much like with the other petplay thing ive spent way too long writing and drawing for i am obsessed with the scenario of "weird little games between bros turning horny b/c they are both intensely fucking weird" and im just saying i think it would be good and cute if benrey had a few cat-like features that led up to it.......like being able to see better in the dark than gordon can, or his pupils dilating when something moves too fast past his vision......just little things. little subtly-not-human things (b/c that is kind of the way i like envisioning him best - just not-human enough to raise eyebrows some times). and if maybe this shit actually starts allllll the way back in black mesa, when night vision might actually be more useful/relevant
mostly i am thinking about benrey seeing the barnacles' tentacles swaying and his eyes getting Huge as he tracks the motion and gordon being "hahah jesus what are you, a cat?" and benrey being like "uhhh nya bro" and doing the hand thing and gordon wheezing with laughter b/c its so.......incongruent with the entire rest of his vibe. and then benrey never does it again
doing it in a complete deadpan while looking as dead in the eyes and flat-faced as he usually does. thank u for listening
gordon idly fucking around with a bit of rope or string during one of their periods of downtime and noticing how hard benreys pretending like hes not paying attention but hes very fucking bad at it. hes practically sweating from it. so gordon snorts and starts dragging it along the floor like hes actually trying to entice a cat to play and benrey accidentally sets something on fire from the effort of Not Fucking Paying Attention, and also, Stop Doing That Shit Please. and it just makes gordon laugh at him and say shit like "man, you really are just like a cat, huh. weird."
basically i just want gordon to make fun of him for doing cat-like shit b/c he doesnt get to make fun of benrey for a lot of things and its hard to resist the urge when gordons doing shit like trying really fucking hard to get benrey to listen to him, and its not working in the slightest, until gordon gives up and tries doing the "pspspsps" thing as a joke and benreys head whips around and then the embarrassment sets in for him and it makes him look so pissed off that gordon starts crying laughing and forgets what he was trying to get benrey to do in the first place
even better if whenever gordon pulls this shit, bubby rolls his eyes and is like "quit fucking flirting and lets get a move on!" and it embarrasses the hell out of both of them
u ever just dream about a security guard that you swear u cant fucking stand, having soft lil cat ears and letting u scritch behind them and purring and u wake up fucking infuriated that even in sleep you cant fucking get rid of that guy? gordon has,
he used to have regular stress dreams about falling off of cliffs and being chased by aliens but these ones might actually be worse.
anyway this is all just preamble for possibly the only "oh my god......and then they were Roommates" things i will write for this fandom b/c the imagery of benrey showing up in the rain a month later at gordons apartment looking like a wet cat (and, you know, kind of being one) is very funny to me. without black mesa around dude doesnt have a job anymore and if u think benrey knows how to actually job search, youre wrong. his resume is a single-page word document with a youtube video embedded in it that he prints out and gives to people in person and doesnt understand why hes not getting hired
thinks about him being like "what?? no? you tried to kill me, dickhead. go away" and shutting the door, but man, its really comin down out there and theres thunder rattling his windows and gordons angrily pacing around his living room trying to ignore it but then he peeks back out his front door an hour later and benreys still sitting there curled up under the eaves looking like the saddest fuckin thing imaginable and gordon sighs at himself like "i cannot fucking believe im doing this. get inside and dont say a goddamn word to me"
(benrey does the first thing but immediately fails at the second thing and gordon has half a mind to kick him back out again.)
and. you know. its a lot easier to make fun of benrey about all the cat shit and play along with it a little when there arent 3 other scientists around to (rightfully) give gordon shit about flirting with him. b/c its not fucking flirting, alright. when gordon flicks a bread clip across the floor just to watch benrey instinctively try to bat at it (and then tease him about it), thats not flirting. its normal. regular guys rearrange their furniture so that theres a nice patch of sun right where benrey likes to chill out the most. its not weird
hes a regular guy! a regular guy who definitely still cant stand benrey and doesnt think theres something kind of cute about seeing his pupils dilate like that and isnt having to make himself resist the urge to reach out and ruffle benreys hair whenever hes doing that weird cat shit (b/c, lets be clear, hes not doing it all the time. its uncommon enough that it still catches gordon off guard when he does it. most of his other obviously-not-human tells are more, uh, video-gamey.)
