Archer discovers something fascinating among the POWs of the Ishvar War. Archer/Scar's brother.
Those marks were what drew Archer's eye, initially. Without them, the young man wouldn't have stood out much: he'd be just another Ishvarite among the dozens in the prison block; skinny and nervous, attractive but not exceptionally handsome.
But those tattoos caught Archer's attention at once: twisting, looping black sigils, meaningless to /him/, perhaps, but fascinating. Ever since he first caught sight of them, he's wanted to see more.
Now he curls his fingers tightly in that tousled black hair, and presses his pistol against the young man's temple. Not that he really needs it - Archer neither knows nor cares what the Ishvarite did before the war, but the man wasn't meant to be a fighter. Still, it's best to have insurance, especially when dealing with Ishvarites. But the man is wonderfully, unbelievably compliant, whimpering slightly when Archer thrusts deep, bare shoulders tensing, but no more. Archer looks down, sees the tattoos streaking his face, back, shoulders, arms. He kneels on the dirty cell floor and sucks Archer's cock obediently, hands bound tight and tears streaking his face as Archer punishes his gag reflex.
The Ishvarite's mouth is hot and welcoming, and Archer wonders if the man's done this before. He certainly puts up little resistance - none, really - as Archer fucks his throat, as he comes with a shudder; and when he does, the tattooed man just swallows without struggle or complaint.
Archer's curious, almost in spite of himself; why this man is so timid and silent and unassuming, where his tattoos come from, what they mean - but most of all, why does he seem to have no passion of his own? How can he remain so calm and unflustered, even when Archer pushes him onto his back, kisses him, plunders his mouth? Either you get off on something like that, or you get angry, and yet this man does neither. And it's not till Archer tugs down the man's prison trousers, to see how far those tattoos extend, (and maybe to see how well the man's calm holds up when he's getting fucked on the cell floor) that he understands why.
The tattooed man sits on his narrow bunk, staring silently at the floor. He's wearing prison shirt and trousers, his hands are free, but everything else is the same as before: the tense set of his shoulders, the nervousness in his expression as Archer approaches. But Archer doesn't enter the cell this time; he just leans against the bars, studying the man clinically.
When Archer made his.../discovery/ a few days ago, he had been so surprised that he'd just up and left, actually embarrassed for the man. He couldn't help it; there was an ingrained, masculine sympathy associated with that...particular region, and seeing what was there - or more to the point, wasn't there - had turned Archer off rather quickly.
He'd figured that their first encounter would have been the end of it, but now he here he is again, drawn back by morbid fascination.
"...How did it happen?" he asks after a while.
The man looks up at him, then back down. "...I was an alchemist," he says. His voice is a low tenor; not what Archer expected from a eunuch. The castration must have been fairly recent, then.
Archer nods. "That's why they did this to you?" It's well known that the Ishvarites are opposed to alchemy, but there are deviants in any society.
But the man shakes his head. "No. This was...my fault."
The man doesn't elaborate, so Archer prods him a bit more. "And? What happened?"
The man clearly doesn't want to answer; given the sensitivity of the subject, Archer's not surprised.
"...Experiment went wrong," he mumbles after a while. "I... I reached too far, and... I was punished."
The man spreads his hands. "Does it matter? Ishvarra, the Great Art, my own pride... what's the difference? I was... hurt, and I was cast out." He laughs then, a sad, broken sound. "And the experiment didn't even /work/. She's still dead." He hangs his head. He might be laughing or crying; Archer can't tell. "She's still dead..."
The cell is silent for a while as the man pulls himself together.
"How do you...um, well, you know..." Archer begins, and then trails off, embarrassed despite himself.
The man's skin is dark, so it's hard to tell, but it looks to Archer like he's /blushing/. "Still have an inch or so," he mumbles, looking at the ground. "It's enough for /that/, at least..."
A little more awkward silence.
"What's your name?" Archer asks at last.
It's a few days later that Archer orders Esar brought to him. No one will think much of it; since his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel the prison blocks are now Archer's jurisdiction, and it's only natural that the man in charge would want private interrogations from time to time.
Archer knows, deep down, that a military career isn't really suited for him. He wasn't meant to be a soldier, or a leader of men. Archer has a scientist's mind. Cold, analytical, probing. The mere existence of Esar -- exotic, strange and highly.../unique/ -- presents questions. Scientists deal with questions a specific way: first by gathering data, then formulating a hypothesis based on that data, and finally, testing it by experimentation.
Archer's spent the last few days collecting data - lots of it - and by now he has his hypothesis. All he needs is to test it.
Esar is brought to Archer's quarters that evening, hands bound and eyes wide.
"S-sir?" he says, barely keeping the fear out of his face and voice. Archer's not surprised; being brought here like this, the poor man probably expects to be tortured.
He approaches Esar and rises up to kiss him. Much like the last time, Esar parts his lips submissively, giving Archer exactly what he wants. He makes all the right sounds, opens up in exactly the right way, but Archer knows it's faked. There's no real pleasure in it.
Well, he'll see what he can do about that. That is the challenge, after all.
