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Friendly Curiosity

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The descent into the thick jungle was easy, the path clear and the tiny craft stealthy enough to go unseen. Keith let out a quiet sigh of relief as he touched down. This was supposed to be a fairly simple mission for the Blade—get in, get the information, get out—but it was also Keith's first on his own. He needed this to go well. Kolivan still treated him like a kid who couldn't be trusted not to blow himself up, and it was infuriating.

Hood and mask up, Keith slipped out of his craft and checked his communicator. The abandoned Druid lab was only a kilometer or so away, a softly blinking icon dead ahead. A short file declaring that there was "nothing of interest" there had been the only record the Blade had found for why the lab had been abandoned, which Kolivan had found suspicious enough to warrant further investigation.

Or so he said, thought Keith. Privately, he was pretty sure this was a training-wheels mission, nothing dangerous to face and no important intelligence on the line if he failed. He was still determined to complete it, though, even if only to show Kolivan that he wouldn't give up no matter what.

Keith pushed aside a thick vine hanging in his path and winced in disgust at the viscous sheen left behind on his glove. The plants in this jungle were huge and crowded close to each other, twining together high above his head and nearly blocking out the light of this planet's star. Besides that, every single plant seemed to ooze some kind of pale violet slime. Keith thought wistfully of the desert back on Earth; sure, it was hot there, and full of things trying to kill him, but at least he could see the sky and it was dry enough that his sweat evaporated like it was supposed to. In the humid jungle of this planet, his Blade uniform clung uncomfortably and his hair was sticking to his forehead and the back of his neck. 

Guiltily, Keith checked that the atmosphere was breathable, then put down his hood and deactivated his mask. He knew it was breaking protocol to unmask during a mission, but this lab was supposed to be abandoned anyway. Nobody would see him. He shook his hair out and wiped his face, realizing a second too late that he'd used the hand with the glove covered in plant ooze.

"Shit," he muttered to himself. Who knew what kind of toxic stuff was in that? He might have just melted his own eyebrows off. That would be incredibly humiliating; he'd never live it down. Worse, Kolivan would probably never let him go on a solo mission again.

However, after a few breaths with no pain, melting, or other bad reaction, Keith figured he'd gotten lucky. The slime probably didn't have anything harmful in it; it was safe to keep going.

Keith kept squirming his way through the undergrowth, careful to keep his face away from the plants, which seemed almost to reach for him and cling to the material of his uniform. He was nearly to the lab. He could do this. He would retrieve the intelligence, return to his ship, and go back to base until the next mission. He would show Kolivan that he could be useful.

Without warning, a vine Keith was holding aside slipped out of his grasp and smacked into his face. He yelped in surprise and choked as the ooze on the vine got in his nose and mouth. He doubled over coughing, his eyes watering, until he could breathe again. The slime was oddly sweet on his tongue, with a thin, slippery texture. He swallowed and straightened back up, closing his eyes for a moment to steady himself. His heartbeat pounded in his ears. This wasn't good. The odds of the plant ooze disagreeing with his system were high, and he really didn't want to have to go to Medical after a mission as simple as this one.

When Keith opened his eyes again, the vivid colors of the plant life around him struck him anew, seeming to swim before his eyes with how bright they were. He licked his lips unconsciously and tasted the residual sweetness of the plant slime. His throat felt dry. Now that he thought about it, he really should have brought a water bottle. It wasn't like he was inexperienced with exploring in hot climates. 

"Stupid," he hissed. But it was too hot to get too upset about it. Really, it was too hot to get upset about much of anything. Except maybe about how heavy and clammy his uniform felt on his skin; it was designed to protect him from the unforgiving vacuum of space, and its insulation was doing more harm than good in the hot, sticky jungle air.

Almost absentmindedly, Keith reached up to his throat and undid the fasteners holding his uniform close to his body. He opened it to the waist and peeled the shoulders and sleeves off, letting out a contented sigh at the feeling of air brushing over his arms and neck and belly. Better. 