framing it like "oh hes just a weird cat dude" instead of.....whatever unknowable thing benrey is......probably helps gordon deal with all the rough edges of having to live with him and interact with him more regularly, too. like, he can get cats, man. he can kind of predict benreys weird behavior better that way. (although, just like living with a cat might, some of the shit benrey does really pisses him off and he cant fucking fathom why benrey would do it. but having a mental framework of why benrey might be acting like that, even if its not accurate, makes gordon less like "i am going to murder him and kick him out" on a regular basis)
like.....benrey and gordon locking eyes as benrey slowly, gradually pushes a glass to the edge of the table, stone-faced
what gordon doesnt know, though, is that benreys kind of......ramping it up for him. because, yknow, sure, the embarrassment of gordon getting the better of him and teasing out his weirder cat-like instincts was real, but when its just the two of them gordons like.....noticeably softer towards him when hes doing the cat stuff. the teasings less embarrassing and more......You Know.......when theyre one-on-one. he likes getting gordon to laugh by doing this shit. and the one time gordon actually slips up and scritches his goddamn head on instinct is the last nail in that particular coffin, theres no going back now, hes all in
so, you know, he keeps ramping it up. pushing to see how far gordons gonna take this little game. he starts scooting closer to gordon on the couch at night, butting his head against gordon, curling up next to him and making a weird, rumbly sound thats the closest approximation he can get to purring whenever gordons like "okay, this is weird, but if hes not gonna say anything then neither am i" and starts idly petting his head. benrey may not literally Be A Cat Boy, but hes learned a thing or two from hanging out with all the stray cats outside gordons apartment (and, you know, wikipedia). and hes putting that knowledge to use b/c if the closest gordon will let him be (both physically and emotionally) is when hes playing into the cat thing, well, slap a collar on him and call him whiskers
anyway its all fun and games until gordon gets progressively more handsy when hes petting and lets his hand run down benreys shoulders and arms and face and benrey leans into it and flips himself over so his stomachs exposed for the first time and. you know. the. tummy rubs. and subsequent boner. "you have an intensely specific thing for this huh" Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up
so my other painfully specific Thing is the phenomenon of dudes getting into sexually charged situations and then jerking away like theyve just touched a hot stove and anxiously retreating to mull over their life choices/furiously jerk off about it while wondering, haha, okay, but what if? and this is exactly what gordon freeman does later that night, because over the course of the past month or 2 hes gone from "actively trying to avoid benrey" to "letting him live on his goddamn couch" to "petting him like hes a fucking cat and touching his stomach and making him pop a boner" and hes having a really hard time with it.
he tries very hard to ignore it but hes hard all fucking night and he has the weirdest wet dream that night and hes still hard by the time he crawls into his shower the next morning, which is bound to be some kind of medical emergency, right, and he doesnt want to have to go into the hospital or whatever and tell a bunch of strangers about his Boner Problems. thinking about it almost gives him a panic attack so gordon resigns himself to jerking off as quietly as he can in the shower. and hes trying so, so hard to not think about benreys boner in his stupid sweatpants but he absolutely cannot ignore it. his life is suffering
now like, the funny thing about having a dude living on your couch is that it really doesnt afford a lot of privacy. and as far as gordon knows, benreys been pretty good about not being fucking weird and jerking off on his couch. unfortunately, that part of his life is over now, b/c gordons not as quiet as he thinks he is and those bathroom walls are thin. benrey may not have gone to MIT, but he can put 2 and 2 together to get 4, and hes dead fucking certain gordons jerking off about what happened last night and it makes him bold and a little stupid.
so when theyre both back home later that night, he ramps it up again. headbutts gordons shoulder. rubs the crown of his head against gordons neck. licks the side of his jaw. it is, frankly, some of the gayest shit hes ever done, and its making gordon turn red as a tomato, but hes still playing along and scratching behind benreys ears and petting benreys back in long, slow strokes and his hand is so very broad and warm and its honestly a little hard to believe that hes got gordon whipped like this. and gordon still doesnt know why in the fuck hes still playing the game (actually, this is a lie. hes deep in denial about those butterflies in his stomach telling him he really wants to see where it goes.)
