“Now, Charon, if I’m being completely honest and open, which, as you know, I am at all times, you are under no obligation of any sort to try and engage in anything that you have no want to engage in, especially in specific areas you are lacking, just because I’m getting a little fluste-” A hand over his mouth is as effective as any manner to put a stop to Herme’s chirping, Charon has found.
Charon had never thought much of his physical form. He was made for a purpose, and that purpose he did with an ease and efficiency that was to be envied. To think of doing anything outside of the immediate bounds of his work with this body was unthinkable; laughable.
Of course, starting a relationship with the Olympian messenger would inevitable test that. Charon just didn't expect it so quickly.
The truth of the matter is thus: sexual relations, matters of physicality, intimacy beyond that of the most simple terms, is a foreign concept to him. There isn’t much need for it when you’re not near anything really capable of it.
Hermes knew getting into all of this, of course. This conversation has come up before, as many many others have, ages and ages ago. The god’s mouth moved too fast for his better mind to stop him before he asked, on a quiet spring morning, if Charon was...modeled after the mortals as Hermes was, so to speak.
Hermes had immediately gone pale the second the words left his mouth.
“That was a bit forward of me, apologies, don’t know what I was thinking, probably nothing. D-don’t answer that if you do not feel inclined.” Charon didn’t really mind the question. Honestly, at the time, he never fussed over it.
The answer is no, he wasn’t. While in body and form, his familiarity to mankind was essential, the finer details were unnecessary to his mother when she created him. At what point would a Stygian ferryman ever have need for such things as crass as genitalia when all he met were long dead or his own kin?
And, until very recently, Nyx had been correct. Charon never faulted her for it either, never wished anything of him to be different. He is and always has been, quite happy with the way he is.
Hermes has seemed to care not, bowling over Charon's concern with his usual smug confidence and quick words. He assured the boatman such a difference between them, that the absence of any genitals on Charon meant nothing to him, and that the particular minutiae of their relationship was enough for him.
“I have plenty of others to engage in this sort of thing with and I’m very happy, more than happy with how things are between us without it so fret not, my dearest associate!” He had said with a kiss and a reassuring smile.
Charon didn’t mind that Hermes had other partners, so long as he always returned to the ferryman, especially if they offered something he simply could not. And he did always return, happy and brimming with his easy affection and his earnest endearments. The love he gave Charon has never waned, so the notion that others could take that from him is a non-issue.
To be honest, he wasn’t even sure, given his general visage and stiffness, if Hermes found Charon interesting sexually. Charon had no way of really telling, given his general lack of knowledge in the fine art of knowing when someone was into another in such a way. He understands fear, understands trust, understands love and happiness and anger but lust…
Well, it’s not his area of expertise.
Of course, as time moved onward and the moments spent together built in number and as the initial physical shyness between them faded into familiarity, it was inevitable he would have to come to understand it.
Charon finds himself quite eager to touch now that it is permitted, and he has such a fascination with parts of Hermes he’d never dared to venture to before. His hair, his ears, the length of his throat, the plains of his chest, the column of his thighs; it is enjoyable to indulge when the time allows. While he never strays outside the bounds of decency, it is simple to forget and lose himself to the sensation of warm skin beneath his frigid fingers.
The first time he found his lover to be in a certain mood, Hermes disentangled himself from Charon’s side, sheepish as he pulled Charon’s hand from where it had been lightly roving over his chest and stomach from beneath his chiton. Charon had warbled in concern as the glowing god excused himself awkwardly, citing business or messages or something like that. Charon had waved him off, saddened that their time had been cut short, but understanding, and he thought nothing more of it.
Until it dawned on him much much later, as he bartered with the shades of Elysium. He almost dropped the silks he’s about to hand off to the eager customer when the full implications hit him.
Hermes...had been affected by him.
Charon immediately dismisses that thought but a rattling chuckle. No, it couldn’t be. It was circumstantial at best. Impossible, he should think.
Of course, this was far from reality, he would come to find. The next time this sort of thing happens, it is again because Charon isn’t imagining of the possibility. Why would he, as a being not bound by the laws of such base physicality, ever take into account that his partner may become excited in such a manner?
