Going Twice

by Togi Kayako (土宜草子)
illustrated by KMO

As Leaf’s comm picked up a wave of applause, Beetle stopped mid-sentence in her rant to Sunbeam about the poor quality of imitation avocado. “Sounds like you’re up next, so I’ll cut the chatter. You remember your signal?” Leaf reached up like he was scratching his ear and tapped the tiny comm implant twice. “Perfect. Next time I hear that, I’ll dose you. Good luck, Leaf.”

Not seconds later, the stage manager ushered him out into the blinding lights. The crowd was arrayed ahead, everyone in tiered seats surrounded by privacy glass on every side but the front. They could all see Leaf, but he was the only one who could see all of them. He walked to his mark and squared off his shoulders, well aware how broad the tight-fitting black suit made them look.

The eyes on him felt electrifying — a few hundred people all sizing him up and deciding how much they’d be willing to pay to get their hands on his body. Leaf smiled out at the crowd, letting his eyes wander as if he was also considering the options. He brushed a strand of dark brown hair back from his face, licked his lips, and three bids came in almost simultaneously. At this rate, he’d hardly need the aphrodisiac.

“Let them get a look at the other side, honey,” the auctioneer said, gesturing with one pink-nailed hand. Leaf did as he was told, tucking his hands into his pockets to pull his pants tight in the way Sunbeam had said made his ass look like a million credits. Given the number ticking up as each bid followed close on the heels of the last, he might make it a respectable amount of the way there.

Leaf glanced back over his shoulder and blew everyone a kiss. “My goodness, folks, if I wasn’t working, I’d be tempted to take him home myself!” The auctioneer’s bubbly laugh was echoed by more than a few members of the crowd. “Now, Leaf, darling, how about you tell these fine gentlepersons something fun about yourself? What are you bringing to the table besides a truly showstopping body?”

“I’m a good dancer, a decent conversationalist, and I have almost no gag reflex to speak of,” Leaf said, punctuating the last bit with a flick of his tongue over his lower lip. The statement earned him a wave of raucous cheering, a few scattered wolf whistles, and a massive bump to his sale price. Even with the outrageous cut the auction house was going to take, it would be a very welcome boost for the group. Maybe even enough that Ladybug would spring for the nice ramen next time they stocked HQ. 

As the pace started to slow, Leaf took the time to pay attention to who was still in the running: a pair of women who could be anywhere between sixty and a hundred, a younger person in a suit who looked bored out of their mind, and a man in a pearlescent white mask with a thick whorl of gold running top to bottom.

It took Leaf a long moment, but he finally placed where he’d seen the mask before: an article he’d skimmed about the eccentric Mr. Touda of Touda Entertainment. No one had seen him without his mask on the rare occasions he appeared in public at all. As the other bidders dropped out one by one, Leaf smiled and posed and wondered if it would be weird to fuck someone whose face he couldn’t see.

Looked like he was going to get to find out. The only woman still in the running shook her head with a faint scowl as the auctioneer looked her way. “Sold to the gentleperson with code seven-eight-oh-six-one!” Shooting Mr. Touda a smile and a wink was all Leaf had time for before he was hustled off the far side of the stage to a tiny waiting room. 

Ladybug’s deep, calm voice came on the comm as soon as the noise of the crowd died down. “Hey there. Don’t mind me — Beetle stepped out for a sec. One tap if you’re clear to listen again.” Leaf settled into an uncomfortable plastic chair and propped his chin on his hand, casually stretching a finger up to tap. “Okay, thanks. Great work out there, Leaf.”

“I knew you’d do amazing, but seriously, wow,” Sunbeam said, following up with a wolf whistle. “If I heard that final figure right, you’ll be single-handedly keeping the lights on for months, hon.” Leaf allowed himself a satisfied smile. Even if the room was being monitored, it was a natural enough expression for someone who’d just earned a huge sum of money.

A door closed, and Leaf caught a very quiet, “Hey, out of my chair!” With some good-natured grumbling and furniture creaking as everyone changed seats, Beetle jumped back on the call. “Hi again! I hope they weren’t bothering you. You guys didn’t push any buttons, right?”

“As if we would dare to touch your precious babies,” Sunbeam said. Leaf had no doubt he’d done one of his trademark dramatic swoons back in his chair, hand to the forehead and all.

Ladybug sounded like he was barely keeping a straight face as he added, “We did push the button marked ‘aphrodisiac’ like six times, but that’s fine, right?”

Beetle groaned and smacked someone, probably Ladybug, before launching into a detailed explanation of the security measures she’d put in to make sure Leaf only got one dose. Sunbeam slipped an innuendo into the middle to make Beetle sputter, and three-way bickering broke out. 

A brisk knock on the door silenced the team and seconds later a graying woman in a lab coat stepped in the room, eyes locked on a small tablet. “Mister… Leaf?” She glanced up at him and broke into a smile. “Oh, that’s clever — because of your eyes, right? What a great color.”

“Thank you,” Leaf said, giving her a quick wink with one bright green eye. “I think they managed to make them almost as pretty as yours.” Sunbeam whooped in the background and Leaf caught half of Beetle’s irate sigh before she muted the mic.

The medtech waggled a finger at him and said, “Nice try, but I’m afraid I can’t let you charm me out of doing your blood test, Mister Leaf.” She wiped down his fingertip, pricked it with a lancet, and coaxed out a single drop of blood onto a test strip. “All done. Someone will come get you as soon as this comes back clear.”

Leaf took the cotton ball she handed him and pressed it down firmly. “Thank you, ma’am.” The medtech bustled out and Leaf’s comm clicked back on once the door shut behind her.

“—because I’m an amazing teacher, obviously,” Sunbeam said. “Doesn’t hurt that Leaf’s got such a nice body to work with either, of course.”

“Mic’s on again, Sun,” Beetle said. Leaf would have bet most of his earnings for the night that she’d pushed up her glasses to pinch the bridge of her nose. The other three had worked together for years, and from what Leaf had seen of their interactions, Sunbeam had spent the whole time perfecting his ability to give Beetle a headache.

With one of his low, friendly laughs, Sunbeam said, “Oh, I’m not worried. Leaf knows exactly what I think of his body, trust me.” It was true, and the night in question was one Leaf remembered fondly — most often when he was jerking off in the shower.

“Save that for after the mission,” Ladybug said firmly. “I’m too old and too married to listen to you kids flirt.” Leaf suspected Ladybug wasn’t more than five or six years older than the rest of them, but he never missed a chance to ham up the age gap.

Payment from Mr. Touda and a clean bill of health for them both were confirmed within minutes and one of the auction house’s very taciturn staff came to retrieve Leaf. Beetle turned off her mic again as the staff member escorted Leaf into an elevator with no visible controls. One brief ride later, it dropped him off in a lavish hotel room with a window spanning the whole wall and what looked like real wood furniture.

The black silk sheets on the bed seemed a bit much, but the selection of drinks and individually wrapped sex toys in two tall vending machines was genuinely impressive. Leaf wandered past the glowing displays to look out the window, casually tapping his comm twice as he went. The view was probably enhanced, if not outright fake, but the vivid colors of the city sprawl below and darting lights of low orbit craft overhead made for a stunning scene.