but jokes on gordon, b/c it feels so fucking nice that benrey ends up falling asleep draped over his lap and gordon has to just sit there sweating with his back ramrod-straight trying to pretend like hes not a little (or a lot) hard again, right fucking there. he watches infomercials until 3 in the morning and absorbs absolutely zero information about them
anyway tl;dr benreys kicking himself a little bit b/c hes really sure he couldve gotten gordon to touch his dick and so he breaks that particular social code and jerks off right there on the couch after he drifts awake, shortly after gordons gone to bed. but, haha, isnt that funny, gordon cant fucking sleep b/c hes up all night re-evaluating his life choices again and when he stumbles out of his room in the darkness to get a glass of water, he catches benrey doing That and stops dead in his tracks
benreys got an arm thrown over his eyes and his sweatpants shoved down to his knees and hes fucking his hand like he might die tomorrow and hes panting so hard gordon can hear it from the hallway and gordon feels like he should either say something or turn tail and head right back to bed but he cant do any of those things. especially not when thats his name that he can just barely make out on benreys breath. its too dark for gordon to make out most of the details, but for some reason, that might be hotter than if he actually could. his imaginations racing to fill in the gaps while he presses himself back against the hallway wall and covers his mouth with his hand out of shock/certainty that if he doesnt, benreys gonna hear him and catch him (and gordon is so fucking neurotic in this situation that hes worried about getting in trouble from benrey catching him. he needs therapy.)
anyway its basically the hottest thing that has ever happened in his apartment (which is. sad in and of itself) and he has to go to work the next day on like 2 hours of sleep pretending like nothing happened and he hasnt suddenly unlocked a brand new desire to fuck benrey into that couch and get him to say gordons name properly that time. hes fine. hes fine
cue the unbearable fuckin sexual tension over the next week or two as they are both incredibly obvious about how badly they want to fuck when they lean into the petplay shit but gordons too chickenshit to do anything about it. instead he suffers as only culturally-christian americans can: making himself suffer needless guilt every time he gives in and jacks it to thoughts of benrey in a goddamn collar and cat ears and a fluffy little tail. (his internet searches have gotten really pointed and particular lately, which is really fun for benrey when he forgets to clear his history one night and benrey hops on to look up youtube videos of people using hydraulic presses to crush different kinds of smartphones.)
fast forward to the day when gordon, sleep-deprived as all hell, walks past a pet supply store on his way home from work and his feet pull him inside and plant him right in front of the collars and when an unsuspecting worker asks him if he needs any help, he just tiredly says "sorry im making a really bad decision right now." and he looks so exhausted and like 10 yrs older than he actually is and its so distressing that theyre just like.......okay! good luck with that
and he picks out a fucking collar (and, yes, its a dog collar, but those are the only ones big enough for him to wrap around benreys neck and just thinking that thought makes him want to die a little) and he asks the employees if they can put a fucking bell on it and its absolutely obvious that he doesnt have a dog, considering hes also picking up a handful of fucking cat toys b/c he has lost all control of his life, but the cashier just smiles and pretends like hes a totally normal guy (b/c that is their job) and he feels an utterly unwarranted sense of having gotten away with it. (he did not get away with it. normal people usually ask for contact info on their collar tags, or their pets name. not their own goddamn name alone)
so. anyway. he gets the fucking collar and he manages not to pass out in the middle of the store and hes walking home with a plastic bag that feels like the heaviest thing gordons ever held before. his brain is yelling at him to not fucking think about it because if he does, hes gonna have to acknowledge that hes taking the game way too goddamn far and now hes some real sick motherfucker, thinking about putting a collar on his friend/enemy/begrudging roommate and petting his head afterwards and watching him lean his head into gordons hand and Okay Steer Away From That Kind Of Shit Right Fucking Now. itll be easier for gordon to accept the inevitable "bro what the hell is this" if he doesnt get his hopes up.
but the thing is that thats not what happens. gordon gets home, and he leaves the bag on a chair while he heads to the bathroom, and he forgets that one of the more irritating traits benrey has is that hes nosy and by the time gordon gets back out benreys already got it dangling from his hand like "yo haha whats this."