Not perfect, though. Keith toyed with the hem of his binder. He'd probably been wearing it too long, especially since the air here was so thick and heavy. Maybe he'd feel less dizzy and breathless if he took it off.

Eh. It wasn't like there was anyone around to see him anyway. He stripped it off with only a little struggle with the fabric clinging to his sweat-damp skin. He inhaled deeply, feeling his ribcage expand as he stretched his arms over his head, and let it out in a sigh. Definitely an improvement.

No time to waste. Keith stuffed his binder into one of the many pouches on his belt and checked his communicator again. He was very close to the blinking icon representing the lab; he'd probably have been able to see it by now if it weren't for the thick vines choking out his line of sight. He pressed on. 

Keith tried to touch the plants around him as little as possible with his bare skin, but quickly gave that up as a lost cause. There were just too many of them too tightly pressed together to avoid them entirely. The pale violet slime dripping off every frond probably wouldn't hurt him—actually, the cool, damp trails left behind on his skin were kind of nice. Comfortable, even, in the oppressive heat.

Unable to even see where he put his feet in the tangle of plant life, Keith tripped on something that caught his ankle and fell, throwing his hands out to catch himself. There was a wet squelch as he hit the ground, but the landing was quite soft. His vision still spun from the abrupt change in orientation, so he took a moment to breathe, turning his head so his face wasn't pressed into the oozing vines beneath him.

"You're okay," he told himself, and tried to shift his legs under him so he could get to his feet.

He couldn't move. Something was wrapped around his ankles, holding them in place. He tugged harder, but whatever was holding him didn't budge—in fact, it tugged back, and he went with it, powerless to resist as he was dragged backwards across the ground. He tried grabbing onto anything that he could reach, but it was all too slippery for him to get a good grip.

Keith yelped as he was yanked into the air and dangled upside-down. He squirmed and struggled, trying to get away, then froze abruptly when he saw what had grabbed him.

It was a huge pile of vines, shifting and writhing over and around each other like the nest of rattlesnakes he'd found once in the desert. Just like then, Keith understood pretty quickly how much danger he was in. Unlike then, he couldn't run. He was screwed.

The pile of vines extended one of its...appendages towards him. It was a pretty small vine compared to some of the others—about as big around as two or three of Keith's fingers—and it was dripping with the same pale violet slime covering the rest of the plants. It poked at his face, investigating him.

"Go away," Keith said. It almost definitely wouldn't understand him, but it wasn't like things could get any worse. "I'm not foo—mmph!" 

The tendril had shoved itself into his mouth and appeared to be doing its best to suffocate him. Keith choked, swallowed convulsively, and bit down, furious at the unwanted intrusion. The tendril—flinched? No, that was ridiculous—and retreated, leaving his mouth filled with ooze. Keith spat it out, trying not to think about what he'd already swallowed, and glared at the mass of vines.

"I told you, I'm not food. Let me go."

The blood was rushing to his head from being upside-down, making him even dizzier. The sweet taste of the slime lingered in his mouth. He felt hot, like his skin was buzzing, oddly sensitive to the brush of the air. He shivered, then twisted, trying to reach up to get his ankles free.

Faster than Keith could react to, a pair of thicker vines shot out of the mass and wrapped around his wrists. He struggled, but the—plant? Creature? Collective organism?—was so much stronger than him that resistance only made it squeeze his wrists and ankles harder.

Keith growled and kept fighting, but the vines kept squeezing until an awful grinding feeling sparked up his forearms, threatening crushed bones, and he finally went still. The vines loosened slightly, just enough to restore circulation in his fingers and toes, but immediately tightened again when Keith's muscles tensed to keep trying to get away.

Fine. He'd been kicked down enough to know when to quit. He could probably keep fighting and get himself free, but not without serious injury, so he might as well see where this was going. He made himself relax, muscle by muscle, until he was dangling limply from the vines.

