Coiled with Torque


Artist of the art: blackrobotfox

Special thanks to SpartanNinja. Without him, this story would never be done, and I'd still be afraid of writing. It means the world to me, so from the deepest part of my heart - thank you.

Tags: [Snek][No gag reflex][Snussy][First time][Long build up]

If the build-up doesn't interest you and you want to go into the smut, Ctrl + F the word 'snussy'.

I am doing commissions. Go to my profile for more information! 3

Have fun! I had a blast writing this. :D


A young teenager was darting through a forest, his shoes kicking up dirt as he was barreling through bushes, not having a moment to catch his breath. A loud hiss behind him, a cruel reminder of the reason he was running, getting closer and closer. With adrenaline being pumped into his veins, he did not care how much his lungs and legs were burning. He simply kept going, choosing paths that were easy enough to navigate through for him, but less so for his pursuers.

He never thought that exploring the woods and running around with his friend would ever help save his life. The area was well known to him, and with the situation becoming more and more dire, he knew there was only one way he was getting out of it.

His thoughts were pulled back into focus when a loud crack pierced the silence of the woods, a bright green plasma shot flying just above him. It smacked against a large tree, a hole cleanly blasted into its side. A warning shot or a miss? It didn't matter, he only made sure that every fiber of his being was focused on running as quickly as possible. A single shot decimated the target it hit, and he did not wish to see what effect that would have on his body.

However, the teenager was just that, not a trained soldier. His stamina was running out and the hisses, with occasional orders to stop in English, were only growing louder. But then, he saw his goal - a waterfall formed by a local lake. The memory of his friend joking about the price of the bet to jump down off it flooded his mind. The teen thought how he should collect that debt sometime, as he ran to the water and then… down. No more running and a moment of peace as his body flew through the air, the water approaching fast with every second, as more green lights lit up the night sky just above him.

ooo

David, callsign 'Safeguard', woke up on the train on the way to City 31, the terrain outside the window he was leaning against just a moment ago passing by at an absurd speed. Much could be said about ADVENT, but they knew how to set up great rail transport. They might have used them for rather nefarious purposes during the war and before, but a new coat of paint, some seats and you had a ready-to-go train network.

He shook his head to fully awaken from the recurring dream and checked his phone, to see the time and how far away he was from the city. Luckily for him, there wasn't much distance left to his destination.

"Huh, it seems like I might have napped longer than I expected," he mumbled to himself and wondered what he could do to make the time fly by faster. He unlocked the device, once more opening the document of agent files he was given to read over. Most of the squad he'd be joining soon seemed to be decent folk. A couple of veterans from the war, some other humans with experience in the field, hybrids which he got used to from his contact with Skirmishers, and then there were the aliens. But he was willing to give them a chance. Just like he did with other factions during the war. As long as someone could pull their own weight and had good intentions, he'd be able to put up with them. He only hoped he could do the same with vipers.

After the war ended, he kept his contact with aliens, even the friendly ones to a minimum. Most Reapers did, and with the Lost and Chryssalids still popping up in unexpected places, there was plenty of work to do for someone with a gun. He had deployed in a joint operation with X-Com during the war once, and was impressed with their skill and efficiency during a sabotage mission, but was surprised to hear back from them after this long. He realized his old friends must have put a recommendation about him to X-Com. His willingness to work with others, something some Reapers outright refused, made him a fit candidate to join the Chimera Squad.

He would not pretend that he was the only human with some scars from the war. Almost everyone was affected, be it soldiers or civilians that had their family members taken or killed... or tested on. But being chased by a squad of vipers at a young age, thinking they had killed your parents and joining a group of people that hate the ex-invaders… It was hard for that mindset not to rub off on the personality. It certainly did not help that vipers were expert hunters, as much as he hated to admit it. Great sense of smell, being able to feel vibrations on the ground, a tongue that can simply catch you from afar and snag you in a second and many more. Was he afraid of them? Maybe just a little, but he'd sooner be dead than admit that to someone. Who wouldn't be freaked out by an alien that was essentially a killing machine?

The thought of working with one did not fill him with joy, that's for sure. But, he figured, as long as they weren't a burden, and were at least respectful… maybe it wouldn't be as bad. As long as he had the thing in his vision at all times.

Of course, it wasn't the only alien kind in the Chimera Squad. It was a big poster team of humans, hybrids, and aliens working together, after all. Mutons, he minded little. They were predictable, loud, easy to see coming and out of all the species, one of the more normal ones. Unlike Sectoids, which had their psionic abilities. Thankfully, there was a requirement for them to wear nullifiers in public areas, and the ones that didn't have one... All it took to resist was willpower. Of that, Safeguard had plenty as he found out during the war when one of them tried mind-controlling him, only to earn a bullet in the skull.

Both the Muton and the Sectoid in the squad he expected to get along just fine. Both of them had been working with X-Com for a while, and most importantly, they did it out of their own will. Axiom peacefully surrendered when the Elders lost the war and then helped with preventing both human and alien casualties. Verge aided X-Com even during the war, solidifying the fact that he wanted to help. He couldn't say the same about Torque, the snake in the team. Everything in her file was about conflict. First ADVENT, then being captured, then prison. And the only reason she cooperated was that she was bored. No change of heart, no empathy for the side she used to murder. If it wasn't for Colonel Jane Kelly, he doubted the viper would have a place in the squad. But, if she was good enough to impress the higher-ups at X-Com, that meant she was good enough to tolerate. He wouldn't allow her to be the reason for him being kicked out of the Chimera Squad, he was sure of that.

As for the city? If one would believe ads trying to get people to move there, then it was the city of the future - the industry was being pushed forward by countless androids that did the heavy lifting, lots of gene therapy clinics and most importantly its population was made of humans, hybrids and aliens, all living in harmony. The reality was not as pretty, and everyone knew it.

The new mayor, a reasonable hybrid lady. A step forward for everyone, only to be assassinated not long after. That combined with the increased activity from various gangs that have resurfaced… And that was without the regular uneasy mix of the population even mentioned. If one came to City 31, they were going to get into trouble, eventually. With his history as a Reaper, he was used to it.

His recruitment into the Chimera Squad wasn't only because of his experience, which he had plenty of. He had no previous connections with the rest of the agents, and that was a big reason for him being picked. People were getting paranoid, some were throwing ideas such as the total mess being X-Com's fault. The accusation came from the fact that just when Chimera Squad got into the city, everything got only worse. The agency needed workforce to be successful, and another alien or hybrid could make everything even more of a mess. So, the director went with a safe choice that was bound to be useful to the team, and at the same time, wouldn't raise further suspicion.

A loud honk of the train interrupted his thoughts as they approached the station. David hid his phone, stretched out, and grabbed his bag, ready to start a new chapter in his life.

ooo

"Safeguard! Welcome to the team," Whisper, a man of medium complexion, greeted David as he entered the field office. The place did not look very impressive, certainly not something he expected out of a special force. But compared to where he lived at times? At the very least, this building had a ceiling.

"Thanks, Whisper." The two men shook hands. "I assume this location wasn't what you asked for?"

"This dump? Do you even have to ask? And since we are going for tough questions, I must ask - did you guys eat aliens during the war?"

The newcomer couldn't help but roll his eyes. That question felt more like a greeting from people that had never met a Reaper.

"When there's barely any food, you can't be picky. But no, I did not. I knew some Reapers that did though, even with a steady supply of food from farms," he said in a rather serious tone.

"Is… I can't tell if you're serious or not," Whisper worryingly responded.

"And you might never find out. So, where's the locker?"

Whisper pointed him to a nearby 'room' if you could call it that. In reality, it was just another section of the field office.

"Before you go… As much as I might not get along with her, try not shooting Torque on the spot?"

"Sure thing Whisper." He then left the room with a big holographic map, doing a small two-finger salute as a goodbye.

David went there to get a locker for himself and found one of the other agents there - Verge, the Sectoid.

"Hello, fellow agent." Safeguard offered his hand for a handshake, hesitating for a moment since he wasn't sure if the alien would understand the gesture.

Verge looked down at the offered hand for a second, before grabbing it. A genuine smile on his face as he accepted Safeguard's greeting. "Greetings. You may call me Verge." The Sectoid let go of his hand after a moment and took a step back. "Safeguard, correct?"

David expected to feel the cold tendrils of attempted psionic intrusion into his mind, but when he felt nothing, he realized that Verge was asking. "Yeah, that's me." Verge nodded, not saying anything else as Safeguard looked over to the locker room. "I took a peek at your file, getting some information on the tactics we could use together. I think we might be able to do some good work together."

"I know," Verge said, which caused Safeguard to pause and glance at the Sectoid, before a wide grin appeared on his face, "That was a joke." Verge pointed to individual open lockers, directing Safeguard's attention as he spoke. "These few are empty right now, so choose the one you like. One next to me is open, but if you take the next open one to the left, you'll be right next to Cherub. I'm sure he would love to have a new neighbor."

"New neighbor I shall be." With that, he went for the one on the left and started to make it a bit more personal.

David barely got to unpack his bag into the locker before a loud alert sounded through their field office.

"Verge, Cherub, Torque, Safeguard to the map, ASAP," Whisper's pressing voice sounded through the field office.

David paused and looked at the armor he had just placed in the locker. He sighed as he took it out once more and started preparing for the mission.

ooo

"Alright, so here's what we have. We've heard reports of suspicious individuals transporting equipment around Riverside. Normally that would be a job for the 31PD, but according to the intel we gathered, several sources point to something big going down," Whisper said. He then checked his holo tablet for anything relevant to the situation before continuing. "We most likely have a bomb scenario on our hands, so you go in, take down hostiles, and take care of the threat. All of this will take place in a research facility, one that has been making progress on the Fade sickness. A target like this already cuts down the list of possible culprits behind it. The lead up to this might have been sloppy, but something this important wouldn't be left to low-level enforcers. Someone in there has more information on what's going on, do your best to capture them alive. Questions?" Whisper said and looked around at the four agents.

Torque, giving the newest member a dirty look, raised her hand.

"Uh, yes?" he asked with a raised brow.

"Does he have to go?" Torque moved her head toward Safeguard.

"Yes, Safeguard is now a part of the team and this is a perfect chance to get used to one another. Any actual questions? No? Alright, finish any last second preparations. The APC is gassed and ready. I will patch any updates through comms," Whisper said as all the gathered agents went to the vehicle.

They entered it one by one from the side, Safeguard taking a seat next to hybrid Cherub and in front of Verge. The door closed, and the APC went off, heading to the mission's location.

