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Martin’s not jealous. He can’t be.

There’s another perfectly valid reason that he’s standing in front of Oliver Banks, hands balled into fists, heartbeat thrumming in his ears, ready for—not a fight, but something.


He walks away from Jon perched in front of the tangle of corpse roots, resting a hand on one absentmindedly as he closes his eyes and opens his Eyes.

Martin’s got his fingers in his ears, trudging off around the side of the domain that radiates a sickening sense of perseverance. He turns and takes one look back at Jon.

Jon’s shoulders shake with the memory of laughter, and he stares into the entrance into Oliver’s domain. The root he’s touching twitches and wraps itself around his hand, and the smile falls from Jon’s face and his mouth starts to work.

Oliver Banks took the smile off of Jon’s face, the smile Martin worked so hard to wheedle out of him.

Martin walks long out of earshot before he dares to take his hands from his ears. Sound usually ceases after Martin can’t see Jon any longer, though mileage varies on how much distance it takes for Martin to no longer see him.

Sometimes Martin doesn’t even walk out of Jon’s sightline, standing to the side with his hands on his ears, watching the man as he shakes with compulsion and grits out his fears.

This time, the roots obscure Jon as soon as Martin rounds the corner. It still takes several paces and the beat of Martin’s heart thrumming in his neck with every uneven swallow for him to jerk his hands off of his ears. Resounding silence meets him, and Martin tucks his hands in his pockets.

“Oh, hello, death plants,” Martin says.

All he can see in front of him is a tangle of pulsing roots, stretching so high that they even block the Panopticon from Martin’s view.

Which is… new. For a structure that Jon Knows everyone can see at all points, the End can’t just hide it from Martin. Unless…

As soon as Martin steps beyond the wall of evil shrubbery, the Panopticon slams back into Martin’s vision, as tall and looming as it’s ever been.

“Unpleasant!” Martin announces, and walks back to the shade of Oliver’s garden.

He can feel the Eye cease tugging at the base of his spine when the Panopticon goes back out of sight.

Martin crosses his arms. “Okay, Oliver, maybe I am jealous. But just of this fancy trick. Maybe I’ll even stop asking Jon to smite you, if you can keep this up. But, just so you know, that’s the only things I’m jealous about. That’s it!”

The corpse roots don’t respond, don’t curl around his hands and threaten (or offer) to pull him in with them. Somehow, them not responding lets Martin’s claim hang in the air and fall flat.

And as he stands in the shadow of the corpse roots, Martin can almost hear Jon’s voice, switching from the flat affect of reading a—a case file, of some sort, taking the information from the End and reciting it in perfect harmony, and the story, the journey that the domain (Oliver’s domain) takes him through.

And there it is, isn’t it: this isn’t just the End’s domain; it’s Oliver Banks’ domain.

Jon mentioned Oliver Banks to Martin once before. The End nudged him towards the Eye, past the limits of humanity—align or die. It didn’t seem like something Jon had been happy about.

Jon had told Martin this, arms folded, leaning against his dust-covered desk and refusing to meet his eyes. Six months of Martin feeling the absence of Jon’s desk, six months of sequestering from every other employee, and then suddenly Jon was back and Peter Lukas was there and— Martin stood there, in an office that hadn’t been used since before, and he’d let the film of rejection coat his tongue, on edge from seeing Jon, awake, alive, after everything. And Jon was damn good at compulsion, but shit at recounting his own experiences: “He gave me a choice, and I took it.” “Which choice did you take? Did you have an alternate option?” “I don’t… that’s not how it worked.”

Oliver Banks threatened to take Jon to the End.

“And now he’s saying you saved him,” Martin grouses. “Well, which one is it?”

The End doesn’t respond; which, valid.

Martin runs a hand along the corpse roots, and it feels like ice, like when he’d reach into the freezer and twist apart an ice tray without wetting his palms first, and half of them would stick to his skin and pinch.

He’s not jealous of Oliver, (shut up), but…

He sure is curious.

Martin doesn’t attempt to pull his palm from the roots, and it sticks to his wrist, tugging ever slightly on his taut skin as it readjusts, flexing. Martin brushes his hand through them again, and the vegetation yields for him.

As soon as Martin reaches within the tangle, he brushes against a tendril and he Sees who it belongs to: his mother, surrounded by peeling fuchsia wallpaper, coughing wetly; his father, hooded in black and veering off the road; Sasha, and Martin doesn’t even know what she looks like, but he can hear her screaming in a tape recorder; Tim, skin crackling, eyes closing for one last time—

Martin draws his hand back. “Don’t do that,” he chokes out. “I know they’re not here. They’re already dead.” He swallows, dry, and huffs a laugh. His hands knock against the threadbare wool cardigan.

They’re already dead, and Martin is still alive. He’s still alive and he’s still alone.

The fog curls into the corners of his vision, alone, lonely, and when Martin steps out into the wasteland the Panopticon bares down on him. It Knows the memories bubbling in Martin’s chest.

“Okay, nope,” Martin decides. “I’m just going to stay in the shade until Jon comes, and if the shade happens to belong to thousands of people dying, well, tough. I’ve grieved—do you hear that? You can’t get to me, emotionally. I’m composed. I’m so fucking composed right now.”