“Releasing the dose. You should feel it within five minutes. I’ve chased everyone else out, but I’d like to stay on the line in case of any trouble. Two taps if that’s okay — I swear I won’t say a thing about whatever you get up to.” With anyone else, Leaf would have assumed they wanted to get their rocks off, but Beetle was painfully sincere in everything she did.

He tapped twice again and she let out a tiny sigh of relief. “Cool, thanks, Leaf. I’ll try to mostly tune you out unless you tap again or say one of your panic words. Hope whoever picked you isn’t into talking about vegetables!” Leaf coughed to cover his laugh and continued staring out into the night.

The door slid open and Leaf turned with his best seductive smile already in place. “Good evening, Mr. Touda. I’m very flattered by your interest.” His companion for the night was taller than he’d looked at a distance and stepped into the room with an easy grace Leaf wouldn’t have expected from someone who was pushing one-twenty. Having money to burn clearly had its perks.

“And more flattered by my money, I imagine.” The pitch of Mr. Touda’s voice was neutral, with a flat edge to it. Synthesized, maybe, to add an extra layer of anonymity. “Drinks are on me, so please, have anything you’d like.”

Leaf welcomed the excuse to turn away and peruse the drinks on offer. The sour opener had thrown him off-kilter; a drink and a moment to regroup would be perfect. “Would you care for anything, sir?” With any luck, some extra politeness would take the edge off of whatever was bothering Mr. Touda.

Cold, blunt metal pressed into the tiny gap between his shirt collar and the buzzed edge of his hairline. “Yes, I’d be quite keen to know what you’re actually here for. Do be a dear and turn around, but keep your hands up and don’t make any sudden moves. I’m terribly jumpy.”

The muzzle of the gun dragged around Leaf’s throat as he eased around, hands up. The scrape of it left a tingling line over his skin that made his breath hitch and raised goosebumps down both his arms. Increased heart rate probably meant the aphrodisiac was spreading through his body that much quicker, which was just great.

“Everything okay over there?” Beetle asked. “I got some weird static and you cut out for a second after you asked the guy if he wanted a drink.” Leaf had no reasonable way to answer. Blurting out random words when held at gunpoint was probably not the best idea.

Mr. Touda tucked the fingers of his free hand under his chin and pulled. The mask, short brown hair and some subtle prosthetics that had altered the shape of his face and ears all peeled away in one piece. Underneath was a thin, angular face with a sharp jawline. Their eyes were brown when Leaf met them, but faded to a traffic-cone orange in sync with their eyebrows. Even their shoulder-length hair followed suit as thin filaments woven through the silvery white started glowing orange to match.

There was no way they were over a hundred, and if they’d taken their mask off so casually, they definitely weren’t Mr. Touda. Leaf had to go with the obvious question: “Who are you?” 

They looked beyond pleased that he’d asked, smile pulling wide enough that Leaf could see some teeth far too sharp to be natural. “You can call me Panoptix, or just Optix for short.” The words were casual, but in the smug way that suggested Leaf should be a lot more impressed than he actually was. He’d never heard of them.

“Oh, shit — Leaf, do whatever they tell you to.” Beetle’s voice had a level of urgency Leaf hadn’t heard even when she was putting out literal fires in her lab. “There’s no way the guys can get in there fast enough to rescue you if you don’t.”

“It’s very rude to listen to someone else when I’m trying to talk to you.” Optix’s voice started out high and delicate, then dropped even lower than Ladybug’s on the last few words. The pitch shift scrambled something in Leaf’s brain, making him shudder with a wave of confused arousal. “Why don’t we all have a nice chat, hm?” They winked at Leaf as their eyes changed color again, red spilling out from the irises to cover the whites until everything other than the black dot of their pupil was a solid crimson.

With a showy snap of their fingers, a holographic interface unlike any Leaf had ever seen appeared over their palm. All of the icons wobbled gently side to side and pulsed through different rainbow colors. None of them were labeled, but that didn’t slow down Optix in the slightest. After a few taps, Leaf heard his comm make an unfamiliar chime and Optix said, “Introductions first, and then you can explain what you’re doing here tonight.”

“Uh, right, I’m Beetle and he’s Leaf. We’re just trying to scrape up some cash. You know how it is, rent’s crazy and all.” Beetle’s forced laugh didn’t appear to be convincing Optix, given the way they quirked one now-red eyebrow at Leaf. He did his best to keep his face blank, but there sure was a reason Sunbeam had Beetle at the very bottom of the list for dealing with people. 

“I see, and you somehow happened to sneak a functioning comm through security for what, moral support?” Optix leaned in, their flat red eyes even more unsettling as they got closer. “Did you want a friend to coach you through sucking some geriatric dick, maybe?” Word by word, their voice pitched up until it was a near perfect match for Beetle’s. “Oh, you’re doing great, sweetie. You can take it a little deeper, right? Just breathe through your nose and keep swallowing.”

Leaf flinched back, gun be damned. The only thing Beetle would ever talk to in that sugary tone of voice was one of her machines. “Okay, that’s fucked up, dude, don’t—”

Optix pressed their gun against Leaf’s throat a little harder, voice flipping back down to a gravelly pitch. “You’re not in any position to be telling me what to do, lovely. Last chance to be honest: what are you doing here?”

“Please don’t hurt him,” Beetle said, a lot more choked up than Leaf would have expected on his behalf. “We wanted to get a copy of the auction records. I’m like eighty percent sure a bunch of the major food conglomerates have been using this place for money laundering. If we could get the information out before that food safety bill goes up for vote, it might tip public opinion against them.”

 “There we go, good girl.” The way Optix purred out the words while staring Leaf down was doing nothing to help his seriously out of place boner. “Boring, but not a half-bad plan. Won’t work with the surface level stuff you’ll be able to pull off the building’s intranet—”

Beetle made an indignant noise, the dreaded precursor to her absolutely going off on someone. Cause of death: Beetle couldn’t shut up would make a hell of an epitaph. “Look, I’m not you, but I’m not an idiot. Leaf has six different bugs on him, so unless the place is using entirely bespoke ports or something more than twenty years out of date, one of them will work.”

“Show one to me,” Optix said, finally pulling their gun away from Leaf’s neck. It was still trained on his head, but he wasn’t going to complain about getting a little breathing room. The simplest one to reach was the ApEX connector secured at the center of the knot in his tie, so Leaf worked the deep green fabric loose and wedged the tiny bit of metal out of its concealed pocket.

Optix didn’t pick it up, but held their hand out palm down over Leaf’s and opened another mystery app. When they flipped their hand back over, a three dimensional image of the bug popped up and then unfolded to show all the delicate circuitry, with lines of code running down the side. “Now that is an elegant piece of work. Positively devious, darling.” Optix plucked it out of Leaf’s hand, along with the tie, and tucked it away inside their jacket with a challenging grin.

“You really think so? It took me ages to design, and of course it’s not like we could test it, so there’s a couple options built in.” In terms of how much Beetle would talk your ear off, excited about tech was only a slight improvement over on a rampage. Leaf slouched back against the drink vendor. If he had to be held at gunpoint, at least he could try to make that a bit more comfortable for himself.

The two of them slid into a discussion of technical details that meant nothing to him. Leaf tuned it out, focusing his attention on Optix’s weapon and idly hoping they might give him an opening to disarm them. The gun looked almost like an old-fashioned revolver, except with most of the barrel missing and the cylinder replaced by a set of clear vials filled with different colored liquid. Poisons, maybe?

