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in Concentration

His timer has been missing for roughly fifteen hours when the sockpuppet pokes her head into the patient lounge and asks for him. At least he assumes it’s the sockpuppet. He isn’t really paying attention to the words or the voice; he’s a little busy ransacking the place looking for it.

Is it trapped behind a radiator? No. 
Is it inside that discarded cereal box? No. 
Is it in the deep square hole where the window rests? No - if he can see outside enough to know that it’s still raining, he can see there’s no timer on the sill.
Did he just put it in his shell and forget? Nope. 

Dammit. He needs that timer. He can’t do any good exercise without it. His feet are itching just thinking about all the slacking that will result. No slacking. 
He has to get it back. 

Did any of the others steal it? No, they couldn’t have done, they’re too busy with their own problems to try and give him some more to deal with. 
Asking Dolly, doing all of the talking in a ‘conversation’ with Lilo, doesn’t bring any answers. Kroko is holding his blanket really close to his chest and shivering, but when Dub manages to tear the two apart in his haste, he finds he isn’t using it to cover up petty theft. And if Sly had taken the timer, he’d have given it back by now. 
…Yes, of course he would. 

There’s only one person (toy) left to ask, then: Dr Wood. The raven who walks around writing everything down, and the raven that he, so far, hasn’t actually seen today. Probably a good thing in the long term, though. 
After all, seeing Dub in this state, searching every last little spot of the asylum for something so important to him but perhaps not to anyone else, would probably dent the other’s opinion of him severely. And then the chances of actually getting close enough to him to even spark a hint of mutual interest…

Dub, it’s not ‘interest’, his thoughts scold. If that’s just interest, then Kroko is just a little bit unsettled.
True, he supposes as he double-checks between the cushions of the faded blue armchair in the far corner. Interest doesn’t really cover what the doctor looks like to him, the reverb of his voice, the walk and the talk. Interest certainly doesn’t explain his appearances in the dreams between dreams, the ones when he isn’t asleep but isn’t conscious either. 
The dreams that have shifted over the past week or so, from calmer to sensual to…

The chair rubs up against his knees, his legs, and it takes a lot of shouting from his mind to focus him. Get your mind out of the gutter. This isn’t the time for that.

Yet, what else can it be? Too superficial to be “like liking”. Too severe to be “attraction”. Too one-sided to be “a relationship”. 
Too timer-less to even matter. He’s right, he has to keep looking. He can deal with what to call this little thing later.

The voice of the sockpuppet brings him out from between the seats. “Dub, are you actually coming today?” she says in that posh tone of hers, though she sounds a little different. Head cold? “Your session started fifteen minutes ago.”
It did? Oh yeah, Sly’s in the room, he was the last one called in. Dub hasn’t been keeping track of time, for obvious reasons. 
“Yeah, in a minute,” he calls back before moving down the back of the chair to check there.

He really can’t handle therapy right now. He just doesn’t have the time for it. Why “examine his inner life” or whatever when he can hop, skip and jump with a timer counting down the seconds?

“We don’t have any more minutes. You therapist is getting impatient, and you know what he’s like when it comes to-“
“I’m looking for something, lady! Calm your tits!”
He says the last without really registering it, and realizes the result too late when he looks back out and thinks he can see her face crumple and fall. “Did you just tell me to calm my breasts?” she asks, both confused and rather annoyed.

Sockpuppets don’t have tits to calm. 

“Max used to say that all the time!” Damage control, serious damage control needed, or else she won’t help him look for it.
Not that she is right now: “I don’t care what Max used to say; you are late, and we need to make progress today.”
“I am LOOKING for my TIMER, dammit!”
“You will have plenty of time to look for your timer afterwards. Please go into the therapy room, and don’t make me ask again,” she orders. 

He slumps, realizing that resistance is probably futile here. “Ugh, all right, all right, I’m coming.”

She makes her way back inside and the nurse comes out as Dub makes his own way to his latest session. More things to distract him from obtaining that precious timer. But there isn’t much he can do about it now, not without getting banished to his bedroom for the rest of the day.
He can just get in there, go through the motions, and come back out with about an hour killed. 

He stops the door from swinging into his face and heads inside, responding automatically to the other voice chastizing him for his late arrival. Might as well get this over with—

“Wait, Dr Wood?”

—-

in Thought

The therapy session doesn’t turn out at all like Dub expected, to say the least.