Cherub interrupted the momentary silence by poking the new agent with his elbow, a smile on his face.

"So, new guy. We haven't introduced ourselves properly yet! Everybody calls me Cherub." He offered his hand, and then the two made a handshake.

"Safeguard. It's nice to meet you. Any tips for the first mission?" David asked as he was double-checking all of his equipment, starting with his marksman rifle.

"Just make sure it doesn't go as poorly as mine did. Hard to beat getting shot right into the face and bleeding out on the floor! But hey, it could have gone worse." his optimistic nature was refreshing. It only took a moment of being around Cherub, and David already knew the two would get along just fine. These days many people simply worry about tomorrow - or how will they coexist with the aliens that were invaders.

"Don't tempt fate. You might be a walking shield and that can tank a shot, but I don't have that luxury." Safeguard smiled and strapped his helmet on. He noticed Verge was staring at him, with little tact to it.

"Something wrong?" David asked.

"Yes. I have read your file. When I went through it, I expected hostility when I first met you, yet even now I sense none," Verge said.

At first, David had a dreadful thought of the Sectoid going through his head, but he realized he wasn't sure how the psionics works. And the alien didn't know about his thoughts, just that there wasn't any hostility. He figured maybe emotions were like an aura to a person. That could certainly come in handy during missions.

"Do you sense any here?" Torque asked, ending with a hiss.

"I would rather not answer that," Verge simply stated.

"Working with Skirmishers taught me cooperation with a past enemy. As long as I can rely on you, we're good. Besides, we're on a job. There's no time or place for personal grudges. I'm willing to give a chance to everyone."

"Of course you can rely on us, we're in this together now! We need to work as a team to succeed," Cherub added before the viper could comment.

The sudden braking of the vehicle interrupted the team's talk, as it came to a full stop. The squad was waiting with their gear ready as the door of the APC opened up. They jumped out quickly, running to the front door of the research facility. There was almost no traffic on the streets as the squad got to the entrance. 31PD had already blocked any roads leading there, making sure as few civilians as possible were in danger. It kept them safe, but also let the targets know something was coming.

From the outside, it didn't seem like anything was out of order. The hologram with the name of the company was working just fine, even despite the gentle rain that was covering the entire city. The door was locked, a red light flickering being the only clue that something could be wrong inside.

"We tried to avoid detection by the terrorists inside, intervention by 31PD was unavoidable, but they have no clue what Chimera Squad is capable of. Aside from blowing a new hole in the wall, the only entrance is the front door. I got in contact with the owner of the building, and she gave us a passcode that should give us administrative access. Normally I wouldn't advise on going through the front, but with how quickly we got here? They won't be expecting us," Whisper's voice sounded through the comms.

Cherub took the lead, using the code from Whisper to unlock the door. With a beep, the light changed the color to green, and the automated door hissed open. The hybrid went in first, followed by Verge, Torque, and finally Safeguard.

The quick mobilization of the team and their rapid entry left most of the terrorists surprised, not expecting police so soon and certainly not the Chimera Squad. They were busy stacking objects to work as a cover, and only one seemed to react in time. A lightly armored terrorist gripped the edge of an office table, overturning it as makeshift concealment as he yelled, "The cops are here!"

"We're home!" Cherub yelled as he sprinted in, shield flickering as few of the enemies tried to shoot the charging target. Safeguard saw a heavy gunner pulling up his rifle, aiming at his fellow agent, but before he could even line up a shot, Verge's hand shot out. A purple aura surrounded the target, pulling him up in the air and leaving him there. A loud hiss filled his ears as Torque spat out her poison into a group that was scrambling to get behind a cover still.

Safeguard knew he had to use the element of surprise to the fullest and focused, trying to see the best target to take down. His team already knew their jobs, and now it was on him to make a move. He looked around, remembering the location of the enemies, and he finally saw it. The target that was levitating thanks to Verge had a grenade on his belt, normally quite hard to spot when he'd be behind cover. Using that opportunity, he aimed his rifle and shot the explosive with a single round, making it go off in a green cloud of plasma. The terrorist had no way of surviving it, and the blast even damaged nearby cover of two other enemies.

"Nice shot," Verge complimented him as the entire team took cover after the initial breach, with the terrorist group doing the same.

"How the hell did they send a tactical team so quickly? We should have had more time," the muffled voice of a heavily armored terrorist yelled over the gunfire. "Hold them, we aren't ready to fall back yet!"

With the advantage of numbers, the terrorists stuck to cover, hoping to stall Chimera Squad as much as possible. Every time Safeguard tried to line up a shot, several bullets hit nearby, causing him to pull back. They were being suppressed.

"Time for a distraction!" Cherub struck his shield, holding it in front of him as he advanced. Even if he announced his intent, the very real threat of his movement made several weapons turn on him. The shield flickered as bullets struck the field, red marks of where they connected slowly disappearing as it held strong.

Cherub charging in gave the others a second to breathe, letting Torque return fire while Verge called out enemy locations. Safeguard used his time wisely, instead shifting around the outskirts of the battle. He dashed between covers, flanking a target that was firing at Cherub. The defensive approach was strong but predictable, and when they lost track of Safeguard for a moment, he lined up the shot... Stationary targets were a blessing, as all he had to do was wait for him to pop his ugly head out to fire and... boom, the shot went across the facility, piercing the target's skull and hitting the wall behind them.

The clean kill did not go unnoticed, especially when Cherub had to take cover with his shield, taking a beating. Safeguard didn't push his luck and swapped cover to a stone pillar, the desk he was behind moments before was gobbled up by the enemy's rifle fire. The sturdy pillar withstood most of the shots, but concentrated fire began to steadily chip away at the material.

He used his radio, communicating with his team over the gunfire, "This cover won't hold, I need support."

"Of course you do," the voice of a familiar viper went through the comms. Even in the heat of battle, she couldn't help herself. At the very least, she was consistent.

Cherub hit the ground with his shield, sending a kinetic barrier to Safeguard, giving him a chance to safely return fire. He peeked outside his cover and took another shot, hitting the heavy enemy combatant on the chest. The entrenched enemy staggered for a moment, but leaned back over his weapon and continued to rapid-fire in Safeguard's direction in retaliation.

"I won't go down that easily," the terrorist roared.

All bullets that hit the barrier were absorbed and charged Cherub's shield, energy sparking across the surface. He used the charge to rush in, hitting one of the closest enemies head on, knocking him unconscious.

Verge provided support by using his psionics to distract the enemy Safeguard was targeting. "Unleash your anger." Tendrils of psionic power connected the two, bringing powerful emotions to the front of the enemy's mind. His rage was amplified, causing him to turn his weapon on his allies and shoot. For a few moments he just wanted to see blood. Unfortunately, none of his shots were enough to take any of his allies down. With a distraction like that, he used his powers once more to stun an enemy in the back, stopping him from firing for a second, before the target's will overcame his attack. They did not leave a psionic on the field unnoticed, as the enemy marksman, who Verge failed to fully stun, landed a shot on the Sectoid. The shot slammed against his armor, knocking the wind out of him, and forcing him to retreat into cover.

All while that was happening, Torque made her way over to the pair she poisoned before. They were coughing and gagging, trying to stay upright as the poison rocked their bodies.

"Hi." Was the last thing both heard, as she bit one of them with her fangs and struck the other with her tail, the knocked-out body hitting a wall and falling to the ground.

Seeing his friend get hit, Cherub threw a smoke grenade over to Verge, running over to make sure he was ok.

"Here I thought I'd be the one getting shot the most! You alright there, Verge?" Cherub asked when close, taking out his medkit.

"I am alright now. Thank you," he responded and sighed with relief when the soothing med kit spray was applied.

The downside of the smoke was that because of poor ventilation, it could not leave the room and instead spread everywhere, making it hard to see through in the entire room. That wouldn't be much of a problem if it wasn't for the remaining threats lurking somewhere.

"Lost enemy vision," Torque said through the comms as she scanned the room.

The squad looked around the smoke, weapons pointing at sounds made by the remaining terrorist. With the numbers cut down, the heavily armored terrorist knew that shooting would now be a death sentence. Torque and Safeguard stood their ground as Cherub cautiously moved forward, but Verge merely stared directly into the smoke. His eyes shone purple as he tapped into the neural network. His rifle smoothly rose to his shoulder as he lined up a shot. "You can't hide."

His finger squeezed the trigger, three shots firing in quick succession into the smoke. A scream of pain briefly heard before a loud thunk of a body hit the ground. He followed that with another round of fire into the smoke, earning another terrorist on the ground. The three agents pointed their weapons to the sound, but Verge simply lowered his weapon and walked into the smoke. "We are clear."

Although he was already trusting the teamwork of this squad, Safeguard waited until after Cherub and Torque reloaded their weapons to do the same. He didn't want the entire team to be surprised, but when no additional forces moved into the room, he loaded a new magazine into his rifle.

Safeguard walked to check one of the bodies as the smoke was clearing up. He noticed three bullet holes closely grouped on the man's armor, the same spot David had hit before but failed to penetrate. "Damn Verge… You could have been a Reaper with skills like that."

"It is far easier to shoot the targets when you know exactly where they are with psionics. Still, I do not think I'd get accepted." He motioned to the rest of his body, earning a laugh out of Safeguard.

They had little time to banter, as Whisper's voice sounded through their coms.

"That should be most of them. However, the main objective of this mission is up. Looking at the schematics, one of the best places to plant a bomb would be on the second floor, but we have no way of knowing if it has been primed or not. Take caution," he said.

The squad doubled-checked if all threats were taken down on the first floor and with that done they pushed forward, climbing the stairs and stopping before a locked door.

"The code to the door should be... 3-1-5-8," Whisper added.

"I sense someone behind this door. And a lot of fear," Verge said.

"And rightfully so. I'm going to take this vent, see if I can surprise them. The rest of you should take the door," Torque said, as she dismantled a bar blocking the vent.

Just like before, Cherub was up first, followed by Verge and then Safeguard. The hybrid entered the code and quickly went in with his shield up.

"N-Not a step closer, you alien freaks!" a masked terrorist said, standing in front of the bomb with the detonator in hand. The voice betrayed fear and young age.

The three agents stopped dead in their tracks, aiming their weapons at the man. Seeing a chance, Safeguard stepped forward and mentioned the other two to stay back. He removed his helmet, put his rifle down, and held up his hands.

"You don't have to worry, I'm human, just like you," David said, not approaching but keeping his distance instead.

The terrorist paused, looking at Safeguard and the rest of the team back and forth. The concept of a human working with what he saw as freaks must have been confusing.