Archer releases Esar's mouth and presses his lips to the man's neck, tracing a black line with his tongue as his hands drift down to unbind Esar's.
"What...what are you doing...?" the man asks, shivering slightly as Archer caresses his neck. Archer chooses to believe that pleasure is at least part of the reason for that. Regardless of what may or may not remain, down between Esar's legs, it has to feel good when Archer sucks lightly at his neck, or flicks his tongue around the ridge of his ear, or breathes hot against it -- like /that/.
"Sir..?" Esar asks again, softly, when Archer doesn't reply.
Archer looks up at him, blue eyes meeting red ones, and smiles slightly. "Take your clothes off," he commands, stepping back. "There's something I want to try."
Esar blushes, cheeks darkening visibly. "S-sir!" he yelps.
Archer raises a dark eyebrow. "Now."
The man bows his head, shamed, and starts to pull the plain grey shirt off over his head. Archer sucks in a breath at seeing those lovely marks exposed again, curving black patterns on the Ishvarite's slender body.
But Esar hesitates when it comes to his pants. His looks at Archer pleadingly: Please. Please, don't make me... But Archer is merciless, narrowing his eyes and nodding coldly. Esar looks away and pushes the loose, ill-fitting trousers onto the floor.
The pale scar tissue is bright against dark skin, and Archer stares, fascinated by its gruesome horror. But his distraction is momentary; he soon nods again, curt and precise, reaching for the buttons on his jacket. "Sit," he commands, as if speaking to a field officer come to file a report. "I'll be with you shortly."
Esar looks so hopelessly lost, standing there naked and confused. Still, he does as he's told, and sits awkwardly on the edge of Archer's bed, cautiously watching the other man strip.
Archer is calm, collected, ignoring Esar's presence. He folds his jacket neatly and sets it on a chair, to be followed by his shirt, trousers, undergarments, boots. When he's finished, he turns back to his guest.
Esar looks up at Archer, confused and still a little afraid. ".../Why/?"
Archer smiles down at him, places hands on his tattooed shoulders to push him back onto the bed (a comfortable double, a privilege of rank.) "Call it morbid curiosity," he murmurs, as he sinks down on top of Esar.
Esar lets himself be pressed into the sheets, mouth open to Archer's kiss, but he's still not really reacting, not deriving any pleasure or pain from the experience. Archer begins experimenting, moving his lips back to Esar's throat, tracing patterns of his own on the Ishvarite's skin.
"You're wasting your time," Esar mumbles. "There's nothing you can do..."
Nothing at first, but when Archer alternately flicks his thumb against and rubs it over a dark nipple, as he tugs gently at a smooth earlobe with his teeth, Esar gives a little shiver - almost imperceptible, but it's there, and it's both arousing and encouraging.
He grows a little more daring in his explorations, mouth traveling along Esar's neck and shoulders as his fingertips stroke the man's flesh. Slowly, Esar's reactions became more and more pronounced - he gasps when Archer sucks at his collarbone, twitches when Archer traces a lazy circle around his navel, lets out the softest moan when Archer starts licking at the tattoos on his chest, tracing them with a hot, wet tongue.
"Hhh-" he shivers, reaching hesitantly to put his hands on Archer's shoulders. "You-you're..."
Archer bites teasingly at a nipple, and the Ishvarite hisses, pushing up into his mouth. Archer looks up and smiles, stroking Esar's skin with both hands. "Is that good?"
Esar shivers, red eyes dark and cloudy. "Y-/yes/..." he murmurs, as if he can't quite believe it himself. "I-I didn't know...no one...not since..."
Archer smiles, licking at Esar's smooth jawline. "Then we should make up for lost time.'
Archer works tirelessly, and is rewarded along the way with a range of gasps, hisses, even a few low, needy moans as he adds to Esar's pleasure bit by bit. He strokes Esar's sides and the Ishvarite twitches; laps at his jaw and he writhes; nibbles at his skin and he whispers an oath in a language Archer doesn't understand. He doesn't stop until the man's breathing becomes fast and ragged, as he grips the sheets with one hand and Archer's hair with the other, trembling with the effort of holding still. Only then does Archer deem him ready for the next stage of the experiment.
He pulls back, and Esar whimpers at the sudden loss, but Archer's already reaching for the little bottle he left on the bedside table beforehand. "Get on your hands and knees," he commands, and to his credit Esar does as he's told. But his shoulders are tense and his head bowed, as if he expects only pain.
Archer moves to kneel behind him, pausing to admire the tattoos on his back, reaching out to touch them. He licks delicately at Esar's spine, and the man shivers again, involuntarily.
"Just relax," Archer whispers, breathing hot against the Ishvarite's back, and presses one slicked finger against Esar's entrance.
"/Hahh/-" Esar's back arches, and he tenses; Archer knows he must work fast before the man panics.
"Shhh..." he murmurs, rubbing in slow circles. "I don't want to hurt you, Esar." Using the man's name seems to relax him somewhat. "Trust me," Archer says. "Relax."
Esar lets out the tiniest whimper, but relax he does as Archer strokes him slowly -- and then gasp, when Archer's finger slips easily inside him.
