open only to be met by the very surprised face of an older looking gray haired man.

“He’s been shot!! You’ve gotta help him! Please!” Axton cried through heavy sobs.

The man stood up from behind his little desk frantically, his white apron crinkling as he did so.

“Lay him down on that table! Now!” The man barked at Axton.

Axton obeyed, laying Jack down gingerly, still gripping his hand desperately. The man began opening drawers and tables, scrambling for supplies. He ran over to the table and his eyes went wide with fear.

“Is...is that...Handsome Jack?” He breathed pausing the medical supplies still in hand.

“PLEASE JUST HELP HIM!!!!” Axton screamed at the man.

The man looked hesitantly at Axton and then to the bleeding and muddy Hyperion president.

“You have to get back!!” The man yelled at Axton.

“NO!!! I’M NOT LEAVING HIM!!” Axton bellowed.

The man shoved Axton away hard.

“Son you have to get back!!!” He bellowed.

With that Axton backed up slowly, his hands shaking as the man ripped Jack’s shirt off and began pressing on his chest. Axton scrambled outside the door, stumbling out onto the street and falling into the mud on his knees. He screamed at the top of his lungs, his voice echoing off into the night. The rain pelted around his slumped body, crying around him like waves of shed tears. He looked down at his hands, watching as the rain washed Jack’s blood from his palms. He couldn’t stop the sobs from shaking his body, he just couldn’t. They rattled him down to his core as he sat there in the wet street. Mud streaked up his face, his eyes red from crying he sat there uselessly.

Alone in the mud, in the rain, in the dark.

Chapter Text

Shatter to Pieces

 

Axton couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe.

He just stood, motionless, his eyes transfixed on the muddy earth beneath him. His body felt like it weight a thousand pounds, his limbs sagging uselessly. All the life, all the fight, it left him like a flurry of scattering rakks. His eyes stayed glued to the gathering rainwater there in front of him. He could feel the water running down the back of his neck, dripping down his collar. His clothing was so wet and freezing as it hung to his form, chilling him down to his very core. He could feel himself shivering, feel his throat as it tightened. The corners of his vision began to blur with the loss of blood and yet he could not will himself to move.

He paid no mind to the splashing of footsteps behind him, nor the frantic hand on his shoulder.

“Son, you’re hurt, you’re hurt real bad I gotta get that bullet out of you!” Came the gruff voice of the gray haired man.

He was practically yelling over the storm, his fingers digging into Axton’s shoulder. Suddenly he was hauling Axton up by the arm, allowing the commando to lean heavy on him as he walked him toward the door. Axton could feel himself slipping, his legs giving out, his body crumpling under the blood loss. He collapsed right outside the door on the wooden porch, his body hitting hard against the boards.

 

Hours later Axton’s eyes rolled beneath their lids, and snapped open.

Axton sat up in a panic, searching his surroundings frantically.

“Jack!?” He yelled into the room his eyes darting wildly.

He was in what looked like a makeshift hospital room. There were fluids hooked to his arm and a small monitor beeping rhythmically next to him.

“JACK!!!” He screamed again trying to get up and get the wiring off of his body.

Suddenly the gray haired man ran into the room.

“No! Stay still!! You’re going to hurt yourself!” He bellowed at the younger male.

Axton felt a shooting pain drive through his back as he tried to twist and move. He crumpled backward onto the bed screaming out in agony. The man went about fixing the fluids Axton had almost ripped out and looked at the young man with soft, wise eyes. Axton breathed out raggedly, the pain shooting through his broken form. He gritted his teeth together hard, the breath whistling through his lips painfully. His pine colored eyes finally opened, slowly, looking to the elderly man frantically. There were so many questions in his frightened, sparkling, red tinted eyes. His eyes were scared. He wanted to know, and yet he didn’t. But he had to. His hand’s curled in the sheets of the old hospital bed and he looked at the man hard, his eyes wavering his lip quivering harshly.

“Jack....where’s Jack...” Axton asked through gritted teeth, tears threatening to fall down his muddy cheeks.

The grey haired man went about filling a syringe and testing it skillfully, ignoring Axton’s question completely. He gently prodded the needle into Axton’s arm and Axton hissed as the warm, rushing feeling flooded his being. He’d know that type of medicine anywhere. Hyperion issued. Same stuff he’d been patched up with before, a miracle worker in a sense. Healed broken bones, gunshot wounds, and the common cold all in one. The older man retracted the needle and laid it gingerly down on the metal table next to Axton’s bed.

His mouth was a thin, hard, unpleasant line across his worn flesh. His wrinkles were deep set and earned well. Axton could see the man had been through a lot in his lifetime. Even making it to such an old age on Pandora was a rarity in itself. People didn’t last until old age very often around here. He could tell the old doctor was a fighter. He’d seen one battle after another, he’d seen lives come and go, sometimes able to save them...sometimes not.

His beady blue eyes were deep set in his aged face, still vibrant as they peered out from the dark circles around them. His hands were gnarled and bent, like an old tree with branches that twisted like snakes up into the sky. His skin was riddled with scars and marks, brands and burns, claw indentions where wildlife had gotten him on numerous occasions. He was a great, mighty old thing. Though he walked with a slow limp and slightly hunched over, he was a mighty old man. Axton could see it in his demeanor. Like an old mountain, been there for years, strong and stout, and now he’d been withered away by the weather. A shadow of the mountain he once was.

The gray haired man sunk himself down into the feeble little wooden chair across the room from Axton.

Axton’s eyebrows knitted together angrily. Was the old fucker deaf? He’d asked him a god damned question.

“Hey. I asked you a question. Where is he?” Axton spat his words shaking as they came off his tongue.

In his gut he really wasn’t even sure he wanted to know the answer to his own question. Maybe he didn’t want to know. Maybe he couldn’t handle knowing. The elderly man sighed in long and deep, scratching his stubble painted chin slowly. Axton opened his mouth to ask again, tears pooling in the corners of his eyes. It was as if he already had his answer. The grim look on the doctor’s face was answer enough. Axton could feel his throat clenching, his heart pounding in his ears.

“Son...I’m real sorry....there was just...just nothing I could do. I tried...but....his injuries...they were too severe. He didn’t make it.” The man whispered looking at the dirty floor before his feet.

The words were like a kick to Axton’s gut. They dropped on him hard, like bricks, shattering his bones and soul. Shredding through his being like tissue paper. Axton crumbled forward, burying his head in his hands as the howling sobs flooded over him. Axton was a strong man. He prided himself on that fact. In this moment, in this nightmare, he was not strong. He allowed himself to simply fall to pieces like broken china. He shattered apart feebly, sobs racking through his body hard and heavy. He had no words, no thoughts, no will, he was...hollow. All there was were tears. So many tears.

Hard sobs that left him feeling sore and ragged. He could taste the salt of his tears on his lips as they ran down his mouth. He grabbed at his hair angrily, screaming out, yelling out. He should have done more, he could have done more.

“YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO SAVE HIM!!!” Axton yelled at the elderly man viciously his words and thoughts muddied by the overwhelming feelings.

The older man simply stared at the other male as he fell to pieces.

“You were...you were supposed to save him...” Axton whispered sobbing harder.

The sobs rang through him like lightning, his bullet wound searing with the motion. He didn’t care. It didn’t matter. It hurt and he didn’t care. Nothing mattered. Everything he had was gone. In one single night he had lost it all. He was empty and alone. He’d lost the very thing he’d fought so hard to save. It was all the vault hunter’s fault. They had betrayed him. They had gone back on their word....and now....Jack was dead.

Axton yelled out wildly, his voice strained, rugged and torn.

It should have been him. He should have been the one to go. It should have been him. He sobbed into his arm worthlessly. He’d had so much to tell him. So much to apologize for. So much to fix. So many things to patch. There were so many days that would never happen. So many conversations that would never be had. So many nights that would never be spent. So many touches that would never be felt. So many things....so many. It felt like a wicked night terror and Axton only prayed that he would wake up at any second.

Just wake up....he thought desperately.

Please just wake up...

His nails scratched angrily down his knees as he cried, he was so angry, so distraught. He had never felt such pain. A pain that was worse than any wound any weapon on this planet could inflict. This was so much worse than any rocket launcher round, than any stab wound, than any burn from corrosion or fire. This was a deep pain, growing up from deep within his gut. He looked at the doctor his eyes blurred and red with tears.

“I-I don’t know what to do...” Axton whispered through sobs.

The man looked at the commando with soft, pained eyes. He had seen much loss in his lifetime, but that never made it any easier. This was something entirely different though. He was not prepared for anything of this sort. He had the deceased Hyperion ruler in one room and a shattered, broken looking soldier in the next. He knew not what to make of it, nor how to handle it. He was just a humble doctor, used to patching up the locals after bar fights and skag attacks. God he was not ready for this. He’d come to this town because he didn’t want to deal with the larger city’s horrors in his old age. Yet here he was, faced by a horror he couldn’t even begin to wrap his brain around.

He breathed out tiredly. The night had been rough on him. He hadn’t slept. Half because of the guilt that he had actually really tried to save the overlord of the company trying to wipe the whole planet out, and half because he did in fact loose him. He had not lost a patient in quite some time. Months even. The longest streak he’d ever gone. Yet here he was, facing it all again. He looked at the commando sadly and shook his head.

“I’ve gotta make some calls son...” The doctor whispered gruffly.

“N-No, wait wait....y-you can’t tell anybody were here...you can’t....” Axton pleaded loudly.

The grey haired man sighed.

“Son I’ve gotta get....I’ve gotta get a coffin made. Can’t have you taking him like he is. You aint got no business doing that to yourself. I also can’t have people knowin’ what happened here.” The man whispered darkly.

“If folks knew I tried to save Handsome Jack I’d be strung up by the neck. You and I both know that. You can’t be hanging around here more than a day or so. I’m sorry I gotta be that way....but I can’t have anybody finding out bout this. I don’t know you, or what you’re about, but I reckon I don’t wanna get involved with you.” He finished walking out of the room stiffly.

Axton was left alone in the room, his violent sobs serving as the only sound in the small space. The day felt unreal. Hours passing by unaccounted for. Nothing felt real. Everything was just instinct, just going through the motions. The sobs came and went. Mostly Axton just felt...empty. Not really feeling much of anything. Like an empty shell left cracked open and drained. The doctor returned every once and a while to inject more of the medical solution into Axton and the commando could feel the wound already healing, the skin pulling together slowly. It hurt, but he hardly paid mind to it.

The evening came too soon. Darkness falling over the land like a heavy, strangling drape. Axton stood in the middle of the small room as the gray haired man bandaged what was left of the wound in his back. He just stood still, silent and lost.

“We gotta get you gone son.” The man whispered as he disappeared into the other room.

It was more hospitality than Axton could have imagined he’d have gotten from a bandit town doctor. The older man was really putting himself in an undesirable place. Axton owed him his own life for that. There were no more words between the two men. There was only the loading of a plain, wooden coffin, and a silent understanding goodbye between them. Axton shut the door to the vehicle loudly and sat idle in the driver’s seat.

“What now...?” Axton whispered to himself hollowly.

He had nowhere to go, and nothing left. Everything was gone and he had no idea what to do. His fingers gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles were damned near white. His eyes snapped up to the horizon before him. This was all the Vault Hunter’s fault. They had torn everything away from him. Ripped it out of his wounded hands like the damned animals that they were.

Axton gritted his teeth together hard.

He would make them fucking pay. He would wipe every last one of them from the face of this worthless planet. He’d make sure their deaths were slow and very, very fucking painful. They would rue the day they had ever stripped him clean of everything he’d ever cared about. He did have somewhere to go. He did...and he would go.

He would go...and he would get revenge on the Vault Hunters.

 

 

Axton’s footsteps echoed down the great hallway. Blood still clung to his uniform ominously, his hands curled into tight fists at his sides. Hyperion workers stepped to the side frantically as he passed. The dark look on his face and the hate in his eyes was enough to have them scrambling away from him. They looked on as he passed with wide eyes full of fear and confusion. They said nothing as he passed. Stayed silent and out of his wake. Like good little workers. His combat boots slapped the tile beneath him, hard and steady, leaving a trail of mud in his path. He was filthy from head to toe, worn and frightening. He looked like he had crawled right up out of his grave and come to life once more.

Axton clicked his echo headpiece.

“Commander Axton requesting an emergency meeting. Now.” He hissed over the echo net.

His pace was quick and angry.

All the sadness, all the distraught was all replaced by sheer, white hot anger. Anger at those that had once been comrades to him. How dare they think they could double cross him and just get off scotch free. How fucking dare they. They all thought that he was that same old Axton. That same commando that was based on honor, truth, decency (for the most part). That was not him any longer. That was all long past. He would show them all just how much of a mistake they had made. They had chosen a fight with the wrong man. He would burn them all to the fucking ground.

Starting with that shit hole Sanctuary that they festered in. They all hid behind it’s little walls, thinking they were all safe. They were most likely laughing behind their little safe haven. Laughing it all up. Thinking this was all fucking over. Jack was dead, Axton was dead, Hyperion was dead.

Axton grimaced at the thought, his face contorted into a wicked snarl of displeasure.

They hadn’t planned on the commando surviving their little stunt they pulled...but he had. He would make them regret ever being born. Ever setting foot on the barren earth of this dust bowl. Ever breathing Axton’s name on their lips. He’d make them suffer. Suffer more than their little brains could ever imagine. They would never see it coming. Never see him coming. He’d hunt them all down like the dogs that they were, shoot them down in the streets without mercy.

He knew that shot could have only been made by two in the group. Zero or Mordecai.

He didn’t see Zero ever agreeing to murdering him. Zero wasn’t that type of person. He was all about the challenge, and catching two unarmed men off guard from miles away did not seem much like a fair challenge in Axton’s eyes. He figured he knew Zero well enough to assume the assassin had felt similar about that whole situation. That only left Mordecai. He would choke the very life out of the thin man. He’d bury the fucker out in the dust up to his neck and let the rakks pick at his unworthy little eyeballs. How dare he take Jack away from him?

How dare he do this to him?

It was too soon. Too fucking soon....it wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Axton shook his head, shaking away the threat of more tears. Not now. He was all business now. He couldn’t look weak in the presence of Jack’s Hyperion board. The mechanical door hissed open at Axton’s feet and he was met by a large room filled with a long table. The board members were already there at Axton’s request. Axton crossed the room, not bothering to look at the other men. He simply stormed to the head of the table, to the biggest of the chairs.

Jack’s chair.

Axton took his seat there and laced his fingers in front of his chest. His eyes darted around the table menacingly.

“Commander, the last I had heard, you had been apprehended by the enemy. I am glad to see your safe return.” One board member spoke hesitantly.

Axton said nothing.

“Um sir...will...Handsome Jack be joining us?” The one closest to Axton asked meekly.

Axton’s throat clenched tight and his stomach turned horridly. He closed his eyes for a moment and opened them once more.

“Handsome Jack is dead.” Axton snarled.

The sentence dropped onto the table like a heavy ominous thing. The board members looked around at each other confusion and fear bubbling up from their midst.

“Sir....that...that can’t be possible.” One board member whispered shakily.

“It is. He was shot in the retrieval mission to regain me.” Axton barked his voice deadpan and hollow.

There were gasps and whispering amongst the group.

“But sir...w-what will happen to us? The company...the mining...we cannot operate without a president...” Another board member stuttered.

“Do you think I’m stupid Mr. Bernard?” Axton snapped looking in the direction of the man with cold dead eyes.

“Why no commander...I don’t...I just...someone has to assume the position...someone has to...” He stuttered fearfully.

“Someone has to take over.” Axton finished the stuttering man’s sentence.

“Yes sir...that is all I meant...” He whispered down casting his eyes.

“I will take over.” Axton snarled lowly.

The board member’s eyes were all on Axton suddenly.

Axton tilted his head to the side and let his eyes roam from one board member to the next painfully slowly until he had made a full rotation around the table.

“Does anybody have any issues with this new development?” Axton hissed darkly.

Silence settled over the room thickly.

Nobody stirred, nobody spoke, it was almost as if no one was even breathing. Axton leaned back in his chair straightening his back against the plush cushions.

“Now then since that is settled, we move right into the next order of business.” Axton hissed extending his hand and bringing up a hologram map.

He spread his fingers over the touchscreen, zooming across the map of Pandora and finally settling on one single sector. He zoomed into the area and enhanced it until there was a massive hologram display of Sanctuary floating just above the table. The board members were bathing in the blue light of the hologram.

“I want this cumstain of a fucking city wiped off the goddamned map. I want every loader, every constructor, every drone on top of that little bandit hoard. All I want left behind of that disgusting little city...is it’s fucking memory. Do I make myself clear?” Axton snarled pushing his seat back and standing slowly.

“We move them out tomorrow. As of now. I have a funeral to prepare.” Axton whispered whisking out the room, letting the heavy door slam shut behind him.

 

 

It was almost ten in the evening. It felt later than it was. So much later.

Axton stood idle in the middle of the empty room. His feet planted to the flooring like they were concrete. He felt more stone than man anyways. Heavy and hollow, all his organs dying and withering away, his very soul hardening with every second that passed. He stood in a full dress suit. Dressed in the very best for the very worst of occasions. Appropriately black. About as black as the storm clouds in his heart. He stood with his hands buried deep in his trouser pockets, a heavy set frown painted across his gruff face. His eyes flicked across the grand living room to the mirror on the wall. He felt a lump form in his throat.

He willed his feet into motion, taking slow, heavy steps.

He stood in front of the mirror, placed directly on the wall to the right of the grand plush couch. Jack had insisted it be hung there because he liked to see their reflections when fucking there. Axton almost chuckled at the thought. Almost.

But the heavy, looming realization that such ridiculous things would never happen again. Jack would never cross this living room again, adorned in his boxers and glasses, mask-less, freshly awoken from sleep. He would never sit at their private dining room table with Axton again. Never share a meal with him again. He would never be able to accompany Axton on walks through town on Tuesday evenings again. He would never share Axton’s bed again.

The reflection staring back into Axton’s green eyes was not his own. It was a ragged, lost young man with bags under his eyes and frazzled hair. He looked as if he had not showered nor slept in days....and he hadn’t. He found himself sleeping in his office for the past two days...until the time came for the funeral. After the day’s events he had just wanted to go home. He knew he had to. He had to....

So there he stood. Staring at a man he did not know, dressed in a black suit, with sad eyes and a heavy heart.

Axton shook his head in misery.

He kept wishing it was some awful joke. Some terrible prank Jack had come up with. Any minute now he would barge through the door in his normal loud fashion, and laugh at how silly Axton had been for actually thinking that the great Handsome Jack could be dead. The reflection in the mirror’s eyes flicked to the door, and then back to Axton. There was no such joke. Jack would never be coming through that door again.

Jack...was dead.

Axton screamed out and slammed his fists into the mirror, shattering it into a thousand pieces, the shards cutting into his hands like knives. Blood ran down his curled fists and onto the floor. Dripping slow and graceful off his cut skin. Axton looked down at the floor, at the now shattered reflection appearing in the scattered pieces of glass. He didn’t know that man. That man in the broken mirror. Could that be him?

No...no it wasn’t.

Axton was not a Hyperion President, he was not a crazed dictator, he was not a man that worried about revenge. No, he wasn’t. At least up until now he wasn’t. Now though...now...he was. He had to be.

For Hyperion.

For himself.

For Jack.

Axton crossed the room slowly, as if in a trance, leaving small droplets of red in his trail. He pushed the cracked bedroom door open and passed into the bathroom. He washed his bleeding hands in the sink, the water running red in the marble surface. He watched the blood run away down the drain. Watched it flow away. He watched that man he no longer knew in the reflection of the bathroom mirror now. Watched him as he bandaged his hands and arms. Watched him as he aided his wounds.

Axton stood there in the bathroom, eyes wandering to the shower.

He needed a shower, really he did, but he couldn’t bring himself to enter it. That space where Jack had first told Axton he’d loved him. That space that had bonded them so close. That space that had witnessed many apologies and many rich conversations. Axton shook his head and left that sacred ground behind. He walked slowly over to the large bed and eased himself down onto the mattress. The soft material dipped to his weight and welcomed him in. He slowly went about taking off his dress shoes, throwing them carelessly across the room. He removed his black suit piece by piece until there was nothing left but his plain navy boxers. He sat there on the edge of the bed quietly, his wounded hands shaking on his knees. He looked to the bedside table.

Jack’s glasses were still folded neatly on top of the trashy romance novel he’d been currently reading. The book was disguised with some very technical manual cover for a new type of robot, but Axton knew it wasn’t any manual. Jack had a thing for trashy novels. Axton only knew because he’d peeked a couple of times out of curiosity.

Everything looked as if Jack had never left. Like he was expected back soon. His jacket still hung on the chair across from the bed, some paperwork was still strewn on the coffee table, an echo device still leaned on the couch.

Axton slowly lay down on the bed, on the side that Jack normally occupied. Axton curled himself into the oversized pillow. It still smelled like Jack. Like his hair always smelled fresh out of the shower. Axton’s fingers curled into the sheets as he brought them up to his chin slowly. His wide eyes stared off into the darkness of the room.

The large bed was so empty without the other body filling it. Like a cup half empty it just felt so utterly wrong. A puzzle with half of its pieces missing. Axton gritted his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut. He curled himself into a feeble balled position and just let all the sobs come.

He had held it together all through the funeral. All through the service. All through the burial. All through the public speech where he presented himself as Jack’s replacement. He had fed the citizens heaps of bullshit about how he would carry on Jack’s legacy and would ensure that Jack’s progress continued.

What a load of shit.

How could he ever dream to walk in the footsteps of such a powerful man? He was nothing like Jack. He could never be Jack. Never. All he could do was try. Because he had no choice but to do so.

Tears rolled down his cheeks, slow and heavy. How could he even begin to pick up his pieces and run a corporation all in the same breath? He felt so utterly lost. Jack would have known exactly what to do. He would have told Axton to stop being such a little puss or something like that. But how could he even begin to do this without him? He didn’t want to do this alone. He didn’t want to be alone...and yet here he was.

Axton moaned feebly into the pillow.

“God damned it Jack how could you do this to me!?” Axton yelled out his fingers clutching the bedding harshly.

“I need you!!! I can’t do this alone!! I don’t know how to do this without you!!” He screamed.

“How could you leave me all alone...?” Axton whispered his body shaking weakly.

“I don’t know what to do without you...”

Chapter Text

There Will Be No Mercy Here

 

Axton lay awake in the large bed. Eye’s focused up on the ceiling, unblinking and wide. He had no idea what time in the morning it was. Early he assumed by the grey light crawling in through the large windows of the bedroom. His body felt no more rested than the moment he laid it down the night previous. If anything he only felt worse.

His fingers were still laced in the sheets of the bed and his head was still buried in Jack’s pillow. His body felt dead, inside and out. Like a snake having shed itself, and all he was, was the scales left behind. A memory. A hollow being.

He knew in his heart that he should eat.

He had to, he hadn’t managed to keep food down in days. He had to try and eat something. Axton willed himself to sit up weakly his abdomen folding as he curled upward. His eyes were dead as they scanned over the crinkled bedding, over the room that felt so foreign now. It felt like an otherworldly space. Somewhere rough and corrupt. It no longer held that homey feeling it once had. It was no longer warm and inviting, a place Axton yearned to come back to. It was cold now with the absence of the Hyperion President. Cold and unwelcoming and full off all the memories of happier times, of angry times, of times when they fucking hated each other. Of times when Axton was nothing more to Jack than a play thing. Of times when that had slowly changed.

Axton hauled himself off the bed with greater effort than he expected. He just felt like dead weight, heavy and exhausted. He was not ready for this day, or the next, or the one after that. He was not ready for any of it.

His feet shuffled across the floor as he opened the bedroom door with a small creak. The bedroom was unusually quiet for such an hour of the morning. Normally Jack would have already been awake, showering and singing loudly, or rummaging through the closet muttering to himself about having nothing to wear when really he had everything to wear. Axton would still be in bed, that was until Jack forced him out of it and made him get ready for the work day. There would be none of that now. There was only silence, and the steady rhythmic tick of the clock on the bedroom wall.

Axton just stood in the doorway, his body hanging and motionless. Nothing seemed real, not the room, not the place, nor the silence around him. After what seemed like an eternity he made it to the large kitchen.

He yanked back the cabinet and halfheartedly tried to search for something that seemed even remotely appetizing. As he moved a box of cereal aside he noticed a box of cookies with a sticky note hanging on it. Axton cocked his head and gently plucked the note from the cardboard.

“Ax, if you eat these I swear I will murder you in your sleep. Love, Jack” was scribed across the piece of paper in Jack’s neat little handwriting. A small smiled cracked across Axton’s chapped lips.

He placed the note back on the box and set them to the back of the cabinet. A pang of sadness ripped through his gut as he grabbed the box of cereal slowly. He poured a bowl and sat down at the brunch table slowly, his chair scraping the hard wood as he pulled it out. He sank down in the chair limply.

Normally the smell of coffee would be fumigating the home at this hour, it’s delicious scent creeping into every crevice and space. But not now. There was no coffee brewing. Axton looked down at his sad little bowl of cereal and stirred it with his spoon. His eyes flicked across the table where Jack normally sat. He would sit there with his Hyperion mug, one knee folded up in his chair, his dark rimmed glasses clinging to his nose as he flipped through the Opportunity Times.

Axton frowned at the empty seat and then down at his bowl of cereal that was quickly becoming soggy mush. Axton stood angrily and dumped the cereal in the trash, bowl and all, shattering its ceramic little form. The thought of food only turned his stomach. He yelled out and stormed back into the bedroom where he ripped open the closet doors. He yanked his combat uniform off its hanger and began pulling it on frantically, bile rising up in his throat.

He had work to do today.

He had revenge to carry out.

He slammed the front door behind him as he left, his legs already in motion, his body knowing his destination already. Anger bubbled over, twisting his innards wildly, mercilessly.

The doors to the loader bays hissed open at his approach. Upon his entrance workers stopped and saluted him, addressing him as “sir”. He said nothing to them. There was something different in their voices now. A slight tone of fear, more so than the norm. Axton was unsure if it was the dark look on his face or the sheer fact that he was now the man of power. He was in charge now. The head of Hyperion with everything now resting in the palms of his unready hands. Whether he wanted it or not, the planet was his, and he would show it no fucking mercy.

He would burn this fucking scum bag of a landscape to the ground and build it back up with his own two hands. He would create Jack’s dream of a safe world for those who deserved it and he would kill those who did not. He would judge the right and the wrong and he would wipe this planet clean of it’s disease.

This planet was good for nothing but breeding filth. Birthing trash and scum from its surface until the planet was overflowing with it. Axton only wondered why he couldn’t see it sooner. Couldn’t see the pitiful state this fucking planet was in. It was dying on its feet, being eaten alive by its disgusting inhabitants. They were like leeches, tumors, bubbling beneath it, eating away at it.

All the bandits, all the murderers, all the liars and thieves. He would snuff them all out. He would show this planet what wrath really felt like. His hands clenched into fists as he approached his personal vehicle.

He would send this planet up in smoke....starting with sanctuary. That nest of little liars. Thinking it was all cake from here, the enemy was dead and they were all safe. Oh they were all safe and snug in their little beds, never thinking twice about the situation.

Axton climbed into his vehicle and slammed the door behind him.

Oh they would all be fucking sorry.

Axton strapped himself into the driver’s seat and sat with his fingers clenched around the wheel, tight and angry. He clicked the side of his echo headset as he peered out the front windshield, watching as the technical were loaded and readied, constructors strapped to the back of them, loaders unfolded and ready, drones stacked in massive hauling trucks.

“As soon as the ground units arrive within range of Sanctuary I want moonshots ready to go from Helios.” Axton snarled over the echo.

A crackling voice returned his orders instantly.

“Yes sir, moonshots are standing ready.” it said mechanically.

“We move out now.” Axton spoke into his headset as he pushed the gas on his technical. Sirens in the bays began wailing and workers began waving the vehicles out.

Axton looked in his rear view mirror, eyes whisking over the army of loaders behind him. Revenge would be sweet. The bandits would be sorry. They would be so very fucking sorry.

After hours crossing the dusty terrain the vehicles stopped on the ridge just above Sanctuary. Their motors rumbled loudly, their shadows casting ominously on the land before them. Axton stood outside his vehicle, workers standing ready to launch the loaders, constructors and drones. He folded his arms over his thick chest as he looked down at the pathetic little city he used to call home. He tilted his head to the side, his eyes cold and hollow as he looked upon the scene. He looked to the engineer standing just to his right.

“Can you hack into the city intercoms?” Axton asked his voice dead pan and blank.

The engineer swallowed hard.

“Yes sir...but what for...” The engineer asked.

Axton looked at him with wild, angered eyes.

“If you ever question my orders again I will gut you where you stand like a fucking stuck pig.” Axton snarled.

The engineer adverted his eyes to the dirt.

“Yes sir.” He whispered breaking out his hologram computer and going about hacking Sanctuaries intercom system.

“You should be able to access it through your echo now sir..” The engineer whispered smally.

Axton clicked the side of his echo and cleared his throat.

 

 

Mordecai sat at the little round table, leaning back in his chair casually. The morning had been quiet and easy, not much of a fuss around town...just quiet. Brick sat across from him fiddling with some wooden puzzle he’d gotten off a traveling merchant in town. The sniper drew in a slow, sharp breath and took a long draw on his drink. Some would say it was too early for whiskey, he said it was just about the right time. Headquarters was unusually quiet. Zero, Maya and the Gunzerker had gone on some mission far out in The Fridge. Mordecai was still iffy about letting the siren go...she was still pretty beat up about the whole ordeal...but she had insisted upon it. He knew better than to argue with a siren. You would get nowhere fast with that path.

Lilith was still asleep he assumed, seeing as he hadn’t heard a peep from her all morning. She still seemed to be moving in slow motion. Never really having the energy for things. Sometimes she would stay in bed all day until the evening time where she just might make an appearance for supper.

It was hard seeing such a mighty thing reduced to that. Reduced to such mourning. Mordecai swallowed hard and looked down at his glass. He clinked the ice together thoughtfully. Truthfully none of them had been the same since the ordeal. Especially not Mordecai. He sighed and shook his head slowly.

Brick looked up from his puzzle, his small eyes wandering over his lanky counterpart.

“Stop. You can’t live beating yourself up over it.” Brick whispered clicking together two pieces of the puzzle.

Mordecai took another long drink.

“Yeah.” He whispered flatly and the room went silent again.

Suddenly the intercom at the corner of the ceiling crackled loudly, startling both men. Mordecai set his drink down firmly and looked at Brick in confusion. Brick shrugged his shoulders and looked back at the intercom.

Then the intercom began to pour out sound.

 

“Attention people of Sanctuary, Commander Axton here....” Came Axton’s static voice through the old machine.

 

Mordecai’s face fell, his eyebrows knitting together harshly.

Brick pushed his seat back slowly.