"Don't panic," Keith told himself. If things got dire, he'd fight; better to lure it into a false sense of security until then. He licked his dry lips. He was so thirsty—or maybe hungry? Something was wrong. He should definitely be more freaked out over this. But he was still dizzy, overwhelmed with all the bright colors and heady smells around him, and it was hard to muster up any specific anxiety when his head felt like it was half-full of sticky-sweet clouds.

This time, when the smaller tendril pushed itself into his mouth, he didn't fight it. The ooze coming from it smelled good, tasted good, felt good going down his throat and settling in his belly. He sucked on the tendril, wanting more, and let out a muffled yelp when it swelled to more than double its original size. It still fit in his mouth, but his lips and jaw were stretched uncomfortably. He breathed carefully through his nose and swallowed deliberately.

Several more tendrils, larger than the first one had been, came up out of the central mass. They explored his face and neck, then down over his shoulders and chest, leaving wet lavender trails of prickling sensation behind. He squirmed when the vines brushed over his nipples, which seemed to encourage the creature—it repeated the action more firmly, the pointed tips of the tendrils flicking back and forth across his hardening nipples while the wider stems wrapped around and kneaded at his breasts. Shit, that felt good.

Just as Keith let his eyes drift closed, yet another tendril slid around his waist, right along where his uniform folded open to bare his skin. He went stiff and his eyes shot back open, panic spiking through the warm haze in his mind. No. No, no, no.

The vine in his mouth pulsed, releasing another wave of ooze down his throat. His limbs went slack and the panic faded, and he groaned softly as any remaining tension dissolved. He didn't need to freak out. The creature wouldn't hurt him; it was just curious about this strange new thing which had come to visit its planet.

The tendril around his waist was joined by another, and together they wriggled under the waistband of his uniform, pulling it away from his skin. It was surprisingly gentle, and Keith took a moment to wonder how the creature could tell that the uniform was separate and could be removed. As the fabric was worked down (up? Directions were confusing when you were being held upside-down by an inquisitive alien plant thing) his thighs, however, he decided he didn't really need to know. Everywhere the vines had touched felt tingly, soft and damp and weirdly aware. He wanted them to touch him more. Just the ones at his chest and the light touches of the ones undressing him weren't enough. 

Finally, the vines had gotten his uniform pulled all the way down to his ankles, leaving him completely bare, and seemed to consider that good enough. Fortunately, all the storage pouches were attached directly to the uniform itself and not to a separate belt; they probably would've gotten lost otherwise, dropped somewhere in the vaguely pulsating mass of the creature.

The tendrils stroked back up his calves, seemingly fascinated by his leg hair. Keith supposed that, since plants didn't usually have that kind of thing, his leg hair was as weird to it as its slime was to him. He swallowed another pulse from the vine in his mouth and hummed around it when the vines at his chest squeezed just right. He was starting to lose track of all of them; there were just so many, and all of them were doing things that felt amazing, and it was just too much for careful counting.

Keith let out a muffled yelp when the vines wrapped around his thighs and pulled them apart. He wanted to object—too much, too far, he didn't want this, not like this—but the cool, lingering touches felt so good on the sensitive skin of his inner thighs, especially contrasted with the heavy, humid air around him. Besides, he already knew what would happen if he struggled, and he couldn't reach his knife from here anyway. He relaxed and let the vines spread his legs as open as they wanted, which turned out to be nearly as far as they could go without dislocating at the hips.

Yet another tendril emerged from the writhing pile below, this one the largest yet. From its tapered point, maybe as broad as Keith's pinkie finger, it widened quickly; about a meter or so down its length it was as big around as his thigh. The tip poked gently at his belly, which had been softening lately from the Blades' insistence on mother-henning him and feeding him until he felt like he would explode. Keith flinched back and growled around the tendril in his mouth, startled at how ticklish that felt. He wasn't usually that oversensitive.

The tendril patted his hip gently—soothingly?—then flattened out to smooth more firmly over the downy skin of his lower belly. It felt almost like it was looking for something, checking to see if he met some unknown criteria. Keith squirmed under its scrutiny. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know what it was looking for, or what it would do if it found it—or if it didn't. The vine's searching swept lower and lower, tugging at the coarse curls at the crux of Keith's thighs and leaving most of his abdomen tingling and glistening with the pale violet ooze the vine leaked.

