Autonomous Sweet Mesa Response

the PSN sex fic that nobody asked for but you got anyway. copious amounts of bullying and jerking off here. this is the first hlvrai fic i ever wrote, and the characterization is lacking some polish, but it's simple and sweet so... enjoy!

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[→ part 2: Tensile Strength]

You changed our lives, Gordon. I'd like to think it was for the better. And I don't know what's going to happen to us once you exit the game for good.

But I know we'll never forget you. I hope you won't forget us.

He opens his eyes, a weight lifted from his shoulders. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real. He’s Gordon Freeman again, an ordinary Black Mesa scientist - not everybody gets to call themselves that, he thinks proudly - and today’s his first day on the job and he’s not about to let a little stress dream get to him. Most of his dreams are stress dreams, anyway. Although they more often fall into the “teeth falling out” or “walking into class in his underwear” categories. Not going to get him down, though. Not today.

That thought gets him all the way to the kitchen, where a bright green “12:20” blinks on his microwave. Gordon rubs his eyes. Then he pushes his glasses up. Still 12:20. Panic hits him in a slow wave, like molasses spilling from an overturned tanker. Black Mesa is going to kill him. Or worse, he could be fired.

Several attempted phone calls later, however, a migraine starts to pulse in his temples. No one’s picking up. He’s not even going to voicemail. What kind of research facility doesn’t have voicemail? Gordon fixes himself coffee with strangely leaden arms. Well, if he’s screwed now, he’s going to be just as screwed in an hour or so, and maybe he’ll feel less like he’s been hit by a truck after he vegetates in his armchair. He flicks on the news while he warms his hands with his mug.

Bad idea.

So, it was real. Every stupid part of it. Part of Gordon feels like he should make some kind of effort to move on with his life, you know, pretend it didn’t happen and that he is normal and not weird. But the other part of him, the worse part of him, tells him that circling help wanted ads in the newspaper is a huge fucking waste of time when a blurry picture of himself in his HEV suit is circulating on every major news station. And some of the minor ones. So he doesn’t. Move on, that is.

Instead, he does some quick mental math to figure out how long he can go without finding a new job, now that his old one literally doesn’t exist anymore. Turns out it’s a pretty long time. That signing bonus was nothing to sneeze at.

He lies in bed that night, staring at the ceiling in a valiant attempt to sleep. It doesn’t work. When morning comes again, bleaching the sky to a dull grey, he realizes he must have stared at the ceiling for a solid 8 hours, but it doesn’t feel like it. Then the next night passes the same way. And the next. It’s not that easy, all right? Lately, when he falls asleep, bad things tend to happen, and he’s a little on edge. Sue him. Gordon takes to passing out in his armchair in the middle of the afternoon.

Fuck it. He decides to blow the dust off his consoles at Way Too Early In The Fucking Morning, when he gets sick of watching the same commercial for Encyclopaedia Britannica box sets for the third night in a row. Game time.

There’s a friend request from a username Gordon doesn’t recognize: johnwicklover1994. Probably a bot, but he hits ‘accept’ anyway, because he’s gotten pretty big on making stupid decisions lately. That brings his “Friends Online” total up to a resounding 1. He can’t decide whether that’s more or less depressing than having none at all.

Whoever they are, they’re on at all hours, even when Gordon’s crunching through sleepless nights with hours of Street Fighter IV. And YouTube videos for Street Fighter IV tech. And live footage from his favorite Street Fighter IV streamers. Even though his right arm doesn’t feel quite right anymore - vaguely like he’s piloting it, instead of owning it - he’s not half-bad at it. He watches the little number next to his rank slowly climb up, and it feels… good? Yeah. It feels good.

All’s quiet on the western front until Gordon gets a party invite, out of the blue. Is he up for this? Is he, like, committed to this level of intimacy? Well, maybe it would be good to talk to somebody other than a delivery driver for the first time in far too long. He fishes out a headset and accepts the invite, hoping that his brain won’t crunch those incredibly sad numbers, but his brain is simply so huge that it does it anyway.

Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained—

“yooo gamer feetman.”

Gordon pinches the bridge of his nose. “What— fucking Benrey— oh my God, I should have known it was you!” Under his breath, he grumbles about how dumb and so goddamn stupid he is, and then, louder, he asks, “How did you find my account. Why are you talking to me.”

There’s a pause, then he says, “you gave it to me.”

“What? No, I didn’t.”

“yeah you did. at the chuck-e-cheese. you said we were gonna play some tekken, brooo.”

“You— You weren’t even there! And I don’t even play Tekken!”

Somehow, this fact (this incontrovertible fact, Gordon reminds himself when Benrey tries to argue otherwise) doesn’t do anything to dissuade him. Neither does the fact that he doesn’t own Tekken in the first place.