None of his sessions have ended in this whiteness before. Whiteness clouding his mind over at this very second millisecond microsecond, making it impossible to think.

Who needs to think? Not him. Not when his body buckles under the pierce hot pressure. Not when his legs, the what was the word “oversensitive” legs, and all between them, have caught alight. Not when that bloody tease of a raven has just wrenched the last vestiges of resistance from his lips, pulling him into sweet spicy surrender, he whispers it now as he thrusts one more time, the raven, Wood, “GodWoodWoodWOODWOODWOOD—!!!!”

the white becomes everything. sight, sound, touch, all colourless and coloured and ultraviolet. 

and then it fizzles away, and Dub is only aware of the forces of gravity twisting him in the wrong direction. His own shallow breathing, and that above him. On him. Wood has lost control, fallen against the pull, falling up, skin against skin. His own legs crumple. 

Wood knew, knows, of the interest attraction desire. 
Wood heard him having the dreams.
Wood touched him and brought him to this state of thoughtlessness.
Wood is talking now. He can’t hear the words, only the tone, stilting, unsteady. Just as affected as himself.
Dub manages a quiet moan in his throat, but little else.

The past five minutes are muddled and crystal clear both. They can’t really have happened, just too good too brilliant perfect to have happened, and yet they must have done, what else could explain this? The intensity of the beauty, the need, the raw feeling, can’t have doubled and tripled on their own. 

He is relatively sure - only just, in the part of his head that has just regained a voice - that this is what lust feels like.

Mindless lust. 
Appealing, in an abstract sort of way.

He gets enough of his composure back to pick up properly on what Wood is saying to him, has been for a little bit, upright again in the background.
“You’re still shaking.” Still? “I know what you’re thinking. A part of me wants more as well.”
More? There’s more of this where that came from? It’s possible to store more of the whiteness in their bodies, their writhing interconnections?
“If you must,” Wood continues with a hint of resignation, “come into my office after lights out and I can show you how to last longer than a few minutes.”
Only a few minutes brought that? How much can more bring, if it’s even feasible? 
Which he hopes beyond rational lack of thought it is. He needs to feel that again. 

And the timer, something pipes up in his head, but right now timers seem tangential. 

“Can you even hear me? Dub, say something.”

He makes the most coherent sound he can muster.
“That’s okay. Naghn will do. Now get down from there.”

Dub remembers now where he is. Therapy room. Therapy. Talking some more to the one who just…
In a haze, he finds his way to the floor, standing. Wood straightens the covers, removing all evidence of their tryst, then goes to fetch a drink. He gets back up there, weak at the knees.
The next twenty minutes pass as a crawl of what he dubiously calls stimulation. More questions on the real topic, the possible location of the timer, from the one sipping on a mug of water like nothing much happened. He doesn’t answer them.
“Where, exactly, was the last place you think you saw it?”
“Ahkfhl.”
Or rather, he answers only a couple of them, absently, and not in English recognizable to either toy.
A paintbrush tossed his way, a drum, another tape. All to prove again his lack of rhythm. All ignored.

Eventually, Wood just lets him go, because obviously the two aren’t getting anywhere like this. There will be more chance to interact in the office tonight, that thought rings true and allows his legs to move.
“Thank you for your time, Dub. I really do believe you got somewhere today,” Wood reaffirms, so calm, ever professional. “Our little conversation in the middle was especially… fascinating.”

Fascination. That’s all it was to Wood, then?
To him, it was nothing and more.

“When you get out there, could you call Kroko in? I don’t want him to suffer the same delayed arrival as you, as my schedule—”

On a whim, Dub turns him quiet.

Not for long, as he starts up again as soon as it stops. “What was that for?” 
“I dunno,” admits Dub, at last able to speak in words. “A thank you. It felt right. Pick what you want.”

And besides all of that, what could be more wonderful than two firsts - first time, first kiss - in one day?

—-

in Authority

Time has never gone so slowly. With nothing at all to mark it now he’s back with the other patients, no timer no matter how free he is to look around for it or how hard he does, the seconds move at a painful crawl compared to their rapid pace before. 
And he still can’t find the blasted thing.
But when they are all ushered into their separate bedrooms and the lights go out and he can tell for sure no one is coming in to check up on them, he knows the seconds waited have been worth it. For now he can get to other seconds.

