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There are so many caveats to this.

They go to bed at night, most nights, in separate beds, at separate times. But some nights … Hank can't quite categorise why, or predict when, but some nights, shaking with tension, stinking of each other and their suits and their worries, they do this:

Hank holding Alex, fitted together on the mattress with Alex's pale, hard-muscled body stark against the blue of Hank, decadent against Hank's fur with his wrists held tight so that he can't fight. Because Alex will fight - Alex will always fight, Alex doesn't know another way, and while he knows how to hold his mutation in, there's more to him than his power, and some nights he needs to be allowed to lose all of the rest of his control. Hank can let him do that, can be that shock-absorber for him. Hank needs to be that for him.

Hank needs to be that for Sean, as well - impulsive Sean, deadly Sean who can fly and kill and shatter glass, who will throw himself off buildings just because someone tells him to, before he knows he can - because he always thinks he can. Sean needs a safety-net, needs hands in his hair to steady him and biting kisses to silence him.

And if the other two need someone to take the control from them, Hank's safe place is that he can keep it. He needs to know that his mutation doesn't rule him. Hank needs to know that the beast within is on a chain and that he holds the end of it. Hank needs to know that, in the fierce moments of sex when lust and violence can so often be the same thing even in the most urbane of men, he's not an animal. So he takes the leash and he takes the lead on the other two.

And all three of them together keep each other safe from the outside world. It's teamwork, of a sort.

It's teamwork when Hank drags his tongue wetly up the back of Alex's neck into his hairline, and lets go of Alex's wrists in order to push one leg up higher so that, spooned together as they are, he can get his spit-wet fingers into Alex's body. With his other hand he beckons to Sean.

Sean kisses Alex - vocal as he is, his kisses are calculated to muffle the sounds that come from his throat - and Alex arches and responds to it even as Sean's hands settle one in his hair and one around Hank's wrist, waiting for instruction. Hank knows exactly what he wants Sean to do- Alex is already shaking between them, gritting his teeth, holding himself in.

This one's for Alex, today - he's wound tight like a watchspring, ready to explode. The Professor keeps them hopping with training and lessons and searching, and Alex is still sort of learning how to deal with people, and with himself.

'Here, help me out,' says Hank, shaking Sean's fingers loose from him and then grabbing them and putting them to use. Between the two of them they get Alex struggling for purchase and for air, Sean's mouth fastened over his with licks and bites, and two sets of fingers opening him up wide and ready. Alex reaches for Sean's cock but Hank doesn't want him there just yet, bats his hand away. 'No,' Hank whispers in his ear, 'Not like that.'

Alex throws his head back against Hank's shoulder and doesn't make a sound, bites his lip hard instead, and Sean moves to his collarbones and his nipples seamlessly, breathing through his nose and rippling Alex's skin with the power of his moans. Hank pulls their fingers free, and then pulls at Sean. 'Come around,' he says. 'You need to suck him,' and he's looking at Sean but he keeps his mouth at Alex's ear. Sean twists and rolls, and Alex's eyes come open again and he focuses and stills, and opens his mouth.

Hank stretches out and closes his hand around Sean's hip. He's knows almost shaking with the war between his concentration and his wants, but he pulls Sean in close as gently as he can, his sharp nails pressing white marks into the pink of Sean's skin. Alex's eyes close and he licks his lips. It took him so long to learn this. He wouldn't, before, when they started this - he'd touch Hank but he wouldn't look, he'd let Sean swallow him down but he wouldn't do the same - but they taught him how much he could want this. Hank feeds him Sean's cock, watches his cheeks hollow as he takes it, his blond lashes fanning down as his eyelids flutter, and growls a little, pushes closer against his skin.

Sean makes a tiny, broken-off noise and whispers, 'C'mon, Hank,' with strange reverberations to it. 'I've gotta -' and he gulps on a whine that makes the wall mirror rattle, and noses forward without waiting for Hank's hand to guide him, pushes his face between Alex's thighs and licks quickly and wetly, and then takes him down, deep, like he needs it

They rock back and forth between each other, and Alex is still wriggling, rolling his shoulders -

That won't do. Hank pins him, bites at his ear. 'Uh-uh,' he says, 'Relax, Alex. Go with it. Let it go, Alex. Let it go -' and he slides his arm across Alex's hips, shoves his fingers into Sean's hair and pulls him up close. 'Just take it,' he says, and pushes his cock into the slick space where his fingers were.

'Uhh,' Alex rolls his hips, lets Sean's dick slip free of his mouth sloppily, starting to get far enough gone to forget about everything but what they're doing to him. Hank starts to thrust, the head of his cock finding its way in, and Sean crawls back around so that he can fist his hands in Hank's fur and kiss him fiercely, arching over Alex's body.

'Do it,' he whispers at Hank. 'Look at him, he wants it so fucking bad,' and he's holding Alex by the shoulders now, shoving him back against the bulk of Hank. 'We've got you, Alex,' he says. 'We've got you, yeah,' and Alex isn't struggling any more, is panting and trying to spread his legs, sprawled over the mattress with Hank behind him, and Hank pushes one more time, in.