“you don’t have it? what kind of fuckin’, stupid, baby shit, fake gamer… doesn’t have tekken. i bet you don’t even have knack either. sad.”

“What the shit is— Knack? Like, the PS4 game? I don’t have a PS4, genius, why would I even— No, you know what, this is stupid, and I’m stupid for entertaining it. I’m blocking you,” Gordon says decisively. His finger hovers over the button, and a swell of newfound power washes over him. He can just block Benrey and never have to deal with him again. God, what he wouldn’t have given for that power just a few days ago. It’s the little things, you gotta appreciate the little things, he tells himself.

But nothing happens. He mashes the button a few more times just to make sure, but on the other end of the line, he still hears Benrey.

“you gonna do it? c’mon bro do it. you won’t. probably don’t even know how,” he taunts.

“Why isn’t this working? Are you hacking me?”

“uhhh yeah. i’m in your ps4 right now, gonna steal all your games and shit. it’s poggers. pogchamp. poghacks.”

“Please stop talking,” Gordon groans. It doesn’t work.

If Gordon can’t block him, and, as he soon finds out, he can’t leave the party, either, the next best thing is to just take off his headset and go back to mopping up flowchart Kens and pretending that Benrey isn’t there anymore. This works for all of maybe ten minutes, until Benrey cottons on and starts yelling “mnuuughh nmneuuuhhg nyeuuuhhhh” loudly enough that he can hear it from a distance. His heart sinks a little. Black Mesa never ends, huh.

This is how he resigns himself to gaming with Benrey instead of doing literally anything else. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? At least when he’s giving a rundown of the differences between Tekken and Street Fighter, Benrey’s not running his mouth so much. Hell, it seems like he’s actually listening. He’s almost tolerable when he’s trying to engage with things like a normal human, rather than… whatever he is.

And then, it becomes a kind of a Thing. Playing together, that is. Benrey picks up on it fast, and it’s weirdly nice to have somebody to word vomit all his acquired knowledge to. Makes him feel smart. (Gordon had a job at Black fucking Mesa, of course he’s smart. Being stuck inside all the time is doing bad things to his brain, he thinks.) There’s something kind of cathartic about being able to wipe the floor with him, too. Like he wishes he could’ve done in real life. He watches Ryu slam a Metsu Shoryuken right into El Fuerte’s stupid face, and smiles.

Gordon doesn’t know what the hell Benrey’s doing for a living anymore, since any time Gordon’s online, Benrey is, too. It’s not like he actually cares, though. So he doesn’t ask.

A night comes where Gordon falls asleep. This wouldn’t be unusual, as many people tend to sleep at night, except for the fact that he falls asleep in the middle of a match. With Benrey. And he doesn’t wake up even when Benrey clowns on him. It’s the first time he’s slept at night in, God, weeks now? He lets out a frustrated noise. His neck’s killing him, and his head feels foggy. Can’t let Gordon Freeman have anything too good in life.

“bro you snore like a fuckin’, uhhh, lil’ warthog,” Gordon hears, and he jerks upright.

“Benrey? Why are you still here? Do you even sleep?”

“that’s classified, hog-boy.”

He drags his hand down his face. “Don’t call me that. I don’t snore,” he insists.

“why you lyin’ like that,” Benrey says, then mimics him with obnoxious fake snoring. “everyone knows gordon freeman snores. we all joke about it behind your back. snore-don freeman.”

“What?! No, you’re lying. Someone would’ve said something to me about it.” Gordon’s voice comes out close to a whine, and he immediately feels annoyed with himself.

“oh yeah. tommy came up with that one. he’s gotten really good at imitating you, we ask him to do it all the time.”

Gordon can hear the smirk in his voice, and it makes him see red, just a little. “Bullshit, he does not. Tommy likes me. He wouldn’t do that— oh my God, why am I having this argument with you? I have, like, shit to do! Fuck off,” he snaps.

“yeah, tommy likes mean people,” Benrey says again, but Gordon doesn’t hear whatever he says next, because he’s turning off his PS3 and chucking his headset into the chair behind him. He’s not mad. He’s laughing, actually. This is funny to him. He gets himself some coffee and clutches the handle of his mug in a vice grip until he’s no longer Totally Not Mad.

He was lying through his teeth, though. He doesn’t have jack shit to do. Although now that he’s awake during the day for once, maybe he could look for something? The stack of dishes in his sink does seem to be growing to unmanageable proportions. Tackling that makes Gordon feel like he’s making progress, somehow.

Gordon knocks over a plastic cup by accident, where it rolls to the end of the counter and topples a mostly-empty box of saltines to the ground. This gives him an idea.