Archer caresses Esar's back as he works his finger in deeper, stroking the man from the inside and making him groan. He rubs in circles, inducing Esar to relax as he murmurs soft nonsense syllables against his skin. Esar moans, needy and lost, when Archer curls his finger inside him, and Archer smiles. "More?" he whispers, voice low and hungry.
"Y-yes," Esar whimpers, "M-more..."
Archer adds a second finger, reaching deep inside the trembling man, probing and searching in that soft, tight heat. Esar squirms, caught between pleasure and discomfort.
Then Esar cries out in surprise and something else, as Archer strokes something deep inside him, and a triumphant smile comes over the soldier's face. "Oh-oh, God," the Ishvarite gasps, "Wh-what was-"
/Found it/, Archer thinks, feeling very pleased with himself. He hadn't been sure how extensive Esar's injuries were, whether the gland they called the prostate had been taken away along with everything else. But based on Esar's reaction, his prostate seems fully functional; and, if Archer is any judge, much neglected. He strokes it again, and Esar pushes back onto his fingers with a soft groan.
Archer chuckles, adding another finger and making Esar hiss and spread his legs further. "Yes," he whispers, "It's good, isn't it?"
"Y-yes," Esar whimpers, trembling with need. "It's so good... p-please..."
Archer withdraws his fingers, and rises up to press his slicked cock against Esar's entrance. "Ask," he says softly, smiling, "And you shall receive." And then he jerks forward, into Esar's bowels, hissing with pleasure even as Esar cries out again at the penetration.
Archer grasps the Ishvarite's hips as he moves, not stopping until he's buried to the base in the man's ass. Archer groans softly - Esar's just as tight and hot and perfect as Archer could have hoped. Esar, for his part, just clenches his fists in the sheets and moans. "Y-yes," he whimpers, shuddering as Archer fills him. "Oh god-yes..."
Archer smiles, drapes himself over Esar's back, bracing his weight with one hand and splaying the other against Esar's chest. With the Ishvarite's heart pounding under his fingertips, Archer begins to move.
He quickly finds a rhythm: moving in long, deep thrusts, canting his hips to hit Esar just right, so that the man moans and shudders and pushes back against him, wanting it, needing it, muttering broken fragments of sentences, pleas, almost like praying. "Oh God-yes-please... s-so good... m-more... haahh-"
Archer remains silent, but for the occasional grunt or murmur of appreciation as he fucks Esar, taking as much pleasure from the man's body as from the lost, needy sounds he makes. He rests his head against Esar's shoulder, holds him tight as he strokes in and out, as the man comes beautifully undone.
Esar had no idea - how could he? - it feels so good/, Archer moving like that, stroking /something deep inside that makes him feel pleasure he thought was gone forever. God, how long has it been since someone -- anyone -- made him feel like this/? Not since - he whimpers as the soldier sends another wave of pleasure up his spine - not since /she was alive -
"Oh God-" he moans, clutching the bedsheets as the other man fucks him, "God..." He knows that if he could, he'd be hard as nails right now, rocking back and forth, crying out with the force of it: pleasure, bright and hot, shooting up from inside him - he can't take much more of this, he can't, it's too good, too much, too -
He throws back his head and screams as it all boils over, as for one, blissful moment his mind goes utterly blank, pleasure flooding his body. It leaves him drained and trembling in the aftermath, but so satisfied that none of it matters.
And Archer's still moving, still pounding into him; Esar just lets his head drop and takes it, not caring that it hurts by now, not caring that he feels about to pass out from exhaustion, his body still humming with the first orgasm he's had in /years/. He just /came/, just from Archer's cock in his ass, and he's not going to forget that anytime soon.
Before long, Archer's coming almost silently, grunting low in his throat as he floods Esar's insides with heavy heat. Archer slumps against him, both of them desperate to catch their breath.
For a time they just lie there, their deep breathing the only sound. But then Archer moves back to pull out, and Esar collapses with a sigh, arms no longer willing to support him. "Ishvarra..." he whispers, nerves tingling with the embers from the fire that just blazed through them. Archer sinks down onto the bed beside him, looking almost as tired as Esar feels - but, like Esar, very pleased. Esar can't help it - Archer may be his captor, his enemy, but he's just given Esar pleasure he thought he'd never feel again, and he's grateful. "Thank you," he smiles weakly, reaching out to touch Archer's face.
But Archer swats his hand aside irritably. "I didn't do it for /you/," he snaps, and rolls over, his back to Esar, as he pulls the blankets up over himself.
Esar sits there for a time, confused and slightly hurt. Then Archer speaks again, not moving. "Get some sleep. The guards will return you to your cell in the morning."
Esar nods slowly, looking down. "How do you know I won't kill you in your sleep?" he asks, as he pulls back the covers. Not that he /would/; but he's curious what Archer's backup plan is.
"You won't," Archer says simply. "Not if you want to do this again."
Esar just nods, murmuring a soft "yes"; because he has to admit, as he settles into bed - So warm! So soft! - that Archer's got it exactly right.