The first day back from the Lonely, Martin cries at the drop of a pin. He can’t help it; it’s as if all emotion, all sensation is being returned to him in the form of buckets upended carelessly on his head. The second day he gets angry, finds himself squeezing the meat of his own thighs so hard in his seat that his nails leave little divots in the flesh, even through his trousers.
The third day he can’t stop thinking about sex to save his life.
He wakes up in a warm haze of need; it takes him a few seconds to orient himself, remember where he is, but he is immediately aware of his erection, tenting out his briefs obscenely, the fabric damp from its weeping head. And Martin can’t even touch it, because Jon is right there on the floor beside him, breathing slow but God only knows if he’s actually asleep. If he lets himself sleep these days. If he even needs it anymore.
Martin needs to touch himself almost more than he needs to breathe, but the thought of Jon waking up to the sight of Martin furiously masturbating on the cot above him— Well, it’s even more arousing, in a filthy, shameful sort of way, but the guilt Martin feels for thinking about it is enough to physically pain him. Rolling over, he wills it all away, the heat in his gut, the desperate throbbing of his cock, the distant fantasy of his mouth on Jon’s bare shoulder where his shirt, too large, has slipped down. Martin would trace the scar there with his lips, if he dared, fold Jon’s body against his and shield him from any more pain. They’ve both had enough, he thinks, groggy and half-sunk back into a fitful sleep. They deserve to feel good, at least for a moment.
Jon wakes him later with a hand on his damp, sweaty collar, cool skin like a balm against the heat. “Martin- Christ, you’re burning up,” he says, alarmed, and his other hand blessedly cups Martin’s forehead. “What- What’s wrong? I thought-”
“M’fine,” Martin sighs, pushing into his touch. He cracks an eyelid, catches Jon’s expression of disgruntled skepticism, and it brings him back to himself a bit. “I think it’s— It’s like withdrawal,” he manages to explain. “Things are coming back in stages- Like my body has to, you know, flush out the Lonely? I feel, ah,” he swallows forcefully, registering just how close Jon is. While it has flagged somewhat, his morning wood from earlier has apparently not gone away. “I actually feel alright,” he asserts, attempting to inject his voice with some confidence. “Just, hah, a bit warm.”
Jon still looks doubtful, but he mutters something about how he supposes that makes sense in line with everything else he knows. Then he steps back, to both Martin’s relief and regret, and offers to give him some time to change. “We’re leaving for Scotland in a couple of hours,” he says, “so, er, perhaps dress for the cold? Though if you carry on like this, I don’t know if you’ll need it.”
“Thanks,” Martin says, a bit nonsensically. “Yeah, I er— I’ll keep that in mind. Just be a minute.” He stays under the blankets until Jon backs reluctantly out of the room. Then he throws the covers back, eyeing his own crotch with mild dread. It’s definitely still a situation.
“Fucking hell,” he mutters under his breath, very aware that Jon is waiting just outside the door. Just in case he feels lonely. That rules out having a quick wank in here; Martin doesn’t trust himself to keep quiet, at this point. He doesn’t want to shut himself up in the toilets, either, lest Jon get concerned he’s having some kind of a relapse, and anyway, the noise will echo in there. No, best to wait ‘til they get to Scotland, to whatever bolthole Daisy was keeping, and try for some privacy there once they’re both feeling less on edge.
Martin tucks himself into his waistband carefully; with any luck things will calm down on the trip. Which could prove to be rather long, now that he thinks about it. He hasn’t been the most active participant in that whole plan, admittedly, mostly hovering around the Archives in a fog of recovery while Jon and Basira sort things out. That’s probably okay. He’s doing his best. It was somehow less embarrassing, though, when it was the weight of emotion incapacitating him instead of being outrageously horny.
He wanders through the rest of the morning, passing off his distraction as sleepiness, letting Jon steer him through the train station. They’re headed to Aberdeen, and Martin spends the first solid hour of the train ride staring out the window, most of his focus contracted to the single point of contact between himself and Jon; their hips are pressed lightly together, since Martin takes up most of the booth by himself. Finally, he musters the courage to suggest Jon take the empty seat across from him. He feels pathetically comforted that Jon does not jump at the chance straight away.
When he does finally move over to the opposite booth, Jon takes his shoes off, tucking his feet up underneath him. His socks have little aubergines printed on them, and Martin is startled to recognize them as an old pair of his own, all the way back from 2016 when he’d been living at the Archives. He says nothing, tries to control his blush, but for Christ’s sake. Jon has been wearing his clothes. Would he take them off, if Martin asked for them back? How much of his outfit actually belongs to Martin…?
