Pavlovian Reflex

was commissioned to work on a Part 3 to whatever in the fuck this series is, and i couldn't resist. the request appealed very much to me, personally: shower sex, mouthplay, and blowjobs

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[→ part 4: Stress-Strain Relationship]

This is fine.

Bold words, half an hour ago. But now, after awkwardly shuffling back into his briefs, scrounging through Benrey’s kitchen for something to eat, and finding nothing but rows upon rows of energy drinks, Gordon Freeman is beginning to feel less than fine. The coffee table taunts him, askew and surrounded by gamer debris. The monumental horror image, he thinks. He avoids the mirror for as long as possible, but inevitably he ends up in Benrey’s bathroom anyway.

Look at you. Looking freshly fucked for the first time in ages. How’s it feel, buddy? Gordon’s mind is, unfortunately, correct - his hair’s equal parts matted with sweat and sticking out at impossible angles. And when he twists, he can make out vivid scratch marks down the length of his back. Heat crawls up his face. There’s no way he can go back outside looking like this.

Maybe he can get a shower before Benrey wakes up, and slip out sight-unseen. Gordon’s not sure if he’s ready for whatever fucking conversation’s going to befall him when he does. He shucks off his briefs again, feeling a little foolish. Then he cranks the hot water up as high as it’ll go. Just shy of blistering. Good for purging the body and the mind.

There’s so much questionable shit to worry about with this Thing that it makes his head spin. Don’t they need to, like, talk about this? Like adults? He’s 27 years old, for God’s sake, he shouldn’t be solving all of his emotional communication problems with sex. He’s got too many goddamn grey hairs to be living like this. However, that’s a problem for Gordon-several-hours-from-now, not for Gordon-right-now, so he buries his head in the spray and lets the water drum a relentless beat into his skull. Less thinking. More zoning out.

Suddenly, Gordon hears the bathroom door creak open, and he flinches so badly that he nearly slips and falls.

He raises his voice over the sound of the shower, “Uh, kind of occupied in here, man—”


“Fucking, get out, is what!”

“quit bein’ a little, fuckin’, crybaby bitch. nothin’ i haven’t seen before.” He’s technically correct, but that doesn’t mean Gordon has to like it. He tenses as he picks up the shampoo and starts to scrub his hair in earnest. There’s water running nearby, and then a muffled scrubbing. The idea of Benrey brushing his teeth is disorienting for reasons that Gordon doesn’t want to analyze too much.

Gordon ducks his head under the water, lingering there long enough for the shower curtain to rattle open and for Benrey to butt in. All Gordon can make out from this angle is his legs, bare and hairy, stepping in behind him. He swallows, hard.

There’s not a lot of room in there - Gordon can feel the body heat radiating off him, barely an inch away. Nothing wrong with this. Guys do this shit all the time. He’s not thinking about how electrically-fucking-charged the air feels right now, because this is normal, and he’s not going to make it weird by listening to his stupid dick.

“gimme that,” Benrey grunts, pointing past Gordon to the soap. He turns to pass it to Benrey and is once again caught off guard by just how close he is. If he ducked his head, he could bury his face in Benrey’s hair, he thinks.

But he doesn’t do this. Instead, Gordon blinks and lingers there, motionless, as his eyes scan Benrey from top to bottom without his having a say in the matter. He’s— he’s rocking half a chub, somehow, evident even without his glasses. And his skin’s glistening with water, conjuring up images of Benrey slick with sweat and flushed with exertion not twelve hours before. Something Pavlovian makes Gordon twitch.

When he drags his eyes back up to Benrey’s face, he’s alarmed by the toothiest, most lascivious smirk he thinks he’s ever seen. And he’s close enough that he can make out every nasty detail of it.

“likin’ what you see, huh.”


Benrey takes a step forward into his space. His skin grazes Gordon’s, and Gordon is abruptly made aware that he is very, very hard right now. He’s also made aware of his breathing, stilted and shallow, and it takes a conscious effort to force himself to do it. Was it always this hot in here?