Several hours later, he’s got an intricate arrangement of boxes, cooking utensils, and makeshift rails laid out over the better part of his kitchen. An egg, carefully nudged from its starting position, sparks a domino effect that ends with a carton of orange juice being tipped into a glass. It’s highly satisfying. Gordon smiles to himself, even as he cleans up the broken egg and the juice that’s overflowing from the cup. Then he rights everything back to its original starting position. This is going to be his new thing, he decides. He’s going to get extremely into this.

It’s dark again before he realizes how long he’s been at it. Normal people go to sleep around now, right? So he lies in bed, again, and wills himself to sleep, again. Surprise - it goes exactly as well as the previous dozen times he’s tried it. Gordon rolls himself out of bed and lies on the floor for awhile, taking some time to really appreciate the view of the space under his bed, then sloughs back into his trusty armchair for more Gaming™. Better than staring at his ceiling.

Benrey’s online, like he always is, and he doesn’t comment on the late hour when Gordon sends him an invite. Gordon can appreciate that. Sure, he might be irritating in at least five other ways, but at least they have an unspoken agreement in that respect.

They get a solid dozen matches in before Gordon’s eyes start to droop. “Hey, uh, I think I’m gonna call it here, actually,” he says, stifling a yawn. “’s weird. I guess Street Fighter makes me tired now.”

“you sure it’s not my uhhh dulcet tones, bro?”

Gordon thinks about this. Like, for-real thinks about it, instead of just rolling his eyes. “I mean, it might be?” he blurts out.

He expects Benrey to say something, but he’s quiet for once. It’s unnerving.

“I don’t know. Never mind, that was weird. It’s just been way too fucking hard for me to get any sleep lately and it’s making me say dumb shit—”

“it’s cool. we’re cool guys, you can tell me you’re gettin’ that good autonomous sweet mesa response from your good friend benrey. it’s normal,” Benrey tells him.

What is he even fucking saying? Gordon can’t help but laugh, a desperate wheeze, like he’s well and truly lost it.

This time, he sleeps in his bed for the first time in weeks, and it’s like he’s getting back to normal. And Gordon’s doing the very normal thing of inviting Benrey to Street Fighter the next night so that he can do it again. They’re “good friends” now, apparently, and he can’t muster up the energy to argue with that, so why not? He’s not going to think too hard about it. Instead, he lays in bed and lets Benrey talk at him until he drifts off.

That, too, becomes a Thing. The sad thing is that it works better than anything else Gordon’s tried so far. What can he say? Benrey’s voice is kind of nice. Relaxed. Low-key. Not that he’d ever admit that, either - Benrey’s head is swelled enough as it is. And sometimes, when the clock ticks into the early morning hours, Benrey sings that Black Mesa Sweet Voice at him and he’s out like a light.

Every once in awhile, Gordon wonders what kind of colors it must have. Pink to red means go the fuck to bed? Sure. It’s… it’s nice. Makes goosebumps crawl up his neck sometimes, a pleasant frisson. He’s got a really nice voice, Gordon fully admits to himself, in that liminal stretch of time just before he passes out every night.

It’s not weird. When Benrey’s still on the other end of the line the morning, that’s normal. It’s just the kind of thing good friends do. And Gordon keeps letting him do it. There’s something reassuring about having somebody he trusts keeping a vigil over him while he sleeps. As far as he can trust Benrey, anyway.

There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s got hobbies, he’s making strides in life. He’s very normal.

Gordon blinks, roused from his sleep. It’s still dark. There’s a noise in the background, coming from his headset. A staticky shuffling. He rubs at his eyes.

“Ugh… Benrey? Are you still there? Go the fuck to sleep, man,” he groans.

The shuffling stops short.

“Hello? You good?”

Benrey laughs at him, but not like he usually does. Like he’s out of breath. “yeah dude i'm good. i'm reaaal good,” he says. That sound starts back up again, slower than before. What is that? Fabric? It’s oddly rhythmic, like…

“Jesus Christ, are you jerking off right now?” Gordon asks, incredulous.

“uhhh… yeah duh. you want me to stop or something?”

Gordon is taken aback by this. The answer, obvious to literally everyone except Benrey, should be ‘of course, asshole, you can’t just do that’. But on the flip side, he’s not sure whether or not he actually wants Benrey to stop jerking off. He should, reasonably, want Benrey to stop. It’s… it’s fucked, man. It’s gross. Why is he even doing that right now?

He’s going to, he’s definitely going to tell Benrey to knock it off and quit being a fucking creep, but the actual words that end up coming out of his mouth are, “I don’t know?”

“you don’t know?”

“I mean, I don’t know! I’m not exactly great at fielding all this shit out of left field!” he snaps.

