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Only You Can Cool My Desire

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The bunker brings to mind century-old fallout shelters. It’s the fourth old safehouse they’ve visited in the span of a week, and although it’s cramped, it’s still the most hospitable so far. Even so, it’s as cold inside as out even once the door blocks the frigid night wind. Jesse’s still wary about joining up with the old crew, but Winston’s got him surveying old assets, seeing what’s still standing and what’s got to get buried all over again. It can get tedious, but if the purpose is keeping his old friends safe, he can manage it.

Besides, the company’s been better than expected. Hanzo’s easy on the eyes and would be pretty damn intimidating if Jesse were the sort to get intimidated by anybody. He can be reserved, but Jesse prefers too much quiet over too much talk these days, and Hanzo is capable of cracking a joke every now and then.

Point is, Jesse likes having him here. Better than a lot of the alternatives anyway. He might like Hanzo’s company more than he should, really, but he’d also dare anybody with an ounce of interest in men not to think about it at the very least.

Right now Hanzo’s creeping through the bunker, and if he didn’t have his flashlight on he’d probably fade right into the darkness without a sound. There are steps they have to work through: generator, lights, heat, food, sleep. Find some way to wash up if they’re lucky. Deal with that on their next stop if they’re not.

Jesse finds the generator in a corner, gets it set up and running even with his hand shaking from the cold. When the lights come on, they’re almost blinding. The years since this space was last used show in the way one of the cold, blue-white tubes flickers overhead, in the soft sigh of the air filtration system kicking up dust.

The lights flicker again, this time in a pattern, some off, some on, moving from one end to the other, and Jesse sighs.

“Workin’ on that mood lighting?”

Hanzo smirks back at him from where he stands at the controls. Like a cat who’s about to knock over your stuff, he keeps eye contact as he very slowly and deliberately reaches for the switch again, then turns off the lights over Jesse’s head. “We should not strain the generator more than necessary.”

Jesse snorts, but he doesn’t disagree. The point becomes moot a few minutes later when they find a small lamp. It miraculously still works, and Hanzo turns the overhead lights off entirely. The air wheezing out of the vents is no warmer than the rest, but they find a small space heater that should work well enough.

Jesse sees the core light up, and he sighs in relief. There are only three settings: off, low, and high, which Jesse presumes from past experience translates to off, tepid, and the fires of hell. He turns it on high.

That’s most of their needs taken care of. Dinner’s quick, cold rations, but the only real seating options are folding chairs with the thinnest possible padding over the metal. They unfold a couple cots and eat sitting on those instead. Clearly focused on something that’s not in the room with them, Hanzo stares off to the side, and Jesse tries not to look too much like he’s staring at Hanzo.

Over the past few days, in his moments of boredom, Jesse’s found himself zeroing in on individual features to study in minute detail. The first time it was the nose, then the cheekbones, then the eyebrows, which were all sort of obvious choices. This time it’s the stubble blurring the usually-sharp line of his beard, the singular piece of physical evidence that they haven’t stopped anywhere especially civilized in almost a week.

“I don’t think I wish to linger in the morning,” Hanzo says suddenly. Small mercy, he turns his head slowly enough that Jesse’s pretty sure Hanzo didn’t catch him staring. “If we leave early enough, we won’t have to eat more of these for breakfast.”

“What, not a fan of cold ravioli?”

Hanzo’s mouth twists into a dry smile. “If you’re so attached, we can take some with us. You may even have my share.” Jesse snorts and agrees to get the inventory check out of the way tonight instead of putting it off until morning.

He brushes his teeth over the utility sink, his water bottle subbing in for the lack of anything coming out of the pipes. The bunker’s small, but the little heater isn’t really adequate for the job even on the high setting. Jesse prays it gets better before bedtime, then they take their inventory.

They split the work in half, and Jesse carefully catalogs everything he finds on his tablet. It’s boring work, and Hanzo doesn’t seem to be in the mood for much chatter, so Jesse resigns himself to working in silence and stealing glances at the back of Hanzo’s neck. The only break in the tedium comes when Jesse opens the dusty first aid kit and, alongside the more obvious basics, he finds condoms. He laughs and waves one for Hanzo to see.

“How long ago was this safehouse stocked?” Hanzo asks.

Jesse double checks his tablet. “Uh, nine years?”