He crosses his arms and waits in the silence. He can wait the minutes (that blend into hours, days, time uncountable) before Jon will walk back into his vision, red in the cheeks and around his eyes, and Martin will take his hand, and they’ll continue. They’ll forget (about the people in there, choking, dying as Martin waits and breathes) and move on.

But the fog piles up in the corner of Martin’s vision, and he can even smell the breeze of the sea, distant and getting closer.

This is the point in Jon reading his statement that Martin would dig his toe around in the dirt and sympathize with worms to simulate real human interaction, but no one’s here.


Someone is here. Martin’s been talking at him for a while.

So here’s his conundrum:

He’s not jealous of Oliver, but Jon claims Oliver saved his life.

The Eye didn’t compel Oliver to save Jon’s life. Even inching toward his own apocalypse, Elias didn’t do shit to keep the linchpin alive. Oliver made a choice, he made what’s possibly the first compassionate choice an avatar has ever made, and asked Jon to wake up.

(And Jon made the choice to wake up, a little less human but a little more alive.)

Oliver is the reason why Jon is still here, now, and not another grave Martin leaves flowers at.

Well, fuck, Martin definitely can’t smite him now. That would be downright rude.

Cool wind brushes over his feet, and Martin looks down to see a light dusting of sand rolling in. The sea draws closer.

And there are no worms to talk to this time, no humans, only—

“Oliver!” Martin calls. “Oliver Banks!”

Martin pulls a curtain of corpse roots to one side and walks into the End’s domain.

It’s disconcerting how easily Martin finds the beating heart of it.

He keeps reaching out in front of him, and the vines keep yielding, until Martin’s hand presses against a door and he grasps the knob, opening it.

Martin walks into a hospital room.

The quiet beep of a steady heart rate monitor encircles the air. A man stands at the end of the room, staring out of the small window, outside of which roots twirl and creak up to the window.

Martin knows who he is before he turns around.

“Jon,” Oliver Banks says, “the Eye can’t find me this quickly…”

Martin does a little wave. “Hi,” he says.

“Um, hi,” Oliver Banks says. “You’re not Jon.”

“Nope,” Martin says. His words aren’t working. Why aren’t his words working?

In one step, Oliver Banks bridges the gap between them.

Martin remembers Georgie telling him of a man in Jon’s hospital room who reminded her of death, but Martin isn’t reminded of death when Oliver Banks steps towards him.

First of all, he’s very hot, so mark that down.

Second of all, Oliver Banks reaches out a hand and, telegraphing his movements, presses the pads of his fingers against Martin’s cheek, tilting his head back. “Ah. The Eye hs to take the long way around, but you would have a fast track to me.”

“I would?” Martin says, dazed. Why is he dazed? Why is Oliver’s hand—cold, comforting, why is it comforting—still on him? If he was Jon, he would just Know the answer, but he’s Martin, and his words aren’t even working still.

“Yep,” Oliver Banks says. “You would.”

They take a second to stare at each other. Oliver’s hand is still on Martin’s face, and even though his touch is cool, Martin’s face is heating up.

Oliver Banks doesn’t feel like death.

Martin finally, finally, fills the gap of silence by sticking his hand out in the cramped space between them. “I’m Martin Blackwood.”

Oliver removes his hand, why is Martin sad about this, to shake it. “Oliver Banks.”

“I know,” Martin babbles.

There’s a pause as Oliver stares at him. Martin looks back at the man’s dark, unblinking eyes, and has absolutely no idea what Oliver is waiting for.

“You’re not going to mention how you know?” Oliver prompts.

Martin’s still shaking his hand. He stops, disentangling his own hand, and he feels the loss of contact acutely. “Oh. Um. Jon told me. About you.”

Oliver nods. “Is Jon far behind you? I will admit, I categorically don’t care if he tears me to pieces or leaves me alone, but, you know, last time I saw him he was asleep. Kind of curious to see him in action.”

“In action?” Martin repeats. Has this become the phone call with Annabelle, as she tried to pull some measure of fear or disgust for Jon out of him? A spike of white-hot fear runs down his spine.  What are you waiting for Jon to do?

Oliver Banks rests a hand on his own throat, and lets out a half-chuckle, still looking Martin directly in the eyes. “Oh, Martin Blackwood, I guess you have some of the Eye in you after all.”

“I… what?”

“Your compulsion,” Oliver clarifies. “It’s unnecessary; I’ll tell you anything you want to know, but still. Unexpected.” His eyes gleam, and he’s still looking at Martin.

Oliver Banks doesn’t feel like death. When he stares at Martin, there’s a feeling of falling in his gut, a thrill of standing on the edge.

“I don’t compel people.”

Oliver Banks quirks an eyebrow. “Just did,” he points out. “I’m not waiting for Jon to give away the Eye’s secrets, or show me how to best him, or anything. I just…wanted to see him again. But I also have no stake in whether or not he wants to see me.”

Oliver Banks is still staring at him.

“Oh,” Martin says faintly. “Well. I guess.”