“But Mordecai...I...I thought you shot him....” Brick question slowly.

Mordecai swallowed hard.

“I did....” He whispered.

 

“As most of you have been informed, the former Hyperion President, Handsome Jack is dead. Murdered actually. By one of your own, and he is right here in this little city of yours. See I...as the new head of Hyperion...have to deal with this little issue. I have an army of loaders at the ready, all locked in on Sanctuary. I will not hesitate to have them blow this little hell hole of a town into oblivion...but I will make you a deal. You send forth the Vault Hunter that murdered Handsome Jack, and the rest of you will live. I will call the loaders off and we will all go home. But if you do not, I will wipe this scumbag city out of the history books. Vault Hunter...you know who you are.” Axton’s voice hissed over the intercom.

 

The small device cut off and the headquarters went deathly quiet.

Brick looked at Mordecai with fearful, wavering eyes.

“Axton...?” Mordecai whispered in disbelief.

Brick shook his head in dismay, shoving his seat back and running to the window. He grabbed binoculars off the wall and peered out over the balcony. On the far side of Sanctuary he could just make out the rows of vehicles atop the ridge.

Brick lowered his hands in disbelief.

“Mordecai...he isn’t joking....we’ve got a bit of a situation on our hands...” Brick whispered looking over at the other man fearfully.

Mordecai just stared across the room, his fingers twitching around the glass in his hand.

He cursed under his breath in dismay.

Brick just stared at his counterpart expectantly.

Mordecai breathed in deep and long.

He knocked back the rest of his drink and slammed the empty glass on the old table.

“Get Lilith. You two head down to the underground cells. Stay there no matter what. Barricade yourselves in. If loaders start dropping that will be the safest place.” Mordecai whispered getting up from his seat slowly.

Brick furrowed his eyebrows at him.

“Shouldn’t we be preparing for a fight? Or an evacuation?” Brick said folding his arms.

Mordecai said nothing for a long moment.

“Evacuation won’t be needed...” Mordecai whispered.

Brick made a confused face at the other man.

“But you heard him Morde, they are gunna start moving those loaders out as soon as we refuse to give you up!” Brick barked throwing his hands out.

Mordecai shook his head slowly.

“You aren’t refusing anything.” Mordecai said darkly.

Brick’s face fell in horror at the realization of what was going through the Sniper’s head.

“Mordecai don’t you even fucking think about it...you ARE NOT surrendering yourself!!!” Brick yelled his voice rising in panic.

Mordecai stayed silent, standing in the room idle. His eyes fell to the floor, observing his boots dazedly. Never would he have thought everything could have fallen apart this disastrously. Everything was coming apart at the seams, tearing down and ripping to pieces before his eyes.

“If I don’t you all don’t stand a fucking chance. There is no time for evacuation and you and I both know those loaders will wipe the city out. We are no match for a whole army of them.” Mordecai whispered lowly.

Brick shook his head and punched the wall angrily.

“I won’t let you do it!!!” He bellowed shaking his fist at the thinner man.

Mordecai could feel his heart drop into his stomach.

“You don’t have a choice!!!” Mordecai yelled back.

“I was the one who took those shots...now I have to deal with the mess my actions have caused.” Mordecai barked angrily.

“You and I both know killing Jack and attempting to kill Axton was the right thing to do!!!” Brick argued his voice ragged and borderline begging.

“It was. I didn’t carry out the mission as I should of. Axton’s alive and there is no telling what he will do to get me. I would rather go willingly than watch him tear this planet apart.” Mordecai snapped balling his fists at his sides.

“This is my fault...now I have to fix it.” He continued his voice trailing off into a whisper.

Brick stood there, his mouth shifting as if he wanted to make words, but could not find the will to do so.

“Mordecai please don’t do this...” Brick pleaded softly.

“We just lost Roland...we can’t lose you too...” He added his voice shaking.

Mordecai avoided the bigger man’s eyes sorrowfully.

“I don’t see any other option. Sometimes...it just has to be this way.” Mordecai whispered.

“You tell Lilith I said goodbye, and I’ll never forget her.” Mordecai sighed tears pricking a the corners of his eyes.

Brick suddenly grabbed the thin man up in a hug, tight and sad.

Mordecai patted Brick on the back.

“It’s been a trip man.” Mordecai whispered.

Brick said nothing, simply nodded, his eyes wet and hollow.

He understood, whether he wanted to or not.

Mordecai had made up his mind, and when the thin man had his mind set, there was no ripping him away from that. This was just the way things had to be. The way they were. Actions cause ripples, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Ripples were just a part of the wild ride of life, they all knew this coming onto this planet. They all came here knowing this planet could be the end of them. This planet could be the last place they all set foot on. They were never guaranteed another morning, another hour, another minute. Nothing here was promised.

That was just how Pandora was, and it would never change. Blood would always be spilled and tears would always be shed. Inside this place was ugly, just like they all were. They were all ugly and rough, they were imperfect. One mistake her could end you or make you. The right path was never paved in gold and there was such a hair thin line between good and evil. There came a point where they no longer knew what exactly they were and who’s side they were on.

That was the price to pay for choosing a life as a Vault Hunter. An unspoken understanding, an unwritten contract.

Mordecai stepped away from his fellow Vault Hunter and was gone, out the door, into the street...knowing he would not return.

Knowing it...but going anyway. Because he had to. To save his comrades he had to. That was just the way of things.

As cruel as it was.

As wrong as it was.

As awful as it was.

That was just the way of it.

 

Axton stood on the ridge, the red earth beneath his feet his arms folded sternly, his eyes plastered to the old road leading out from Sanctuary. He could just barely make out a lone figure upon the old asphalt, walking slowly toward the ridge.

Axton cracked a small, wicked smile.

“That’s what I thought Mordecai...” He whispered under his breath.

The figure came closer and closer, closing the space between slowly. After what felt like an eternity Mordecai slowly stood at the top of the ridge, his breath ragged, his legs weak. Axton motioned for two workers to seize him. The man snacked Mordecai over the head with his pistol and the other man began searching the tired Vault Hunter. Mordecai did not struggle against their overly rough hands.

“I came unarmed.” Mordecai whispered lowly.

Axton snorted and took a few steps toward the kneeling man.

“Why the fuck would I ever believe you....Vault Hunter...?” Axton hissed.

After a pat down, ripping through Mordecai’s clothing and checking him thoroughly the workers nodded that he was clean. They cuffed his hands behind his back and hauled him up by his elbows. Mordecai hung weakly, his eyes darting up to meet Axton’s burning glare.

“You say that title like a dirty word. You WERE a Vault Hunter Axton!” Mordecai snapped.

Axton’s eyes bore holes in the other man at the words. Those stinging, disgusting little words. Axton reared back and punched Mordecai in the gut. The sniper made a pained noise and slumped heavily, the workers being the only thing holding him half upright.

“I am NO Vault Hunter. I am NOT one of you filthy, disgusting, HEATHENS!” Axton bellowed punching him again.

Mordecai sucked in a sharp, gasping breath, coughing and sputtering weakly. Mordecai wheezed and scrambled to try and get his feet beneath him desperately.

“Y-You sound just fucking like Jack....” Mordecai threw out the meant insult darkly.

Axton broke out in hearty laughter.

“Good.” Axton snarled grabbing the thin man by the chin and forcing him to look the commando in the eye.

“And you…you sound just like a little fucking lying worm....oh yes...because you are. You backstabbing son of a fucking bitch.” Axton snarled his fingers digging into Mordecai’s chin harshly.

Mordecai made a wounded sound in his throat.

“I-I did what I had to do...” Mordecai panted breathlessly.

Axton reared back and punched him in the jaw hard. Mordecai cried out and hung harder on the worker’s arms. Blood ran down his nose, seeping over his lips and into his slightly open mouth.

“Oh I understand Mordecai. You were just doing what you had to do. Of course. Well...then you will understand that I...I am just doing what I have to do also.” Axton sneered.

He grabbed Mordecai by the chin and ripped it in the direction of the city, forcing him to look upon it.

“I want you to watch this Mordecai. Watch every fucking second.” Axton snarled.

He clicked his echo device suddenly.

“Moonshots! Now!” Axton barked through his headset harshly.

Mordecai’s eyes grew to the size of plates as a booming sound echoed through the sky and two burning rounds fired off from the Helios moon base. Mordecai cried out frantically, writhing and yelling as the moonshots hit. The massive explosion shook the ground beneath their feet, the deafening sound rocketing past their ears. Flames engulfed the spots where they had hit, screams sounded up from the city and sirens wailed frantically. Mordecai was screaming indecipherable phrases as he watched. Axton motioned the loaders out smoothly and the mechanical beings unfolded to life, jetting toward the city, drones whizzing down in a rain of mechanics and gunfire.

“NO!!! NO!!!!” Mordecai wailed as the army flooded over the city, encasing it in wrath and fire.

Axton chuckled lowly. He ran his thumb over Mordecai’s bloody lip slowly, a smile creeping across his lips darkly.

“Don’t ever start a war....if you don’t intend to finish it.” Axton snarled his voice thick with malice.

“You promised you wouldn’t!! You promised if I turned myself in you wouldn’t!!!” Mordecai bellowed feebly.

Axton turned away, tapping his fingers over his arm casually.

“Huh. Guess I lied.” Axton shrugged.

Axton nodded toward his vehicle.

“Load him in the back. I’ve got business to carry out with this one.” Axton snarled.

The loaders obeyed without question, throwing the bleeding Vault Hunter into the back of the technical harshly. Axton climbed into the cab and put it in gear. Its big wheels grabbed at the sand as he took off, pushing the monstrous thing forward. Axton watched the landscape go by, flicking past the windows, barren and dry. He didn’t know where he was going. He was just...going. He supposed he would know where exactly where he was going when he got there. Tires over sand, over rocks, over small patches of weeds. The vehicle rocked along, swayed and jarred as it took the terrain on. It was not a smooth ride. Axton could hear moans from the back end of the vehicle with every racking bump, and he didn’t care.

He didn’t care about anything.

Not about the burning city he was leaving in his wake, nor the innocent lives he had just taken. He didn’t care. They deserved it. Every last one of them. Finally he slammed on the breaks in the middle of an empty clearing. Like a little bowl of earth encircled by dusty hills and dunes. Axton let the vehicle’s motor die slowly and pushed the door open. His feet hit the dust hard.

He stood there for a moment accessing his surroundings with scrutinizing eyes. He pulled a Hyperion shotgun from the side of the door, hauling it out by its barrel casually. He loaded the weapon slowly, pushing the shots into its chamber and cocked it loudly, coming away with a satisfyingly dangerous sound.

Axton rounded to the back of the vehicle, throwing the doors open loudly. Mordecai squinted weakly and flinched away from the action. Axton reached in and grabbed Mordecai’s ankles, dragging him out and letting him hit the dirt hard. The man cursed under his breath squirming and writhing in the sand. He coughed as the dust kicked up entered his throat. Axton grabbed him once more, and proceeded to drag him into the clearing. He dropped his feet and watched as the man curled up into a ball on the ground. Axton turned the gun over in his hands, gently palming it thoughtfully.

Mordecai’s eyes flicked up to Axton’s hardened face.

“T-This isn’t you Axton...you aren’t Jack...you aren’t....” Mordecai breathed his voice strained and choppy.

Axton looked down on him with fierce, displeasured eyes. He circled around Mordecai’s crumpled form.

“I’m not Jack. Nobody can be Jack, NO ONE, and if it wasn’t for you...you worthless shit of a human being...he would still be here!!” Axton screamed kicking the man in the back, the toe of his boot stabbing into his spine.

Mordecai screamed out in pain, his voice reverberating off the hills around them.

“He had to die!!! For the sake of this planet!!” Mordecai pleaded.

Axton kicked Mordecai, rolling him onto his back and pressed the heel of his boot into his windpipe.

“Shut the fuck up!!!” Axton hissed.

Axton pressed his boot down harder. Mordecai struggled for breath against the thick heel, scrambling in the dirt uselessly. Mordecai shook his head frantically, mouthing pleading words without sound. Axton raised the shotgun and pressed the barrel right against Mordecai’s skull.

“I’d do it again if I had the chance...” Mordecai hissed through strained, broken words.

Axton prodded the barrel against the man’s lips.

“Open.” He commanded hollowly.

Mordecai opened his mouth, staring down the barrel at his former fellow Vault Hunter. Axton looked at him with icy eyes. His finger hovered over the trigger. All the memories flooded back to him. Jack’s last fading breaths, his hand slipping from Axton’s....the blood...all the blood.

The gun kicked against Axton's shoulder hard, the shot ringing out over the landscape harshly.

The commando stood there for a moment, before pulling the smoking gun away. He stared down at the scene without emotion, his breath heavy through his nose. Blood and brain clung to the side of his face and his uniform front. He wiped some blood off his forehead with the heel of his hand and turned without another word. He wasn’t sorry. He didn’t regret. A life for a life. That was the way it worked on this planet.

Axton put the safety on the gun and replaced it to its holder behind the driver’s seat.

He sat on the step of the vehicle, chin in his hands, blood running down his neck slowly. His eyes watched the scene silently. Simply watching, waiting for something maybe?

There was nothing to wait on. The man was dead. He wasn’t getting up and walking away from that. He’d avenged Jack. Avenged him with force, bullets and blood. Hyperion President’s do not let the enemy live. That was all he had done. His job.

Axton watched with curious eyes as two meager looking skag pups wandered into the clearing, timidly, cautiously. The smell of fresh blood drew them to the scene. They were skinny, malnourished and small. Pathetic looking little animals really. Axton tilted his head and looked around for an accompanying mother...but there was none to be seen.

Axton sighed.

She’d most likely been offed by a bigger skag, or run down by a vehicle, or eaten by Psychos. Axton frowned as he watched the two pathetic, awkward, animals. Pandora had no mercy.

No mercy on its inhabitants...human or otherwise.

Chapter Text

Not the Man He Used to be

 

One year later:

 

“Please, Axton there must be some mistake. I have no clue what stolen Eridium you are talking about.” The man said frantically, his hands white as they clutched the arm rests of the chair.

Axton turned slowly in his office chair, his eyes making a slow sweep across his desk only to finally settle on the man sitting petrified in the chair before it. The man was scrawny, his Hyperion uniform clinging to his thin arms awkwardly.

Axton sneered distastefully.

How could such a pathetic little worm of a man really have the balls to steal from him? It was insulting in more ways than one. The stolen portions of Eridium did not amount to much, really they didn’t. Mere pocket change in Hyperion’s vast wallet...but it was the act that displeased Axton. The fact that such a little, puny, ridiculous man could think he could actually steal from Hyperion and get away with it? He obviously did not have enough fear drilled into his stupid little brain. That was a problem. Axton did not like workers that did not fear him. He did not like workers that did not fear the consequences of crossing him.

Axton leaned backward in his chair with a subtle little creak and thudded his heavy dress boots up on the desk loudly. The scrawny man’s eyes darted over the expensive looking footwear unsurely. They were made of some type of hide that he did not recognize.

“T-Those are really nice....skag skin?” The small man stuttered.

Axton made a displeased noise in his throat and shook his head slowly.

“Skag skin...how ridiculous. You insult our company by even mentioning such a cruel thing.” Axton snarled lowly.

The man looked at him with confused eyes.

“C-Company...?” He questioned softly.

Axton snapped his fingers gently.

Suddenly there was a low rumbling sound from behind Axton’s large desk. The scrawny man watched in horror as two massive full grown skags lifted from their laying positions behind Axton’s desk and rounded toward him. One came from the right, the other from the left. They chirped and quivered, their mouths opening and closing slowly as they stalked around the desk and began circling the small chair the lean man occupied.

Axton offered the little man a lopsided grin.

“Company.” He said in a matter-o-fact type of fashion.

He pointed to the bigger skag adorning a diamond encrusted blue collar.

“Kitten.” He addressed the first skag.

He then pointed to the smaller skag adorning a gold and ruby decorated collar.

“Pumpkin.” He addressed the second skag.

The slighter man swallowed hard, his throat clenching as he did so. Axton shifted his boots a little as he crossed his arms across his chest lazily.

“These, these are actually the skin of the last worthless fuck that tried to get away with conning Eridium right out from under my nose.” Axton breathed grinning widely.

The small man began to chuckle nervously.

Axton did not laugh.

The man immediately choked his laughter short and it trailed off as a little gasping noise.

“Do you think this is a game Mr....er....what was your name again?” Axton breathed inspecting his fingernails slowly, not even offering the man his full attention.

“Barrett sir...” The man whispered eyeing the circling skags nervously, drawing his knees closer to the chair.

“Barrett. Yes. So, do you think this is a game Mr. Barrett?” Axton asked again, his wild green eyes flicking up to capture the little man’s gaze.

“N-No sir. I told you, I have no idea what stolen Eridium you are talking about. I swear sir.” Barrett pleaded looking at the commando with frightened wide eyes.

Axton nodded thoughtfully, interlocking his fingers and pressing his chin against them.

“Right, right, you mentioned that.” Axton breathed tilting his head to the side.

“But you see...Barrett...I just don’t think I believe you.” Axton sighed out heavily.

“I wanted to believe you. Really. I was on your side at the start of this....” Axton breathed waving his hand in a big, slow, dramatic circle.

Axton clicked the screen of his computer, there was the sound of static and then a recording began to play.

“You sure the boss won’t account for these missing shipments?” An unknown voice stuttered across the recording.

“I’m positive! I mean hey he’s good...but he aint no Handsome Jack! He’ll never even know it’s gone! We can sell this on the market and make out like bandits!” Barrett’s voice crackled across the recording.

Axton’s eyes darted over his crisscrossed hands and landed on Barrett, who’s face had gone white with fear.

Axton clicked the screen again.

“I’ll just stop it there.” Axton hissed looking at Barrett with displeasure in his eyes.

“Boss....boss...I-I didn’t really mean what I said, honest mistake I promise It will never never happen again. Boss please you gotta have mercy...” Barrett begged the pitch in his voice rising rapidly.

Axton clicked his tongue at the smaller man.

“I’ve got to have mercy? I’ve got to have mercy? On you?” Axton questioned furrowing his eyebrows together and rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

“Axton please...” Barrett whispered shifting to the right of his chair as the skag addressed as “Kitten” snarled in his direction.

Suddenly Axton dragged his boots off the desk and leaned forward in his chair, leaning his chin in his palm as he rested is elbow on the desktop.

“You’re right Barrett, about what you said...” Axton started, raising one eyebrow, the small marking on his forehead shifting slightly.

Barrett looked at him fearfully.

“I-I am....?” Barrett questioned feebly.

Axton nodded slowly.

“I am no Handsome Jack, you are correct about that.” Axton whispered.

Barrett seemed to freeze in his seat. Axton’s merciless eyes bore into Barrett’s very soul. Axton’s face did not change as he looked upon the small, shivering man.

“I’m not Jack....I’m worse than Jack.” Axton boomed rising out of his chair suddenly and snapping his fingers loudly.

In a split second the two skags lurched upon Barrett, their mouths agape and ready. They dragged the man from the chair, sprawling him on the office floor. His screams echoed across the walls, bouncing off the wide space. The screams slowly became wet little gurgles as the skags tore apart his innards, stringing organs between them, fighting over the most tender of pieces.

Axton clapped his hands together sharply.

“GIRLS! Don’t fight like that.” He scolded both animals and they dropped the piece they’d been fussing over pitifully.

They went back to peacefully ripping apart the dead man and Axton resumed his seat behind the desk.

He breathed out slowly. He hated hearing his name on other’s lips. That beautiful of a name should not be spoken across the mouth of such scum. Handsome Jack. Such a pretty word did not belong on the tongue of a useless man.

Axton frowned and looked at the ceiling.

His heart still flopped at the simple mention of his name. An old pain shot through Axton like a troublesome wound that smarted with the changing of weather. He breathed out through his nose and tilted back in the chair, listening to the sounds of the animals devouring the worker sloppily.

He hated putting up such a front.

He would never be Handsome Jack. Not even close. Not even after a year of running this place. He still wasn’t Jack. He didn’t want to be. Nobody could ever be Jack.

Axton sat unblinking counting the tiles on the ceiling sadly. It was days like this that he missed him the most. Days where he just wanted to ask for help, for advice...days where he just didn’t want to be alone in this anymore. Days like this he just went along like a puppet, following the strings that led him. He let his arms fall limply over the sides of the chair as a lone heavy tear ran down his cheek slow and wet. Suddenly there was a weight beneath his left palm. A muzzle lifting into his hand, nuzzling for attention, silently letting him know of its presence. Axton looked down at the touch, the intelligent eyes of Pumpkin darting over him. He could swear he saw a hint of concern in her small pupils.

Axton smiled down at the large skag.

She sat almost as tall as the back of the chair even laying down. Axton had never been a man for pets, but he supposed being one for so long had gained him a fondness for it. Axton chuckled at the thought. He gently touched her ruby encrusted collar, her name tag jingling softly. Some days he actually missed the collar he had once worn. Those days were long gone but deep down...there was a piece of him that missed it.

Axton shook his head.

He looked out the window, out to the sky.

“I hope you heard that Jack...you fucking asshole...” Axton whispered chuckling lightly, sadly.

Axton stood from his chair and clicked the echo device on his desk.

“Anna I’m going to need a cleanup in my office when you get the chance to send someone down.” Axton spoke into the device.

It crackled for a minute before a woman’s voice came across.

“Yes sir, will we be needing a body bag?” She questioned overly cheerfully.

Axton peered over the desk. There was nothing more than a bloody stain on the floor where the man had once been.

“No, No that won’t be necessary. Just a mop and some cleaner. The usual.” Axton answered.

“Ok sir, I will send someone right away.” She replied in her friendly tone.

“Thank you Anna.” Axton added.

“You are welcome sir. Have a good evening.” She chimed before her echo clicked off.

Axton rounded the desk slowly his hands in his pockets casually as the two skags flanked him, rubbing against him gently. He patted Kitten fondly and sighed out.

“C’mon girls. Let’s go home.” Axton whispered sadly.

He crossed the office with the two monsters at his heels, swaying and gurgling happily.

Axton unlocked the front door slowly, the two creatures bounded past him chirping and cooing as they splayed out on the living room couches. Axton began undoing his tie slowly, his face grim and hollow. The day had been long and heavy on him. He sunk down on the couch in between the two animals and breathed out slowly. He rested his hand on the massive head of Kitten and let his back sink into the cushions. He thought after so much time that days like these would fade...but they didn’t. Time had not yet healed all the wounds that had been cut open. He thought burning Sanctuary to the ground would have healed them, but it hadn’t. He thought busying himself with overlooking Hyperion would distract him from the hurt...but it hadn’t. On days like this...he was alone. Alone in a living quarters much too big for him. Alone in a city much too grand for him.

Axton swallowed hard and wiped at his eyes with the back of his hand. He scratched between Pumpkin’s shoulder blades absent minded and slow. She cooed at Axton lovingly, her eyes darting over her master loyally.

“I wish you two coulda met him.” Axton whispered shaking his head slowly.

The skag tilted its head and chirped with interest at the sound of Axton’s voice.

“He woulda liked you two pretty girls.” Axton mused rubbing the skags head’s gently.

Axton frowned and let his head fall back on the couch.

“I sure do miss him...” He breathed shakily.

Hours passed and Axton sat unmoving. Both skags had long since fallen asleep on the couches. He wanted to sleep. It just refused to come to his worn body. Eluded him gracefully. Axton carefully rose from the couch and crossed into the bedroom. He flicked on the light and bathed the room in the pale lamp glow. He shrugged his dress shirt off and threw it down on the growing pile of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor. He’d stopped requesting maid service in this room. He didn’t want it touched. He wanted everything left exactly in place. He peered over to the bedside table as he went about stripping off his trousers.

His eyes saddened as he did so. Jack’s glasses, his book and his other belongings sat just as they were the day Jack had left them there. Axton never touched them, never moved them. He left them idle and untouched, as if waiting for the day Jack would return.

Axton felt the slow tears rolling down his cheeks as he paused there.

He knew he was never coming back. Every morning he awoke hoping he’d dreamt the entire thing...and every morning he awoke to an empty bed and a hollow heart. Axton threw the closet doors open. Jack’s closet remained closed, all his clothing still hanging ready to wear. Ready and waiting in vain. Axton ran his palm over his cheek, swiping wet tears down his neck. He wouldn’t allow himself to just mope here.

Not tonight.

He wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t let himself.

He yanked a plain shirt out of the closet and worn jeans. He ripped the clothing up onto his body irritably. He would not stay here and drown in his own misery. He would not drown in all the “what ifs” and the empty bed that he slept in and the even emptier heart he carried in his ribcage.

No, no, no.

Axton pulled on some worn shoes and a yellow hoodie then he was stuffing his keys into his pocket. He would not let tonight turn into a pitiful one of mourning.

 

Axton’s face was bathed in the glowering lights, blinking rapidly and vibrantly. The grand neon sign above him announced the shady name of the place blatantly.

“The Pleasure Palace”

Of all Jack’s stupid ideas...this had to be one of the stupidest.

A palace specifically built on the allure of being able to spend the night with a Handsome Jack ‘look alike’. God the man couldn’t have been more full of himself. It was disturbing quite honestly...and even more disturbing that Axton found himself standing out in front of it...debating if he should actually do this or not. Had he really sunk this low? He supposed so.

He pulled his hoodie down over his eyes and casually passed the massive glowing doors.

The inside was even more grand than the outside. Bathed in luscious red velvet walls and benches, a full marble bar, many flashing screens and booming music. Axton crossed the room, doing his best to lay low. He didn’t exactly want to be seen in such a shady place. The Pleasure Palace laid on the very edge of Opportunity, tucked away in its own little secretive corner. He sighed and took a seat at the long bar, leaning his elbows on it hesitantly.

It was fairly crowded for a Monday night. People flocked to the benches, laughing and joking, drinking beverages that came in brightly colored glasses. The bar tender sashayed over to Axton gently and flashed him a radiant, pearly smile. Axton made a confused expression as he looked upon her. She definitely was no ‘Handsome Jack’ look alike that was for sure. She was bleached blonde, fair skinned, with freckles kissing up her shoulders and cheeks.

“Well hey there Handsome! What can I get for you?” She asked brightly, leaning over the bar casually.

Axton grunted and avoided her pale blue eyes.

“Just a Rakk ale.” Axton said flatly.

She flashed him another smile and whisked away to fetch the requested drink.

Axton watched her curiously. He supposed it was a pleasure palace...meant to appease to everybody's pleasures? He supposed they must just have a little of everything...but were most known for their professionally trained body doubles. Which was exactly the reason he was here.

Axton swallowed hard and shook his head in dismay.

He had to be some type of fucked up individual to even think this was a good idea in the first place. It wasn’t a good idea. Not in the least bit. But here he was. The bartender plunked Axton’s chilled beer down in front of him and smiled.

“There you go sir. Enjoy!” She chimed sweetly.

Axton took the beer slowly, curling it in his thick fingers and bringing it to his dry lips.

“So what brings you in?” She asked leaning down and cleaning a glass behind the bar.

Axton gulped and fished for an answer. Oh it would be his luck that she would want to strike up conversation.

Axton sighed.

The lighting in this place was awful, and he wasn’t exactly dressed in his normal get up. He doubted she’d recognize him...he figured it as ok to engage in just some friendly conversation. Axton took another sip of his beer.

“Just...curiosity I suppose. Heard about this place...never been here.” Axton shrugged casually.

It was the truth for the most part. He was curious, and he had in fact not been here before.

She laughed sweetly.

“Ah, curiosity. That’s how we wrangle in most our customers. Kinda hard not to be curious huh?” She said smiling.

Axton shrugged.

“Heard y’all had good drinks...” Axton tried awkwardly.

She gave him a coy ‘yeah right’ sort of look and snorted.

“Good drinks. Of course. Cause that’s exactly why you came this far into the outskirts of Opportunity. For good drinks. Riiiight.” She teased.

Axton opened his mouth and closed it again stupidly.

“Don’t worry about it. I know why you came. Had to see one of these doppelgangers up close am I right?” She whispered smiling wryly.

Axton could feel the heat spreading across his cheeks and he sighed out lowly.

“You got me.” He whispered finally.

She chuckled.

“Hey I’m not here to judge. I work here remember? I deal with this all the time. I remember when I first started. I mean damn that was hard to get used to. They really do look...like the real thing.” She said looking starry eyed at Axton.

“I’ve had my share of...go rounds with some of them. Trust me you won’t go home disappointed.” She chuckled heartily.

Axton returned her smile genuinely.

“I wish I coulda met him. You know, the real one? Handsome Jack himself. Now that was a guy I woulda liked to talk to. Pick his brain a little you know?” She whispered dazedly.

Axton chuckled.

“He was a real interesting man lemme tell you.” Axton laughed.

Her eyes lit up with interest at the sentence.

“You mean...you met him? You met Handsome Jack?” She breathed looking at him with big doe eyes.

Axton nodded.

“Yeah. I met him...a couple of times.” He said casually.

“Oh I am overflowing with jealousy! I mean I hang around these look a likes all the time and they are trained to be just like Jack...but I mean it isn’t exactly the same. What was he like?” She said leaning on the bar enthralled by Axton.

“He was....very stubborn.” Axton laughed heartily.

She shared in the laughter.

“Well hell...wish I coulda met him too.” She whispered smiling.

“But I mean, President Axton, can we just talk about how we need dopplegangers of THAT guy! I mean whew hello!” She teased laughing harder.

Axton grinned wryly.

Axton almost thanked her, but caught the comment in his throat.

“I’ve heard good things about him.” Axton said grinning lopsidedly.

Axton finished his beer, deep in conversation with the bubbly blonde woman and she was quick about getting him another. Just as she set the chilled beverage down, company occupied the bar stool next to him casually. Axton’s eyes slowly glided over the man now sitting beside him. He sat proudly, back straight, white dress shirt pulled tight across his wide shoulders. The bartender nodded at him smiling widely. The man’s mismatched eyes flicked to Axton’s drink and then back to the bartender. 


“I’ll have what he’s having pumpkin.” The man said casually, the words rolling off his tongue like dripping honey.

His voice was so smooth, so familiar.

It had been so long since Axton had heard that voice. That malicious, teasing, tone that sent his heart into flutters. The sound of it alone made Axton almost want to break down and cry. He swallowed the lump in his throat and shook the thoughts away. This was a horrible idea. That man was not Jack. He may look like Jack, sound like Jack...act like Jack but he wasn’t. He was a trained actor and that was all.

Axton reminded himself of that angrily.

The blonde woman set the Rakk ale down in front of the doppelganger and he nodded at her sweetly. He reached for the beverage with his right arm, his wrist wrapped in that all too familiar ink, and it was almost too much for Axton. Right down to his tattoos. It was so fucking accurate. The bartender flocked down the bar to attend to other customers, leaving Axton alone next to the Handsome Jack look alike. Axton couldn’t help but to stare. Like looking into the past, like looking at a ghost come back from the dead.

