As Erich emerged from the suit, he felt less like a man emerging triumphant from battle, and more like a creature being spawned from the belly of some great metal beast: sweaty, tired and more than a little uncomfortable.
“You need a little help there, uh, Mechromancer?” The way the driver’s voice hitched at the end was very telling of his lack of surety on Erich’s new moniker.
Erich didn’t care. He just wanted the man gone.
“I’ll be fine.” He murmured, as he clambered back up to his feet. “Get the van out of here so I can shut the roller doors. The last thing I need is for someone in this neighborhood seeing that I’ve got a super-suit in here.”
He knew he should have been more polite, especially after his recent revelation at the warehouse, but the battle, and discovering the slaughter of Chavez’s team, had drained him entirely of the ability to care.
The driver, shrugged and hopped back into the van, before reversing back out.
Erich watched him go, before limping over to the controls to let the roller doors slide slowly back down again, hitting the concrete floor with a clang. Again, the garage was covered in darkness, and Erich was alone once more.
Gravity had to do something back at the mansion, and Sarah obviously had to take charge of the ‘troops’. So, for the first time in a long time, the shop was empty but for himself and his tools.
He didn’t know whether he liked that or not. Aggravating as they were, the sisters had grown on him.
Not unlike a rash.
“Shower or hose?” He wondered as he gripped the damp fabric of his shirt.
Blood was no good for the suit, and the feet were liberally coated in it, but on the other hand, he really wanted a shower. The suit’s cooling system was good, but it wasn’t so good that the thing didn’t feel like an oven after an hour or two of operation.
“Need to move that coolant line as well.” He grumbled into the darkness.
Putting it right between his legs had not been the smartest design decision. The sensation of liquid nitrogen surging through a pipe right next to his perineum had served as a reminder of that fact, each and every time it happened.
Honestly, he would be impressed if he could even still have kids after that test run.
Still, despite its problems, the suit had performed… adequately.
He should have felt some elation over that fact, or the fresh batch of cash now sitting in his bank account, but instead he just felt tired. The sensation of bones snapping under his feet kept coming back to him.
In the end though, it was his obsessive need to keep things properly maintained that finally won out.
So, stripped down to his boxers - and armed with a bucket and a sponge - he sat in the dim light of the shop cleaning bits of blood and viscera off the suit’s feet.
It was vile and tedious work, but he had learned to expect as much. If she was there, Gravity could have simply levitated the stuff off, but he had to do it the hard way.
That was what his entire life boiled down to in the end; vile and tedious work to achieve the same that results others might attain with arbitrarily assigned gifts. That was why he could out-build and out-think them. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and really go the extra mile.
He would never half-ass anything. He wasn’t like those metas with their underserved powers! He’d become mighty with his own two hands! He’d-
He dunked his sponge into the now filthy red water of his bucket, turning his mind away from the rant threatening to build up inside him.
Anger would achieve nothing. He couldn’t indulge it. Besides, what had he achieved really? Built a suit and killed a few gangbangers? If his sister put her mind to it, she could wipe out a small army in a morning. He needed more. He needed to go bigger. He needed-
Fresh water He thought, glancing at the blood and detritus clouding his once clean bucket.
“Problem, lover?” A feminine voice asked as he tramped into the kitchen, bucket in hand.
“S-Sarah?” Erich gulped, suddenly very conscious of the fact that he was wearing little more than a pair of boxers - and whatever blood happened to spill on him.
If the woman in question was put off by his attire, or lack thereof, it didn’t show in her face as she lounged on the counter top.
“What are you doing here?” He hissed, heart thudding in his chest as he dumped the empty bucket into the sink. “Shouldn’t you be, I don’t know, organizing?”
The woman shrugged, “Daddy snapped out of his little trance on the way back home. He wasn’t best pleased about what went down with Chavez, but he was more concerned with checking out our haul. He’s organizing things back at the mansion right now.”
Erich nodded, not entirely sure as to why that translated to her showing up at his shop.
“Don’t be so cold, honey.” The woman drawled when she she saw his expression, “I told you, I’m going to be your liaison for the organization going forward. That means we’ll be spending a lot more time together.”
“Where’s Gravity?” Erich asked, very conscious of the fact that in addition to being close to naked, he wasn’t armed.
He was reasonably sure that he and Sarah had buried the hatchet, but ‘reasonably sure’ was not a great deal of comfort when stuck in a confined space with an incredibly dangerous criminal. Nor would he put it past her to have him think that, right before she stuck the blade in.
The first signs of irritation appeared on the blonde’s face, but they were quickly smoothed away. “Called away on a little errand. Some pissant little shop has been holding out on us. She got sent to reeducate them.”
The meta-human waved a hand airily, “But enough about her. I’m here to celebrate our new relationship!”
As she spoke she raised a hand, revealing… a blank DVD case.
“What’s that?” He asked warily, scrubbing his hands meticulously clean with the aid of some alcoholic hand rub.