Whatever it was, Optix’s finger stayed steady next to the trigger and their arm didn’t waver even as they kept chattering away with Beetle. Leaf caught his eyes wandering down to the rest of Optix’s body. Shorter and thinner than he was, but the cut of their suit was close enough that Leaf could tell they were in excellent shape. Maybe even good enough to be able to pin him down if they wanted to, up against the wall or on the bed….

The aphrodisiac had been a terrible idea, in retrospect. Leaf was warm all over. His perfectly comfortable suit was too tight, sleeves tugging under his arms where he had them still in the air. All he wanted to do was rip every bit of clothing off his body and get a hand on his aching dick, but no, he got to stand around and listen to a bunch of complex nonsense. Fuck, if he developed a kink for technobabble, he was never going to be able to look Beetle in the eye again.

“You seem to take surprisingly well to being neglected.” Leaf snapped back to focus to find Optix giving him a lingering once-over. “Is it the shop talk that’s got you hot and bothered, or something else, perhaps?” They pressed the tip of their gun to the base of Leaf’s throat and slid it up until the muzzle caught under his chin.

“It was me,” Beetle blurted out, swapping seamlessly from enthusiastic to awkward. “We figured it would be easier to wear someone out with some extra… oomph, so he could get to planting the bugs as quickly as possible, so I dosed him with an aphrodisiac.”

Optix’s smile ticked wider, sharper, and Leaf swallowed hard against the pressure of the gun on his neck. “Did you now? I’ll admit, I was starting to hope you had a gun kink. Pity.”

Leaf heard Beetle say, “Wait, they’ve got a gun?” distantly, but all his attention locked onto Optix as they stepped in close enough for their lapels to brush together. Their eyes faded through several colors in a display that left Leaf mesmerized. He swayed forward and startled when he actually made contact with Optix, but quickly leaned into the solid warmth of their body.

“Not exactly a gun, but close enough for my purposes.” Optix dragged it upward, running the barrel over one of Leaf’s cheeks. “It’s an injector, filled with several fun drug cocktails of my own design. I thought I might run into trouble tonight, so unfortunately most of them aren’t very nice, but I promise there’s nothing lethal.” They settled the muzzle against Leaf’s temple and reached out to trace one index finger over his lips. “But you’ll be good for me, won’t you?”

All Leaf could do was nod. He flicked his tongue out against the pad of Optix’s finger, trying to draw it forward into his mouth. The tiny point of contact held his full attention, every nerve lit up with desperate hope for more. Leaf got what he wanted as Optix slid his finger in over Leaf’s tongue, stroking it with a firm touch as he pulled back out again. The second his mouth was empty, he whined and tried to get Optix’s hand back.

“I have some doubts that your boy is going to be able to think straight long enough to plant those clever bugs of yours, dearest.” Optix pressed forward, pushing Leaf back against the vending machine with even more strength than he’d hoped they’d have. “But I could help with that, if you’d like.”

“What’s your price?” Beetle’s serious voice was nicer than Leaf had realized, stern in a really sexy way. If she talked like that all the time, she’d have half the team at her beck and call without any trouble. “Leaf, focus,” she snapped. The fluster in her voice meant he had to have said some of that out loud, but Leaf didn’t feel any shame. Frustration was the only negative emotion he had, and that would be fixed if Optix would stop moving away when he tried to grind their hips together.

“The plan was, he sucks someone off and you get the data you need, right? I don’t see any reason that has to change, unless you think he’ll regret it later.” Leaf shook his head, or rather tried to and was stopped short by Optix’s gun still at his temple. “Certainly he seems eager, but I’ll let you make the final call. Your other option is a somewhat long-lasting paralytic, I’m afraid. I have things to do and I can’t leave him free to interrupt.”

Beetle made a very uncertain noise and said, “I don’t think it’s fair for me to decide this for him.” After a long pause where Optix casually drummed his fingers on Leaf’s chest and Leaf tried to lean into each fingertip, Beetle let out a heavy sigh. “Probably better to finish the mission than not, right? I don’t think he’ll regret it too much. Maybe not at all! Hopefully. I’ll mute comms for… half an hour? Is that enough?”

Optix tsked at her. “You stay right where you are and keep listening. Let’s call this a fun chance to learn some new things about your coworker, shall we?” He stretched up and finally, finally kissed Leaf, good and hard. Leaf heard Beetle let out a flustered groan, but only barely over the rush of sensations and his own moan of relief. “Now before I let you at my dick, I want you to do something for me.”

Leaf nodded, helpless to stop the roll of his hips. Optix pulled back about half the time, but when they didn’t, the pressure was so perfect that Leaf’s whole body shuddered. “I’m going to go sit on the bed, and you go over to the door.” They gave Leaf a little push in the right direction to get him moving. “Get down on your hands and knees and crawl over to me, nice and slow.”

Optix unbuckled their belt and undid their pants one-handed, keeping their gun trained on Leaf as he dropped onto all fours. He started to crawl forward and Optix brought up their interface again, this time selecting an icon so obviously phallic that Leaf could make it out from the other side of the room. “What do you feel like, lovely? Sweet, sour, salty? Au naturale? Or shall I surprise you?”

The dick they were slowly stroking to full hardness was something straight out of a high-budget body mod porno, clear ‘skin’ over a complex array of wires, circuitry and rainbow lights. Of course there were lights. For all that Leaf didn’t really know who the fuck they were, they weren’t exactly subtle with their love of color coordination. “Sweet,” Leaf said, more or less at random.

“Oh, look who can still speak!” Optix laughed, the sound bouncing up and down an octave. Leaf stopped and dug his fingers into the coarse carpeting, head dropping forward with a sharp moan. “And who likes me speaking, if I don’t miss my mark. What a perfect pair we make. How about you, Miss Beetle? Are you enjoying the auditory show?” 

Beetle heaved another sigh and said, “That thing you keep doing with your voice weirds me out like a lot, actually. But it sounds like Leaf’s into it, so I guess that’s something.” Leaf mustered the coordination to nod as he started moving forward again. 

“I take it you have some familiarity with how he sounds during sex, then?” Optix brought their gun to bear on Leaf again and he froze with one hand lifted. “Don’t stop, lovely. I want you to come right on over to this and give it a kiss before I use it on you. Can you do that?”

“Weird way to talk about your dick,” Beetle muttered. Leaf could imagine the familiar roll of her eyes, reassuringly normal as he resumed crawling toward a dose of mystery drugs. It was probably better that she didn’t know the actual context. “I’ve never fucked Leaf, but I’ve heard him once. He and Sunbeam went at it in the comms room and didn’t turn the mic off first.” And that was the mystery of the three days Beetle wouldn’t look either of them in the eye abruptly solved.

Leaf focused his attention on Optix’s dick, doing his best to ignore the gun beside it. Despite the light show inside, it was otherwise pretty reasonable. Thicker than average, enough that it would be a bit of a stretch no matter how Optix wanted to have him. It suited them — pretty and a little mean, and the mean was doing a lot for Leaf with the aphrodisiac pulsing through his body.