The doppelganger turned, as if feeling Axton’s gaze on him and offered the commando a million dollar, white smile.

“Hey, how’s it goin?” The doppelganger asked in that goose bump inducing tone of his.

Axton nearly choked on his beer and tried to regain his composure sloppily.

“Alright...I guess.” Axton stuttered.

He could feel his cheeks burning, growing hotter at how ridiculous he must sound at the moment.

“Just alright cupcake?” The doppelganger asked coyly.

The pet name was sweet on Axton’s ears. It kissed down his neck and caused his heart to race in his chest. His head was torn between just wanting to indulge and pretend that just for a moment...this was Jack, and the reality that this wasn’t. That Jack was still dead.

Axton felt the thoughts drop into his stomach making him feel ill.

“Yeah...” Axton whispered drowning his words in more beer.

The doppelganger offered him another pearly, glorious smile and took a sip of his own beverage.

“Anything I could do to make it better than just...alright?” The doppelganger whispered slyly over the rim of his bottle.

Axton froze, his eyes panicked and shifty.

The doppelganger grinned and chuckled lowly. He leaned over and ran his hand through Axton’s short cropped hair, pushing his hood back off his head. He ran the pad of his thumb over the markings on Axton’s forehead gently.

“Don’t worry Mr. President, I won’t tell...if you won’t tell.” The doppelganger cooed in that thick teasing tone of his.

A whisper of a laugh trailed behind his sentence toying at Axton’s heart strings. Axton swallowed down his beer too quickly.

Shit, Axton thought frantically.

The doppelganger smiled wryly and leaned in to Axton’s ear slowly. Axton could feel his warm breath puff against his neck gently, causing pleasant shivers to course down Axton’s spine. Axton had near forgotten how those pleasant little chills felt. How good they were...how wrong they felt. How they left Axton feeling pitiful and needy.

“I promise you won’t regret it....kiddo.” The doppelganger snarled wickedly, his tongue gently coming to the curve of Axton’s ear, running along it skillfully. Axton could feel himself melt into the barstool. It was like the doppelganger knew just what caused him to fall apart without even having to ask.

It was unnerving in the same breath as it was entrancing. This guy really knew what he was doing.

“I’m gunna eat you alive pumpkin.” The doppelganger hissed into his sensitive ear hotly, his breath no more than a mere dangerous whisper.

Axton closed his eyes.

He felt a moan push up into his throat and his swallowed it down quickly, trying not to allow himself to fall apart so quickly. But it had been so damned long...so long....

The doppelganger’s glittering eyes darted over the President’s flushed face, his fingers trailing down the nape of his neck tenderly. Before Axton knew it the doppelganger was standing, sashaying away, making a motion for Axton to follow him. Axton pulled an obscene amount of money from his pocket, tipped the bartender and was trailing hot on the doppelganger’s heels. He followed him down long hallways, all dimly lit by small lamps, adorned in bright, slutty red. Axton could feel his heart thumping in his chest, booming in his ears, throbbing against his ribcage.

It was wrong.

This was wrong.

He knew he should just leave, and yet in the same breath he didn’t want to. If he wanted to blind himself with smoke and mirrors for one night...why not. He deserved that much. After so long....so long of feeling so damned broken...he deserved one night of self-indulgence. Even if it only hurt him more in the long run. He didn’t care at this point.

He wanted it....no....needed it.

The doppelganger pushed open a door at the very end of the hallway and waited for the hesitant other male patiently. Axton entered cautiously, his nerves causing his stomach to flip flop like a fish out of water. There was a massive circular bed in the middle of the room and the only lighting was provided by two matching lamps on either side of the room. Black and red seemed to be the running theme for the room, the sheets and pillows velvety shades of ebony and crimson.

Axton entered slowly, still timid and unsure. Deep in his gut he just felt like this was such an awful idea. There was a warm glow in his head left behind by the beer, but it was not nearly enough to calm his nerves.

The doppelganger closed the door gently.

“Please, make yourself comfortable kitten.” The doppelganger cooed stepping closer to Axton intimidatingly.

Axton crossed the room and sat backward on the bed slowly, gently sliding his shoes and socks off and leaving them at the foot of the bed. The doppelganger did the same, leaving his dress shoes neatly next to Axton’s. Then the doppelganger was closing the gap between them casually. His movements were fluid and stupidly graceful. He pushed Axton back onto the bed slightly, spreading his legs over the commando’s lap skillfully.

Axton breathed out as the look alike splayed across him shamelessly. His large hands were then gripping Axton’s shirt by the collar, toying with the material coyly.

“What do you want me to call you Mr. President?” The Jack cooed sweetly his glowering eyes half lidded as they observed the other male curiously.

“A-Axton...is fine.” Axton whispered breathlessly.

The doppelganger smiled dangerously.

“Strong name...for a strong and powerful man huh cupcake?” The doppelganger damn near moaned the words.

Axton let a small ‘fuck’ slip out from his parts lips and he leaned back on his elbows heavily.

The doppelganger grinned wickedly.

“So many clothes Axton...let’s fix that...” The look alike scolded clicking his tongue slowly.

Axton reeled at the sound, his skin crawling with shivers as the words rolled down him. He was so much like Jack. Every syllable that rolled off his tongue only had Axton’s desperate little brain actually believing...that he was. Even if just for a moment, a minute, a couple of hours....one night....he could be Jack. If Axton wanted him to be, he could be. The double’s skilled fingers were grabbing at the hem of Axton’s shirt and wasted little time in stripping it up over his head. The shirt plunked to the floor gently and the double sneered at Axton’s half naked form pleased. His soft, wanting palms pressed over Axton’s pecks, touching at the scars running jagged across his skin. He leaned in and gently extended his tongue, dragging it up the dip of Axton’s throat, slow, hot and wet.

Axton shuddered and let his eyes fall closed uselessly.

“F-fuck that’s good...” Axton whispered involuntarily.

The doppelganger snickered hauntingly and the sound surrounded Axton like a warm, delicious substance.

“Oh I know it is sweet cheeks.” The double cooed into Axton’s flushed throat.

His lips sucked the tender flesh diligently, leaving a perfect little bruise behind. His lips unsheathed teeth and he bit gently at first, then harder as he trailed to Axton’s collarbone. Axton’s hips jerked upward without his consent at the primal feeling of Jack’s teeth on him. Axton could feel his cock hardening and pressing to his thigh tightly. He was already dissolving into an embarrassing state...and he didn’t care. He wanted Jack, he wanted him he wanted it all. The illusion, the dream, he didn’t care what it was. It felt real. As real as it could ever get.

“Choke me.” Axton whispered out raggedly as the double gently rocked his groin against Axton’s lap.

“Oh kiddo, a kinky little fuck aren’t you?” The doppelganger snarled looking at Axton with approving, malicious eyes.

Suddenly he was shoving Axton into the mattress hard, his body heavy and demanding. Axton felt the breath nearly knocked out of him, a small gasp leaving his parted lips with the impact. The double’s hips cemented Axton into the mattress while his fingers slid up and around Axton’s windpipe.

Axton’s eyes rolled back at the feeling, that old itch that had not been scratched in what felt like an eternity. Jack’s fingers curled around his throat, pressing in dauntingly, he should feel scared. This man was not Jack. Jack never took it too far, only far enough. He would always loosen his grip just as Axton came to the point where he could no longer handle it. Just before he’d pass out, Jack would slide his hands away, always wary of that thin line between too much, and just enough. Axton should have been frightened, yet...he wasn’t. His foggy brain was so convinced that this was Jack. It was so stupidly sure. Axton’s cock throbbed against his thigh, the pre-cum seeping from his tip becoming sticky between his skin and his jeans. The hands around his neck tightened, pushing harder, applying pressure ever so slowly.

“That’s right Axton....it’s so funny how easily I could do you in. How easily I could off you. The most powerful man on the planet...and I could strangle the life right from you, right, here, right now.” The double hissed leaning down, his thin lips mere centimeter’s from Axton’s.

Axton hissed a needy, pleading curse through his gritted teeth and tried to take a heavy breath, only to be stopped by the palms restricting him. A low, rumbling laugh rumbled up from the double’s chest. It was haunting in the same breath that it was unimaginably hot. Axton moaned out pathetically and grabbed at the double’s wide shoulders. The corners of his vision were beginning to become fuzzy and Axton could feel the pleasant tingles spread through him with the lack of oxygen. His pulse pounded against the doubles fingers, with each breath he drew in the other male pressed harder. Axton gasped out, his lungs screaming for breath, his body feeling heavy and dizzy. But god was it so fucking good. The danger, that ridiculous thrill that he’d needed so damned badly.

His eyes began to roll back, fuck it was becoming too much. Too tight, too long without air. Panic slowly started to creep into the corners of Axton’s stomach, when suddenly...the doubles hands slid away. As if he just knew Axton could only take that much, that he needed to stop. Axton took a hurried, needing breath, his lungs expanding to their fullest, taking in the much needed oxygen greedily.

The doppelganger chuckled lightly and licked sensually along the reddened flesh of Axton’s throat. Axton’s ears boomed with the rush of blood, his breath ragged and panting as he tried desperately to catch it. The double’s hands slid down to the hem of Axton’s faded jeans, looping his thumbs in his belt casually.

“I thought a Hyperion President...would be much better dressed kiddo.” The double sneered raising a thin eyebrow at Axton.

Axton looked down his body at the double with half-lidded, wonton eyes.

“I-It’s my night off...thought I’d dress casual...” Axton panted.

The double laughed hollowly.

“Or you just didn’t want anybody to recognize you. Bet that was it huh?” The double whispered slowly undoing Axton’s belt buckle and sliding the leather material out, loop, by loop.

Axton was so transfixed by the action he hardly paid mind to the double’s snarky accusation. On any normal day, had anybody smarted off to him like so he would have snapped their neck. But god the way this double had him wrapped around his fingers...the way Jack had him wrapped around his fingers.

Axton huffed out heavily.

The double only grinned as the commando said nothing.

“It’s ok you know. There isn’t anybody on this planet that can resist the temptation of Handsome Jack. Nobody can resist me kiddo.” He hissed through his perfect, devilish teeth.

Axton groaned out loudly and arched his back off the bed. Fuck that voice of his. The catches of Axton’s jeans were coming undone, and his zipper was drawn down painfully slowly. The double allowed Axton’s pants to yawn open, a wicked sneer spread wildly across his thin features. The hinges of the mask glinted in the low lamplight, brilliantly silver as always. Axton reached up and ran his thumb over the small piece of metal. The double seemed to melt into the soft touch, turning his head and moaning against Axton’s outreached arm.

Axton purred at the sound lowly.

The double’s eyes closed daintily as he kissed at Axton’s wrist. His lips were warm and wet on Axton’s skin. Burning it with passion and want. The double slunk down Axton’s form with cat-like grace, tugging his jeans and underwear with him. Axton’s hardness came free from his clothing, bobbing before him, settling up over his heaving stomach. The double licked his lips deviously and slowly began peeling out of his own clothing. The motions were slow and teasing, painful to watch in the sense that Axton was near burning down with want and need for the other male. The double kneeled on the bed, absent of his clothing now, his thin, built frame dipping and moving as he regained his seated position across Axton’s strong thighs.

God it was so perfect.

Jack must have put so much into these doubles to get them so perfect. The double was no longer a double as he sat there, his skin against Axton’s. He was Jack, Axton needed him to be Jack.

Axton leaned up and wrapped his large arms around the thinner male. His palms splayed out across Jack’s shoulder blades, pulling him to his body. Axton’s lips collided hard with the other man’s kissing him feverishly, like he had never needed anything so much in all his meager life.

Jack’s lips slid along his, wanting and pushy. His perfect tongue came to play with Axton’s as he tilted his head dramatically.

Axton’s palms worked up through the man’s dark brown locks, feeling their softness in-between his fingers. Axton pulled back from the kiss panting, his chest heaving. The double playfully sucked Axton’s bottom lip and then kissed along his jawline, tonguing his jagged scar there.

Axton breathed out shakily, eyes closing slowly.

The double’s large palm came to wrap around both of their erections, squeezing his slick head into Axton’s, gathering a weak, desperate gasp from the commando. The doppelganger bucked slowly, sliding against the other man’s fat erection.

Axton watched enthralled by the motion.

Gods he was so perfect. Right down to the little scar just to the left of his groin.

Axton touched at the small imperfection affectionately.

The double slid his thumb along the underside of Axton’s slit, spreading the bead of pre-cum gathering there across his tip. Axton moaned out richly, his voice gruff and pitiful. The double smiled tauntingly, his lips parting like a sliver over his face.

“You like that Axton?” The double whispered to him his voice heavy with lust.

Axton nodded frantically.

“Uh, uh, uh, words kitten, use them.” He hissed running his tongue up the side of Axton’s jaw.

Axton groaned out at the scolding.

“Y-Yes, I like it.” Axton whispered his lips parted ever so slightly, his eyes mere slits.

Jack waved a displeased finger at the bigger male.

“Yes what? Now Axton where are your manners? Do you let your workers address you with anything other than a yes sir?” The double whispered shaking his head in disappointment.

Axton swallowed hard.

“No sir. I don’t.” Axton answered with more manners on his tongue.

The Jack double sneered with pleasure.

“That’s more like it sweetheart. Now let’s try again, do you like that Axton?” The double swooned his eyelids falling halfway over his mismatched, vibrant eyes.

“Yes sir.” Axton breathed huskily.

The double began fluidly stroking Axton, his fat, swollen head disappearing and reappearing rhythmically through the man’s clenched fingers. Axton moaned out lowly, the sound coming out as a a rumble from his throat. Jack’s eyes watched Axton’s face intently, watching as it distorted into an expression of sheer ecstasy in mere moments.

“Goodness how easy it is to make you fall to pieces cupcake.” The double hissed to Axton darkly.

Axton loved the way his snarky tone settled over his ears, the way it petted over his flesh like tiny whispers of fingers. Axton lifted his hips into the double’s strokes, wanting more of his tight, skillful, pressure on his cock. He breathed into the crook of Axton’s neck, the warmth causing Axton to whimper lowly.

“Do you want inside of me? Hmm pumpkin?” The doppelganger hissed kissing Axton’s temple softly.

Axton began to nod, but quickly changed his answer to words.

“Yes sir.” Axton whispered breathily.

The double gently parted Axton’s lips with his index and middle finger, prodding them into his mouth, pressing them against his tongue.

“Suck on them p-....A-Axton.” The double whispered stumbling on his words then quickly regaining them.

Axton cocked an eyebrow at the slip up. The man most likely had many customers in a day...it was only human to trip on names once and a while. A pang of sadness and reality kicked Axton in the gut. This was not Axton’s Jack. This would never be Jack. This was an actor, molded and trained to be a perfect little look alike of Jack.

Axton frowned deeply.

Suddenly he gently pushed the double off his lap. He couldn’t do this. No matter how hard he wanted this to be Jack, it wasn’t. He was just wounding himself more than he needed, he couldn’t trick himself with such false things like this. Axton stood irritably and grabbed his boxers off the floor. It didn’t matter how badly he wanted this. He couldn’t do this to himself.

The double seemed confused as he sat on the bed watching the flustered other male.

“What’s your deal?” The double asked.

The snarky tone and displeasure in his voice mimicked Jack’s too perfectly and it was just too fucking much.

Axton held down all the emotions wanting to seep up through him.

“I’m sorry, but I have to go. S-Something has come up...how much do I owe you?” Axton stuttered fumbling his boxers back on and hauling his jeans up around his hips.

The doppelganger seemed flustered by the other male’s sudden outburst.

“But...why?” He pressed furrowing his eyebrows.

Axton sighed out angrily at the doppelganger’s refusal to just let him leave with his dignity.

“I asked how much do I owe you.” Axton repeated.

The double folded his arms across his chest childishly.

“And I asked you why you were leaving.” He barked shortly.

Axton turned on his heel shooting the man a dark, threatening glance.

“Look, you pathetic little Jack wannabe, I asked you a god damned question. When I ask someone a question, they fucking answer me. Now, how much do I OWE you?” Axton snarled through his wickedly bared teeth.

The doppelganger seemed to get some sort of rise out of Axton’s threatening reaction.

He narrowed his eyes and shook his head slowly at Axton.

“Don’t you fucking dare talk to me in that tone of voice....pet.” The doppelganger snarled the corners of his mouth pulling up in a devious, haunting grin.

Axton crossed the room enraged, opening his mouth to speak when the words truly hit him.

What had he just called him?

Axton froze stupidly, eyes widening, pupils growing.

“W-What....did you just call me?” Axton whispered all the breath leaving him in one fleeting moment.

Chapter Text

Seeing Ghosts

 

Axton shook his head, his mouth gaping open and then closing again, trying to form words or thoughts but none coming to him. He had to have imagined it. He was just hearing things. There was no way that he had actually called him...that. There was no way he could have known that. Only Jack knew that. Only Jack ever called him that.

The doppelganger stretched his arms up casually and shot Axton a devious, playful smile.

“You know I don’t believe I stuttered...” The double cooed sweetly.

Axton stared at him with unbelieving, frightened eyes.

“I-I asked what did you just...call me...?” Axton questioned again his voice shaking.

The double rolled his eyes and huffed out. He gently hauled himself up off the bed and approached Axton’s shaking form. He stood just slightly taller than Axton as he ran his fingers down the commando’s chin. A wicked smile curled across his thin lips as he pressed his forehead against the bigger male’s.

“I believe I called you...pet...” The man paused for a moment.

“It’s been a while huh babe?” He whispered his breath low and slight as it passed his lips.

Axton’s eyes widened, he felt his body freeze, his heart was pounding out of his chest. Suddenly his head grew light and his vision became fuzzy. His eyes rolled back in his head and he fainted.

 

Axton’s eyes shifted beneath his lids as he came to. He groaned out and rolled onto his back. His palm immediately went to his throbbing head, rubbing along the back of his skull. He could feel a lump there that was painful to the touch and doused with the sticky sensation of liquid. He brought his fingers around to his face, and found there was a little sparkling red clinging to them.

“Fuck...” He whispered out.

What the hell had happened?

He’d been having the weirdest fucking dream that was for sure. He blinked a couple of times, his blurred vision finally coming into focus. His pupils grew as they soaked in his surroundings, a whole new wave of panic flooding over him. He sat up quickly, his throbbing head quickly objecting the sudden movement. He moaned out and pressed his hands against his head.

Jesus his head was pounding.

He looked around his heart thumping in his ribcage frantically. This was not his bedroom. The dark red interior and dim lighting confessed to that quickly. He swallowed hard. He hadn’t...been dreaming after all....

“Took a nasty spill there kiddo.” Came a voice from beside him.

Axton yelped, shot up out of the bed, tripping over the comforters and tumbled backward onto the floor again. He scrambled to his feet just in time to catch the un-amused gaze settled over him from the other side of the round bed. Axton pressed his back against the wall, staring fearfully at the double...Jack...thing... a few feet from him.

“Oh fuck, oh fuck...I’m hallucinating....yup just hearing things...fuck.” Axton stuttered rubbing his head frantically.

Jack rolled his eyes at him.

“Jeez kiddo didn’t think you’d freak out this bad.” He muttered sitting up slowly.

“Y-You can’t possibly know about Jack calling me that, unless....you heard it from somewhere...you had to have heard it from somewhere. You better tell me where the fuck you heard that from right now doppelganger!” Axton bellowed his words fast and slurred.

Jack folded his arms across his chest.

“I didn’t hear that from anybody, I know that because I called you Pet. I’m not a doppelganger Axton.” The Jack whispered tilting his head observantly at the commando.

Axton made a pained little noise.

“No ,no ,no ,no ,no you can’t be Jack. Jack’s dead. He’s been dead for a year.” Axton whispered his voice clipped with tones of terror and confusion.

Jack chuckled slowly.

“Look kiddo, that’s a long story.” Jack said lowly moving his hands in a little circle.

“You CAN’T be Jack!!! Jack IS dead!!! I watched him die!!! I was there!! I did everything to save him...but it wasn’t enough!!! HE’S DEAD!!!” Axton yelled, his voice cracking as the tears pricked at his eyes.

Jack’s face screwed up into a pained look of displeasure as the commando fell apart. He sighed out slowly. He reached up to the mask over his face, undid the small metal hinges and gently took the mask from his face. Axton looked at him through blurry, wet eyes. A retched blue scar stretched across the man’s face, a deep, blue indention tearing across the skin like lightening.

He looked at Axton with sad eyes.

“Doppelganger’s don’t have scars like this.” Jack whispered the mask hanging loosely in his left hand.

Axton’s eyes darted over the other man standing before him. The tears fell heavier now, dribbling over Axton’s face uselessly as he dissolved to a sobbing mess.

“J-Jack...? B-But how?...why?” Axton sobbed miserably.

Jack placed the mask on the bed and closed the gap between them in a few short strides. Jack’s arms circled around the crying commando, and this time it was not the foreign grip of a double made to look like Jack. This time it was not Axton’s desperate brain trying to make Jack out of something that was not him. The arms were familiar, the touch something long lost but now returned. Axton crumpled to the ground, taking Jack with him clumsily as he legs gave out from under him. Jack climbed halfway into the commando’s lap and he ran his slim fingers through Axton’s short hair, soothingly, pressing his mask-less face into the side of the commando’s neck.

Axton sobbed hard, his chest rattling with the new emotion forced over him.

His fingers gripped Jack’s bare skin tightly, nails dragging over the flesh that he still could not comprehend as real. This wasn’t one of the many dreams, or nightmares he experienced almost every night. This was something tangible, something he could touch, hear, and smell. Something he could feel. He couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. Everything was a blur as his confused brain tried to keep up.

“Y-You left me!!!” Axton sobbed pitifully, even with all the emotional joy there was still anger there.

Anger in the sense that he had no idea what was really happening. If Jack was not dead, how could he have done this to Axton? How could he have faked such a thing and left Axton all alone for all those awful, horrid months. How could he have left Axton to fall to pieces? How could he have left him to drown in his own misery?

“H-How could you DO this to me!!!” Axton yelled his voice shaking and vicious, tears still streaming down his face, his grip not loosening from Jack’s form even as the angry questions flowed from him.

Jack leaned back from Axton a little, concern spreading across his face as his blue and white eyes darted over his sobbing partner.

“Axton...it’s not what you think. It’s a really long story. I’d rather just explain it to you at home. This isn’t the time or place.” Jack whispered softly looking over Axton’s tear stained face.

Axton didn’t understand. None of this made sense. He sputtered weakly, his hands gripping Jack’s shoulders roughly.

“You’re alive....”Axton whispered his voice shaking, stuttering the words still in disbelief.

Jack nodded and offered Axton a gentle crooked smile.

“Of course I am kiddo. Did you really think I, The great Handsome Jack could actually be dead?” Jack teased softly gesturing to himself, then nosing against the side of Axton’s jaw.

Axton hugged Jack tighter as if fearful if he loosened his grip Jack might disappear altogether.

Jack frowned against Axton’s skin, placing a gentle kiss to his stubble ridden cheek.

“Axton, hey, c’mon it’s ok. I know I left for a long time...but I’m here now. I’m here....and I’m not going anywhere.” Jack whispered rubbing Axton’s back soothingly.

They sat there like that for a long while. Finally the sobs seemed to subside from Axton’s red stained eyes. Axton wiped at his eyes with the heel of his hand, slightly embarrassed for his full on break down in front of Handsome Jack himself. He had never felt so weak, so emotional, and so confused all in one single breath. He touched Jack’s face slowly, timidly, as if fearful when he did so it would fade to nothing once more and he would wake from this dream.

Jack leaned into Axton’s hand, allowing him to do so, not even flinching as Axton ran his fingers down the deep indention of his scar. Jack breathed out at the touch, eyes closing for a moment. Axton seemed enthralled by simply being able to touch the other man, being able to feel him.

“I’m not dreaming?” Axton questioned softly.

Jack shook his head.

Axton grabbed Jack roughly and pulled him in for a frantic, needing kiss. Jack grunted against Axton’s rough advancement, but pushed into the kiss just as needy. Jack drew back from the display of passion breathlessly.

“Fuck I missed you kiddo.” Jack breathed lowly.

Axton smiled slightly, the foreign gesture breaking his thin lips.

“I missed you too boss.” Axton whispered pressing his forehead against Jack’s.

Jack chuckled at the phrase as it slipped past Axton’s lips.

“Boss? You addressing me? Or yourself kiddo? I mean you being the new face of Hyperion and all.” Jack snickered grinning, his lips centimeters from Axton’s.

“I gotta admit you do look good on those posters slapped around town.” Jack continued smiling.

Axton shook his head slowly.

“You’ll always be my boss.” Axton whispered faintly.

Jack seemed to stiffen at the words, shivering a bit.

“Fuck stop it kiddo, you’re gunna get me all worked up again. We need to get outta here.” Jack groaned.

Axton nodded slowly.

“Can you at least explain to me why the hell you’re working at the Pleasure Palace?” Axton whispered frowning at Jack.

Jack rolled his eyes.

“Shit I’m not working here it was the only way I could get into Opportunity. I really did quite the bang up job on security around here, so playing a double was the only way I could fathom to get in.” Jack started.

“Faking my own death sorta voided all the clearance I had around this place. Sorta happens when you...uh die. Or whatever. Being here was safe. It’s on the outskirts of town, I obviously blend in, and it offered the highest chances of running into...you.” Jack whispered shrugging casually.

“I figured the allure of this place would rope you in eventually. Seems I timed it pretty perfectly seeing as I did only get here about two days ago.” Jack breathed looking at Axton’s utterly confused face.

“Like I said...it’s a lot to explain. I just can’t here. Not safe enough, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I sure as hell miss my own fucking bed.” Jack whispered cracking a small smile.

Axton nodded and allowed Jack to lift up from his lap.

Axton watched Jack with disbelieving, entranced eyes as the other male began sliding his clothing back over his thing frame. He followed behind Jack closely, not liking two much distance between them. Jack straightened his collar and looked at Axton with understanding, fond eyes. His demeanor was softer than the norm, as if knowing how fragile Axton might be. How broken the poor commando was. Axton pulled on his ragged jeans slowly, hoisting the thin material to his hips and buttoning his fly, his eyes never leaving Jack.

Jack offered him a slim smile.

“Kiddo I’m not going anywhere.” Jack reassured casually.

Axton nodded, his head still desperately trying to wrap around the events carried out.

The night hit the two men light a sharp kick to the gut. It was a cool night, cooler than the norm and clear, the millions of stars and planets winking down at them. Axton walked beside Jack, hands stuffed in his hoodie, eyes darting between watching his feet and then watching Jack, or vice versa. The trek was spent mostly in silence, millions of questions floating in Axton’s head, but saving them all for the safety of their home.

What reason could Jack possibly have to do this to Axton? To break him into millions of pieces. He just couldn’t seem to understand. After what felt like years they arrived at the door to the living quarters.

Axton shoved the key into the lock and yawned the door open, going in before Jack. Jack breathed out lowly at the sight of the home, a place that was familiar. A place that had been long missed.

“Fuck it feels good to be home.” Jack sighed looking back to Axton.

Axton let the door click closed and locked it, smiling at Jack simply.

Suddenly there was a soft little growl from the couch nearest to the door.

Jack froze in place as Axton clicked on the light and the room was illuminated in brightness. The two massive skags were still splayed across the couches, both awake now, their heads tilted in curiosity at Axton’s company. Kitten quivered her jaws unsurely and leapt down off the couch her collar jingling softly as she moved. Jack backed up a little, bumping into Axton as he did so.

“Axton....what...the fuck...are those...” Jack hissed over his shoulder.

Axton smiled and passed Jack casually.

“Hey girls, I’m home, and I got someone for you to meet.” Axton chimed rounding the couch and allowing the two animals to lick on his face, chirping and gurgling as they did so.

“Jack, this is Kitten and Pumpkin.” Axton said smiling at the other male who remained frozen in the doorway.

“Go say hello and make nice girls.” Axton commanded patting the two creatures fondly.

Both animals galloped over to the unsure other man, rubbing against him and chiming at him in a friendly fashion. Jack settled his hand on the larger one’s head, his eyes flicking to Axton and then back to the skag.

“So....which one are you...?” Jack whispered turning her name tag over slowly.

“Kitten huh...” He mused cautiously rubbing underneath her jaw a little.

He felt a nudge to his other elbow and looked over to the slightly smaller skag demanding he give her attention too.

“And you must be Pumpkin...” Jack whispered a little smile breaking his lips gently.

“Well hello there girls.” Jack cooed to the two animals leaning down slightly.

Axton crossed his arms and grinned as Jack made friends with the two monsters.

Jack looked to Axton grinning as Kitten licked his hair.

“Where the hell did you even get them? How did you train them...I mean hell I’ve never seen such a tame skag.” Jack breathed ruffling the girl’s spines and crossing the room to Axton the two skags clinging to his every step like glue.

“I found them about a year ago...right around the time when...well...you...were gone. They needed me as much as I needed them. They didn’t have a mama, and I just needed something to fill the void.” Axton whispered sadly.

Jack frowned at Axton and furrowed his eyes together.

“They are very good at dealing with...pesky workers that don’t obey me.” Axton added confidently.

Jack raised his eyebrows and grinned at the commando.

“Well they are gorgeous. Very pretty girls I must say.” Jack swooned down at the chirping creatures.

“Careful girls, he’s a flatterer.” Axton chuckled throwing Jack a playful grin.

Jack rolled his eyes and returned Axton’s smile. Axton commanded the two girls stay in the living room and closed the bedroom door softly. His eyes were swimming with questions as he looked on the face of his lover come back from the dead.

“Fuck I need a shower.” Jack snarled his heavy fingers coming to the buttons of his dress shirt.

He allowed the meager clothing to hang open exposing his front casually. Axton watched him with intent, wavering eyes. Jack shrugged the shirt off his shoulders, allowing it to fall uselessly in a small heap on the floor. His shoes were kicked off next, gracefully taking his foot from each one, then standing in his socks, shirtless and glorious.

Axton breathed in through his nose sharply.

There were about a million different questions that needed to be asked. Thousands of subjects that needed to be addressed. So many things that need to be covered, cleared up and discussed. But in that moment, as Axton watched his lover undress, none of that mattered. Jack had undressed like so many a times before, right in that very spot, right in this very room, but none had been so monumental.

There he stood, like a ghost. A past memory come to life from the back of Axton’s brain. A dream now swimming with blood, with a heartbeat, with those mismatched eyes Axton knew all too well. In that moment Axton didn’t care about the whys and the what’s and the where’s. He didn’t care about anything. He just wanted. Wanted Jack. Right there, right now. He was angry, he was confused, but he was needy, and that burning need seemed to outweigh everything else, for just a moment. Axton was crossing the room closing the space between them quickly. Jack’s eyes barely swept up to meet Axton’s before the commando was crushing his lips against the other man’s.