He slips open the door, crawls out on feet that tread lightly against the floor. The lounge looks even more lonely at night, with no hints of life or functional mind except his own. He is the only one thinking in this room.
Heh. Thinking. Like he wants to do that.
Someone is thinking beyond it though, in a light shining on the far side, a door to the right of the armchair. 
He goes over to it and taps it gently. A little louder when no response comes. Wood’s voice comes out in German, irritated, talking about needles or something.
“Wood? It’s me, Dub.” He tries to make it audible without going above a whisper - pretty hard to achieve, all things considered. 
“Oh yes. I’m sorry, I thought you were the nurse. You can come in, the door’s open.”

Wood’s sitting in a chair of his own, at the tall desk where Dr Kindermann used to work, when he enters the office. He swivels around to face the visitor, leaps down and moves close to him for the second time today. “I’m presuming you’re ready for your, how shall I put this, endurance test?” he asks.
“Yeah, I’m ready,” Dub says. Tries to say. It comes out a few seconds late; the sensitivity prickling all over him makes it hard to vocalize.

“Good. If you really do intend for what we did to happen again, you have to have sufficient stamina for - that sort of thing. Five minutes is not sufficient stamina.”
He’s making him feel guilty for succumbing so easily… should he be offended? He isn’t right now. A little busy being immensely infatuated with the voice the body the everything.

“I will admit, you falling into my charms is partially my fault. I instigated our liaison, after all.” Wood paces around Dub in a circle. “You had little time to prepare. So this time, I shall give you the advantage.”
“How?” he dares to ask.
“You kissed me before, at the very end of it all. Effective foreplay, if done right. So. Kiss me again. Whenever you’re ready.”

He does not need telling twice.

Wood tries to get more words in after the first few seconds. “Well done, but you’re a little sloppy on—” But Dub keeps him quiet with another one, moving closest to him, breathing him in.
The movement heightens, the rubbing, just in a different spot and not as all-encompassing. He accidentally nips down too hard on the end of his beak once, but judging by the lack of retort, he seems to like that.
In fact, he only manages to stop him when the grinding almost moves to its proper spot, down below. “Not yet. This is only the first lesson, you’re in no capacity to go that far again,” he says in warning.

Dub stops moving against, but the closeness never fades. “I need to.”
“You just aren’t ready yet; you need more tutelage.”
“Didn’t get this far just to bloody sit and talk.”
He can literally sense Wood looking askance. “Then why did you come here? What do you want?”
Another kiss, the briefest of touches sending shockwaves. “You.”
“Touche. That doesn’t change the fact it isn’t time yet. Now get off of me and let me teach you.”

To his credit, Wood does make Dub better at the whole kissing thing. Fierceness and lopsided are not the same thing, he states. They are all on the beak, yes, but the whole mouth has to conform to match the shape. It doesn’t make any sense in the telling of it, but more practice and some biting (not too hard, there is a limit as he discovers) and he gets the idea. 
By the time five or ten minutes have passed, Dub is in that floating wobbling feeling he got just before the climax the first time, so the doctor sends him back to bed to dream. “Dream of me, and what we’ve done, and what you think we have yet to do.”

And when he’s lying under the thin sheets and experiencing a mix of memories and fantasies and the touch still lingering, he wants to get to another ‘one on one session’ as soon as humanly possible.

—-

in Coherency

Dub likes to think of the next few days as a sort of double life. By day, he does the usual things he does when left in the patient lounge. He tries in vain to skip, he watches people come and go, he hunts all around for his timer and he STILL can’t find it and this is getting ridiculous and silly. 

By night, he meets Dr Wood in the office and loses himself.

In the second night, they do pretty much the same thing as before: kissing. Wood is rather irritated to discover that Dub doesn’t have a tongue, which he would have thought was rather obvious. So instead he skips ahead, and they discover the foot-curling bliss that comes from necking. 

The third night, it is more difficult to get to him, as the nurse has apparently discovered the security camera footage of Dub’s sometimes empty bed. She tries to watch the turtle, who keeps having to pretend to sleep. He escapes when she too needs to take a rest, and Wood’s understanding of the delay, and hands move across backs and through hoods in the increased darkness, and he even lasts longer than before. 

By day four, the therapist is back, and better from the flu. Having caught up on the sessions that Wood’s allowed to tell him about, he ‘determines’ that Dub has a case of what’s basically sleepwalking. On one hand, that decreases the watchful guards; on the other hand, it’s hard to sneak across a building while faking glazed over eyes and stretched arms. His reward for the tough task is that they get to make out on the chair this time, and the thrill and the anticipation of maybe, soon, finally getting the full thing again makes it all extra passionate on his end.