“Glad to know the voyeurism won’t be an issue for you.” Optix spread their legs wider as Leaf closed in and shifted their gun forward. “That said, you’ll have to excuse us for a brief moment.” They took their hand off of their dick long enough to do something that made Leaf’s comm fizz with static and then go silent, cutting off the faint noise of Beetle on the line. “Would you like to know what I’m going to give you?”

It sounded like a genuine question, which was somehow worse than all the teasing. Did he want to know? Leaf came to a stop at Optix’s feet and looked up at them, shuddering as they brought their gun up to his face. He managed a brief, shaky nod.

Optix stroked the barrel of their gun down Leaf’s face with an absolutely malicious smile. “This blue one causes temporary anorgasmia. Once I dose you, you won’t be able to come for at least three hours. Won’t do a thing to your libido, either, which is quite unfortunate in your case.” They let Leaf get a good look at the pale blue liquid and then flicked the cylinder around to click the vial into place. “But do a good job sucking me off and I’ll think about finding you to return the favor later.”

Leaf’s comm crackled back to life. “Leaf, come in,” Beetle said, closer to her usual no-nonsense comms voice but still strained. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m good,” Leaf said. He wasn’t, but Beetle couldn’t do anything about that at this point and there was no need to worry her. Optix pressed their gun to Leaf’s lips and stared him down as their eyes faded to the exact blue of their designer drug. Leaf licked his lips, tasting a hint of metal, and gave the gun a careful kiss.

“He’s being very good, in fact.” Optix leaned forward and casually snapped the top button off of Leaf’s dress shirt. They dragged the gun down under his collar, resting it in the little hollow over Leaf’s collarbone. “Provided he performs this well going forward, you’ll have your data in hardly any time at all.” Leaf’s confidence gave out and he shut his eyes right before the soft click of Optix pulling the trigger. There was a faint sting, but nothing else. 

Optix carefully flicked a different vial into place and set the gun aside, though still within easy reach. “Let’s get to the main event, shall we?” They curled a finger, beckoning Leaf in — not that he needed the encouragement. He leaned forward and licked a line up Optix’s dick. Despite their earlier question, it tasted pretty close to normal skin, with the familiar hint of musk and salt that always drove Leaf wild.

Leaf flicked his eyes up as he took the head of Optix’s cock in his mouth and opened wide to take them further down. He’d been right about the size. It was a bit beyond comfortable, but the stretch and the thick slide of it against his tongue was so fucking good Leaf was already drooling. 

Optix rolled their hips up when Leaf paused, not quite far enough to choke him, but close. The sound of his moan muffled by a mouthful of dick was hot even to Leaf’s own ears. From the way Optix was grinning and the soft curse he heard from Beetle, it wasn’t just him.

Leaf started to fumble at the catch of his slacks, but Optix pulled his arm away. “None of that, lovely, you’ll only rub yourself raw. Hands up if you can’t keep them off of yourself.” They tugged on Leaf’s arms and had him lace his fingers together at the back of his head, then clamped a hand down over the top to hold him in place.

“You are going to let him get off eventually, right?” Leaf couldn’t tell if Beetle was indignant for his sake or for the sake of the mission. “He’s too messed up like this to go planting the bugs, let alone do that and get out safely.”

Optix chuckled, stroking a hand through Leaf’s hair gently before pushing him down again with surprising strength. “I don’t recall that being part of the bargain. I promised you the data and you’ll get that — but since you’re worried, I will make sure to escort him out of the building when we’re done, like a proper gentleman.” They punctuated their sentence with a thrust deep enough to make Leaf’s eyes water.

“You absolute bastard—” Beetle’s objection cut off as Optix closed the comm line again. They pulled Leaf back by the hair and got to their feet before thrusting back into his mouth again. Leaf relaxed his jaw and took it. Even the seam of his pants felt like it would be enough pressure to get him off at this point, but nothing happened no matter how he bucked his hips. He was so hard it was as close to pain as pleasure.

Optix fucked his mouth and Leaf did his best not to lose his mind. Every time Optix pushed his dick back in, all Leaf could think about was how badly he wanted it stretching his ass open, pounding him stupid. He wasn’t going get that, and even if he did, it would just be a different kind of torture. Nothing was going to make him come. That was the thought that finally broke Leaf, and he let out a sob around Optix’s dick.

“Oh, yes, there we go. I knew I could get you to cry for me, beautiful.” Optix pulled out all at once, leaving Leaf to gasp for air. “Open wide and look up at me, good boy.” Leaf did as he was told, watching through watery eyes as Optix stroked themself off. They pressed the head of their cock to Leaf’s tongue as they came, every light on them flickering wildly through the rainbow before settling down to a pastel pink.

The taste that filled his mouth was sweet after all, and so weirdly familiar that trying to place it let Leaf focus. “Sugar Fluffs?” His voice came out as wrecked as he felt, rough and barely more than a whisper. Optix fiddled with their interface and tucked their dick away. With their pants zipped up again, they hardly had a hair out of place.

“Absolutely correct.” Optix tucked a strand of hair behind Leaf’s ear and rubbed his thumb over the damp line of a tear track down his cheek. “The company tried to underpay me when I found some vulnerabilities in their systems, so I took their formula and made it public.” Their voice seemed to have settled along with the colors, now on the lower end of neutral. “Would you like me to talk you down, or shall I patch Miss Beetle back in for you?” Optix eased Leaf’s hands apart, coaxing him to let them fall at his sides. 

Beetle had a lot of virtues, but ‘comforting’ wasn’t up there on the list. “You,” Leaf said, letting his shoulders slump as Optix gave them a quick squeeze, “but patch her back in soon, please.” They worked down his arms with the perfect pressure to ease all the muscles he’d been holding tense, neither hard enough to hurt nor light enough to tease. 

“Do you think you can stand?” At Leaf’s nod, Optix offered him a hand. He got up too fast and his head went fuzzy enough to unbalance him for a sec, but Optix held him steady. “Pace around a bit, stretch, use some of those very nice muscles of yours. It should help take the edge off of things.” Optix’s eyes flicked down and one of their pupils briefly turned into an eggplant emoji. “Poor dear. Factory standard has some terrible drawbacks.”

They scooped up their gun and took a seat at the room’s desk, starting up its built-in terminal with one hand and twirling the other to produce a thin cable from somewhere up their sleeve. Given the way the staid hotel interface swapped to a vivid magenta, Leaf would bet money the other end of the cable was in Optix. As he swung his arms around and did a few lunges, Optix tapped away with one hand on their own system and one on the hotel’s.

When Leaf realized he’d stopped moving and was staring at Optix’s flying fingers, he turned away. Competence was a thing for him even on a normal day. With some deep breaths and vigorous movement, Leaf managed to get himself down to less hard. Not soft, not even half-mast, but he’d take what he could get. 

“—don’t know, just stay ready, okay?” Beetle’s voice cut back in with no warning and Leaf winced at her volume. “Wait, I think I heard something. Leaf, you there?” 

“Yeah, Beetle. I’m fine.” There was no hiding the fact he was still a bit hoarse, but she knew what he’d been up to anyway. Leaf risked a glance back and found Optix already getting to his feet. “I think we might be almost done here.”

“So it’s ‘we’ now? I don’t think freaking Panoptix is on our side here, Leaf. Don’t go stupid just because you got laid.” Beetle was probably snappish because she was worried, but the sharp tone was doing nothing for Leaf’s building headache. “Anyway, Ladybug and Sunbeam are waiting for you whenever you’re out.”