No, when Hermes enthusiastically greets him one warm afternoon, happy as Charon is at their reunion after an extended absence, throwing his arms around Charon’s neck and holding onto him tight, Charon’s reaction is justified. He grabs the floating god, one arm under the tops of his thighs and the other hand splayed across the small of his back, pressing the god further into him. Charon rests his chin on Hermes shoulder, sighing in his own contentment and breathing the scent of the wind and distant lands Hermes always brings with him.
The effect is immediate. Hermes back arches as Charon’s fingers press gently into it, gasping in shock and something decidedly warmer. Afraid Charon had crushed his dearest, he let go of the now squirming Hermes who takes the opportunity to put some distance between them.
“Ah, oh, um-” Hermes was absolutely golden in the cheeks and the tips of his ears, running a hand through his hair. “I-I forget at times how very much stronger you are! Not often I need to see it so...so first hand-”
Charon groans in concern, moving closer to see if Hermes is hurt, but the Olympic messenger keeps the space between them, refusing to meet Charon’s eye.
“I’m fine!” He assures, smiling to somewhere over Charon’s shoulder. “Completely fine. More than fine, 100% inexcusably fine- say, old friend, how about we move these boxes to the Temple, yes?”
Charon catches on much quicker this time, but allows for the change in subject and direction, though his thoughts are racing from it. Even when Hermes gets a hold of himself and they slip back into a more normal interaction, Charon is still drifting to earlier, to how Hermes moved against him, the sound he made, the way, for just a second, his legs tightened round Charon’s waist.
He’d never considered it before, intimacy. Even now with a lover who ostensibly is capable of sexual relations, Charon hadn’t thought much of it, never thought this would come up. He had forgotten, or maybe was not aware, that this sort of thing is never far from the minds of those with such natural tools at their disposal.
That’s the very nature of it, he supposes.
Of course now, Charon is thinking about it quite a lot, especially since these moments keep happening. He keeps catching Hermes’ stare and its heated underpinnings, only for him to glance away quickly, guiltily. He becomes aware of lingering touches and how they seem to take in all they can before he snatches himself away. He knows now why Hermes shies away when Charon’s hands pass over specific places, why he squirms and holds his tongue.
It almost makes him giddy, this idea that someone, that Hermes, would want him in such a way. Never, in his entire existence, would Charon have ever thought anyone, let alone a god, would find him attractive. Terrifying, yes, disgusting, absolutely, but physically exciting?
And he is curious. He enjoys touching Hermes, and making him happy, and if this is another way to do so, and if Charon finds no harm in the idea, he doesn’t see why not. Sure, he has no experience in this matter, and isn’t even sure he would particularly enjoy this kind of contact, but the more he thinks on it, the more he's willing to try.
Charon wonders long, conceiving of how to go about it. He has no way of vocalizing or gesticulating his intentions, nor could he fathom handing Hermes a note detailing this new fascination. That seems as if it may put the god off to have bland plain script asking to know him more physically.
As he takes a small round of souls to the House of Hades, he settles on simply waiting. Hermes is bound to naturally get flustered again at some point while Charon is around, and the ferryman can take the opportunity to its full potential, Hermes allowing. Though it may take a while for such a time to crop up again, given their busy schedules, Charon is in no particular hurry.
Much like the Styx and the Underworld and the dead who occupy it, the ferryman is nothing if not patient.
It doesn’t take nearly as long as Charon had initially anticipated. Which shouldn't surprise him, and honestly doesn't given the swift god's title, but he just likes to make note of it.
They were in the Temple, whiling away their time with chatting and catching up after many abrupt meetings preceding this where neither had the availability. It is nothing if not normal; Hermes is easy-going, pleasant, words loose and frivolous as he extols anything noteworthy as Charon listens dutifully but there is something about his posture, in his demeanor, as he leans against the stone table. The way his gaze drifts and at moments he loses focus, trailing off as if intrusive thoughts are worming their way into his mind.