For an hour or so, Jon reads aloud from something by Douglas Adams, his soft voice curling with wry amusement along the length of the more witty sentences. Martin wants to go down on him while he reads, see how long it would take him to unwind— Oh, they could make love like that, couldn’t they, spread out on some big lovely bed with a book of good poetry. Martin imagines what it would be like to hear Jon’s voice crest with pleasure in the middle of a sonnet, and then lets himself drop asleep, as if slumber could somehow defend him against such a fucking insipid fantasy. He keeps his coat on his lap, just in case.
Jon is asleep, too, when Martin blinks awake around an hour and a half later. Properly asleep, his mouth loose and open ever so slightly, head tucked awkwardly against the compartment wall in a position that will certainly make his neck ache later on. Martin is hard again. This time, his resolve is worn down enough that he slips a feverish hand underneath his coat to palm himself through his trousers, staring at Jon’s slack mouth. It feels so good that the self-disgust isn’t enough to stop him for at least two minutes, until the train shudders and Jon shifts in his seat, snuffling quietly. Martin yanks his hand back as if he’s been burned, then bites his lip so hard he almost draws blood.
He forces himself to be more involved with the disembarking process, insisting on taking all the luggage. They don’t actually have that much, and there is the added benefit of getting blood flowing to other areas of his body. Martin hefts it all into the cab, lets Jon handle relaying their destination, and slumps into the backseat, tugging off his coat again. He wasn’t wrong about running warm today, apparently, and to the unsuspecting observer he probably looks a bit ill. In the back of the cab, Jon puts his hand out deliberately on the seat divide, squeezing it into a fist and then relaxing; it just about breaks Martin’s heart not to reach over and take it, so he lets himself do that, though the comfort he takes from it is undercut by a queasy current of anxiety. Jon’s hand is still cold. They haven’t been able to bloody talk about anything since Jon led him off of the beach, not properly; Martin has been too foggy, and Jon has been too caught up in the collateral. Theoretically, they can talk where they’re going, but of course that scares Martin far more than the idea of staying like this, distant and swimming in their own thoughts, tentative smiles at each other from far away.
The safehouse, it turns out, is a cabin in the middle of bloody nowhere, which is somehow exactly what Martin expected. The cab driver has to let them off at a vague little spot outside the village where the road simply stops existing, and they hike the last twenty minutes or so of the journey, breathing heavily in the cooling air of sunset. The fresh air feels good on Martin’s hot, prickling skin through his jumper, and by the time they reach their destination he feels markedly more in control of himself. Jon is wheezing softly behind him, unprepared for how uphill the whole business has been thus far, and Martin takes his bag again at the steps so Jon can catch his breath enough to unlock the place.
Inside, it’s bare, although less than Martin would have imagined, knowing Daisy. There are only two working lamps, and the place still feels vaguely dim and spooky until they get a decent fire going. There’s a squashy old sofa against one wall, a stubby table with benches rather than chairs, and a threadbare rug. The kitchen area has what looks like a wood-burning stove. Martin explores further toward the back with a torch, and finds a dark, chilly bedroom housing a bare full mattress, supported on nothing but a box spring, no less. He groans; this is more in line with what he had pictured when Jon said “Daisy’s safehouse.”
“Everything okay?” Jon calls from where he’s stoking the fire. He’s never built one before, apparently, but it seems that he Knows how.
“Yeah,” Martin sighs. “We’re just going to have to search out some sheets.” He’s also going to have to take a long shower before they even think of discussing the sleeping arrangements, and he’s not sure if this place even has any bloody hot water. And of course, like clockwork, here come the thoughts again: Rutting against Jon under a pile of blankets on this creaky old mattress, the springs almost loud enough to drown out the sounds of their passion— Martin shakes his head, rolling his eyes. Why do his fantasies always sound like the back of a saucy tuppence paperback? He doesn’t even bother to tuck away his hard-on this time, sure he can get ahold of himself before it becomes an issue. He’s made it this far, after all.
There is a closet set in the wall across from what turns out to be the bathroom, where to Martin’s consolation, he finds a set of sheets and towels, as well as what looks like three pillows on the top shelf. The sheets are manageable, but unfortunately he isn’t quite tall enough to reach the pillows, grunting as he stretches up, trying to grab the edge of one and tug it down. “What on earth are you doing?” Jon asks from behind him, in the doorway.
“Trying to get— Urgh. These bloody pillows,” Martin explains, huffing, almost turning to face Jon before it occurs to him, judging by the tent in his trousers, that is absolutely not something he ought to do. Frantically, he wonders if he would look too obvious snatching a couple towels to hold over his front, but Jon is somehow already next to him, saying, “Honestly, Martin, you could have asked for a hand.”