"This… Why did you have to intervene! This wasn't… supposed to go like this," the man continued, his fingers still around the detonator. His hand was shaking, his movements frantic as he pranced near the bomb.

"We had to intervene because of a bomb threat, you have to understand that. How was this supposed to go?" Safeguard continued, trying to get the man talking as long as possible, hoping that Torque would have a chance for a surprise attack. If that failed, he trusted that one of his companions could take him down before the detonator could be used.

On the edge of his vision, Safeguard saw Torque drop from the ceiling, her tail allowing her to do so silently. She was behind the target, but not close enough to take them down without the risk of him detonating the bomb. Thankfully, the viper noticed the situation at hand and began sneaking behind the target. All that was needed was time.

"They… they told me there would be no problems, no deaths. Blow up the facility, slow the work on Fade, make a statement. And when it all fucking went to shit, what did they say? 'Do what must be done.' I don't want to die!" the terrorist went on, waving the detonator to make a point.

"Look, this plan might have gone wrong, but you can still do the right thing. If you simply cooperate with us, you'll be treated well. Whoever you're working for clearly doesn't care about you, nor your life. Why throw it away for a cause like that?"

The desperate man didn't respond, perhaps thinking it through once more. That gave Torque just enough time to get within a safe distance, her tongue shooting out of her maw and looping around the target's neck. He gasped, the detonator falling out of his hand to the ground before his body was pulled into Torque's grasp, her tail tying around his body.

Safeguard quickly dived for the detonator, worried that the fall would trigger the mechanism. It turned out to be unnecessary. There were two buttons required to push for it to go off, one hidden behind a safety latch.

"Whisper, the bomb is secured. We need a police team here to take care of the rest," he said, glancing at the poor man losing consciousness. He was still struggling but could no longer spew swears aimed at them.

"Got it, 31PD is going to be informed. Great work there." Not to waste any time, he cut his connection.

The man tried to break free once more, but few could stand a chance against the powerful muscles of a viper. He eventually passed out, and with that Torque let him fall to the floor.

"You're lucky I was there to get him, otherwise we'd all be dead," Torque said with a smug tone.

"Amazing work there, Torque. The guy did not know what hit him. Are all jobs this intense?" Wasn't what she expected to hear, especially coming from Safeguard. It was quite obvious from a small pause before her answer, the smugness gone.

"Err... No, I guess... not," she responded and watched David nod before turning away from her and checking on the rest of the team.

"Hey Verge, are you doing alright there?" he asked Verge after he noticed him taking off the piece of melted metal.

"I am alright. It was a good thing the shot landed on the armor, not me," he responded with a smile.

With the job well done, all the agents did a last sweep of the facility and returned to the APC, heading back to the field office.

ooo

David felt relieved that his first mission was a success. Especially so, considering the failure would end up in an enormous explosion. Nobody got hurt though, they captured some terrorists for intel, and the facility suffered only minor damage. It certainly went better than the very first mission of the Chimera squad, from what he had heard.

His initial worry about working with aliens was somewhat gone. It didn't cause that many issues, and being in a mission mindset certainly helped. There's little time to worry about stuff like if your teammate was an alien or not when he was getting shot at. And even outside the mission, despite slight discomfort, he could chat with Verge just fine. He still didn't quite trust the viper, especially since she glanced at him a few times with an unreadable facial expression, but he hoped it would get better in time.

Torque went on her own, while the rest of the squad went to their lockers to take off their equipment and enjoy a well-earned moment of peace. For David, it meant finally getting to set up the locker the way he wanted to, and that he could make his way around the base to familiarise himself with it.

Unpacking everything he had and trying different ways of fitting it inside the locker took time, and for a while, he was left alone with Verge and Cherub saying their goodbyes as they went to eat. Safeguard was quite busy, but not busy enough to not hear someone else approach. The lack of footsteps made it pretty clear who it was, but, he figured, avoiding her wasn't possible when the two shared the same space.

The viper didn't seem to mind him and went for her locker, getting rid of her gear and changing into something more comfortable.

"How do you do it?" she asked him, without looking at him.

With a raised eyebrow, Safeguard glanced at her, not sure what she meant.

"Do what?" he asked back, pausing his tidying of the locker. It seemed out of her character to start a conversation, at least without some mean comment. David expected some remarks about how he did poorly on his first mission, not that. But she still had a chance to do it, so his hopes weren't that high.

"Not shoot every alien you see," the viper answered in a rather serious tone, too serious for a question of that nature.

That's not the question one would expect to be asked. David blinked a few times, confused, before he figured out how to answer.

"I would if I could," he responded in a tone similar to her, wanting to see her reaction. When there was none, he sighed. "But if I'm serious, then no, I don't have thoughts like that. Sure, I might be uncomfortable at times with an alien around, with some more than the rest, but that feeling passes with time. Why do you ask?"

Torque took off her vest and placed it in the locker, before she glanced at him with her slitted eyes, her tongue flickering once.

"In just one day, you seem… to fit-in better with the rest of the agents, even non-human ones. I don't know why I even ask," she answered, cursing Kelly for giving this idea and pushing it. Sure, he was a stranger, and it was easier to ask something like that to him, but she didn't say what to do after that.

"Afraid I don't have a method or anything like that for it. I just try to respect others as long as they do the same. Even if they are aliens. Focusing on the mission helps, makes me ignore any personal issues I might have and work on the task instead," just as he finished his answer, the viper turned around in some lighter clothing and headed for the exit without saying a word.

David looked at her in confusion for a moment, before returning to making this locker a bit more his. He wasn't sure how to feel about that interaction between them. There wasn't any, or much at the very least, hostility during it. He learned something new about the viper too - that she has trouble fitting in. It made sense with her background. An entire life spent fighting, barely any interaction with the outside world… The only companions she probably had were the other vipers she worked with during the war, which might be in a completely different location or… dead even. While he did not know any real details about her life, he could relate to that part at the very least. Losing someone you care about, be it by them going their way or… being gone hurt. Made it more difficult to build new bridges. He went through all that after thinking his parents were lost, but he had time to learn to appreciate others while they were around. Rather than close yourself in fear of losing someone again.

With that thought, and everything neatly placed in his locker, he went to the kitchen area, wanting to check it out and eat something after a job well done.

ooo

In the following months, the Agency had successfully built up its reputation. With some bumps along the way, they had plenty of work done. The investigation of both the Sacred Coil and the Progeny concluded, after finding out what each gang was after and capturing their leaders. None of them were behind the assassination of the mayor, but there were clues about the real culprit behind it. While that was a mystery still, taking out two major gangs was not an easy feat and everyone in the city 31 could breathe a little easier. With more trust in them, came more funding. With more funding, they could change their location into a more proper one for a special task squad. They no longer had to be in a field office, but instead moved to Downtown to an actual building. It offered not only more space and even a room for each of the agents, but also being in the heart of the city allowed them to react even faster to any threat.

As for the agents, there have been some changes. A few new ones joined in, allowing the work to be spread out. Better armor, weaponry, and equipment. Relations between agents have only changed for the better, too. Safeguard had proven himself to be a reliable member of the team, and with time he got used to working with non-humans, even grew fond of most of them.

As for the biggest worry, that being him and Torque... While things were still uneasy between them, both of them got used to each other's company, more or less. There was a lot of teasing and mean comments between the two, but in the end, they made a good team together when it came down to it.

But at that moment, that was not the case.

"Hey, that's not fair. How can you ask me if I ate aliens, but don't expect me to do the same?" Safeguard asked with a laugh as he prepared for a mission that just popped up while they were in the locker room.

"Since when are you so insensitive to your fellow agents? And that's not what you asked, you asked me which humans taste the best. The answer is none, by the way, all of you taste terrible," she closed her locker, her armor ready and the weapon loaded, "On a side note, are you this slow with everything? Is that why you picked a sniper rifle?" She added with a barely noticeable smirk on her face.

"Okay, fair, I may or may not have asked that. And hey, slow and steady wins the race,"

"In a very boring manner. Can you hurry so that we can go already?"

"Nobody is holding you here. Unless you are worried you take too much space with your huge tail again."

"Did you just call me fat?" Her eyes narrowed as she looked at him directly.

"Fat? No, you appear to be slim for a snake. One that just ate, that is," he couldn't stop himself from adding the last part.

"Just be glad it wasn't you this time, you idiot," Torque said after rolling her eyes, waiting no longer as she slithered her way toward the APC.

"Hey! An idiot that can shoot very well, at least give me some credit!" The young man responded, ready for a new mission as well.

Once there, the two saw Cherub and Verge already waiting for them, chatting and savoring the moment of peace before Safeguard and Torque would inevitably bicker again.

Safeguard did a small waving gesture to them as a welcome, while Torque just nodded and got into the APC.

"It's good to have the squad back together. Kept you waiting, huh?" David asked. With more agents, set teams were a relic of the past. They often changed teams, be it because of an agent hurt, set out for training, or doing tasks in the city for the agency.

"Not at all. We were just talking about how Cherub's honesty is different from others," Verge said, rather bluntly.

"Aw, stop it you. Why shouldn't I be honest? It's far easier to just say what's on your mind. No sense beating around the bush." Cherub shook his friend's shoulder before following the viper into the APC.

"Verge, am I not honest? At least... most of the time," David asked, curious what a psionic would have to say on that.

"Yes, but not in the same way. Cherub's mind is… pure in a lot of ways. Ready to head out?"

"Anytime." The two then headed to the APC, closing the side-door before the vehicle sped off to its destination.

As soon as the team was on their way, Whisper briefed them about the current mission.

"We're dealing with Grey Phoenix once more. They have a base of operation in a certain… establishment. You'll find out more about that once you get there. The place isn't theirs, they simply offer protection and funds in exchange for doing business deals there. There is one happening right now, outside the usual hours. Besides the gang, there shouldn't be anyone there, but check your fire just in case. As always, the more enemy agents you capture, the better. Knowing who they deal with will help us find where the funding is coming from," he said to the whole team.

"Can't you just tell us where are we going?" Torque asked, annoyed.

"Classified information," he said in a smug tone and cut the connection.

"What place do you think it is? It's not like him to avoid a detail like that," Safeguard said, as he was playing around with his scope.

"I wouldn't give him that much credit. He most likely forgot to do his job and didn't check it," Torque answered. Any contact with Whisper was already too much for her, so hearing him talk so often must have been driving her nuts.

With that, the APC continued making its way through the city to the mysterious establishment.

ooo

"I am so going to kill him when I get back," The viper said, Safeguard trying to hold in a laugh as they arrived and got out of the APC.

