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A New Era

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“Rest,” Heimerdinger says. “You’ll be needing your wits about you come tomorrow.”

The council convenes in the morning, but the keen memory of hextech is sharp on Viktor’s skin, electric through his nerves. When he meets Jayce’s eyes sidelong, he can see the same in them, bright and excited and alive: a life’s work brought to vibrant fruition. No, brought to its beginning, its new unknown, an era of endless possibility.

Viktor’s cane lay in pieces on the floor, and just as he wonders how he’s going to get to his room, Jayce draws his arm over his shoulder and gently grasps his side. Viktor feels the untapped power in those callus-worn hands, dazed by the warmth of the man easing him upright, supporting him.

“Where to?” Jayce asks with a soft, sheepish grin.

“My room, I think,” Viktor says quietly. Heimerdinger and his guards still linger. “Perhaps we should both retire.”

Already, he longs for the weightlessness of hextech, the aches of his body erased by static glow, but this isn’t bad either, being gently led to his quarters. Viktor can’t remember the last time someone had been this close, even in the Undercity, but Jayce assists him casually, his excited chatter echoing through the darkened halls. Viktor can’t help the smile tugging his lips, barely bridled giddiness punctuating each reply.

They quiet only when they arrive at Viktor’s room. Viktor eases forward to unlock the door, but Jayce hovers at his back. Puzzling, until Viktor remembers Jayce’s study is little more than a ruin.

“Stay for a drink? I doubt either of us will be able to sleep.” 

The relief on Jayce's face is palpable. “That’d be great.”

Viktor nudges Jayce’s shoulder to usher him inside. “I can take it from here.” 

He can’t decide whether to be disappointed or relieved for his freedom as he busies himself with lighting up the room, ignoring the places where the heat of Jayce’s touch had bled through his clothes. 

“Please sit, and uh, excuse the mess.” 

Jayce shrugs his shoulders. “My workshop wasn’t much better, even pre-explosion.” 

Viktor limps over to the cupboards on the far wall, unearthing a bottle from behind a stack of yellowed parchment and logbooks. 

“I have been saving this for the better part of the decade.” 

“Any particular reason?”

Jayce had taken a seat on his couch, looking much too big for it. Viktor eases himself beside him with a tight sigh, right hip twinging. 

“A future promotion, but I believe this counts, no?” He uncorks the bottle, pours the amber liquid into the glasses set on the paper-strewn table before them. “To hextech,” Viktor says, raising his glass. His smile grows to match Jayce’s as the man lifts his glass.

“To the future.”

They toast. They toast again. To Piltover. To their partnership. To their dream. The taste is just as satisfying as Viktor thought it’d be, spiced and smooth on his tongue. The baseline pain of his body softens, his normal rigid posture relaxing into the worn couch at his back. There’s heat along one leg, the lines of their thighs pressed together. Viktor idly wonders how long they’ve been sitting so close, how long he’s been smiling, watching Jayce drink and talk, how easily he could get used to this.

“...back in the hallway.”

Jayce is looking at him strangely. Had he been staring?

“Hm?” 

“You told the councilor you had the wrong room.” 

Jayce’s expression tightens, glazed eyes focusing suddenly, studying him. Then, a faint, lopsided upturn of his lips.

“Do you often bring men back to your room?” 

Heat floods Viktor’s face with debilitating swiftness.

“Wh-well, I, uh—that is—” 

Jayce’s laughter cuts him off, all rough-edged and boyish. Another pulsation of heat so powerful Viktor feels it in the tips of his ears. He slaps his hand over his face.

“Don’t worry,” Jayce says, the words huffed between each laugh. “I don’t mind.”

“Oh?” Viktor retorts, scowling into his palm. The liquor had done its work on his senses, loose tongue, looser thoughts. “And which is it that you don’t mind? My having men?” The words feel hot, dangerous. “Or that the councilor might’ve thought you one of them?” He busies himself with his drink, barely registering the taste. 

Silence falls over the small flat. Jayce isn’t looking at him. No, not quite, Viktor realizes with a rush. Jayce isn’t looking at his face, but lower, following the bob of his throat, the twitch of his finger around the rim of the glass. 

There’s pressure in Viktor’s chest, a nervous, bubbling sensation that he refuses to name, just like the first time he had stepped into a scorched, ruined study and spotted its beleaguered tenant with downturned, hazel eyes, those broad shoulders sloped in defeat. 