“That’s terrifying. Please throw those away.” Hanzo’s tone is flat and he’s shaking his head, but he looks amused enough before he turns away that Jesse considers it a win anyway.

It’s been a long day on the move though, and even unsatisfying food in his belly’s still food. His energy’s flagging fast, and he knows Hanzo’s is too. They agree without many words that it’s time for bed. It’s still freezing, so while Hanzo lays out two pillows and every blanket he found, Jesse moves the space heater closer to the cots. It’s barely putting out any heat, but it’s better than nothing.

Jesse falls into bed with his clothes still on. It’s so cold that it feels like the thin blankets are trapping the frigid air around him instead of working with his body heat. He lies there, eyes shut determinedly, and he tries to will himself to sleep anyway. The temperature does make him drowsy, but it also makes him more aware of the tip of his nose than he has ever been, because it’s so damn cold it hurts.

He doesn’t know how long he tries before he opens his eyes again. He looks across the short distance to Hanzo’s cot; he’s doing a passable impression of a pile of laundry, save for the hair poking out at the top. With no one to witness his indulgence, Jesse doesn’t try to fight the thought that it’s shockingly cute. He thinks he should check on the heater again, but getting out from under the blankets for anything short of an emergency also sounds awful.

Jesse’s been more miserable than this before. Blackwatch sure as shit wasn’t all swanky hotels, and he’s had to stay on the move the past few years. He’s spent a fair amount of time sleeping in much worse conditions.

At least the bunker’s reasonably clean and dry. At least he’s got blankets, and he’s got company, and he’s not on the floor.

He realizes he’s still staring at Hanzo when he notices that the tuft of hair seems to vibrate. It’s not until a chill sends a shiver through his body before he recognizes it for what it is: Hanzo’s cold as hell too.

His instinct for self-preservation offers two opposing solutions. Personal comfort and greater potential for a good night’s sleep suggest the obvious: invite Hanzo to share. But a different sort of survival dictates that he keep Hanzo at arm’s length. No telling what this will do to the attraction; he’s managed it well enough so far, but he’s also never invited Hanzo into his bed.

It might expose him to some inevitable emotional injury, but after he watches another tremor shake Hanzo’s blanket mountain, Jesse chooses physical comfort for the both of them over preserving his heart. He’ll handle his feelings better on a good night’s sleep anyway, and he’ll get to keep all his extremities.

He says Hanzo’s name very quietly, and unsure which answer he really wants, he asks, “You awake?”

There’s a silence that suggests that Hanzo’s either asleep or trying to ignore him, but finally he grunts. “Unfortunately.”

Now that the opportunity’s presented itself, Jesse hesitates. It’s not a weird thing to ask, but maybe Hanzo will think it is. Maybe Hanzo would prefer to suffer the cold than snuggle up to Jesse, or maybe to anybody; he’s self-flagellating enough that maybe he thinks it’s another trial to endure.

Jesse shoves down the nerves and the speculation. “Wanna come over here?”

Again, Hanzo leaves him in silence. Then the mound shifts, and with a wiggle and a flop, Hanzo rolls over to face him. “What?” It’s almost a bark, but his hair is sticking out at odd angles, and one blanket’s all the way up over his nose, and Jesse just witnessed the squirming it took him to turn over and remain under the covers. There’s nothing remotely intimidating about him.

Jesse doesn’t realize he’s grinning until Hanzo’s scowl deepens. He enunciates very carefully this time. “Do you want to come over here?”

The scowl breaks when Hanzo snorts. “I heard you. What?”

“You, me, double the blankets, double the body heat.”

Hanzo’s impressive eyebrows dip, rise, then dip again while he processes. Jesse tries to guess what he’s thinking; without the rest of the face, his eyes are a lot harder to read. “That bed is not very big.”

“No kidding. So? What’s it gonna be?”

This time while he’s mulling it over, Hanzo’s overcome by another shiver. He sighs. “Yes.”

Hanzo moves as slow as he answered, struggling to gather the blankets tightly around himself before he works his way to sitting. He snatches at fabric to keep himself cocooned even as he squirms to his feet. The shuffle he performs on his way to the bed is the most graceless Jesse’s ever seen him.

