written and illustrated by RunnyCrusty
Crickets chirping were tolerable. Bees buzzing were tolerable. Hell, even cicadas’ screams were more tolerable than the racket Ian’s roommate was making at 2:14 a.m.
There were no exterminators for this sort of pest, though. No, Levi’s mating calls were all human, carrying through the walls of their shitty college apartment. Ian wondered if a ball gag would be an appropriate gift for his roommate. Maybe then he would be able to sleep enough before his eight a.m. tests.
Silently Ian cursed Levi’s boytoy. If he were a better lay, then Levi wouldn’t be so damn loud like he was right now — when he was faking it. Too many nights like these had turned Ian into a taxonomist of sound. When properly fucked, Levi was much quieter, all hushed gasps and whines, much less a disturbance to the peace.
Unfortunately, there were no make-up exams just because curfews didn’t matter to boys or bugs. The test went about as well as Ian expected. Grumpy and still a little groggy, Ian took to the kitchen, determined to stop the buzzing of his brain. Something familiar, something comforting, something obedient and predictable… Bánh bông lan it was. The light sponge cake, a staple at his family’s bakery, sounded like just the distraction he needed.
“Hey, Ian?” Levi’s voice infested Ian’s sanctuary as he leaned against the counter of their too-small kitchen, careful to avoid touching the preheating oven. His olive-toned hand cradled a bowl of cereal, plain cornflakes piled so high they peeked past the edge of the bowl.
“What?” Ian said, measuring 400g of sugar and trying not to notice that his roommate was wearing nothing but some skimpy underwear. Three months together and Ian still wasn’t quite used to seeing so much of him. Levi was trans like him, but they certainly didn’t look alike. No, Levi had already been reshaped by hrt and top surgery, and he was as hot as he was annoying. He was slightly taller than Ian, with strong shoulders and broad hips and coarse hair trailing down from his navel to parts of him that Ian refused to think about. “That’s my cereal,” Ian muttered, but if Levi heard him he didn’t respond.
“Why aren’t you on T yet, anyway?”
A person more observant than Levi would have noticed Ian’s minute flinch, the only indication of his spiking blood pressure. “That’s an incredibly personal question,” he said, cracking an egg against the counter just a little too hard. The kitchen was supposed to be the place where his body was just a body that knew how to beat eggs and roll dough. He wasn’t supposed to have to think about the ways his body failed him here.
“I mean, you don’t have to answer,” Levi added, unfazed. A bead of milk dripped into his well-trimmed beard as he shoveled a spoonful of cereal into his mouth. “You’ve mentioned wanting it before, but I dunno why you wouldn’t have already.”
“Well, it’s not really by choice. I’m on the Rivera Project waitlist.”
“The low-cost clinic downtown? So it’ll be any day now, that’s great!”
“You know the waitlist is four months long, right?”
“Oh. That’s… Not great.”
“No, it’s not.” Ian shook a stick of butter into the bowl, where it landed with a disgusting plop. “But I’ve waited four years. What’s a few months?”
Ian grabbed the hand mixer, glaring at the faded lettering on the side. An unexpected touch landed on Ian’s forearm, too soft, too gentle, too affectionate. Poisonous. Ian flinched, and Levi snapped his hand back like he had touched a tarantula.
“Sorry. Personal space. Right.”
The hand mixer roared as it turned on, deafening but not unwelcome. Levi seemed to take the hint and scurried away with the stolen cereal.
Reading a book that wasn’t exciting or good wasn’t the best use of time. Still, Ian was past halfway done, so might as well follow through. His days blended together a lot of the time, and so did the books he read. It was better than going out in a world teeming with reminders that bodies like his didn’t belong in it, not that he liked to dwell on it. Self pity wasn’t his style, but isolation sure was.
A knock distracted him, and before he could verbalize a greeting, Levi swung the door open with a theatrical gesture. He held up a small box, high above his head, that Ian recognized immediately. This was trash that Levi often left on the coffee table after his shot: a vial of testosterone.
“Hey Ian! Catch,” said Levi, tossing it before Ian could even protest. Ian managed to grab it just before it landed on the ground. To his surprise, it wasn’t empty.
“What are you doing?” Ian said.
