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recollect me darling, raise me to your lips

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One would assume having four eyes meant you would see the world much better than others.

No, that isn't entirely true - well, maybe not in the physical sense. He can see the filth and impurity of the world better than anyone else can, he does not need four eyes for that.

They seem to unnerve the Elsen a bit, but everything unnerves the Elsen, it's just in their nature to be perpetually anxious. But the moment he opens his second pair of eyes he sees them flinch, make themselves smaller, hears their breath hitch. It becomes an intimidation tactic, used to his advantage.

But there was one man in this impure hellhole that never flinched away from his four-eyed, glowing red gaze. Zacharie always met it with his own, never faltering, continuing with business as usual.

Everything about Zacharie is curious: his smart mouth, his odd sort of optimism, his undeniable charisma, the way he seems to be able to sweet-talk anyone into anything. Well, he's a merchant, after all, he has to learn the art of persuasion if he wants to get by.

And he treats the Batter more like a friend than someone to be scared of. Actually, Zacharie doesn't seem to fear him whatsoever and he's not sure how to feel about that. Annoyed, maybe. It might be humorous to him if he liked jokes.

After their usual exchange of goods and credits, when he would normally depart to carry on with his mission, he lingers instead. Zacharie notices, he obviously does, but says nothing and continues counting the credits he's accumulated over the past few days, perched on the edge of the counter with one leg folded over the other. It's only when he sees the Batter isn't leaving that he sighs, sets the money aside, and turns to him. "Do you need anything else, or will you continue gawking at my ever-so-alluring masked countenance like some lovesick Romeo?"

"I have a question."

"I may have an answer."

"Are you afraid of me?" The Batter asks without a single moment more of hesitation, tone remaining characteristically flat.

That seems to surprise the merchant, and the Batter can't help how childishly smug he feels at that moment. But he doesn't let it show, refuses to let anything break his usual stony expression. Then Zacharie lets out a breathy laugh.

"Dear Batter, sweet Batter, why would I be afraid of you?"

"Don't you think I'm dangerous?"

"Why are you suddenly so worried about what I think of you?"

"Answer the question," the Batter grits out, tone lethal.

"Fine." Zacharie sighs again, and part of the Batter wishes he could see the expression on his face, but thanks to that damn mask it remains a mystery. "Yes, I think you are dangerous. No, I am not afraid of you. Happy now?"

"Yes." No, not really. He was expecting that response, but it still irritates him all the same. Everyone should fear him, a holy being on a sacred mission that will allow no one to interfere.

Zacharie hums. "What else makes you think I would be afraid of you? Go on, I'm curious."

"My eyes," he admits.

And Zacharie laughs then, a laugh from deep within his chest and the sound is so rich and smooth; it sends a tingle along the length of the Batter's spine that he knows he should ignore. But Zacharie makes him feel many unfamiliar things, and that makes him a little angry, and he wants to act on it somehow. Zacharie isn't a threat, however, and isn't as impure as everyone else in this world. Even if he was, he is still of use. He may even be spared in the end.

( Is that begrudging affection he feels? A warm and sticky feeling in his chest. How inconvenient. How annoying. How stupid. What makes Zacharie so special he would let him remain? )

"Your eyes, your eyes! Oh dios mío, I was expecting something entirely different. Some deep, dark secret that would rattle me to my core." Zacharie huffs out one more laugh, then gives the Batter a pointed look through his mask. "I can look Dedan in his horrendous mug while he shrieks expletives at me because my prices changed. I can handle you having four eyes even if I can only look at one pair at a time, as I am less lucky than you are in the optical department. I think they're quite charming."

"Charming?" The Batter echoes, disbelief leaking into his tone even if he tries to hide it. That isn't a word he would use to describe himself, isn't a word he remembers anyone else ever using for him. Not even her.

"Yes, I find you to be very charming. It is very silly of me, I must say I am even shocked myself."

Then the Batter is moving, and he is entirely aware of his actions, he knows what he is doing but Zacharie seems caught off guard when the Batter is suddenly in his space, leaning over him, still towering over Zacharie in his six-foot-something height even with Zacharie sitting three feet from the ground. Bat discarded to the floor, for now, his hands grip the edges of the counter. This is the first time Zacharie flinches because of him, and he thinks he enjoys it.

"Even now?" He presses, all four eyes flashing dangerously, his lips curled back to reveal sharp fangs.