“I-” is all he manages to squeak before Jon has slotted himself between Martin and the shelves, reaching up for one of the pillows and, in the process, rubbing his arse right up against Martin’s unmistakeable stiffie.
Jon freezes, giving Martin time to scramble back clumsily. Martin draws in a tight, hissing breath, clenching his fists and doing his damnedest to avoid coming right there in his pants. He’s not usually this much of a hair trigger, but it’s been a long day. “Sorry, oh my god, I’m- I’m really sorry. Fuck.”
“You— No, it’s—” Jon’s voice wavers strangely, and Martin realizes he’s trying to hold in nervous laughter. He coughs. “I-It’s fine. You said there were some— Some strange, hah, after-effects, f-from withdrawal, didn’t you—”
“Oh, Christ, it’s been hell,” Martin groans, burying his face in his hands. “I don’t know what’s going on with me— I mean, I do, but it’s been all I can do to try and ignore it—!”
Jon does laugh, then, a reedy little giggle that Martin is surprised to hear from him. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not— I’m not laughing at you, it’s just all a bit—”
“Ridiculous! It’s ridiculous,” Martin wheezes. Jon’s amusement is contagious, in a slightly hysterical sort of way, and he sits down heavily on the mattress with a soft whump. “Bloody hell, I’m such a mess!”
“It’s to be expected,” Jon points out, regaining his composure somewhat. “You almost— You almost drowned in, in an eldritch embodiment of trauma, it’s a lot to ask to remain dignified. Trust me.”
“Oh, did you get just, powerfully horny after waking up from wherever—?” Martin asks, briefly forgetting himself before biting his tongue.
“I— No,” Jon says, pressing his lips together briefly. “No, I think it’s— Rather a different set of circumstances, for you. But there’s no need to be ashamed of not, quite having it together.” He moves over to the bed, sitting down next to Martin, a respectful distance away. “If there’s anything I can do…”
And he must not know how that sounds. Apparently Martin was dead wrong to think he has regained any serious control over himself throughout the past few hours, because he blurts out, “But I’ve been thinking about you, Jon, I can’t stop thinking about—” It takes physically clapping a hand over his own mouth to stop him this time, the rest of that sentence turning into a muffled noise of anguish. He chances a glance at Jon’s face, because he loves to torture himself, and when he finds it blank with shock, decides, fuck it. Might as well rip the bandage off now.
“I’ve been thinking about us having sex,” he says in a rush, and then like he’s opened a tap, the rest of it comes unbidden. “It’s awful, and selfish, and God, I don’t want to ruin this, but— I know you followed me to show me you care, but I’d hate for you to feel pressured into anything because you think you might lose me otherwise—!”
“Martin,” Jon says, far too soft, and now he’s reaching out for him, and that will only make things worse.
Still, Martin is too exhausted to push him away. “No,” he says, halfway to a dry sob. “No, I know it’s not like that for you, you don’t have to— I don’t want to take advantage—“
“Martin,” Jon says, louder and more exasperated now, and that snaps him out of it slightly.
Jon takes his hand and squeezes it, firm and insistent. “Did it ever occur to you to ask me about any of this?”
“Yes, before you decide to martyr yourself again—”
“I’m not martyring myself,” Martin tries to interrupt, indignant.
Jon ignores him, raises his voice again, a wry twist to the shape of his mouth. “Consigning yourself to a tragic life of unrequited love, you could have at least broached the subject with me.”
“That’s not fair,” Martin splutters. “You didn’t— You didn’t say—”
Astonishingly, Jon rolls his eyes. “I was attempting to respect your boundaries! I didn’t think you were sitting there self-flagellating this entire time just because you want to kiss me.”
It’s Martin’s turn to laugh hysterically. “I— For years, Jon, fucking hell, how could you not have known?!”
“Because I’m dense,” Jon says, matching his volume. “And I was being haunted, excuse me for having other things on my mind! I didn’t even realize I had feelings for you until— Well, until there was far too much at stake to justify bringing it up.” He hunches in on himself slightly. “Besides, I thought— I wasn’t sure if you still wanted anything like that. You certainly went out of your way to avoid me.”
“You— Hold on,” Martin says, reeling. “You had— You—”
Jon pinches the bridge of his nose. “I was hoping this conversation might go a bit more tactfully.”
“I told you I’m a mess,” Martin practically whines, and suddenly they are much closer than they were a moment ago, and his hands are on Jon’s coat, and Jon’s are on his shoulders. “Wait, wait,” he says, blushing furiously. “You— I’ve been thinking about doing a lot more than kissing you, is that— That’s okay with you?”
“Honestly, Martin. You’re not the only one who could do with some stress relief.” Jon leans in, and Martin’s brain all but shorts out.
