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Schneider should have known that there was something wrong the moment he realized that his room was the biggest at the temple — it was just as dusty and dark as the rest of the altars that the raiders haphazardly turned into their living quarters, but while the others were so cramped in theirs that they could barely lie down to sleep, let alone move around, he was actually about as comfortable as the situation allowed in his.

But after a couple of days go by and he doesn’t get killed by the roof falling on top of his head or anything like that, Schneider decides that maybe he’s just being paranoid, and he was given the room because it’s relatively out of the way. Maybe the raiders are just that willing to sacrifice some additional comfort to avoid having to see his face as much, after all, they all have made it pretty clear that they just tolerate him because he’s useful.

Either way, since for all he cares they and their opinions can go choke on a dick, for a couple of days it really does feel like he was the one to come out on top. That’s it, until he’s woken up in the middle of the night by the feeling of being kicked right in the stomach, hard enough to not only knock him out of his bed, but also to leave him gasping for air as he struggles to get up.

“Vhat the fuck!”

Schneider looks up, his arms still pressed against his body from the pain, only to realize that it’s Lycus fucking Dion standing right next to him. He instinctively backs up against the wall, bracing himself for another kick, but instead Lycus bends down and picks him up by the collar, lifting him up until his feet are no longer touching the ground.

“What the hell are ya doing in my room?”

Your room?”

“Are ya deaf, moron?”

“It’s not your room, asshole! Harec told me to stay here!”

Lycus looks livid, and the expression on his face would actually have been pretty funny if he also hadn’t chosen that exact moment to move his hands away, dropping him.

“Fucking blondie put ya here.”

“Zhat’s just vhat I said.”

Luckily for him, Lycus seems to realize right then that it’s more likely that Harec for some goddamn reason decided that it would be a good idea for them to share a room than it is for him to have sneaked inside and claim it for himself without also having taken some sort of measure to prevent this exact scenario from happening when Lycus came back.

The mercenary storms off, probably to go to shout at their leader, but Schneider’s stomach hurts so much that he doesn’t even get the satisfaction of being the one left inside the room.

***

It only keeps getting worse from there on, and it soon becomes more than obvious that being stuck with Lycus is some sort of punishment, either for the mercenary or for him. Maybe even both.

If Lycus is a terrible person, he’s even worse as a roommate. For one, there’s still only one bed, so most nights they can’t go to sleep before first spending about an hour arguing about who’s going to get to use it and who’s going to have to deal with being on the floor, which usually ends up being him because Lycus is a brute and twice his size.

He also snores and has an aversion to bathing more than once every couple of days, both of which translate in a lack of sleep for Schneider even when he does get the bed. And that’s not even getting into the things that he’s sure Lycus must be doing on purpose just to piss him off, like leaving bottles on his side of the room that have just enough alcohol left in them to spill and make the floor feel sticky and disgusting, ruining his blueprints by stepping all over them, and smoking with the door closed so that all of their belongings end up with a faint but no less annoying smell of tobacco.

But the final drop is when he comes back from a raid, and he ends up almost running face first into the door when he pushes it and instead of opening right away like it always does, it barely moves an inch. He pushes again, because the door is old as fuck and poorly maintained just like pretty much everything else in the temple, but it doesn’t open no matter how many times he tries.

“I can’t believe he locked zhe fucking door! It doesn’t even have a lock!”

Any other day he’d have probably given up and let Lycus have the room for himself for the night, but he’s tired as hell and he’s not going to sleep on the hall when there’s a perfectly acceptable bed waiting for him inside. He takes a step back and kicks the door with all the strength he’s got left, hearing the crack of whatever Lycus used to keep it closed as it snaps.

“Listen you son of a bitch, you can’t just expect me to vait outside as if I didn’t mind—“

Whatever he might have been expecting, it certainly wasn’t what he sees when he finally gets the door to budge.