As it had turned out, their mission was to take place in a very classy place - a strip club, with a neon logo containing a rather immodest viper in a suggestive position around a pole. The building was rather big, and from the outside it appeared to be closed. One wouldn't expect that something big was happening inside.

"H-Hah, oh God, no wonder he didn't want to mention this bit! So, Torque-" Before he could finish, she turned to face him with a glare that could very much kill. The joke David has didn't seem so worth it at that moment. Maybe it was good that her anger was now aimed at someone else, it gave him room to breathe, "Yeah, we should get on the mission, mhm, no comments from me." He followed her and got into the position for the breach.

Cherub eagerly stepped to the door, ready to take the lead position, followed by Torque, Verge, and lastly him. The club had no windows, leaving them with the main entrance. It was locked, of course, so kicking in the door with guns blazing was the only way to proceed. Not that Cherub seemed to mind.

"Everyone ready?" The team nodded at him, his smile clear to see, "Let's give them a warm welcome," Cherub said, and then destroyed the door with a hefty kick, following it by throwing in a flash grenade. "Breaching!" he yelled out after the explosion went off, entering the strip club and leading the charge.

The grenade made it possible for the breach to be on the offensive. Any targets that were close to the entrance were surprised to see a flash grenade rolling in under their feet, only to be stunned at the sudden flash and loud boom.

The info about the deal taking place was correct if the number of armored Mutons was anything to go by. The confusion from the sudden attack didn't last long, as they started flipping over tables and going for cover. Among the chaos, some other aliens could be spotted like a Sectoid or a viper, providing psionic and poison support.

All the agents used their surprise to the full extent, focusing their fire on two closest Mutons that weren't quick enough to react and get behind a cover. Their armor stood no chance against that many rounds and got shredded in seconds. While the breach was a success, there were many more ready to fight back and avenge their fallen comrades.

A heavily armored Praetorian Muton roared and hit his chest, "Take them all down! Teach them what happens to traitors!" he shouted and fell back, putting up his shield for cover as he went upstairs farther back into the room.

The conflict began, gunfire flashing on both sides as each tried to control the situation. As a place designed for pleasure, every stray shot hit loose paper or bottles, sending glass shrapnel and debris flying left and right.

Safeguard noticed a single Sectoid in the back of the club, wearing light armor. Leaving those alive for long was a bad idea with the powers at their disposal.

"Cherub! Can you put a shield on me so I can take a shot?" Safeguard shouted out, watching as the Sectoid established a mind-link with a Muton, a visible psi aura around him.

"That's my job! Shield's up!" the hybrid called back as he hit the ground with the shield, a surge of power heading right at Safeguard.

With a chance not to be blasted to bits when aiming from behind cover, the ex-Reaper aimed the unexpecting Sectoid and fired a round right through the alien's head. The Muton that was merged with a dead mind wailed in pain, feeling everything the Sectoid did in his last moments in great intensity. The alien then began to shake, falling to the ground, convulsing in his last moments.

"Two targets down," David said and ducked back to cover, seeing some bullets hit his temporary shield.

"Your… experience shows," Verge said, watching the scene happen right before him. With the only other psionic in the field down, it gave him room to combat the Grey Phoenix fully. The method used there was effective, no denying that, but he couldn't help but feel empathy. The Sectoid's death was short, but he couldn't imagine what the Muton went through in his last moments.

Verge focused his mind on two Mutons that were close to each other, putting one to a temporary sleep and increasing the anger in the other one. With Mutons, putting them in a berserk rage came at ease. Deploying a Paladin was a way to counter that, but that wasn't a problem, no longer thanks to Safeguard.

The angered Muton went outside from his cover and began blindly shooting at anything that moved. Thankfully, most of that fire was focused on his allies, and him being reckless about his safety allowed Torque to land a direct hit on his head, plasma burning his flesh as the target went down.

With Cherub keeping a low profile behind the cover and using a shield, an Adder hissed and spat a poison cloud at him, the deadly air exploding all around the agent. He held his breath and changed his cover, no longer able to grab enemies' attention in the middle of the combat.

"Oh, ew! Some almost got in my mouth!" the hybrid said and quickly took out a medkit he had on himself, applying the medicine to fight the poison's effect.

Noticing another imminent threat on the battlefield, Safeguard changed his cover and hid behind the bar. With other agents closer to the enemies, he was left relatively undisturbed as he aimed his weapon in the viper's direction, looking for a chance to fire. If he learned anything during the war, it was that some vipers were very sloppy with their tails. The moment he saw it flash outside the cover, he fired a single round. The Adder hissed in pain, temporarily out in the open. It was enough for Cherub, who overloaded his pistol with the charge from his shield and fired, taking down the alien.

During missions, Safeguard stayed back most of the time, using range to his advantage. That was the case in that fight as well, and usually, it allowed him to pick off danger before it posed a threat to the team. He did not expect a Muton to come through the main entrance to the club, back from patrol after hearing gunshots. David had only a moment to turn around, seeing the plasma weapon charging up. The Muton had the perfect flank, and even as Safeguard swung his rifle around, the alien fired. The shot struck Safeguard right in the gut, eating through the armor and hitting flesh.

The sound of fire from behind grabbed Torque's attention, a shocked expression on her face as she saw one of her teammates fall to the ground.

"Cover me!" The two uninjured agents took up defensive positions, trusting Torque as they suppressed the enemy. Without hesitation, she hissed and retreated to Safeguard, firing into the unfortunate Muton. He didn't stand a chance against a pissed off viper, cover or not. The rapid-fire quickly ate through her reserves but dropped him dead on the ground all the same. Seeing a chance to fall back, the two remaining Mutons retreated to the stairs and climbed them to regroup with their leader.

The viper then rushed to David, checking on his wound.

"Darn it, this looks bad. How are you feeling?" she asked as she took out the medkit she had on her.

The man groaned in response at first, moving up so he was leaning against a wall. "I've been shot, how do you think I feel? And what's with the face? I'd figured if anyone would be happy to see me shot it would be you," the moment he finished saying that, she gave him yet another death glare he was slowly getting used to.

"You're an idiot, you know that? Here, let me try to stop the bleeding. Just stay calm, alright?" Torque applied the medkit, getting more and more worried as she went over the damage caused by plasma. Meanwhile, Verge and Cherub checked the area around for any more hostiles.

"I did what I could, but you'll need professional help, and soon. Just stay awake, okay?" Torque said after stabilizing her teammate and checking the rest of his body. The armor did its job, taking on most of the shot, but it stood no chance at that distance.

"How is he?" Verge asked, reloading his rifle just in case as he was carefully looking around the strip club.

"I can stabilize him for now, but we need to head back," she responded with worry in her voice.

The Sectoid nodded. "I will contact the medivac and then we shall secure this location with the help of 31PD."

David's wound needed pressure to be kept from getting worse and to stop the bleeding, so Torque did what she learned during her training. She moved him from the ground so he was sitting up, and gently put her tail around him, coiling it from his legs up to his chest.

"Entry team to Whisper, we have a man down." Verge continued to scan the area as Cherub watched the door the Mutons had fled to. They didn't seem to be coming back, most likely fleeing the scene when they ran out of men.

Safeguard was confused at first when he felt Torque moving against him and feeling her tail wrapping around his legs. When he felt pressure on his wound, though, he understood what she was doing and felt relieved.

He looked at her with a huge grin, not thinking quite right because of some blood loss and all the pain, "You know, normally I'd have to pay for something like this here." David laughed after that, only to groan in pain when he moved too much.

"I will go tighter if you don't stop. You wouldn't want a few broken ribs on top of that wound, now would you?" the viper responded and flicked her tongue once just before his face, finally having him safely locked in one spot.

Safeguard didn't want to push her and find out if that was only a threat, so he relaxed with a big grin still on his face, his mind filled with jokes he could make but wouldn't to keep his body un-squeezed. He would normally be way more concerned with the situation, especially with having Torque this close and her tail around… everywhere, but the morphine and blood loss made it hard to focus on a single thought.

"That Muton really did a number on me, huh? If you ever get a chance of being shot, don't go for it. It's not fun," the man continued, blinking a few times to keep his focus. The medkit kicked in, the pain fading away, but his body felt so tired.

"You should have been more careful." Her tone changed for a brief moment. "The help is on the way, so all you have to do now is just stay here. "

"Yeeeeeah…" His head did a little spin before it went to the side, eyes closed and laying against her tail.

"Safeguard? Hey, you there?" She tried to wake him up, but to no avail. "Damn it."

Torque made sure his unconscious body was in a comfortable spot, and that there was still pressure on his wound. She put her fingers to his neck, checking his pulse, a wave of relief washing over her when she felt a steady but weak beat. All she could do was wait for the medical help to arrive, unsure why she worried so much.

ooo

Torque watched as a pair of medics placed Safeguard on a stretcher, a quick word of praise for taking good care of him until their arrival. With the wounded agent taken care of, she was free to go and so were the other agents. 31PD had arrived, and with the help of Verge and Cherub, secured the place, bodies, and apprehended the subdued criminals. There was no trace of the remaining Mutons that escaped, as they took a back exit and made a run for it.

The ride back was quiet with one seat empty, and Torque was thankful for that. She didn't feel like talking to anyone at the moment, taking her time to simply think and reflect, something she didn't do that often. Focusing on the battle, training in-between for another adrenaline rush was what she was used to. What they trained her to do. If she hadn't met Kelly, it most likely would have stayed that way. Thinking about her friend reminded Torque of their recent talk. About fitting in with others and the trouble with doing just that. She often felt out of place.

Not just because she was an alien, no, that wasn't the issue. Torque simply never had a chance to learn how to interact with others. Serving ADVENT from a very young age only taught her how to kill and how to be a soldier. Nothing more, nothing less. Then the X-Com capture and prison. Certainly, nothing was learned there. Well, maybe just how boring it could get when she had nothing to do. Then helping with training rookies against ADVENT tactics, eventually joining the Chimera Squad with Kelly's help.

Torque was good at combat, she knew that. She was even proud of it. Proving others wrong that didn't think she could be an agent was her result. But when it came to a moment of peace between missions, she often found herself alone. If it wasn't for Kelly reaching out to her and trying to break her shell, she wasn't sure what might have happened.

Then a new agent joined in, making way more progress than her in just a week. Kelly told her it was a good example of how it could be done, and that the viper should simply observe and learn. Maybe even ask if she was brave enough. However, all that did was frustrate her even more. She was pushing people away, without really thinking about it, and now? Now she found herself worrying about the life of a human she teased regularly.