“Well, I thought about asking you, but I know you would say no, so now it’s in your hands. Literally!”
No, this was absolutely absurd. Nobody started T this way. Levi had to be fucking with him. How many times had Levi forced himself under Ian’s skin, crawled around in business that wasn’t his?
“That’s illegal,” Ian said. His tone was level; he refused to give Levi the satisfaction of his rising fury. He held the box up back to Levi, who shook his head.
“Yeah, well.” Levi looked past Ian, gesturing towards his nightstand with his jaw. “That’s not the only law you’d be breaking.” The quirk of Levi’s mouth curled into a knowing smile, one that Ian found insulting on a good day, but criminally offensive now, as it brought back a memory normally tucked away alongside the booze in the drawer that he was too young to own.
After all, Ian had shown it to him. They’d sat on Ian’s bed, sharing sips of contraband, back when Levi was just the confusingly attractive stranger he lived with. Half a bottle in, and Levi was playing fortune teller, guessing Ian’s closely-guarded kinks with unnerving accuracy. Two bottles, and Levi was offering to make them a reality.
Ian had wanted it, more than he expected. He had itched at the chance to dominate Levi, put him in his place even before he knew just how much of a brat Levi was. But as his hands fluttered over the buttons of his shirt, dysphoria swarmed and he was suddenly aware of how much his body was not like that of Levi’s flings. Every single one of them had been cis men with low voices and hairy chests that Ian didn’t — wouldn’t — have any time soon. Yet Levi had still looked at him with an unmistakable hunger that Ian had never stopped thinking about.
“This is different,” Ian said, turning away from Levi to hide his reddening face. “This is serious — T is a controlled substance. It’s not just illegal, it’s actively dangerous without a doctor.”
“So take a low dose until the clinic can check you. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t drag yourself through broken glass for this. We both know the risk is worth the reward for you.” Point taken, not that Ian appreciated Levi reading him so transparently. Levi shrugged. “Look, I just thought… Well, you’re pretty joyless, and if this’ll make you a bit happier, then why not?”
Ian narrowed his eyes. How could someone offer him the world and be so incredibly insulting about it? How on earth did this boy manage to pick the exact wrong words to say so goddamn consistently?
“Take it back.”
For a moment Levi hesitated, jaw slack before it twisted into a grin. Head cocked, hands behind his back, he stepped towards Ian, until less than three inches separated their lips. At this distance, Ian was forced to make eye contact, invasive and violent, a steady stare from eyes like scorched earth.
That was enough.
Ian took a step back and grabbed a fistful of long, curly hair, giving it a firm yank that made Levi gasp. His exposed throat was perfect, fucking perfect, and Ian wanted nothing more than to destroy him like the insect he was. But unlike Levi, Ian had enough self control to loosen his grip and shove him out of his room instead.
“You do not get to fuck with me like that,” Ian spat, tossing the testosterone behind Levi. “I’m not another one of your playthings.”
Levi made himself scarce after that. As for Ian, he found himself reaching for the bottles he kept, though this time he locked the door first. He took a swig out of a half empty one and spat it out. The wine had spoiled into vinegar, sour and rotten. Figured.
About two weeks later, Levi knocked on Ian’s door. Surprisingly, he waited for Ian to open it. Also surprising was that Levi was both wearing clothing (a hoodie and real pants) and looking uncharacteristically uncomfortable.
“Hey Ian… um… I’m sorry.” Levi tugged on the strings of his hoodie. Words started to spill out of his mouth. “I didn’t mean to be so — um, I know sometimes it’s, um, whenever you do….”
“Just shut up,” Ian blurted out. Watching Levi vomit on his carpet would have been preferable to whatever nightmarish display of humility this was.
This was going well. Thankfully, Levi gave a nervous laugh. “Wow, okay. Um, so, we cool?”
“If that will make this conversation stop, yes.” There was a pause, and Ian cleared his throat, gesturing towards the door. “Well, if that’s all…”
“Um, actually… I wanted to ask like maybe not an asshole. I mean it, Ian, I’ve been thinking a lot lately and y’know, I’m lucky. I’m lucky to be on this side of transition, and I see how you clam up sometimes and I know how much it hurts to be misgendered, and…” Levi sighed. “You don’t have to take me up on it, but… you really should.”