Optix quirked one eyebrow up, shifting it to a deep purple. “Not sure you should be discussing your getaway plans on an unsecured line, my dear.” They opened a chat interface with Beetle’s comm address already filled in and started a file transfer. “That’s the information you were after, plus a few nice bonuses since your colleague was so cooperative for me.”

“Oh, come on,” Beetle muttered. She was typing with enough speed and force that Leaf could hear the keys of her ancient mechanical keyboard clicking. “It wasn’t unsecured before you showed up — but it’s cool, that’s fine, I can fix it later. Thanks for the data.” In a surprising show of tact, Beetle managed not to voice the ‘I guess’ Leaf could hear in her cranky tone. 

Once Optix had their Mr. Touda mask back in place, their whole posture changed. With their shoulders hunched forward and a faint limp on their left side, Leaf would have never guessed they weren’t the elderly man they were pretending to be. “Here, I suppose you’ll want to fix this later.” Optix held up a small shirt button for him to see before tucking it into Leaf’s jacket pocket. “Now, if you would be so kind as to escort me outside?” Even their voice was unrecognizable now, turned entirely from playful to bland and creaky.

The elevator ride was brief, and Optix didn’t do anything more than keep a loose hold on Leaf’s arm as if he needed the support. They crossed the lobby together, only drawing a few casual glances from people walking through and a polite nod from the doorman. Beetle didn’t say a word, though Leaf could hear her still furiously typing away. It was almost like everything earlier had been a weird dream. 

Outside, the slap of cold night air took the edge off Leaf’s arousal and helped snap him back to his senses. He turned right, away from the arranged pickup location. “Where am I walking you to, anyway?” 

“Keep heading wherever you need to go,” Optix said, still sounding for all the world like an ordinary old man. “As soon as we get somewhere without a camera, I’ll be out of your hair.” They patted Leaf on the arm and the two of them continued down the street.

Two blocks later, they passed an dark, unmarked alleyway and Optix slipped out of Leaf’s grip. “I believe this is my stop. You can make it back to your friends safely, I assume?” They were already stepping back into the shadows as they spoke. When Leaf nodded, they raised a hand to their mask and mimed blowing him a kiss. “Enjoy the rest of your evening, lovely.” With a quick turn and a few steps, Optix vanished into the darkness.

Leaf continued forward at an easy stroll, waiting a few minutes before he asked, “How’s it going over there? I think I’m gonna stop and get some cabbage for dinner before I head home.”

“What? Fuck, are you okay?” Beetle’s typing cut off. “As far as I can tell, the line’s secure again. No promises, given that it’s Panoptix, but I’d give it a solid ninety-five percent chance.”

There wasn’t a lot of foot traffic, given the hour, but Leaf was going to work on the assumption that someone might be able to hear him anyway. “I’m mostly okay,” he said, following up with a quick cough. “Think I might be coming down with a bug, so it might be better if I didn’t come visit tonight.”

“Of course, of fucking course they bugged you.” Leaf couldn’t fight back his smile as Beetle’s temper flared up again. “Okay, there’s a public bathroom not too far away from you. I’ll send you the address and then I’m gonna block you for a few hours until I can be sure our systems are clear too. Message me once you’re home?”

“Will do. Tell the others I’m sorry they had to drive all the way out here for no reason. Good night.” Leaf’s comm clicked off and his phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out along with the button Optix had put there. It seemed like a perfectly ordinary white plastic button, but all of the ones on Leaf’s shirt were black. He tossed it into a trash can as he turned a corner, but without any real sense of satisfaction. There was no way Optix had only planted one obvious, easy-to-remove bug.

Locked inside a public bathroom stall, Leaf stripped and shook out all his clothes, managing to drop another bug out of his shirt cuff and into the toilet. The scanning program turned up one more, not much bigger than a splinter, that had been caught under the edge of his lapel. Leaf gave all his clothes a second and third pass, even his socks, but couldn’t find anything else.

He didn’t feel like he’d gotten them all, but he’d reached the point where he either had to go home or give into paranoia and shell out the cash for a hotel. All he wanted to do was to leave his clothes piled on the floor and jerk off, though the urge was fading. If Optix had been telling the truth, Leaf wouldn’t be getting any satisfaction for at least the next hour and a half, so the aphrodisiac starting to wear off was a mercy.

The train back to his apartment was crowded, but Leaf managed a hint of personal space by virtue of his size and a nasty scowl. A woman with a single rainbow filament streak in her hair brushed passed as they approached a station, glancing up from her phone at him. It wasn’t until she skittered off the train all wide-eyed that Leaf realized he’d probably been glaring straight at her. He spent the rest of the trip staring at his own feet.

Leaf made it back to his tiny apartment without traumatizing any other travelers and dropped Beetle a quick message to let her know he was home. ‘Can’t talk, still working’ was all he got back, which no doubt meant she was still scrubbing all her systems. If Optix hadn’t actually given her the data they needed, he was never going to hear the end of this.

There was still most of an hour left of Optix’s drug, even in a best-case scenario. Leaf tried not to think about it as he slipped out of his shoes and hung up his suit. All of his skin was sensitive, nerves lighting up at the tiny brushes of his own fingers as he undressed. By the time he’d turned on the shower and stripped the rest of the way down, he was hard again.

Even with the water turned down cool, washing himself off was an ordeal. The scrape of the washcloth was too much, but lathering up without it took forever since Leaf had to keep stopping and forcing his hands away from his dick. He turned and let his forehead rest on the cool tile wall. After a few slow, deep breaths, he collected himself enough to start getting clean again and the cycle repeated.

Leaf scrubbed at his hair with a towel as he left the bathroom, not bothering to try to tie one around his waist. He had a split second realization that he hadn’t turned off his bedroom light before Optix said, “Hello again, lovely.” Their voice swung low on the endearment and Leaf made a sound like someone had punched him in the gut.

Optix was leaning on the wall next to his bed, missing the mask but still in their suit, and looking him over so blatantly Leaf would have sworn he could feel it on his over-sensitive skin. Their eyes and hair were glowing a deep blue, pulsing eerily in the dim light coming in through the window. “How did you find me?” Leaf asked, tossing his towel aside onto his laundry pile.

“You did a very good job with the other bugs, but you have to be so careful about what you put in your mouth these days.” Optix tapped a finger to their bottom lip, then flicked out their tongue and dragged it up their finger. “But don’t worry, this one was only a tracker and it should be out of your system within a few days.”

Leaf was happy to latch onto the obvious implications. “What else could it have been?” he asked, walking up to stand in front of Optix like he was magnetized. Even looking down at them didn’t make Leaf feel like he was in control of the situation. Optix was a threat in ways Leaf wasn’t equipped to deal with, and it didn’t help that all he wanted was to drop to his knees and beg Optix to fuck him.

“How badly do you want to know, lovely? I’m in the business of selling information, not giving it away.” Optix slid their voice higher and Leaf shuddered, bracing one hand against the wall by Optix’s shoulder. “You respond so beautifully to my little tricks. Can you tell me what it is about the pitch shifts that does it for you?”