He breaks eye contact with Oliver Banks first, staring at a droll potted plant in the corner of the hospital room. His cheeks start to burn.

Martin feels vertigo in his ears, now, the dizzying rush of adrenaline as Oliver Banks is still staring at him.

Oliver Banks doesn’t feel like death. He feels like dying.

He feels like dying in the most ostentatious ways. That must be why Martin still can’t find the words to form coherent sentences.

“You guess…” Oliver prompts.

“I guess you really don’t have evil designs on Jon,” Martin blurts out.

He looks back at Oliver just in time to see the man crack a smile, and with the smile comes another tumble in Martin’s gut, the blush spreading down.

“Martin Blackwood, do you think I’m here to kill Jon?”

Martin crosses his arms—not to replace the skin-to-skin contact he misses from Oliver, of course not. “No.”

“Why do you think I want to kill Jon?”

“I—I just told you, I don’t.” Because this is Jon’s hospital room.

And as soon as Martin thinks it, he knows it’s true. He’s spent ages sitting in that chair right there, holding Jon’s hand, staring at that exact heart monitor.

For the first time since they met, the heat in his spine dims.

Oliver’s standing in Jon’s hospital room.

“Feel free to compel me again to make sure,” Oliver says.

Martin frowns at the man. “You weren’t joking about me compelling you.”

“Nope,” Oliver says. “I’m not lying to you, either, Martin Blackwood.”

“It’s just Martin, yeah?”

“Alright, just Martin.” Oliver crinkles his eyes with a slight smile, and oh god the heat is rushing back. “Let me convince you that I am not intent on killing Jon.”

He’s still standing this close from Martin, looking absolutely comfortable in the hospital room where Jon lay dead for half a year. Of course he’d be in his element here, where he’d helped Jon come back to the living.

“Okay, Oliver Banks,” Martin starts.

“Just Oliver,” the man says, and his eyes have creased more. Something bubbles up within Martin, some product of the heat and the memory of Jon’s not-death.

“Alright, Oliver,” Martin agrees. “Why are you here in Jon’s hospital room?”

Oliver chuckles again, reaches up to nudge his Adam’s apple with his knuckles again. Knuckles that Martin can’t tear his gaze from. “Just Martin, I underestimated you. Guess I thought you’d be direct, ‘do you want to kill Jon?’ That has an easy answer. This is… well, it might be a little embarrassing.”

“Embarrassing?” It’s embarrassing for Oliver to either want to or not want to kill Jon? “If I’ve compelled you, you have to answer.”

“Of course.” Oliver takes a look at Martin and laughs. “Well, the reason I’ve manifested a room is that I wanted to be…prepared, if Jon decided to come.”

“And what. Does that. Mean,” Martin grits his teeth.

“Martin, Martin Blackwood, I assume you know what that means because I assume you also try and be prepared, when Jon comes.” Oliver grins at him.




Oliver puts his palms in the air, as if to reassure him. “I didn’t know about you when I manifested it. I definitely don’t want to intrude.”

There’s a noise at the hospital room door.

Martin splutters. “Oliver Banks, are you telling me that you’re here to proposition Jon?”

The door twists open, and Martin turns to see Jon stumble in.

Oliver answers blithely, “Well, now that I can see you’re jealous over him, I’m not averse to sharing.”

Jon stares at both of them, and with a blink of his Eye, several differing facial expressions pass over him. “Um,” Jon says, turning red, and he presses a hand to his own burning cheek. “Don’t mind me.”

Martin’s voice raises at least two octaves. “Sorry, can I talk to Jon for a bit?”

“Be my guest.” Oliver’s still smiling, but Martin would say that Oliver won’t meet his eyes on purpose.

Fight or flight swoops in Martin’s stomach as he takes Jon’s hand and leads him outside the room, back into the tangle of death plants.

If he felt tongue-tied talking to Oliver, it’s so much worse now that he’s out of earshot.

“Um,” Martin starts, splotchy red spreading from his hair to his knees. “So.”

Before he can get any further, Jon reaches up and places his hands on Martin’s cheeks. “I thought… When you were gone, I thought he’d taken you, or I thought… I don’t know. I couldn’t See you.”

Martin leans into the familiar press of Jon’s calloused palms, warm from exertion. “I think Oliver can obscure the Eye.”

“He mentioned as much in his…presentation,” Jon says. “But you’re okay?”

“Peachy,” Martin mumbles. “Before, ah, you know.”

Before Oliver looked at Martin like he was a snack and said he wasn’t averse to sharing.

Martin thinks he’s on fire, actually, after that.

“I heard,” Jon says. And he smiles.

“What,” Martin says, and Jon’s smile only gets wider. When was the last time Jon laughed, before coming to the End? When was the last time he could get out of his head for long enough to take a breath? “What is it.”

Jon rests his forehead against Martin. “Don’t laugh,” he warns.

“I just might,” Martin sniffs.

“It’s only that I guess you’re not the one that has to be jealous now,” Jon says.

Martin sputters. “Hey now—”

Jon’s shoulders shake. He drawls, “I might just have to be jealous of you.”