Her eyes lingered on the empty seat, the only sound in the background being the soft hum of the APC's engine running, only leaving it when her radio crackled with static as Whisper's voice broke the silence. "I have handed preliminary tests on Safeguard. Doctors say his armor did its job well and the field medicine practiced by Torque mitigated some issues that might have been present if not treated sooner. The damage isn't serious enough to be life threatening, but he'll need to be out of action for some time." With that he cut the connection, getting around the intel they gathered from the mission.

Torque could feel everyone's mood improving after hearing the news, even hers. She was still perplexed about this new… feeling. Sure, she wasn't happy when another agent ever got hurt. But she couldn't say she cared either. In this case, it was different. Maybe the talks with Kelly helped. She thought about how she ought to call her once back to the office, and with her mind a little clearer she tried to think about something more pleasant.

ooo

Torque looked at the tablet she had in her hand, her finger hovering over Kelly's name. For the first time in a long time, she had something that was really bothering her, and that thought alone made her hesitate in letting her finger fall to the screen. She shook her head slightly and pushed down, watching as the director's name lit up and flashed as the tablet attempted to connect to the call.

It didn't take long for Kelly's voice to go through it, "Hey Torque. I was wondering when you'd call me."

"Am I that predictable?"

"I've read the report from that mission. If you didn't call me, I would contact you, so yes. Talk to me," the woman continued.

"Yeah, I'm just not used to… this. Worrying about others. I know that he's safe now and that will come out of this without an issue, and I still worry for some reason. And what will happen if one day an agent might not make it? I don't… I'm scared of that. I don't want to lose more people close to me." Even if it was just a video call, Torque still avoided looking at Jane after having said that.

"I will not pretend and tell you that's not a possibility. But that's not a reason to simply push everyone away. During the war, the times were even more uncertain. I could lose everyone I cared about in a single mission just because of a mistake. I know it's difficult, and that might think that pushing everyone away is the right choice. But it's not healthy, Torque. You'll find yourself alone and in even more pain," Kelly said, knowing how Torque felt more than the viper realized.

"Did you lose many soldiers during the war?"

"Yes. And I am proud I got to know every single one of them. It was an honor to serve with them, and if I could, I'd do it all over again," Kelly said.

"Thank you, Jane. I'll try, at the very least. Your judgment helped me get so far, don't see why I shouldn't trust you with this too," she felt a sense of relief after she told all that was on her mind as of late.

"How about a more pleasant topic? Like the fact you've made a new friend."

"I did? Who?" She didn't like the tone Jane made at the end there.

"Safeguard, unless there's someone I don't know about?"

"No, no, it's just… Are we friends? All we do is argue." She wasn't sure what she was to other agents. She didn't mind some of them, liked even less, and bickering with Safeguard was pretty fun at times. Not like she'd admit to it, of course.

"And yet you went out of your way to protect him, and help him with his wounds when it came down to it." Torque gave a small glare at Kelly when she saw a smirk appear on her face. She said nothing, knowing that Jane was right.

"Agent Safeguard is going to be released from the hospital soon. He should be able to walk to the station with no difficulty, although standard rehabilitation will be required as per regulation. We have sent further information to Director Kelly," the text on Torque's phone said, sent by one of the nurses.

Torque read the message one last time as she closed her locker, already changed into her regular civilian clothing. A dark tank top meant more for modesty, as humans had a hard time watching a barely clothed viper move down the sidewalk. Over the top, she had almost decided to wear a heavier cloth jacket but opted for a sleek leather one. "Ugh, why do I care so much?" Torque shook her head before placing the phone in her pocket.

She slithered out to the main room, seeing Whisper looking over the tactical map while scanning some documents. She approached as he typed in the viable locations of criminal activity, with little blinking spots appearing on the map. He was oblivious until she tossed a piece of paper onto the map, making the hologram flicker.

"I am heading out, figured I should let you know." Torque looked annoyed as he finished typing in an address, taking his sweet time.

"You know, if this is about getting takeout, we have some in the fridge. Don't know if there are any rats left though," Whisper said after taking out his earbuds, no doubt connected to a police scanner.

"At least there are uses for rats. Unlike you, Whisper. I'm heading out to pick something up," With that said, she slithered away to the direction of the exit.

Whisper's phone lit up with a message reading that Safeguard had just been released from the hospital. He looked up just in time to catch a glimpse of her leaving the door, noticing the effort she had put into clothing choice.

"Hm… or maybe someone." He shrugged, marking Torque off the roster for any urgent missions that might come up in time. Unlikely, and there were free agents if that happened, but one can never know.

ooo

Getting to the hospital didn't take long on foot, or on tail, thanks to their new location of the agency. It was a good thing too, as sometimes agents had to make longer or shorter visits there. Torque made her way into the lobby and saw David talking to a viper nurse near the desk, taking care of some papers.

A sense of relief washed over her, her last memory of him being with him bloodied up and unable to walk on his own. It was an unfamiliar experience, one she couldn't dwell for long, because her fellow agent turned around, a surprised look on his face that quickly turned into a smile.

"Had to take care of some paperwork, the agency covering all this and such… Wait, I only just got released a few minutes ago, how did you know?" he asked with a raised brow.

Behind him, the viper nurse winked at Torque, mouthing 'Good luck'. The Agent's eyes narrowed, looking back with venom, but then quickly answering the question.

"I was asked to make sure you could get back to the base. We wouldn't want another Muton charging at you on your way there, now would we?" Her unsure voice at the beginning quickly changed back into her usual tone.

"I'd rather not go through that again for sure. Let's go then, I've been here for ages, it feels like." He nodded at the nurse, made sure everything was done, and headed for the exit, Torque following him.

"I never thanked you properly. So yeah, thank you, Torque. I don't think I'd be back on my legs this quickly if it wasn't for you." His hand went behind his neck as he said that, scratching it. Being saved by a viper… that's certainly not something he expected to ever happen. If any of his old Reaper pals ever heard about it, there would be no end to them poking fun at it. It was odd for sure, but he was glad that besides their differences when it came down to it, he could count on Torque.

"No problem. I'm sure any other agent would do the same in my place," the viper answered, avoiding his gaze.

"Any updates on the Grey Phoenix?" He changed the slightly embarrassing topic.

"Not many. After that interrupted deal, they went into hiding, so no new leads. 31PD is working on the gang members we caught, trying to get any intel that would help," she paused, thinking if she was missing something else about the investigation, "That's about it. It's going to be pretty boring while we have to wait. We've been doing too good a job for the city, no clue when I'll get to fight again. To make it worse, Ja-, er, director Kelly has issued me some downtime." The last part grabbed David's attention the most.

"And I'm not allowed to do much as well… How about I thank you properly? We're already out in the city off-duty, so we could try something fun," Safeguard suggested, already crossing out any ideas that required legs.

"Something fun? Like what?" The two stopped before a street crossing, waiting for the light to go green.

"Hm… Well, there must be something you like, right?" He drummed his fingers on his face, wondering what someone like Torque could be interested in.

"Combat," she answered.

"And besides that?"

"Training?" She said, unsure what else there was to do with one's time.

David paused, now realizing that he hasn't seen Torque do much else around the agency. "What else do you do in your free time?"

"Browse the internet? I don't… have much experience with being out there doing… stuff." It was her turn to feel awkward. She wasn't against the idea, not at all, but that made her realize how boring she must be. Her work was her life, always has been, especially back when working for Advent.

"Alright, how does bowling sound? I'm pretty sure there is a place nearby." The light turned green, and the two began crossing the street.

Torque didn't respond right away, thinking it through. It wasn't like she had much to do during downtime from the missions, and she was pretty sure this was a chance to build relations with someone. She could then brag about it to Kelly too, about the progress she made.

"Bowling? Sure, I never tried it, but I suppose I have nothing better to do."

"Perfect, I haven't had the chance to practice since I got into the city." David looked up the address for bowling alleys in the area, finding a place that was adjusted for all species, and the pair headed there.

ooo

The sliding door of the bowling alley opened automatically as the pair approached, staying open long enough for Torque to move her full length into the building before it closed. The loud clatter of a bowling ball hitting pins drew her attention, watching a surprising number of people walk about the alley, mostly human with a few aliens and hybrids around.

David led her to a table behind the lanes, letting her sit down as she watched the game quizzically, "I wasn't expecting you to pick such a simple game. It seems like anyone with our training could easily hit the pins. "

"It's harder than it looks, just watch a bit more while I get us a lane." David smiled as he walked off to the attendant.

"I hit targets the size of quarters while we breach into a room filled with danger, I think I can hit stationary pins, David."

She huffed as she turned back to the many rows of people tossing the bowling balls, only letting her eyes leave the display when David waved her to a newly open lane, "Seriously, we are well-trained agents. There is no challenge in this at all."

ooo

The laugh that Safeguard let out when the bowling ball went straight into the gutter was impressive for a man who was just in the hospital. Despite the minor cough he endured afterward, he kept on grinning. Although not loud enough to draw much attention, Torque still felt embarrassed for completely messing up her first throw, "Told you it was harder than it looked. You still have one more try though, nothing else can be worse than that."

Torque turned to face him, almost about to give him a death glare when she saw the smile on his face. His laughter was infectious, but she had a reputation to uphold. She narrowed her eyes and then went for another ball.

Her next attempt was slightly better, with the ball staying in the middle of the lane for a few moments before once more heading into the gutter, all the pins left untouched.

"There must be something wrong with my ball!" she cried out in frustration.

"Oh, there's nothing wrong with it. This place even offers ones specifically made for alien races. Let me try to confirm if the alley is indeed against you." David took a bowling ball, preparing for a throw while Torque moved away. He felt her piercing gaze on him, her hungry eyes looking at how he would do it.

He aimed, took a step back, and threw the ball. It went straight in the middle for most of the lane before taking a slight turn to the right at the end and striking out four pins.

"Eh, I'm rusty after all these years of not playing. Still, better tha-" he couldn't finish as after turning around Torque was standing right behind him.

"You have legs," she said while she was looking down at them.

"Yes, I happen to have a pair."

"I think that's what my problem was. I didn't move my whole body, gonna watch again how you do it." Her tone was rather serious for something like a game of bowling.

David shrugged and threw the bowling ball once more, this time hitting only two pins.

"The pressure from having a viper observe me so intently," he said mostly to himself.

"My turn." She quickly took her ball, got into position and waited for the pins to be placed once more. She moved her body a few times, mimicking the movement of a human doing a few steps, and threw the ball. This time, it went down the whole lane and hit straight in the middle, not strong enough for a strike, but it hit six pins.