Leaf shook his head, but immediately started trying to explain anyway. “It’s unpredictable… it makes you feel dangerous, I guess. Or maybe I just like surprises.” They still weren’t touching him, and it took most of Leaf’s control to keep himself from closing the gap. Being the first one to move felt like losing, somehow.

“I am dangerous,” Optix said, growling the words into Leaf’s ear. “More than you know, I suspect, and yet here you are. Standing naked in front of an armed stranger in your bedroom, all alone.”

“Fuck me,” Leaf said, voice thick with need. “Threaten me or not, I don’t even care. Just fuck me, any way you want. Please, give me something, anything.” Optix’s smug little laugh dipped down and that was more than he could take. Leaf bucked his hips forward, rocking into something hard that almost certainly was a gun in their pocket.

Optix grabbed his shoulders and spun them both around, pushing Leaf against the wall with all the force he could have hoped for. Their eyes flared a vivid red, bright enough that Leaf could see the shine of all their sharp, sharp teeth. “Darling, you shouldn’t make offers like that to me of all people. I could hurt you in ways you’ve never even imagined.” They tipped their head and leaned in, scraping the points of their teeth over Leaf’s bare throat.

His hands fumbled at Optix’s suit jacket, balling into fists as they bit down. Not hard enough to break skin, probably, hopefully, but with his heightened sensitivity the pain was enough to make Leaf cry out. Had they left a mark? Having bite marks to look at the next day, maybe even bruises — the thought had Leaf trying to haul Optix even closer.

“You’re so eager that I almost feel bad about all the terrible things I want to do to you.” Optix followed up the words with a kiss, light and casual. “Only almost, though. Don’t fret, lovely, I promise I’ll make you suffer as much as you could hope for.” They pulled Leaf’s hands away, pinning them to the wall above his head before kissing him again. Each kiss was languid, a slow press in, a flicker of tongue, and then they pulled away again, leaving Leaf wanting more.

His hips rolled with the rhythm of it. The fabric of Optix’s suit was rough on his skin, on the wrong side of too much when he ground forward too hard, but Leaf couldn’t stop himself. He shook his head when Optix stepped back, and would have protested if not for their hand coming up to cover his mouth.

“You’re terribly underdressed, aren’t you? I have just the thing.” Optix unbuttoned his jacket and pulled out a black blindfold. The fabric was thick, and the thing was heavier than Leaf expected when Optix handed it to him. “Put that on for me.”

Leaf settled the blindfold over his eyes and secured it. The shape curved outward, leaving enough room that his eyelashes didn’t brush against it when he blinked, but there was no hint of light around the edges. He reached a hand forward and Optix caught it, twining their fingers together. “Now, let’s see if you like this trick as much as the others.”

Total darkness was replaced by the dim light of the bedroom and the bizarre sight of his own face from an angle too low to be a mirror. The view shifted to one side as Optix followed the line of his arm to the hand covering Leaf’s mouth and then down, giving him a good, long look over his naked body. It flipped back to Leaf’s own perspective so fast he startled at the sight of Optix’s red eyes staring up at him.

“You’re going to get to watch me fuck you.” They paused to laugh as Leaf did his best to nod fervently against their grip. “Already so desperate for it, and I haven’t even gotten so much as a single finger inside you yet.”

When Leaf tried to speak, they pulled their hand away. “Don’t need fingers,” Leaf panted. “Just slick up and fuck me open.” It was all he’d wanted for hours at this point. Any more delays and he was going to lose his mind.

“Who could possibly argue with such a tempting offer?” Optix kissed Leaf again, harder, one hand curling around the back of his neck to pull him along as they crossed to the bed. Leaf’s vision cut out as Optix shoved him onto the mattress, leaving him toppling forward in pitch black. 

His sight returned, swapped to Optix’s eyes again to show Leaf sprawled out face first. He got his knees under himself and arched his hips up — a move he’d done countless times, but seeing it from the other side left him as flustered as he had been in some of his earliest encounters. There was knowing what someone was probably looking at, and then there was seeing the way Optix’s gaze trailed up from the flex of his thighs to the curve of his ass as he lifted it higher. 

“What a sight,” they murmured, trailing their fingers over the back of Leaf’s leg. The touch was so light that it would have tickled, except that he was so turned on that everything registered as pleasure. Optix’s other hand came into view, holding the gun. Their thumb stroked along a blue vial, the exact color as earlier, and for the first time since he’d gotten home, Leaf felt a shock of genuine fear. “Hold very still for me, lovely.”

“I can’t— It’s been hours— Don’t, please don’t.” He stammered through the plea, breaking off into nothing but ragged breathing as Optix pressed the cool metal tip against the small of his back. They left Leaf in the dark again as they started dragging the gun up his spine, the slow scrape of it so good that Leaf could almost let it distract him. Optix shifted forward, mattress dipping as they braced one hand at Leaf’s side and settled the gun firmly on the back of his neck.

Leaf waited, staring into the nothingness, for the click and the sting. Instead, Optix pulled the gun away and pressed a hot, open-mouthed kiss to the same spot. “I won’t,” they said softly, nuzzling at the fine hair on the nape of Leaf’s neck. “You’ve done so well tonight that you deserve a reward rather than a punishment. I only want you to know that I could.” Their words left Leaf a shivering wreck, half in relief at what they were saying and half from the fact that their voice modulation was almost unbearably good whispered right up against his skin.

“I know you’re a threat, promise.” Leaf tried his best to sound sincere, but his voice hitched in the middle of promise as Optix bit down, giving him a second set of teeth marks. A few more and they’d ring his neck like a collar. He’d keep that one to himself — Optix didn’t need more options to stall the main event. “Fuck me,” Leaf pleaded, arching up and grinding his ass back.

He got a quick slap on the hip for his trouble, the sting so hot and sweet that he pressed into it. “Somehow, you don’t seem very threatened,” Optix said, chuckling as he drew back and dragged his teeth down Leaf’s spine. “I suppose we’ll see if any of my other little party tricks can impress.”

Leaf blinked at the sudden light as he got to look out of Optix’s eyes again. Their interface was labeled for them, though the speed and ease of Optix’s navigation kept Leaf from catching more than a few scattered words. The dick-shaped icon was impossible to miss, and the dick itself even more so as Optix brought it out and brightened the whole room. They shifted back, stroking themself with one hand and inputting a command with the other.

Clear fluid beaded up at the head of Optix’s cock and they used it to slick themself up. Wasn’t that convenient. They cupped his ass and spread him open, eyes focused on his hole as they lined themself up. Leaf did his best not to tense, but getting to watch up close and personal was making it hard to relax. Optix pressed the tip of his dick in and stopped to punch in another command.

A rush of wet heat followed as a semi-opaque fluid pumped out to flood Leaf’s ass with what had to be lube, but looked exactly like come. Optix pulled back and caught one pulse on their hand to give their dick a second coat. Leaf let out a helpless moan as Optix’s gaze lingered on a few thick drops sliding down Leaf’s balls. Anyone else seeing him could have reasonably guessed he’d already taken two or three guys from the sheer amount of mess, and he hadn’t even been fucked once.

Optix pushed in all of an inch and leaned back, hands keeping Leaf spread wide so they could both see everything. “Go ahead, beautiful. I’ll hold nice and still so you can take me as fast or as slow as you want.” Leaf watched his own sides heave as he struggled not to slam himself back all at once. He managed to go not slow, but slower than he wanted, rocking back a little at a time and savoring the aching stretch.

