Heat's going to be there for his leader, whatever it is that Serph needs. Mild m/m.
They'd barely gotten back to the base with the girl before Serph was dragging him off into one of the empty rooms.
"Hang on," Heat tried to say, "we need to be there for her when she comes around," but there was something really tense and urgent in Serph's posture and the way he pulled Heat along, and it wasn't worth fighting over. They could get this over with fast enough, right? Then he could get back and see her and...whatever. She was just some girl with weird-colored hair, anyway. His leader needed help.
"So?" Heat asked once Serph got the door shut behind them. "What's up?"
Serph was always quiet -- the kind of guy who believed in speaking softly, if at all, and carrying a big fucking boomstick -- but today was bad even for him. Heat didn't think he'd heard a word out of Serph since before they left to investigate the...the thing out there in the wasteland that had made all the crazy shit happen.
"What's going on, man? Talk to me."
That at least got some kind of response, got Serph to look up and give him this tight little smile that looked more strained than amused. He opened his mouth, and then shut it again, putting his fingers to his lips.
"Okay, we're playing a game, that's cool. You're not talking because...." Heat trailed off, watching Serph's shoulders tense, watching his fists ball in frustration. "...because you can't, huh."
One sharp nod.
"Since when?" Not that he expected the answer to be any surprise, but might as well be sure.
Serph opened his mouth like he wanted to answer, made a face when he couldn't. He reached up instead and touched the mark that the thing left on his face.
Heat nodded. "Yeah, that's what I figured." He thought about it for a second. "That's going to be rough, isn't it? Trying to lead a Tribe when you can't give orders."
The agitated toss of Serph's head looked like, tell me about it.
"So...what do you need from me?" Serph went still, and Heat went on before he could get too annoyed with himself, "You're going to get better, right? So what do you need me to do until then? You're our leader, man. I'm going to back you up."
Serph smiled a little, and took one step closer. He put his fingertips to his own mouth again, and then reached out and touched Heat's lips, his fingers resting there, cool and dry and the room was suddenly about a million times warmer than it had been just a minute ago. For a second Heat had to fight off the irrational totally bad idea impulse to just take those two fingers into his mouth up to the first knuckle and bite down and let the raw bright taste of copper coat his tongue --
But that wasn't his thought. That wasn't his need.
And Serph was coming closer again, and Heat felt himself tensing, because people just didn't get this close to each other unless the fighting was bad and you were down to knives and punches -- but Serph had no reason to hurt him and he was definitely not thinking about whether Serph was having the same bad impulses he was, not at all. If you couldn't trust your leader, you were doomed, weren't you?
They were almost touching now, and the brand on Heat's arm throbbed like a bad burn, and the one on Serph's cheek was outlined in pale pale blue like ice. Serph let his hand fall, and he was still getting closer, and then his lips pressed to Heat's and Heat was sure, sure there was a name for this, because it felt important. He didn't close his eyes, didn't dare, just let his lips part a little and Serph's tongue slid between them and he didn't, not even for a second, not really/, want to bite. Hard. Serph's mouth was cool and he tasted like rain, not the rain that fell on the Junkyard all the time but something /else that Heat was suddenly certain was true, just not here, and the brush of their tongues meeting made Heat shaky like a good fight, only not, and he didn't even know how he could talk about that. Lucky Serph -- he wouldn't have to.
When Serph pulled back after a minute, the black was showing through in the middle of his eyes, the way it did in combat, and that made Heat feel more shaky, but also a little relieved, because that meant it wasn't just him.
"Okay," he said, and for some reason his voice had gone rougher than usual, "cool. Yeah. You need somebody to be your mouthpiece, right? To speak for you until your voice comes back. I can do that."
Serph blinked slowly, almost smiling, and that meant, no question, /good/.
Heat nodded. "Right. Let's go see if she's awake, then. And then we can make plans."