“That’s not fair; you Saw that neither of us meant for that to happen—”

“But you compelled him!” Jon crows. “Martin Blackwood, you thought you’d broken your link to the Eye, but you accidentally compelled him to suggest—”

“Again, didn’t mean to,” Martin says. “Did not. Intend to. Do any of it.”

But, theoretically speaking, he’s not altogether disappointed that it happened.

Jon leans back, cocking his head and studying Martin. “Oh? You’re not?”

Martin’s tongue is thick in his mouth. “Jon…that’s not, you know that’s not…”

“Well,” Jon chuckles, “we have talked about this.”

Martin’s pretty sure he’s redder than ever before. The burn of embarrassment, of thoughts that rise unbidden in his brain, radiates off him in palpable waves. “We…did talk about this.”

Twice. They talked about it two times, once on the camper van on the highway to Inverness, and once under the covers in the cottage, Jon’s eyes as wide in the afterglow as as they had been when Martin had first pulled the prettiest noises out of him.

Not a muscle in Martin’s body relaxed when he had said it, shame rising as he grit the confession out.

Jon had waited for Martin’s breathing to calm again.

Jon had said, I’d like to see that.

Martin had said, The world’s fucked, it’s not like I’m seeking anyone out; you don’t have to be cool with it just to reassure me.

Jon had said, I’m not. I’m not just saying that. God, Martin, if it’s something you want, I want to see you and… and whoever you choose. Together. I really do.

And Martin had kissed him, shaking, to try and communicate the relief in his veins because Jon knows; Martin told him and he knows, and he’s not reacting in disgust, or carefully composed indifference; he’s, he’s into it.

And then the world fell apart.

Martin opens and closes his mouth, working his throat. “Jon, I’m not using the apocalypse to try and get laid.”

Jon instantly changes his composure, immediacy in his movements. “We can go,” he says, gesturing out beyond the thick of the End’s domain. “We can go right now and never see him again, if you want.”

Martin’s heart swells again. He leans into Jon and presses a kiss to the corner of his scratchy jaw. “Love you,” Martin murmurs.

Jon squeezes his hands in return.

“But,” Martin says, “I don’t… want to leave.”

“Oh?” Jon smiles into his cheek.

Martin hides his face in the crook of Jon’s neck. “When he leaned in very close and touched my face, it was… a lot. In a good way.”

“Of course,” Jon assures him.

“And, I can’t forget, he did save your life. One might, ah, say I owe him for that,” Martin smiles.

“Again,” Jon whispers, “just because we discussed that you might want to get with another person, at some point, in the future, does not mean you’re obligated to him, now. An offer’s just an offer.”

“Oh—that was innuendo,” Martin says. “You know, I don’t actually owe him—it was very nice of him to save you, but that was his choice—but I could, ah, be grateful. If you’re picking up what I’m putting down.”

“If you say so,” Jon agrees. “Maybe it’ll make more sense if I watch you say it to him.”

Oh, god. The tension twitches between Martin’s thighs again, and he mouths at Jon’s shoulder. “I’ll have you know, when you mention me flirting with someone else, that’s… that really does something.”

“Kind of the point,” Jon says.

Fuck. Martin hums, sucking at the point between his collarbone and neck. Jon lets out a little breath, a shaky exhale that promises more.

“Okay,” Martin says. “I’ll do it. For you.”

Jon curls a hand around the back of Martin’s neck and holds him as Martin presses kisses up his neckline, to the edge of his wet lips, staying next to Jon for a long second.

When Martin pulls back, Jon’s mouth stays parted, spit shining between them. “For you,” Martin promises again, and turns back inside.

Oliver stares out of the window into his empire, and he turns when Martin clicks the door shut. “So,” he says, scratching the back of his neck, suddenly as awkward as the rest of them, “has Jon decided to destroy me?”

“Not today,” Jon clears his throat. “And we’ve considered your proposition.”


Martin crosses the room, and with the anticipation building, he can actually say the lines appearing in his mind without stumbling over them. “Jon just wants to watch,” he says.

“For now,” Jon adds.

Martin glances back at him and shudders. “For now,” he repeats. Oh, god, Martin’s going to die of anticipation.

“And you, Martin?” Oliver asks. “What do you want?”

Martin steps forward like Oliver did when Martin first entered this room, and this time, he carefully presses his thigh between Oliver’s legs. Oliver Banks parts for him, bracing himself on the windowsill ledge, sucking in a breath.

“Well,” Martin says, and leans over an inch from Oliver’s face, resting a hand on the one Oliver uses to braces himself. “What I want is to say thank you.”

“Oh?” Oliver parts his lips, and Martin can feel the breath on his face.

Martin wraps his other arm around Oliver to hang at the small of his back. “I could convince Jon to smite you where you stand because I’m… jealous of you bringing him back, or I could convey my appreciation in a more heartfelt manner.”

Oliver reaches out and touches Martin’s face again, hands as tender and cool as last time. “And what does Martin Blackwood’s heart tell him to do?”

The hair on Martin’s neck prickles as he feels Jon looking at them. Martin leans in and meets the space between Oliver and him, locking onto Oliver’s parted lips.

His lips are as cool as the rest of him, and Martin licks into his mouth, searching out the corners of his shivering body.