Benrey clears his throat on the other end of the line, then asks, “so like… you want me to keep going, bro?”

“Do not call me ‘bro’ while you’re doing— that. Or fucking, ‘Gamer Feetman’ or whatever. Don’t think about my feet!”

“hahaha too late. bro.”

“Oh my God,” Gordon mutters. “Do you— please tell me you don’t do this shit every night. I don’t think our relationship could handle that.”

“no,” Benrey says, too fast. He has no idea if Benrey’s lying or not. Gordon thinks about that, like, really analyzes it, and it suddenly feels way too hot in his room. “just uhhh forgot to mute the mic. it’s not that weird.”

“It is absolutely that weird.”

“that’s just, like, your personal opinion, man.”

Gordon sighs. It’s not like his life can get any worse at this point, scientifically speaking, so fuck it. He doesn’t take off his headset, and he doesn’t turn off his PS3, and he lets Benrey keep jerking off on the other end. In fact, he clears his throat - sort of aggressively, honestly - and stammers out something like “Were you thinking about me?”, but worse. He’s in a bit of a fugue state. He’s not 100% sure what he’s saying.

Through his headphones, he hears a rush of static. “lil’ bit,” Benrey admits. “why d’you wanna know? you some kinda fuckin’— some kinda homo?”

“You don’t— you don’t get to call me that. You’ve spent way too much time looking at my ass to call me that,” Gordon snaps.

“well yeah. you got a nice ass bro.”

He opens his mouth to say something, then closes it. Was he being put up to it by somebody? It’s like some kind of dare, except no one asked him to do it, no one wants him to do it, and it’s only going to be funny to Benrey. The biggest flaw in his plan is that he forgot that Gordon graduated from fucking MIT, so piecing together this particular puzzle wasn’t going to be very hard. If this is some kind of joke, Benrey’s getting way too into it, and Gordon’s getting less and less inclined to buy it.

But from what Gordon can hear, he’s still going at it. Examining that too closely makes his face burn. Benrey’s, like, actually hot for him? For real? Nobody’s been that hot for him before. Or at least, if they were, he never knew about it. Past girlfriends had never done this kind of thing to him, anyway. (To him? About him? For him? He doesn’t know what the right preposition is.)

“you gonna get in on this? we’re in the shit now, bro. do or die,” Benrey says, unexpectedly serious. “or you gonna leave me hangin’? better make it quick. better do it in one shot.”

They never asked anything like that, either. Gordon swallows. Hard. There’s no way Benrey didn’t hear it, like it was a goddamn cartoon gulp. Finally, he mutters, “Jesus,” but he goes along with it. He spreads his legs a little wider in his Sad Man Gamer Armchair and presses the heel of his palm against the front of his slacks. He could get into this. He is into this, a little, if he’s being honest with himself. “Fine. Yeah. We’re in the shit now.”

“fuck yeah. i knew you were some kinda pervert.”

“Let’s not get it twisted. You’re the goddamn pervert here.”

Benrey scoffs. “yeah okay. you’re the one who’s honkin’ your pud just ‘cause i told you to. that’s some nasty shit, gordon.”

Gordon stills, but his dick doesn’t. In fact, his dick kind of liked that. That’s worrying. “Whatever,” he says, defensive, “at least I’m not the sick fuck who’s getting off on bossing people around. Is that why you were always trying to tell me what to do before? Was that— was that a horny thing?” His voice breaks a little at the end, and he would like to die now, thanks.

“maybe,” Benrey says, after sucking in a sharp breath through his nose. “so what, tho. it was like, half-horny. you don’t listen to shit, always fuckin’ off, doing whatever. stupid shit.”

A thought pops up in Gordon’s head, unbidden. He could roll with this. Just this once. Just to see what happens. “I could,” Gordon says slowly. He wets his lips, suddenly dry from nerves. “You know. Since we’re already doing this. Just to try it.”


“Don’t make me repeat myself, man. It’s embarrassing.”


Gordon swears aloud. “You’re a dick, you know that? I’m telling you,” and he makes sure to enunciate this part, “to boss me around a little. I’m humoring you. Get it?”

“oh. uhhh yeah. cool. that’s cool. yeah.” The words tumble out of him, and Gordon realizes that he’s not sure he’s ever heard Benrey talk like that before. He’s affected. That’s cool. Gordon’s chill about this. He’s not acutely aware of how hard he’s breathing right now, because this is a highly chill situation.

“I’m not gonna do anything too crazy, though. I can just turn off my PS3 and mess with my Rube Goldberg machines if you want to get, fucking, weird-weird. That’s kind of my thing now, by the way. I have other hobbies.”