"Yes, even now." Zacharie exhales shakily. "Do you want me to be scared of you?" And then the merchant's hands are on his face, thumbs brushing over his cheekbones. Zacharie's hands are soft, and the Batter briefly wonders if the rest of him is just as soft. A small reminder that Zacharie is still so very human, or something close to that. A tension grows deep within his gut, a white-hot ember flickering, growing and growing, and he should be disgusted with himself but he isn’t, he isn’t, he isn’t.

"Yes," the Batter breathes. A thumb touches the moue of his bottom lip. It takes a lot of self-control not to brush his tongue out against the pad.

His own hands move, settling first on Zacharie’s thighs, then traveling up to his hips, his waist, giving a light squeeze that makes Zacharie wiggle a bit. He is soft beneath that sweater. Yes, soft… just like his hands.

“Maybe you should give me more of a reason to be afraid,” Zacharie says, a teasing lilt to his voice, but is that a tremble the Batter hears? It fills him with a sense of satisfaction. His hands move again, cold fingers brushing over Zacharie’s neck, to his slightly scruffy jaw, then to the edges of his mask. Immediately, Zacharie’s hands shoot back to grab the Batter’s wrists, his grip iron - maybe there would be bruises left by the merchant’s fingers in his stark white skin.

But that doesn’t deter him. When the Batter carefully nudges the mask a few centimeters upward, Zacharie growls in a warning and the sound only stokes the fire in his belly. But Zacharie does not fight him, just keeps his tight grip, hands beginning to tremble as the Batter moves his mask.

When only Zacharie’s jaw, chin, and lips are fully exposed to the air, that’s when the Batter stops. His thumb presses to the corner of his lips. Zacharie’s grip on his wrists loosens, before finally relenting.

The Batter leans in, wasting no more time, his fangs grazing Zacharie’s bottom lip before biting down hard enough that he thinks he tastes blood. Zacharie makes no sound of protest, doesn’t even push him away when his hands move from his wrists to his shoulders. Fingertips dig into the firm muscle of the curve where the Batter’s shoulders meet his neck, thumb rubbing in slow circles.

Releasing Zacharie’s lip from his teeth, he ducks his head down, tilting it enough that when he mouths hotly against Zacharie’s neck his cap doesn’t fall off. Zacharie hums appreciatively at the sensation, tilting his head back to allow more access to the soft, vulnerable flesh of his throat. The Batter’s teeth lightly press into his jugular, testing, waiting for Zacharie’s response. The merchant says nothing, does nothing, but the Batter can feel his racing pulse against his lips.

“I could rip your throat out right here,” he states, casual as can be while dragging his tongue over warm, soft brown skin.

“I know,” Zacharie breathes out.

“It would be easy. Killing you.”

“Yes, you’re right.”

There is a hand on the nape of his neck now, fingers rubbing the skin. While the Batter nibbles at the exposed skin, not hard enough to leave marks but enough that Zacharie will still feel it later, Zacharie’s thighs have parted enough to accommodate the Batter between them. It’s a little filthy, but the Batter moves into that space to fill the seemingly yawning gap between them. Nibbles turn to kisses, pressed hard and hot and open-mouthed. And he wants, he wants, he wants; he doesn’t remember the last time he wanted someone like this, if there ever was a ‘last time’.

“But you won’t,” Zacharie suddenly continues, breathless. “Because you still require my services.”

“Do you want to bet on that?” The Batter hisses.

Zacharie ignores the challenge. “Now, my friend, where do we go from here? I am a very patient man, you see, but my patience is waning and my pants are getting far too tight. Will you just continue teasing me like this, then leave us both high and dry? If you want something, you--”

The Batter shuts up his incessant rambling by swallowing up his words before any more can escape.

When they kiss it's like electricity. Zacharie sighs into his mouth when his hands drop back to his waist and squeeze. Arms wind around the Batter's neck, fingers toying with the ink-black hair cut short at his nape. The Batter is very much aware of Zacharie’s ankles hooking behind him, pressing against the back of his thighs to urge the Batter even closer - if that was possible.

The merchant’s mouth is hot and wet and accepts the Batter’s invading tongue greedily, greeting it with his own, and the sensation sends sparks between his legs. The only sound for a few minutes is the slick, wet sounds of their kissing, Zacharie’s pleased sighs, and the Batter’s heavy breathing. When Zacharie’s nails lightly brush against the Batter’s skin he surprises even himself by shivering, and when Zacharie suddenly rolls his hips to grind against the Batter’s a deep groan rips itself from his throat right into Zacharie’s mouth.

“Take your mask off,” the Batter says against his lips, voice a low growl, not requesting - demanding.