Dub comes out of his shell that night. His own naked and green form next to the black and blue smoothness swamps him in insecurity. He tells the raven to look at his legs, how thick they are, how fat they are. Wood firmly disagrees for a minute or two, and Dub’s lust doubles all over again (though the shell itches when he puts it back on for some reason).

And then, the fifth session. No one can get to sleep, it seems. He can hear Sly talking to himself in the next room, and when he finds his way out, Dolly and Kroko are in the corridor. They promise not to tell anyone if he doesn’t, though he doesn’t know what they’re doing anyway. But that pales to when he actually gets there. Wood pulls them in breath’s distance instantly, and says that Dub, now, is ready. 

What they do that night is
What happens next might just
Dub begins to think he’s
The feelings and sensations the actu
he touches him and the god the wow
dammit
Where does he even begin?


Every touch of hand on wing, every moan into the other's body, every sleepless night and wide awake fantasy has been building up just to this moment. He cannot dwell on them, for Dub lets thought slip away and is drowned instead in action, in pinning Wood down, in rubbing against him like before, those few distant days back. The roles reverse but the colour stays the same, he can feel the world spin off-axis around him, Wood's so gorgeous. He begs for the stroky thing, Dub gives him what he wants, and the loss of composure almost unstitches him entirely. But he finds the threads to keep going, keep up that steady stream of hand in hood and mouth beak colliding, the blankness bubbles around the edges of his vision, then somehow words, yes from him, Wood from him, Wood Wood Wood WOOD

Every millimetre of skin on display, every feather kissed stroked teased, every point of contact a new question and a new diversion from what is acceptable. But he comes to accept it, he has to with his feet curling as they rub up against each other, sensitive point against sensitive point, Dub against Wood. He tries to keep smart, mentally theorise why and how and what, but the theories tumble and the words go behind and only certain words remain, some vocalised some hidden. Keep doing that, yes again do the stroky thing, thing, so uneloquent but so fitting in the moment. Why do their bodies fit so exactly together, yes, why do the kisses merge seamlessly into this, yes, not a yes and no question but the answer is still always yes, yes Dub yes again more MORE
black becomes white left becomes right craving becomes sated Dub becomes taker Wood becomes taken life becomes perfection and then a blissful moment of peace no words at all no thoughts free from that particular pleasure and burden
and then the crash, and collapse,
and beyond the pure untainted white that is taking longer and longer to go, he thinks he hears Wood tell him he sort of loves him. and of the two of them Dr Wood, as clever as he is, is usually the first to rediscover which direction is 'up'.

Coming back out, everything is a mess of words and reactions and images. Compared to the nothing he came out of, it’s chaotic and rushed, and he shirks from it.

He wants to be trapped forever in a state of brainless unthinking desire. Everything is, and should be, and has to be, Dr Wood. 
That, to the him that no longer has to dream to reach those dizzying heights, is the new goal.

—-

in Will

Dub never does find the timer. He doesn’t need it anymore. The nights spent in Wood’s office are exercise enough. He actually feels he’s getting even thinner and more muscular than he was. Why didn’t he act on his desire before?

The sessions with Wood become less common now. No reason to raise suspicion by ‘sleepwalking’ every time. But that isn’t so bad - if anything, one or two nights between each somehow increases how overwhelming the white is.
How little thought remains.

Time passes. Dub gives nothing away to the therapist, whiling away the hours. Lilo, Dolly and Kroko all become an item, weird, but okay. Sly leaves for good at some point, and the sockpuppet takes her hair out of pigtails.

Then, one night, Dub comes in and Wood looks different, and yet not so at all. Nothing has really changed, except for large claws on the desk where there weren’t any before. He is still impeccable, still beautiful, still sensual.
He stops the flow of kisses before they can begin and asks Dub one question. “What is it you want to gain from all this?”

Dub, rather weirded out that Wood hasn’t sensed this already, admits his desire. To belong, in mind and body, only to him.
To surrender.

Wood turns away, takes a breath, makes him an offer. He can give him that. As long as Dub does something for him, something he doesn’t explain right away, he will become Wood’s alone. No more forced introspection. No more lingering self doubt. No more petty problems.
Just mindless love.

And with no lapse in agreement, no lapse to think just a little bit about the consequences of his choice, Dub nods.

“Please. Please.”