“you uhhh… still want me to leave or what. could fuck around and go play some tekken with tommy,” he taunts.

Gordon shakes his head furiously before he can even think about it, but Benrey keeps going.

“let you fuckin’, jerk off by yourself in here. sad sack shit—”

He interrupts Benrey by yanking him by the jaw into an awkward kiss, just to shut him up. An exhale whistles through his nose. Benrey’s mouth parts in a laugh, mean and knowing, and he tilts his head to adjust to Gordon’s approach. There’s hands tangling in Gordon’s hair, scraping against his skull, and there’s a tongue wrangling its way into his mouth, and there’s a slick body pressed against his in one continuous line, and there’s cotton stuffed in his brain, occluding coherent thought.

Gordon’s hips subconsciously press forward to slide his dick against the crease between Benrey’s stomach and hip. In response, Benrey groans into his mouth and shoves him back against the shower wall. The tile’s cold on his back, but Benrey's warm and pleasantly heavy against his front.

“that’s what i,” Benrey starts as he pulls back to catch his breath, “what i thought, dipshit,” and then he’s diving back for more, a thigh slotted between Gordon’s. Water beats down around them.

In between open-mouthed kisses, Gordon gets his shit together enough to stammer out, “You are the fucking worst, you know that?”

“yeah yeah. you wanna bully me? try harder.” Benrey pulls Gordon down by the neck to press their foreheads together, looking him directly in the eye. “you won’t. you’re uhhh… you’re too chicken shit. ‘cause you like me, don’t you.”

“Don’t tempt me. I got some real nasty shit in the barrel,” he insists. He’s not giving Benrey the satisfaction of answering that.

“uh-huh. prove it, baby-ass. get mean. call me a nasty lil’ cocksucker or sumn. i know you wanna, prolly been—” Benrey cuts himself off to lick into Gordon’s mouth again, running his tongue along teeth. Gordon makes an ugly sound. He digs his fingers into the cords of Benrey’s neck, taking a vindictive pleasure when Benrey hisses and withdraws.

“How the hell would I know? It’s not like you’ve sucked my dick before.”

Benrey looks at him critically. “you askin’? ‘cause i could. you know… as a joke. ha ha.” As he says this, his mouth parts into a grin, baring gums and sharp, sharp teeth. Like Gordon’s the butt of a joke that he is absolutely not in on.

That’s— that’s nerve-wracking, he can’t lie, but nerves and arousal meld to give him the best fear boner he’s ever had. It’s not like Gordon doesn’t trust Benrey, because against all reason, he kind of does, but. But. Those teeth, man. Gordon envisions them snapping shut like an alligator’s, and shivers.

Tension stretches out between them, a thin, electric wire, and then Benrey laughs darkly at him. “you are chicken shit, huh. lil’ baby bitch scared of gettin’ his dick bit off. didn’t you go to… uhhh MIT? smart boy? use your fuckin’, big ol’ brain for once. how’re you supposed to rail me if i bite off your hog,” he says, peppering his bullying with the occasional tap at Gordon’s skull for emphasis.

“Jesus, can you blame me? The last time I saw you in person, you were— you were trying to kill me!” He can practically feel the water hissing off of his face as steam.

“why you still whining about that. that was like… years ago.”

“It was barely a fucking month ago!”

Benrey shrugs. “same difference.”

Gordon pinches the bridge of his nose and lets out a long, guttural sigh. How is this the guy that he’s in too deep for— that he’s banging, he corrects himself. Strictly banging. Benrey snorts at him, the corners of his mouth curling up again, and Gordon sternly tries to remind himself of this.

“you wanna uhhh… wanna little inspection? lil’ mouth inspection? scope it out for yourself,” he drawls. “i’ll be good. reaaal good.”

“What do you mean, 'inspection'?”

As an answer, Benrey opens his mouth and guides Gordon’s fingers to his teeth. Oh. That’s what he means.

