by Calico

Dec. 98

Disclaimer: I don't want to talk about it. I'm still quite upset.

Tom opened his eyes as a cold began to seep in two thin stripes across his wrists. He blinked, frowned unconsciously, then glared into the darkness. He was somewhere warm, black -- except for this icy patch around each wrist, faint but growing colder, stronger, and now another was slowly encircling each ankle. The strips of skin felt surreally blue compared to the comfortable rosy plush of his imagined body in the dark.

He began to rub the circulation back into the frozen points -- began, but the gesture was stillborn, because his hands wouldn’t move together; wouldn’t move at all. He twisted, pulled hard, and his arms started aching from the strain.

Metal; not just cold air, not poor circulation, but frozen metal cuffs, holding him -- he shut off the thought, biting his lip through a sense of blinding panic, and swallowed hard.

The skin of his throat stuck together, and he gagged slightly while it slowly peeled away from the root of his tongue. He felt abruptly aware of how acrid the air was around him, and of how the necessary act of breathing had dried and roughened his mouth.

He closed his lips firmly and concentrated on breathing through his nose, ignoring the sensation of hot air rasping down against the dry channel of his throat, and tried to gather some saliva in his mouth.

Where the fuck. More of a statement, since there didn’t seem to be anyone around to answer any question he might voice. Lying on his back -- unless the gravity in this place was screwed too -- on something warm and firm, in this parching atmosphere. With these painfully cold bonds on his wrists, on his ankles, and, he noted grimly, another closing in around the bottom of his neck.

Hesitantly, he swallowed again, feeling the cold metal strip press firmer against his skin as his throat convulsed dryly. Though, not as dry as before. He winced, but the trouble was minor compared with the wider worry.

Where the fuck. Yes, that deserved repeating; it was basically the most important question of his life right now.

He shifted against the bonds again, feeling the cold seep out a little from point of contact into the inches of surrounding flesh, countered strongly by the warm flush that was infusing the rest of his body.

In the dark, his world narrowed down to the contrast in temperature, thin strips of ice branded across growing warmth, the air a pressure on every inch of his skin. Claustrophobia rose in a wave to engulf him -- he bit his lip harder and concentrated on the sharp sensation and thought strongly about motives and escape and gradually forced the tide away. Now he thought about it, really concentrated, it didn’t feel like an enclosed space. It felt like a desert; an expanse of heat stretching away from him, silent, still.

He swallowed, relieved that the action no longer stung the back of his throat, and glared harder again at the thick darkness into which he’d been immersed.

He closed his eyes, and nothing changed -- there were no reds of light, no relief from the demanding black space wherever he looked. Unable to bear the uncertainty, he opened his eyes again.

Nothing to do. He pulled half-heartedly at his left wrist, trying to force it upwards and away from this hard horizontal surface he was lying on -- but nothing. He tugged again, then felt a slight sideways shift. Encouraged, he tried to slide his hand away from his head, not attempting to pull it away from the surface.

The metal grated slowly, silent but resisting each inch, away to the left. Then back, and when he tried with his ankles, they succumbed to the same friction. Like magnets. Strong magnets.

He worked at his limbs, breathing growing more ragged as the effort increased, until he was no longer so spread-eagled and his legs were almost together. Yes -- like magnets he couldn’t pull them too close to each other, they repelled.

Where the fuck. But he was too tired, exhausted by the relentless darkness and the invisible heat striped with cold metal magnets, and he let his eyes close again -- no longer resisting the similarity in view -- and fell into sleep on the warm, hard floor.

A change in pressure cut through the heavy trance he’d lapsed into, thinking nothing through the thick cotton of his mind, and his eyes jerked open to stare about, scared.

Nothing, again -- but his blood was racing, and as he glared, he felt the centre of gravity shift, and he was upright, and sliding slowly down the magnetic wall. Then his feet touched a new floor and the bonds caught him as his legs buckled at the contact; bonds that had thawed, slightly, that were now only cool points on his warm skin. He swallowed, without trouble. And he shuddered, realising he was adapting to this environment.

A sheet of blazing white light flared up in front of him -- his eyes slammed shut in defence and fear -- and he tensed, heart pounding, the back of his eyelids pulsing a malignant, intrusive red. Then it flickered off, and for curiosity his eyes opened rather than lie blind, on a vision streaked with glistening sunspots.

Slowly, the insistent blue-white-green faded enough for him to look around.

The darkness absorbed his search for a few seconds then exploded into a glaring pool of stark white light, illuminating the struggling figure of his lover a little over a metre away. Framed by a black screen, Harry was... In the same situation as Tom himself; captured by black shining rings wrapped around both wrists, both ankles, a fifth circling the base of his neck.