“sweet. yeah. you should uhhh stick your dick in a shampoo bottle,” Benrey tells him.

He stands up, making sure his chair creaks extra loud from the effort. “Okay, I’m getting up, I’m turning this thing off, good night—”

“okay okay wait. c’mon, i’m just joshin’ you. it’s just a little trolling bro. you don’t have to be mad.”

“I’m not giving you a strike two,” Gordon warns him, though it seems like he doesn’t really need to. Benrey sounds, like, invested. There’s something strangely satisfying about being able to jerk Benrey around for once. Even though, theoretically, he should be the one getting jerked around right now? If he thinks about that too much, he’s going to have some kind of sexuality crisis, and for the time being he kind of just wants to get off in peace.

Oh. Huh. He actually does want to get off right now. Good to know.

“so like… you got your hog out or what, bro,” Benrey starts.

“Uh, no. Not yet.”

“not yet? ha ha no dude that’s not gonna fly. if you’re gonna play this game you gotta have your whole dick out. no halfsies.”

He sighs, resigned, and grinds up into his palm briefly before unzipping.

“niiice,” Benrey says before he’s even done pulling himself all the way out. “good shit. you gonna touch yourself?”

“That was kind of the plan, yeah,” Gordon says.

“do it. you won’t.”

Well, he wasn’t exactly doing it in earnest before, but when Benrey tells him, “bet you look real fuckin’ nice right now. your dick looked good dude,” he turns it from side to side for a close examination. That’s all it is. Just checking to see if it really does look that good. Being fully hard is just a coincidence. It looks… fine, he guesses? Like, he can’t complain. It’s a nice size, fits well in his hand. Curves a little to the right. No weird spots or hairs or anything.

Gordon doesn’t entirely ‘get’ why Benrey’s so into it, and he says as much while he drags his hand up and down in slow strokes. Warming up, really. Benrey laughs at him. “you never seen a nice dick before? my dude, shit is life-changing. might make you even more gay than you already are, gayden freeman.”

“I’m not that gay,” Gordon insists, while he’s currently jerking off to the sound of his extremely-male friend bullying him. “I-I’ve had girlfriends before.”

“i don’t wanna hear about your fuckin’ girlfriends, man.” His voice comes out hard and cold. “why you thinkin’ about that shit. you should be thinking about me.” Gordon’s heart skips a beat, and his dick jumps in his hand. Cool. Great.

“I am! I’ve never done this shit before, cut me some slack, okay.”

“you are?”

He blinks. “Uh. Yeah.” And it’s the truth, isn’t it? In his mind’s eye, he sees Benrey, laying on his couch or whatever, face pressed into his headset and pumping his fist to an unseen rhythm. A bolt of arousal crackles through him, curling in his belly. Gordon clears his throat again. “Yeah. I’m thinking about you. I-I kind of want to see your dick.”

This is a novel development for him. Normally he tries to think about Benrey and his dick as little as possible. Imagination isn’t his strongest suit, though, so he summons up all his bravery and asks Benrey, “What’s it look like?”

Benrey snorts on the other end, and the shuffling stops again. “you wanna hear about ol’ benrey’s fat chode? tight. warm me up a lil’ bit, tho. like, ‘yo benrey what’re you wearing?’ ‘oh you know. the usual.’” Except that “the usual” involves his shirt being rucked up above his stomach, his free hand jammed up to play with his chest. And his pants shoved down to his knees, splayed out as wide as they’ll go under their confines. And, you know, his dick in his hand. It’s a nice dick, apparently. Foreskin and all.

“Wait, you mean you’re not—”

“hell no. benrey’s free-ballin’ that shit. not letting no freak doctors jack my foreskin. i mean like… unless you want to. ha ha.”

Gordon furrows his brow. “Do I want to steal your foreskin?” he asks, mildly horrified.

“jesus gordon that was a slam fuckin’ dunk and you missed it. totally beefed it. 100% soft over here bro,” Benrey chides him. “yo uhhh paging dr. bigbrains over here. can’t figure out when a guy’s asking him to touch dicks.”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” he groans. This was a mistake. Gordon can’t keep his boner up when he’s this fucking embarrassed, anyway. He steels himself to tell Benrey to fuck off for good, but then Benrey interrupts that train of thought with—

“you wanna see it?”

“Fuck it, why not,” Gordon says. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

There’s a disturbance on the other end - something rustling and clattering - and after a few minutes, he hears a notification chime from his PS3. He doesn’t know what he’s expecting when he opens the new message, but for some reason he wasn’t actually expecting a picture of Benrey’s dick. How did he even get it on his console? Doesn’t the TOS prohibit that kind of thing? Gordon’s asking himself a lot of stupid questions right now because he’s trying very hard not to notice the way his breath catches in his throat.