Safeguard expected her to fail once more, so hearing the pins dropping did caught him off guard. His grin returned to his face as he saw a chance for something.

"Nice job, Torque. So, I was thinking about making this more interesting. How about a bet? Whoever loses the actual full match has to pay for the next place we're heading to." That caught Torque's attention. The competition was not something she could pass up. She was proud of her skills when it came to combat and always wanted to be on top. Being better than others made her feel good, so something like that was up to her alley.

"Deal," she answered, her confident tone back.

ooo

"And you are sure you have never played before?" David looked at the monitor that showed their score. He looked fairly competent, but when he looked down at Torque's, the numbers steadily rose until the last frame showed a strike.

Torque's tongue flitted about happily as she smiled, a smug little grin on her face as her head bobbed from side to side as she moved in a large circle around Safeguard. "I told you it wasn't difficult, oh…" She stopped her victory dance with a look of mock-pity directed towards Safeguard, "I guess just for me."

"Beginner's luck then. That saves some of my pride." He turned off the screen, signaling to the attendant that they were finished.

A small hiss came from her, enough to show Safeguard that she was displeased with his choice of words. "It wasn't beginner's luck, it was skill. Don't pout, you are an adult."

The deal was a deal, and even though he felt like a sore loser, the two headed out of the bowling alley. Safeguard led the way once the door slid closed behind them. He patted his stomach, his annoyed face changing back to a carefree smile when he felt a little pain.

"Good thing is the place I had in mind isn't terribly expensive. Say, ever had ice cream?"

"No, can't say I have. And if you make a joke about me being from the New Arctic, I will bite you." The comment made Safeguard stop in his tracks.

He put his hand on his chin, looking up to the darkening sky. "You know, this time I actually didn't think of that. I should write it down somewhere."

Torque sighed, not as annoyed as she thought she would be at the statement. Instead, she looked up to where Safeguard was staring. She saw nothing but the open sky and turned back to him. "To answer your question, no, never have. Is it good?"

"You have no idea! While you were kicking my ass, I double-checked if this place was still open, and it is. So you better think of a flavor you might want to try before we get there," Safeguard said.

"Flavorsss, you meant. You're paying after all." She winked at him, the word 'flavors' said like by a viper that hasn't adapted well to human speech.

The ice cream parlor was getting ready to close as the sun set, giving Torque all the time she needed to look through the flavors for the third time.

"Do you see maple anywhere?"

"Nope, pretty sure they don't have that flavor." David moved closer to get the attention of one of the sellers. "Excuse me? I'll be taking a scoop of strawberry."

"Same for me," Torque added, unsure what to pick. How was she supposed to pick one when there were so many? She hoped his taste in flavors wasn't as bad as his humor.

After getting both of their ice creams, the pair sat down near one table. Torque's tail coiled around the legs of the chair, making sure not to take up too much of the floor space as she moved the waffle cone to her face.

"I hope you savor this, after all, this is your reward. I still don't fully believe that you have never played before," he accused her once more.

Torque was too busy with her sweet treat, curiously sticking out her tongue and giving it a testing lick. The tip wasn't nearly as wide as one human has, so she had to entangle it around the ice cream. Part of her was a little cautious, expecting some kind of prank or a terrible taste. After all, she won at the very game he picked. But no, all she got was a nice tasty flavor of strawberry. And she absolutely loved it.

David watched her reaction with a smile, observing how it went from uncertainty to happiness. He was glad that her first taste was a good one. One could never know with aliens and how they taste things. One thing he did not think of was that the way she ate was messy. With her tongue all around the scoop, a lot of the ice cream ended up on her mouth. And with the red color, his mind made the image quite scary.

"You have it all over your… Well, everything really." He took a napkin and passed it to Torque, who was lost in the moment.

The viper froze for a moment, before quickly taking it and cleaning herself up. "We should totally come here more often."

"Planning more time together already, are you?"

Torque glared at him for a few seconds, opening her mouth to snap a snide remark to him, only to find herself with nothing to say. "Yes, I mean no, I… well, I suppose if you'd invite me again I wouldn't say no." She huffed. "Perhaps, but right now you still owe me a few more flavors, right?"

He sighed, his head low, "That I do."

ooo

By the time the two returned to the agency, it was getting dark outside. Most other agents were either out because of some downtime, training or simply enjoying themselves at the office.

"Thank you for spending time with me. I have no clue what I'd do with all this free time," Torque said, looking around to make sure nobody saw them enter. She also had no clue what to do after spending time with someone like that. The viper recalled some classes they forced her to go to about human customs, but she was quite nervous about what she could try. Still, the more she did, the more to brag about to Kelly. She extended her arms and put them around David, wrapping him in a hug.

"Huh, you didn't even struggle. That felt… Nice?" Her height made her drop lower on her tail, as she awkwardly kept her hands around him for a moment.

"Oh, don't worry, next time an enormous snake tries to get close to me I'll run away. And hey, no problem. Next time you should try the chocolate flavor, it's pretty good." David moved away from Torque, yawned and stretched his arms above his head, "I think I'll be going to bed early for now. My body is still sore after the hospital," David said and waved goodbye, heading to his room.

After he was far away, Torque released a sigh she was holding in the whole hug. Combat never stressed her out as much as this relationship thing. Shooting targets was simple—you aimed, pulled the trigger and made sure you did it before they could. That? It was unpredictable, but… also fun. She headed to her room, excited to talk to Kelly about all of what happened.

ooo

[snussy]

Torque shifted underneath her blanket, unable to find a comfortable position as she snuck several glances at her communication device. Jane couldn't talk on that day, being busy with all the Grey Phoenix intel that came up. The viper knew her friend couldn't always find time for her, but why did it have to be on the day when she made so much progress?

She checked the time on her phone, seeing that it was just past midnight.

"I should probably go to sleep soon," she said to herself, changing the side she was laying on once more. The problem was, she didn't feel that tired. She felt hungry. As delicious as the ice cream was, it wasn't much of a meal. She headed to the kitchen area of the agency, and opened a shared fridge, looking for something that looked tempting.

"Going for a midnight mouse, eh?" she heard a voice say just behind her. She jumped, not expecting that, and turned around, seeing David in a T-shirt and boxers only. She has since shed her leather jacket, simply wearing a dark tank top that was underneath.

"Why are you here?" she asked with confusion clear on her face.

"I work here, Torque." He couldn't help himself. "I kept on falling asleep and then waking up, and at this point, I just don't feel tired anymore. Then I heard someone ravaging the kitchen as I went to the bathroom and decided to check it out. How about you?" He leaned against a countertop, curiously looking at what the snake would pick to eat.

Torque found some already prepared chicken, placed it on a plate, and went to a microwave, setting it for a minute or two and turning back to David.

"I was hungry. And stayed up this late, hoping I could talk to Jane. She's too busy for now, and I felt talkative. That's about it." The two remained in silence until the beep of the microwave grabbed Torque's attention.

"You know, I still owe you for saving me. And there's also losing bowling… How about you talk with me? On the condition that you pay for your ice cream next time." He watched her tongue flicker many times when she took out her meal, and her eyes stayed on it before turning to him. Someone was hungry.

Torque took a moment to consider his offer. He had no clue that the topic she wanted to talk about was him. Maybe she should expand people she talks about more serious topics. She had Jane, sure, but like in that case, what when she wasn't around?

"Sure, as long as you don't make a mess in my room." She picked up a knife and a fork on her way through the kitchen and went to her room, with David following.

Torque opened the door and headed on to her bed, making herself comfy with her meal. Her eyes widened as she realized she forgot she wasn't alone and moved her tail on the ground so that he had a place to sit on too.

"So, what do you have on your mind?" Safeguard asked, seeing her open her mouth, about to answer, and then close it. After that happened once more and silence followed, he continued, "Tell you what, how about you eat and I'll share what's on my mind? Sounds fair?"

She nodded and made herself comfy once more, curious about what he'd possibly be talking about. All the while she was eating pieces of her meal.

"I have a feeling this might be pretty serious, so hopefully me sharing what's on my head won't be out of place. Fighting the aliens, Grey Phoenix I mean, brought some memories. Been quite some time since I've last done that. You probably noticed, but I used some strategies I used during the war. Made me go back into that mindset." He paused, looking seemingly nowhere while his eyes laid on the wall. "I think what bothers me the most is how… it just clicked. How naturally I went back there with my head, all my training with the Reapers came back and felt as natural as breathing. I thought fighting on the same side with the enemies of the past would change that, and would keep the past buried, but nope."

She listened carefully to his every word, surprised that instead of some dumb jokes or something like that, he shared something… important to him. It almost felt rude to continue eating while he talked about it, but she was way too hungry to stop. He had no way of knowing that she herself wanted to cover some personal topics, and still, he trusted her. Torque felt happy. Was this how it was for Kelly when they talked?

"Can say I had a similar issue. The change for you was less drastic I imagine, you had your past enemies change sides, I had to do it. It's all on my file, and I know you looked over all of ours. Most of my life has just been combat. What I had on my mind that I wanted to talk to Kelly about was my… problem with connecting to others here." She gazed at him, watching his reaction.

"Really? We seem to connect just fine, despite my terrible jokes."

"It still took ages and a lot of help from Kelly. I've never had a chance to make friends, I have no clue how to. I was, and still am, scared of losing others. The bond with the other vipers I had while serving Advent might not have been the deepest, as we simply served together, but it still hurt. With you, I just improvised and maybe read a guide or two online," she said the last part and looked away, noticing her tail has been wriggling a lot while she talked about the last part.

"Most people go through that, especially after a loss. I know I did. I was sure that my parents were dead, that… yeah, that didn't help with building new relations. But being alone was no fun during the war. And it turns out people around you go through the same worries, have similar problems. All you have to talk and give someone a chance. Avoiding others just because of the fear of losing them is even worse in the long run," David said, moving his legs further from the bed to have less pressure on them.

"Here I thought I wouldn't be talking to Kelly tonight, but you sound like her." Both of them had a little giggle. Torque placed her empty plate on a nearby table, her attention not fully on David.

"Glad I remind you of someone, especially the director. Don't think I will be able to say the same. It's the tail that makes it difficult, mostly. I have a friend with fangs and scales, though."

"Really? Who?" Torque's tone was way too serious for her to be playing along, so he kept himself from answering for a moment to build suspense.

"Have you seen what Whisper looks like when he eats pizza? An animal, I swear."