Tom opened his mouth to shout, but the words were snatched from his lungs and he couldn’t make a sound. He tried again, and gave up, hopelessness settling on him like a physical weight. As if he could shout when whoever held him here obviously didn’t want him to.

As if he had any control over the situation, was a thought that came and went in a vague flow of despondency, as his eyes cleared completely of the drifting afterimages and latched onto the figure in the circle of light.

Harry was squirming -- it seemed he was trying to shrink away from the light exposing him, eyes tightly shut, flattening himself even more against the backing. Tom felt a prickle of sympathetic humiliation glow in his own skin, felt his own fear and helplessness twist into a tight knot of resentment, and felt his back press harder into the warm hard magnet he was pinned against.

And he realised abruptly that his lover couldn’t see him -- not trapped in the light as he was -- when Harry’s eyes finally opened and skimmed glazed unseeing in his direction, then moved on, unable to pierce the sheet of blackness that encircled him. There were sharp edges to the circle of light; somehow nothing hit Tom’s skin despite his proximity. Harry didn’t know he was there. And Tom’s eyes took that as license, despite his moral protest, to search out the familiar gleam of muscle moving under golden skin so close yet unreachable -- even as his mind agonised over the situation, his vision appreciated the stark exposition of a breathtaking man.

Harry evidently hadn’t discovered the mobility of his cuffs -- he was tugging helplessly at them, trying to prise them away from the backboard, his muscles straining to retreat from the uncompromising white glare. He struggled to find some element of protection, and Tom could see the chest working, taking the oxygen in shallow, panicked breaths, sweat glistening in the white light. A chest sharply defined with shadow, every pitch of flesh enunciated and... And beautiful.

Tom felt a shudder writhe down through his skin, as his brain began modifying the vision into a gentle glow of arousal. No, no, this would be betrayal, he couldn’t. It was immoral, desire was corrupted in this, Harry was in pain (suffering so beautifully), he was in danger (out of their control) and he couldn’t find pleasure from being solitary voyeur of that, well, violation.

Solitary? His mind scattered over the possibility, that they were not alone, that this darkness concealed many wide-eyed tired struggling personnel of Voyager, that this was just a long wide warehouse of frantic exhausted people strung up and helpless -- all watching Harry, all seeing his body move so enticingly against restraint.

Tom twisted his head, pulling against the bond at his throat, and tried to peer about him. But his eyes were called by the light; they couldn’t attempt to penetrate the dark, the contrast was overwhelming.

No. Tom couldn’t begin to think that -- that he could be within arms-length with another captive, that they could be stacked so close and tasting the same air without knowing it or seeing each other.

His eyes called him back to Harry, who had stopped moving, now, was slung low against the board in defeat, exhausted, supported by his bonds. His arms were relaxed in the classic position of surrender, hands limp and fingers slightly curled, feet a little apart, head rolled back against the board. His breath still came fast, but he wasn’t straining any more. Tom’s throat caught in horror, as he watched the spirit fade, under the uncompromising weight of powerlessness. He called to him, but the words never left his body, snatched away again.

He closed his eyes angrily, unable to watch despair sinking into the body of his lover, his life, then found his gaze returning as a mark of, well, respect. The figure was still, silent as everything was silent in this place, and -- slowly the light began fading, so slow that at first Tom was sure his eyes were just blocking out the scene in protest. But he saw Harry stiffen, straighten and, in the now fast descending gloom, a ghost of relief settle over his face. Eyes softened beautifully, relaxing.

Tom stared into the dark, as the thick blackness swelled again and smothered the art that was his lover, glared where that picture had been, because he didn’t want to look away and risk never finding it again.

Then suddenly everything changed. He was trapped in a terrible hot circle of white ice fire, and his eyes stung in the glare, but he couldn’t shut them to block it out because a faint understanding was growing in the back of his mind and he had to keep watching, had to keep aware.

He didn’t know who they were, couldn’t know, but this was an experiment, reactions or something, he felt sure, and he couldn’t shy away from their game, not when the alternative was that darkness. He could be wrong -- this could be a dream, a program, the light could be random -- but even so he had to cling to the hope of an idea and focus on it. He had to concentrate, because he knew that he didn't survive without purpose. He needed to be working towards something, because the alternative was a slide into a numbness he really didn't want to see again.

He let his gaze wander around the sharp edge of light, tracing the wall of extreme black that enclosed him, trying to penetrate to the exterior. Nothing, but then that was to be expected.