Finally, the vine seemed satisfied with its examination of him and withdrew slightly, leaving only the pointed tip trailing through the rough curls, barely brushing the sensitive skin beneath. Keith shivered, the muscles of his belly and thighs tensing and releasing.

The vine drifted lower, then lower still, drawing thin lines of sensation over Keith's hips and inner thighs. He made a muffled noise around the tendril in his mouth, unsure if he wanted more or less. Distantly, he registered the low pulse of arousal between his legs, which had been building slowly but steadily for...a while now, Keith supposed. He hadn't really been keeping track of time, or of his body's reactions.

To be fair, it wasn't much of a surprise that he barely recognized the feeling. It had been a while since he'd had the energy to spare for that kind of thing. First Shiro had been missing after their fight with Zarkon, leaving Keith wrapped up in searching for him. Then he'd returned, but he'd been strangely distant, unresponsive to Keith's touches and suggestions. Keith could be pretty dense when it came to interpersonal relations, but he could also take a hint when it was gift-wrapped so clearly for him. Shiro didn't want him anymore, which was disappointing, but not exactly surprising; everyone left sooner or later. But it did mean that Keith hadn't been touched like that—or at all, really—for quite some time, and the curiosity of the vine-creature was nearly overwhelming.

Abruptly, without warning, the soft-pointed tip of the vine exploring between his legs pushed into his cunt, which yielded easily. Keith let out a startled yelp around the tendril in his mouth and yanked at the vines holding him in place. They yanked back, squeezing threateningly again. He stopped fighting and closed his eyes against the dizzying rush of vivid colors around him as the vines shook him like he weighed nothing. 

Okay. He could deal with this. It didn't even feel that bad, apart from the prickles of fear around the hazy edges of his mind. It...actually felt surprisingly good. The vine was slick and solid inside him and the soft-pointed tip pressed against his inner walls, exploring and coaxing him to open up further. He slowly relaxed, letting the vine fill him up, feeling the stretch at his entrance as the vine widened. Oh, that was nice.

The vine retreated, then thrust in again, and Keith made a soft noise of pleasure. Encouraged, it repeated the motion, this time combining it with a firm squeeze from the tendrils at his chest. Keith's eyelids fluttered shut and he sucked at the vine in his mouth, needing an outlet for the energy curling low in his belly. He felt so good, so gloriously full, and he wanted more of that feeling.

More little tendrils appeared, investigating every inch of skin while the vine in his cunt set up a steady rhythm, thrusting and coiling and getting so deep, deeper than he'd ever gotten with his own fingers or even when Shiro fucked him. The exploratory brushes of the smaller vines almost tickled, especially with how sensitive his skin was, but in a way that fanned the flames of his arousal. Unable to either press into the touches or pull away, all Keith could do was take it. It left him breathing hard through his nose and swallowing desperately around the oozing vine in his mouth. The little tendrils discovered rapidly which places got more of a response and devoted themselves to those, rubbing and flicking behind his ears, over his nipples, across his hipbones, around and around his clit.

Keith groaned, feeling the tension in his thighs and belly winding tighter and tighter like a spring about to snap. Just a little more, he just needed a little more, fuck, just a little more—

The vine fucking him curled and pressed hard against his g-spot and he came, his whole body going taut, then loose and relaxed. But the tendrils just kept going, fucking into him and playing with his sore nipples and oversensitive clit. It was so much and so good and it hurt and Keith couldn't decide whether he wanted to buck his hips towards or away from all the sensation. He whined, trembling in the vines' hold.

Gradually, the touches shifted from being too much to not enough as Keith's arousal ramped up again. His eyes were still closed, his face relaxed and his lips and jaw stretched around the vine in his mouth, which was still dripping that sweet-floral ooze down his throat. He was floating, burning, buzzing out of his skin with one orgasm so soon behind him and another rapidly approaching. He could barely think, his mind wrapped in a warm haze, and it was barely any time at all before he was coming again, a high-pitched keen escaping him.