The process felt twice as intense when the feel of Optix’s dick sliding in was paired with the sight of it. By the time he’d managed to get the whole thing inside himself, Leaf felt so full he could barely breathe. Optix’s hands clamped down when Leaf tried to move, keeping him held close and stuffed full. They shifted their hips in small circles that kept Leaf feeling the stretch without giving him any satisfaction at all. He could have struggled, and maybe even gotten somewhere, but all Leaf did was ball his hands in his blanket and let his head fall forward.

“Going to stay put and let me do whatever I want?” Optix stroked their fingertips down Leaf’s side, then repeated the motion with a sharp drag of their nails, eyes lingering on the scratch marks. All Leaf could manage was a nod in response to the question and something close to a whimper at the pain. “What a good boy you are,” Optix said, rolling their voice low on the praise.

Everything was amazing, but all of it together was quickly heading toward too much. Leaf’s eyes prickled with oncoming tears. “Please let me come,” he choked out, body shuddering with the effort of staying still. 

“If you don’t want to wait any longer, I can make that happen, but there will be some unavoidable side effects.” Optix kept their voice level and their hips still, rubbing a gentle circle on Leaf’s back. “What I have on offer is less an antidote and more a swing in the other direction — a shortened refractory period plus quick and easy orgasms.”

“Fuck yes. Do it,” Leaf said instantly. Optix laughed at him, but they pulled out their gun and flipped a bright pink vial into position. Leaf’s sight cut out again as Optix reached around to set the gun against his stomach, sliding it down next to his hip bone.

Their hand stayed steady as they pulled back and gave Leaf his first real thrust, sliding in again slow and easy. “The effect will be almost instantaneous once I pull the trigger, so let’s get you nice and close first, shall we? I want to see if I can make you come right when I shoot you. You make such a delightful little toy.” Leaf’s hips bucked at the sheer malicious joy in Optix’s voice. He was trapped, split open on one side with his cock brushing up against Optix’s hand and the smooth metal of their gun on the other.

Optix started fucking him in earnest and Leaf would have sworn it was almost the best thing he’d felt in his life if he’d been able to make anything like a word. All he had were animalistic sounds, going louder and higher as he moved from desperate to god damn dying. Leaf braced his hands and pushed back as hard as he could, but no amount of force could give him the more he needed.

“Almost there already, aren’t you?” Optix wasn’t even out of breath. Instead, they were as casual as if they fucked people senseless every night of the week — which maybe they did. “I’ll count down from ten. Ready?” The quick slap of their hips was out of sync with the leisurely way they drew out each number. In the dark, Leaf’s focus narrowed down to the blunt press of the gun and the way his muscles kept pulling tighter and tighter toward an orgasm he couldn’t quite reach.

Leaf felt a tiny sting when Optix got to one, almost lost under the other sensations. Their hand wrapped around Leaf’s dick, gave it two or three quick strokes, and he was gone. Leaf came with a shout loud enough to make his ears ring. Every last bit of tension in his body gave out at once and he slumped forward to rest his chest against the bed, panting. 

He was still shivering through the aftershocks when Optix started moving again. Normally, it would have been too much as Leaf started to cool down, but whatever was running through his system took care of that. The slow drag of Optix’s cock was a knife’s edge away from pain, but if Optix even tried to stop, Leaf was going to scream. 

“You made quite the mess there.” Leaf’s vision came back, from his own perspective, with Optix’s gun held in front of his face. One side was splattered with a line of his own come. “I think you should take a moment and clean up after yourself. Here, let’s have you sit up for this.” They got an arm around Leaf’s chest and hauled him back into their lap, driving their dick that little extra bit deeper.

Leaf didn’t hesitate when Optix brought the gun up to his mouth. He dragged his tongue over it, cleaning it off one slow lick at a time despite the bitter and metallic taste. Optix tossed the gun aside once Leaf was done and then slid two fingers into Leaf’s mouth. “That was almost as pretty a sight as you sucking me off earlier. You could hardly be more eager to get a mouthful of come, could you?”

There was no way for Leaf to answer beyond moaning around their fingers and desperately rolling his hips in an attempt to ride their dick. Optix stopped holding onto him, giving Leaf a little room to move. They didn’t pull their hand out of his mouth and he wound up taking their fingers deeper every time he shifted forward, fucking himself at both ends. The next time he lowered himself, Optix grabbed his thighs and held him down.

Their dick started vibrating, ramping up quickly from a tiny buzz to something strong enough that Leaf would have sworn it was shaking his whole body. He writhed, not sure if he wanted to get away or just needed to move. It didn’t matter, because all he was going to get was a tiny rock of Optix’s hips as they kept him in place and took him up the ever-tightening spiral toward a second climax.

“Now that we’ve taken the edge off, I want to see what all this gorgeous body of yours can do.” Optix grabbed Leaf’s wrists, pulling his hands away from where they’d been inching up his own thighs. “First test, can you come without anyone touching your dick?” Leaf shook his head in disbelief, but he was already in motion, chasing the angle that felt best. “It’s fine if you can’t, as long as you try for me.”

Optix ducked their head to nip at Leaf’s neck and latch their mouth on, sucking hard enough that it would definitely mark. They murmured pleased noises against his skin as he rode them and they switched sides to graze their teeth over his other shoulder. Leaf twisted one hand free and rested it on the back of Optix’s head to encourage them to go harder. He got his wish as they bit down, the sting so intense he couldn’t tell if they’d broken skin or not. 

Without much room to move and one arm pinned back, every thrust was a struggle. Leaf’s legs were shaky every time he rose up the tiny distance he could manage and let himself drop back down again to take every inch of Optix’s dick. It was the perfect, terrible combination of too much and not enough. As Leaf’s voice went ragged from pleading, Optix only laughed at him, trailing their hand up one thigh and down the other with a pointed jump over the space between. 

“Take too much longer and I may get off before you do.” Optix bucked their hips up with a high, breathy moan that had to be all for show but drove Leaf wild anyway. “It would be simply terrible, wouldn’t it? You all empty and aching and dripping with my come.” They clenched their hand on Leaf’s thigh, digging their fingers into the tender skin as he writhed. “Though I’m starting to wonder if you wouldn’t love it. You’re so pretty when you suffer.”

The unexpected dips and spikes of their voice along with the threats almost did the trick. “Please touch me,” Leaf begged, stroking his free hand down Optix’s arm. He would have finished himself, but there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that Optix would stop him if he tried.

Optix let themself be guided, wrapping a hand loosely around Leaf’s cock. “Oh, I do spoil you, don’t I? But there you go. I’m sure you wouldn’t make me do all the work.” The touch was so light that it was as much cruel as it was helpful, and Leaf could hear how much they loved that fact dripping from every word. It didn’t matter — or rather, it wasn’t going to stop him. All he’d needed was the tiniest bit of friction.

Leaf rutted up against Optix’s hand, ground back on their dick, and made some of the loudest, most shameless noises he’d ever produced in his life. Optix kept talking, mocking and threatening and praising him by turns, shifting their voice every which way all the while. Everything blurred together into a chaotic tangle of pleasure, and somewhere in the middle of it, Leaf came again.