It’s so ridiculous that Jesse feels alarms going off in his head, trying to tell him that he picked the wrong mode of self-preservation, but he’s too busy being charmed to pay much attention to them. He scoots as far as the bed will allow, until he’s brushed up against the concrete wall, and Hanzo manages to sink to the edge of the bed without toppling. After worming his way under Jesse’s blankets, Hanzo sets about the awkward task of unwrapping himself.

It’s a struggle that seems to involve more elbows than Hanzo should actually have. His hair gets in Jesse’s mouth more than once, and there’s a moment where he teeters precariously on the edge of the bed until Jesse grabs him.

But eventually he quits moving, and he becomes a tense line pressed all down Jesse’s side, his arms curled up so that his fists are shoved awkwardly into Jesse’s ribs. He very clearly has no idea where to put his head. Jesse does his best to give him as much room as possible, but there are only so many options.

Face to face, Hanzo’d have a little more room, but that feels terrifyingly intimate. Spooning shares the same problem.

So Jesse does his best to press his shoulder hard into the wall, but he’s otherwise on his back and determined to stay that way. There’s no way Hanzo’s comfortable, and it’s all so absurd that Jesse finally laughs. They’re already in the same bed with no room not to cuddle; being shy about it now is only going to make them both miserable.

“You’re already here. Might as well relax. Wouldn’t have asked if I was afraid of gettin’ a little personal.”

It’s more for himself than for Hanzo, and it doesn’t have immediate effects, but slowly and minutely Hanzo’s body loses some of its rigidity. He accepts Jesse’s arm around him and settles his head carefully onto Jesse’s shoulder.

Jesse’s arm is stiff around him, his hand splayed flat and awkward over Hanzo’s arm. It’s hard to miss exactly how muscular Hanzo is, but there’s a difference between simply seeing and actually having one hard bicep under his hand. Jesse does not tighten his fingers, and he inhales as steadily as he can. As Hanzo continues to unwind, one hand creeps tentatively across Jesse’s stomach and settles on the other set of ribs.

Jesse takes a few slow, deep breaths, and he hopes Hanzo can’t feel how hard his heart pounds in response.

With so many blankets and two bodies, it becomes warm enough to be bearable, even if Jesse’s nose is still cold. Hanzo settles bit by bit until he is finally a heavy but not unpleasant weight against Jesse’s side. Jesse shifts and lets his hand relax, and if he squeezes his arm to further secure Hanzo against him, he can cite the near fall earlier.

 


 

When Jesse wakes, he knows instinctively that he wasn’t asleep for long, but it was at least long enough that the arm around Hanzo has gone numb. There’s a moment where he feels like he’s suffocating before he realizes the heavy pressure on his chest is Hanzo, who has practically climbed on top of Jesse in his sleep, one of his legs flung across Jesse’s. He’s migrated from a reluctant head on Jesse’s shoulder to tucking it against Jesse’s neck, nose brushed up against the spot where Jesse’s jaw ends and his ear begins.

It’s a sensitive spot. Hanzo shifts just so and his breath puffs across the skin. Jesse resolutely does not whimper and does his best to think about anything but the hot pressure sitting low in his belly.

It’s almost uncomfortably warm now, and it’s hard to relax again. He tries to crane his neck away from Hanzo’s face at the very least, only for Hanzo to follow; even Jesse’s not sure if Hanzo’s snuggling closer in his sleep or if Jesse’s movements jostled him. In either case, it’s startling, and he can’t stop the way his body seizes in response.

Hanzo’s body moves in a rolling wave, each muscle tensing and relaxing in turn, before he jolts fully awake. The sharp jerk at least gets his face out of Jesse’s neck, but their legs are still tangled together and there’s nowhere really for him to go.

Jesse glances at him now that he can, and Hanzo’s eyes are wide and seem weirdly panicked. There’s a moment where it seems neither of them is going to address it. Then Hanzo says, “I am sorry.”

“For what?”

Hanzo looks away, inhaling sharply. When he speaks again, it’s slower, maybe hesitant, and it doesn’t explain a damn thing. “It seems warm enough now. I can go back—”

“You don’t have to.” Jesse’s throat’s so tight he’s not sure how the words came out at all.

Dark eyes cut right back to him, and he wonders what Hanzo sees. It’s strange and tense, their breaths and the quiet hum of the generator the only sounds. Hanzo stares, unmoving, and it feels like there are whole minutes between each beat of Jesse’s heart.