It’s… a lot nicer than some of the other dick pics Gordon’s seen in his time. Because it’s not just his dick, right, it’s angled so that he can see exactly where Benrey’s shirt’s rucked up to his armpits. And that irritating smirk, too. It’s dark, and he’s only lit by the blue light of his television, and there’s a thick smattering of dark hair crawling up the curve of his stomach, and, yeah, that’s his dick. Despite everything he thought he knew about himself up to this point, the whole deal gets his flagging erection all the way back up again.

“God,” he mutters, exhaling heavily. His tongue feels heavy in his mouth. “You look— you look good.”

Benrey makes a low, pleased sound in his throat. “swag. make sure to like, comment, and subscribe.”

Gordon cringes. It’s a full-body affair. “Don’t ever say that again. Please.”

“what. why.”

“Come on. You know why.”


“Never mind. Just,” Gordon starts, “you want me to— to get off for you, or whatever? Make it a little easier on me. I’m really trying here, okay?”

There’s a pause, then Benrey relents, saying, “okay fine. it’s cool. we’re good. whatchu wanna hear, gordon? what gets your dick hard?”

It takes a few moments for that to process. Once it does, Gordon feels himself flush from his chest to his ears. “I, uh, I don’t know? Fuck, man. I haven’t really done this kind of thing before. I guess I… just like your voice?”

“yeah i figured. nobody else out here asking me to sing ‘em to sleep every night,” he says.

“It’s— it’s nice, alright? It helps. And it kind of makes my brain tingle. Do you do that on purpose?”

“oh dude i knew you were gettin’ that sweet response,” Benrey cackles at him. “can’t fool me, freeman. might do it for you again if you ask real nice.”

“Wait, like, as a sex thing? What does that even mean?”

“fuck around and find out.”

Okay. Maybe he will. If he’s being honest with himself, he was always vaguely curious about what else Benrey could do with that Black Mesa Sweet Voice. After all, it could calm people down, cocoon them, and taste like blue Powerade™ all at once, it’s not like it’s that far of a stretch to think that it could do… something sexual. Gordon mumbles something to that effect.

“oh? huh? what’d you say?” he hears, jeering and mildly infuriating.

“You know what I said!”

“i told you. ask nicely. bro.”

He stifles a nasal whine with his fist. Gordon knows what Benrey’s doing, and he hates it, but this is also, possibly, the most turned on he’s been in his entire life. “Fuck you, fuck you,” he spits out, fucking upwards into his fist, “power-tripping fucker, I’m not about to beg.”

“aw. too bad. bet you’d sound good doing it.”

His whole body prickles with heat. Gordon opens his mouth to respond to that, but before he can say anything, Benrey continues, “so what about sucking dick? i know you gotta love sucking dick. bet you suck it well. you wanna suck my dick, bro? want me to fuck your mouth?”

Gordon swears. “Jesus fucking Christ, Benrey.”

It’s just as crass and embarrassing as the first time he said it back in Black Mesa - probably more so, even, with all the embellishments - but now it doesn’t piss him off so much as it gets him stupidly hot. This can't be happening. He deflects instead, stuttering, “I-I don’t know if I’m gonna be as good at it as you keep saying I am. Like, I’ve never even sucked a dick before. Why do you keep saying that shit?”

“’cause it’s funny.”

That’s not really a good reason, Gordon thinks. But when he thinks about it, yeah, he does want to suck Benrey's dick a little.

It’s the kind of thing that’s supposed to be demeaning, right, getting on your knees, but he’s not seeing it that way. Gordon’s keenly aware that the dick-sucker in the equation holds the power. Teeth aren’t anything to mess around with. He’s seen enough of the headcrabs’ whirling little blenders of teeth to know this for certain. And getting to take control from Benrey for once? He likes the sound of that. For a long time now, he’s felt like he hasn’t been in control of, well, anything. Especially not fucking Benrey.

So he leans into it, lets some truly heinous things come out of his mouth. He would let Benrey fuck his mouth. Maybe even pull his hair, if he thinks he can get away with it. Just so long as he remembers that Gordon can and will bite his goddamn dick off if he pushes too far.

That kind of threat shouldn’t be getting anyone hot, but Benrey lets out a strangled sound and his hand moves faster, faint slapping fully audible. “fuck yeah. knew you’d be— hhhh— good at this shit. you’re a quick learner, fuckin’ brain genius over here. lil’ MIT bitch, lil’ nerd bitch. do a fuckin’ uhhh lagrangian on my dick or whatever.”

“What? Is that supposed to be hot? Because, uh, it’s not working,” he lies. Whatever the hell Benrey’s doing, it’s doing it for him. And the noises. Jesus. That’s playing a pretty big part in his whole ‘fucking his hand like he might die tomorrow’ thing. “Do you even know what a Lagrangian is?”