A distinctly feline grin took over the woman’s face, “Oh, I don’t know? Just a fresh batch of Death Dome videos, straight from the West Coast. With commentary by the Face himself.”
That.. that was incredibly illegal.
Not just the contents of the DVD itself, but the fact that it had come from the West Coast. Even thirty years after the Master’s defeat, the US government and the Guild had yet to reclaim the area. Nowadays, it was little more than a lawless warzone for constantly changing warlords.
Then Erich remembered that he was in the process of washing someone’s lifeblood from his hands, and a little smuggled contraband didn’t seem quite so world changing.
“And you want to… watch it? With me?” He asked uncertainly.
The blonde rolled her eyes, “God, you can be such a dweeb. Yes. Yes, I want to watch it with you.” She smiled, “I figured it would be something to bond over.”
Erich wasn’t too sure why she thought he would want to bond over the shared viewing of a murderous, highly illegal, meta-human blood-sport - especially after having just finished his own version of the subject - but he was at least socially savvy enough to know that refusing would be awkward, and potentially painful.
At least he had gotten the suit more or less clean before she showed up. Or had she been waiting for that to happen. He wouldn’t put it past her.
“I’ll go shower and grab a change of clothes.” He said hesitantly.
“Don’t take too long.” Sarah grinned as she slid off the counter top, “The fight earlier really got my motor going and I would hate to have to finish without you.”
Erich hoped she wasn’t implying what he thought she was implying, but he knew in his heart of hearts she was.
He grimaced, Because of course, violence would have to be a turn on for her… Not a succubus my ass.
He never thought he would say it, but he actually missed Gravity. If only because her acts of exhibitionism could occasionally be fun for him, when he wasn’t trying to focus on something.
He sincerely doubted Sarah’s apparent sadism would come with the same benefits.
“Do you think anyone would find this odd?” Sarah asked, in a brief lull between bouts of spine-chilling gladiatorial violence.
Two supervillains sitting – and yes, he had accepted that recent events had firmly labeled him one - on a couch watching what was essentially a snuff film in the middle of the night? Right after pulling off a dangerous and draining assault on their competitors.
“A little.” He said. “But what does it matter. I couldn’t sleep if I wanted to, and you have your ‘condition’ to think of.”
Said condition being the reason that she kept shifting in a manner that clearly wasn’t discomfort. Or at least, the conventional meaning of the word. Nor did Erich miss the way the attractive blonde’s hands roamed to and fro over herself as the night wore on, only stopping when she noticed what she was doing.
He had been wrong. Sarah’s own kinks were just as entertaining as Gravity’s in their own special way.
At least more-so than what was happening on screen, which was honestly more than a little grotesque to his sensibilities. Although, he couldn’t help but note that there hadn’t been all that many deaths. The matches were incredibly dangerous, yes, but most ended when one side took a wound that kept them from continuing. It seemed to be considered poor form for a gladiator to kill their opponent outright.
“You mean the fact that all this violence is getting me off?” The blonde said ruefully, one hand deliberately reaching up to unhook another button from her top, giving a tantalizing glimpse even deeper into her already plunging neck line.
Erich shrugged, “It is what it is.”
He wasn’t about to judge. He wasn’t exactly a picture of great mental health either. He certainly had his own hang-ups. Budding alcoholism least among them. And at least Sarah was on the right career path to indulge her hang ups.
Although he still found it a little discomforting how the woman’s breath hitched every time one of the combatants on screen took damage. She had practically moaned when one poor cyborg woman lost a limb.
“You really mean that, don’t you?” Sarah asked, a strange expression falling over her face, “You really don’t care.”
He wouldn’t say he didn’t care. He had his own preferences, he just didn’t give them that much weight. He did what he had to do to get by.
“I think I see what Olivia likes about you.”
That he didn’t care? That he was indifferent? What a strange reason to like someone. He would have thought there were a few people in Hard-Light’s crew who had similar dispositions.
“Unfortunately for her, I like you for an entirely different reason, and I’m not afraid to push to get my way.”
Erich was about to ask what the hell she was talking about, when a soft pair of lips settled on his own.
“I didn’t see it, but I heard it. The way you tore those Nazi fucks apart.” She whispered, into his ear, feminine form pressing into him. “It was so hot.”
Erich tried to push her off, in surprise if nothing else, but she held fast.
“Given the right tools and motivation, I think you could be even stronger than Daddy.” She groaned, hands roaming under his shirt.
Erich flushed, entirely incapable of refusing, and far from sure that he wanted to. Why should he? He had refused similar advances before, because he had other priorities, but right now-
“We would be a great team, you and I.” The woman grinned, as she started to unhook his belt. “The things I could do if I had you on my side, Mechromancer.”
It was hard to think with an attractive woman crawling all over him, whispering into his ear, teasing him with her caresses.
Wasn’t he afraid of her? She was dangerous. Manipulative-
A heavy groan slipped out of him as he felt something warm, wet and tight settle over his hardness.