“My mask? Oh, well, you see--” Zacharie gasps when the Batter rocks his hips. “Haha, wouldn’t seeing my face ruin my air of mystery? Besides, I don’t believe I am very nice to look at. Maybe I am a little shy.”

“I don’t care. Take it off. I want to see your face when I…” he trails off, but his unspoken words hang heavy in the air between them. Zacharie obviously understands.

“Well, I can’t see you with my mask like this, so I suppose…” And his hands move away from the Batter just for a moment, long enough to pull his mask away in one fluid motion. The Batter doesn’t waste time standing there to take in every detail of Zacharie’s true face even though Zacharie is evidently waiting for some sort of response.

All he does is kiss him again, grab his thighs to lift them higher, and grind against the curve of his ass. And despite the rushed, heated, almost desperate meeting of their mouths they take their time with their foreplay. First with Zacharie on his knees, the Batter with his pants hanging below his hips and his cock heavy on the merchant’s tongue, hitting the back of his throat with each bob of his head and roll of the Batter’s hips. Drool runs down Zacharie’s chin, tears prick at the corners of his eyes, his cheeks darkened from a blush.

When the Batter pulls him back by the hair, he takes a moment to appreciate how debauched the merchant looks with his heavy eyelids and panting mouth, lips a little swollen. It’s very dirty, the Batter thinks distantly he should feel disgusted and foolish for indulging in such human desires. But he’s snapped out of his thoughts when Zacharie speaks.

“I-- haah -- may have some sort of lubricant in my bag of tricks. Or else this will be very painful for both of us.”

“Find it, then. And hurry up.”

Zacharie rises shakily to his feet, clambers over the counter to the other side where his heavy bag lays on the floor, and proceeds to dig through it. Just a minute feels like eons, and if his cock isn’t buried inside of Zacharie within the next few minutes he really might go completely insane.

A small bottle of lubricant is thrown at his face.

“Convenient that you have this,” the Batter comments when Zacharie sits back on top of the counter. He pops the cap open.

“It gets very lonely sometimes.” Zacharie wiggles his jeans and underwear down his thighs, kicking them off with his boots.

The Batter sits at the edge of the counter, one leg folded under the other. Without much preamble, he fucks Zacharie with lube-slick fingers, swallowing up his moans with heated kisses. Zacharie’s thighs tremble, his neglected cock lies heavy against his thigh, and he’s jerking his hips to meet each push of the Batter’s long fingers.

When the kiss is broken, Zacharie is babbling something in Spanish, rapid-fire and breathless, voice shaking.

“What are you saying?” He asks, fingers slipping out so he can stroke lubricant along his cock.

“It does not translate well,” Zacharie manages to laugh. “Now, don’t keep me waiting.”

“You’re not the one giving orders here,” the Batter bites out but moves from where he sits on the counter to stand between Zacharie’s thighs again, grabbing them to pull his ass a little closer to meet his hips. “Do you understand?”

“Loud and clear, my friend.” Hands fist into the front of the Batter’s shirt, his head dropping to rest against the Batter’s collarbone, watching intently as the Batter guides his cock to Zacharie’s hole. Getting the head in is easy enough, the lubricant makes it pop in without much effort, but he still has to go slow getting the rest inside. It’s tight, so tight, and so hot, and he fears he might come already before they truly begin.

Zacharie’s grip on his shirt tightens and he lets out a low sound. The Batter wonders if he’s in pain, but doesn’t ask. He just continues pushing in, inch by inch, and once he’s a little over halfway he gives an experimental grind that makes Zacharie jolt, makes him spasm around his cock.

The Batter does it again, and Zacharie whimpers. The way he squeezes his thighs around the Batter’s hips and urges him closer tells him that the merchant is very much enjoying this. Good. It wouldn’t be very enjoyable if he wasn’t.

He sets a steady pace, hands running along Zacharie’s thighs, massaging the thick flesh, his nose pressed into the crown of dark hair. And he wants to see what kind of expression Zacharie is making now, that’s why he wanted the mask off in the first place-- so he could see how Zacharie looked while he fucked him.

“Look at me,” he demands, softly at first. When Zacharie doesn’t comply, the Batter grabs his hair with one hand and forces his head back. Zacharie gasps in surprise, his dark eyes wide, and the Batter wonders if Zacharie feels too vulnerable like this, the face he usually keeps hidden from the world now exposed to someone like him. “Look at me.”

All four eyes focus on Zacharie’s face, their glow intensified. Zacharie can only meet one pair, but that’s enough for him. The Batter’s hand moves around to Zacharie’s throat, palm pressing hard against his windpipe, fingers curling tightly around his neck. It’s not hard enough that Zacharie is completely unable to breathe, but enough to make him a little dizzy and a little more desperate.