Then the fingers over Jesse’s ribs curl. It’s subtle, could even be an accident if it weren’t for Hanzo watching him. The touch drags Jesse’s clothing against his skin, and he sucks in a breath he knows Hanzo can hear.

Hanzo gets his other arm under him and pushes up onto his elbow, more fully over Jesse than at his side now. It finally takes the pressure off Jesse’s shoulder, sends cold needles all the way to his fingertips, but he feels even that discomfort only distantly. He’s too focused on the way Hanzo’s staring, face much closer to his now and the corner of his mouth twitching into a fascinated smile. “Do you want me to stay?” Hanzo asks.

As if the answer isn’t all over Jesse’s face. Still he hesitates too long, breaths coming raggedly. “Do whatever you want.”

Hanzo’s fingers tighten again. “That is not an answer.”

Jesse feels caught, a nauseated curl in stomach right alongside the flutter, and he’s unable to move or speak for a moment. He reflexively licks his lips, and Hanzo’s eyes track the movement. Whatever nerves Jesse’s feeling, the possibility that he’s wrong appears to diminish by the second.

Maybe he should be more guarded, but he also knows better than to say no to a golden opportunity. He sucks his bottom lip in and releases it, just to confirm Hanzo looks again. He does.

“I’ll take whatever you’re offerin’, sweetheart.” The smile he gives is more confident than he feels.

Hanzo’s eyes widen like somehow, against all reason, he’s still surprised, and for a heartstopping second Jesse thinks he read the situation totally wrong. His mouth opens and closes like he’s going to say something and thinks better of it, and for every second that passes, Jesse’s that much closer to cardiac arrest.

Then Hanzo appears to make up his mind, and he’s too close for Jesse to focus on his face at all, and then their lips are touching and Jesse gives up on trying to think about anything else.

It’s nothing like he imagined it would be. At first the angle’s off, pleasant but a little awkward, then Hanzo huffs in a way that might be a laugh and tries again. This time their mouths fit together just right.

Hanzo’s lips are almost ridiculously soft, clinging gently to Jesse’s with every careful press. They part incrementally each time, until the tip of his tongue teases Jesse’s lip, almost ticklish. Hanzo sinks down, more and more of his weight on Jesse; it’s probably for the best, because otherwise there’d be nothing preventing his heart from flying up out of his chest.

It takes too long for Jesse to realize he can — though he thinks he ought to be forgiven if his mind’s not the sharpest right now — but eventually he rests his still-tingling hand on Hanzo’s neck, sweeping his thumb along Hanzo’s jaw, and he splays the other hand wide across his back to pull him closer. It’s slow and soft and sweet, words he’s never associated with Hanzo before, and he’s still not sure how they got here but he’s not backing away from it now. It could be minutes or hours, but either way it’s the longest Jesse’s just kissed someone in years.

He’s never completely shaken his fear of heights, and there’s a nauseated swoop in his stomach that’s a lot like looking over the edge of a cliff. Fear that one wrong move will end him.

Then Hanzo’s fingers crawl under the hem of his many layers to touch skin, his tongue sweeps into Jesse’s mouth, his hips roll down, and Jesse’s too far in to care. It was slow before, but suddenly it’s not. Instead it escalates rapidly into a fervent mess of lips and tongues and teeth, of fingertips on jaws and necks and hair, of tangled legs and writhing bodies.

Between so many clothes and Hanzo’s weight and the heat they’re generating, Jesse feels like he’s suffocating, but if he’s gonna die this might be the way to go. It takes his brain far too long to catch up: he’s not hot just from this. He’s hot because the heater’s finally doing its job, and he’s wearing way too many layers for a climate controlled environment.

Whatever god’s watching out for him didn’t stop at putting Hanzo in his bed.

He turns his face sharply to the side so he can say something, but Hanzo seems to interpret it as an opportunity. Jesse’s rendered utterly useless when Hanzo finds that spot he was tormenting in his sleep. Awake and aware of Jesse’s reaction, he makes it so much worse, lips dragging over it and down his neck, Hanzo’s thumb resting against Jesse’s pulse. This time the whimper is harder to bite back.

He doesn’t ever really collect himself, but Hanzo takes well to Jesse’s hands pushing insistently at his clothing. Hanzo rears back and drags Jesse with him by the collar of his coat. What blankets remained tumble to the floor.

