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The Lion's Outside Your Door, The Wolf's In Your Bed

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It keeps going.

Even after Maeve called it off, after Stillwell had a press conference confirming that, yes, The Seven's power couple were official no longer but, of course, they would remain friends, this thing between her and Homelander didn't end.

He has a pull on people, Maeve knows that. Makes them want to trail around him like a lost, sick puppy dog. When they don't, he gets pissed. Side-eyes you. Makes snide comments. Leaves you out of important tasks and makes you clean up the shit people leave smeared on the streets.

Maeve knows all of this.

Still, she doesn't tell him to leave.

Not when he corners her in the boardroom and makes hints, tips, and tricks about how he can get her on the best cases. The ones that will boost her approval rating and then she can have breaks, vacations, have a chance to see her mom and dad after so long apart.

Not when he comes to her house at three in the morning, stinking of booze (and he would have to drink a whole liquor store to get this plastered, for his powers to be dulled into a stupor of drunkenness), and begging to be let in.

She lets him in.

Guides him to her living room where he slumps, legs akimbo, onto her sofa. "Maeve," he says, voice slurred. "Maeve, please."

It's always the same. Drunk, sober, angry, sad. He always comes to her with the same request, the same begging, and Maeve finds herself powerless to say no.

"What is it, Homelander?" She has to keep playing the game, playing the part he has given her.

"You know," he says. He reaches to his crotch, to the fake bulge there that will become real given time. She knows this. Maeve knows more about Homelander than he thinks she does. Than he has tried to let her know. "I need you."

Homelander gets petulant easy. Sulky. Becomes like a child who lost his mommy and, Maeve supposes, that's the case, isn't it? Unresolved Oedipus issues. Her psychiatrist delved into that once before it hit too close to home and Maeve had to run.

"Of course," she says. She stalks across the room and kneels down between his knees. Looks up at him in a way she knows will seem full of devotion and love and sweetness. "I'm always here for you, John."

She doesn't get to call him that. Not a lot. And it's always a test -- if he is John then she is allowed to be Queen Maeve. Allowed to be the one in charge for the night.

"Mmm," he says, rubbing himself harder. The latex tights leave nothing to the imagination as his cock grows, fills out, strains to be released. "You're always so good to me."

Maeve get him out of his pants, pulling them just low enough for his cock and ass to be released. Once, in the early days, this had been a single piece of fabric that covered Homelander from neck to wrists to legs to ankles. Now, it was a shirt and pants, the separation hidden with that ostentatious silver belt he insisted on incorporating. But it worked for times like this -- for better or for worse.

"I need to see you," he says, still whining. It's a shock to Maeve he doesn't simply point down at his penis and ask her to suck it. Not that she would. There are lines here, an order to things, and it sets both of them at ease to follow those unspoken rules. Like a dance; the first time it was a first prom dance, Maeve with a boy obsessed with Supes who begged and begged and begged until she said yes then proceeded to step on her toes the entire time. Now, it's a championship waltz. Except Maeve is the one who leads.

Maeve always leads when they're here.

She's not in her uniform right now. Not dressed up in the slightest. Sweatpants with stained thighs and an oversized t-shirt that belonged to an ex before Homelander. He doesn't seem to notice how ill fitting it is.

She undresses herself, even though Homelanders big hands reach out and try to help. Takes half a step back and makes him watch, patient, as he strokes himself. No bra and no underwear. Comfort was the name of the game but she knows, she always knows, there's a chance Homelander will show up.

"Wow, Maeve," he says when she's standing there with only her flesh on display. "You been working out?"

There's a snide comment underneath it all. A hint that she didn't work out nearly enough when they were together. He used to grab at her arms or her stomach or her thighs and jiggle the bits of fat there. Cackle out a laugh. Ask if she needs a pay rise in order to afford liposuction because, hey, he's a generous guy and will take a temporary cut if that helps Vought out.

"Yeah," Maeve says. "Recently found the time."

Before he can retort, Maeve is on him. Kissing him silent and pushing him back, back until he's lying flat on her sofa. The smell of sweaty latex and the horrible cologne he uses fills her senses. She tries to breathe through it, push through it, like the missions she was put on where dead bodies piled up by the hundreds and the stench of blood and rot and stink was all you could know.

Silently, she moves up his body until he is invisible. His heartbeat and breath the only sounds in the whole apartment. For the first time she regrets soundproofing the windows and walls; what she wouldn't give for the thrum of traffic or whisper of people in the adjoining apartments.

His mouth knows what it's doing. His hands, too. Clenching onto her arse and drawing her down toward him. She braces herself against the back of the sofa and closes her eyes. Imagines it being someone -- anyone -- other than Homelander for these few sweet minutes of pleasure. His tongue teasing against her opening before finding her clit with long, broad strokes. His fingers tease, tickle, massage her skin. Maeve squeezes her thighs tighter against the sides of his face. Cants her hips in the rhythm she knows she needs and, in the only time he does it, Homelander matches her motion. Seems to hear her breaths and the little noises that escape her throat and works with them. She grinds against his face harder, faster, and comes with a swallowed moan.