Jack seemed to stiffen at the sudden turn of events, but just as quickly melted into the display of affection. His mouth slid along the commando’s, his arms coming to the sides of Axton’s jaw, cupping needy and wanting. His tongue was sinewy and lithe as it played against Axton’s, quick and gentle and rough all in one. Axton groaned against the kiss, his throat vibrating against Jack’s palms pressed there. Jack nipped at Axton’s bottom lip a little harder than he should of, causing a little hiss to pass the commando’s teeth.

Axton’s hands were at Jack’s pants, parting the button skillfully and drawing the zipper down hurriedly. He grabbed the fabric by the belt loops and bunched it down around Jack’s thighs.

Jack offered the commando a playful, interested glance.

“What happened to me explaining myself?” Jack questioned defiantly, his eyes playing over the commando’s defined facial features.

“Right now I don’t care. I just have to have you.” Axton breathed pressing his lips against Jack’s ear, letting his hot expel of breath run down the CEO’s neck sensually.

Jack moaned out lowly at the tone of Axton’s voice and curled his fist in the collar of the other man’s hoodie, pulling him closer.

“Is that so Pet?” Jack cooed softly the words clipping off his tongue like breaking ice.

Axton made a pitifully needing sound at the name as it passed over his senses.

“Please again...” Axton begged pressing himself against Jack desperately.

“You like that huh? Oh my poor, pitiful, little cock slut of a pet.” Jack repeated the name teasingly, the insult that trailed along with it only making it that much better on Axton’s ears.

Axton moaned out loudly, the sound guttural and primal as it rumbled from his chest.

“F-Fuck...” Axton let the curse pass his lips like a piece of a whisper.

Gentle, needy and heady as it came.

Jack’s hand skated along the material of Axton’s pants, his fingers sliding down the inside of his thigh skillfully. Axton all but doubled over at the small touch, his cock swelling rapidly, pushing a thick, taught line against his leg. Axton choked on the spit in his throat as Jack grabbed at him through his jeans, fingers pawing at his thickness. Jack chuckled lowly as Axton crumpled against him, the simple touch turning Axton into a sloppy mess on spot.

Jack’s chortle was clipped short as Axton hauled him into his arms, forcing the older man to wrap his legs around Axton’s hips.

Axton pushed Jack into the unmade bed, knocking the breath right out of his lungs. Axton framed Jack dauntingly, his elbows on either side of the former Hyperion CEO as he ravaged his neck. Axton could taste salt and heat on the other man’s throat, his skin warm and flushed by the commando’s closeness. Jack raised his hips and ground them firmly into Axton’s, as if wanting him to feel his matching erection. Axton breathed out raggedly against Jack’s lips, breaking their frantic kissing momentarily. Jack reached up slowly, running his fingers down Axton’s thick neck, touching the set of round, perfect little scars there. The scars serving as the only evidence left behind of the collar that had once been there.

“So who took it off? You...or them? I’ll be very disappointed if you say you took it off.” Jack husked sucking the lobe of Axton’s ear diligently.

“L-Lilith insisted it be taken off....a-afraid you might have a tracker...or weapon in it...” Axton struggled to string together words, all the blood he needed to form thought having headed south moments before.

Jack snorted.

“Typical. Regardless...I’m so proud of you for being such a good pet.” Jack taunted through his perfect teeth.

Axton moaned out lowly, his body temperature burning him down, his heart thumping against his ribcage so hard it hurt. Axton stalked down Jack’s body, dragging his trousers down off his legs, returning to press the heat of his lips against the soft line pressed against Jack’s black boxer briefs. Jack leaned his head back, the tilt of his throat more inviting than Axton could comprehend. Axton dragged his teeth over the hard heat behind the material, successfully dragging up clipped moans from the President’s lungs. Jack’s fingers twisted not so gently in Axton’s hair as Axton pulled the hem of the boxers down, allowing Jack’s length to come free.

Axton dragged his flattened tongue up Jack’s rosy head, successfully collecting the tear of pre-cum at his prick. Jack hissed through his clenched teeth and arched his back up off the mattress. Axton’s mouth was hot and familiar around Jack’s erection, taking the formidable appendage so skillfully, so desperately. Jack moaned out louder, his voice thick and rich with deepening need.

Axton’s eyes flicked up to the sharp of Jack’s chin, where the mask connected to flesh, watching his Adams apple dip as he swallowed hard. Jack’s fingers scraped across Axton’s scalp desperately then suddenly Jack was pressing his palm into Axton’s clavicle, forcing the younger man to stop.

Axton let Jack’s erection come free from his mouth, the length flushed and wet.

“Master?” Axton questioned kissing Jack’s head gently.

Jack damn near fell apart at the title, his blue and green eyes resting on the commando wantonly.

“I-If you keep going like that...I’m going to come at any second...” Jack admitted breathlessly.

Axton chuckled, nosing against Jack’s cock, dragging a hiss from the CEO.

With that Axton was kissing him again, as if his mouth could not get enough of the other man. Axton’s lips we husky with the taste of Jack’s own cock. It only made Jack want the kid more. His fingers gripped desperately around the heavy material of Axton’s hoodie, making an annoyed noise in his throat at the commando’s excess of clothing.

Axton seemed to get the message.

He pulled his hoodie and shirt up over his head, tossing them aside and letting the floor have them. The tattered jeans were next, coming undone sloppily, until he returned to Jack adorned in only his yellow boxers sporting the Hyperion logo in black across the left thigh. Jack made a pleased noise in his throat as he slipped his palm down into the depths of the boxers and wrapped his fingers around Axton’s thick cock.

“Hyperion boxers. Such a company man now aren’t you?” Jack teased lightly.

Axton just managed to moan against the side of Jack’s throat as Jack’s fingers twisted around his erection, pulling upward, stroking fluidly. Forming words was by far out of the question at that point. Axton grabbed the top drawer of the bedside table, a piece of furniture that had long since gone untouched. But now, now it came into instant use once more. The lube was cold as Axton applied it to Jack’s entrance, parting the president’s legs in an utterly vulgar fashion. Axton gently pushed his fingers against the tight ring of muscles, getting a low hiss from Jack in the process. He curled his index and middle finger in the other male’s body, pressing skillfully against his prostate. Jack jerked up, yelling out involuntarily as the pressure forced through him, causing his cock to leak pre-cum down his underside helplessly.

Axton pushed his dripping cock to Jack’s ass, sliding in just the tip. He had to do everything in his power to fight the urge to just bury his whole cock in his partner in one swift motion. Fuck Jack was tight. With each slow inch he added Jack stretched out around him, the skin taught around Axton’s girth. Jack’s mouth hung open in a slacked oval, whispers of moans slipping through his parted lips. Sometimes they were just sounds, sometimes they were curses, and other times they carried a hint of Axton’s name upon them.

Axton leaned down over Jack’s heaving body, his cock hilted in his tightness. He kissed Jack feverishly. Like it was the last thing he would ever do. He kissed too hard, and too needy and he did not care. Jack’s arms hung lazily around the commando’s built shoulders like a great big loop. He nosed against Axton as they broke for breath, his eyes half lidded and wonton. Axton began rolling his hips into Jack’s, slowly and steadily, gathering gasping breaths from the man beneath him.

Axton’s eyes fluttered almost closed, moaning out lowly, roughly.

He had only just begun and he could already feel the pressures of orgasm stirring in his gut. He pushed his lips against Jack’s heated throat desperately as Jack pushed himself down onto Axton’s cock greedily.

“F-Fuck....J-Jack...I-I’m sorry....I-I’m not going to last very long.” Axton breathed through gritted teeth as he buried himself in Jack, pulled halfway out then plundered back in.

Jack gasped out desperately.

“I-It’s....ok I’m...I’m not either!!! FUCK I’m almost there!!” Jack begged pitifully.

Axton smiled against Jack’s pulse and wrapped a fist around Jack’s erection, pumping in time with his thrusts as they became steadily more frantic and sloppy.

“HARDER!!” Jack barked loudly, his deep, husky voice shaking Axton down to his very core.

Axton’s hips snapped into Jack’s desperately, beads of sweat pricking his forehead as his abdomen worked. Jack was moaning out indecipherable phrases that all ran together, and then he was there. He came into Axton’s working fist, seed spilling over thick fingers up onto his chest and stomach. His cock throbbed with each burst of ejaculation, his hot, thick finish dribbling over Axton’s knuckles shamelessly.

Axton made a pained noise and dug his free fingers into Jack’s hip bone as he came too, tumbling over into the throws of hard orgasm. Jack hissed out at the feeling of Axton spilling inside of him, his cock twitching and throbbing in the tight space. It was a ridiculous feeling of utter fullness. A connection that had not been felt in an eternity.

Axton sagged on top of Jack his elbows shaking, his head hanging tiredly. He gently pulled himself from Jack and rolled onto his back beside his partner, breathing raggedly. Words were far off things as they lay there panting, simply basking in the afterglow of a good fuck. After a long while Jack’s mismatched eyes parted open just slightly.

“F-Fuck....I’ve needed that for so god damned long....” Jack huffed out weakly.

Axton just nodded in response.

“Me too...sorry I was quick on the trigger....” Axton breathed heavily.

Jack just laughed heartily.

“We both were....” Jack retorted still trying to catch his breath.

“Like a couple of damned teenagers for crissakes.” Axton chuckled.

They laid there for a long time, the weight of Jack’s head nestled into the crook of Axton’s elbow, the silence overtaking the two men.

“You gunna let me have that shower now kiddo?” Jack questioned tiredly.

Axton nodded thoughtfully.

“Yeah....and we’ve got a lot to talk about.” Axton whispered.

Jack nodded slowly.

The commando helped Jack to his feet and followed his counterpart into the bathroom slowly. Jack unclipped his mask and set it gingerly on the counter. Axton smiled at him softly, he had missed this...missed it so damned much. Jack wasted no time in turning the shower knobs and seemed to melt at the feeling of the water. He pulled Axton close and hung his arms over the commando’s broad shoulders. Axton looked over Jack’s features as if searching for answers.

He sucked in a slow breath. 


“So why...why did you do all this....” Axton finally asked.

Now that they were in the safety of their own home he felt the questions were welcomed. They needed to be confronted. He had to know why. Why Jack had left him all alone for so fucking long. All alone to come to pieces like a shattered plate.

Jack drew in a long breath.

“Because I had to.” Jack responded looking over Axton’s features with heavy eyes.

Axton shook his head, tears threatening the corners of his eyes once more.

“B-But I watched you die...I had to go through it all alone! I had to put all the pieces of Hyperion back together all while mourning over you. I had to become the President of Hyperion overnight, I had to bury you...I had to put you in the ground in front of all of Opportunity and I couldn’t even cry because it would have made me look weak! You have no idea what I have been through Jack! That is not a good enough answer!” Axton exclaimed anger rising like bile in his throat.

Jack ran his fingers through Axton’s wet hair.

“I know kiddo. I know. Just let me try and explain...I’m sorry I had to put you in that situation...but it was necessary.” Jack sighed.

“If that wasn’t you that died that night....if that wasn’t you that I buried....who was it?” Axton breathed his voice shaking.

“A trained double. He went in fully understanding his role was to perish.” Jack answered the question pointedly.

Axton frowned deeper, his pine eyes wet and angry.

Jack sighed.

“I know I have put you through a lot....but...” Jack tried before Axton sharply cut him off.

“No, you have no idea!! You have no idea at all. I burned Sanctuary because I thought you were dead, I shot one of the Vault Hunters. All the nights alone, all the days just going through the motions. Feeling so...hollow...” Axton sobbed, the tears coming once more.

Jack wiped the trails of tears away, his face sad and guilty.

“I’m sorry Axton.” Jack breathed suddenly.

The words were strange and unknown on Jack’s tongue. Axton could hardly believe the phrase was really spoken. Handsome Jack did not apologize. Yet here he was, wiping the commando’s pathetic tears and whispering “I’m sorry” like it was the only phrase he knew. The ground seemed to fade away at Jack’s touch. The noise of the water around them sunk into the background at Jack’s words.

Axton pressed himself to Jack’s form, gripping him tightly gritting is teeth with the sobs.

“Don’t ever leave again...please...I’ll never disobey you again. I promise Jack. If this was a test...or punishment for my actions...I promise I will never ever disobey again master. Please don’t leave me, just please don’t.” Axton cried irrationally.

Jack scoffed against him.

“Stop. This isn’t what this was about. So stop that right now.” Jack snapped shaking Axton a little and looking sternly into his eyes.

“I am the one that needs to be apologizing and explaining right now. Not you.” Jack scolded harshly.

Axton sniffled loudly and nodded feebly.

Jack searched over Axton’s face, his good eye soaking in the other male diligently.

“I found something Axton.” Jack began his voice but a mere hushed whisper.

Axton stared at him confusion setting over his brow.

“Something that contains power...power unlike anything this planet has ever fucking seen.” Jack breathed, the dangerous excitement rising in his eyes wildly.

Axton simply stayed quiet.

“Something....that will finally bring order to this planet. WE can bring order to this planet. For good.” Jack hissed clenching his fingers over Axton’s shoulders.

Axton watched cautiously as the power crazed look rose in Jack’s face, swimming through his eyes like fire, burning behind his pupils.

“W-What are you talking about Jack?” Axton whispered slowly.

Jack shook his head.

“When I first heard about it...I didn’t believe it of course. I had my scientists research it. When they confirmed that this...this existed...I had to have it. But it was halfway across the damned universe...and the lab that had it, the lab that had created this glorious, gorgeous miracle...they were selective about who they let have it. I pulled some strings, but not everything was to be so easy. If I wanted it, I had to acquire it myself. I couldn’t just send one of my idiot workers to retrieve it. I had to go. The trip was about a year long, and I knew I couldn’t just skip town for that long without it being noticed. Those damned Crimson Raiders would get wind and for sure try and put a stop to it. They would not let such a thing be brought back to Pandora. I had to find a way to keep it all hushed, to keep them all out of the know. Everybody had to be out of the know...even you. Especially you. I only saw one way to do it. I had to fake my own death. If I was dead, the Crimson Raiders wouldn’t smell the danger...even as it burned right under their noses. I had to do it....and I knew those dirty bandits would never keep their word about a fair, unarmed trade agreement. I rested everything on them going back on their word and killing me...well my double...but you get what I’m saying. I had to gamble on it. Gamble on the hope that if they killed me....it would create a monster in you. You would seek revenge...and replace me for the duration of the year I would be gone. I must say...I could not be more proud of how you handled things.” Jack hissed kissing along Axton’s neck softly.

“You said you burned Sanctuary? All for me...oh kiddo...my little pet all fucking grown up! And killed a Vault Hunter?” Jack questioned running his fingers down Axton’s shoulders.

“Mordecai was the one who took the shot. I took his life in exchange for yours.” Axton mused flatly.

Jack purred against Axton’s flesh.

“Oh fuck Axton I never would have thought you had it in you! Mmmm kiddo just hearing that gets me all hot and bothered again!” Jack cooed grinning wickedly.

He pressed his lips to Axton’s playfully.

“Did he beg? Please tell me he begged cupcake.” Jack swooned.

Axton cracked a small smile, it was sick the amusement that Jack seemed to be getting out of Axton’s ruthlessness. It was even sicker the way it stirred Axton. It made Axton feel so proud of his actions, so proud of the blood spilled over his hands as Jack praised him. As his master...praised him.

“Oh he begged. He begged good and hard.” Axton breathed against Jack.

Jack shivered pleasantly.

“Oh god kiddo tell me more.” Jack husked.

“I told the stupid Crimson Raiders if Mordecai surrendered himself I wouldn’t burn their little city. I knew he would, and he did. So I made him watch as I burned Sanctuary anyway. Then I dragged him out into the hills, all tied up, him pleading to me....telling me that I wasn’t you. That I would never be you. Begging me not to. I put that shotgun barrel in his mouth...and pulled the trigger.” Axton whispered in Jack’s ear.

The sound of the crazed commando’s voice left pleasant little tingles trailing down Jack’s spine. In that instant it was hard to tell the difference between them. Their mouths pressed together chuckling in light, sick little laughter.

“Unfortunately some of the Crimson Raiders escaped the blaze though. Brick and Lilith included.” Axton sighed looking at Jack sternly.

Jack smiled wickedly.

“Oh they won’t be a problem. Not with what I’ve got now. Not with the power I’ve found. We will wipe them all off this planet, them and the rest of the bandit scum.” Jack breathed.

Axton raised an eyebrow.

“Are you ever going to tell me what is so great about this ‘new power’ you’ve found?” Axton mused against Jack’s ear.

Jack just grinned.

“I’ve found a way to turn anybody I want...into the most powerful Siren this planet has ever seen.” Jack breathed slowly.

Axton stared at the other man with wide confused eyes.

“What?” Axton whispered.

“I quickly found that even your little Vault Hunter Maya, is not strong enough to charge the key. Angel wasn’t, and neither was Maya. They simply were not experienced enough...they weren’t powerful enough. We need a stronger Siren to charge the vault key. A much stronger siren.” Jack husked grinning wildly.

“Lilith is the only siren on the planet strong enough to charge that key, and she is the same one that could ruin the entire awakening of the warrior. But what if we had another siren, one capable of charging the key...AND snuffing that fucking fire hawk off the face of this planet...? It would be the perfect combination of power to take charge of the warrior and take this planet for our own.” Jack laughed maliciously.

Axton furrowed his eyebrows together.

Jack turned and pointed to a small lump underneath the skin of his shoulder, a small, straight scar hovering over it.

“You see this...it’s right here. I opted to have it implanted for safety so I could just cut it out and use it when the time was right. A small capsule of the serum. A serum engineered to transform anyone who injects it into their blood stream...into a siren....a siren so powerful they will be capable of damn near anything. A miracle of science if I do say so myself.” Jack whispered dazedly.

Axton swallowed hard.

“B-But Jack....that kind of power...how could we trust just anybody with it? Who would we even think about turning?” Axton whispered running his fingers over the lump in Jack’s shoulder.

The corners of Jack mouth curled up into a wicked, malicious sneer.

“I actually have just the man in mind...” Jack whispered touching Axton’s face fondly.

Axton’s face screwed up in confusion, when suddenly realization washed over him like a flood gate that had been ripped open.

“I guess this whole thing has been just a tad bit of a test. I had to know Ax...I had to know you would do...anything for me.” Jack hissed pressing his lips to Axton’s softly.

“You know I would...”Axton breathed his heart thrumming into his throat.

Jack chuckled against him.

"That's a good boy. My little soon to be pet...siren." Jack whispered wickedly

Chapter Text

The Return of The King

 

Axton stirred slightly, his body rousing habitually. He screwed his eyes shut and groaned out lowly, stretching out his back, elongating his spine and working the muscles in his shoulder blades. His newly awoken leg brushed against another warm appendage and it caused him to crack open one eye in confusion. He squinted in the dull light, his pine colored eye sweeping over the bedding. He sighed out as he found himself amassed in a sloppy tangle of feet, arms, legs and hands. Brown locks tickled against the underside of his chin and settled warmly over his neck. He cracked a small, half asleep smile and wormed tighter against the other body occupying the oversized bed. There was a grumble from the other party and Axton could feel Jack press the side of his face against his chest, curling in tighter on himself, securing his knee between Axton’s thighs. There was a barely decipherable ‘stop squirming’ growled from the other body and Axton chuckled against the warm mass pressed to him. The ruffled blankets spread halfway across Axton’s legs and only gathered barely around Jack’s ankles leaving the slighter man’s stark white ass on full display for the commando. Axton grinned wryly against the part of Jack’s hair and moved his thick arms to encircle the other man. His palm’s slid around playfully grabbing a handful of the pert buttocks provided, gathering a louder, more pointed ‘would you fucking stop it’ from the obviously ill tempered partner.

“What happened Handsome? Didn’t you used to be a morning person?” Axton cooed softly against Jack’s ear his voice gruff with sleep.

Jack grumbled something into Axton’s collarbone, his voice muffled by his still half asleep state and Axton was pretty sure it was something along the lines of “fuck off”.

Axton chuckled into Jack’s wild, sleep stirred hair, tugged the irritable man against him tighter, and nestled deeper into the plush pillow that was shared by two heads. Close was not enough of a word to describe their state in the tangle of sheets and body heat. Axton could feel Jack’s heart beating slowly against his torso, a gentle, thumping rhythm that he felt himself sink into. Jack was warm against him, almost too warm, but Axton didn’t mind. He was something tangible. He was here. All of him, all his dips and curves. Every muscle, every fiber, every scar. He was real this time. Blood and flesh and bone. Everything about him was real. The irritable morning snark was real and the heavy rise and fall of his chest was real. Jack’s body slipped back into uninterrupted slumber, small half snoring noises coming from his slightly parted lips. Axton’s fingers played in the nape of Jack’s neck, letting the thick brown locks slide over his digits. Too many mornings Axton had dreamt this. Half in sleep half out, barely able to grasp reality or the world around him, imagining the man to be there, sleeping soundly against him. Too many mornings Axton had come to, only to realize that the sleeping other man was again a figment of his imagination. Just a loose little memory that wouldn’t shake. It was just his desperate brain trying to bring Jack back to life once more. A lost, broken brain that refused to simply let Jack be gone. Axton felt his stomach sink at the memory. The memory coming back too real and too vivid. Jack had been dead to him. He’d died and Axton had gone through it all alone. All the depression, all the mourning, all the emptiness. So many mornings Axton had woken in this very bed, in this very room, and wished that he hadn’t. He’d wished so many times to just stop breathing, to just stop and not have to deal with it anymore. Not have to deal with the day after day lull. The routine. The going through the motions and not even knowing why. The trek of running a company, or trying to. The hardships of being forced to fill Jack’s shoes, and Jack was not an easy man to follow up. Axton remembered so many mornings laying here on his back, blinking up at the ceiling, wondering what it all meant, where it was all going. So many mornings that all ran together in the end, so many mornings all alone. All alone in a big empty living quarters, in a big empty bedroom, in a big empty bed. All alone in sheets of gold and pillows of down. All alone and empty inside.

Axton closed his eyes for a moment, simply letting himself relish in the feeling of the presence next to him. Suddenly the big empty world was not so empty anymore. Jack was a space that took up more than his fair share. He was a king, and everything bowed to him when he snapped his fingers. Some called him wicked, and he was. Some called him insane, and he was. Some called him a monster, and he was. But he was Axton’s and he was exactly who Axton wanted him to be. With all the evil and all the wrong, he was alive and that was all Axton cared about. Axton breathed out long and low, fingers stopping in Jack’s hair momentarily. His eyes flicked to the heavy draped windows.

The sunlight was thick as it tried to weave its way through the curtains. Axton supposed it was around eleven or twelve, but he didn’t want to actually move his position to look at the clock on the bedside table. That would require moving, and possible rousing the sleeping animal next to him. Axton didn’t really much feel like getting the brunt of the morning despising creature’s teeth and claws. So he stayed still, and silent, simply letting the bed and the body heat be enough for him. It didn’t matter that he was extremely late for a meeting he’d scheduled several days before. It didn’t matter that his secretary had most likely echoed him about a million and one times in the last couple of hours. It didn’t matter that his stomach was beginning to start begging him for some sort of nourishment since he’d skipped dinner last night. None of that mattered in this moment. Right now all that mattered was the thin, toned man wrapped around his body like Christmas ribbon. Axton’s fingers pressed into the dip of Jack’s spine, drawing small, gentle little circles along the warm skin.
Jack made a pleased little sound in his sleep in response to the touch and shifted his ankle, running it along Axton’s calve. Axton smiled gently and snugged his groin against Jack’s thigh, gathering another small noise from his counterpart. Axton let a rumble of a groan creep up from his throat and rubbed his chin against the side of Jack’s face.

His unshaven stubble scraped against Jack’s skin and the older male stirred against the thicker body pressed to him. Axton was a wall of muscle and power that was a solid place for Jack to curl against. He was hard and molded by battle and hardship, a well built home willing to fall for Jack. A home built to host him and protect him. Axton’s fingers ghosted the swell of Jack’s rear, the flesh doughy and new, pretty and more solid than expected of a billionaire CEO. Axton hummed in his throat pleased and needing, fingers clasping around the soft flesh, feeling Jack stir around him. There was a small whisper of ‘quit it’ from Jack’s lips but it was followed up by a slim, tired smile and Axton knew the threat was hollow. Axton palmed Jack’s buttocks, massaging the muscle in his hands, working it slowly. Axton smiled into Jack’s hair as Jack tucked his head under the commando’s throat. Jack fisted his fingers in the small space between his chest and Axton’s, breathing through his nose heavily.

“So you really aren’t going to let me sleep any longer are you kiddo?” Jack mumbled against Axton’s skin.

Axton ground his crotch slowly into Jack’s thigh, sliding his morning induced erection against the leg offered.

“Seems not huh boss?” Axton whispered lowly.

Jack moaned out loudly and untangled himself from the bigger male with a tad bit of strained effort. He rolled onto his back slowly, stretching his toned arms up over his head and resting them backward on the pillow he shared with the other male. He peeled himself from his drowsy state yawning widely and trying to work the sleep out of his bones. Axton followed Jack’s movements, looping his arms around Jack’s slim waist, re-molding his body to the older male’s once more. Jack furrowed his eyebrows at him and grinned a wry, tight little smile.

“Jeezus kiddo you’re like fucking velcro.” Jack snarked lowly folding his arms underneath his head lazily.

Axton chuckled slightly and splayed his palm across Jack’s lower abdomen, toying in the trail of coarse brown hairs.

“Cut me some slack boss.” Axton groaned sandwiching his thickness between his stomach and Jack’s side.

“Mmm kiddo didn’t get your fill last night or what?” Jack husked grinning smally.

“Guess not.” Axton breathed into Jack’s ear his lips hot and wanting.

“Can’t say I blame you cupcake.” Jack cooed grinning wider, his perfect teeth white and shimmering.

“But..thankfully there’s enough of me to go around.” Jack snarled wittily.

Axton rolled his eyes at the overly full of himself male and kissed along the side of Jack’s throat. Jack turned his head slowly, grabbing Axton by the chin and tipping his head back, his hot lips finding the younger man’s needfully. Before Axton could wrap his head around the whole situation, Jack was rolling on top of him nimbly. Jack looked down on the commando with sleepy, devious eyes, his big palms splaying across the swells of Axton’s chest. Axton drew in a deep breath and his slow eyes lazed up Jack’s form. He thumbed at the juts of Jack’s hip bones and offered him a lopsided smile.

“Feeling frisky today boss?” Axton cooed wontonly.

Jack smiled maliciously.

“There’s no way I’m letting you fuck me again. My ass is still sore from last night kiddo.” Jack snarled darkly.

Axton patted Jack’s bare thigh heartily.

“Oh c’mon boss it was only three rounds.” Axton cooed sweetly.

Jack snorted loudly.

“You weren’t exactly gentle kiddo.” Jack growled.

“And you didn’t exactly ask me to stop.” Axton retorted in a sing song fashion.

Jack rolled his eyes dramatically.

“Just shut up and kiss me.” Jack snapped leaning down and cramming his lips into the larger male’s.

Axton ran his blunt fingers up through Jack’s morning wild locks, feeling the soft strands run along his knuckles. Axton’s tongue ran along the hollow of Jack’s maw, his mouth stale with the morning and hot with the need. Axton groaned into Jack’s hungry lips bucking his proud erection up onto Jack’s stomach. Jack hummed into the kissed in a pleased fashion.

“You’re so fucking needy kiddo.” Jack husked breaking the kiss dazedly.

Axton said nothing, words failing him miserably. It was too lovely, the brown haired older male straddling him gracefully, his toned stomach folding as he kissed up the commando’s jaw. It was a surreal feeling, having the supposed dead man spread across him like a fresh blanket. Axton was enthralled by his every movement, watching him with big, lustful eyes. Reminding himself over and over again that this was real, that Jack would not fade from his fingers at any moment. He was here, to stay this time, and would not fleet away like Axton’s many dreams. He was real this time. A tangible, living, breathing thing. A wanting thing, that needed Axton as much as Axton needed him. Axton sank into the feeling of Jack surrounding him, overtaking him, causing him to melt right in his palm. Axton was helpless against the other man’s touch. If he was not obedient before, he certainly was now. He wanted nothing more than to please his master, wanted nothing more than to be owned again, to be praised again. Jack traced his tongue along Axton’s wet lips and made a low groan that rumbled up from the hollows of his chest.

“Master please...please...” Axton moaned uselessly, his eyes begging to Jack pathetically.

Jack leaned away from the man beneath him slowly, his lazed eyes sweeping over Axton’s flushed cheeks. The taller man tilted his head to the side playfully, a teasing smile cracking across his thin, perfect lips.

“Hmmm....please what?” Jack cooed gently running the pad of his thumb over Axton’s bottom lip.

“Please fuck me master...” Axton groaned pitifully.

Jack seemed to shudder as the sentence washed over him.

“Mmmm I sure have missed the way you beg pumpkin.” Jack swooned gently leaning back on his thighs, his own thick erection bobbing before him dauntingly.

“Gimme more pet, beg for me sweet cheeks...beg me the way you used to...” Jack groaned lowly, gently reaching down and rubbing his erection against Axton’s.

Axton gasped out as Jack’s palm opened and captured both their needs, pressing them together as he stroked up them. Axton’s tip leaked pre-cum onto Jack’s underside and Jack chuckled at the commando’s disintegrating state.

“F-Fuck!! Oh god Handsome Jack please! Fuck me hard!! Please!! Let me be your fucking slut, fill your pet up, because I’ve been so fucking bad master. I need to be punished! Punish me hard!!” Axton moaned as Jack flicked his wrist fluidly.

Jack all but doubled over as Axton’s heated words flooded him.

“That’s the stuff pet...that’s the fucking stuff.” Jack hissed as he pulled his clenched fist upward, the skin of his and Axton’s erections bundling in his grasp.

“You have been a bad little pet. Leaving your master sore. You need to be fucking punished pet.” Jack snarled.

Axton’s eyes remained focused on Jack’s working palm, entranced by the graceful, slow, motion.

“Look at me when I address you pet.” Jack barked grabbing Axton’s chin roughly with his free hand.

Axton’s eyes flicked up to Jack’s, a spark of old fear set into them with the tone in the CEO’s voice.

“That’s better cupcake. Always look at me when I speak to you. You should know better than that pet. Mmmm I have been gone for too long, you seem to have forgotten the rules haven’t you?” Jack cooed his fingers digging into Axton’s grizzled chin.

Axton grunted as the grip became slightly painful, to his dismay his cock only throbbing harder with the rough treatment.

“I’m very disappointed. I suppose we are going to have to beat those rules back into you aren’t we my sweet little pet?” Jack hissed his eyes slitted and dangerous, his tone even more so.

Axton just breathed out in response, his brain unable to turn over any sort of response to Jack’s words as he spat them at him. Jack’s voice was thick, and dripping with bad intentions. Oh god how Axton had missed that tone. That fearsome, shaking tone that only came when Axton had earned himself a good scolding. The kind that had to be banged out with sex. That good, sweet type of punishment that Axton lusted after, that he needed to have.