Undressing is no less absurd than Hanzo’s blanket cocoon was. Jesse’s got four layers to get through, and Hanzo lets out a frustrated laugh and pushes him back down before Jesse can start on the pants or get a nice long look at him.

The kiss is more intense this time, messy and insistent, and Jesse likes to think it’s ’cause Hanzo missed kissing him that much. It could be that Jesse’s naked from the waist up though, because Hanzo’s hands are as demanding as his mouth, restlessly dragging over Jesse’s skin, wherever he can reach. The enthusiasm would take Jesse by surprise if he weren’t so busy doing more or less the same.

Hanzo’s back feels as powerful as it looks, and more so when the muscles ripple so Hanzo can grind his hips down. It sends a sharp stab of heat straight to Jesse’s cock and his hips twitch all on their own. Then he slides his hands lower and slips a thigh between Hanzo’s, twists his fingers through Hanzo’s belt loops, and rocks up to meet him with a lot more intent.

Fingers tangle in Jesse’s hair and jerk his head back, Hanzo’s mouth tearing from his to go for the throat again. It’s ridiculous how fast that gets Jesse gasping, how it makes his fingers go useless for a moment, before they slide down to get a solid grip on Hanzo’s ass. Hanzo tips off balance, and his lips detach from Jesse’s neck with a laugh.

As he’s righting himself, Jesse gets a good look at his face: cheeks flushed, dark eyes glittering, his lips red and wet. It might be the best he’s ever looked, and Jesse wonders if he’ll get to see it again.

It’s not what he asks though. “This how you want this to go, or…?”

Hanzo looks skeptical. “Well, I am not digging an expired condom out of the garbage.”

“That’s not—” Jesse laughs, then sees an opening. “Yeah, maybe save that adventure for next time.”

And that might be a stupid move, because if the answer’s that this is a one-off deal, he’s not sure how he’s even gonna finish this, much less the rest of the mission. Hanzo’s hand in his hair moves, pushes a few strands out of Jesse’s face instead. “Our next stop is in a large city. I’m sure we can find the right supplies by then.”

Something loosens in Jesse’s chest, lightens and unfurls, like the anxiety was embedded so deep there were pieces of it he couldn’t perceive until it vanished. It’s not all the answer he wants, but it’s enough of one for now. He surges up to catch Hanzo’s mouth with his again.

The wave of want rolls through him, flooding the space evacuated by his earlier nerves. Hanzo shudders and gasps into his mouth when Jesse palms him through his jeans, does it again when Jesse gets them undone enough to pull Hanzo’s cock free. It’s blood-hot and thick in his hand, short circuits Jesse’s brain with too many ideas about what “next time” might entail.

Hanzo’s fingers stutter then go slack over Jesse’s hip as he rocks helplessly forward into Jesse’s hand. He’s not focused on kissing at all now, forehead bumping against Jesse’s before he moves, shoves his face into the crook between Jesse’s neck and shoulder instead, body hunched and tense. When he comes it’s with a groan that he muffles against Jesse’s skin.

He hovers there for a moment, trembling ever so slightly while Jesse strokes his back soothingly. Then he fumbles his way through getting Jesse’s jeans undone, fingers becoming more certain as he recovers. They’re calloused and deft and they make Jesse’s toes actually curl. His hips jerk roughly but they’ve got nowhere to go, movement stunted by his own pants and Hanzo’s weight.

Then fingers tighten in his hair again and Hanzo’s teeth scrape over his skin and Jesse’s done, just like that, comes so fast it’s almost a shock.

Hanzo kisses him drowsily while his heartbeat slows down again, but it’s obvious he’s trying not to drop his weight back onto Jesse, which is fair, really. They don’t both need to be covered in the aftermath.

It takes time, but they remember the first aid kit eventually, and Hanzo helps clean them both up with the pack of facial tissues someone left. Jesse hisses in a breath when Hanzo follows it up with a cold-as-hell antiseptic wipe, but honestly he’s feeling too lazy to get mad about it, and he’d rather not have dried jizz in his body hair later.

Warm and sated, and maybe looking forward to tomorrow a lot more than he was a few hours ago, Jesse strips down to only his underwear, takes in a good eyeful of Hanzo doing the same, then settles in to sleep with Hanzo in his arms.