“helllll no.”

Gordon sighs through his nose but keeps stroking himself anyway. “Well, look, I’m going to suck your dick so hard you won’t be able to say stupid shit like that. Got it? If anyone’s the little bitch here, it’s gonna be you,” he tells Benrey.

There’s a sudden rush of static through his headset. “oh my god,” Benrey says quietly, then with more vigor, “yeah. you wanna make me your bitch? dope.”

“Don’t tell me you liked that.”

“oh like one hundred percent. say it again.”

“You— you’re really into this, huh,” Gordon says, mostly to himself. It’s flattering, in its own way.

“uhhh yeah? why else am i jerkin’ it while you’re talking about nerd shit. fuckin’ rude goldberg machines or whatever. lame.”

“It’s ‘Rube Goldberg’, actually. And that was relevant! I haven’t even been talking about those for,” he glances at his watch, then feels his stomach drop, “half an hour now. How did you even talk me into this?”

“didn’t talk you into shit my guy. this is all you. or like ninety percent you. gordon feetman’s all hot for benny-boy. i knew it. read you like a fuckin’ book.”

“Okay, for the record, I wasn’t ‘hot for you’ until half an hour ago. Don’t flatter yourself.”

Benrey makes a sound like he’s laughing, breathless and ugly, then pipes back with, “so you’re not thinking about railing me right now?”

“I— What.”

“you heard me. you wanna fuck me? i’d fuck me. i’d let you pound me into the mattress, bro. i’m game.”

His brain shorts out for a moment. Well, if Gordon wasn’t thinking about it before - which he wasn’t - he definitely is now. And he comes to the frightening conclusion that he might actually want to pound Benrey into the mattress. He squeezes, hard. Then he admits, “Yeah. I-I kind of do. Want to, I mean.”

That’s possibly the weakest way he could have phrased it, and Benrey smells the blood in the water. “god what are you? some kind of fuckin’ uhhh virgin? lil’ virgin beta cuck? c’mon. get serious. say it for real, bitch. i wanna hear you beg.”

Gordon slams his head against the back of his armchair and moans aloud, nasal and reedy. Benrey echoes him on the other end, and Gordon would think that he’s trying to make fun of him if he didn’t immediately follow it up with a low, shaky, “damn gordon. do that shit again.”

“It’s not like I can just do it on command,” he complains, but his heart’s not really in it.

“yeah not with that attitude,” Benrey starts. But he quickly shuts the fuck up when Gordon keeps talking over him. Gordon doesn’t think about what Benrey’s saying, or what he’s saying himself, because if he does, he’s going to wither into dust and die of embarrassment. Easier to just let his dick do the talking.

It’s not like he’s ever actually fucked a guy in the ass before, or given it much technical thought. But Gordon’s not giving him any more ammo to call him a “virgin beta cuck” or whatever the fuck he said. So he improvises. It can’t be that much different from what he’s used to, right? Tab A goes into Slot B. There’s just, you know, another tab involved, too.

And right now, his dick’s thinking about wrestling Benrey to the ground, face-down, and getting one of his arms pinned against his back and— and— “’m gonna make you stop saying all this stupid shit,” says Gordon, breathless. He’s gonna fuck Benrey stupid, if he’ll let him, please, God, let him, until the only thing he can say is Gordon’s name. And maybe a few other choice words, like “oh god” or “harder”. Or “please”, if he’s feeling particularly vindictive. He really likes the sound of that one.

Man, is he some kind of sadist now? Or a masochist? Or maybe, Gordon thinks wildly, both? He’s learning a lot of wild new things about himself right now, might as well tack another onto the list.

“hey,” gasps Benrey, “uhhh, if i got my fingers in my ass would that be fucked up or what.”

“B— Huh?”

“like as a joke. ha ha.”

Gordon blinks, then lets out a long, shuddering breath. “A joke.”

“yeah. it’d be funny.”

He says it like he means it, almost. Like it would just be flat-fucking-hilarious to finger himself for the guy he’s been simping over since, like, the day they met. (It is kind of funny, and Gordon laughs despite himself.) “Okay, but what if I said no? That’d be kind of funny.”

“what. no. i’m already doing it dummy.”

“Oh.” Now Benrey’s the one laughing at him. Gordon presses his ear against the headset, and if he listens close, he can almost imagine that he hears it happening. A fresh wave of heat crashes over his face and shoulders. “Jesus.”