Viktor clears his throat, wishing desperately for nonchalance and finding none of it. He doesn’t want to test boundaries, their friendship, partnership, young and new and delicate, but hadn’t he’d already risen to the bait? Already pushed his luck?

“Any of it,” Jayce blurts. 

Viktor blinks, stunned. 

“Is that okay?” Jayce’s eyes snap to his, searching. He looks so young like this, so hopeful, though there could only be a year or two between them. 

“I...uh, yes,” Viktor mumbles, “I don’t see why n—”

The low light shifts, Viktor enveloped in Jayce’s shadow, warm breath ghosting across his cheek. Fingers light on his shoulder, more settling at the edge of his collar, against his bare skin. Everything around him sharpens, his heart rattling against his ribs.

“Can I…” Jayce’s words are so soft, his gaze darting from Viktor’s eyes to his lips, like he dare not ask aloud.

He shouldn’t, they shouldn’t. It’s improper, dangerous with who they are and what they’ve set out to accomplish—too many variables, too many possibilities for failure. But he can’t forget the tears in Jayce’s eyes as he balanced on the precipice, or his wild, breathtaking grin through the glittering flood of hextech.

Viktor kisses him.

It’s gentle, simple, a chaste press of lips. He withdraws, kisses him again. Jayce’s mouth is sweet with drink, his lips plusher, softer than he thought they’d be. A tighter, longer press, a sharper taste, a spark. His eyes drop to Jayce’s collar as he pulls away, licks his own lips, the motion followed by Jayce’s eyes, his shaky exhale. Viktor doesn’t even have a moment to ask if he’s okay, if this is okay, before there’s a hand cupping his nape, before Jayce catches Viktor’s surprised gasp against his mouth. A tongue shifts along the seam of his lips, and Viktor opens to him, teeth nearly clacking together before their tongues entwine, finding some semblance of rhythm. He’s not sure if he’s ever been kissed like this, sloppy and hot and far too eager, the hand at his nape clutching, holding him in place. He grabs Jayce’s tie, wrenching it out of his vest, needing something to do to keep his hands proper, to keep some modicum of control, when the rough swipe of tongue and Jayce’s quiet groan shakes him to the core.

Their bodies shift between each kiss and gasp, Jayce lowering him without letting go of his neck, his thumb balanced against his throat as Viktor’s head touches the armrest, as the man settles a knee on each side of his hips, barely fitting on the couch at all. Tentative, tender, even as Jayce’s kissing the air from his lungs, the sense from his mind. 

His breath’s gone ragged in the quiet, and Jayce isn’t much better. Another kiss pressed just above Viktor’s gasping mouth, then again beneath his right eye, then another to just under his collar, a weak sound slipping from Viktor in a rush. He realizes blearily, covering his face.

“Why are you kissing those?”

Jayce starts, tucks his head against Viktor’s neck, words rumbling in his ear. “How could I not?” Even softer, in a rush. “They’re sexy.”

“Ridiculous,” Viktor mumbles, complexion reddening. He groans into his hand as Jayce nips his skin, feeling chastised. The man’s just teasing him, a game that Viktor would not readily concede.

He takes Jayce’s tie in hand, tugging. Jayce hisses, his back bowing, hips staggering forward. A scant inch between their bodies. Afraid to cross that line, maybe embarrassed, maybe maintaining some gentlemanly façade for Viktor’s benefit. Unnecessary. 

“Let me touch you?” Viktor murmurs into Jayce’s ear. The man moans, nodding, forehead dropping into the crook of Viktor’s neck.

“Please—” Jayce says, so quietly it barely registers. 

His eyes thread down Jayce’s body, collar wrinkled, the first button popped from Viktor’s abuse of his tie. His chest heaves as Viktor’s hand presses to his stomach, fingers splaying, dragging lower. He can see everything, how hard Jayce is, straining against his uniform, how he strains to hold still, all potential energy and need. When Viktor cups him, he swears, snapping into the touch, wheezing a sharp please that burns through the man beneath him.

“How could I say no to that?” Viktor says shakily, tightening his grip on Jayce’s tie. It’s tricky, unclasping his pants with a single hand, but he can’t say he minds it, Jayce jumping at each wayward touch, each stymied whimper rumbling in his throat.