“Y-Yes master.” Axton panted breathlessly.

“Get on your knees pet. I’m going to fuck the discipline back into you.” Jack snarled viciously letting go of Axton’s chin.

Jack slid off Axton’s lap gracefully, the mattress dipping with his shifting weight, the sheets pooling around him slowly. Axton moved onto his knees obediently, lifting his rear into the air obscenely. Jack pressed his groin into the commando’s offered rear and hummed approvingly in his throat. He reared back his palm and brought it down across Axton’s left ass cheek with an echoing crack. Axton clenched his teeth together hard, muffling back a groan of pain mixed with pleasure. Jack rubbed the struck area of flesh soothingly, his fingertips ghosting along the smarting skin. He cocked his arm back again, only to crack it across the commando’s muscled rear once more, harder this time. Axton grunted lowly and clenched the bed sheets harshly. Jack hissed out as he berated the kneeling male with a savage set of spankings, one after the other, quick and painful. Axton lurched forward a little and cried out pitifully. Jack moaned out at the sound of his partners voice.

“That’s right pet....moan for me baby...you like the way it hurts don’t you?” Jack snarled rubbing the now angry red skin.

Axton leaned hard on shaking elbows, consumed by waves of tingling pain and biting pleasure. Jack leaned over Axton’s quivering form, his fingers digging into the struck skin mercilessly. It was a wordless warning that Axton was taking far too long to answer.

“Y-Yes master! I like it! More please! I haven’t been punished enough!” Axton begged through heaving breaths, his erection weeping drops of pre-cum into the bed sheets.

Jack obliged to Axton’s pleas, cracking his palm across the flesh in three quick, snapping punishments. Axton moaned out loudly, the cries carrying Jack’s name upon them uselessly. Jack chuckled along the back of Axton’s neck, his breath hot and heavy with lust. Axton could feel Jack’s hardness sliding between his abused cheeks, teasing him dauntingly.

“No...you haven’t been punished enough pet.” Jack snarled with poison dripping from his tone.

Axton shuddered as the words tumbled down his ears. He couldn’t get enough of the thick promises and threats. God it was good. So fucking good. Jack punished the skin with several more hard, merciless blows, Axton’s ass now blooming with purple bruises. Jack fumbled over the bedside table for the half empty bottle of lube left out from the previous night and slicked his fingers with the cold substance. Axton whined as Jack took his fucking sweet ass time and attempted to push himself back into Jack’s erection. Jack wagged a finger at the younger male.

“Ah, tut, tut, tut, tut, patience pet, patience.” Jack scolded tauntingly.

Axton groaned out pathetically and laid his forehead against the mattress weakly. Jack slowly slicked up his throbbing erection, the wet, sick little noises kissing at Axton’s burning ears. Jack hissed as he wontonly rocked into his own palm.

“I’m going to fuck you nice and hard pet.” Jack husked pressing his swollen head against Axton’s puckered back entrance.

Axton hissed and bucked as Jack added another inch or so, the tight ring of muscle pulsating and squeezing around the new intrusion. The tight flesh puckered around Jack’s girth, ringing breathy, satisfied moans from the president as he not so gently thrusted the rest of the way in. Axton cried out loudly, his voice rough and rasped as it came from his lips.

“C-Crissakes you’re fucking tight kiddo...” Jack groaned as he hovered over Axton’s heaving back, hips slowly twitching with movement as he began to thrust into the man beneath him.

Axton wanted to bark at him for not giving him a moment to adjust, but he knew better than to do such a thing. He wanted to be punished, and this was how Jack went about it. The best kind of punishment. Jack rolled his hips to meet Axton’s, his pace quickening harshly. The older male pivoted his hips, dragging Axton to him menacingly with every thrust. Axton could feel Jack’s girth pressing into his prostate and he swore he nearly saw stars for a second.

“OH GOD FUCK!!!” Axton yelled his voice cracking miserably.

It was embarrassing how quickly Axton’s state was deteriorating. He could already feel the heat in his groin burning out of control.

“Mmm that’s the spot huh kiddo?” Jack cooed pounding his hips into the commando meanly.

His angry palm slapped across the commando’s already bruised ass cheek. Axton cried out, his voice withering into a ridiculous moan. He could feel his cock becoming harder, swelling, his head angry and red.

“Y-YES!!!” Axton begged fisting the sheets and screwing his eyes shut tightly.

Axton bucked his hips back into Jack’s rhythm greedily, his cock slick with leaked pre-cum and begging for release. He was so fucking close. Suddenly Jack stopped his thrusts all together, crooning over Axton tauntingly. He kissed the back of Axton’s neck soothingly, buried snugly in his partner’s ass. Axton let out an impatient noise and tried to prod Jack for movement.

“Oh...what’s wrong pet? You want me to allow you to come? Is that it?” Jack teased meanly, sliding his tongue along Axton’s flushed skin.

Axton nodded profusely.

“PLEASE!” Axton pleaded shamelessly.

Jack clicked his tongue at the commando beneath him and grinned against the nape of the younger males neck.

“Why should I pet?” Jack hissed slowly.

“J-Jack I need it!!! P-Please!!!” Axton begged.

Jack snickered darkly against his lover. Suddenly Jack began snapping his hips into the male beneath him mercilessly. Filling him over and over again hard and quick. Axton was crying Jack’s name like it was the only word he knew. Within moments he was coming into the sheets, hard, thick ropes of his finish jetting across the small space between his heaving chest and the bed. Jack lulled into the feeling of Axton’s body clenching around him, his thrusts becoming short and frantic. In moment’s he was coming too, filling Axton with all he had, moaning into the feeling of orgasm. Jack slumped over Axton lazily, groaning out lowly in post orgasmic bliss. Jack panted into the younger man, fingers twitching over his skin tiredly.

“God damn kiddo...” Jack breathed out into Axton’s hair.

Axton didn’t say a word, simply panted into the bedding uselessly. Jack slowly pulled himself from his partner and flopped backward onto the bed, huffing out loudly. Axton rolled to the side and collapsed breathlessly. The two men laid there panting in the dirtied bedding, sheets in tangled heaps around them. The moments ticked by slowly, the silence settled over the partners softly. Finally Axton drew in a heavy, satisfied breath and sat up slowly, his abdomen folding as he did so. Jack’s eyes were still closed, his arms thrown uselessly over his head. He groaned in his throat and slowly cracked his lids open to look at the commando. His blue and white eyes were slitted and tired, a slim smile breaking across his lips, the taught blue scar pulling with the motion. Axton returned the smile fondly. He moved across the bed slowly, hands sliding through the sheets as he approached the most dangerous man on Pandora. The most dangerous man that he shared a bed with. The most dangerous man that had come back to life, and was here before the commando. Axton leaned down to kiss the heat of Jack’s mouth and the older male arched into the kiss acceptingly.

“You’re a damn fine pet kiddo.” Jack husked tiredly.

Axton looked to the tired ex-Hyperion president and sighed. His eyes flicked to the tabletop where is echo device sat blinking with missed calls. He groaned outwardly and pressed against his eye sockets.

“I missed my meeting.” Axton grumbled dragging himself from the bed’s confines and padding across to the echo device.

He clicked it and was met by several very concerned echos from his secretary Anna, all feebly trying to figure out where the Hyperion president was.
Axton sighed loudly and clicked the device off, throwing the room into silence once more. Jack sat up and made a little scolding noise in his throat.

“Oh President Axton is that any way to run a company? Missing an important meeting?...tsk, tsk. tsk.” Jack taunted wryly.

Axton shot him a dirty look.

“Oh shut up.” Axton breathed furrowing his eyebrows together.

“So what now?” Axton questioned looking at his naked partner, still sprawled out across the bed.

Jack lifted himself upward and cracked his neck loudly.

“Call that pretty little Anna of your’s back. Schedule another meeting. A mandatory one.” Jack commanded springing from the bed and sashaying into the bathroom.

Axton’s eyes followed him across the space, watching his ass disappear into the doorframe.

“A meeting?” Axton questioned curiously.

Jack stood before the great mirror, making a disgusted little face at his reflection staring back at him. He grabbed his mask off the counter and re-attached it skillfully, then went about fixing his sex disheveled hair into his signature swooped style. After a few moments of making himself presentable, Jack re-entered the room, sporting that proud swagger like walk of his. He paused at the closet and flung the doors open dramatically. The confines of the space were exactly as the man had left them, nothing had been touched in even the slightest form or fashion. Jack hauled out a pair of briefs and some of his ridiculously tight jeans that Axton had to admit he loved. Jack yanked the clothing on, fingering the catches of his pants before looking at the commando and even beginning to address his question.

“Yes, a meeting cupcake. I mean you’ve done a real bang up job keeping things in order around here...but I believe it’s high time I reclaimed my empire.” Jack cooed his voice dripping with power as his eyes swept over his pet.

Axton nodded obediently.

“But I mean I’ll make you vice president or sumthin, got it kiddo?” Jack whispered crossing the room and patting Axton’s cheek fondly.

“I knew I picked you for a reason pet.” Jack continued, fawning over the bigger man slowly.

Axton bathed in the praise. He should have been angry in all reality. Jack had made him believe he was dead for an entire year, then shows back up out of the blue to take everything Axton had worked for over the coarse of time. He should have been furious. Yet as he looked up into those ill assorted eyes, all he wanted was to give. He had been forced into the position of power, and he had done his best, but he was no Jack and he never wanted to be. He only wanted to obey. No matter the cost. He just wanted to please the masked man. He just wanted to be praised. Jack’s fingers were light and teasing on the commando’s jawline.

“So make that call kiddo. Chop, chop.” Jack swooned his fingers leaving pleasant little tingles on Axton’s abandoned skin.

As Jack pulled on his undershirt Axton picked up the small echo device as commanded. The line crackled to life and finally the shaky voice of his secretary came to his ears.

“President Axton, I am so sorry for echoing you so many times, I-I...are you feeling well?” Anna’s timid voice crackled across the device.

“Yes Anna I am feeling just fine. There’s been a slight change of events. I’m going to need you to schedule a mandatory immediate meeting.” Axton explained, his voice professional and smooth.

“Y-Yes sir. I will get right on that sir.” The woman said her voice mixed with confusion and obedience.

“Thank you Anna.” Axton replied before clicking the echo off.

Jack watched Axton with bright, devious eyes.

“My little professional pet. Cute.” Jack snarled playfully.

“Now get dressed. We’ve got much to do today.” Jack snapped his lip turning up into a wicked smile.

 

The meeting room buzzed with life. The smell of fresh coffee filled the space, the noise of higher ups discussing business filled the air. Axton’s seat sat empty still but the rest of the twenty five desk chairs were occupied by the men Axton had seen fit to help him run a company. Some were older, some were young men straight out of University. All of them were graced power by the now President of Hyperion. All were wealthy with the riches Axton had given them the opportunity to earn. All obeyed properly. All jumped when told to do so and danced when the command was given. They were good little employees. They feared Axton’s wrath and so they were the perfect little business men. Suddenly the door to the meeting room swung open with a loud bang. Every head in the room swiveled, and silence, utter, bone chilling silence settled down over the meeting space. The large door was filled with the forms of two men and the two monstrous signature pets that were never very far from President Axton’s side. The creatures entered first, tongues lolling, mouths quivering as they stalked toward the largest chair at the head of the table. They sat on either side obediently, knowing how the routine worked, awaiting their master to follow. Slowly the two men entered, and all eyes were not upon Axton as per-usual. They were transfixed upon his company. The tall, slender man with the spring in his step and the vicious smile clinging to his masked face. It was like all the air had been sucked right out of the room. Not a sound was uttered, not a move was made. It was like a ghost had entered the room, straight out of a nightmare, straight from the dead. Jack made his way around the table, observing all the eyes now plastered to him as he walked by casually.

Axton took a seat on the big chair and criss crossed his fingers in front of him. Jack leaned on the chair casually, his eyes sweeping over the table once more.

“Well, well, well....lots of new faces here it seems.” Jack whispered patting Axton’s chair.

Finally the youngest member of the board cleared his throat shakily and spoke.

“Y-you’re....you’re Handsome Jack.” He whispered slowly, his body shaking wildly, his oversized glasses falling down his nose.

Jack grinned wryly and chuckled deep in his throat.

“You’re damn right I am.” Jack breathed grinning wider.

“And I’m back baby.” Jack continued laughing darkly.

Chapter Text

Her fingers twitched on the handle of the gun she held loosely, half leaning its barrel on the old wooden table. Her eyes were cold and unwavering as she stared out the fogged window. The world outside was dark and ominous. The sky threatening to dump rain upon the dry earth at any moment. She drummed her free fingers on the old wood slowly, creating a lazy, dangerous rhythm in the silence of the room. She did not move a muscle, her back straight against the unstable chair she sat upon. The small makeshift shelter was dirty and unfit for living in all reality. 

 

But this was what they had been reduced to. This was what they had been forced to endure. All because....of him. 

 

The red haired siren snarled her teeth up into a distasteful grimace. When Handsome Jack came to this planet, waging war on its inhabitants, claiming he would bring peace to the trash hole of a world, the siren had thought there could never be a man born that could match Jack’s level of insanity. She never thought there could be another human that could be more viciously evil. Jack was a monster disguised in man’s clothing. She saw him for what he was. A beast. A beast that would bring the planet to it’s knees and he would not let anything get in his way. He would shed blood and take lives. He would kill the innocent and he would not feel guilt, he would not feel remorse. She never thought there would be anything more threatening to Pandora than him. 

 

God was she wrong. 

She was so fucking wrong. 

 

Jack was a monster of a different kind. A monster that could create monsters of others. A monster that could make beasts of men and control them like puppets. He could press anybody he liked under his thumb...and he had. He’d taken the commando, once a bold, brave, strong vault hunter and he had morphed him into something wicked. He’d molded him into the perfect little killing machine. Lilith would never know exactly how Jack had done it. How he had taken a man so loyal to his team, and turned him against everybody he once knew and loved. How he could make such a monster of such a trustworthy man. How he could have swayed Axton to throw everything away. All his friends, his comrades....everything. How he could have convinced the commando to give up his freedom. That was the biggest question to her. How could Jack tame such a wild thing? Axton was a loose cannon, doing what he would, when he would and never thinking twice about the fact. He charged into battle like a raging bull, all horns and snot, blazing and roaring. He was never subtle and never listened to orders. In fact that was why she and the commando had butted heads so very often. Lilith tried to get him to listen, and yet he would always manage to just do it his way. Axton always got his way. He was a beast born in the wild, and he answered to nobody, listened to no man. So how....how in the world....had Jack swayed the commando to obey his every command. To come when the Hyperion overlord so much as snapped his fingers. 

 

Lilith slammed her fist down on the table in rage, shaking the small piece of furniture on it’s rickety legs. How did he do it? How could he have managed such a feat? 

Lilith thought back to how Axton had screamed when she’d forced Zed to remove the ridiculous little collar around his neck. They’d had to strap the thrashing man down with heavy restraints to keep him from flailing. He’d fought the whole way down, screaming absolute bloody murder when Zed began the procedure. Lilith knew the screams weren’t from pain. She’d watched Axton take bullets, rockets and blows from loaders without even so much as a shed tear or a grunt of pain from the stubborn man. But god how he’d screamed when they removed that thing. Lilith remembered holding the heavy collar in her hands, observing the name tag with ice in her eyes. 

 

“Axton, Property of Handsome Jack” is what the shimmering little thing had said. All glistening with diamonds and gold. It was stupidly distasteful and had Jack’s name practically written all over it. It stunk of Jack’s horrid expensive tastes and retched humor. Why Axton had fought so hard for something that labeled him as anybody’s “property” she could never wrap her head around. Axton was nobodies property, especially not Handsome Jack’s. Handsome Jack, the very man Axton had sworn to kill with his bare hands. Lilith could clearly remember all the times they’d joked about stripping the stupid bastard of his mask and finally getting a look at whatever the hell was under the thing. None of it made sense to her. 

None of it. 

 

For a year the wondering had haunted her. Like taunting little phantoms that came and went, constantly whisking around her brain. Appearing and dissipating at the most inopportune times. She just couldn’t let it go. She couldn’t. God if only she’d known what a monster Axton would have become she would had shot him right between the eyes the second she’d met the sandy haired man. She gritted her teeth together hard, fighting back the tears that threatened to come. Because of him Roland was dead, Mordecai was dead, almost all of the crimson raiders and the citizens of Sanctuary were dead. So many lives had been taken by the commando’s hands. After Jack’s death it was like the wolf hiding within him really showed itself. Baring it’s teeth and flashing it’s claws, coming for all those that had once trusted the man he’d been. He was no man. Not as he stood just outside of Sanctuary and ordered the moon shots to blow the city away. Not when he left Mordecai’s body out in the sand like garbage with no meaning. By the time they’d found his body he had been stripped clean by wildlife, barely recognizable in the eyes of his friends. The morning they’d buried him, was the morning that Lilith had sworn she would kill the commando. No matter the cost, she would shed his blood....she would make him pay. She would make him answer for all the lives he’d stolen. 

 

Since Axton took Handsome Jack’s place things had changed for the vault hunters. Without Sanctuary things had fallen in on themselves. The group had gone their separate ways for the most part. Zero had caught the first ship out of the galaxy, claiming he’d found bigger, better challenges, that Pandora was no longer of interest. Lilith knew he would never say it, but staying here, where so much had been lost, was too much for the assassin. Even though he stood emotionless most times, she knew the losses had gotten to him. He just couldn’t stay where so many friends that been murdered, and who was she to stop him? So he had gone. 

Maya had left after one too many fights with the red haired siren. Even with everything the younger female had been through, being captured by Jack himself, forced into an attempt at charging the vault key, and watching so many die at Axton’s hands....she’d still struggled with plotting to bring the newly crowned king of Hyperion down. She and the commando had always been close. They had a strange platonic relationship that was stronger than Lilith really understood. Every plan that had been made to take Axton out Maya had put on the breaks. Trying to find another way. Despite the friends he’d killed she just wouldn’t cooperate with the plans. When she’d found Mordecai attempted to assassinate Axton as well as Jack she’d lost it. She’d gathered her things, said she’d had enough of this, taken a bandit technical and she was gone. Lilith had tried hard to get her to stay. Losing their second siren of the team was a hard blow. A very, very hard blow. But Lilith could only watch as she went. She’d heard word Maya had settled somewhere far out in the dust, reigning over a small village as some sort of cult leader for a group of wild bandits. Lilith did not understand it, but she’d just accepted the loss. Salvador was the last one to leave. Said he’d rather just go it on his own...and so their little family had dissipated away. All that was left of the once strong crimson raiders, were memories. Memories of better, richer times. 

Their family was down to just two. 

Her, and Brick.

The selfless, larger male had sworn he’d stay by her side and so he had. She assumed he’d probably made some old promise to Roland in times past, and Brick was a man of his word. Brick took promises very seriously and he took his friends very seriously. She knew all the loss had been hard on the once slab king. He was sensitive for such a brute of a male. There had been many tears shed for their lost friends, for their lost planet. Lilith talked like things were still under control, that they would still take down Hyperion, that things would turn around any day now. But she was even starting to doubt her words. Even she wasn’t believing her own lies anymore. Here they were, once great leaders of an unstoppable force, now living in an abandoned shack out in the  Fridge, dancing just out of starvation's reach on the little food they had back stocked. 

Brick was in the adjoining room, cooking up some of the Rakk they had managed to hunt down that morning. Rakk wasn’t exactly Lilith’s favorite...she was pretty sure it was nobodies choice dish, but the bullymong packs had moved on with the heavy freeze and they did not exactly have much choice. They were near out of the supplies they’d managed to gather the last time they scraped through any sort of town. It wasn’t safe to show their faces in populated areas, Axton had the whole Hyperion force looking for them. He had every dog he owned hunting them down. 

 

That was the whole reason they had settled way out here in this frozen hellhole of a wasteland. Lilith sighed and watched the crackling reception of the small echo screen in the corner. Their only meager link to the outside world. A stolen, half working, echo screen that she spent more time squinting at trying to make out some sort of form through the static, than she actually did gathering information from it. It was a poor excuse for an informing source...but it was all she had. It was times like this that she missed Roland the most. He would have known what to do in situations like these. He would have known where to turn even in the worst of times. Lilith looked down at her revolver. She’d do anything just to have him back. 

 

The red haired siren sighed and shook her head slowly. How had things gone so very wrong in such a short amount of time? She had fought so hard for this planet and all for nothing in the end. All for nothing...

 

Suddenly the crackling little screen was filled with cheers and vibrant colors. Lilith narrowed her eyes at the commotion and went to shake the screen a bit to clear up the picture. As the images came into clearer view Lilith felt herself go white with fear. 

 

There, standing on a podium before a crowd of cheering people...was none other than Handsome Jack. Lilith felt her gut twist and her throat run dry. This had to be a re-run of one of Jack’s ridiculous speeches...it had to be. She cranked up the volume as loud as it could possibly go, sinking to her knees in front of the screen. 

 

“People of Pandora, yes it is me Handsome Jack! A year ago, for the safety and well being of this planet, I was forced into faking my own death and putting my now Vice President in charge of Hyperion. It has been a long year Pandora, and it has come with much change and hardship. But alas, my fine, fine people I have returned, and I am carrying out the promises I have made! This planet will be conformed into a place of peace and unity! We will make Pandora into a safe haven for all of its citizens! So Pandora, are you ready for change?” Came that sickeningly charismatic voice that Lilith knew so very fucking well. 

 

The crowd cheered to him, fawning over him like he was made of gold. Bowing to him like a king. A king come back from his grave. 

Lilith felt her breath leave her uselessly, her lungs clenching hard, her fingers curling in the material of her jeans. 

 

“BRICK!!! BRICK!!!” She screamed frantically her eyes pricking with tears as she stared at the screen in disbelief. 

 

Thunderous footsteps echoed through the small shack, Brick skidding to a stop just beside the siren crumpled on the floor. 

 

“Lilith, what’s going on??” He bellowed at her leaning down by her side. 

 

Lilith outstretched a shaking finger, pointing at the flickering little screen. Brick looked up just in time to catch a glimpse of Jack’s wicked smile as he addressed the crowd of whooping citizens. 

 

“No....it can’t be....” Brick whispered in disbelief. 

 

Brick sank down beside the still siren, his legs simply giving out on him. 

So the two sat there in silence watching as the screen faded in and out, watching the monster they thought they had long ago killed. 

Chapter Text

The Dark Soul

 

Axton sat upon the small plush chair pushed against the wall of the room, watching with extremely concerned eyes as the doctor picked up a syringe and tested it slowly, squirting a little liquid onto the tile floor. Pumpkin chirped unsurely poking her massive head in the doorframe of the small room curiously. Axton looked over at her, commanded her to stay and shushed her softly. 

The older male perched casually on the medical table furrowed his eyebrows together and looked to Axton.

“What’s wrong with her?” Jack asked Axton suddenly. 

Axton knew he was just trying to strike up conversation to attempt to take his mind off the needle in the doctor’s palms. Jack did not like needles, and Axton knew inside the President was near reeling at the mere sight of the syringe. 

“She’s worried about you.” Axton shrugged trying to offer the president a small smile. 

Jack smiled hesitantly and made some reassuring noises at the big Skag laying across the doorway. 

She chirped back at him and rested her chin on her drawn up feet, still not convinced that man with the needle wasn’t out to hurt her new favorite human. 

The doctor grabbed Jack’s arm and the male stiffened, turning his head away and wincing as the needle punctured his arm. The doctor injected the full dosage and retracted the needle slowly. 

Jack let loose of a small ‘fuck’ from under his breath and shifted his arm hesitantly. 

“There now, was that so bad you big baby?” Axton chortled leaning his elbow on his knee and cocking an eyebrow at the CEO. 

Jack merely glared hatefully at the younger man. 

“So help me I will tie you to a post and leave you out in the dust kiddo.” Jack snarled angrily. 

“Naw, you’d miss me too much boss.” Axton retorted smiling. 

Jack huffed out and rolled his eyes.

“Yeah I’d miss you like I’d miss a burr in my ass.” Jack snorted in return. 

Axton threw him a heartbreaking, lopsided grin. 

“Why you gotta be so mean boss?” Axton pouted. 

Jack straightened his back a little and looked at Axton with cool, powerful eyes. 

“Because mean is what I do kiddo. You should know that by now.” Jack snarled. 

Once Jack’s arm was successfully numb the doctor went about making a small incision in the president’s lower shoulder. Axton watched protectively as the doctor carefully peeled back the skin and removed the tiny capsule from Jack’s flesh, setting it gingerly down in a silver tray. The waiting scientists carefully enclosed it in a steel, padded box and looked to Jack for instructions. 

“Take it down to the eridium testing lab. Lock it up in the back room. It needs to be refrigerated for twenty four hours and monitored.” Jack barked watching them carefully as they nodded at the instructions. 

“That little capsule is worth more than all of your lives. Do you understand me. I want the best security on that room at all times. I want everything we have protecting it.” Jack snarled as the doctor bandaged his arm carefully. 

“Would you hurry up. I don’t have all day.” Jack snarled to the doctor who hurried his pace tenfold. 

Axton stood suddenly and looked at the scientists narrowly. 

Axton motioned for the scientists to come with him. 

“I’ll escort them.” Axton growled lowly. 

Jack nodded and hefted himself down off the table, working his arm slowly, his muscles still numbed. 

He grimaced and then looked to Axton sternly. 

“Good, I’ve got some business to oversee with the mining operations. You make sure that capsule is safe, understand?” Jack snapped. 

“Yes sir.” Axton said nodding sternly. 

Jack stalked toward his Vice President movements so slow and intimidating then rested his hand on Axton’s thick shoulder. 

“Everything is resting on that little serum, Axton...everything.” Jack hissed his voice quieting into a fierce whisper. 

Axton nodded slowly. Jack’s face shifted a little, darkened slightly. Something malicious was brewing there, something deep in his very being. It set a sick spark of fear down in Axton’s gut. 

 

“We will start the procedure tomorrow. Twelve sharp. Do you understand Axton?” Jack hissed lowly. 

 

Suddenly Axton felt very small under Jack’s scrutinizing gaze. He swallowed hard and cautiously met Jack’s fearsome glare. 

 

“I understand sir.” Axton whispered slowly. 

 

Jack’s face was unchanging and hollow. For a second he was that Jack Axton had very first laid eyes on. That haunting, powerful man that Axton knew so very little about. That man that Axton had feared and hated. That man that killed without mercy and loved nothing. Axton could feel his blood run cold as he stood before that Handsome Jack. The cruel one who was molded that way by too much loss and too many betrayals. It had been a long time since the commando had seen...that side of Jack. But there it was, just breaking the surface as they stood in the doorway. The past few days had been all about speeches of hope, addressing Pandora, informing the world that Handsome Jack had returned from said ‘death’. They had been all about Jack returning to routine, the workers shifting into his control once more. Settling into am empire that he’d been away from for an entire year. There had been nothing but a kind, well nearly kind, pleased Jack. A pleased Jack that seemed genuinely happy to be back in his element once more. To be back in control of Hyperion, and to be back in Axton’s arms. But right there, for that split second, Axton saw that dark side of Jack. The one that loomed there just beneath the skin. The one that had opened Axton’s back with a bullwhip, the one that had belittled Axton in his office, the one that had claimed only to love him because he could own him. Axton felt his stomach turn as he stood eye to eye to that monster that had not shown himself in such a long time. 

 

“That’s a good pet. We will talk more about this tonight.” Jack whispered his voice low and threatening. 

 

He patted Axton’s shoulder in a subtle, menacing way and then he was gone down the hallway and out of sight. 

 

Axton rounded through the doorway and snapped suddenly, causing the two beasts at the door to rise and instantly glue themselves to his sides. The scientists followed Axton nervously, the two skags falling back behind the group of the three white coated men. The massive beasts growled at the men’s heels, herding them dauntingly. 

 

Axton watched with observant eyes as the scientists stored the small capsule away in the massive refrigerated safe, closing its huge iron door and locking it. Such a small little thing really. He just couldn’t wrap his head around the importance of it all. How could such a tiny, ordinary looking little thing hold the outcome for the future of the entire planet? How could such a small thing create a god out of the ordinary. How could such a thing mimic the otherworldly powers of...a siren? How could such a thing...turn him into a siren. This time tomorrow they would know if that little serum would work...or not. Maybe it would. Maybe Axton would be given all the powers of a god like siren. But maybe it wouldn’t. It could backfire just as easily as it could work. Axton breathed out shakily and folded his arms across his chest slowly leaving the room. He looked to the two badass loaders stationed on either side of the door and then to the scientists. 

 

“You heard Jack. Keep eyes on this at all hours. It is not to be left unattended. Not for even one second. Tomorrow it’s to be readied, and procedures will be carried out at twelve o clock sharp. Not a minute later.” Axton snapped. 

 

He may have been the vice president now, but he still held a very real power over the workers. They knew better than to disobey. With that Axton turned, Kitten and Pumpkin flanking him obediently. He pushed the doors of the eridium testing ward open and sighed out heavily. He looked down at the two skags at his sides.

 

“Whadda ya say we go for a little walk huh girls?” Axton whispered patting their heads lovingly. 

 

The dull light bathed down over Axton’s form. He could feel the subtle tugging from the two pets at the ends of their leads as he paced slowly behind them. The day wasn’t exactly pretty, the sky was overcast with lonely hanging clouds shadowing the world below. Axton sighed out heavily and looked up at them with unsure eyes. The Opportunity park was somewhat void of inhabitants. The sky threatening rain was pretty off putting to those thinking about venturing outside. Most citizens were held up indoors, spending the day with each other. Axton could be doing the same, lounging on one of the plush couches and resting the afternoon away...but his brain would not let him do so. He was restless, fearful thoughts swimming in and invading what little peace he had. 

He’d hoped the fresh air might help, but he was still stirring with unpleasant thoughts and what ifs. Axton unclipped the skag’s collars and patted them lovingly. 

 

“Don’t go far girls...” Axton whispered before sinking down on a park bench and watching the two animals romp through the mass of perfectly cut grass and gorgeously manicured trees. 

 

The occasional golden Handsome Jack statue decorated the space in all his glory. Axton’s eyes settled on the massive fountain taking up the dead center of the area. A large Handsome Jack statuette that depicted him with his boot digging into a bandit’s throat that sprayed little lazy trails of water down into the pond below. Axton draped his arms over the back of the golden painted bench and looked down at his shoes. He could feel his heart sinking into his stomach. The intimidating reality of it all came washing over him no matter how hard he tried to bury his fears. Axton was not a man to admit when he was afraid. Most days he convinced himself that he feared nothing. Before coming here, to Opportunity, it was possible he really had feared nothing. Nothing on Pandora could shake him. Nothing could stir him. He’d taken on badasses and beasts day after day like it was nothing. Soaking in the glory of cutting the retched, massive beasts down. He’d taken on bandits ten times his size, slicing their soft bellies open and letting their innards spill out. He didn’t fear the wildlife, he didn’t fear the inhabitants, he didn’t fear the good guys, or the outlaws. He didn’t fear bullets or rockets or grenades. Back then he was fearless, he was bold, god he was strong and reckless. Like a fucking hurricane sweeping across the land. Like a wild animal untamed and fearsome. But that was all before...before he’d looked into those mismatched eyes...those cold, dead, hateful eyes...and then...in that moment he had known fear. In that moment he’d known what it was like to truly be afraid. To be so afraid your guts feel like they may fall out your ass and your lungs just can’t take in enough air to quench your need. That fear that runs your throat dry and makes your bones shake.  But he was. 