Harry was watching him, though, he knew that without seeing the surprise of dark eyes. He would be staring, shocked and angry and amazed, because he would just have discovered he was not alone, and just have realised that his actions had been on display to god knows how many eyes.

Harry's eyes would be fixed on him, undoubtedly. He couldn’t just look elsewhere, focus on a random point in the dark, because light so bright was compelling, and so -- Tom decided -- was he.

A picture of Harry’s stunned, hurt interest burned in front of Tom’s mind, and he swallowed. Fine, then. Here was his purpose. Fixing his eyes in the direction he knew his lover to be, he stared unblinking at the deliberately fabricated image of Harry’s face. He knew it well, he could picture this clearly. Perhaps too clearly. He shouldn't find this role so easy to play.

But where to begin?

Impulsively, he started dragging his wrists down. He had to show that they weren’t entirely immobilised, that they weren’t as helpless as they seemed. And then, he let the reassurance in his expression melt into desire, and tried to pierce the darkness with a different flame.

Of course, he didn’t hear a gasp -- a breath drawn in with surprise or delight -- but his imagination supplied one, and he licked his lips.

By now, Harry would have surely noticed his erection; not full, but still interested, as his mind began sending more and more vivid images of how Harry would receive him as a naked body in a sphere of white fire against an eternity of black velvet. He had to be received well, though, for this to work. And he had to make it work -- had to make Harry forget the pain, had to make him want -- because otherwise they'd both have lost.

He couldn't give up now. If he admitted defeat now, because he couldn't prove he was doing the right thing, then Harry wouldn't feel particularly inspired towards optimism, would he?

Slowly -- keeping everything slow, dreamlike -- he began to sway, moving his wrists up until they were above his head, keeping his feet still and sliding slightly against the smooth, warm board. Leaning into it, supported, he focused all his attention on the wide-eyed man he imagined was watching him.

He had to get that man interested, here, interested and absorbed and hoping again. And he had to give himself an aim, to keep *himself* away from the tempting collapse into the nearest numb void. He licked his lips again, pointed tongue feeling the cracked flesh of his lower lip as he flirted, roving his eyes up and down the darkness where he hoped Harry’s body was waiting, in one long, slow appraisal.

His rational mind screamed, disbelief that he could feel desire under conditions so...unfavourable, and yet a simple answer replied, because I can’t just give up. He had to let Harry know it was all right, even if the wider picture wasn’t, had to keep Harry from drifting. Faint hopelessness couldn't blend into that inexorable despair, because if his golden lover descended then he couldn’t stay behind.

He moved his feet wider apart, the feeling of Harry’s lust-filled gaze tangible even though he knew it might not exist at all, and started moving faster. His eyes dark, narrow and intent, he writhed lasciviously, seductively, then arched his back as far as the bond around his neck would allow to a picture of Harry’s fingers teasing just out of reach. It felt so good, he found, *so* good, if only Harry would... Oh.

An idea lit in his mind -- Harry was close by, very close, it could work -- and he swallowed, becoming still.

“Harry.” The sound was dissolved instantly, but as he exaggerated the name between his lips, he felt satisfied that an adequate lip-reader would comprehend. “Harry.” he repeated, this time not bothering with the noise, just concentrating on making his meaning as clear as possible. He held the rest of his body quite, quite still, frozen in an enticing portrayal of interest, hoping to keep all his lover’s attention on his mouth.

“Copy me.” He hoped that could be clear enough. “Mirror me.” He felt sure that the ‘me’ was understandable, but the other words were so vague. “Do, what, I, do.”

He didn’t let his frustration appear on his face, but he felt so helpless, not knowing whether or not his message had been received, let alone understood. But he couldn’t, there was no way, so he just repeated each phrase once again, pausing between words, trying to find the correct expression in his face to convey what he wanted to say without sound.

As satisfied as he could be with the situation, he let his expression melt back into wanton, leering insinuation. He started small again, swaying from side to side, pulling against his bonds and purring silently in the throes of helplessness.

Good job, he thought evilly, that their games had stretched to this. He knew Harry’s response to *this* particular expression, he’d used that knowledge enough on numerous occasions.

He returned to writhing, sliding himself shamelessly against the wall, twisting and squirming, his imagination firing with images of Harry repeating the gesture right in front of him.

His skin was beginning to slick over with sweat, skidding against the board, and his cock was hard now, as his mind continued to pour steaming memories into his blood, continued picturing Harry’s hard, untouchable body, just a stride away. Watching, glazing over, but still copying him, mirroring every action --

A voice purred low in his head, chanting and promising. Gorgeous body, familiar, sexy as hell, obeying his silent command, following him, rubbing himself against this warm surface, hot and desperate, moving sensually against his restraint.