He’d barely finished before Optix shoved him forward far enough to pull out, leaving Leaf’s hole clenching down on nothing. “Roll over,” Optix ordered, giving him a quick smack on the leg as he struggled to comply. They straddled one of Leaf’s thighs and switched his vision to theirs in time to make him watch as they reached up and smeared his come across his lips and cheek.

“Now for this experiment, all you need to do is lay there and tell me if you can feel this.” Optix gave their dick a quick stroke and Leaf made an incoherent noise as he felt it too, never mind that he was only half hard. “Perfect. I figured the nanites should have had time to settle in by now.” Leaf had no time to consider the implications as Optix started jerking off in earnest, eyes roaming Leaf’s naked body.

When they lingered on his chest, Leaf brought a hand up to pinch one of his nipples and was rewarded with the phantom sensation of muscles clenching low on his stomach. He dragged the other through the mess on his face and sucked it clean, looking up to meet his own eyes along with Optix’s. Now that he was paying attention, there were more sensations to pick up on: cloth against their skin, the tickle of a few long hairs that had worked their way under Optix’s shirt collar, an unfamiliar slick heat between their legs.

It didn’t last long enough for Leaf to catalogue more than those few things. He was dragged along with Optix’s climax, ready or not, and locked into a front row seat for the accompanying light show. Seconds after he came, dripping over his stomach and down one hip, Optix followed with an obscene amount striped over his stomach and clear up to his chest. Each wave came with a pulse of secondhand pleasure that went on and on, longer than Leaf would have thought was physically possible.

Optix took his sight away again, leaving Leaf in the dark, listening to his own heavy breathing and feeling the echo of Optix doing the same. He got a hint of motion from their fingers before it cut off and he was alone in his own body. “Stay put for a moment,” Optix said, pressing one hand to a clean patch on Leaf’s chest. It wasn’t a request he could argue with, given his boneless sprawl across the bed.

Leaf couldn’t even muster any concern as he listened to a super-hacker rattling around in his kitchen. He’d used the phrase ‘fucked stupid’ before, but clearly his standards had been too low. As his energy slowly came back, he lifted one hand and dragged it through the cooling lines of come all over himself with a faint smile.

“I was going to offer to clean you up, but don’t let me stop you if you’re enjoying yourself,” Optix said, low and amused. Leaf jolted. He hadn’t heard them walk back in. “It’s a lovely sight. Would you like another look?”

“…Actually, yeah,” Leaf said slowly. His voice was near hoarse now, no shock after everything he’d put his throat through today. Optix let him see again, focused on the tiny motion of Leaf’s finger as it slid down his stomach. “This still taste like candy?” Leaf scooped up a thick drop and brought it up to his lips to lick his hand clean. Sure enough, it was sweet.

Optix set down a glass of water on Leaf’s nightstand, then grabbed his wrist before he could repeat the motion. “You can’t be trying to get me riled up again,” they said. Leaf’s vision switched back to his side, letting him see the faint but fond smile on Optix’s lips. “I doubt you’d survive another round tonight.” Their eyes and hair faded through a few soothing shades of blue and purple, no less mesmerizing than the first time he’d seen it.

“But what a way to go,” Leaf countered. He was suffused through with tired contentment and it felt natural to throw out a little flirtatious pillow talk. Optix shook their head at him and leaned over to start wiping him clean with a damp kitchen towel. “You don’t have to do that.”

“And yet I’m going to, unless you genuinely object.” Optix watched him, unmoving, until Leaf shook his head. They were gentle as they swiped up the worst of their collective mess, working methodically until Leaf didn’t feel so much like he needed to u-turn back into the shower. “I’m rather surprised you’re not asleep already.”

Leaf was definitely heading in that direction, as much as he didn’t want to be. “Getting there, but not just yet. Sorry if I’m cramping your love-them-and-leave-them style.” That got him a genuine laugh, soft and musical without any digital trickery involved. “Better luck next time?”

“Ah, yes, the next time I purchase you at an auction using someone else’s money. I’ll be sure to pencil that in for the coming week.” Optix helped Leaf sit up and carefully took off the blindfold before passing him the glass of water.

“Sounds good to me,” Leaf murmured. He took a sip, followed by several gulps as his body informed him barely cool tap water was the most delicious thing in existence. Optix made a noncommittal hum and took the glass back once he’d drained it. They left the room again and Leaf let his heavy body tip over backward and his eyes fall closed.

He drifted and tracked their progress through the house via sound: kitchen sink running, glass on the nightstand, a brief crinkle of something he couldn’t place, a pause, and the very final click of his front door closing and locking. Leaf had a moment to register his disappointment, and then he was asleep.

Morning rolled around with the sunlight leaking through his blinds and the shrill beep of the alarm Leaf had forgotten to turn off. He fumbled for the glass of water on the nightstand, tossing it back before he even opened his eyes. As he set the glass down, he saw the dark green fabric of his tie from the night before with a note resting on top.

If you’re seriously interested in a next time, text me.

There was a number, probably a comm address, and a fanciful sketch of an eyeball with lines of circuitry around it. Leaf grinned and immediately opened a message window to type a very enthusiastic agreement.

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11 thoughts on “Going Twice

  1. I really like this bizarre genderfucky kinky hacker with the rainbow cyberdick, and Leaf is a great protagonist as well! I loved hearing from the other squad members and the way their personalities all bounced off each other was fantastic – I only wish we’d gotten to see more of them, too

  2. The main two had such good chemistry! I loved the mecha-dick (flashing colors and self-lubing was a great touch, if you’re gonna make an artificial dick might as well make it better than the flesh variety), and the way the gunplay worked, with the different serums, was an interesting twist.

  3. Oh what a delicious opening story for this issue!! I absolutely have cyberdick envy after reading this, there’s so much fantastic sex technology here and I love it all.

  4. Really great. There must be lots of interesting backstory about this society where auctioning off lovers is an effective thing to undermine for spying purposes. I wonder if they actually got the data.

  5. what an immersive read! the tension built and the fun dialogue made it all dangerously sexy ;) the tech was imaginative too and really made for some creative, kinky, animalistic sex. thank you for this!

    • oh and kudos to the artist and art! the style matches the vibe of the story, and also i’m fond of the title as well. i automatically thought ‘sold’ as soon as i read it.

  6. The basic premise of this starts off strong (why NOT support your tight-knit social group through high-paying sex work?), and then veers hard into a double dose of genderqueer hacker antagonism that is so bold and forceful it immediately drags the reader along for the ride no matter how they feel about Panoptix. Leaf has very likely gotten himself into some future hot water, but I suspect he doesn’t really care?

    I adore the color choices for the art and how the close-up compositions make things feel both intimate and uncertain based on everything they choose to show (or not to show, for that matter). What a great combo!

  7. This was great! I loved the idea of body mods with Optix being the ultimate example of what that might look like. This story left me wanting more.

  8. What an enjoyable story! This is the first one I’ve read on this site and wow, what an opening bid (so to speak!). Loved the genderqueerness, the dynamic, the stakes, the tone, the whole thing! Thank you so much for sharing this work, I’ll definitely be sending it along to my sweetie.

    • Oh wow, so thrilled to be your introduction to SSBB! You are in for some GREAT stuff, and I hope you enjoy it all. Thanks so much!

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