So, Gordon inspects. He runs his fingers across their sharp edges, noting that they’re not that sharp. Just… pointier. And in the back, his molars are just as flat as a normal person’s. Benrey’s mouth hangs open wide for him, and moist breaths puff out over his hand. Out of sheer curiosity, Gordon pulls Benrey’s cheek out to inspect his gums. Benrey lets him, making a sound around his fingers. They’re dark and mottled in places, but overall, Gordon’s surprised by just how healthy his teeth look, considering his diet of energy drinks and sodas.

His fingers skim over the flat of Benrey’s tongue, and Benrey lets it loll out of his mouth like a dog’s, making that sound again. It’s encouraging, so he probes some more. Pushes a little harder, presses his fingers deeper into Benrey’s mouth. He wonders just how far Benrey will let him go. Would he open wider? Would he gag around him? Gordon exhales harshly, open-mouthed.

He listens to that foul impulse, fingertips brushing against the very back of Benrey’s tongue, where the vaguely fuzzy texture gives way to bumpy, slick flesh. Benrey worms his tongue around Gordon’s fingers to lap at the thin webbing between them. Something alarming courses through Gordon’s belly.

And then it happens again, and again - hot, wet, malleable, all around his fingers that he had no idea were this fucking sensitive to begin with, Jesus - and his thighs tremble, knees weak. Even more so when Benrey closes his mouth around him and starts to suck. An imitation, vulgar and imperfect, of what he originally offered, but Gordon’s this goddamn close to coming right then and there. Just from this.

“Christ, Benrey,” Gordon pants, breath ragged, and he abruptly yanks his fingers out of Benrey’s mouth. Benrey blinks at him, but before he can say whatever offended thing is on the tip of his tongue, Gordon barrels on, words tumbling out of him, “Fuck, man, I— yes, yeah, oh my God, I want— you can— all of that, please, God.”

“huh? wanna uhhh… wanna repeat that for me?”

Gordon closes his eyes, overwhelmed. Static buzzes in his ears, drowning him out to himself as he takes a deep breath and says, “You can— you can suck my dick, man. Please.”

“haha cool,” Benrey says. As if that’s an acceptable response. He draws back, and then, quicker than Gordon expects, there’s a hand on his dick. And then a tongue, broad and warm, drawing a wet line up the side from base to tip.

“Oh my God,” whispers Gordon. He’s almost afraid to open his eyes, fearing that when he does, the illusion will be shattered and he won’t actually be getting his dick sucked right now. Like he’s stuck in some kind of wet dream. But Gordon feels that same wet warmth envelop his dick as it did his hand, and he can’t stop the moan that punches his way out of him. Or the way his eyes fly open in surprise.

Oh God. That’s worse. (Or better?) Seeing Benrey on his knees, lavishing attention on the tip before taking him deep, and then deeper still, his thumb tucked into his fist as he buries his nose in Gordon’s stomach— Gordon’s fist thumps back against the wall. There are things coming out of his mouth that might be words, but he’s not sure, because Benrey is drawing back with a suction bordering on “dangerous”.

Then he buries Gordon’s dick in his throat again. Over and over, with absolutely no concern for just how fucking loud he’s being. It’s the sloppiest blowjob Gordon’s ever gotten, and his entire body broils with heat. Somebody’s going to overhear them, Gordon thinks wildly, somebody’s going to call the goddamn cops on them for a noise ordinance violation, he’s sure of it. But right now, he thinks he might risk getting caught with his dick in Benrey’s mouth just to let him keep going.

Benrey chooses that moment to look up at him, maintaining eye contact as he sucks Gordon’s dick like a vacuum. Gordon’s fingers scrabble against the tile. He has no fucking business looking like that, looking like something straight out of a porno. And his eyelashes have no business looking so long from this angle.

Where did he learn this shit? How many times has he done it before? Was this what he was thinking about the whole goddamn time they were in Black Mesa - getting down on his knees to blow him? In front of God and everybody?