"its-- its for-- somebody asked me to get it. as a favor. put that shit back where you found it, man, dont you have any manners--"
"whys it say gordon on it."
gordon starts sweating so badly that he has to grab the doorframe in order to not pass out. he was not emotionally prepared for this. benrey, however, does not take pity on him in the slightest, and starts bullying him real fuckin badly about it, like, "haha, you into this kind of shit? you some kind of nasty boy? why you sweatin so bad, i already knew, bro. gotta clear your search history. or start browsin in private mode. infosec. stop usin google chrome, its not even a good browser. sall, uhhh, un-op-ti-miiiized. you want google to have your data? jeff google knowin all about your catboy thing--"
"oh my god stop talking stop talking--"
"wanna put it on me? huh? go on. do it, pussy. you wont"
and the thing is, gordon really does want to put it on him still. so.
gordon takes the fucking collar and he keeps repeating "stop, okay, dont fucking say anything, just let me do this" and he wraps it around benreys neck and the simple black weave looks a lot nicer against benreys skin than gordon thought it would and hes close enough to benrey right now that he can feel the guys breathing going shallow with anticipation and then its done, its closed, and he rotates it around so that the bell and the tag are hanging from the front, right in that shallow divot of his collarbone, and benrey leans his head into gordons hand afterwards, just like he imagined
and benrey says "looks like im all yours, gordon" with a shitty little smile on his face like he knows exactly what gordons fucking deal was the whole time, which he did, but also, his voice is doing something......weird? like, hes trying real fucking hard to maintain that jokey facade, but hes, like, Affected, man. and that makes gordon dizzier than anything else.
the moment is so ripe with tension that a guy with even slightly more emotional savvy would cotton on and, like, try to kiss benrey, at the very least. but gordon does not have this. he just stammers out "oh. cool" and withdraws his hand and awkwardly rubs the back of his neck. i am keeping this fucker in as deep of denial as i possibly can b/c i am a sucker for unresolved sexual tension and i like making gordon freeman suffer
he IS gonna send himself to the hospital at this rate from dick too hard. now hes gonna be reminded every time benrey MOVES
sometimes benrey just fiddles with it both out of teehee bell jingle and out of "oh i know this will destroy gordon a little every time he hears it". benrey is the pet but gordon is the one developing a trained response to a bell
the collar is also good b/c the ritual of taking it off and putting it back on helps gordon to, like, compartmentalize it? like, he has to admit to himself now, in some way, that he likes this game, and he wants to keep playing it, because benrey stops doing the cat thing whenever hes not wearing the collar
and if he wants benrey to start doing it again, hes gotta own up to it and put the fucking collar on him again! and you know he does, because gordon freeman is capital-F Fucked
hes jerkin off every fuckin night (and sometimes multiple times a day) and hes never been this level of prolonged-horny in his life and he doesnt really realize that if he got over himself and owned up to how sexual this situation is, he could be calling benrey a pretty kitty and plowing him across every horizontal surface in the house
his mental self-conception is of himself as a very normal and vanilla guy and hes having a very difficult time accepting that hes A) a kinky fucker, but also B) not really that kinky. this is barely fucking anything but gordon freeman is not accepting this
so instead you know hes leaving his bedroom door open and listening to benrey shamelessly panting out in the living room and palming himself thru his boxers and thinking, thinking so goddamn much about going out there and doing something about it but chickening out at the last second every time and just surreptitiously jackin it under his covers. plausible deniability
how many times can i repeat "theyre both just jacking off all the fucking time under the same roof and engaging in mutual voyeurism for weeks" before it gets boring? lets find out
benrey is up for playing this game as long as he needs to. like yeah he wants gordons dick but this is a level of teasing he only dreamed of getting on with this dude. he wants to see all the faces he can make gordon make
anyway i like to think that the endless foreplay comes to a head when gordons watching something featuring a scene where somebodys like......begrudgingly letting their cat sleep on their bed......and it makes him think, man, its kind of sad that benreys still sleeping on his shitty couch every night for nearly 2 months now. (never mind the fact that they could fix this by just, like, helping him find somewhere else to stay. gordons choosing not to think about this, but the truth is that he kind of......doesnt want benrey to leave at this point, anyway.)