This time, Charon was watching for it, latches onto it immediately, vapor bubbling and spilling from his maw with an excitement he hasn’t known in a while. And, with a great patience, he waited for something, anything, to provide an opening to broach the weighty subject at hand.
“Maybe, I should go…” Hermes had said after the fifth time of catching himself getting lost somewhere near Charon’s forearm, cheeks softly shining with a dull radiance. The Temple went cold at that, colder than it usually was, and Charon couldn’t bear the thought of Hermes leaving him so soon just for...this. “Clearly not in the right state of mind, long year and all-”
He made to move from the table as Charon stepped closer, determined. It was the perfect moment to enact on his curiosities.
Now, Charon stands before Hermes, having backed the god into that very stone table. Zagreus is not making his attempts at the moment, downtrodden by a recent nasty defeat at Alecto’s hands, spending some time training with the insipid Skelly. This leaves Charon and Hermes free for a sizable amount of time; the rest of the world, gods, and the dead willing.
Charon removes his hand from Hermes mouth, noting that it is slightly open. eyes just glazed over in astonishment at such a bold move by his stiff counterpart, and Charon traces a nail across his cheek, down to his jaw, following the line of his throat to his collar. The rushing river nearly drowns out Charon's hum, violet mist wafting to the Temple’s ceiling in his curiosity, and Hermes’ breath stutters as chilly fingers play noncommittally at the shoulder of his clothing.
“Charon…” Hermes starts slowly, starting to catch on to the ferryman's meaning, cheeks now glowing brighter as Charon’s knuckles ghost down his shoulder blades, beginning to follow the line of his spine. “I, hm, well, y-you really have no need to do anything for my benefit if you do not expressly wish -” His voice reaches an interesting octave when Charon’s fingers alight upon the swell of his backside. “I cannot state that enough. I can take care of it myse-”
Charon interrupts, answering rumble low, annoyed. As much as Hermes' concern is endearing, Charon is perfectly capable of wanting things outside of what Hermes may perceive of him. Besides, he’s certain his intentions could not be misinterpreted at this point as he toys with the belt holding Hermes’ clothing together.
“Okay, okay, just making sure. Never want to be my father’s son and all that.” In one swift movement, Hermes slips from between Charon and the table to stand upon the stone flooring, expression unreadable to the ferryman until he nods to himself and looks upon Charon with a more intensely curious gaze, narrowing his eyes. “Not that I’m not of an enthusiastic interest for anything to do with you, I would never want you to think otherwise, I also need some help understanding. If you don’t get anything out of it, then why would you want to…”
Charon shrugs, warbling in vague interest. There’s no way to properly communicate how this very idea has been burning in the back of his mind ever since it's come to his attention. How could he convey in his limited ways that he’s spent long lonely hours with nothing on his mind than what Hermes may feel like or even may look like in his ecstasy?
Instead, he moves closer again, humming in his own rattling way and brushing a knuckle to Hermes’ golden cheek, adoration and conviction hopefully as clear as can be on his grim visage.
It is almost as if Hermes will not allow himself to smile at the sight, the edge of suspicion washing away to a softer glee he masks as best he can. He places a hand over Charon’s finger, flattening them to his cheek before turning his head to place his lips to the grey palm. A promise, perhaps, as the mischief and fondness return to his eyes, to allow Charon his simple request.
“Okay, alight!” He takes Charon’s hand from his cheek, though, still holding him tightly, covetously, begins pulling him towards the back of Charon’s alcove. “If you’re really intent on this, then how about we make this a little...easier to direct you. If needed.”
Charon allows himself to be led over the couch hidden away behind his many shelves of many things, maneuvered in such a way that Hermes can rest himself with his back to Charon’s chest. Hermes is burning hot in his lap, scalding as he settles against him, head barely making it to just below Charon’s collar. Charon could engulf in his voluminous robes and greater self should he wish, and has on a few occasions when the affection strikes him thusly.
“Bit silly, but, you know,” Hermes looks up at him with an inviting grin and a kiss, swift and affectionate, is pressed to the underside of Charon’s chin. “Whatever your...comfortable with. Of course you can back out at anytime; it's not like you can’t just pick me up and move me off you if you wanted to, should it come to that considering your generous capabilit- oh.”