Oliver’s hands tangle in Martin’s hair, and Martin slips his thigh further between the tight heat of Oliver’s legs, pressing his full body against Oliver and mouthing into him, savoring the wetness, scraping his lips on Oliver’s teeth.

The man chokes off a sound under him, and Martin sucks into his mouth.

He reels back for a breath and Oliver gasps, leaning against the window and shuddering. “I see,” Oliver says.

“Would you like to see on the bed?” Martin asks.

Oliver gulps, and Martin stares at the movement of Oliver’s long throat. “Oh, yes.”

Martin takes the initiative and presses Oliver’s back to turn him toward the bed. He rocks his thigh between Oliver’s legs forward, brushing past something rapidly hardening, and Oliver takes a step back. Martin rocks his other leg forward and the back of Oliver’s knees hit the bed.

Martin reaches out and pushes his index finger into the center of Oliver’s chest, and Oliver lets himself fall back on the bed.

Such a sight in front of him: Oliver, legs spreading, cock pushing at his tight trousers, shirt rucked up over his abs. Martin swipes a thumb across Oliver’s exposed stomach. As Martin’s thumb goes higher, Oliver’s breaths go higher too. When Martin rolls a nipple between his fingers, Oliver bites down on his lip.

From behind him, Jon says, “Keep your mouth open.”

They both turn to look at him, and Jon’s staring directly at Oliver’s mouth. A line of heat courses down Martin’s body.

Oliver breathlessly nods, widening his mouth and keeping it open.

“I want to hear you,” Jon says. “I want to hear everything.”

Martin hums thoughtfully, and presses one hand against Oliver’s knee to open him up wider. He places his other fingers on Oliver’s lips.

Oliver looks between Jon and Martin as Martin slowly pushes his fingers into Oliver’s mouth.

Oliver closes his lips to suck on them, but Martin says, “You heard Jon. Keep your mouth open.”

Oliver opens his mouth again, openly groaning as Martin rubs his fingers up and down his tongue.

“Hey Jon?” Martin says absentmindedly. “Do you want to keep standing, or do you want to take a seat?”

“A seat?” Jon echoes, and the previous insistent tone is gone. This is high-pitched and shaking.

Martin gestures with his spit-slick fingers to the bed. “This is big enough for three.”

“It is,” Jon agrees, and slides onto the bed next to Martin and Oliver.

Martin leans over and kisses Jon. This is a familiar heat pooling in Martin’s gut, the nip of Jon’s teeth over his upper lip, the hum into his tongue as Jon sucks. With every breath, he prods his fingers further into Oliver’s open mouth.

Oliver bucks his hips as Martin’s fingers slide ever closer to the back of his throat, and Martin pulls back, pressing down onto Oliver’s tongue, feeling it roll around in Oliver’s spit.

Martin breaks off the kiss with Jon, and he runs his fingers back up and down Oliver’s ruby red tongue, spit dripping between them.

With his other hand, Martin pushes Oliver’s leg higher, and Oliver curls his leg around Martin’s shoulder. It also reaches the limit of how far Oliver’s trousers can stretch.

“Jon,” Martin rasps, “do you want to unbutton Oliver?”

Jon cocks his head to the side, considering for a long second. “Alright,” he says, and reaches forward with—fuck, shaking hands—and methodically unbuttons and unzips Oliver, shucking his trousers down so Oliver’s dark cock springs straight into the air. Just from what Martin’s doing.

Marin extricates his fingers to pull Oliver’s clothes completely off of him, and he returns Oliver’s leg to its rightful place over Martin’s shoulder.

“Oliver,” Martin says, voice hoarse already, “can I finger you now?”

He feels Oliver swallow underneath him, mouth still wide and receptive for his fingers. Oliver says, muffled and full of Martin, “That compulsion of yours—of course, Martin.”

Of course, Martin.

Martin rolls his index finger around in the spit of Oliver’s mouth, and guides Oliver’s other leg over his shoulder. He bites at the inside of Oliver’s knee as he moves his finger down the glide of Oliver’s ass and runs it around Oliver’s hole.

Oliver keeps his mouth open to whine, like he and Jon said to, fuck, and Martin presses the tip of his finger in.

“Oh,” Martin breathes, “oh, you really want it, you really fucking want it.”

When he looks back up, Oliver jerks his head in a nod, and stares at Jon. Jon looks back at him, his own mouth half-opened, a blush creeping in from his neck.

Martin runs the tip of his finger in a circle. “I’ll need lube for more.”

Oliver gulps, and Martin suddenly can’t take his gaze away from Oliver’s neck. It would look so good covered in marks. “Drawer,” Oliver gasps. “It’s in the—oh, please do that again.”

Martin curls the tip of his finger again, stretching back and forth, and the man presses his legs to get a deeper angle.

“Jon,” Martin manages, “the drawer… would you mind…”

Jon leans over to open the drawer, and Martin admires the flash of skin as he stretches, the memory of Martin rubbing that line of skin back and forth as Jon sighs under him. Jon returns with the bottle of lube.

“I’ll pour it on you,” Jon says.