“There’s no way I can repay you for that. And don’t you need it yourself?”
“That’s not a big deal. I’m sure you can make it up to me somehow.” How ominous — owing Levi something? No fucking way. “And,” Levi grinned, “I have the perfect crime planned. I’ll take half my dose, and once my doc sees how much my T levels have dropped, I bet she’d happily double my dose. Nobody’s gonna know shit.” He sounded awfully confident in what sounded like a stupid plan, but Ian had to admit he didn’t actually know how it worked.
“That can’t be good for you.”
“I mean, I might be a little moody, a little tired, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Seems like a pretty minor tradeoff for a nicer roommate.” Levi really couldn’t resist making a jab, could he? Yet his voice held no bite, and Ian chose to ignore it. From his hoodie pocket Levi pulled out a syringe, already filled with clear liquid. “Anyway, it’s your choice. No games.”
“I don’t need your pity,” Ian said, eyes locked on the air bubbles suspended in the serum. Levi shrugged and tucked it away again. As he left, Ian willed himself to not grab his arm on the way out.
It was the correct response, of course. There was no way Levi wouldn’t use this against him, not to mention it was still definitely illegal and definitely dangerous. Four months couldn’t be that long. Ian could wait four months.
That would have been it, if not for a call from the Rivera Project staff. An overly apologetic secretary informed him that the Silvera Project had lost a major source of funding, bumping the waitlist to ten months.
Ten months was… a lot of time. Still, he could do it. So long as he didn’t look too closely at it, it couldn’t hurt him. And if he ignored the sweaty itch of the binder constricting his chest, he could almost believe that too. The sun was merciless that week, though, and after another week of class, the grocery store, the constant stream of she-her-miss-tits-girl-girl-girl, Ian had to swallow his pride. He knocked on Levi’s door.
“Was that a standing offer?”
“You could’ve just told me you can’t do shots,” Levi laughed, tearing open the foil of an alcohol wipe. They had set up at Ian’s desk, supplies pointedly next to a trash can. Sitting in the chair wearing just a tank top and boxer-briefs, Ian felt a little naked, but he knew Levi needed access to his upper thigh. Strictly business.
“It’s not that I can’t. I used to give my mother shots all the time, but it’s a lot harder to do it on yourself.”
“Yeah, tell me about it. Maybe you can do me next time then.”
Wait what? Was that a pass?
Cool wetness brought him back to the present. Judging by Levi’s calm facial expression, he must have misinterpreted. Levi kneeled next to Ian. The usually carefree, theatrical manner he carried himself seemed to be gone; instead he was poised, intentional, graceful.
This had to be on purpose. Levi’s legs were spread, and his back perfectly straight; this was the posture of someone who was ready to serve his master.
Levi’s gaze was locked on the needle, seemingly absorbed in his task as he uncapped it. While Ian didn’t make a habit of staring at his roommate, he couldn’t help but study him now that he was so close. Thick, long lashes downcast, a lovely complement to the slight beard he kept. Did his lips always look that soft? A long curl fell across his face. Ian simultaneously wanted to tuck it behind his ear and to pull it until Levi moaned for him.
God, fuck, this was not the time for this. There was no way Levi couldn’t smell his arousal, couldn’t see the darkening fabric between his legs.
Pinch. Between forefinger and thumb, the needle slid into Ian’s thigh, precise and fluid. A pull back on the plunger to aspirate, and then push down, and just as quickly, the whole needle was out.
“Oh. That didn’t hurt.”
“I’m good at what I do,” Levi said. Well, Ian couldn’t argue with that. The whole process was so quick it was almost anticlimactic, but now he genuinely had testosterone in him. The metamorphosis was beginning, and already Ian felt more whole, inhabiting less a body and more his body. A drop of blood beaded up, and Levi gently smoothed a bandage over it. He lingered, lightly tracing the edges of the bandage. A shiver ran up Ian’s spine, and he inhaled sharply.
“All done,” Levi said, but his hands didn’t leave Ian’s thigh. “Can I… do anything else for you?” he asked softly.
Obviously, the correct response was to shake his head and excuse himself so he could calm down. Instead, Ian took a deep breath and draped his leg over Levi’s shoulder.