It’s fascinating, really, to hear how quick his tongue stops and eyes widen the moment Charon’s open palms slide down from Hermes’ sides to the tops of his legs, thumbs immediately finding themselves under the edge of his chiton. His touch is gentle, skin already warmed by the god’s own, hopefully comfortable as he lets his fingers caress the strong yet supple muscle of Herme’s inner thighs. Hermes lets his legs fall open, shivering as he grants Charon more access to do as he pleases.
And as he pleases he does. Never too forward, avoiding any direct contact with any part that might be too intimate. Charon’ main goal is to touch, to test the waters so to speak, to see where his boundaries are, but it’s proving difficult as they keep moving further and further away. The more he touches, the more Hermes squirms, the less he finds disagreeable.
Strange how little details jump to him now. How soft Hermes’ skin truly is, how pleasant the heat against his palms, how the toned muscles strain with every passing caress. He’s known all of this, felt it before, but this feels different, driven despite how aimless Charon’s direction currently is. Each soft sound, each twitch of his hips, each fluttering of his winged ankles leaves Charon enraptured, wanting, seeking more and more, thoughts ablaze with ideas and motives he has little knowledge of how to enact.
He feels nothing and everything. His mind is perfectly clear and his body is as it always was, yet there is a ravenous curiosity deep within him that wants to know, needs to know-
Moving one hand away, he slides it back up Hermes’ abdomen and chest to worm its way under his collar, one goal in mind. The god always playfully though purposefully shied away from any touch to his nipples, always skirting around why, but now that Charon has permission, he gravitates to them. He touches, pinches each in turn, enjoying how they harden and pebble and how Hermes squeaks despite himself should Charon tug too hard.
The ever-swift messenger in his lap is breathy as Charon continues his lackadaisical explorations, one of Herme’s fists clutched into Charon’s robe, and the other at his mouth, knuckles bitten as he watches how Charon’s hand all but engulfs his leg with the length of his fingers. Charon warbles at that, wondering if Hermes were trying to silence himself. This would be unfortunate if true; Charon is finding he quite likes the sounds that do eek out from despite his efforts.
“Ah, no, well, yes, I’m being quiet.” Hermes starts, letting out a sound of loss as Charon leaves his chest be with a final pinch, returning his wandering hand to the abandoned leg. “Have to be, mind you. Otherwise I may say some rather, um, embarrassing things... should I let myself...”
He loses his train of thought, it would seem, as Charon’s hands creep back up his thighs, pausing so his thumbs can brush closer than ever to his groin, bunching up the fabric in his clothing to trace the V of his hips. Despite the angle, it's easy to see Hermes has reached a luminous glow at the moment, a radiance of gold that washes his cheeks, his neck, his ears.
Charon rumbles into one of said ears curiously, hands slowing to a barely noticeable drag, noting how Hermes’ breath catches as the violet smoke wafts lazily over him.
“It’s just-” Can’t keep quiet for too long, though his head is turned away, words quiet, confessing. “I quite like how...large you are. You don’t see it so much in the mortals, you know, pretty normal range of sizes there. Even when I’m a-alone thinking about it, I forget how much bigger you are than me…”
Charon is taken aback at that, though something about the idea of Hermes thinking of him beyond their meetings always strikes him wondrously. It is enough to know that he occupies some measure of space in the god’s thought as much as the god does in his own, but to think Hermes has conjured up images of Charon, intimate ones, in his free time…
What does he fantasize about, Charon has to wonder, brushing the tip of his hollow nose along Hermes’ hairline, behind his ear, proud of how he shivers, how his mouth opens wetly in a gasp. Does he imagine Charon like this, how he is, pleasing him in whatever ways he can despite the missing pieces? Or is he ambitious, touching himself to the idea of Charon having the same as him, ravishing him in whatever ways he could only dream of?
Is it only alone, flustered, on edge, his own hands scrabbling to scratch an itch with whatever fantasy comes to mind or is it also when he is in the company of others, guiltily picturing their passionate touch to be cold and gray and their bodies to be tall and unyielding?