(Could he even have done that? He never dug too far into how to get his suit panels off until it was too late.)

While Gordon’s lost in thought, Benrey pulls off of him with a pop. “why you just standin’ there,” he says, frowning up at Gordon. “doctor uhhh hoverhands over here. scared you’re gonna be too gay if you pull my hair a lil’ bit? come on.”

“I,” Gordon starts, then realizes that he does not have the brainpower right now to formulate a response. Instead, Gordon tentatively threads a tingling hand through Benrey’s wet hair.

That frown of his quickly melts back into a lurid grin. “that’s— that’s the shit, bro.”

Then he gets his mouth back on Gordon again, and it’s hot-wet-hot and nearly suffocating in its totality and Gordon’s hand clenches of its own accord. Benrey makes an encouraging noise. In response, Gordon pulls a little tighter, and Benrey moans around him. He can feel it rumble through him more than anything. Though, to be fair, he can definitely fucking hear it, too. Why is he so loud?

When Gordon dares to look down again, he spots Benrey’s hand working fast, jerking himself off while his mouth’s full of dick. Oh. God. He really does like this shit, huh. It hits Gordon like a sledgehammer.

“Benrey,” he gasps, “fuck, man, I’m— you can’t do that, that’s too hot, I’m seriously gonna—”

Benrey withdraws again, stroking Gordon with his free hand while he speaks, “haha, what? you’re hot for benrey? good friend benrey? nice.”

“We— oh my God— we have established this, okay, I’m hot for you, why do you think I fucked you—”

“mouth or face?”

He blinks. The gears in his head turn and come up short. “What?”

“you wanna finish in my mouth or on my face,” Benrey repeats slowly, irritated.

Oh. The mere thought of Benrey with come on his face makes him light-headed, even though there’s no way his imagination can compare to the real thing. Gordon nods furiously. Then he realizes that that’s not a proper answer, so he stammers out, “The— the face, I wanna see it on your face.”


Benrey shimmies forward a bit, getting himself in position. His hand pumps faster, squeezes tighter, and Gordon’s so close he knows he’s not gonna last more than a minute. Both of his hands find his way to Benrey’s hair, then one slips down to frame his face, a thumb stroking Benrey’s cheek absentmindedly.

He’s got really nice cheekbones, Gordon thinks deliriously. That’s the thought that pushes him over the edge, somehow— he pulls Benrey’s hair so fucking tight, and he chokes out, “Benrey, Benrey, oh fuck,” and he draws in another rattling breath, and whatever comes out of his mouth next is a blur, unknown even to him. And then, finally, he’s coming his goddamn brains out, striping Benrey’s face with it. His cheeks, his open mouth, his tongue. All of it.

His face— his fucking face— there’s practically hearts in his eyes, the way he’s looking at Gordon with unadulterated affection. Benrey’s tongue slips back into his mouth, and he visibly swallows.

Gordon slides down the wall from sheer exhaustion. His legs end up framing Benrey, who looks deeply, smugly satisfied, even with his face covered in spunk. The sight of it makes Gordon feel Something, post-nut clarity settling in around him like a thick blanket - a combination of satisfaction, possessiveness, and, truthfully, mild anxiety, because he was just ruminating over this shit not half an hour ago and now he’s enmeshing himself ever deeper into Whatever This Is. But louder than the undercurrent of anxiety is the desire to help clean Benrey off. It just feels like the nice thing to do.

So Gordon hauls himself back up on shaky legs to take a washcloth to Benrey’s face. Benrey blinks at him, and then his whole face wrinkles in embarrassment. Redness creeps into his cheeks.

“don’t need to fuckin’… wipe my face off. gay ass. what are you, my mom?”

“Maybe don’t say shit like that right after you suck me off,” Gordon says, rolling his eyes. For all Benrey’s bitching, he still sits there and lets him have at it. He even leans his face into Gordon’s hand. Makes his stomach do something funny.