The bed is parallel to the entrance, so he’s immediately treated to an unobstructed view of the mercenary’s entire naked body, one of his hands still wrapped around his cock even as he looks up and their eyes meet. Though it’s not as if Lycus’ usual choice of clothes leaves much to the imagination, there’s a pretty big difference between seeing him walking around shirtless and catching him in the middle of jerking off— and shit, Lycus is huge there too, suddenly a lot of the rumors about him make sense.

“Gross!”

It’s not until he hears Lycus growl under his breath that Schneider realizes that it’s not only his legs that are refusing to obey him, because he absolutely just said that out loud.

“Close the door, shithead!”

He turns around and slams the door shut, just in time to hear a bottle being thrown against it.

***

After his initial reaction, Schneider finally manages to get to the point where he can pretend that nothing happened and move on without making their interactions any more awkward than they already were. It works largely because he has no intention of ever bringing it up, ever, and Lycus is basically a human garbage can so he doesn’t really care either way.

He expects that to be the end of it, the experience filed away as another of the many reasons he dislikes Lycus Dion, but then the dreams start.

“Fine, you vin. You can keep zhe bed, I can’t even look at it anymore vithout feeling grossed out.”

The Lycus of his dream grins, taking a step forward until they’re mere inches away from each other. He moves back, but that only prompts Lycus to get even closer until he ends up against the wall, trapped between it and the mercenary’s body.

“Ya still think this is about the room, Schneider?”

Lycus must be trying to mess with his head, he decides as he wraps his arms around Lycus’ neck in an attempt to pull him down and grapple him.

But Lycus is much stronger than him, and without the element of surprise, it doesn’t do much. It doesn’t even seem to discourage him, and he takes advantage of their new position to slip his arms around his waist, sliding his hands down his body until they reach his ass.

He lets out a moan, and Lycus chuckles as he moves one of his hands to the back of his hair and pulls, forcing him to throw his head back as far as he can just so it won’t hurt as much. He briefly thinks of complaining, but the words die in his throat as soon as he feels Lycus’ mouth against his skin, first sucking so hard that Schneider’s sure it’s going to bruise, then biting down until he finally manages to draw blood.

“I like ya better when yer like this” Lycus runs his tongue over the sore spot, and when he looks down, he can see him lick the blood from his lips out of the corner of his eye. “Quiet.”

That’s when Schneider wakes up, gasping for air and covered in sweat, and the very first thing he does when he feels the wet spot on his lap is grab the piece of cloth that passes for a sheet and cover himself with it. Thankfully, the room is dark and Lycus doesn’t seem to notice anything out of place, seemingly only bothered by the noise of him trashing around.

“Go the fuck back to sleep, Schneider.”

***

The look Harec gives him is not quite mocking, but it’s clear that he gives exactly zero fucks about whether he’s comfortable sharing the room with Lycus as long as they don’t kill each other because of it. And just so he won’t bother him about it, Harec also reminds him that the priests-or-whatever-the-hell-they-are have requested peace, and that means that he doesn’t want anyone wandering around the base in the middle of the night without a good reason.

***

Maybe he would mind the dreams a little less if they weren’t making it so painfully obvious just how inexperienced he is.

As his brain provides the image of Lycus fucking him, holding him up by the thighs as he thrusts into him, Schneider wants to be able to say with certainty that it wouldn’t feel this good, that Lycus wouldn’t be careful and that the mercenary would be too rough, too focused on his own pleasure to make him feel anything except uncomfortable, but the truth is that he just doesn’t know. All he knows is that sex is supposed to feel good and that Lycus is allegedly great at it, so his mind keeps filling the blanks with blurry sensations that make him weak on the knees.

“Shit, yer tight.”

He arches his back, digging his nails on Lycus’ back as the feeling of an orgasm pooling in his stomach makes it harder to keep himself steady using only his legs. It's an effort he can barely keep up, and when his mind starts struggling to form a coherent sentence in english, he immediately loses that battle.

“Mehr, mehr. Fick mich.”

“Magst du da? Schlampe.”

“N-nenn mich nicht s-so!”