He was afraid. He trusted Jack...really he did. Yet deep down in his gut he couldn’t help but to feel the lingering sense of fear that was there. He had no idea what could possibly happen when he subjected himself to that procedure. He would do anything to please Jack...but something deep inside him stirred. A deep, pestering feeling that unfolded around his tired brain. The last couple of days had not provided much sleep. In fact Axton hadn’t even quite made it to the confines of his own bed the night previous, he’d just stumbled as far as the couch and made do with that. He’d awoken this morning with a lingered stiffness rooted down in the base of his neck, and Jack lying nearly on top of him, taking up much more of the large couch than he needed. 

 

Axton chuckled a little and ran his hand through his hair. His light chuckle quickly trailed away into silence as his thoughts darkened once more. He couldn’t help but to think back to that look in Jack’s eyes as he’d stood there in the doorway. That look Axton had not been subjected to in what felt like an eternity. That malicious, power hungry, glower that made Axton’s intestines twist. Axton thumbed the hem of his shirt in an absent minded fashion, fingers working only to find something to busy themselves with. His eyes flicked to the sky, and then to the romping skags now busying themselves in the fountain. 

He rolled his eyes at the great animals. Great. Now they would both need baths when he got them home. Axton folded his arms across his wide chest, tucking his hands into the crooks of his elbows. By tomorrow he would have more power than he could wrap his brain around. More power than he would even physically know what to do with. Power beyond anything he’d ever experienced. What would it be like? Would it be painful? Axton swallowed thickly. How would Jack handle it? That was the question looming over his being like some great, creeping thing. Jack. Axton could not help but to think about Jack’s past....Jack’s daughter. His siren offspring that he had accidentally murdered in the great quest for power beyond his reach. In his mad obsession with opening the vault, he had caused her death. Axton clenched his teeth...what if that madness...that crazed hunger for power...what if that came back when a second siren was placed into his open palms. Axton would become Jack’s siren...but could Jack handle such things? What if he sunk right back into that pattern? Axton felt his throat tighten and his heart thrum just a little faster against his thick ribs. There was blackness in Jack’s soul, and it had been dormant for a long time...would the re-introduction of a siren into his power bring that out again? Parts of the commando’s brain pushed and pulled him. Some pieces whispering that Jack would not do that to him. Jack loved him. Jack would keep him safe. Jack would not push him farther than he could manage. Some pieces screamed that Jack would mangle everything Axton was. He would abuse the power pushed upon Axton. Axton would sink right back to those first moments he’d known Jack, when he had been nothing but a pet. A real pet. The kind that is whipped when it misbehaves. Axton shook his head in dismay and buried his head in his palms. It was a heavy pill to swallow, and he was having trouble downing it. The endless streams of ‘what ifs’ pounded against his temples. 

 

Pounded like wasps, stinging and biting and bruising. Pounding and pounding and he was helpless against their wrath. Helpless...and scared. 

 

It was late by the time Axton pried himself from the city’s confines and decided, like some homesick animal, he would wander back to the living quarters. He pushed the front door open slowly and allowed the two animals to wander in first, barking at both of them to go straight to the large walk in shower for a bath. Axton could feel that ill assorted look fixated upon him as soon as he entered. He did not look at the man leaned heavily on the leather couch, instead just offered him a meek “Hey boss” and was gone into the other room. 

Axton turned on the massive shower, the two girls chirping at him excitedly, quite pleased that they had earned themselves a bath time. Axton poured shampoo down Kitten’s back first, running his gruff palm down her rough plates and lathering the suds carefully, listening to her approving growls. Suddenly Pumpkin began gurgling in the direction of the doorway, poking her head around Axton in an excited fashion. Axton threw a glance over his left shoulder, his peripherals struggling to grasp that far. After a quick sample of the figure taking up the bathroom doorway Axton turned back around, busying himself with rinsing off the big skag. 

Axton could hear the thud as Jack pressed his back into the doorframe. The other male said nothing, just simply watched as Axton lathered the other animal, washing off the mud, dirt, and fountain water from the rambunctious pets. 

Axton went about drying each of them with old towels from under the sink, then stood idle, letting the skags free and drying his own hands. 

They immediately greeted the older male in the door, Pumpkin rubbing against his legs adoringly. Jack dropped to his knees, fussing over the great beast, patting the side’s of her maw lovingly. 

“Seems like you girls had fun today.” He mused to the skag softly. 

“Go lay down. Your dad and I gotta have a chat.” Jack finished patting the animal’s rump, then lifting back to his feet, eyes gently washing over the commando. 

Axton let a great sigh escape his lips, his shoulder falling with the exhale of air. He slapped the wet towel down on the counter and leaned back against it. 

Jack crossed his arms and tilted his head to the side, eyebrows knitting together in a curious fashion. 

He scoffed and breathed in through his nose. 

“C’mon. Come sit with me on the couch kiddo.” Jack stated waving his hand in an inviting fashion and turning heel to proceed back to the living room. 

Axton watched him go for a moment, hanging back reluctantly. He didn’t much feel like talking really...but he knew there was no worming out of it now. The living area was dimly lit, the lamps in the corners being the only source of meager lighting. The high tech, echo screen above the fire place flickered with whatever documentary Jack had been indulging in just before Axton’s entrance. Jack sunk down into the couch, letting his back slap against the leather with a great exhale of breath that was half groan, half sigh. Axton stood there awkwardly, eyes meeting with Jack’s playful orbs. Jack patted the space next to him with an open palm, making three quick little slaps against the material. Axton eased himself down, uniform folding with his relaxing form as he tilted his head against the back of the couch. He crossed his arms up behind his head and closed his eyes slowly. When he opened them, he was met with the easy gaze of the Hyperion President. Jack plucked a long stemmed wine glass from the coffee table, swirling the red liquid around gently before bringing it to his thin lips. 

Axton watched through slatted eyes as the crystalline fluid lapped against the pursed lips, staining Jack’s mouth gentle crimson. 

Green and blue eyes peered over the transparent glass rim at the commando opposite him. 

 

“What’s on your mind kiddo?” Jack finally asked, taking another slow, savoring sip of the alcohol in his slim fingers.

 

 “It’s nothing sir.” Axton whispered adverting his eyes from Jack’s glistening orbs. 

 

Jack made an insistent noise in his throat and blinked slowly, lashes falling over eyes gently.  Suddenly Jack hefted himself from the couch, Axton’s eyes following him in confusion as he straightened, and paused there for a moment. Then Jack took a couple steps, putting himself directly in front of his quiet partner. Jack kicked Axton’s legs apart without a word, and with stupid grace Jack spread himself over the commando’s lap. 

Axton grunted deep in his throat as Jack settled over his thighs, not so subtly pressing into the younger male as he adjusted. 

Jack still held the wine glass daintily in his slim, precise fingers, his eyes drawling down the commando’s front slowly. His mouth was but a thin line across his face, eyes shaded by heavy lids. 

 

“Don’t be that way sweet cheeks.” Jack hummed flattening a palm against the swell of Axton’s pectoral. 

 

Axton sucked in a sharp breath and allowed his eyes to flick up to Jack’s. 

 

“Now are you going to tell big bad Handsome Jack what’s wrong...or am I going to have to pry it out of you?” Jack swooned rocking back on Axton’s hips. 

 

A large palm snapped to the jut of Jack’s hipbone, stilling him on the larger male’s parted legs. 

 

“I-I can’t think when you’re doing that.” Axton breathed shallowly. 

 

Jack let loose of a little chortle and tilted his glass to his lips once more. Axton watched with enthuse as the older man swallowed slowly, throat flexing with the intake of liquid, lips pursing over the thin glass. Jack settled the drink away from his mouth, running his tongue gently across his bottom lip, collecting the left over taste of good wine. Axton’s steady palm shifted to Jack’s lower back, jolting the older male closer to him with a sudden insistence. Jack’s dormant hand on Axton’s chest moved deviously to the heavier man’s chin, where they curled tauntingly. He tucked his head and came in to press the want of his mouth against Axton’s. Axton was hungry against the president, fingernails digging into the bare dip of Jack’s spine. His tongue ran the hollow of Jack’s mouth, coming away with the sharp, dry taste of wine, and the even heavier hints of need. Jack’s teeth clacked against Axton’s, his neck tilted forward, a hum of a moan vibrating from the CEO’s throat. 

 

Axton broke the kiss breathlessly, looking at the male spread across him with wanton eyes, mouth parted in a panting curve. 

 

“I’m afraid Jack.” Axton whispered suddenly, his arousal taking the edge off his fear of coming clean to his partner. 

 

Jack’s slim fingers traced up and around Axton’s temple, wine stained tongue trailing the Dahl marking’s on his forehead. Axton stiffened his back against the expensive furniture and his fingers twitched as they lowered on Jack’s body, coming to the round of his ass. He palmed the soft material of Jack’s boxers, thumbing over the fine cloth. 

 

Jack hummed against Axton, giving sign that he’d heard the other male’s confession but was not yet ready to address it. Jack lifted the glass high, allowing the last bit of red fluid to slide down his throat. Jack wiped his lips with the heel of his hand and set the glass on the coffee table behind him. 

 

“Don’t be.” Jack husked both hands coming to cup Axton’s thick jaw, lips hovering his, breath hot as it poured over the commando’s. 

 

Axton groaned against the lips offered to him, Jack’s adamant hips kneading against his. Axton felt his breath catch hard in his throat and he buried his lower lip in his teeth to stifle a gruff moan from coming loose. He could feel the heat of his swelling member pressing against his thigh, girth snug against his zipper. The new tightness was uncomfortable, made even more so as Jack rocked the heat of his boxers against Axton continuously. 

 

“I can’t...I can’t help it...” Axton managed through labored breaths, head tucked under Jack’s chin as he set hot kisses there. 

 

Before the words could even fully make it from Axton’s lips Jack was prodding him to lay out on the couch. Axton shifted, allowing the slighter male to press his back into the material they sprawled out upon, his hips still firmly cemented to the space by Jack’s. 

Jack leaned back on his thighs a little, eyes drooping, fingers abandoning the commando beneath him, and instead playing over himself. Jack pulled down the elastic of his waistband with one hand and pulled his thickness out with the other. Axton merely watched, hands tight at his sides, an approving little moan slipping past his parted mouth as Jack curled his own fingers around his erection. Jack’s movements were lulled, his fingers working slow, his body swaying just gently. Axton suddenly wondered just how many glasses of wine the other male was downed, his heavy eyes admitted that it had been just enough. Jack’s teeth worried his bottom lip harshly, clasping between perfect canines and central incisors in concentration. His thin eyebrows pulled together tightly on his brow, pushing up in an expression that was caught between shamelessness and craving. Axton could just see the glisten at Jack’s prick, weeping a tear of pre-cum in response to his tentative palm. 

 

“Mmmm Pet....what am I going to do with you?” Jack swooned, his tongue heavy with too much wine, and a whole new onset of lust. 

 

Axton did not answer the question; instead he just let it drop from the air like stones. It wasn’t really a question Jack wanted an answer for Axton could hear it in his tone. 

 

“I mean...are you telling me you are thinking about going back on your word?” Jack asked suddenly, fingers pausing their fluid rhythm up his solid cock. 

 

That was a question Jack wanted an answer for. The CEO’s malign glare settling on the Vice President beneath him reassured him of that. Axton sucked in a fleeting breath, trying to form words as best he could, trying to shake himself from the enthrallment of Jack stroking himself off. 

 

“N-No master...” The title came out habitually in Axton’s answer, sliding off his tongue before he had any hope of catching it. 

 

It just came out when Jack asked him questions like so. It was that tone of voice that did it. The one that shook old fear down into Axton’s bones and being.

Suddenly Jack’s grip abandoned his own cock, fingers snapping around Axton’s thick jaw. The touch was mean and hard, perfectly cut nails digging into the scar tissue scrawled over Axton’s chin without mercy. Jack’s grin curled up over his features, his eyes wicked and shimmering. He tilted Axton’s face to the side sternly, clicking his tongue at the commando beneath him in a scolding fashion.

 

“You better not be. You made a promise to me Axton. You best keep that promise kiddo.” Jack snarled his tone dripping over the younger male pinned to the massive couch.

 

Axton swallowed and looked up at the President’s dark expression with fear glittering like stars in his pine colored eyes.

 

“I-I will Jack.” Axton stuttered uselessly as Jack moved against him.

 

Jack chortled low in his throat, teeth like razors as they glinted in the lamplight.

“There’s a good pet. Nice and obedient. I love you Axton, but you know I can’t have you disobeying me right?” Jack cooed letting his fingers loose from their grip on Axton’s chin.

 

Axton nodded breathlessly, his chest rising and falling mixed feelings of fear and want rushing through his veins.

 

“Y-Yes sir.” Axton breathed lowly, eyes falling as he looked at the very man that could build him up or break him down in a matter of mere seconds.

 

“Good answer pumpkin.” Jack breathed his lips finding the commando’s, and he tasted like dread.

 

He tasted like coal, and darkness. He tasted like bad intentions, and couldn’t get enough. His stupid brain threw out all the warnings, his stupid hands needing to touch, to feel, to have.

 

The love they made there on that couch was rough and tainted with fear. Axton wanted Jack and so he had him. Jack wanted Axton and so he had him. Axton’s fears had not been diminished, if anything they had only been fueled. But his blind eyes chose to look away, to not see the danger coursing through Jack like wildfire threatening to burn them both down. As Jack rocked against him, their voices loud and needy, names spoken with intensity and desire, Axton didn’t care that he was single handedly digging his own grave. He was giving Jack back the power that had made a monster of him to begin with. He didn’t care. He just wanted to please him. He wanted to please his master.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

To Keep a Promise

There’s pain. He thinks. Or what he assumes is pain. He isn’t really sure in that moment. Everything aches, blooming into wild vivid colors before his eyes. He can’t grasp onto any one single thought, everything is moving too quickly, memories, thoughts, visions, fluttering by like frightened birds, wings beating against his skull mercilessly. He is still breathing, he thinks. Honestly he isn’t sure. He thinks he can feel his heart beating beneath layers of flesh and muscle but there is so much noise it is hard to tell. Fingers work and his tongue flicks against the backs of his teeth. Half of it is blinding, wild, vicious ache, half of it feels like home. He is caught between feelings of fear and utter, gentle peace. He feels like he has come loose from his body, only half real only half there. It feels like lightening in his bones, fire in his veins, screaming voices in the back of his head. Everything is loud and frantic. Everything is shallow breaths and thundering hearts. Everything is so vivid and yet so blurry. It’s both beautiful and terrible in the very same breath.

He isn’t sure what to feel, like every emotion he had ever experienced was suddenly all forced upon him at once. So hard and so unforgiving. It is sadness, and anger and happiness. It is sorrow, it is power it is strong. He feels strong. So viciously strong. He’s never felt…so powerful.

Then suddenly…it all stops.

Everything sinks in and he feels utterly, beautifully unburdened. Everything is bliss and quiet. Everything is soft, like an evening sunset, colors all painted over smooth surface.

Axton breathes in deep, lungs filling with much needed oxygen. His eyes flick up to the brilliant colors, soaking them in slowly. It doesn’t feel like any world he’s ever set foot on. It doesn’t feel like Pandora or any of the Edens. It doesn’t feel real, and yet in the same breath it is the realest thing he has ever touched. The scents overwhelm his senses. It is like nothing he has ever smelled before, something so pleasant to his nostrils he can’t quite place it. It’s so beautiful. More beautiful than anything his eyes have ever beheld.

Suddenly there is a voice just behind his ear, sweet and smooth as it touches the tender anatomy. Lips press gently against his neck, causing all the hairs at his nape to stand on end. He sinks into the light touch, sighing against the feeling, boneless and relaxed. Steady arms are there to wrap around him, big, masculine palms that are familiar in their touches. Warm breath puffs against his collar and he melts into the feeling softly. A poison laced chuckle trails closely behind, the sound haunting and gorgeous.

Axton breathes out slowly, eyes fluttering back in his head, his body just feels…so heavy.

“Oh Axton…you are doing so well. You are doing so good.” The familiar man whispers to him, slim fingers touching his jaw like slight whispers.

He rounds the commando, movements painfully graceful and calculated.

“What?” Axton whispers a small smile clinging stupidly to his lips.

“Where am I?” Axton huffs his breath shallow and lethargic.

Pearly teeth unsheathe from behind perfect, thin lips. It is a smile that rattles him down to his bones, a smile that is wicked in the same moment that it is beautiful. Glittering heterochromatic eyes play over the strong features of the commando’s face. Gentle hands cup his chin, forming around him softly. He lulls into the touch, humming against the flesh weakly.

“You’re everywhere…and nowhere.” Jack whispers to him and Axton feels a tinge of toxins lingering there.

He feels the venom dripping into his veins, high off of the feeling it brings him. It doesn’t make any sense and yet Axton seems to fully understand. This place, it feels like home, it feels like everything that he ever was and ever will be. New and fresh, like being born again. Axton reaches out and touches Jack’s slender face, the smooth flesh like velvet beneath his gruff fingers.

Then suddenly…Jack is gone.

Glinting eyes fade from view, dissipating like some phantom, sinking into the colors of the world around him. Axton reaches out, desperate to grasp him, to hold onto whatever is left of his fading form.

“Jack! Jack wait!” Axton cries then, his voice rising into a panicked, frantic tone.

Everything that was once peaceful is now hard, vicious and painted red. Everything is red. The sky, the earth. Everything.

Nothing but red.

So deep and alive and terrifying.

Axton searches around him eyes snapping wide, breath suddenly coming with less ease. He really has to try to breathe. The task is difficult, like his lungs are failing, his body is giving out. He feels aged then, spent, it’s like…dying.

“You’re so strong Axton.” Jack’s voice lingers around him, curling and twisting around his every nerve.

Axton turns wildly on his heel, searching for the direction in which the sound came from, but it is useless. It’s all around him, floating and reeling like some living thing. The sense of peace that had clung to this vivid place gives way to something that Axton knows all too well.

Fear.

The space is loud again, everything dropping heavily down onto Axton’s form, his head throbbing from the force of it all. It’s so red and livid, churning and snarling like rabid animals around him. His legs give out from underneath him and suddenly he is crumpling to the ground. He sinks into himself, hands snapping to force against his temple, screaming for it all to stop. Everything is so wild and untamed, all teeth and claws and glowering eyes. There are things around him now, things with long snouts and eyes that flash like coals in the dark. Lips snarl back over long fangs and strings of saliva loll off of wagging tongues. They are everywhere, circling around him, watching, waiting…and he is helpless. He’s all alone faced against these things made of fear and anger. They snort and growl, some coming in close, observing Axton as he sits there on the red ground shaking. He meets eyes with one, its pupils are intelligent and all knowing. Axton can taste all the wrong that he has done in life. Every bad decision, every life that he’s taken. The things know what he is. They can smell it on his very being. They know the kind of monster that he really is. They acknowledge what he really is.

“Jack!!! Don’t leave me here alone!!!” Axton screams and the vicious creatures back away with the intensity of the sound.

Then they seem to be laughing at him, their voices snarling and taunting. They are amused with him, amused with his terror.

“I’d never leave you alone Axton.” Jack’s voice swims through Axton once more.

The creatures are closer now, teeth gnashing and tails flicking, waiting watching, tasting the air. The creatures part, backing away as something bigger approaches. It walks with grace that makes Axton’s stomach turn, clawed paws just barely touching the ground. Pointed ears lay back over thick skull and breath comes like mist from its wet nostrils. Axton can smell the blood on its breath as it comes near. Wide eyes glower and shiver as they take all of Axton in. Axton just sits there, broken and unable to run, even if he wanted to. He doesn’t have the energy. Whatever it is, death maybe, he just wants it to take him quickly. Just make it painless. He deserves that much.

Axton’s eyes are held in a stare down that shakes world and sky alike. Tear stained pine colored eyes collide with burning orange. They are like two candles set in its head, flickering and dancing with the breeze. A hot expel of breath sweeps through Axton’s hair, bathing him in warmth.

“I’m going to make you great Axton.” The big beast breathes only its Jack’s voice that comes through its massive teeth.

“I’m going to give you everything.”

 

Sirens wail like screaming things, their tone so loud and ear splitting it seems to shatter the sound barrier. The room is bathed in blue light, waves of power coming forth like living things from the man lying on the medical table. The team of scientists laid dead on the floor, skulls caved in, blood and brain littering over the once pristine tile. Their bodies were horribly burned, disfigured and unidentifiable as anything close to human.

They are all that is left.

Just Jack and him.

Jack hardly hears the sirens anymore.

It’s just a nagging in the back of his head now, his pulse thundering so loudly it drowns out everything else around him. The lead scientist’s words are on repeat in his brain, biting at him like wolves.

‘This is highly dangerous sir. We are not sure how the serum will take. This has never been tested before. We have to be prepared for anything.’

Jack grits his teeth at the haunting words, so hard it was beginning to make his jaw ache.

‘We have to be prepared for anything.’

But nothing could have prepared him for this.

He wasn’t prepared for this.

Jack’s eyes were wild, shaking in his sockets as his hands held tight to the wrists beneath them. There wasn’t a chance in hell that he was letting go. He couldn’t let go.

The body beneath him writhes and he does everything he can to simply keep him shoved down to the operating table. The man is strong, most muscles military carved, the rest compliments of the horrors of Pandora. The man beneath him screams, mouth wide, neck snapping backward wildly. His eyes are glowering blue, like flames they flicker and dance, exposed to power his body does not know how to handle. Cyan markings carve out over the skin of his left side, running like lightening down one arm, jagged and mean. Wisps of burning energy radiate from his open palm, dancing off his skin like fire. Just touching him sears Jack’s palms.

He’s pretty sure the the skin on his hands is gone, it’s like he can feel the layers melting away. But he doesn’t remove them. Jack’s hips pivot Axton’s down, shoving all his weight into keeping the other man forced to the table. His restraints had broken as soon as the serum had been injected. Jack was the only thing keeping the man from letting loose. This power cannot leave this room. Not now, it’s too fresh, it’s too wild. It could burn Opportunity down if set free. All that stands between the city, and its end, is Jack.

Loaders stand at the ready, coming forth from emergency vats on the floor, guns are all trained on the man beneath him and Jack is screaming for them not to shoot. It doesn’t matter that his skin is scorching it doesn’t matter that he could die. He has to keep the other man alive. It’s selfless and it’s not like Jack.

“AXTON!! YOU GOTTA COME BACK TO ME!!! LISTEN TO ME!!!” Jack screams and the big man beneath him thrashes his head to the side eyes snapping open wide and fearful.

There is no Axton there behind those glowing pupils there is only power, and something else. Something that isn’t human. It is all raw emotion and raw instinct. He knows Axton is in there, somewhere, but he’s so far buried in the new form his body is taking it is hard to tell if Jack alone can bring him back. But he tries, because he’d made a promise.

“AXTON!!!!” Jack’s voice rings through the room, high and vicious as he shakes Axton slightly, fingers bleeding down over the table beneath them.

The sounds coming out of Axton’s mouth don’t sound like any noise a mere man should make. He isn’t a man anymore. He’s something much, much greater than that now. Something much more dangerous. Jack had unleashed something that he could not control. So here he was again, attempting to cage something that was greater than him…here he was all over again.

Tears dripped from his chin, sliding down in quick little rivers that followed the shape of his face. They weren’t brought up by the pain alone, they were conjured up by the deep parts of him that knew he’d been wrong again. The lust of power and something greater had taken hold again. He’d offered up something he could not afford to lose all in the chase for power beyond him. Axton had gone just as willingly as Angel had. Both wanting to please him, both wanting to trust him. He hadn’t deserved their trust. All he had done was steal lives that were not his to take in the first place.

So here he was, in the wake of losing again, losing to the same reasons he had lost before. He’d simply ignored all the lessons life had given him in the first place. All for what? All for power.

Suddenly the motion beneath him stopped, and everything stilled. The flickers of energy withered and died around him, fading like ghosts having been called back to afterlife. Jack’s eyes snapped open, his breaths coming in short, shallow pants, staring down as blue eyes faded back to familiar green. Jack’s bleeding hands slid from now relaxed wrists, staring in awe at what was before him. One gruff palm reached upward to touch at the tears on Jack’s masked face, eyes understanding, peaceful even. Jack swears he smiles at him, but he isn’t sure.

Then the wandering hand goes limp, falling to the table loosely. Eyes roll back and close. Jack’s face falls and his heart thunders. Wounded hands shake lifeless shoulders.

He screams his name, the words falling on deaf ears. Over and over and over again. He screams until his voice is hoarse. Jack fights when the new scientists come, swarming the other man’s limp form with new restraints and medical devices that Jack can’t name. Workers come to haul Jack away by his elbows, he’s bleeding and burnt, and he hears them as they tell him the severity of the wounds is life threatening but he doesn’t want to leave him alone. He’d promised to be here. He’d promised everything would be ok. He’d promised a lot of things.

They take him anyway, hauling him away and the last thing he sees is them taking Axton’s lifeless form.

He’d promised he wouldn’t let anything happen to him.

He’d promised

 

 

Chapter Text

Untouchable

Eyes come open nice and slow, gentle pine hue meeting with dull light. Heavy lashes kiss at the sharps of his cheekbones as he blinks several times, the motion becoming easier with each instance. His vision is slightly blurred, like everything around him is some sort of charcoal drawing that someone had run their hands over. Everything is soft in the low light, and gentle, like coming up for air after being underwater for too long. He slowly takes air into his lungs. It feels good, it feels right.

Only as he comes back into more vivid consciousness does he realize everything around him just seems to have this….glow. A faded magenta glow that renders everything soft purple and gorgeous. Axton basks in the wonder of it for a moment, pupils trying hard to gain focus on the things around him.

Where is he?

The question lingers in the air like some dirty secret.

Axton pushes his eyebrows together slowly, trying to assess all that surrounds him, trying to understand what this place is…

He attempts to bring his fingers to his face, simply wanting to touch, to feel that he is actually real, but he finds his arm rendered useless. Axton looks to his side, vision finally clear and focused. A slow, shaky breath expels from his lungs as he looks over himself.

There are tubes, big, shiny tubing connecting to every piece of him like snakes. His arms are caged within restraints as are his legs. Wires everywhere, attaching to every inch of him. It is then that he finds the source of the glow. It’s the tubing, big clear tubes attached to his back, jutting from him, glistening with bright purple liquid. His heart begins to thrum in his chest as he tries to move again, but finds that all movement is stolen from him. He looks down frantically.

He’s floating. Well, somewhat, held some five feet from the ground by the twisting tubes around him. He looks to the ceiling, hope fading quickly from his form. The glistening tubes run up from him, all meeting back within massive vats overhead, leading to a great machine that hisses and groans as the liquid travels from it, down to Axton.

It’s pumping liquid into him. The tubes are a sort of feeding mechanism.

Axton feels a warm, flooding sensation as the tubes channel the liquid into him. It isn’t painful, just…familiar. Somehow it feels like he’s been through this before and that alone has him worried beyond all reason.

The room around him is wide and vast, full of silver and black machines, blinking with thousands of buttons and meters. The subtle hum of monitors and machines kisses his ears in a way that feels comforting. He doesn’t know why everything feels so hauntingly familiar even as he views it for the very first time. It’s all so confusing and overbearing. As his pulse raises, so does the constant beep of the big computer before him, the little vital sign monitors spiking quickly. As panic sets in, alarms start to sound and the shrill, unpleasant sound frightens Axton. He looks around in fear. He has no idea where he is, or…what he is. He searches over himself, and he looks to be all intact, all legs and arms accounted for even as they are strapped to the big hanging machine. But he doesn’t…feel…like himself. Something is different. Something is off. Axton’s eyes swim down his naked form. He is more pale than he remembers, but not any thinner, all his muscle mass seemingly still there. The he sees them. For the first time.

The markings.

Blue and sharp, scattered like scars down over his left shoulder, his arm, his torso, and half his leg. They were vibrant, seeming to glisten as the liquid was pumped into him. Like they were feeding off of the substance hungrily. Axton breathed out shakily.

What were those?

He wanted so badly to remember. He’d do anything to remember, his brain digging, rattling, trying in vain to dig up the buried memories. But it all felt faded. Like a childhood dream that had been withered by the years, to the point in which he wasn’t even sure if it were real or not. There were pieces, floating scattered through his mind. Flashes of voices, of trembling hands on him, of screaming.

Someone screaming his name.

They were screaming for him to come back…but he hadn’t gone anywhere? He was here. All of him, he hadn’t left? His breathing was erratic and frightened. The room was too big and he was all alone. He didn’t want to be alone, why was he alone? Where was here? What was here? He was scared. Like a child having awoken from slumber in the middle of a thunderstorm. Everything was loud and mean and he was terrified. He tried to pull at the machine, the wires tugging in all the wrong ways. But there was nowhere to go. He was trapped, wrapped in tubes and metal and he was so scared. Tears ran down his face.

Where was Jack?

Why wasn’t he here?

The last thing Axton remembered was being put under to undergo the siren procedure. All the breath left Axton’s lungs in one scattering moment.

The procedure.

He looked down at the markings running wild over his left side once more. There they were. In all their glory and terror. There they were. Axton’s eyes flicked to the machine once more. Was this part of the procedure? How long had he been under anesthetic?

Where was Jack?

 

The Hyperion president’s fingers pinched the bridge of his nose tiredly, his eyes falling closed, a long sigh coming loose from his lungs. The cool touch of the metal was still strange upon his skin, the mechanics in his cybernetics moving as fluidly as real digits. He supposed he would get used to them eventually. He leaned back in his office chair slowly, the plush furniture groaning with his weight. Long mechanical fingers moved their massaging motion up to his temples, his lean body crooning forward over his desk, most his weight forced onto the sharps of his elbows. They touched over the familiar skin, the skin that was soft and new, kept stupidly perfect by the mask he normally wore. The touch sensors in his fingertips were nearly as good as real hands he guessed. He still had all the sensations of ghost limbs and time hadn’t healed that just yet.

The said mask lay abandoned on his desk, on top of piles of paperwork that had gone undone for most the week. Unkempt, hard metal scraped over a three day stubble that had been left untouched by a razor fault belonging only to his own laziness. He was just too tired to upkeep his own hygiene most days. He was sure he’d gone a day too many without a shower, and he couldn’t really remember that last time he’d eaten anything that wasn’t a high calorie instant meal that took two minutes to microwave.