Okay. Sure. Gordon reconsiders, and he’s starting to think that this might actually be okay. Whatever this is between them, it can’t be that bad if he’s trying (and failing) not to smile right now, just from watching Benrey squirm. Is this, like, a thing? Being this into somebody he cannot fucking stand most of the time? And wanting to clean their face and scrub their hair and make them laugh until they can’t breathe? The thought’s giving him heart palpitations.

Gordon shakes himself. Instead of getting stuck in his own head again, he opts to lean into one of those impulses, grabbing Benrey’s shampoo.

“Head and Shoulders 2-in-1? Jeez, man. You can do better than that.”

“whu— huh?” Benrey blinks harder when Gordon squeezes some straight onto his head.

“Combination shampoo and conditioner never works as well as using them separately,” he explains as he works it into thick suds. Benrey tilts his head down in acquiescence, eyes slowly drifting shut. “It’s just science. One strips your hair of oils, and the other is supposed to coat and protect it. It’s like… mixing soap and butter, or something. Makes them both worse at their jobs.”


“I don’t know. I don’t— I don’t have a lot of brain cells left right now. Just trust me on this.”

The lingering anxiety fades away with the rote scrubbing motion. If there’s one thing he can use his advanced education for, it’s explaining why sulfates are bad for your hair to a guy who is absolutely not listening but who seems to like the feeling of fingernails on his scalp anyway.

Somehow, even after finishing up and shoving Benrey’s head under the shower spray, Benrey’s still half-hard. Gordon comes to the realization that he should probably offer to help with that. It’s like an unspoken code, right? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. And also, he kind of wants to. Like, really wants to. He’s only been thinking about sucking Benrey’s dick for God knows how long, now.

“Hey, Benrey,” Gordon starts, mouth unexpectedly dry as he steps forward to press his chest against Benrey’s back, “you want some help with that?”

“help with wh— oh.” His chest jumps with a sudden breath as Gordon’s arms encircle him from behind. Gordon rests his chin on Benrey’s shoulder. Then he skims the hair on Benrey’s stomach with his fingertips, where it’s flattened from wetness. Benrey shudders, mouth running off, “yuhhh, yeah, fuck. didn’t think you were gonna.”

“Jeez, man, do I really come off like that kind of guy? I’m not that mean.” Gordon punctuates this by wrapping a hand around Benrey’s dick.

“you could be,” Benrey mumbles, “i’d letcha be mean to me. tell me to wait ‘til you say so.”

God, he would, wouldn’t he? Gordon’s ears burn afresh. Something to file away for later (and God, is that ever a thought). For now, he just works his hand around Benrey in a slow, measured pace. It’s surreal watching the head of his dick peek in and out with each stroke. It’s even more surreal feeling Benrey lean back, pressing as much of himself against Gordon as he can, his head craning to the side to whisper something into his ear.

“you gonna… gonna suck my dick bro?”

Something mean worms its way into Gordon’s tongue, coming out as, “Tell me why I should bother. You’re kinda easy, aren’t you? I could just get you off like this, and you’d like it, wouldn't you.”

“you told me you wanted to— uhhh, suck me off, right? lemme fuck your face a lil’? if you think you can even, hhhh, handle it,” he breathes.

“Fucking, yes, I can handle it. It’s just a dick, how bad it could be— Ugh, that’s not even the point!” He squeezes a bit out of irritation, but it seems to have an effect opposite to what he intended. “Why do you always do this shit? Can’t you ever just— just play along a little?”

“’s fun pushin’ you around. you’re easy.”

Goosebumps travel up the shell of Gordon’s ear. “Okay, yeah, sure. You know how to push my fucking buttons. But I know how to push yours too, Benrey. You like— you like begging for shit, don’t you?”

Benrey stops breathing for a moment. Bingo.