He frowns, annoyed, but not upset enough to stop. Not even Lycus’ smug grin as he feels his muscles tense manages to take him out of the moment, and he comes with a shudder.

***

He’s not gay, Schneider tells himself as he struggles to scrub the stains from his underwear with what little water there’s left in the container. He’s sure, because his heart still skips a beat whenever Mikah smiles at him, and he’s caught himself looking at Ginebra and Shae a second too long a couple of times before remembering that neither of them will hesitate to fuck him up the moment they feel like it.

The… thing with Lycus, it’s a natural reaction. Men compare themselves to each other all the time, and between the fact that he’s a teenager with two perfectly working eyes sharing living quarters with mostly attractive people, and that on most days there’s nothing he’d like more than kick Lycus so hard his children will feel it, he decides that his dreams are merely the result of his brain playing tricks on him; it’s the pressure, the frustration, it’s Lycus’ fault in a way he can’t quite explain but can feel clearly.

It means nothing that his pants get a little tighter every time he thinks about it, or that now his constant annoyance at Lycus is mixed with the fear that some day the man is going to take a look at him and just know what’s been going through his mind.

***

He’s tired of having to fight his brain for rest every step of the way, of waking up exhausted just to have to spend even more energy in some bullshit or another. Since Lycus is out with Harec and a couple of other raiders, Schneider decides that this is the night he’s going to stop resisting, that he won’t freak out and wake up no matter how far it goes. Maybe that’s all he needs, to get it out of his system so that Lycus can go back to being that extremely annoying son of a bitch that still looks at him like he wants to bite his head clean off, and nothing more.

It begins with him on top, straddling Lycus’ lap as he grinds their erections together through their clothes. Their difference in size makes it difficult to keep his balance at first, but with some effort, he finally manages to find a comfortable position by bending his knees.

But when Lycus raises his arms and puts them around his waist, clearly trying to be the one that sets the pace by pulling him closer, Schneider has a hunch and stops moving completely. Lycus groans and tries again, this time actually getting Schneider to move back and forth a couple of times before he pushes his hands away.

“If you keep doing that, I’m going to get up and valk away.”

“Ya wouldn’t.”

“I can’t valk away in the middle of an online match. I’m perfectly fine vith leaving you vith blue balls, though.”

“Fuck, yer really a lot of trouble. What if I don’t let ya?”

“Zhen I’m going to make it my mission to find every single heavy metal song on zhe fucking planet and replace it vith disco. How does zhat sound?”

He knows that Lycus could flip him over and pin him down with no effort whatsoever, and he fully expects this to be the moment when the mercenary loses the last bit of his patience and takes charge. Instead, he just rolls his eyes as he leans back, giving him more space.

Before Lycus can change his mind, Schneider undoes the buckle of his belt, doing his best to keep his hand steady as he pulls out his cock. Doing the same with his own zipper gives him considerably more trouble, in no small part because pretending that he knows exactly what he’s doing is a lot harder with the feeling of Lycus’ dick throbbing between his fingers distracting him, his mind racing to provide a suitable next step as he slips out of his suit and throws it aside.

He discards the idea of riding Lycus as quickly as it appears, spitting on his hand and stifling a moan as he presses their cocks together and begins stroking.

“I bet you thought I vas going to let you push me around, didn’t you?”

He looks down just in time to see Lycus’ hand twitch, just like it does when he’s eager to pull the trigger of his gun, a clear sign that he’s holding back. Maybe he decided to take his threat seriously, or realized that listening to him is actually the path of least resistance to getting off, but either way, the result is the same.

And Schneider loves it.

It reminds him of the first time he saw Lycus tied up to the aleph engine, but this time the feeling of satisfaction goes straight to his dick instead of just his head. The little bit of control is better than getting front row seats to his favorite band, better than the praise of his peers when he cracks a file they had been struggling with for days, better than getting a global high score in the hardest difficulty setting of a game.