Martin can’t resist jerking his own hips as his cock twitches at that. “God, yeah,” he manages to say, and holds his fingers, slick with Oliver’s spit, up to his boyfriend. Jon uncaps the lube and pours it over them. Martin looks into Jon’s eyes, which are wide and blown out. Fuck yeah.

Jon rests a hand on Martin’s hip as Martin feels Oliver give way, taking his lube-slicked finger in one move. Martin drags it in and out, and Oliver leans his head back on the bed, his breathing choppy, throat working, and mouth staying open.

Martin says, “Hey, look at me,” and both Jon and Oliver look at him. He stares between the two, from Jon, composed and alert, to Oliver, undone and luxuriating in it, and presses a second finger in.

He can feel Jon staring at his fingers as they disappear into Oliver, and Oliver’s panting into the air, “Come on, come on, another one, come on.”

“Are you sure?” Martin checks, scissoring his two fingers and rubbing into the ring of muscle.

“Please,” Oliver begs.

Martin leans his head into the crook of Jon’s neck, feeling Jon’s hand on his hips and disappearing under his clothes, and adds a third finger, running his other hand up and down Oliver’s quaking thigh.

“You’re so—” responsive, amazing, eager for it, “cold.”

Oliver works his throat. “Imagine how it’s going to feel around your cock,” he says, and Martin’s hips stutter at that. “I hear good things.”

“God,” Martin laughs, “my cock’s not—long, but I can get it in here with my fingers.”

“Please do,” Oliver says.

And how can Martin do anything but acquiesce?

He withdraws from Oliver and pulls his shirt and cardigan off with his free hand. Unbuttoning his trousers with one hand is another matter.

“I’ve got it,” Jon says, and reaches to unbutton Martin with the same professionalism with which he opened Oliver’s.

Martin kicks his shoes off and shucks his trousers down, and before he can help himself to hardness, Jon grasps his hips and looks up at Martin, eyes wide in a question.

“Yeah,” Martin says, jerking his head in a nod. “Of course.”

He rests his fingers at Oliver’s entrance as Jon leans down and licks a stripe up his cock.

Martin swallows, pushes his fingers into Oliver, and Jon tilts his head at an odd angle to capture his lips around it, suckling softly and rolling it around in his mouth, and Martin cants his hips gently.

Jon moves his head back and forward, running his cock through his lips, until it’s stiffening straight up, straining and sending a twitch up Martin’s spine at every touch.

Jon withdraws his lips and smiles up at Martin. “Love you.”

God,” Martin says. “Love you too.”

“Can I…” Jon twitches his fingers. “While you fuck him?”

Martin looks down at Oliver. “If the angle works.” He leans over Oliver, propping himself up on the bed.

Oliver smiles up at him.

“I’m not jealous of you,” Martin tells him. “I’m grateful.”

“Show me,” Oliver gasps. “Show me how grateful you are.”

Martin opens Oliver with his fingers and guides his cock, thin and stiff, next to them, and the dull chill of Oliver’s hole is just enough to set his nerves alight.

Martin meets Oliver’s mouth with his own, shuddering. He rocks gently back and forth, feeling his cock pushing against his fingers and Oliver’s hole as he moves it in and out.

Oliver props himself up on his arms and kisses back into Martin’s mouth, exploring and humming into him, and Martin’s hovering on this side of overstimulation.

He feels Jon’s hesitant fingers brush under his balls, and reaching his hole, and just—just circling over it, just pressing his fingers against the twitching muscle, spreading the slick and building up a rhythm that Martin has demonstrated, over and over, will bring him over the edge.

Martin whines, resting on Oliver’s knees, rocking in and out, feeling Jon rub in and out of him in little motions, never more than a digit.

“Jon,” he moans into Oliver’s mouth. “Come on. Come on.”

“If you—if you start a rhythm,” Jon says, “I can match it.”

Oh, fuck. “Alright,” Martin says, and brushes a strand of hair out of his eyes. He looks down at Oliver, and rolls his body to brush over Oliver’s trapped cock, standing straight up against his stomach. “I’ll start a rhythm.” He reaches down and wraps his free hand around Oliver’s cock, and Oliver clenches around him as he gives it an experimental roll.

And Martin starts a rhythm, fucking his cock and fingers into Oliver, rolling his hand up Oliver’s shaft and over the head beading precome, and back down again. It takes a couple movements for Jon to join him, two fingers curling into him as Martin buries himself in Oliver.

Now Martin’s the one openmouthed, wordless, shaking and pressing his head into Oliver’s chest. His grasp on Oliver’s cock stutters as the pressure builds to a threshold, and he licks at Oliver’s nipple, letting his mouth hover as he screams into it.

“Just like that,” Jon is saying, little reassurances as Martin shakes apart. “Come on, Martin, fuck yourself through it.”

Martin reaches out blindly to grab Jon’s forearm, feeling Jon as he fucks his fingers into Martin’s dripping hole, and truly comes apart, curling his fingers and biting Oliver’s nipple.

Martin stays there for a long second, the cold inside Oliver powering his aftershocks, with the heat of Jon’s fingers and the tremors Oliver make against him as he continues to brush his teeth over the nipple.