He lost track of time for a while then, the waves of pleasure and the smooth thickness of the vine working in and out of him and the endless cool tingling trails of the smaller tendrils overwhelming him until all he could do was shake helplessly. His face felt wet—tears, maybe, or sweat, or the pale violet ooze leaking out of his slack mouth, or some combination of the three. He felt so full and it was so good and he wanted more, wanted to be even fuller, wanted to show this alien plant-creature just how much he could take, prove he was good.

As if reading his mind, the vine in his cunt stilled, then swelled at the base, a round, solid shape that forced its way past the rim of his cunt, then deeper, and deeper still. Keith let out a strangled yell around the tendril in his mouth, hips rocking forward in the creature's hold. Yeah, yes, he wanted this, wanted to be stuffed so full, wanted to be good and useful and necessary. 

Another round, solid shape shoved its way into him, then another one after that, and another, until Keith lost count of them. He felt heavy and soft and so hot, the thick pressure setting off an instinctive sense of rightness. The shapes were so far inside, surely they'd hit his cervix by now, but he didn't feel any of the pain or resistance he would've expected from that, just an endless needy acceptance of whatever the plant-creature wanted to give him.

Finally the shapes stopped coming, the last one settling into place. Keith gasped for breath, each exhale coming out as a muffled little whine. His cunt felt raw and sore and well-used, especially at the overstretched entrance. His clit throbbed in time with his racing pulse, his breasts ached, and his muscles trembled. He felt so good, like he could just float right off into the atmosphere of this jungle planet and never, ever have to come down. He had no idea how many times he'd come, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was how amazing he felt right now, not a single thing to worry about besides being good and holding on to what he'd been entrusted with.

The vine in his cunt shuddered, curled, pulsed, then retreated, but the stretch and the fullness didn't leave with it. Keith could only assume it'd left something to plug him up, to keep the precious cargo from sliding right out of his sloppy, messy cunt once he was back upright. Then the vine latched onto his clit with an incredible amount of too-sudden pressure and Keith screamed as he came hard enough to temporarily black out.

He came to lying flat on his back on the ground, his hood and mask off but his Blade suit otherwise entirely in order. He sat up, restored his hood and mask, and checked his communicator. Not far from the Druid lab he'd been sent to investigate—and there it was, a blocky, unnatural structure visible through the thick vegetation. Carefully, he got to his feet, pausing for a moment when his head spun. He must've hit it when he fell; the heavy, uncomfortable feeling in his belly was further evidence of a probable concussion. He'd have to get that checked out when he returned home—no, back to the base.

Only the computers remained in the otherwise deserted lab, their lights shining softly in the gloom. There's probably some sort of generator somewhere, Keith thought. Or solar power, or something. How much of a hurry did they leave in, if they couldn't even be bothered to unplug the computers?

The portable drive he carried connected easily and started vacuuming up the data, the dim violet light on its casing blinking to indicate that a task was in progress. At last the light glowed steadily—the download was complete. Keith let out a breath, disconnected the drive, and slipped back out of the lab.

He met with no trouble on the way back to his craft. Once he was safely inside, he let his shoulders slump as he relaxed. That had been disturbingly simple. Everything had gone according to plan; nothing unexpected had happened, other than his fall earlier.

More evidence for this being a training-wheels mission, Keith thought bitterly. And he'd still managed to get himself injured somehow. Kolivan was going to swaddle him in pillows until the day either of them died at this rate. And it wasn't like Keith could avoid going to Medical—concussions were serious business and he didn't want his brain any less functional than it already was. Besides, if he hid it, that would just disappoint Kolivan even more.

Keith groaned as he settled into the pilot's seat, already dreading the lecture he was going to get. Kolivan's disappointed face was the worst.

The tiny craft lifted off, hovered briefly, then tilted upwards and raced towards the stars.