“You’re bleeding,” says Simon. Inhuman blood has splattered like a constellation of small reds stars over the human's face. His soft, warm hand rubs over the thin cut on Viral’s arm.
It’s nothing big, just a little slice where the metal of Lagann’s cockpit cut into him. Nothing should be that sharp after so many years, but it seems Lagann is just as razor-sharp as the troubled relationship between the half-naked beastman and the equally stripped human pinned under him.
“Shut up,” Viral says, frowning. “It’s nothing. I’ve had worse.”
“Nothing I ever did to you,” Simon says playfully. Playful is something that Simon’s picked up over the years. When he was younger, he was always earnest. Now that he’s saved the earth, he’s gotten oh-so-hilarious.
“You could never hurt me, weakling,” Viral says, rebuffing his old partner with a light cuff to the face. Playful isn’t something he’s good at, but he’s trying.
“Watch the claws,” Simon chides and retaliates with a thrust. The pointed, delicious pleasure in his backside reminds Viral why they’re splayed over each in the cockpit like damn horny teenagers. Even now that the world’s been saved and a generation who’ve known nothing but peace are already raising children, their chemistry is fucked up, a twisted helix that tangles every time they get close enough to smell, to talk, to touch.
That primal reaction hits him even now, urging him to fuck himself on Simon’s familiar cock and put the human in his place before Simon can—as he usually does—reduce Viral to a groaning, shivering mass of want who might actually beg.
Viral does not like to beg.
There are too many memories of when begging was all he did. Adiane saw to it that he had to beg for everything. Before he'd had to beg for the right to pilot Enkidu or the right to pursue the ragtag humans hell-bent on bringing down Teppelin, Adiane disiplined Viral to beg for her. He’d been made to beg to feel her weight on top of him, to be ridden mercilessly, to be struck with her unforgiving tail over and over. He’d always figured she’d targeted him because he too was a more humanoid-looking beastman, but also that he was so weak of spirit that he wouldn't resist. Not that it matters now—not that anything mattered after Kamina, then Simon.
Simon rolls his hips faster, and Viral reciprocates. The erotic motion grounds him in the present, where he can be in control as much as he likes. Simon is a jerk, but he never has and never would demean Viral.
Viral presses his paws against the dashboard of the cockpit, careful not to dig his claws into the metal. It’s hard when he’s melting from the dick inside him, but defacing the cockpit that’s meant so much to them is out of the question.
Unfortunately the angle jostles his cut and more blood splatters on Simon’s face.
Simon makes a strange noise.
“Don’t complain,” Viral grumbles, but when he looks at Simon he realizes the man isn’t complaining.
Simon’s face is stupid with worry. “You should do something about it—”
“It’s not like I can die from a cut!" Viral shouts.
“That doesn’t mean you don’t hurt,” Simon countered.
Viral hisses. They’ve had this conversation a hundred times. He’s too into things today to let that stupid argument derail how good he’s feeling, and he’s feeling very good.
He leans down, straining the angle of Simon’s cock. They’re not usually so close like this, nearly mouth to mouth, when they fuck, and it’s a little awkward. Simon is staring at him frozen. “Your teeth,” he cautions, but that’s not Viral’s goal anyway. He gave up on the idea of kissing a long time ago.
Instead he licks the blood from Simon’s face. Slowly, sensually really, and that’s a new game for him—he wants to learn how to savor sex instead of powering through it in a fit of teeth, fur and aching body parts.
“There, gone, shut up,” he says.
Simon looks like he just survived an encounter with certain mauling, which Viral supposes isn’t inaccurate. A slip of his teeth and Simon would be the one bleeding. Viral is glad that for once Simon sees how fragile his life is, how much more significant his injuries and mortality are than Viral’s. He removes one paw from the dash—he doesn’t need it to brace himself anymore. Careful, so so careful of his claws, he cups Simon’s face.
Simon is shivering underneath him, eyes squeezed shut. He pants out a request, “Viral…can you…go faster?”
He knows why Simon asks. Gentleness reminds Simon of Nia, even decades after her departure. The princess’s mark on Simon, just like Adiane’s mark on Viral, will never be truly erased. That’s why their main repertoire has been fast fucks that leave them breathless and in awe of each other.
“Weakling,” Viral taunts, though his anger has less to do with jealousy and more to do with the helplessness that neither can escape where they’ve come from.
The fucking takes on a more goal-oriented tone. Viral’s paws go back to support his body on the dash. He slams himself down on Simons cock and balances the rest of the weight of his body on his thighs. Simon rests his hands on Viral’s hips, grasping the bones through the light down that covers his lower body.
Viral gasps as Simon builds layers of friction, the intense heat and want is intimidating as it is enticing. He impatiently grabs Simon’s dominant hand and brings it to his neglected cock.
“Not too old to jerk me off, are you?” he threatens.
“Sorry, you looked like you were good,” Simon smiles.
Viral’s cock is thick with arousal, swollen stiff but clearly not climaxing on its own. “Stupid human,” he growls, the sound deep and feral in his throat.
Simon responds well, gripping the shaft firmly and stroking with well-practiced motions. He always did like when Viral growled.
With attention being paid to his cock, Viral feels orgasm oncoming. He welcomes it. And sure enough, when Simon hits that angle inside him, he jerks and keens, spilling over into Simon’s expectant hand.
He keeps riding Simon, never letting the rhythm slip, even through his own orgasm and shivering exhaustion, until his partner groans and stills. Those years with Adiane taught him something akin to sexual discipline, at least.
And to be honest, this not-so-random tryst wasn’t just about him getting his rocks off. It’s about Simon, it’s always about Simon. This time it was about Simon just being there for once in the cockpit where he belongs and where Viral will always remember him. Even when Simon’s gone, Viral knows this boy who was so sad and pathetic when they first met, who carried Kamina’s vitality and machismo less perfectly than Viral, will be the center of his world.
They don’t cuddle.
They’ve done all sorts of things after sex: cry, fight, pilot, have more sex, run away. Cuddling implies a brand of intimacy that they don’t—Simon won’t—share. It’s another one of those "Nia things" for Simon, and for Viral, anything good about sex that he hasn’t learned or practiced with Simon, well, it just doesn’t exist.
But this day, Simon awkwardly cleans and bandages Viral’s arm. The blood’s already stopped, for Christ’s sake, but Simon won’t let it go. Afterward they sit quietly in the cockpit. It’s a still moment, a moment in the double helix where, from a profile view, the strands align and one disappears behind the other.
There's something intimate fluttering inside Viral that doesn’t know how to get out.
As their strands separate and Viral gets up, Simon follows and pulls him into a crushing hug from behind.
There’s no words, and neither one could say what the action means. But Simon doesn’t run away, and Viral doesn’t give up.
It's what they’ve always done for each other.