Charon would give anything to ask, especially now as Hermes trembles against him, trying so very hard to be good and not beg for what he wants as Charon teases him, fingers skirting purposefully around the growing interest still hidden away between his legs. He wants to know, mind overcome with his own cavalcade of imaginings of Hermes alone, desperate, thinking of him. He wants to hear Hermes say it in this breathless voice, pulled from him in a moment of dampened inhibition.
Perhaps another time.
The Stygian ferryman leaves it for the moment, back to the present, taking his fingers to Hermes’s belt, intent on relieving him of his clothing. He's never seen the god nude, never had a reason to, but he's always wondered passively, and now actively the idea is motivating. He'd quite enjoy seeing everything he's touching properly.
Hermes stills as the leather begins to loosen, shaking his head and giving pause to Charon’s toying.
“No, no, leave it, I beg you.” He says, both desperate and laughing. “If I were to be bare at this moment with you like this, I’m extremely certain this would end much faster than intended.” Charon questions that, sigh vibrating against Hermes’ back, and leaving the belt be. Hermes lets out a breath of relief, steeling himself for more words, always more words.
“I, well, n-not that you, oh, have much of a frame of reference, but um, I’m not usually this easy to work up, you see,” He babbles, letting his head roll back against Charon’s chest and closing his eyes again as Charon , rather boldly if he does say so himself, let’s his touch wander over to Hermes’ groin properly. There’s a sharp inhale of breath as he cups Hermes’ cock though his chiton, and the god bites his lip when he gives the barest of squeezes.
“Ah, finally , uh, I s-suppose I never thought this would happen, given everything, little overwh-whelming-” Charon groans, concerned, pausing from where he was lifting the edge of Hermes’ skirt. The god's eyes fly open, the hand clutched in Charon’s robes flying to the ferryman’s own hand.
“Do not stop on account of me.” He turns his head, pressing his lips to Charon’s neck as he lets go of the ferryman’s fingers. “Please.” Whether it's the slow drag of his mouth on Charon’s skin or the pleading in his voice, Charon isn’t sure, but either way there’s a definite electric current that zings through him.
With Hermes’ permission, Charon continues, moving what barrier remains between him and the fleet-footed god’s groin. The revelation of his half-turgid cock, still lying between Herme’s legs, now freed of its cloth covering, is one of simple intrigue as Charon observes such a normal yet foreign thing. With a hum and another plume of violet, he strokes down the shaft with a thumb, noting how the cock twitches under his touch and how Hermes stifles a whine.
He quite enjoys that. Quite enjoy all of it, actually, how Hermes legs quiver with every pass of Charon’s non-occupied fingers as they insinuate themselves under the band around his thigh. How Hermes’ breath catches as he tries to gain some semblance of control over his tongue only to lose it as he sees Charon wrap his hand around his gradually engorging penis. How the head of said cock barely peaks out from the top of Charon’s fist, and how Hermes whimpers in such a broken manner as a thumb rubs at the wet tip.
“Charon, please,” Quivering fingers enclose his own, Hermes gasping as the pressure around him increases. Impatient, even now, especially now. Charon has to wonder if perhaps another time he can find out how long Hermes could hold out during these intimate moments. “Let me…”
He allows his fist to be moved by Hermes, watching in fascination as the god goes boneless against him. His breath quickens along with his ministrations, eyes closing again as he concentrates and gasps. Charon presses his face gently to Hermes neck, breathing in his musk, the scent of his sweat, his want.
It is so easy to get lost in his frenzy, in his drive for pleasure. Even as Charon is absent from the physical ecstasy; he finds much to enjoy; the slick slide of his hand on soft flesh, the heat Hermes exudes in his fervor, the way he desperately moves Charon’s fist in whatever way necessary.
How his hips begin to thrust to meet Charon’s grasp, desperately grinding as he tries to find the leverage to keep as much contact as possible. How his free arm hooks itself around the back of Charon’s neck, dragging his face down to press into his damp neck. How he whimpers Charon’s name, like a prayer, a plea, choked off as if he doesn’t want it to be heard and yet unable to stop himself.