“Eager…” Viktor murmurs, as if he isn’t bursting at the seams himself, unable to keep his perfectly dexterous fingers from shaking.

Clothing wrinkled, tugged. A hand slithering inside Jayce’s undergarments, swears nearly echoed as Viktor touches his cock. It’s throbbing and thick against his palm; he can barely manage to wrap his hand around it fully, already leaking all over his fingers. He drags his thumb over the tip, eliciting another bitten off moan against his ear.

“Fuck– Viktor –”

Viktor swallows thickly, sinking his teeth into his bottom lip as Jayce thrusts into his hand. He releases Jayce’s tie, cups the back of his sweat-slick neck, and begins to stroke.

It’s a messy, excruciating affair. Jayce flattening against him, a solid, sweltering weight, his gasps and groans an endless mantra in his ear, his own cock throbbing in his uniform, trapped along its front seam. Had no one touched him before? A dazzling, horrifying idea, that Viktor would be anyone’s first–

“Wait,” Jayce gasps, voice cracking. 

Viktor freezes, frightened, but Jayce shakes his head against his shoulder.

“Together.” 

Fingers grasp the outline of Viktor’s cock, tracing firmly. Viktor doesn’t even recognize the words coming out of his mouth, he only hopes “yes” and “please” and “Jayce” are the majority of them. 

The kiss is brutal, demanding, dominating. Viktor hears the ping of a button landing somewhere far off as his pants are tugged and torn. Jayce breaks the kiss with a determined, delirious look and licks his palm, reaches down, strokes his cock from base to tip with the tight clutch of his fist. Viktor slaps his hand over his lips to catch the sounds he’s making, his back arching painfully into the rough, quickening touch.

“S’okay. Let it out…” Jayce whispers. Pupils blown, studying, savoring.

Jayce drops his hips, and gods, skin against skin, the slick catch of their bodies together is nearly enough to break him. Viktor can’t stop clutching the back of Jayce’s head, his tie, pulling and tugging, mindless with the sweaty, desperate slide of their cocks together. It’s nearly too eager, too harried, drawing too close, too taut, only to have Jayce slide into the shallow divot of his hip or too high along his belly.

“H-here, just–”

It’s impossible for Viktor to hold them both together, to make something warm and wet and grounded to rut into, but Jayce overlays his hand on top of his a few thrusts later, squeezing his fist in a vice.

The man above him goes wordless and stiff before laying into Viktor so hard the couch jostles, painting their hands and bellies white, Viktor’s name, cracked and broken, spilling from his lips.

Pleasure explodes behind Viktor’s eyelids, bright and unstoppable, frightening with its intensity. He sinks his teeth into Jayce’s neck as he comes, the swears and pleas and mindlessness muffled into his skin. Distantly, he can feel Jayce’s fingers tightening, scrambling, another punched out noise, another crushing thrust led by pure instinct. 

Wired, exhausted, he tries to catch his breath, but Jayce makes the task difficult, littering kisses on his throat, sucking hot, little marks into his skin. Viktor grunts, gently elbowing him.

“Just payback,” Jayce says, low and hoarse.  “So we both look like fools tomorrow.”

“What do you–”

Jayce clears his throat, gingerly touching the perfect outline of teeth just below his ear. Embarrassment, a quiver of excitement, some unnamed, deep rooted thing he dares not entertain warms Viktor’s belly.

Viktor's used to awkward, brusque encounters, rare though they are. Perhaps that is what this is, even as Jayce watches his every move, thanks him softly when he offers him a cloth for cleaning up. Viktor tells himself he doesn’t want any more or less than what Jayce wants. It’s easier that way, having expectations defined, outlined, compartmentalized. 

“Get some sleep. There’re still a few hours before the meeting.”

Viktor gestures to his bed. He settles on the couch once more, gently rubbing the tendons around his knee. 

“You won’t join me?”

His head swings towards Jayce, eyes owlish with surprise.

“I…” Viktor inwardly screams at the blush ruining any ounce of decorum he managed to muster. He doesn’t know what he means, what any of this means. His reply comes before he can stop himself.

“...sure.”

They wake, wrapped in each other’s arms, mere minutes before the meeting. 

Jayce arrives in the same clothes he had on the night before, uniform collar popped. Viktor, at least, looks presentable, if not for a scarf wrapped firmly around his neck, much too warm for the weather.