Martin lets go of Oliver’s cock, still hard, still not over the edge, and tries to collect himself.

Jon breathes into his ear, “Can I touch him?”

Jon’s shirt is askew now, and the flush has overtaken his face. He’s straining in his trousers, hair tousled, eyes wide.

“Oh my god, yes,” Martin says.

“Please,” Oliver gasps. “Please, Jon, please—”

Jon gives a slight smirk and says, “Guess I have reason to…thank Oliver too.”

Martin huffs out a shoulder-shaking laugh.

Oliver says, voice hoarse, “Oh? How are you going to thank me, Jon?”

“I thought it was rather obvious,” Jon says. He waits for Martin to extract himself, and Martin sits down hard next to Oliver and collecting his breath.

Once Martin has moved out of the way, Jon falls to his knees in one smooth motion and places his lips on the side of Oliver’s shaft. He winks at Martin as he moves his mouth to suckle on the end of Oliver’s cock, and Martin watches Oliver’s eyes flutter close.

Martin reaches out to press into Oliver’s recently-bitten nipple as Jon sucks down on his cock, and Oliver catches himself from bucking his hips, fisting the sheets and breathing into Martin’s arm. Martin presses into Oliver’s nipple as Jon bobs his head down experimentally, and pulls the nipple as Jon fists the base of Oliver’s cock.

“He likes this, you know,” Martin says conversationally. “If you bite his nipples, right here—” Martin pinches and rolls it, and Oliver flutters his eyes to stare at Martin. “Well,” Martin grins. “Maybe you’ll figure out what he does when you bite there.”

Oliver opens his mouth. “What else can I do?”

Martin considers, watching Jon pop up to run a spit soaked tongue across Oliver’s slit, watching the liquid drip down his shaft before he dives back down to lick it up.

“You could also take a palm,” he says, licking his own palm, “and press into a hard nipple, trapping it. Moving it around.” He presses his palm, feels Oliver’s rock hard nipple trapped between it and his chest, and grinds it in a circle. Oliver can’t stop himself bucking into Jon’s mouth this time, and Martin watches as Jon’s fist tightens around the base of Oliver’s cock to keep from choking.

“Yeah,” Oliver gasps. “I can do that.”

“You could reach down,” Martin says, sliding his hand down through the precome slick on his stomach and around Jon’s head until he reaches the base of Oliver’s cock, “and just brush over his balls.” Martin wraps his hand as best he can around Oliver’s balls, pulling gently, and Oliver is keening and snapping his hips shallowly into Jon. Martin watches the head of Oliver’s cock disappear into Jon’s mouth again and again as Oliver pushes in and out, and Jon hollows his cheeks to suck up the difference.

“One last thing,” Oliver gasps. “One last thing I can do.”

Martin rubs circles into Oliver’s balls as he considers. Oliver’s precome dribbles a line down onto his belly now, as close as he will get to the edge, and Martin reaches down his other hand and swipes through it. “Open your mouth,” he says, “and keep it open.”

Oliver opens his mouth immediately, pushing his tongue out, ready and waiting and straining. Precome drips from Martin’s fingers as he guides them up to Oliver’s outstretched tongue, and Martin pushes them into his mouth, gently pulling on Oliver’s balls at the same time.

“Come on,” Martin says. “Tilt your head back, let it drip down your throat, and swallow.”

Oliver presses his tongue and laps up his own precome on Martin’s fingers, mouth wide open and shaking, shuddering. Martin keeps pressing his fingers into Oliver’s mouth, feeling it mingle with the spit, and says, “Swallow your own precome, Oliver, and come.”

He feels Oliver’s throat work around his fingers as he swallows, mouth still hanging open, gleaming, shaking in Martin’s hands, and he sees Oliver’s cock twitch, spilling into Jon’s mouth.

Jon leans down to suck and lap every last bit that Oliver twitches into his mouth until Oliver relaxes on the bed, spent.

Jon pulls himself off of Oliver’s cock and wipes his mouth experimentally. He’s staring off into the distance in concentration, as if trying to catalogue the experience.

Martin nudges Jon’s knee. “Not your first time doing that, right?” he asks.

Jon shakes his head. “Nah. First time since I figured out that I, you know… only want to do these things for the experience of doing them.”

Oliver licks his lips. “Can I, ah, give you the experience of doing the things Martin demonstrated?”

“Yes,” Jon says.

Oliver attempts to sit up, can’t quite do it, stays boneless for another few seconds, and finally sucks in enough breath to propel him to a sitting position. “I suppose I have to thank you, too,” he tells Jon.

“For what reason?”

Oliver gestures for Jon to climb up onto the bed, and Jon shuffles forward until he’s kneeling in front of Oliver, hard in his trousers and waiting.

“Well,” Oliver says, pulling Jon’s shirt off of him, “not directing the anger of the Eye toward me where I stand. For one.”

“That’s all Martin,” Jon says, and becomes significantly less verbal when Oliver places his mouth over a nipple and sucks.

Oliver pops off the nipple to give a wink at Martin. “Not so jealous after all, are you?”