She blinked a few times, confused, and then loudly groaned, realizing it was yet another terrible joke, "Normally I would have kicked you out, but I forgive you. Only because Whisper was the punchline. But if you keep going with these terrible jokes, you'll share the fate of the chicken,"

Torque noticed that there was a new, shit-eating grin on David's face as he was suspiciously quiet.

"Ugh, do I even want to ask?"

"I was just thinking that a chance like that - a viper strip club - and that's the mission I had to be out on. So many possibilities for my amazing humor," he said, his head in the clouds.

"Don't make me regret saving you. Speaking of strip clubs, I can't fathom why there even are viper ones. Are there that many vipers that want to see other vipers dance?"

"Wait, you're not serious, are you? Did you not notice the stool seats near the bar? They weren't really for vipers." Safeguard still wasn't sure if she was kidding.

"Mutons? But the seats were small… Oh. Oh, wait. Don't tell me that-"

"Mhm, one thing you should know about humans is that a lot are perverts."

"So… that is what you meant in the club with that comment about me binding you. You're lucky I didn't get it, because that would just make me squeeze you instead of saving you." She paused for a moment, with a smirk of her own. "I didn't expect a Reaper to be something like that though, and for you to be a pervert. I bet you go to places like that often. Is that the reason for you trying to save money from the ice cream?" Torque showed him her tongue, her initial confusion gone.

His cheeks gently burnt red at the accusation. "What is there to be into? vipers are scary, if anything. Some people might be into being coiled, so I used that," David didn't notice her tail sneaking down his legs, which were off the bed until it was too late. Starting with his ankles, she started to slowly bind him.

"Scary? At least you acknowledge that we're dangerous." She watched him, seeing his eyes shoot up to hers with confusion sparking in them. "What about you, then? I don't recall you struggling when I had to keep the pressure on the wound."

"Oh, me? I was too busy joking to move a muscle while a big and dangerous snake did that to me," he continued to feel her tail wrap around more and more of his bare legs, the scale not feeling unpleasant. But he quickly realized that there was a problem. A hard one, figuratively and… literally. The gentle movement of her tail up his legs started to bubble some feelings to the surface he was really wishing didn't exist right now.

"O-Okay, I got your point Torque. How about we get back to doing anything but this?" His tone was nervous, as the strong tail went higher and higher, about to make the situation awkward.

She did not stop, and his biggest fear became reality. Her tail was around his crotch, and there was no mistaking it - he had an erection. Torque's eyes widened, her body freezing. She planned to maybe scare him a little before letting him go, so something hard threw her off.

The two agents sat in silence, each unsure how to comment on the fact that yes, her tail was hugging his hard cock.

Torque collected herself first, moving a little, so she was facing David, "Oh, so it's hard for humans then? Gee, but I don't see around here…"

"I… Um…" Safeguard was still flustered over that. No witty remark could save him from the situation, and he had no clue how to explain why it happened either. Physical contact with a human woman could be easily explained, but with a viper? It was a woman touching him, sure, and his body didn't particularly care, but it didn't make it any easier to explain.

Torque suddenly grinned, her coils squeezing a little uncomfortably. "You little pervert, just you wait 'till the others hear about your fetish!"

With the situation slightly less awkward, Safeguard backed up and reached down to peel at the muscular coils binding his legs. Torque thankfully relaxed her tail, and he could do that without a problem. Some of her tail still stayed around his legs, though.

Torque had one last giggle before she calmed herself, seeing that David was still terribly embarrassed. She used her tail to move his legs from the floor onto the bed, and then hovered above them, getting closer to him.

Her hand crept to the bulge in his boxers, the tip of her index finger gently touching it at the base.

"I had no clue that you'd be interested, David," the viper said once she made her way to his side, laying on the bed close to his torso.

His eyes darted to her hand, so soft that she might as well not be touching him. "Neither did I, it just sort of happened," he answered, his heart beating faster. This no longer felt like she was just teasing him. Her tone was different too. It was softer, and seductive almost?

Torque's eyes darted down at his cock for a moment, before she moved her face even closer to David's, now staring directly into his eyes.

"Feel free to stop me," she said, her finger gently pushing against the fabric of his underwear.

He couldn't tell if she wasn't just luring him into some trap to get more material to tease him about. She was making contact though, barely, but still.

He was silent until a gentle gasp left his mouth when her full hand moved against his member. She wasn't grasping it or hurting him, simply sliding it across his length.

"It feels so eager," Torque's full attention was now between his legs, and it gave him a moment to just grasp the situation.

In no way was it unpleasant to have her toy with him like that. He wanted to say it was a surprise when he got erect, but a part of him knew. What was surprising was the way Torque was acting - interested instead of disgusted like he'd assume she would react.

He felt more of her body move onto the bed, her torso resting on his legs as she stared down at his length. Her hands were gently shaking, her tail wiggling and hitting the bed as she moved them under his boxers and then pulled them down.

The viper watched in wonder as his erect cock was now out in the open, her tongue flickering like crazy once it did. Her eyes were glued to it as she moved her head around to inspect it. David's eyes focused on her tongue, watching it flit inches away from his shaft.

"H-hey, isn't that how you…" Torque didn't respond.

With the way she was watching his lower body, David felt like prey to the giant viper that was having her way with him. Her curious hand moved over it once more, this time grabbing his shaft. She did it so gently that he didn't feel it at first before she put some more strength into it when her confidence grew. Without the fabric in the way, direct contact with her hand was a completely new experience... Fewer fingers than a human, sharp talons… and scales.

"Uh, this is a little f-ah… far to go for a joke, Torque." He completely expected her to let go, spit out a one-liner about how horrible of a person he was, and leave him high and dry, but Torque did something unexpected. She started moving her hand up and down, which was pleasant at first, but her tempo increased, quickly reaching uncomfortable levels. He grabbed the bed with his hands and moved to the side to avoid the much too eager hand.

"Hey, slow down!" he cried out, which made Torque pause and move away, feeling flustered.

"Sorry, I've nev… Uh... I mean, I thought males like it that way." She stopped herself mid-sentence and changed what she was about to say.

Her little slip-up made him realize what happened here. "Torque, is this your first time? It's alright if it is, but why didn't you say so before?" he softly said, connecting everything she has done so far.

"Is that important? I didn't know you humans had any rituals for mating. All I heard while I was in ADVENT was how one of my sisters simply wanted the chance to do so."

"First times are pretty important. They are special, but before I go on, be honest, how much do you know about sex and everything that follows?"

Torque moved away from him a little, thinking it through with a finger under her chin. "Of course I know what comes after. She always talked about breeding privileges, but I don't have to worry about that with you. Why? That's all there is to mating, isn't it?"

Everything suddenly made sense for him. Torque was an adult, so knowing what sex was and what the purpose of it was on the biological level was obvious. But there was nobody ever in her life to… well, explain to her why the couple were doing it. His face softened as he patted her tail.

"Okay, so buckle up because I will try my best to explain it to you. Sex is, usually, something people do with someone they are in a relationship with. A romantic one. A couple would date first, kiss and so on, and eventually have sex. That is often followed by marriage if the couple stays together." He paused, marveling at how well her scales felt for a moment, before continuing. "Sex is… a very intimate act. A way to show your passion to someone, how much you care about them… how much you love them. Sure, some people do it for pleasure or even pay for it, but it's not the majority." David ended, feeling quite odd having to explain that to someone.

Torque carefully listened to his every word, her eyes widening as she put together what all of it meant. Here she thought sex was so simple, but… it sounded like a lot more went into it. Way more than she knew. Her eyes went on the floor as she backed away from him. If that was the case, then… she was coming off really strong. And why would he want her, when she was teasing him so often?

"Oh… Of course. You would want to do this with someone you care about."

The confidence was gone from her voice. She put on a strong face, but he could hear the change. Part of him felt crushed when he saw the shift in her attitude, and he wanted that cocky, snarky Torque back.

"You know, you call me an idiot a lot, but I am surprised you haven't figured it out yet."

He hurried in, put his hand on the side of her face, and leaned in for a kiss. The act surprised Torque, but she quickly responded by kissing him back, the two closing their eyes and enjoying the moment. When they parted, he saw her light up and heard her tail hitting the frame of the bed.

"You think I would have just sat here and explained all that with you rubbing against my body if I didn't care about you? Looks like you can be a pretty big idiot too."

"O-of course I knew! I was just giving you a chance to back out."

She placed a hand on his chest, hesitantly resting more of her weight on him.

"I don't think I am in any position to back out now, I'm completely exposed in your bed. I just came back from a hospital though, I don't want to return there too soon." He winced when his thoughts went back to how fast she went at it.

Her scaly hand went over to his member, locking around it as she moved down once more. Her tongue began flickering again, as Torque moved it up and down, taking her time this time. It was cute to see her analyzing how it works so intently, trying different angles and grips before settling into a steady rhythm. And once she did that, it felt good. Fantastic, even. David moved his torso, so he was laying comfortably against the wall behind him.

"H-holy, you are great when you put your mind to something." Without the hasty treatment and her confidence back, the viper learned the ropes quickly. The difference in her hand was only adding to the experience.

"Does it feel that good?"

He nodded, taking deeper breaths to relax his body.

Torque's eyes glinted with excitement as a mischievous idea went through her mind. Her free hand went over David's stomach, fingers spread out as she rubbed him across it. Then he felt her hold him down as her hand increased the speed. Remembering her first attempts a bit ago, he almost wanted to pull away on instinct, but with her strong scaly hand keeping him in place, he had no choice but to endure it.

"Fuck," he swore, glad he gave her another chance, but just after that, the intense pleasure was gone. The hand that was pleasuring his shaft did that no longer, and the other one stayed just above it, below his tummy. David bucked his hips up helplessly in the air, his body yearning for more.

"That's for calling me an idiot," she said with a smirk and then glanced at his tool, hungry for more. A single drop of pre-ejaculate leaked from the top, grabbing Torque's full attention. The snake moved close to his erection once more, barely a few inches away from her face. Her flickering tongue was moving so fast it might as well not return to her maw, as David observed with pleading eyes.

"It smells so… I don't know how to even describe it. I know what effects it has on me though," the viper said with one of her hands trailing down her tail.

David thought he felt like a viper's prey during the night where he had to escape a squad of them, but that didn't even compare to when Torque looked at his cock with hungry eyes before her long tongue extended and with a long lick went from the very bottom to the very tip, licking off her reward for doing a wonderful job.

"The more you go at this, the more doubts I have. Are you positive you have no experience?" he asked, trying not to groan too loudly when he felt that organ continue exploring, until she met the tip once more, giving it a little kiss.