He began to breathe faster, making it obvious to his lover that oxygen seemed to be a little scarce, dragging his bottom lip between his teeth in an echo of Harry’s touch. He rolled his head back, baring his neck, and moaned as images veered into his mind: of Harry’s full, dark lip caught between white teeth; of Harry’s smooth throat open to his teasing ministrations.

He hoped, in the back of his mind, that Harry’s imagination was as licentious as his own. Though, from toe-curling experience, he was content the ensign’s mind was equally depraved.

Feeling his cock begin to ache, arousal a slow hot burn in his blood, he ground his ass against the backboard -- in pure frustration that there was someone so incredibly good at fucking him just out of reach. Slowly, painfully, he started forcing his wrists back down to his sides, feeling the drag and strain cut against strips of still-cool skin.

As hard as he pulled, they moved so slowly. He groaned, as the restriction, the enforced unhurried progression from his shoulders to his waist, turned him on still further. It was so hot, pushing him still higher to unbearable degrees. And the picture of Harry imitating him, straining just as hard and feeling the same restraint, was just yet more fuel for these glowing, smouldering flames.

Eventually his hands reached his waist, and he pushed his pelvis forwards so they could move in behind his ass. He pulled his wrists together, as close as they could be with the repelling action of the magnets, and twisted his hands so that his fingers were between his legs. The picture of Harry doing that was potent, to say the least.

Tom gritted his teeth; now this idea had arrived, he *wanted* to follow it through. Moisture began to edge slowly down his face and he licked his lips unconsciously, tasting salt and effort. God, he could imagine this, Harry’s sweat, Harry’s tongue...

He dragged his feet a little wider apart, and tilted his hips so that his fingers could reach further through his legs and patter against the skin of his inner thighs, then stroke and squeeze at his balls. He felt so hot, so dirty, at the thought of getting off in this place, under an unlimited selection of eyes, with his lover mirroring him opposite in the stifling black depths of this captivity.

He leant back harder, reaching up with the fingers of his left hand to stroke the bottom of his cock -- and he moaned, at the touch, and he’d never been more thankful for long fingers than this moment.

Teasing the base of his erection, straining against the band around his neck, barely keeping his eyes open, and anyway he was almost blind with sweat that swelled as images threatened to overwhelm.

His blood pounded, as he imagined Harry stroking himself like this, so open and wanton, thighs spread, scraping lightly with square-cut nails, still rubbing his balls against the palm of his damp hand.

He wished the damn wrist-cuffs were adjustable; just a little more reach and they’d have a proper grip to thrust into. As it was, he’d have to resort to alternative methods. Not that that was a bad thing.

Gradually shifting sideways, he angled the one finger of his other hand against the opening between his ass cheeks.

Dry, damnit: near impossible. Harry didn't like taking it dry. He squirmed further, until he could rub his hand in the sweat itching in thin beads down his back. Collecting as much of the moisture between his fingers as he could, hoping Harry would have the sense to do the same -- all this through a glaze of unbearable arousal -- he worked his hand back down again.

Gritting his teeth, he started sliding his fingertips against the tight hole, breathing ragged and fast as his imagination worked overtime. Harry's fingers against his skin, or Harry's fingers against Harry's skin; he didn't know which was more potent, but between the images he was getting very near to completion.

He gasped as eventually he allowed his middle fingertip to glide past the ring of muscle. He felt so empty, he needed more. He needed Harry. But as it was, this compensation seemed pretty fine.

And then he moaned, as his other fingers remembered where they were and started moving again, as his head fell back, eyes closed, in frustration --

So close, he was *so* close, but even the pictures of his lover working himself up and working himself over, even that image wasn’t enough, as he bucked backwards and impaled himself harder on his finger, then fingers, he still couldn’t --

Suddenly he felt a hot, wet substance splattering over his thighs and hand and cock, and the scent wrapped itself around his lungs, the smell of memories of Harry, and this entire thing was *real*.

His eyes snapped open to see a second spurt just coming short of his foot, and a rush of heat behind his groin pushed him to became a demi-god in an impure ecstasy, coming in jerks and shooting hard, crying out, oblivious as the sound was swallowed by the strange air.

Shit, shit, this was real, Harry was here, everything he’d thought had happened, it was okay -- he slammed into unconsciousness, okay now. Harry was there. The moisture cooled on his skin, unpleasant and itching but welcome. He didn’t know why he was here, didn’t know how, didn’t know what could happen. Where the fuck -- but if he died now, he’d die happy.

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