“I heard you do it all the time back in Black Mesa. All, ‘please sir can i see your passport’, and ‘please stop shooting? please?’, and whatever. Why don’t you ask me for something like that. Real polite. Convince me.” The whole time he’s speaking, he continues to jerk Benrey off, deliberately slow.

“shit,” Benrey says shakily, giving in to the barest minimum of provocation, “please? please? suck my dick maybe? as a uhhh… as a treat?”

Gordon buries a surprised snort of laughter in Benrey’s shoulder. Why does he say shit like that? It gets Benrey to bitch at him and toss out a few more “please”es, which is a plus, he thinks. Benrey does sound really good when he’s asking nicely. After a moment of feigned deliberation, Gordon relents and tells him to turn around. Which he does. Finally, Gordon sinks to his knees, guiding Benrey around so that the showerhead isn’t blasting hot water directly into his goddamn eyeballs.

Well, up close and personal, it’s… a little more than he expected. Benrey’s big in every possible way, even in this. How is he supposed to get his mouth around that thing? Gordon exhales harshly and gives him a few exploratory strokes from this new angle.

Benrey senses his hesitation, laughing at him. “you know it’s fine if you wanna be a little bitch and pussy out,” he says, and weirdly enough, Gordon kind of believes him. He’d probably get off on it. Like he said earlier.

Unfortunately, that just gets Gordon’s goat all the more, and now he feels like he has to commit to the bit out of pure spite. At first he’s tentative, imitating what he saw Benrey do earlier: licking a stripe up the center from the base. He expects it to taste, well, he doesn’t know. Salty? Musky? But it tastes curiously clean instead. Gordon supposes that’s better than the alternative, and he’s relieved that the first learning experience he’s getting is happening in the shower.

Then he mouths at the tip, and he’s suffused with a heady smugness from the way Benrey shivers.

“open wider,” Benrey guides him breathlessly, “get your uhhh… wrap your lips around your teeth. no bitey please.”

Good of him to ask so nicely, but Gordon still pulls back, brow furrowed. “Who’s bossing who around here?”

“just tryna help, sheesh.”

Gordon supposes he can’t argue with that. His research in this area wasn’t exactly exhaustive. “Okay, okay,” he says, mollified. He takes Benrey’s advice. Slowly, he guides Benrey further into his mouth, though he finds that it’s easier said than done.

“fuuuck,” groans Benrey, “yeah, that’s good. like that.”

Heat curls in Gordon’s belly at the praise. (He refuses to interrogate this right now.) The muscles in his jaw stretch, and Benrey’s dick rests heavy on his tongue. Bitterness seeps onto his taste buds. It takes a concerted effort not to gag from surprise. Despite this, Gordon keeps at it, using one hand to stroke all the dick that he can’t manage to fit in his mouth and bracing the other on Benrey’s thigh. He’s… he’s weirdly into this, he realizes. Then he glances up at Benrey. The filthy look on his face cements it for him.

Benrey’s breathing grows labored. “you,” he starts, “if you do the— ball your fist up— goofs up your gag reflex, makes you real good at suckin’.”

He would have puzzled that one out himself eventually, thanks, but he does as Benrey suggests. Whatever the reason, it seems to help - Gordon gets more than halfway down his length before his gag reflex acts up again. That’s just fine by Benrey, apparently, judging by those throaty sounds and the hand winding into his hair.

For a moment, he pulls back to threaten, “If you pull, I’ll bite your shit off.”

“yes siiirrr,” slurs Benrey.

Now that he’s got the hang of it, Gordon starts to suck in earnest, hollowing his cheeks. His jaw’s beginning to ache, and there’s spit trailing down his chin. Benrey’s head knocks back against the tile, though, mouth parted on a nasal whine, and that alone makes it worth it. Frankly, there’s no fucking way he’s gonna be able to compare to Benrey’s sloppy (and loud) technique, just out of sheer embarrassment. But Gordon’s still giving it the best he’s got.

“please,” Benrey asks again, bordering on desperate, “keep goin’ please? ‘s good bro, it’s so fuckin’ good.”