All of Benrey’s concentration goes into juggling the acts of fingering himself, fucking his fist, and mouthing off to Gordon, and he’s starting to slip. He’s losing his grasp on the situation. It’s heady. Powerful. Gordon did that to him. He could turn the tables now, give Benrey a taste of his own medicine for once. Benrey’s got the wrong fucking idea if he thinks Gordon’s going to let him come out on top.

“You sound pretty fucked up over there, Benrey. You good?”


“What was that? I think you’re cutting out. Might have to dip out of this. Internet’s expensive, you know, can’t be wasting it. It’s like a water faucet. Gotta conserve.” Why the fuck is he saying this. This is the kind of dumb shit Benrey usually says to him. Wait— is that why he does it? To get a rise out of him? Like, in a horny way? He feels disoriented by this new information.

“nnnnnooo you fuckin’ don’t asshole, it doesn’t even work like that. don’t— don’t be playin’ around right now. c'mon.”

“Sure it does. I’m a scientist, I know this stuff.”

The long-suffering ‘ugggggghhhhhh’ Benrey lets out could power entire cities. “you’re really gonna— gonna do me like this? i thought we were buds. amigos. compadres. you wouldn’t just let your good ol’ friend benrey get blue balls and die. you gonna kill me, bro?”

Somehow, the answer to that, possibly for the first time since Gordon has ever known him, is ‘no’. He’s not about to divulge this anytime soon, though. “You seriously think you’re gonna die if I don’t let you come right now? Man, you’re really driving a hard bargain with that one.”

There’s another groan on the other end of the line, more desperate than the last. “you’re a sick fuck, gordon. you kiss your mother with that mouth? gross. shoulda figured you were some kinda pervert, everyone with that little fuckin’ nerd ponytail’s into some nasty shit. you tryna make me beg? gonna make me beg for it?”

Gordon’s mouth goes dry again. His voice cracks a little when he says, “Yeah. Beg.”

Benrey pants hard and fast into his ear, whining like a little bitch when he actually takes the bait and does it. He honest-to-god begs Gordon to let him come.

A gnarly rush of power goes straight to his head, and he white-knuckles the armrest to keep from blowing his load then and there. Being able to tell Benrey what to do, and having him listen, hits harder than anything else. Part of Gordon wants to be mean. Just fucking cruel, honestly, by telling him no. Telling him to fuck off. It’s the least he deserves after the psychological minefield Benrey put him through at the end of the resonance cascade. And it would be really, really funny.

But Benrey’s got a point. He is kind of a sick fuck, now. He wants to hear what it sounds like. Hell, he wants to be the one to do it to Benrey himself. Really just ruin him for anybody else. That’s not healthy, probably. But he’s two seconds away from finishing himself, and all those pleas of ‘fuck yeah’ and ‘fuck me’ are scratching an itch he didn’t know he had until, like, five minutes ago. And, yeah, it is so fucking good. Really basely satisfying.

Black Mesa psychologists would have a field day with this, but they don’t need to know that he’s blasting ropes right now to a guy he spent most of a good week trying to kill. So Gordon lets him.

“Go on. Do it. You won’t.”

The slapping and shuffling through the headset grows louder, faster, and somehow, this late into the game, it still shocks him when Benrey honest-to-god moans his name. Not some dumbass nickname, just plain-ass “gordon”. Over and over. An obscene mantra. Then he chokes out, “oh fuck,” and Gordon feels that all the way to his bones. He actually did it. That crazy son of a bitch.

Gordon jerks himself off so fast that he distantly wonders if he’s going to give himself friction burns, and he spills over his fist with a shout, noises and sounds burned into his brain.

For awhile, neither of them are able to say or so anything but breathe loudly into their headsets. The embarrassment’s already starting to set in, bone-deep, but also, he feels weirdly… good. Like he’s not about to have an existential crisis as soon as he turns off his PS3.

“Hey,” he says, voice weak.


“You, uh. You good?”

“jesus freeman. yeah i’m good. stupid ass.” He gets the feeling Benrey’s trying to bully him, but it’s at odds with the curiously fond tone of his voice. If Gordon had two brain cells left to rub together right now, he might wonder what that’s all about, but as it is, he passes out in his chair like he’s just been clubbed in the head.

When he wakes again, light filtering through his blinds, he’s sweaty and covered in slowly-drying come and his dick’s still hanging out of his pants. In short, he is a fucking mess. Gordon makes a disgusted sound at himself.

“wassup gamer,” he hears in his ear.

“Benrey? You’re still there?” Gordon’s voice is rough with sleep, and he clears his throat. “Don’t you ever sleep?”

“nah bro. i’m not human.”

Something warm, content, and vaguely alien curls up in his gut. And when Benrey tells him, “you should uhhh come over for some street fighter later. or whatever,” for once, Gordon says yes.

[← back]

[→ part 2: Tensile Strength]