“Ooh, that’s just what I needed.” Sarah moaned, pressing his head into her cleavage, surrounding him with her softness. “I’ve been practically dripping all evening.”
Erich could tell. Likewise, he could feel the hardness of her nipples pressing though his and her shirt, as she started to grind against him. And despite himself, he started to thrust up into her.
Their was no grace or skill involved in their joining, just fevered passion and need. Gravity had been right, it had been far too long since he’d been with anyone. Sarah’s fevered touch was just too much for him to resist any longer.
Both of them were still practically fully clothed. Sarah had removed the bare minimum required to attain what she wanted. Erich wanted more though. Tearing at her shirt, he felt satisfaction as the buttons pinged away, unveiling Sarah’s firm upturned breasts to his hungry eyes. To his mild surprise, one had a thin metal ring running through it, the metal shining in the low light of his living room.
His surprise didn’t last long, and she let out a coo of pleasure as his lips seized around the un-studded nipple, hands coming up to pull him closer to her as she writhed atop him.
“That's it.” She moaned. “Bite it. Make me feel it.”
He obliged, and she let out a shriek of pain, or pleasure. Likely both. They seemed to be one and the same to the woman.
“Punish me.” She groaned. “Call me a slut!”
He really didn’t want to.
He never was much for dirty talk. Or much talking at all during sex, really.
So, he bypassed the problem entirely, seizing her by her blond locks and dragging her head to his. Sarah moaned in surprise as his lips locked with hers, but soon her tongue was darting back and forth against his in a silent duel for dominance.
…Of which Erich was losing. Decidedly.
Predictably, it all proved to be too much for him. It had been too long since he’d last had ‘release’ and the sensation of Sarah’s heated tightness gripping him was mind-blowing.
He erupted, groaning into their lip lock as he fired his seed straight into the super-villainess atop him. It felt like his entire soul was going with it, being sucked up by the she-banshee who writhed and moaned in his caress.
In the end he was left sweaty and panting, his fresh clothes utterly soaked, and a small puddle forming on the couch between his legs from their messy union.
“I wasn’t quite finished, yet.” Sarah teased as she stood up, careless of the mess running down her inner thigh.
“Sorry.” Erich gasped, still trying to get his head around what had just happened.
“No matter.” Sarah smiled, “You’ll have plenty of chances to try again before the night is through.”
With that, she grabbed him by the shirt, pulling him out of his chair, nearly causing him to stumble as he rapidly shucked off his pants around his ankles. “Let’s go break in that bed of yours.”
Erich, still mildly dazed, tactfully didn’t point at that her sister had already broken in his bed, and instead allowed himself to be dragged from the room.
This is a terrible idea.
“Right,” He muttered, eyes drawn to the sensual sway of the blonde woman’s hips. “I’ll get right on that.”
“You better.” Sarah said with a commanding lilt to her tone.
“You slept with her.” Gravity deadpanned from across the kitchen counter.
He nodded sheepishly, one hand idly running up to trace a scratch running all the way down his back. One of many.
Sarah, predictably, was something of a scratcher. And a biter. And a shocker.
…Mostly a shocker.
Gravity had shown up that morning, just as the blonde had left.
“You know she’s manipulating you right?” The woman pointed out as she took a sip of her coffee.
Again, Erich nodded, ignoring the stab of pain that ran up his neck from the action. “She mentioned something about me growing in power and being able to help her.”
“Always with the power-plays.” She sighed and leaned back in her chair, “She was probably impressed by your suit’s showing last night. Wasn’t too sure if you were blowing hot air or not. And clearly you weren’t, so she made her move.”
“Is my support really that much of an advantage?”
Gravity snorted in disgust, “This is the problem with being a shut-in Erich. You know sweet fuck all about what’s going on beyond your shop or that suit.”
The rebuke stung, but he couldn’t deny it was true. He couldn’t help it though. He just wanted to build things. Not worry about criminal power dynamics.
“Listen, North Granton has three big factions in it. Of those, the Brotherhood and Red Squares are just branches of larger organizations spread out across the country. Hard-Light’s gang is the only one that exists in just this city, and that’s because our ‘gang’ is basically just him. Because that’s all the other two are afraid of: Him, and him alone.”
Erich knew that much.
Gravity hissed with annoyance that he wasn’t getting it. “So, what does that mean for you? If Sarah thinks you’ve got the potential to be stronger than Hard-Light?”
Wha…I couldn’t…. Could I? With the right tools? Some time? Some very expensive parts…
Maybe… Probably… Definitely.
“She wants me to take over from Hard-Light?” He hedged uncertainly.
“What?” Gravity’s face was incredulous, “No! She wants to expand the gang. Push out the Squares and Brotherhood - and probably me while she’s at. Cement herself as Hard-Light’s heir and our gang as number one in the city.”
“Which this brewing fight with the Brotherhood is a perfect starting point for, right?”
Gravity nodded, her lips a thin line.