and he stammers out something like "you could......come sleep on my bed? tonight? like, if you want, i dont actually care--" and benrey blinks at him like hes just been hit by a truck and hes like "huh? yeah? cool. nice" and the whole rest of the night theyre both just, thinking about it. the unspoken promise in that statement. its the most awkward and tense fucking thing imaginable but gordon still feels like he has to maintain the pretense of being as normal as possible, so he waits until he should actually be getting to bed before yawning and saying as much and the jingling when benrey gets up and follows him is so. fucking. loud
theyre still playing the fuckin game, tho, so benrey actually does just curl up at the foot of gordons bed like a cat might. and gordons like, huh. okay. so he starts petting. stroking benreys hair. testing out some of the weirder shit hes had a hard time letting himself say. calling benrey a pretty fucking kitty while his hand drifts to benreys chin and starts rubbing and benreys eyes close in utter satisfaction. then gordon blurts out, "man, youre really cute like this," and benrey grins and rolls over onto his back again and hes already super fucking hard in his sweatpants, but he raises his hands next to his head anyway and curls them like theyre paws and lets his shirt ride up his stomach and makes that weird fucking purring sound again and this time, gordon lets himself
so gordon presses his palm against the bare skin of benreys stomach and starts to rub. its soft and warm and fuzzy, kind of like a real cat, which is a weird thought. theres the everpresent sensation of worrying that any second now, this is gonna turn out to be a trap, and benreys gonna dig his metaphorical claws into gordons arm. but it isnt. benreys breathing quickly turns labored, and he turns his head to rub it against gordons free hand. then he licks at gordons fingers in a gesture of affection. gordon gets a strange surge of bravery and runs the pad of his thumb along benreys tongue before grabbing it between thumb and finger and pushing his thumb into benreys mouth.
i am way too embarrassed to keep fucking writing this but please just consider gordon starting to run his fingers along benreys teeth and then slowly fingerfucking benreys mouth while benrey whines and drools around his fingers while attempting to ask gordon to touch his dick already, please, but hes muffled too much to be coherent and hes twitching his hips restlessly into the air until gordon finally slides that hand on his stomach lower and tentatively grabs his dick and starts jerking him off while benrey makes the filthiest fucking sounds he can while his mouth is still full. thank u
i promise u gordon is going to make good on his promise to fuck the living daylights out of benrey on that couch while hes got the cat ears and the cat bean stockings and the collar on and gordons twisting it just enough for him to feel pressure on his windpipe while gordon calls him a pretty fucking kitty. thank u
i still maintain that one of them (likely gordon) purchasing a pair of cat ears for benrey is much more ripe for interpersonal tension b/c its another way that gordon enmeshes himself even more in this weird fucking game. getting all this shit for benrey and effectively dressing him up, just for gordon
getting more and more cat-themed apparel for him b/c it fulfills some kind of extremely base need for gordon, seeing him all done up and cute in the cat ears and flopped over his lap waiting for gordon to stroke his metaphorical fur.....its just, like, nice, okay? being able to provide for somebody and see physical reminders that you, jesus, you kind of own them. anyway this is why gordon finds himself awake at 3 in the morning researching cat tail plugs and trying to determine A) how big of one is even going to fit, and B) what kind of coat benrey would have, if he was a cat, with a nice fluffy tail, that gordon could tug and use to fuck him a little,
i just think the progression of gordon from "fairly straight-laced guy who cannot stand benrey" to "kinky degenerate who wants to pet benreys hair and call him a good boy and fuck him into the mattress" is very, cool. and good. i love ruining this guy