He was stripped down to just his Hyperion yellow shirt, the collar stretched out and hanging on his thin form. None of his clothes really fit him well anymore. He blamed it on the clothing being old, stretched out with time…but he knew deep down it was from all the weight he’d shed. It wasn’t healthy, he knew that. He just didn’t care.

He was two days deep in a drunken binge and he was barely seeing straight. He’d woken up this morning too hung over to even so much as drag himself out of bed. It wasn’t like him to show up past seven sharp, lately he was lucky to make it to his office at all. Showing up at twelve was an early day for him anymore. So he sat in the arms of late work nights, his efforts often trudging into the early hours of the morning. He’d only stop when he was too drunk to read the type on the computer. Sometimes he’d just pass out here. Sometimes it was too much effort to even make it back to his bedroom.

The CEO lifted the small flask to his lips, taking a long swig that burned the back of his throat as it went down. Everything in him protested the intake of alcohol, but he forced it down. Nursing hangovers with more drink… that was all he knew how to do anymore.

He stared at a flickering Echo screen, maps and spreadsheets dancing over its form like taunting little beasts. Jack just watched it through tired eyes, dark circles clinging to his sockets like uninvited guests that he couldn’t will to leave. He should have been mapping out the next location for mining operations. He should have been drawing up plans for Opportunity’s expansion. He should have been filing the all the reports from this week that he didn’t file last week.

Instead he just took another draw from the flask. All those things could wait. Just like everything else…it could wait.

The clock on his desk told him that it was nearly ten. He should really eat something.

He takes another drink. That can wait too.

Elpis is full and fat, framed in his picture window, casting bright ghostly shadows through the span of his dark office. He can’t stand to have the lamps on, all they do is hurt his eyes and remind him of the nagging headache that comes with any sort of light or motion. He can see himself in the window’s reflection, but it doesn’t look like him. Hair all a mess, ragged scar slashed across his once gorgeous face. He looks tired. No. He looks exhausted.

He looks like he hasn’t slept in years. He really should get some sleep.

He takes another big drink from the flask. He’ll just add that into his growing to-do list that he won’t ever complete. The warm buzz from the alcohol wraps around him like some long lost lover. It’s the only thing that gives him comfort anymore. The tingling sensation spreads out from his head and runs down to his fingers and toes. There it is, his oldest friend. His dearest friend. There she is again. Jack sighs into the feeling of slipping away, letting loose of all the worries of the day. Suddenly it doesn’t matter that he’s falling apart, or that he knows he’s drowning in a sea of things he can’t handle.

He just runs. Like he always has.

Runs away from anything that is too difficult, and this old friend, she is always here to aid him in that. He sighs into her and closes his eyes. His favorite kind of one night stand.

Suddenly the chime of his Echo device shakes him out of his drink induced coma. His tired eyes simply stare at the small, noisy device. Half of him just wants to shut it off and ignore the call, but the other half tells him not to. Something forces him to pick it up.

Jack’s shoulders drop as he sighs greatly and his shaky fingers scoop up the small thing reluctantly.

“What.” He snarls into the device.

“Sir, we have some news.” The crackling voice on the other end announces.

Jack groans and spins in his chair, flustered had running through brunette locks. Here it comes, he thinks. More bad news. All it ever is anymore is bad news.

“Well spit it out.” Jack hisses through grit teeth his eyes screwed shut in preparation for whatever news the voice on the other end has for him.

“He’s awake sir.” The voice says blankly.

Jack’s eyes snap open wide and suddenly full of realization. For a moment he isn’t sure if he’s heard the other party correctly. It wouldn’t be the first time. Lately he has been hearing more voices in his head than just his own and he really should be seeing someone about that, but he hasn’t because he’s Handsome Jack and Handsome Jack doesn’t go to counseling. Because counseling is for lunatics and he isn’t crazy. Or so he’s convinced himself.

“What?” Jack questions a little too shakily, his voice cracking slightly.

“He’s conscious.” The voice repeats.

Jack’s fingers let loose of his Echo device and it clatters to the floor hard, echoing through the wide space of his office.

His chair is left empty, mask reattached sloppily, and he goes.

 

The Night Previous:

“Sir, to tell you my honest opinion, he may never come out of the coma.” The scientist sitting across the plain white desk sighed, his eyes glinting behind dark rimmed glasses.

He did his best to ignore the Hyperion President’s disheveled look. He tried hard to ignore the stains down the front of his shirt, the scent of booze on his breath and the fact that the man had two different shoes on.

“No, no, no. You just aren’t trying hard enough.” Jack snarled in response, shaking his head quickly, his eyes wide and distant.

His pupils were blown with lack of sleep and he looked like he may have been doing something other than just drinking himself into a stupor. The scientist wasn’t about to ask what kinds of drugs Jack had been dabbling in though. He was risking his life enough just by trying to explain to the CEO the current situation of the patient.

“Sir I assure you we are doing all that we can-“ The scientist said gently pushing his glasses up his nose and peering down at the paperwork in his palms.

Jack cut him off with a sharp slam of his mechanical right hand on the desk before him.

“I said you AREN’T TRYING HARD ENOUGH!! I shouldn’t have to REPEAT myself.” Jack yelled his voice vicious and strained.

There wasn’t a lick of sanity left in his throat. Dealing with the man was simply becoming harder and harder as the days went on. In fact the scientist in front of him was the only one left that would still deal with Jack. The others simply refused to do so for their own safety. Too many men had, had work related ‘accidents’ in the form of Jack shoving a pistol down their throat and pulling the trigger. The slender man expelled a low breath across his intertwined fingers and dropped his gaze to the papers in hand once more.

“Ok sir. Ok. I’m just informing you what all my studies have confirmed, may I continue?” The lanky scientist huffed casually.

Jack just grunted and the other man took that as a sign to go on.

“The Eridium machine is keeping him stable and alive. The dosages have been slightly more difficult to figure out now that the Vault key is fully charged and we have nowhere to put the excess energy, but some changes to the machine seem to be working fine in dealing with that. Now he is simply acting as a holding cell for the key, keeping it safe.” The scientist breathed.

Jack just grunted again.

“Now it is just a question of what is going to be our next move sir?” The man said his tone dropping slightly.

Jack just shot him a wild eyed look and the scientist quickly elaborated.

“He and the key have been attached together for so long I’m not sure how breaking the two apart will go. That has been his stabilizing factor…for some time now sir. If he were conscious I don’t feel like this would be a problem, but with his unconscious state I don’t know how his body is going to react.” The scientist grimaced rolling his shoulders just slightly.

“Well then the answer to that is pretty fucking simple dontcha think cupcake? Get. Him. Conscious.” Jack hissed getting up out of his chair lividly.

The scientist looked to Jack with shaking pupils and nodded slowly. There really wasn’t any point in arguing with the man. They had been going round and round with this for nine months now there was no getting it through Jack’s head that the other man…may never wake up. Jack simply refused to accept that fact no matter how hard the scientist tried to explain it.

“Yes sir.” The scientist sighed and his answer was only met by the slam of his office door as Jack took his leave.

Jack’s heavy breathing echos through wide hallways that are empty for the most part. All the grunt workers have long since gone home. He should go home too, but he doesn’t. He goes where he always does this time of night, every night. Jack’s shoulders weigh heavy as he stands in the door, entering the dark room with caution turned into sadness. He stands there motionless, in the wide doorframe for much longer than the standard moment, then with a sigh he completes his entrance.

He’s bathed in a familiar purple glow that washes over his sickly features. His eyes are immediately on him. He doesn’t look anything like what Jack remembers him to be, all strapped to the massive machine keeping him safe and alive. The machine that keeps the city safe as well. The machine that calms the wild power that lurks within the man before him.

Jack’s footsteps echo across the space, joining in with the chorus of sounds coming from the large screens around the room, all monitoring vital signs, brainwaves, Eridium dosages. He stands before him for a moment, eyes searching over the other man’s face. Every time he hopes that those eyelids will just come open, and he’ll be graced with a small taste of those green eyes once more, but each time he is disappointed. It takes everything in his power not to reach out and touch him. He just wants to splay his fingers across the other man’s cheek, but he knows what that will do. Kill him most likely. Touching the man-made siren had already cost him both his limbs from the bicep down so many months ago, and any effort to touch the other man had left the one attempting to do so dead. He was lucky to have survived the first round he supposed…even if it wasn’t in one piece.

Jack looked longingly to the other man and turned to take hold of one of the rolling desk chairs tucked beneath the long set of desks in the corner. Along with it he opened a bottom drawer and plucked out a worn looking paperback book. Jack settled the chair just in front of his once lover and eased himself into it, broad mechanical fingers thumbing through the beaten book, coming to the dog eared page he was searching for.

“So I guess this is where we stopped huh kiddo. You know I never really took you for the type of guy that was into romance novels.” Jack chuckled unfolding a pair of reading glasses from his coat pocket and gently perching them on his nose.

“Guess that makes two of us cupcake. I always was a sucker for the ‘trashy’ novels.” Jack sighed shrugging his shoulders up just slightly.

He looked down to the book, the next chapter staring up at him expectantly. His mismatched eyes flicked up to Axton’s silent form.

“I’m so sorry.” Jack whispered to himself.

So Jack sat there, reading to his unconscious counterpart, clinging to some false hope that at any moment he would wake up and everything would be as it was. He sat there in the dark, tears wetting the pages he read.

And Handsome Jack cried.

Chapter Text

Finishing what we Started

The hallway is bursting with commotion. Workers rushing down the lengthy spaces ready with guns and ready with the will to protect. Jack shoves them aside, feet slapping the tile beneath him. His breath came in unfulfilling shallow pants, his eyes were wild as he went. Nobody enters the room upon Jack’s orders, they stay loyally at the door, watching with unsure gazes as blue light emanates from the glassed in space.

Jack barks at them all to lower their goddamned weapons and the ferocity in his voice is enough to shake fear down into their little bones. Jack enters the room without hesitation, without concern, he ignores every warning that had ever been spoken to him and he follows instinct alone.

And that…is when he sees him.

Axton writhes against the machine that he is strapped to for both his own safety and the safety of the entire city of Opportunity. There is panic in his glowering eyes, a fright that Jack has never seen before and hopes to never see again. Tears wet his solid cheeks and teeth grit. He’s screaming. He’s screaming for Jack.

“Axton!! Hey!! Kiddo! Kiddo! I’m right here! I’m right here!” Jack yells over the sounds of Axton’s powers whirring to life like some beautiful and ugly thing.

Axton’s frightened eyes flick down to Jack, body stilling for a moment.

Jack” Axton breathes and there is relief in his voice.

Axton’s shaking as he looks to Jack and the sight is wrong. So very wrong.

Jack sweeps across the room, as close as he can get without actually touching the man held by the machine. He wants to touch him. He wants to reach out and comfort him so badly but his right mind holds him back. Axton wants his touch and his wide eyes are suddenly questioning why Jack stands his distance. He can see the want in Jack’s eyes and yet the CEO holds back and Axton doesn’t know why.

“W-What is this thing?? Jack why can’t I move my arms??” Axton questions his voice cracking weakly.

His voice sounds so foreign on Jack’s ears, it is low and scared but god it is so good to hear him speak. That voice that Jack surrounded himself with for years having gone absent for so long and it was all his fault. Everything was his fault. He destroyed everything that he’d ever touched and he’d nearly destroyed Axton, but he was alive, he was breathing, he was conscious.

Jack shushed his frightened partner and gently sat in the office chair left idle before Axton’s caged form. Jack looked different as Axton peered down upon the CEO. He looked aged, more so than usual, grey streak more apparent, his mask looked as if he’d put it on without clipping the bottom hinge and he had a tired look in his eyes that was unnerving. There were so many things hiding behind the older man’s pupils and suddenly Axton was unsure if he really wanted to know what they were.

“It’s…it’s for your own safety Axton. It isn’t going to hurt you I promise.” Jack whispered.

As if his promises were even worth anything these days.

Axton felt his heart slowing slightly, the beating in his chest calming somewhat as he took time to observe his surroundings with a more level head. Though Jack’s words ensured him that the machine would not harm him, somehow that did not ease Axton’s mind much. The machine was still keeping him from moving and he didn’t know why.

“Why can’t I move.” Axton asked again, more pointed this time.

Jack ran a slow hand through disheveled brunette locks. There is hesitance in his every motion and his every breath. His chest fills with oxygen and it is a slow movement. Jack stays silent and Axton can smell the shame and guilt seeping from the older man’s very being. He seems so ragged and so broken and Axton cannot put his finger on why. He tries to remember, but the pieces are so blurry and he must not have slept well because his head is in a fog and his muscles ache. He feels so tired and so worn and everything is too much for his slow brain to grasp onto.

“Axton…” Jack whispers softly.

The closed door keeps their conversation from the workers outside the room but Axton can see them. They are armed to the teeth and stand at the ready. Axton doesn’t like the way that Jack tries to avoid his questions and he knows the CEO is dancing around something, shying just out of its clutches. There is fear in Axton’s lungs and it will not douse. It is the way the workers are all looking at him, terror clinging to their irises like dancing flames. They are scared…of him.

“What happened!?” Axton yells his voice coming forth rough as new sandpaper.

Jack was silent again, thoughts turning over in his skull, searching for the right words but coming up short. Jack slowly held out his prosthetic arms and his eyes collided with Axton’s pine orbs.

“Things didn’t go as planned kiddo.” Jack breathed.

Axton stared wide eyed at the president’s missing arms, his breath leaving his lungs in a shaky expel of air. Axton felt his heart racing in his chest, the organ fluttering against his ribs like a frightened bird. Axton looked to his glowering tattoos then to Jack’s arms. The pieces all fell together in a great jumble. Jack screaming Axton’s name, the fit of power overtaking Axton’s every fiber, the feeling of absolutely losing his mind with the new energy forced into his bones. He remembered Jack’s hands on his wrists, he remembered the President screaming at him to stay alive, stay awake, stay with him. He remembered everything hurting. He remembered everything shutting down in one blinding flicker of light. He remembered the absent feeling as his mind went blank and his body was left feeling like some ghostly entity.

“I did that?” Axton questioned softly eyes watering with confusion and hurt.

He didn’t know who he was, or what he was and Jack’s lack of explanation was leaving him out in the cold.

“It wasn’t your fault kiddo. Arms are kinda overrated anyway, you should see the vibration settings I can get on these things…we’ll…we’ll have some fun with that at some point.” Jack tried at humor awkwardly but it came out strained and wrong.

Axton tried to smile, tried to ease a bit, but the feat was impossible as so many questions still hung in the air. Jack sighed and shook his head slowly, crossing his legs one over the other as his mismatched eyes fell to the flooring. How do you explain to someone that you had made a monster out of them? That their body was no longer theirs to control. That they were too powerful to be trusted off of the machine.

“The procedure backfired. You became a siren yeah…but it was too powerful for your body. You just shut down Ax…your mind couldn’t handle it. You’ve been in a coma for nine months kiddo…I was beginning to fear you wouldn’t...you wouldn’t wake up.” Jack whispered.

Axton looked down at himself once more, the flickering of his tattoos waning and dying as his mood changed from fear to sadness and understanding.

“We knew it was gunna be risky boss…” Axton whispered.

“It wasn’t worth the risk kiddo.” Jack snapped angrily, only the outrage was not pointed at Axton.

Jack as infuriated…with himself.

“Angel died because I pushed too hard. Now you nearly did too. I’m done Axton. I’m done with this shit. I’ve been running around chasing my fucking tail and for what? For some stupid Vault? I’ve nearly lost it all…I’m not willing to lose anymore. I don’t even care what it in that fucking thing anymore…I just want to end it all.” Jack snarled burying his head in his hands woefully.

Axton was pretty sure he was hearing things. Handsome Jack, wanting to give up the hunt? Just like that? Axton swallowed dryly. Whatever had happened during that procedure…it had scared Jack, rattled him out of his mind and now here he sat with some sort of sanity clinging to his aura and it was an odd look for the tyrant of a man. A God brought down to his knees with the threat of loss. Jack sat just a man before him, a man willing to give up a chase that he had spent his entire life running after. Axton felt sick with the unnerving sight. He knew not what to say, or what action to take next.

“But what about the last of the Vault Hunters Jack…? We’ve…We’ve come so far?” Axton breathed in utter disbelief.

“Axton!! I can’t even fucking touch you now!! I can’t unhook you from that goddamned machine because I have no idea what will fucking happen!! This is enough, we’ve gone too far…I went too far. It’s not fucking worth it anymore…” Jack bellowed.

His tone was lost and strained.

Nine months had given him a lot of time to wallow in his feelings of hatred and grief. He’d refused to properly grieve Axton for the very reasons now sitting before him, because there was a chance that he was still alive, that he could wake. But the nine months had allowed him to grieve other things. Like his own sanity, the loss of his mind. He’s pushed so hard and struggled so far hell bent on a ridiculous blood lust that had driven him to kill his own daughter and nearly kill the only person he had left in this godforsaken world. He wouldn’t lose Axton this time. He’d spent so many nights drunk out of his mind cursing himself and all the heavens, yelling at the walls and screaming at the floors. He’d spent long hours questioning all of this and where it was all going. The Crimson Raiders were split into tiny pieces, their hopes of reforming crumbled into nearly nothing and yet that wasn’t enough. The Vault’s promise had blinded him to everything he’d done wrong. It was never his fault. Everything could be pushed upon others, if he ran fast enough he wouldn’t have to actually acknowledge all of the harm he’d caused. The lives he’d taken didn’t matter. But Axton’s did.

He would not be responsible for Axton’s life.

Axton felt a cold chill travel the length of his spine, a heavy feeling sinking into his muscles.

“I’m done Axton.” Jack breathed.

“I’m done with this.”

There were many feelings welling within the commando. Confusion, distraught…but mostly…there was just anger. Axton wasn’t even sure what he was, strapped to some goddamned machine like some monster. He was so powerful. More powerful than he’d ever felt before. He could feel it running through his veins, coursing through his muscles. It was an otherworldly thing to experience. He had gone through so much to get here, to open that Vault, to end this. He would not stop here. He was not done.

“You may be done…but I’m not Jack.” Axton snarled lifting his head to lock eyes with the Hyperion president.

“The hell you are.” Jack nearly spat, anger welling in his chest.

He gave orders and Axton should follow them. That was how this worked, but here, Axton took his stand.

“I’ve lost my humanity over this Jack!!! I don’t even know what the fuck I am anymore!! I will not let this all have been for nothing!! I have old debts to pay. Lilith and Brick are still alive, and I swore to wipe them off the face of this planet long ago. I won’t stop here. I can’t stop here.” Axton bellowed his tattoos glowering wildly, the machine groaning and straining beneath the new power.

Jack stood from his chair in rage.

“I said we are done with this Axton.” Jack repeated, venom stirring behind his every word.

“We’re done with this when I say we’re done.” Axton whispered eyes never wavering from the brunette man’s before him.

Jack stood unmoving, feet planted like concrete to the ground as it shook beneath him. The machine snarled and twisted, metal unable to hold the otherworldly power now bursting at its seams. Axton’s eyes glowered blue, muscles straining, temples throbbing, he could just barely curl his fingers, scraping through wire and solid mass that was beginning to fail to hold him steady. Blue light emanated like wildfire from his bones, coming forth in curls and wisps as it licked out from his being. The beast of a machines gave a shivering twist and Axton pulled his left arm with all his might, pieces of the machine scattering to the floor wildly as he got his limb free.

“We have unfinished business Jack. Are you with me or not?” Axton bellowed as the energy whirred around the room.

Jack stood silent for a moment, watching as his lover, his creation, came forth in all beauty and danger. He was so powerful, so gorgeous, so raw. He was perfect.

That old itch simply snarled up within the older man’s gut. The old want, the old need. This wasn’t over. No.

This had merely just begun.

“We’ve got a Vault to open kiddo.” Jack chuckled darkly, eyes flashing and mouth pulled tight in a twisted smile that could shake heaven and hell alike.

“There’s the Jack I fell in love with.” Axton hissed.

With a mighty roar Axton’s powers were let loose, the entire room engulfed in blue light, the machine breaking apart with the force, the men outside rushing in with guns ready. It was all a blur, happening as fast as a clap of hands. And just as soon as it had all started…it was over.

The machine lay in pieces. And the two men, were gone.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

A Pair of Dog Tags

Air whirred in Jack’s ears like bellowing thunder. It’s like a rocket taking lift, loud, booming, destroying his thoughts and blurring his head. He wants to cup his tender ears from the abusing sound, but he can’t move them.

He can’t move anything.

His limbs are frozen, numb and there is nothing to be done.

There is panic in the back of his throat and at the same time there is a sense of weightless peace that comes unexpectedly. He feels light, like everything within him is simply empty air. His eyes are open but he sees nothing, there is only blinding blue light that invades every corner of his vision. The light is like energy, coursing through his every nerve and awakening his very being. He feels emotions that he has no names for and hears things that don’t make sense.

It is like being alive, and dead in the very same breath.

Each moment feels like eternity, floating along the line of life and death, not really sure which side he was on. But he feels his heart thundering and he knows he is alive. His body is still aware and he is still breathing. This isn’t afterlife that he is faced with.

This is something very much so alive.

Maybe too alive.

Then his body dropped. Hard, out of thin air, his hands colliding with hard earth and his knees following. The impact left him gasping for breath, rolling to his back trying to take in the oxygen his lungs so desperately needed.

Everything was so bright as his eyes strained to open into mere slits. The light was so intense that it was painful to his tender eyes, too furious, too intense. Jack groaned and slowly turned onto his side, his body racked with ache from the initial collision with the hard earth beneath him. Jack blinked several more times, brain trying to process his surroundings slowly. His fingers dug into the rocky soil spread out beneath his recovering form and he scrunched up his nose in confusion.

Where was he?

Jack coughed weakly into the dust, eyes opening fully, only to become very aware of the fiery ash floating in the midst of the air. Jack could feel the soot in his throat as he breathed in raggedly and the warmth all around him. Everything was burning with smoldering heat, his layers of clothing quickly feeling near unbearable with the temperature.

“Fuck…” Jack whispered into the smothering air.

He leaned up on shaking elbows, clothing slightly torn with the fall, the metal of his arms scuffed.

And that was when he really soaked in and appreciated all that was surrounding him.

Towering statues mimicking monstrous creatures poured lava from their maws into the pool of molten liquid surrounding the rocky surface on which Jack sat. The walnut haired man’s eyes grew wide as his vision cleared and he seemed to come back into the reality of it all. The entire span of terrain was a mixture of vast rocks, jagged as they reached skyward and lava, bubbling and gurgling like a living thing. Jack jumped as a large bubble hissed and popped, spraying thick lava over a nearby rock. Jack scooted away from the oppressing material quickly and caught his breath unevenly.

He knew where he was.

He knew this place.

Of course he would.

All the drilling, all the labor, all the men lost to rockslides, so many hours spent carving into the rough Pandoran terrain.

The Vault.

This was it.

He’d spent so long dreaming of this place, working towards this place, going through hell and back to get here. And now he stood of the very sacred ground of one of the many wonders of the Eridian race. It couldn’t have been more gorgeous, the bright oranges and yellows reflected in Jack’s heterochromatic eyes, flashing and shimmering like candle flames.

A wicked, maniacal grin spread like molasses across Jack’s thin features. Laughter slowly bubbled up from his deepest depths. Laughter that was crazed, relieved and awed all in one. The CEO swept his mechanical fingers through his thick hair in almost a disbelieving fashion, laughing upward in a crazed fashion.

I made it…” Jack whispered to himself, eyes still taking in the overwhelming sight.

Then realization seemed to hit.

Jack’s eyes scanned to his left, suddenly very aware of the blue light emanating from that direction. His heart told him it was the man that he had become so very fond of, but his eyes begged to differ.

The young man stood like a god walking upon earth, bare feet barely hovering above the rocky soil beneath him. His eyes flared with blue flames, body seething with an energy that Jack was all too familiar with. Jack said nothing, for there were really no words that fit and simply watched in awe. It was like looking at something otherworldly, something that was not meant to be seen by mortal eyes. Jack almost felt the urge to look away from the glory of it all, like he was intruding on something that was not meant for man. This was far beyond him…and yet he was the one that had created it. These hands that had killed and destroyed so very much had created something so vastly beyond him.

Glittering wings of cyan energy carried behind the sandy haired man like trophies of honor, barely dragging the ground as he moved. His hands were held out gracefully, fingers gripped around the breadth of the large stone key, glowering purple as energy surged through it.

The young man gently collided with the ground, toes finding the rock below, wings shifting behind him elegantly. With a gentle shove Axton pressed the flickering key down into the lock on the floor below, the two Eridian technologies combining into one, spinning and locking at the two accepted each other like long lost soul mates.

A soon as the key clicked the ground below the two men began to rumble and shake. The silence was broken like shattered glass as a deafening roar echoed through the large space. Jack covered his ears as the cry reverberated through the vault, shaking one statue to pieces, the rock sliding down into molten lava. The lava parted sloppily as the big beast reared its massive head, glowing eyes all shimmering, claws grasping the massive stones before it.

The warrior in all its beauty, jaws gaping, tail curling around its monstrous body like ribbon.

Jack stood on hesitant feet as the creature looked to the two men before it, intelligent eyes rolling in its many sockets. Jack felt his heart thundering in the confines of his ribs, frantic and untamed.

He stepped forward, the movement causing the great creature to focus its attention solely on him.

“You’re mine Warrior. You serve me now…” Jack snarled wickedly, his eyes wild in their sockets.

The colossal beast turned its head to the side, breathing out harshly, and lava pouring from its slack jaws. Its eyes understood as they cast upon their new master, ready to serve as its makeup had foretold. It was created to please a master, to bow to its king’s rule, and bow it did. Jack could feel the high of power coursing through his veins like fire. This was what he’d given everything to have. A power that could only be controlled by one. A power that could cleanse this shithole of a planet. He would wipe the slate clean, he would start over. He’d build this planet into a safe haven. People would flock here, ready to start new lives, and they would cheer his name because he had civilized this godforsaken rock. They said it couldn’t be done, but he would.

Handsome Jack had done it.

Not man, but god, as he stood before his prize.

And it was beautiful.

Suddenly there was the heart stopping explosion from just behind the two men. The rocket zipped through the ash filled air, bright like a falling star, and all time seemed to stop dead as the round hit its mark. The warrior cried out shrilly as the rocket buried in the side of its shoulder, causing it to stagger slightly.

Jack turned, looking to the direction from which the rocket had come and stopped dead.

“You thought it would be easy didn’t you?” The red haired siren snarled as she stepped onto the rocky island gingerly.

She stood still as ice, the brute of a man flanking her loyally.

The last of the vault hunters, standing before the call of duty like stupid little ants. They didn’t learn, they’d been crushed, defeated, and diminished. They were all that was left of their once strong rebellion and yet they would fight until the very end. They would draw their last breath defending this stupid little planet.

Jack threw up his hands violently.

“Don’t you get it!? Don’t you understand you stupid little heathens!?” Jack screamed, pausing for a moment.

“This, this is what civilization looks like, I’m going to bring ORDER to this planet. I’m going to make something of this hellish ball of rock and dust…yet you just, won’t, quit!! This is the kind of change this planet needs!” Jack bellowed.

Lilith shook her head, eyes fierce and glowering.

“You just don’t understand. This is our home.” Lilith yelled, her fists balling with energy.

“Not anymore. This planet…belongs to me.” Jack snarled.

With that Lilith let loose of a blinding flash of power, the bolt aimed straight for Jack.

The display of force was stopped dead by a much stronger, meaner, flash of energy, cancelling the red haired sirens blast out. Lilith stopped dead as Axton stepped forward, fists glowering, standing protectively in front of Jack.

Lilith’s jaw clenched and her hands fisted.

“W-what…What did he do to you?” Lilith whispered in disbelief.

Axton said nothing, simply stared the other siren down with vicious eyes.

You. You fucking traitor!! This is your entire fault!! You will doom this planet!!” Lilith bellowed.

Axton’s wings shifted behind him, his energy flickering like a living being around his muscular form.

Lilith let go of a vicious screech and bounded for the ex soldier wildly, without thinking, without caring. She just wanted revenge. He’d take everything from her. She had nothing left to lose. She phased before the other man, display of power immense as she came for him. Before she could so much as touch him Axton’s fingers were around her throat. The siren gagged and choked as she was lifted off the ground, feet struggling, powers waning.

Axton shoved her, his powers throwing her across the rock platform with ease, her body crashing into the ground harshly. The siren cried out as she hit, shaking and bewildered by the display of power. Jack looked on with proud eyes, watching his man made siren move, watching Axton flex his powers without restraint.

“I won’t let you win this!!” Lilith screamed her powers growing wildly.

She was giving it all, giving too much, pressing her powers farther than she ever had before. And Axton was prepared to meet her. Red wings against dark blue they crashed together, the explosion rumbling the vault around them, rocks crashing to the ground like rain. Lilith had never felt something so strong, so untamed.

He was dangerous, and she knew it.

A man created siren was playing with fire.

She could see it in Axton’s eyes that he was wild. His powers were something not even he could control. And as they clashed, siren against siren, she knew that his powers were quickly getting out of hand. Before long he wouldn’t be able to stop them. He would destroy them all. Her, Brick, Jack, the warrior…and himself.

Maybe it was better this way, she thought.

She’d come here knowing she would perish.

She had been ready from the start.

This was it.

The red haired siren’s body hit the earth just in time to watch as the Warrior emerged from the lava, jaws bared at her partner, Brick’s rocket launcher his only defense against the big creature. Man against beast, she knew where they stood…the losing side.

They all stood on the losing side.

Lilith could hear Axton’s feet approaching, his powers flared and wild, whipping around him like creatures. There was no man there, he was too crazed with the power, too infected by it, his humanity was lost as his powers grew.

“This is it Lilith. This is where it all ends.” Axton snarled, lip curled up in a animalistic sneer.

Lilith’s breath came in labored pants, bloody and broken.

“This was over a long time ago Axton.” Lilith wheezed.

For one last time Lilith summoned all that she had, and struck at Axton. The manmade siren unleashed the breadth of his powers. The siren before him dissipated into dust as his powers hit. The power flowed through Axton like electricity. He would kill them. He would kill them all.

Jack could only watch in horror as the man’s powers were unleashed. Jack knew that look in Axton’s eyes. He’d seen it once before and he’d never wanted to see it again.

“AXTON STOP!!!” Jack bellowed.

But it was too late.

There was a flash of light and suddenly Jack could hear nothing, just a humming, terrible ringing in his ears as the world went white. Jack ducked down, hands thrown over his head, eyes squeezed shut…but the blast he was ready for never came.

He counted the seconds in his head. One, two, three, four…

Jack dared to open his eyes then, straining as they adjusted to the world once more. It was only then that Jack became aware of the whirring sound of an energy shield rotating around him. Jack tried to even his breathing, looking around in confusion.