“Are you going to be good for me?” Ian said, the hint of a tremble in his voice.
“Yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir, please let me service you, Sir,” Levi pleaded, pressing his cheek against the inside of Ian’s thigh. Ian squared his shoulders and leaned back in his chair. Sir. Now that was a title he could get used to.
“All right, then. Get to it then, boy,” Ian said, the last syllable slipping out so naturally he surprised himself. It was honey on his tongue, and it seemed like Levi savored it too, with the way his face flushed. This was a version of Levi that Ian liked a lot more.
Levi nodded. “Thank you, Sir,” he whispered, pressing his cheek against the inside of Ian’s thigh. His cheek was prickly, scratching against his skin as he nuzzled his way inwards, until his breath was hot against Ian’s groin through the fabric of his underwear. No packer, no harness, just Ian’s own body, his natal anatomy pressed against Levi’s lips.
Ian’s thumb hooked his underwear and tugged down, exposing himself to Levi, whose tongue dragged across Ian’s most sensitive spot. Levi’s thumb tentatively brushed against the slit, tapping twice — a question. Ian shook his head. “No entry. Just use your mouth.”
“Yes, Sir,” said Levi, relocating his fingers to circle the crotch of his own pants. After months of hearing Levi’s gratification through the wall, though, Ian relished the chance to get a little payback.
“Hands off,” ordered Ian. “You’ll get your pleasure if I want you to, boy.”
“I’m sorry, Sir,” Levi said, hands flying off and landing on the outside of Ian’s legs to stabilize himself as he took Ian’s cock in his mouth. And with the way Levi bobbed his head up and down, pulling the base, it was a cock. Levi demonstrated how much he knew about worshipping men, and he looked damn good between Ian’s legs.
A buildup of heat radiated from his core. Fuck, he was already close. He grabbed Levi’s curls, roughly forcing Levi’s head against his cock as hard as he could, hard enough to make it difficult for Levi to breathe. His hips thrust mercilessly against Levi’s mouth. Facefucking him.
Levi moaned onto his cock. His own hips gyrated uselessly against nothing, granting him no reprieve from his own arousal. It didn’t take long for the sight to send Ian over the edge. Only once he finished coming did he loosen his grip on Levi. He gasped for air. Once so pretty, now his curls stuck to his face, Ian’s come smeared across his chin. Splotchy red skin and honest-to-God tears spilling from his eyes, struggling to catch his breath. Ruined.
Fuck, this was art.
“On my leg, boy. Pants off.”
Levi got up, panting slightly. He tossed his pants aside and obliged, straddling the thigh without the bandage. “Thank you, Sir,” he murmured. Their faces were so close like this, but Levi’s eyes were still downcast; he knew better than to make eye contact.
“So polite now! Who could believe you’re the same rude, petty asshole I live with?” Ian said, fingertips grazing against Levi’s crotch. Levi whimpered, hips bucking towards the touch, but Ian moved his hand back. “Do you really think you’ve earned the right to come?”
With a protest, Levi clutched Ian’s shirt, his desperation perfuming the room. How humiliating. How exhilarating. Ian grabbed Levi’s hips, slid his hands down his legs and scratched his way back up. Levi moaned, the way Ian knew was sincere.
“I’m feeling nicer than you deserve. You can use my leg to get off.”
Another whine. “Thank you, Sir.” Levi ground his hips against Ian’s leg, shameless and frenzied, his slick soaking through his trunks. Ian’s cock twinged at the obscene display.
“You’re so fucking pathetic. Look at you, a little attention and you’re showing me who you really are.”
The way Levi gasped told Ian all he needed to know. He smirked as Levi’s body shuddered and tensed, back arched before crumpling. His legs trembled against Ian’s thigh. He slid down, curling up on the floor by Ian’s feet.
Dazed, Levi gave a slow nod. Ian took the moment to get his underwear back on, and draped Levi’s pants over his lap.
“Hey Ian?” Levi finally said, hands fumbling with the button.
“I think we’re even for the T.”
Ian glanced down at the bandaid on his leg, and the subdued heap at his feet. He leaned down and gave Levi a little scratch on the head. “You know, you’re a lot more pleasant when you’ve been properly fucked.”