Their foreheads touch ( with the Batter’s cap being knocked off in the process ), lips a mere few inches from each other, their heavy breaths mingling. Then the Batter pushes all the way in, hips against Zacharie’s ass, and Zacharie shudders and weakly cries out.

“Yes, like that,” Zacharie pants as the Batter grinds into him. “You-- ah-- y-you don’t have to hold back, you know.”

“I know.” And with that, the Batter draws out, then slams back in, his pace ruthless and rough, the head of his cock hitting the soft gland inside of Zacharie nearly every time and making the merchant practically sob in delight. Their gazes never tear away from one another, and it’s a lot more intimate than the Batter thought it would be. But there is still a sense of power in it, pinning Zacharie down with his four-eyed stare.

“I-if we do this again--” And the thought of that possibility makes the Batter’s hunger grow. “I have-- a very nice little room w-with a-- hah -- bed. Might be a tight f-fit, but much more c-c-c-c--” He can’t get the last word out, cut off by a broken moan when the Batter gives his thigh a firm smack.

“If we do this again,” the Batter murmurs. “If.”

“Right. If.”

They will do this again, he’s already decided somewhere in the back of his mind. And the next time he plans to take Zacharie apart bit by bit, make him beg, make him cry from the pleasure. He envisions for a moment Zacharie in his lap, stark naked, riding his cock, a bed creaking beneath them. His hand drops from Zacharie’s throat, joining the other at his thighs to push them further back. The Batter props his knee up on the edge of the counter, fucking him at a different angle.

Zacharie slams one hand down on the surface of the counter, letting out a slew of curse words, finally screwing his eyes shut again. The Batter lets him, focusing now on thoroughly marking his neck.

“Admittedly,” Zacharie speaks again, and the Batter really wishes he wouldn’t. “I-- I’ve thought about this many times.”

“What?”

“Getting fucked by you, of course.” He chokes on another moan when the Batter snaps his hips forward especially hard. “I told you I f-found you charming. And maybe a little handsome.”

“Did you touch yourself thinking of me?” The Batter’s movements slow. “Tell me.”

“Yes,” Zacharie sighs. “But this is much better than my fantasies.”

The Batter bares his teeth in a snarl, that alone enough to make him snap. He resumes his brutal pace, hips slapping against Zacharie’s ass. When he grips Zacharie’s leaking cock, stroking it in time with his thrusts, Zacharie grabs his face and pulls him in for a desperate kiss, their teeth clicking, tongues meeting, gasping into each other’s mouths as they grow closer, and closer, and--

“My dear Batter,” Zacharie croaks. “I think I may come.”

It’s the only warning he gets because a few moments later he’s coming into the Batter’s fist and across the front of his sweater. It’s with a weak cry, his hips jerking, attempting to ride out his high. He’s shaking, each thrust making him jolt, his hands seeming to simultaneously try to both push the Batter away and also pull him closer.

“Come inside of me,” Zacharie practically pleads.

That was the plan. Coming inside Zacharie, like he was marking something that was his, like he’s trying to make sure Zacharie remembers this and how it felt for a long time. The Batter doesn’t respond, just continues moving and kissing and biting, until his thrusts grow sloppier, sloppier, and he comes with a groan. “Shit.

He grinds for another few moments, making sure to milk himself out completely inside of the merchant, and then he pulls out. The air feels too cold now compared to how hot Zacharie was, and Zacharie shivers at the feeling of suddenly being so empty.

Wordlessly, the Batter tucks himself back into his underwear and pulls his pants back up while Zacharie slumps back on the counter, legs still spread, an arm draped over his face. The Batter can see his come trickling out of Zacharie and if he looks any longer he thinks he might get hard again.

On the floor, he sees Zacharie’s mask. He’s kind enough to grab it and place it next to the merchant. He won’t comment on what he saw, on the details of Zacharie’s face, and until next time they can both forget he ever saw it at all. Zacharie sits up, his movements sluggish, and he fumbles with his mask before putting it back on.

“You will have to try harder to scare me,” Zacharie says, voice hoarse. “I’m sure you will come up with something by the time we meet again.”

“I will,” the Batter responds, fitting his cap back over his head. He grabs his bat off of the floor. “Goodbye, Zacharie.”

Using his name always felt too personal. Whatever. After what they just did, things have definitely gotten a little more personal.

“Farewell, Batter. Until next time.”

And he leaves with the feeling of Zacharie’s kiss still lingering on his lips.

Who’s really the dangerous one here?