How was he…alive?

Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the shield dropped and Jack was exposed to the elements once more. His eyes soaked in the gruesome sight before him in disbelief. The burnt remains of the red haired siren and the berserker lay sprawled over the stone unmoving, as did the massive body of what was once the warrior.

Jack shook his head wildly.

Everything had just happened so quickly.

Now there was only death and destruction.

Then the sound of footsteps kissed the CEO’s ears.

“Don’t make any sudden movements Jack.” A female voice whispered in his ear.

The business end of a pistol shoved into the back of his skull and it was made clear this new party did not intend on him acting rashly.

Jack raised his hands slowly. He had no weapon, he had no warrior, he had nothing left to fight with.

“Put your hands on the back of your head nice and easy.” The voice instructed.

Jack obeyed slowly, not daring to turn around.

“There we go. Good. Stay that way.” She said softly.

She slowly rounded the kneeling president, her strides long and graceful. Jack’s eyes finally dared to soak in the form of the woman before him and he choked back a sound of surprise. She was dressed in rugged looking bandit armor, decorated with bones and scales, strings of skulls clanging to her waist as she walked.

The blue haired siren, the siren that had not been strong enough to charge the key herself.

Jack’s face was washed in confusion as he watched her closely.

Maya?” Jack whispered, mostly to himself.

The siren did not answer as she continued across the broken rubble around her, her boots crunching the hard soil.

“You’re playing with things you shouldn’t be Jack.” The siren whispered as she approached the unconscious man before her.

Axton lay in the mass of rocks, the dust settling around him gently. His eyes were softly closed, body limp and spent. Maya bent down slowly, touching the sandy haired man’s still glistening tattoos.

“Don’t touch him.” Jack spat protectively.

The siren turned to Jack with fire in her eyes.

“You…you do not speak here. This-…” She gestured to the man before her. “Is your doing. He’s lucky he wasn’t killed. He doesn’t understand how to be a siren Jack because he wasn’t designed for it! He’s a human that you have thrust these powers upon and he is dangerous. To others and himself. Yet you let him loose on this planet like a child wielding his father’s gun.” Maya spat coldly.

Jack said nothing.

“You cannot control him. Nobody can control him, not even himself, because he is green, like a newborn. We were raised with these powers; instinct informed us how to control these amounts of strength. He’s not had that experience.” Maya sighed gently stroking the gruff man’s cheek.

She and Axton had bad blood, but the wounds had since healed somewhat. Maya had left the Crimson Raiders long ago, she’d cultivated her own home, a clan of bandits that worshipped her like some goddess. At one time being worshipped would have turned her stomach, but she could not deny the undying loyalty of Pandora’s bandits. They provided for her, they protected her, and in return she did the same. They were not so different anymore, she and the commando. They had once been close friends. He’d been there for her many times when she had needed him most.

Now she had to be there for him.

“I am taking him Jack. I will care for him and train him. And you will leave him be. You are toxic and you will heed my warning. Do you understand Jack?” Maya said suddenly her lips but a hard line on her gorgeous features.

Bewilderment crossed over Jack’s face rapidly.

“Y-You can’t fucking take him from me!! You hear me kiddo, don’t you fucking dare!!” Jack spat.

“Then he will kill you and most likely destroy this planet. He would have killed you now Jack, if I had not gotten here in the nick of time. I saved you because sadly this planet needs change. I see that now. But only for that reason. And to spare Axton of the guilt. He cares for you more than I can understand, and why he does I will never know…but that is not my place to pry.” Maya snapped.

Jack looked to the unmoving man in dismay.

He knew it was for the best…but he’d just gotten him back. He’d just regained the sandy haired man…how could he lose him this quickly?

“Will I ever see him again?” Jack whispered dropping his gaze.

“I can’t answer that Jack.” Maya replied.

Silence settled over the two of them for what seemed like an eternity.

“Ok.” Jack forced the word through his teeth.

He had to do what was best for Axton…even if it was letting him go. He’d made the commando into this monster and he would do whatever it took to make sure Axton flourished. He knew it was the only option. He knew this, but it did not help the bitter sting of realization.

Without another word from the blue haired siren there was a flash of light and both were gone from the surface of the vault.

Jack sat there for a moment, the seconds ticking by like hours before he finally stood. He walked across the dusty terrain in a haze, boots scraping the dry earth.

A flicker of silver caught the CEO’s eye and he paused.

Jack reached down into the dirt and collected the small, reflective dog tags, dangling them in his fingers. The same tags that Axton had been wearing the day he’d fallen into Jack’s clutches. The same dog tags that Jack had allowed him to keep even through everything. Now here they were as a sole reminder of the only man to ever break the cold president’s heart.

Jack clutched the tags in his palms and closed his eyes for a moment.

The walnut haired man then clipped the chain around his neck…and walked away.

Chapter Text

Wandering Souls Always Wander Home

Twelve Years Later:

Morning sunlight crept through the cracked blinds like an unwanted guest. Bright, brilliant little slivers of warmth that danced over messy bed sheets, over piles of clothing scattered across hardwood floor, over empty bottles of expensive booze and turned over glasses made of crystal. The pretty little clear containers shimmered in the luminous oranges and yellows, casting rainbows over the span of the walls.

The heat of the morning sun roused the sleeping form tangled in the mass of billowing sheets, a low groan slipping from chapped, dry lips. Heterochromatic green and blue orbs cracked open t the new day with an annoyed expression. The brunette hefted himself up onto unsteady elbows, the booze and the early nature of the morning colliding together into a downright vicious beast. A metal hand wisped through disheveled chocolate locks, hiding the lone silver streak amongst the others out of habit.

It was only then that he was aware of eyes trained upon him.

He turned his head lazily, cracking his neck loudly, trying to shake the rough night out of his bones.

“You’re getting slower on the recovery there cowboy. Maybe you really are getting old.” Came a sultry voice from the other side of the bed.

“Oh lay off it cupcake.” Jack snarled gruffly, his voice rough and cracked with sleep.

His tired eyes swept over to his bed company tiredly.

She sat leaned back against the headboard of the grand bed like a queen on her throne, her glistening honey eyes slatted, a cigarette perched between her plump lips. Slender fingers drew the off brand cigarette from her mouth, purple lipstick staining the filter a dark plum. She expelled a long puff of smoke, allowing it to laze up into the air. Her demeanor was vicious, mighty and strong like a goddess amongst lowly men. She always had that aura about her. That was just one of the things Jack found the most intriguing about her. They way she held herself.

She was as poisonous as she was beautiful.

The sting of the toxins only made a man want her more. She was a hell of an enemy and a dangerous friend, keeping her as a lover was teetering on the edge of a death wish, but Jack always had been fond of tiptoeing on the dangerous side of things.

The older man sat up in the messy mass of bedding, a low growl rumbling up from the thick of his throat. His tongue felt like sandpaper against his teeth, the hollows of his maw left parched and dry by the alcohol lingering from the night before. Sleek metallic fingers scraped over his three day old stubble and the scratchy sound brought up another sigh of displeasure from his lungs.

The brunette lifted himself up off the large mattress, the springs groaning with the loss of weight. His feet were heavy as they padded across the span of the large room, feeling piercing yellow eyes watching with all the similarities of a lioness hunting her prey.

Jack offered her a half assed smile, the kind she knew wasn’t genuine, but neither of them really much cared. There was never much emphasis upon if either one of them was really invested in the other. There were no rules of a healthy relationship laid out before them. Somewhere along the way the etiquette book for their existence together had been thrown into the wind and been long since covered by dust. They were simply two predators existing together, easier to be with one another than without. Their encounters were normally laced with alcohol, frantic sex and some off-world drugs that gave Jack just the right kick in the teeth he was looking for.

Nisha was mean, cold and hard to really comprehend. She had her moments when a sliver of kindness sifted its way through her hardened shell, but those were few and far between. She was the type of lover that was borderline enemy most the time. Sometimes Jack considered the fact that she might just be the one to off him; possibly strangle him in his sleep. But he’d gladly accept it if that was the way he’d go out.

If she wasn’t going to be the one to do it, it’d most likely be some bandit, maybe a machinery accident. That was if the booze and drugs didn’t get him first.

They’d most likely be the ones to get his goat if he was going to be totally honest with himself

He was tired, exhausted even.

Some days he was just ready for it. Some mornings he’d rather have just not gotten up.

The years had not been kind to him. They had been rough mistresses.

Jack slammed the bathroom door behind him and sighed into the silence of the room. The older man flattened his metal palms against the cold countertop, tired eyes flicking to the mask-less man staring back at him from the mirrors reflection. Jack grimaced at the man staring back at him. This man had greyer striping through his brunette locks. This man was unshaven and tired, bags clinging to the undersides of his sullen eyes and circles ringing around his sockets. This man hung like a puppet with all his pretty strings cut. This man was a sad sight, having just barely survived a night with too much booze and too little sane thought. He hadn’t cared. More often than not he woke from nights like this, having drunk himself into a fine stupor in order to forget everything else. To allow his brain to fog and muddy, pushing out all the nightmares he was left with on a normal night.

Those same nightmares that replayed over and over again like old movie reels. He’d resorted to heavy sleeping pills at first and they were enough to take the edge off. They were enough to keep the dreams at bay. But the things were hungry dogs, never ceasing at biting and clawing at the back of his brain. They gnawed their way in after a while, despite the pills. So Jack had scrounged for increasingly heavier means of warding them away. More pills, then a combination of alcohol and pills, then drugs he’d had shipped in from far away planets. Drugs that left his nose numb and his mouth dry. But no matter how hard he fought them…the dreams always came back.

And they always came back hungry, frothing to eat at him, picking him away in pieces until there was nothing left but bleached bones.

The brunette grit up his teeth in a vicious grimace and his eyes darted over the all too familiar line of his ragged scar. Cutting through once beautiful features like a bad joke.

The recollection of last night’s dream slithered back into his brain like snakes, vivid and twisting like living things.

He’d been lying in a bed, soft, billowing comforters swallowing him in a way that was actually comforting. It was a strange feeling, being in a bed without feeling constrained and panicked. For once…sleep…had felt like a welcome thing. He felt rested then, wrapped up in the sheets like a new gift. It was late, the windows dark, Elpis shimmering through like a great ghost in the midnight sky. The stars were spilled across the ebony abyss like a shaker of salt. They beauty reflected in his mismatched eyes and for once…he felt…calm. Like everything was right, and everything was perfect. In that moment he’d known it was a dream. Because those types of things no longer existed. Peace, a late evening spent wrapped in sheets that didn’t feel like they could strangle him.

His breathing had come easy, his head clear, his eyes tired…but pleased. He could feel warmth beside him, and soft words that at first were just a mumble carried from distant lips. But then they were closer, a soft, warm mouth pressing against his ear and the words were crystal on Jack’s senses.

“Can’t sleep?” The presence asks, and then Jack could feel big palms sliding along the padding of his hips.

Jack didn’t reply, and yet the other presence seemed to know the answer. He always knew.

He could read Jack like a book even if all the pages were torn and deformed. A book that had been pried open by the fingers of a fucking bandit, a vault hunter, a piece of Dahl scum.

Jack felt his stomach clench as the memory swirled.

That big form had been so tightly wrapped around him, a soft heartbeat against his back, and warm breath against his neck. Gentle fingers tilted Jack’s chin to the side and those same soft lips pressed against the ragged skin of his scar. Something that was off limits for all others to touch and yet, Jack didn’t flinch, only let the advancement happen. And somehow…it felt right.

It felt like home.

And then, it was over. A horrid dose of reality that Jack was never really ready for.

Jack shook his head, splashing water over his face in haste and grabbing his abandoned mask from the bathroom counter where it had been left the night prior. He grimaced and turned his back on the man in the mirror, adjusting the mask’s clasps as he pressed it to his face, the soft material familiar and routine.

He shoved the door open with a tired hand and slowly strode back over to the bed where he settled himself back down. Nisha’s eyes watched Jack with a slight sparkled of interest as the CEO seemed to get lost as he peered out the large window. The massive buildings stretched out as far as the eye could see, towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, people going about their lives safe, happy, civilized. This had once been the sad sight of Lynchwood but with the years and Jack’s takeover of the planet, the city had grown into a grand thing. Half the planet had been morphed into these grand, beautiful cities. They were safe from the dwindling wilds of Pandora, the monsters, bandits and creatures being pushed farther and farther back into the worst parts of the planet. The colder regions that were deemed nearly unlivable, the dust, and other holes in the planet’s surface. This was all Jack had ever wanted…and yet…now he had it…and it wasn’t enough.

Jack’s hand absent mindedly went to the chain that seemed to be hanging heavier around his neck.

The familiar dog tags were smooth against his cold fingers as he rotated them, the last piece he had left…of him.

“There a story behind those stupid things?” Nisha’s voice cut through the silence like a well placed knife.

Jack did not offer her so much as a glance, simply continued to stare out the window with hollow eyes.

“There’s a story behind everything kiddo.” Jack answered gruffly.

“Seems like there’s a pretty heavy story behind that. Hyperion CEO holdin’ onto a pair of Dahl military tags, little strange there pretty boy.” Nisha chuckled as she put out her cigarette in the ash tray on the bedside.

Her nude caramel skin glistened in the sunlight as she shifted on the bed, heavy lashes fanning slowly over molten orbs.

Jack breathed in deeply, the sound whistling through gnashed teeth.

“I’m afraid that’s too long of a story cupcake. And I’ve got a train to catch.” Jack snarled as he lifted up and began dressing himself with heavy shoulders.

Nisha said nothing as she watched her flighty partner. She sighed as she watched the CEO collecting himself in a clumsy fashion, carefully tucking the dog tags in question beneath his sweater. She knew she’d hit a nerve with such a question. It was too personal for the normal way that the two of them operated.

“See you around baby. Thanks for the lay as always.” Nisha purred as Jack made to leave, the door handle clutched in his fingers.

The CEO simply grunted in response and then was gone without another word.

Their relationship was never one that had room for long goodbyes. And that was just the way of the world.

The next hour was a blur of Hyperion guards flanking Jack’s sides a he boarded the private train, the sleek yellow and chrome shimmering in the searing light of the Pandoran sun. The day’s heat was already to near sweltering and it wasn’t even noon. Just another reason Jack hated this part of Pandora. If Nisha wasn’t such a precious asset, he wouldn’t have ever set foot here. But she was just the type of drug he needed to keep his mind from falling into pieces.  And just the type of power he needed to keep Lynchwood up and running when he wasn’t around.

Jack slumped backward into the high end leather of the train seat, heavy boots propped up on lavish cushions. He’d already fetched himself a glass of whiskey, the small glass rocking in his chrome fingers, gently sloshing with the motion from the train. Such a fantastic, terrible lullaby to be rocked to.

Jack tipped the liquid to his lips and purred as it burned all the way down. A wicked burn, and the only thing he could really…feel anymore.

There was nothing much left to feel in the world. Pleasure had faded, power became boring. Nisha was a good fuck, and for a moment it allowed him to nearly grasp that same spark of satisfaction he’d once known. But it was always short lived. Like a firework, bursting in seconds and sputtering away into darkness. He didn’t feel that same passion, that same raw, unbridled need that he so desperately wanted. It had been years since he’d felt that. No matter how much blood he spilled, or how many cities he built, there would always be that empty space that he could not fill.

Always.

Jack tipped the glass back and drained it, hurried hands quickly pouring himself another dose of golden brown liquid. He just needed more of the burn, more of the pain, and more of the mind blurring results. The finest of things lay around is seated position and yet nothing was enough.

His eyes watched lazily as the scenery flicked by, lavish greens and browns, growing cities in the distance and other railways heading in different directions. Civilization at its finest. It was beautiful and it was grand.

Jack sighed out lowly, running his tongue over the whites of his teeth. Some would call him greedy and maybe that was the truth. He would always want more no matter how much he already had. He would always be searching. Until his last breath he would always search. For that stupid man. That stupid, stupid man.

Jack chuckled to himself and tapped his finger on the side of the glass.

“So many years and I still can’t stop. Fuckin’ Vault Hunter…” Jack whispered to himself, eyes glossy and sad.

Liar’s Berg.

One of the last civilizations that was neither Jack’s nor was it bandit territory. On the cusp of civilization and the wild it sat as a sort of magnet for those that didn’t want to be noticed. If Jack was going to be honest with himself, he should have snuffed it out some time ago…but there was just a certain allure to it that always kept drawing him back. He’d left the guards at the station, taking a lone vehicle out into the snow and none questioned his antics because they dared not ask Handsome Jack why he wanted to wander out into the frozen wastes on his own. All the questions fell on silent tongues.

The less than grand vehicle bounded and rocked as it went, Jack’s knuckles near white on the steering wheel. It was the rush of the tires, the sense of freedom, but most of all it was the constant hunt. The desperate need to look. To look for the one thing he could never find. He knew it was a fruitless search, but the trip had become habit over the years and so he kept making it, even if it was a fools journey out into the cold.

The frigid land had become a sort of comfort. A place where he could just…exist. Not as Handsome Jack, but as a body double that had escaped Hyperion and was now out on his own, hiding from the very company that had bred him. It was a witty lie, one so good that when Jack was in character, he himself almost started believing it. He was just another victim of Handsome Jack’s foolishness and those around him would give him sympathy. As Jack, he was either worshipped or loathed, as a double he was treated like a human, like a friend.

The old runner bounded over the snow drifts, the wind pelting against the cabin of the old thing. Jack refused anything more than the basics to get him to his destination. Anything too flashy was too risky. This was the perfect vehicle for his perfect body double act.

The faint lights of Liar’s Berg rose up out of the bleak, snow scorched waste and the pale golden hue was almost warming as it hit Jack’s eyes. It was like coming home after a long stay somewhere very different. Coming back had become something he was eager for, even if every time he’d leave he would go disappointed.

With the runner tucked safely beneath one of the rickety barns butted up against the east side. The wind whistled past his ears like some crazed animal, the cold seeping beneath his plain brown jacket, his normal attire exchanged for something far more inconspicuous. His boots crunched the deep snow as his gloved fingers reached for the nearly frozen door handle.

The brunette pushed the door in with a heavy thud of his shoulder, his weight forcing it to yawn open and allow him entrance. The vicious cold invited itself in behind him, the man feeling eyes upon him instantly. But the gazes quickly wandered off, uncaring of who the newcomer was. Jack had lived all his life wanting others to know his name, bow before him, but now, here, he simply wanted to remain just another face in the crowd. He just wanted to be a wanderer and nothing more. This place was good for that kind of thing.

Jack settled himself down on one of the barstools, eyes peering up to the bartender, a witty woman with hair as black as ebony. She reminded Jack of Angel’s mother in a far off way, a pang of past hurt running through his gut for a moment. She smiled in Jack’s direction, a chip in her tooth prominent amongst the white of her grin. She sauntered over to Jack, the motion of her hips as graceful as water.

“Hey there, can I getcha a drink hun?” She asked, her voice gentle and even.

Jack pushed back the heavy hood that covered his head, some snow falling onto the bar before him. The woman’s eyes flashed with something dark for a moment as she looked upon his face, bold scar heavy across his slender features. Though it muddied his appearance there was no mistaking who he resembled.

Jack smiled, as easily as he could manage.

“Don’t worry. Just a double runnin’ from Hyperion.” He chuckled lightly.

The woman’s demeanor seemed to lighten, a soundless sigh coming from her full lips.

“And whiskey, please cupcake.” Jack tacked on the comment with a purr.

The wound that made him the ugliest, saved him the most here.

A familiar glass in hand Jack hunched over the bar, the warm, cheap, Pandoran whiskey biting at his tongue as he sipped it gently. He sat as an observer. Eyes wandering over the bustling room at a lazy pace. Searching every face, every sound of laughter, every movement. A constant game of listening to other’s conversations, trying to pick up any knowledge he possibly could.

The hours wore on and his stomach was warm with the booze, his head fuzzy and his skin tingling. Jack could feel the anger settling there. The anger of coming here and not finding it again. He was always hunting…but when his prey was a ghost it complicated everything down to its core. Drink after drink Jack took them down, his eyes blurred and his mouth dry.

Chasing ghosts was a dangerous business.

One he’d become all to accustomed to.

The bar had settle down with the late hour, the laughter less prominent and the occupants having wandered away to their hotel rooms, or off into the night from which they came. Jack gently rocked his drink in his hand, watching his reflection distort in the honey colored liquid.

Suddenly there was a figure beside him, the big man taking a heavy seat on the barstool. Jack’s eyes wandered to his right, curious of who the cold had vomited up now at such a late hour. The figure pushed back his skag skin hood, the thick material falling in a heavy heap behind his head.

Jack felt all the breath leave his lungs, like suddenly he’d simply forgotten how to force oxygen down his throat.

The figure smiled, slow and easy like molasses, gently shoving back the sleeves of his heavy cloak, bundling them around the crooks of his elbows.

Jack’s eyes traced the man’s arm, the left one, pupils traveling the twisting markings that carved over the skin like an alien map. It had been many years since Jack had seen markings like that.

Eyes collided hard as the two sat there at the bar.

Jack set his drink down on the bar, hands shaking so bad he feared he may just drop it.

“Been a long time boss.” The sandy haired man whispered, the whites of his teeth glinting from behind thin lips.

“Been a real long time.”

The old hotel room was dark. Shadows casting over peeling walls, bare wood peering through once bright pattered paper. The cold was kept at bay only by the body heat between the two men. Breaths coming together as lips found one another’s frantically.

Jack’s hands were hesitant at first.

It had been so long since he had touched him. But now, years having been kind and mentoring to the other man, Jack was free to feel, to kiss, to brush with eager hips.

Axton’s breath was warm in his ear, not speaking words, only lending panting breaths and the occasional sound of utter bliss. Jack’s metal fingers dug into suntanned flesh that was once so familiar, but now laid an untamed landscape. There were more scars than Jack remembered, more wounds of battles that Jack knew nothing of.

There was no talking about what the years had brought. There was no telling the other what had been missed in the years of absence. All of that fell to the wayside, the need to simply feel each other being that much stronger.

Jack had many questions. All in which he swallowed down. Twelve years or training and Jack wanted every detail. Twelve years of days that had been spent apart and Jack wanted to know about them all.

Jack wasn’t sure whether the moment would last. He wasn’t sure for how long he would have this strange happening that felt too good to be true. He almost wanted to tell himself it was all a very elaborate dream. But the hips pressing against him, the hands touching him, the mouth so frantically kissing him, it was all too real.

The formalities would come later. For all he knew Axton would be gone in the morning. But all Jack cared about was the here, the now, and the beautiful, beautiful thing that the moment was.

The ghost he’d so long chased in the flesh before him.

Axton gently captured the brunette man’s lips, the kiss sending fire through all of Jack’s bones as the sound of weak mattress springs settled around them.

“Don’t make me wait so long ever again Pet.” Jack teased breathlessly.

Axton grinned at the teasing words.

“Never again Master.” Axton whispered into the shell of Jack’s ear.

 

It was all so real.

Every word, every touch, every whispered breath in the dark of the room. Those green eyes, those soft lips, the way Axton chuckled from deep down in his diaphragm. It all felt so real, so it had to be? Didn’t it?

Jack’s feet stuttered through the frost bitten snow drifts, faltering every three or four steps. He was far too drunk to have been walking, his skin prickling with the aftermath of six too many whiskeys that had settled deep down in his gut.

All the warm touches and the heated breaths scattered away in the presence of reality, the warm room giving way to nothing more than blizzard stripped wastelands.

But Jack’s drunken eyes saw only what they wanted.

They only saw that hot passion that had once flickered so brightly, so long ago. The years had not dulled Jack’s want for those times long past. In his drunken mind he had it all, everything he’d been searching for, everything he’d been lusting after. In his drunken eyes it was all so vivid and bright.

The lights from the old bar flickered farther and farther in the distance now, Jack’s drunken, wandering body taking him far off into the snow, following ghosts that were no longer there. But the ghosts called out to him with enticing voices and he followed more than willingly.

He could hardly feel the biting cold slipping in-between the layers of his clothing, the ice forming on his boots, the sky brewing with a storm as monstrous as it was dangerous. But the billowing clouds, the howling wind, the clawing air, it all was but a blur to his hazy mind. His fantasies pushed him forward, his stupidity only allowed him to see what he wanted.

Pandora, the bar, Hyperion, Opportunity…it was all but a distant memory as he wandered out onto the ice, the ocean churning and writhing beneath the thickness.

Jack laughed up toward the sky as he nearly tripped and fell to the ground, his feet clumsy and heavy beneath him. Out on the span of the ice, he could swear he heard that old familiar voice calling out to him. Glittering eyes hid out in the darkness, and so he had to go to them.

What a dreadful place this planet was, with all its monsters and all its hardships. And yet there Jack stood, and in his heart he knew, there was no worse monster than he. Of all the creeping things and all the crawling beasts, he was a level above. He was a monster all on his own.

Jack felt his throat clench as he ventured farther out toward the raging sea, his daft hearing ignorant to the cracking sounds beneath his boots.

He stood there a moment, the warmth in his body spreading out like a burning fire, the waves crashing only paces away, the ice shifting against the shore. What an angry thing, slopping at the ice like a hungry creature having come for its meal. It wanted him. It needed him. And he just wanted to let it have him. He was tired.

Tired of running, tired of lying, tired of living alone in the great city of many people and families. He was tired of the sleepless nights spent tossing in a bed that felt far too empty.

He longed to trace his fingers along familiar muscles, he longed to feel something other than emptiness. Too many times had he lost, too many times had he thrown what he’d had into the sea. Now he had nothing left to give to the great beast…

Except himself.

Jack’s heavy boots trekked forward, the ice thinner, the ocean hungrier as it bellowed and called for him.

And then it finally gave, the ice no longer strong enough to hold him. He crashed through the solid form, body hitting the cold water below, the shock stealing all the breath from his lungs. Jack gasped, getting nothing more than a mouthful of frigid ocean water that rushed down his gullet like an uninvited guest. The ocean pushed and pulled him like he were merely another lonely piece of driftwood that had come from a distant shore.

The warmth from his drunken state dissipated near instantly. His eyes blinked skyward, no longer able to see the brewing sky, or the hole in the ice where he’d fallen into the storming sea. None of that mattered anyway. He simply allowed the weightlessness to take hold of him, bubbles escaping his mouth and rushing away erratically.

He could sense he was sinking, but just barely, his eyes were bleary, his lungs tightening with the need for oxygen. He desperately tried to gulp for air, only taking in more water, his body internally beginning to panic.

But none of it mattered.

He didn’t care.

Here was safe, here was dark and here he could finally let all of the monsters go. He could let them dissolve out into the cold of the sea, let them run, let them hide, let them die…let them drown.

They had been allowed to live for far too long.

This was the way it had to be.

Jack could feel his vision darkening on the corners, closing in like blinds being drawn, and that was when he heard it.

Only this time…it wasn’t just some drunken hallucination. This was far too real.

A low voice, gruff, experienced, jovial. Something like home, and finally Jack was returning to it.

It’s about damned time.”

A broad smile, glittering emerald eyes, and hands that were warm on Jack’s shoulders. Jack could feel his heart slowing but his eyes widening, a returned smile breaking across thin lips.

And with that his heavy lids slid closed.

 

 

 

The siren’s feet were gentle on the dusty earth of the familiar path she walked. Sparse plant life broke the sun scorched earth and clawed up at her ankles dryly, its little buds having been simmered in the blistering heat, leaving them nothing more than withered reminders of life.  Maya’s eyes danced over the landscape, her movements slow and unhurried. She was on no schedule here, here everything was slow, and everything was easy.

The bandit camp that she had slowly morphed into a thriving city lay at the bottom of the large canyon as she looked back over her shoulder at it. It spread across the tight little space between the cliff walls, nestled safely in this little hideaway. Here Jack could not destroy what they had, too far into the maze of rocks and hills, even Jack was not stubborn enough to go looking for this place. And so they had stayed safe from Jack’s hands.

Maya sighed as she turned and pressed onward.

Now she supposed everybody was safe from him.

He’d been missing for weeks, gone off the face of the planet like some ghost that had simply dissipated into thin air. Handsome Jack, had simply disappeared. Something so mysterious seemed very much unlike Jack’s normal charades.

Maya was not sure how she felt about the entire thing.

Indifferent maybe. She knew some other Hyperion goon would soon take his place, rumor had it the Sheriff he’d appointed in Lynchwood was next in line for his throne, but frankly the Siren didn’t much care either way. As long as her city stayed safe it was all the same in her eyes.

Maya’s feet carried her upward, the view breathtaking as she peered out over the Dust like a queen atop her throne. She stopped for a moment, her hip dropping and her fingers finding her side. She let go of a great sigh and shook her head, a small smile breaking across blue painted lips.

It was a simple marker, made from old Technical parts and some pieces of wood. Stones set up in a little circle upon the dusty ground like a symbolic halo. Maya’s feet crunched the dry earth as she approached the makeshift marker, her fingers reaching down to gently pick up the dried, dead flowers left at the base of the car parts. With that she replaced the dead plants with a new bundle of wild fire flowers, the innocent little petals laying brilliant red color against the bland tan of the dirt.

Maya sat on her knees slowly, a breath coming gently from between her teeth.

“Well Ax, I’m guessing you already heard. Jack’s missing…but you know I got this funny feeling you know exactly where he is huh?” Maya chuckled dryly as her eyes flicked to the grave before her.

Her mind wandered back to the months before he went.

Nobody had known how the serum would effect a mere human. With unimaginable powers came a great toll. He’d aged far faster than a normal human, the wear of the siren magic eating away at his human body until it had finally just…given out. Maya had done all she could. She’d taught him when he was strong, she’d mentored him when his powers were at their peak. After five years the damage was made clear, Axton’s body aging, breaking, becoming a brittle and painful thing. Human’s were simply not made to become sirens.

She’d been the one holding his hand when he’d gone six years ago.

She’d watched the light leave his pained eyes.

She’d spent so long blaming everybody around her.

Especially Jack.

She’d blamed that terrible monster for all of it. She still did in her heart.

But there was nothing to be done of it now, and Pandora had finally claimed its greatest threat. She knew how to sort out her business. Pandora had let Jack reign for a time, but his rule was over and it was time for the wild to take back what was hers.

Pandora always made things right.

Maya felt her throat clench and the oncoming tears were something she just couldn’t seem to hold back.

She’d spent the last years relearning how to become friends with someone all over again. Through all the terrible horrors she’d seen Axton carry out, he had still been her friend. And he still remained that…wherever he was.

“No telling what Pandora has in store for us now huh big guy?” Maya sighed as she listened to the lonely rakks circling overhead on the subtle breeze.

After a long moment spent there, sitting in the warm dirt, feeling the sun on her pale face, she rose to her feet.

“You take care of yourself. Tell Jack I say hello.” Maya whispered before turning her back and leaving the silent grave where it lay.