Neither of them had the forethought or the optimism to pack condoms, and for a second Martin grapples with some irrational disappointment. That is, until Jon, flushed and panting and naked from the waist down beneath him (finally, finally), says, “It’s all right, we— we don’t need one.”
“A-Are you sure?” Martin blinks at him. “I mean, I’m clean and everything, but what about, you know—”
“That won’t be a problem,” Jon assures him. “I’m not, er. It won’t take.” A pause, and he taps his temple significantly. “Martin, I know we don’t need to worry about it.”
That draws another nervous giggle out of Martin. “Oh. Oh! Well! Handy, that…!”
“Occasionally,” Jon admits, fixing his gaze bashfully on the opposite wall. His long, dark eyelashes cast a shadow on his cheeks from the lamplight, and Martin can’t help himself any longer. He lines his cock up, achingly hard and leaking with desperation by now, and nudges the head against Jon’s entrance. Jon is wet, to Martin’s giddy delight, wet enough that his cock slips when he tries more pressure, sliding against Jon’s swollen clit and making them both curse through their teeth.
Martin adjusts, tries again. “You’re so tight,” he whispers, nearly choking out the words.
“More like your prick is the size of my fist,” Jon gasps, and somehow spreads his legs even wider when Martin’s hips jerk forward impulsively. He pushes inside, and the ravenous heat that’s been building inside him all day finally has somewhere to concentrate.
“Oh, god,” he groans, as Jon’s walls pulse around him. “If I don’t move I— I’m gonna come.”
“Then you’d better—” Jon cuts himself off with another gasp, throwing his head back as Martin thrusts in further, burying his cock as deep as he can go. “Fucking hell,” says Jon, with what sounds like genuine amazement. Martin tenses to keep himself still, breathing hard, thinking desperately of sad puppies and medieval beheadings and anything but how incredible this feels. “Oh, Martin,” Jon whispers like a sacrament, and then louder, with more urgency, “Martin, please—”
Martin doesn’t need to be asked again. He leans over, bracing himself on the mattress, and starts fucking Jon in earnest, unable to stop the moan of satisfaction that escapes him. Jon wraps his legs around Martin’s waist, coaxing him to go harder. “Yes, yes, oh—“
In the end, Martin barely lasts two minutes. Jon slides his arms around Martin’s shoulders, makes a low, needy sound into his ear, and he’s gone, spilling deep inside Jon with a noise like he’s just been punched in the gut. “Oh, fuck,” he whimpers, still thrusting shallowly. “Shit, I’m sorry, I— I couldn’t…”
But amazingly he’s still hard, and it still feels good, his whole body coursing with want. Jon’s expression is dazed and confused when he pulls back, but Martin doesn’t stop, hitching Jon’s legs up a little higher around his waist. Pressing Jon determinedly into the mattress, he works back up to a steady rhythm, even as he can already feel his first load dripping out around the shaft of his cock as he pounds into Jon. “I’m not finished,” he says, panting. “I’m not— I’m not done with you yet.”
For the first time since pulling Martin out of the Lonely, Jon looks as though he’s not quite sure what he’s gotten himself into. In Martin’s humble opinion, it’s a good look on him.
By the time they really are through, Jon has finished three times and Martin twice more, both inside of him. It takes a minute of laying there, slumped and exhausted, breathing hard, before Martin has the presence of mind to pull out. A little gush of his seed drips from Jon’s cunt as he does, enough to dribble out onto the mattress. They’ll need to clean that eventually, but Martin still can’t suppress a quiet groan at the sight, feeling his cock twitch. He’s never come so many times in one night in his life, but somehow seeing Jon like this is enough to make him ache, even spent as he is.
Jon grimaces, clearly feeling the drip, even if he makes no move to sit up and move, nor close his legs. “Jesus, Martin… You’ve made a right mess of me.”
“Well, I was such a mess already, it only seemed fair,” says Martin, still too deep in the afterglow to really feel sheepish yet. He reaches down impulsively to play with the mess in question, dipping his fingers lightly into Jon to coax more of it out. “You look good like this, you know.”
Jon pushes up on one elbow to look at him, bemused, brushing his tousled hair out of his face. “What, a mess?”
“No, relaxed.” Martin smiles at him, maybe a bit too shy after everything they just got up to, but still.
Slowly, Jon returns the smile. “Maybe... Perhaps next time we can make up the bed before having sex on it? If you’re going to ‘relax’ me that much it might be nice to have somewhere to pass out afterwards.”
“Oh, next time?” Martin asks, both cheeky and flustered.
“Yes,” Jon agrees easily, “whenever it suits you, of course. As I said, anything I can do in service of your recovery.”
And Martin feels warm.