He makes sure to go even slower, keeping a steady rhythm but stopping for a moment anytime it feels like he’s getting too close to climax. It’s torture on him, too, but it’s worth it just to see the expression of Lycus’ face and knowing that it’s because of him, that he can get someone to feel so annoyed and so turned on at the same time.

It’s that feeling that finally drives him over the edge, with an orgasm so strong that it makes him see white, and he clings to Lycus as if he was holding to life itself.

It takes him a moment to catch his breath, and even then, he doesn’t have it in him to complain when Lycus’ hands go straight to his thighs.

“Up for round two? Or do you need a minute?”

“Yer real lucky yer a nice piece of ass.”

“I’m a fucking collector’s edition, old man.”

***

The dreams stop the very next day and he goes back to his fantasies of girls with mysterious smiles and of building better equipment to impress beautiful superiors, which Schneider takes as a sign that he had been right all along and it was just a matter of time before things went back to normal.

Except for the fact that every time he thinks about it, he comes dangerously close to the conclusion that maybe he didn’t dislike all those things he imagined Lycus doing as much as he had originally thought, but at least that’s much easier to keep out of his mind.

“Hey, Schneider! Come take a look at my arm, the darn thing’s been acting out since we came back.”

He doesn’t even bother to look up from the table where he’s been working on his drone, instead making a rude gesture in the general direction where Lycus’ voice came from.

“Do your own repairs, asshole.”

“I’m asking ya nicely, don’t make me get up and go over there.”

He’s about to point out that maybe threatening the person you just asked to work on your body isn’t the smartest idea, but the mental image of getting to stick a metal tool inside Lycus brings a smile to his face.

“Fine, but you’re cleaning zhe room as soon as I’m done vith you . And I’m getting zhe bed tonight.” When Lycus doesn’t answer immediately, he shrugs nonchalantly. “Or you can vait for Konstantin and see if he feels like doing it.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

He picks up the tools he had been using and moves over to the other end of the table, right next to Lycus.

“Don’t scratch the paint.”

He’s not exactly sure of how sensitive Lycus’ prosthetics are supposed to be, but hearing the mercenary curse under his breath as he moves pieces around and pulls on cables, trying to find what’s wrong with a system he’s not familiar with and doesn’t have the blueprints to, makes Schneider realize that he must have some amount of sensibility there. It encourages him to work with as little care as possible for Lycus’ comfort and frankly, it’s the most fun he’s had in days.

Unfortunately, as entertaining as it is, it doesn’t do much to keep his mind from wandering off for long, specially when he has to lean closer to Lycus in order to get a good look at some of the smaller parts. It’s so close, he can’t help but think about how Lycus is all muscle and metal, how his scars make his skin feel rough to the touch, how a naked lady with a wolf head is actually pretty cool as far as tattoos go.

It just a matter of minutes until the problem is fixed, given that he’s the best damn engineer on the entire planet and all that, but it does take him a moment to realize that his fingers remain firmly wrapped around Lycus’ arm even after he finishes securing the last plate. He moves them away, but he’s not fast enough to avoid catching Lycus’ attention, and they both end up staring at each other.

“Are ya done?”

“Yeah. It vas just a loose bolt, try punching people less.”

“Ya know, Schneider—“ Lycus stands up, squaring his shoulders as if to make sure that he didn’t miss anything. But then he turns around, and their faces are suddenly so close that they’re practically touching. “Maybe yer not so useless after all.”

He’s so sure that Lycus is going to close the distance that he feels a brief flash of panic at the possibility that this is a dream, too, and now he can’t even tell when the hell he’s awake and when he’s not. Worse yet, he isn’t even sure of which possibility would be better, for him to start having wet dreams again, or for Lycus to be about to kiss him in fucking real life.

Neither happens, though, and Lycus just pats him on the cheek before walking away.

“I’m gonna go take care of the room for ya now.”

For a split second, Schneider wonders if he’s supposed to follow Lycus back to the room. He doesn’t, but it’s the fact that the thought occurred to him that counts.

“Fucking tin freak.”