Alex paws for Sean's face, drags him down to the mattress to kiss him again, no finesse left and no frustration. 'You fuckers,' Alex says on the breaths that Hank punches out of him with his thrusts, 'are ganging up on me.' It's his last defiance though - his eyes are lidding, his breathing slowing.

'You like it,' retorts Sean, still whispering, colour riding high on his cheeks. He drags his hand through Alex's hair, cups Alex's face in his hands. 'You want it, cupcake.'

'He needs it,' corrects Hank. 'He needs us.' And he's bottoming out now, tight inside Alex, and Sean … he's been patient, but he deserves his turn. Hank is gonna see that he gets it. 'C'mon Alex, up,' he says, taking him by the hips and getting him on his knees. Alex flops to his chest, head on his arms and ass in the air, and Hank is so tempted - he could just plant his hand in the middle of Alex's shoulders and fuck him into the mattress, but there's a better plan, and Hank likes plans. He makes most of them.

He stills inside of Alex, and makes sure Sean is looking at him. Sean's got out of their way, perching on the edge of the mattress, but he's stroking himself, almost leaning into his fist, and he's got his teeth fastened in his lip like he wants to scream. Hank wants to take his breath away, save him from himself.

'C'mon, up,' Hank says, and wraps his fingers around the nape of Alex's neck, urging him to all fours. Alex goes lazily, but he does go - braces himself on his arms, his muscles standing out like cords and the bulk of his shoulders straining, letting his head hang. And again, Hank feels the urge to just let rip, give Alex what he's begging for, but there's more to give him, more for all of them. Hank slides his grip from neck to hair, and pulls Alex's head up. 'Sean,' he growls. 'Get over here.'

Sean whines from between his gritted teeth and crawls to where Hank's beckoning him.

'Alex,' says Hank, as gently as he can when he's buried balls-deep in the other guy and is desperate, desperate to fuck him, 'Sean needs you to open your mouth, yeah?'

'Fuck,' hisses Sean, and bulls up on his knees. Alex puts his weight over on his left arm, and reaches for Sean, mouth open and eyes closed. Watching Alex take Sean in does something to Hank, something he has to clamp down on hard. He leans forward to touch Sean's cheek, make him look up so that they can be on the same page with this, because Hank has to fuck Alex now, he has to, he needs to.

Sean nods. Hank takes a deep breath, and lets himself move.

The first push has Alex rocking, the second and third have him moaning around Sean's cock, slurping, shoved close by Hank's movements until he chokes against Sean's skin. Sean himself is bleeding from where he's bitten his lips shut, but it's not working any more, he's gasping and huffing and the noises are coming bubbling through, rattling the windows.

'Hold on,' grits Hank, hypocritically, as if he has any control over the snapping of his own hips. 'Sean, you can do this.'

Sean's eyes are wild when he looks up at Hank. He shakes his head, and Hank shoves up again, grabs him, blue fingers in orange hair, and swallows Sean's noises with a kiss.

'Unhh,' Alex moans, scrunched between them, jerking and shaking enough that Sean slips free from between his lips. 'C'mon, please, guys -'

'On his face,' says Hank against Sean's gasping mouth. 'Do it,' and kisses him again, and again, holding Alex's hip with one hand, pounding into him, surging into him. He wants Alex to come, wants Sean to come, wants to see them covered in each other and smell them covered in each other, eat them out, lick them clean, wash them down after when they're worn out and done in -

- Sean chokes, and Alex gasps deep in his throat, and the sudden smell of sex blooms violently in the room.

'Fuck, fuck,' Alex pants, going almost boneless with his release, and Sean's collapsed onto the mattress, out of sight but not out of hearing. 'Fucking do it, Beast,' Alex says, looking back at Hank, his face streaked with wet, red-mouthed, eyes almost black with lust, and Hank snarls and lets go, emptying himself into Alex with a groan that's so low it tears up his throat inside.

Alex slumps forward, curling against Sean's prone form with his ass still up in the air, and Hank eases his way out reluctantly, still buzzing. Half of him wants to stay there, knows he can get hard again, wants to keep fucking ... but he also wants to sleep. A washcloth is easy to find - Alex's face is such a glorious mess, Hank kind of wants to lick it clean even as he wipes it. He misses a spot at the corner of Alex's mouth and it's not entirely accidental - he kisses it, tongues the smear of come away, before moving on to Sean.

'Just go to sleep already,' mutters Sean raspily.

'Nearly done,' Hank says, dumping the washcloth to the side of the bed. 'Move over.'

Alex stirs and rolls to one side. 'You're the size of a house, McCoy,' he points out as he does so, but once Hank's settled, both Alex and Sean move closer. It's mostly the fur, Hank figures, but it's nice all the same.

Tomorrow, of course, they'll be done up tight in pressure-suits again and Alex'll be back to calling Hank 'Bozo' like he thinks he's clever and Sean'll just laugh at both of them, and the Professor will sigh and lecture them on trust and teamwork and hopefully he'll never, ever look inside their heads and find this out, because this is not what he's talking about when he says it.

But they keep each other safe, Hank thinks as he falls asleep. This is part of that. That's all there is to it.