It turns the vapour in Charon electric, singing through him with every cut off syllable. He could hear it forever, hopes to, commits it to memory to hear it whenever the want strikes him. In the quiet moments alone, in the long stretches between, he will think on this, on his name on Hermes’ lips in such adulation-
He’ll want more, Charon knows this much of himself. He is a being of greed, hoarder of many things, and this is no different. He takes in how Hermes manipulates his fist in his drive, where to focus, to stroke, to squeeze. Next time, it will be his hand alone working the god over, taking his apart.
How frightful, addicting, having Hermes like this against him, needy, writhing, his finger slipping over Charon’s own fist, the ferryman’s name on his lips as he loses himself. His body tightens and his motions reaches an apex, toes curling and legs flexing as he cries out a final time, semen spilling over their collective fists. He’s breathless, twitching and whining when Charon squeezes again, batting his hand away with a huff of laughter.
Charon lets him catch his breath, still nuzzling his throat, all sorts of rumbling appreciative noises coming from him to be whispered across Hermes damp skin along with his smoke. The god in turn shuffles in his lap so they are chest to chest, grinning from ear to ear and kissing Charon’s face wherever he can reach, words of gratitude and love muttered between each peck.
“One thing, Charon...”
Hermes has collected himself, got himself into some form of proper though there is still a hint of a glow about him and he can’t seem to stop smiling. He’s running behind; surely this delay will only cause further trouble. Hermes waves his concern away.
“It’s fine, besides this is important, I think.” He scratches the back of his neck, searching for the right words. Parts of his ensemble are still just eschew enough if one were to really look and Charon finds it both amusing and highly pleasing to know why. “If you weren’t...finding all this that interesting, then please,” And he looks at Charon with pleading eyes.. “Don’t force yourself to do it again on my behalf. I would hate for you to think that I’m not happy with how things are between us now and as much as I would enjoy it, it be infinitely worse knowing you’re putting yourself into a situation for m-”
Charon cuts him off with a short hiss, stepping closer to, once again, take one of Hermes' hands in his, stunning the rambling god. The ever-swift messenger is always so good at asking Charon what it is he wants, but this time, he has failed. With a measured sigh, he gestures between them, purposefully and hopeful Hermes searching expression will come to understand his misstep.
“I-oh, I suppose you’re right, got a little ahead of myself, normal problem, knowing me but, um-.” Hermes finally, finally says after a long pause. “W-would you, maybe, if you’re comfortable with it and in the correct sort of mood and-” Charon groans, impatient and Hermes chuckles. “Sorry sorry, just trying to be thorough and all that. Anyways, would you be interested in doing this again? Sometime? When you feel like it?”
Charon does little on impulse. Very stuck in his ways, an unyielding entity of singular drive and purpose, he rarely known to act without an outside catalyst propelling him to action. Perhaps it is an aftereffect of being very unlike himself lately that in one swift motion, he has Hermes swept into his arms, holding him close so he can press their foreheads together with a joyous and agreeable sound.
“Ah, yes, right!” Hermes returns the embrace enthusiastically, a surprised laugh forcing itself from him. “Yes, perfect. Glad to hear it. More than glad… Absolutely ecstatic!” He’s gone golden again as he pulls back to look at Charon proper, grinning so hard it has to hurt. “Till next time, I guess, er, not that exactly, unless! Of course, you wanted to, but not saying you have to-”
There’s one last kiss to Charon’s cheek and he’s off, gone from the alcove and the Underworld, zipping to his duties, leaving Charon alone, shaking his head in clear affection. It’s easy to return to his purpose, to his work, selling, rowing, taking payment, but he finds his thoughts still drifting often to this newfound intimacy. He doesn’t feel different, he doesn’t feel better or worse, more fulfilled or hollow, just-
Pleased, as he always is after their time together, and hopeful for the next time he can see him, with or without these new connotations.
It will take a while to get used to this, to understand it fully, but it’s not like either of them are lacking for time.