“I already told you I wasn’t,” Martin says, at both of them. And he isn’t. He feels only warmth as Oliver reaches into Jon’s trousers and pulls his cock out, trapped between the fabric and his stomach, rolling a flat palm around the side of the head and sucking his nipple.

Jon grips the side of Oliver’s head, eyes closed. “Oliver, I—just like that.”

Oliver’s working his underwear down and running a hand behind his cock, against his balls, and pressing behind them, running up and down the skin there, and Jon jerks into a bit nipple.

Oliver takes his teeth around the nipple and pulls, stretching it slowly, and Jon is bucking at Oliver’s hands working his shaft and perineum, whining, wordless.

“Just like that,” Martin says. “Just like that, he’s right on the edge.”

“Martin,” Jon chokes out, and then he’s spurting into Oliver’s hand. It hits the underside of Oliver’s chin before he can lean down and cover it with his mouth, sucking up the rest of Jon’s come.

Jon presses a hand to his bruised nipple as he stutters through the last of his aftershocks, slowly coming back down to earth, holding onto Oliver.

“Yeah,” Jon sighs. “Just like that.”

Oliver makes a noise, pulling off of Jon’s cock and keeping his mouth closed, and he holds up one finger.

“One example left,” Martin translates, and watches as Oliver surges up to meet Jon’s mouth in a kiss, opening his mouth and feeding his own come back to him.

Jon chokes on a moan as he tips his head to capture it, and Martin can see his Adam’s apple working as he holds onto Oliver, swallowing every last drop that Oliver laps into his mouth. When they pull apart, a string of come hangs between them, and Jon’s mouth shines with it.

Martin’s definitely going to be thinking about that for a very long time.

Oliver leans back on the bed, cards his hand through the sweat beading on his locs, and lets out a shaky breath. “That was…”

Martin nods.

“I wasn’t betting on an outcome,” Oliver says, “but if I did, I would have put all my money on you blasting me out of the sky. And not in a, um, fun way.”

Jon looks kind of hurt at that as he wipes his mouth clean. “I wouldn’t,” he says. “You—you’re not a monster, Oliver. You made choices to survive, but you don’t seek out power to satisfy your god.”

Oliver nods, satisfied, and Martin turns to start picking up the clothes scattered across the room.

He hears Oliver add, “You’re not a monster, either,” and he turns to see Jon shutter his gaze and glance away.

Martin will come back to that and make sure Jon knows that what Oliver is saying is true.

Jon stares into the corner of the room for a beat before he says, “Is this my hospital room?”

“Ah,” Oliver says, and waves a hand around as Martin gives him his slacks. “Yes. Again, I didn’t construct it as a plea for mercy had you decided to scatter my ashes, but I was interested in seeing if it would have changed any part of your mind had you come in with that intent.”

“Oliver,” Jon says, “I have thank you. For everything. Seriously.”

Oliver cocks his head. “You’re welcome,” he says. “And thank Martin.”

“What?” Martin says, his pants halfway up his legs. “Why thank me?”

“Without me Jon would have died once. Without you he would have died…” Oliver shrugs. “I don’t know the full count. But you do.”

“Yeah,” Jon says. He’s looking at Martin, eyes creased. Their fingers brush as he hands Martin his cardigan, and Jon reaches out and grasps Martin’s sweaty, fluid-covered hand, holding him. “I do know the count.”

Martin doesn’t know what he’d do if Jon actually thanked him, right here and now. Probably start crying. “We can talk about it later,” he says. “Something to pass the time while we’re on the road.”

“Okay,” Jon nods. “Later.”

Martin pulls himself back into his clothes and the others do the same. When he looks at Oliver now, there’s no jealousy pooling in his gut and no uncomfortable warmth, either; just a steady post-coital glow. And when he looks at Jon now, he’s still on the precipice of shedding a tear.

The fog of the Lonely is nowhere to be found.

Oliver stands, unsteady, bruises blooming on his skin, and tips his head at them. “Good luck on the road,” he says.

“Good luck, um…” Jon gestures around them.

Martin’s eyes sparkle. “We’ll be back here, one way or the other.”

“Martin…” Jon sighs, and leans on Martin’s shoulder. “I guess we will be back at some point to feed your god.”

“I will definitely see Jon at the heat death of the universe. The question of Martin appearing then is… another story.” Oliver winks at them.

Martin tilts his head. “What does that mean?”

“Not sure it means anything yet,” Oliver shrugs, “but maybe, at some point, it will.”

“Let’s go,” Jon says. “If we stay, he’ll start trying to recruit us to the End.”

“Okay,” Martin nods. “See you around, Oliver Banks.”

“See you at the End, Martin Blackwood.”

Martin and Jon go, arm in arm, out of the End’s domain.

“How was it?” Jon asks. “Everything you’d imagined?”

“Yeah, it really was. What about for you? Was it okay that I told him about your preferences?”

“Oh, yes, yes, absolutely. It was…quite nice, the extra attention. I haven’t had a quite nice moment since…”

It hangs in the air.

“Hey,” Martin reminds him, “I’m no longer jealous.”

Jon laughs, clasping Martin’s hand in his. “Oh, Martin, I never doubted you on that matter for a second.”