The power Gordon wields over him right now goes straight to his head. Benrey’s kind of cute like this, he thinks, all strung out and begging and his thighs trembling from the effort of keeping himself from thrusting his hips. He’s behaving surprisingly well. Is this really all he had to do to get Benrey to shut up and listen to him? Maybe he should’ve blown Benrey a long time ago. The thought almost makes Gordon laugh out loud, but he reins it in.

More bitterness hits the back of his tongue. “lemme fuck your mouth, gordonnn, c’mon, i’m gonna— gonna— fuckin’ lose it man, you do this shit so well,” he pleads.

Well, flattery will get him everywhere. Gordon’s ears burn at the thought of pulling back and saying it aloud, so he gives Benrey a thumbs up instead. There’s a warbling “oh, shit,” from above him, and then Benrey’s slowly thrusting into his mouth. Gordon nearly chokes when he mistimes his motions with Benrey’s, and decides that now is a good time for him to stop moving and just let Benrey do his thing.

Those thrusts grow faster, deeper, and Benrey’s hand cradles his head to keep him in place. Gordon lets out a low, wanton sound around his dick, mimicking Benrey just minutes before. Fingers scrabble at the back of his skull. Like Benrey’s just itching to pull, but knows better.

“gonna come, gonna— you gonna let me?”

He doesn’t know what the fuck Benrey expects him to say with a mouth full of gamer dick, but he makes an encouraging noise and claps the back of Benrey’s thigh to spur him on. Benrey babbles his name, his free hand pressed to his mouth to muffle himself, and then he buries his dick as far down as Gordon will let him and he’s coming in white-hot spurts near the back of Gordon’s mouth.

Gordon pulls away at last, coughing vigorously. His come tastes strange and a little unpleasant, so he spits it out. “Jesus, man,” he says, voice hoarse. The complaint is mostly perfunctory - he wasn’t expecting it, but fuck if he wouldn’t let Benrey do it again.

For once, Benrey can’t bring himself to speak. Gordon wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and grins up at him.

The water’s long gone cold by the time he gets to his feet, and his knees have something pointed to say about the matter, but Gordon finds that it doesn’t bother him. He likes the way Benrey’s looking at him - star-struck, eyes unwilling to leave him for even a second. Gordon thinks about kissing him again but decides against it. That’s gross, probably.

They rinse off and towel off and all that horseshit that Gordon’s barely paying attention to. He’s too light-headed. Makes his hunt for his clothes more difficult than it reasonably should be. When Gordon does find his hoodie, he wrinkles his nose. How is there so much jizz on it? Did he really fucking wipe himself off with it in the heat of the moment?

“Hey, uh, Benrey,” Gordon says awkwardly, “do you have a shirt or something I can borrow? I’m not going outside in this thing.”

“whu— oh. yeah.” Benrey digs through a pile of clothes that Gordon has to assume is clean for his own sanity, stacked haphazardly on a chair.

He pulls out a plain black T-shirt that ends up being a size or two too big for him, but Gordon slips it on anyway. It’s soft and worn. Benrey looks at him, ears going red.

“you uhhh… you really gonna head outta here that fast tho. you still got cumbrain bro. what if you walk off a cliff or sumn and you don’t even notice until you look down. like… roadrunner. you really wanna go out like that? kinda sad gordon.”

“I’m— I’m not going to—” Gordon can’t even finish that sentence because he’s bowled over laughing. If Benrey really wanted him to stay over awhile longer, he could have just asked, but Gordon’s getting better at Benrey-speak by the day, so he lets it slide.

They pull up Street Fighter again, and Gordon’s hands are firm on his controller, and he finally puts El Fuerte back in his place like he’s been meaning to. He crows and rubs it in. Benrey lets him, throwing his legs over Gordon’s in defiance, and he thinks he’s good like that for awhile. It’s a decent place to be.

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[→ part 4: Stress-Strain Relationship]