They could keep doing this -- she could keep doing it, at least. Get some for herself over and over and over again, but Homelander will grow bored. Tired. Beg her to touch him and she doesn't want to do that right away. She moves off him.

"Get up," Maeve demands.

He does what he's told. Dressed in his boots while Maeve is barefoot he stands a good head taller than her, but she manages to feel larger than life. More in control. He's here because he needs her. Not the other way around.

Not anymore.

"So what's the problem today, John?" she asks, toeing that line he'd so vividly marked in the sand years ago now. The one that said she didn't speak of anything except work and fucking. "Madelyn not fluff you up enough?"

Outwardly, she's calm. Inwardly, her body is on fire. He can tell. Of course he can. X-ray vision extends further than one would think.

Still, his face doesn't change. He continues to placidly look down at her, give a large sigh from deep in his belly that makes his penis do an amusing bounce, and says, "Life, Maeve. Life is the problem."

Does he want follow up commiseration? Probably. Will Maeve give it to him? Not a chance.

"Sit down," she says, because she likes to play this game, no matter how petty. Sit, stand, kneel. Like her early years, spending Sundays in church and following all the right actions. Listening to God call her into this life of saving people.

Nobody ever said anything about the politics that would be involved.

Homelander sits. There's a look on his face, might be a smile or might be a grimace, that Maeve can't read. She hates that. Hates that he manages to have something on her, always, even when he begs and pleads for her to be the one in control.

She takes a condom from the drawer in her side table. Always there, just in case. Just in case Homelander won't let her move or run or get one from the bedroom in time. There is no way she will let him be inside her without that barrier. The thought makes her sick.

"Really, Maeve?" he says. Another part of the script that has been regurgitated over and over again. "I don't even think people like us can get STDs."

"No point taking a risk, is there?" she says with an easy smile as she rips open the packaging and moves to roll it over him. She'd rather her fingers touch latex than skin. His cock bobs toward her, seems to be asking to be sucked and squeezed and pleasured. Soon she will. But only when it also guarantees her own.

Maeve turns around and lowers herself onto him, his cock penetrating her too slow. Too subtle. He's teasing, of course, but not in an attractive way. It's in a way that makes Maeve feel as though she is the one who has to beg and that is never, ever happening. She slaps Homelander's thigh. Hard. The sound reverberating around the room and shocking him enough that he lets her grind all the way down. Ass touching skin. Pussy filled and stretched and aching. Homelander himself doesn't do it for her, but his body can. The shape of it. The way she makes it move inside her.

"Maeve," he says, fingers back on her hips now, but holding her down and hitting all those right places.

She reaches down and rubs her clit, focusing on her pleasure and hers alone. Homelander gets everything. He will be fine. Jerks off to the thoughts of his fans while Maeve has to push all that fear, all that regret, down into the bottom of her gut where it will still lurch up so she has to drink and drink and drink to send it away. This is the other time she can turn off her brain. When she is fucking.

Homelander never lasts long. Maeve doesn't know if it's a lack of stamina or simply he grows bored of even this too quickly. Doesn't matter if it's work or food or relationships or sex. He's waiting for move onto something bigger and brighter the next time he blinks.

His cock spasms inside her once, twice, and Maeve moves her own fingers faster. Comes just as he's finishing up, with a sigh and droop forward of her head, hair spilling over her face and brushing against her breasts.

"Damn, Maeve," he says into the nape of her neck. His breath is sickeningly hot and moist. Like being in a sauna when she wants it least. "Still got it in you."

She steps off him, lets him take the condom, tries not to outwardly grimace as he tosses it to the floor. She wants to leave it there for the housekeeper in the morning but knows she won't; the idea of Homelander lingering is worse than touching the remnants of him for a moment.

"Hey," he says, coming toward her. "Come here."

She doesn't go but he moves to her. Takes her lips, kisses her, then shoves her up against the wall. But not for long. She spins. Reaches out. Takes his neck within her fingers and takes hold. He loves this, she knows, but she also loves it. The way the skin feels under the tips of her fingers and the way he gasps the last drag of his breath out.

She's not stronger than him and she knows it, but like this...maybe, just maybe, she could keep going. Squeezing and squeezing as she feels his tendons and vocal cords straining. The muscles screaming. Homelander's face going red and, already, taking on a hint of blue. Keep going, she tells herself, see what happens. She could. She could--

But Homelander looks her in the eyes. Even with the lack of oxygen being provided to his fucked-up, psychopathic brain, Maeve sees him reading her. Daring her. Try it, Maeve, his blue eyes say, Test your luck.

She lets go. He doesn't so much as take in a deep breath before her lips are on his again. Fighting to get his mouth open and her tongue inside. Tasting all that sin and evil, the blood and rage and death of others than drips from his tongue whenever he speaks. He bites down on her tongue and she yelps -- can't help it -- but then swallows down the sound and gets him back. True blood. Rich and thick against her tongue as it flows from his swollen, broken lip.

They are not superhuman. Not against each other.