"The internet is a handy tool. And your cute reactions make it easy to see whether it feels good, so there's also that." The tone in her voice has lost any worries from before, back to being fully confident again.

Torque grabbed him at the base of his shaft, and looked him deep into eyes as her tongue ventured around the tip first, and then lower and lower… There were sparkles in his eyes as he watched in amazement, the organ seemingly never-ending. Soon enough, he saw more of her tongue down there than his penis, almost wholly entwined, while her eyes never left him for a single second.

"H-Holy shit. Okay, you're changing my mind about vipers' tongues from creepy to my new fetish." He grunted when the viper started moving her tongue further, making him feel nothing but a mass of muscular tissue all around his shaft. It already felt amazing, and she had yet to put it inside her maw yet.

Unable to talk, she winked instead and dropped her eyes down on his cock, focusing on it. His legs shook as her tongue moved up and down, hugging the shaft tight from all directions and essentially jerking him off. The sensation was making it hard to stay in place, his legs gently shaking each time she made it tighter.

David moved his hand close to her face and cupped her cheek, causing her to look at him. He wasn't completely sure if it was a good idea, but seeing her rub against it, especially when he went over her hood, was absolutely worth it.

Torque slowly removed her tongue from his cock, leaving it covered in her spit. David was panting, trying to calm himself, despite his body crying out for more.

"Enjoying yourself there, hm?" she asked, her eyes half-closed and dreamy.

"Fuck. Yeah, you have no idea." It took effort not to move his hips into the air.

"I had revenge for your comment there. Now, this is for all of your silly jokes." He didn't have time to react or ask what she had in mind. Torque moved her free arm on his legs to hold them and then in one quick go, devoured his cock with her very hungry maw. David could only groan and attempt to buck his hips so his shaft went even deeper. His toes curled, mind went blank, and he could feel nothing but pure pleasure from Torque's lack of gag reflex.

The intense treatment didn't just stop there. Her tongue returned to its place on his cock inside her mouth, her full control of it allowing her to lick him everywhere, tease any part she wanted. All that while she sucked hard and began moving her head up and down.

Safeguard gave up in his attempts of resisting or saying how amazing it feels. All he did, all he could do, was to lay comfortably on the bed, letting out groans and moans as the inexperienced snake continued pleasuring him and finding his buttons, only to press them and give him even more ecstasy.

Torque's assault on his cock was not something he was prepared for, nor could he ever. She was a quick learner in many things, such as combat and bowling, and he quickly realized that applied to fellatio. By intently observing him and every single reaction he made, she was pleasuring him in ways he never thought were possible. That was partly because the thought of doing this with a viper never crossed his mind.

The slow building pressure was letting itself be known more and more, his penis leaking all over the inside of her maw. Anything he gave her, she made sure to lick off.

"Torque? I can't hold it if you keep going like this," saying that without a groan in the middle was quite the challenge. More so when she started moving even faster. Her tongue was once more covering his whole tool, but this time inside her moist mouth. Nothing was holding her back from taking it wholly, deep inside of her throat, and Torque used that fact to the fullest. She was slurping on his shaft loudly, making a mess with her spit. It was leaking down his sack onto the bed while she continued tasting him.

He expected her to pause, or at the very least change back to her hand. What she did, instead, was to grab his hand with her own and hold it, her four fingers moving between his. He gripped her tight, as the viper kept going hard on his cock, not giving him a single moment to calm down. She was on a mission, and that mission was to make him cream down her gullet. His pleas for her to pause for a moment fell on deaf ears, and when he looked at her with pleading eyes, she looked back with an intense stare.

There was no mercy in them. All she wanted was for her mate to climax and show her how good of a job she's doing. Soon enough he couldn't hold the pressure any longer. His hips moved on their own and with the final groan, David exploded deep inside of her mouth. String after string of alabaster cum shot out of his cock, painting the insides of her mouth white while she took it all without hesitation. Her tongue was playing with the shaft while it unloaded, fully tasting him at last. Her throat was vibrating as she hummed in satisfaction, and on the edge of his vision, he saw frantic movement. It was Torque's hand moving fast in and out of her entrance; the viper pleasuring herself in a quick tempo.

David couldn't remember when he last came that hard. Even after his orgasm, he felt amazing, all while Torque gently continued sucking him and making sure that there was no ejaculate left. Finally, her mouth let him go free, his cock plopping on his stomach, covered in slimy spit everywhere. He didn't realize he was still holding her hand hard, so he relaxed it and fell on the bed, the experience still settling in.

Torque slithered over him, gently laying on top of his chest as he was trying to catch his breath.

"If… If that was for my jokes, I-I think I'll need to do more of them," he finally said once his body didn't feel like jello.

"I guess I'll just have to keep doing this until you stop." She grinned at him and licked where her lips would be with her tongue.

David turned to his side, moving Torque from his chest to his right. He put her into an embrace, holding his hands around her hood, and Torque used her tail to hold him close back.

"You're really good for a first-timer," he said while rubbing the scales on her back.

"I'm not just a good shot, I'm good pretty much at everything," the smirk in her voice was audible when she said that back at him.

His hands didn't stay long there, as he moved them down, on where her hips would be first, causing her to look at him with a raised brow.

"You learn quickly, I'll give you that. But you had your chance to get familiar with me, and I think it's my turn. Let's see how you are doing down there." His right hand went from Torque's side to her stomach, slowly trailing down.

His fingers brushed against her slit. She's been clearly enjoying herself if her wetness was anything to go by. Torque's confidence was no longer as prominent, and when his curious hands made contact, he saw her eyes closing.

While David didn't have that much experience, he could take the treatment Torque gave him. But with this cute little viper never being touched down there by anyone but herself? He was gentle, his hand avoiding direct contact with her slit but instead starting by rubbing her around it, getting a feeling of her skin. Unlike the rest of her body, he could barely feel any scales. She was incredibly soft, and when his fingers reached under her pussy, it turned out that she was really excited.

"P-Please," her voice brought his eyes onto her flustered face, begging him. It was quite a sign to see Torque so… vulnerable. He momentarily thought about the idea of teasing her further, but he decided against it. There would be other chances, and this was her first time.

His index finger gently slid between her slippery folds, which caused her tail to wrap around his legs even stronger and her arms to pull him into a tighter embrace. David began rubbing her up and down, gently pushing it deeper and getting a feel for her. Torque felt similar to a human woman down there without the obvious differences like scales instead of hair, or lack of legs. With how aroused she was, it was very easy to go in deeper with his finger. So while she held onto him, he continued his exploration and tried pushing it in.

That was quite a surprise.

While from the outside it was similar to a human, inside her walls were hugging just his finger tight. Her muscles were tense and he could feel them contracting around it. Not only that, but it was so very warm. Much hotter than his own body, for sure. A single thought of how it would feel made his erection come back to life, standing up straight across Torque's stomach. It did not go unnoticed as she moved her mouth close to his face and then moved to the side, going for his ear.

"David. If you don't go inside me this instant, I will do it myself," she simply stated.

He had no clue if that was an actual threat and he didn't want to find out, as slightly tempting as it was. David let go of her to make some space between them, his erect shaft rubbing its tip over the soft scales on her tummy. It was amazing what a stark contrast there was between the scales all over her body. Her stomach was quite soft already, but the lower it went, the more skin-like she felt.

"Don't threaten me with a good time," he said and moved lower so that his cock was aimed at her entrance, an inch or two between them but no contact yet. He might not be touching her just yet, but the heat from her warm folds was already reaching him. He remembered how his finger felt not so long ago and felt himself throb at the thought of experiencing that on his shaft.

"Are you ready?" he asked while looking directly into her beautiful green eyes. He couldn't stop himself from smiling softly when he realized what he just thought about her. She might not be human, but she was still really attractive - her white scales made her stand out from other vipers, and her smile she tried to hold after some of his terrible jokes would never get boring.

"Stahhh-Stop t-talking. I've had enough jokes, I just need this now," she quickly answered in a frustrated tone. She couldn't wait any longer, everything in her body was screaming at her to just mate. Years of being denied this by ADVENT, years of her body needing something but her being clueless about what it was. At that moment? She knew. That was exactly what she needed.

David moved in closer and kissed her, planning to go slowly since it was her first time after all. That plan didn't last long when Torque used her tail to bring him in, closing the distance between them and making his cock spear her warm insides. The feeling of pushing through her vaginal tight muscles as they moved all around him and trying to hug as much of his shaft was mind-blowing. If it wasn't for his recent orgasm, he wasn't sure if he could hold long against such a unique experience compared to a human. Her moist insides welcomed his cock, the warmer temperature warming it up as the muscles kept on moving around it. All he could do was to continue kissing her, moaning into her mouth. David was worried that it would be one-sided, but he found Torque doing the same, being lost in the pleasure too.

His thoughts from before were nothing compared to the way she felt. The higher the temperature of her pussy, a vice tight grip that only barely allowed him to go in deeper... His cock felt like it was melting. Their lips were still locked together when her tail moved tighter around his legs. After making sure he's locked in place, Torque moved from his side on top of him, the gravity doing the work for them. She dropped, his stomach meeting hers as he hilted her, their crotches glued together while she stayed there.

Neither of them dared to move, just enjoying the moment of being together and closer than any of them ever were to another being. Despite that, he still felt her walls moving around him, tightening for a moment only to return to the previous shape. It was like her pussy had a mind on its own. That, or she had incredible control over it, which would make sense considering her lower bottom is pure muscle. After a few moments and when Torque was sure she wouldn't moan mind-sentence, the two paused the kiss and moved away, looking at him with loving slitted eyes.

"How are you feeling about another bet?"

David laughed at the question at first. Even in a moment like this, Torque was still… Well, Torque. And that was the part of her charm. "Seeing how my last one went, can't say I'm that confident. What is it?"

"Who finishes first has to be the prey next time," she said and hissed, with an emphasis on the word 'prey'.

"Next time?" He smiled at her, finding it an interesting choice of words. It took him a moment to realize that by prey she most likely meant who would be the more submissive one. At least, he hoped she meant that. With her being a natural predator and having a past of chasing people… he wasn't so sure. "Deal."

Torque was the first to move again, hissing softly in the air when his shaft moved inside of her. More of her tail moved around his legs, binding him so he couldn't move or escape. There was little he could do besides enjoying the amazing feeling of having a viper on top of him.

Her hips went up gently, and together with using her tail to move him, she caused his cock to penetrate her warm folds. Once, twice, and settling for a gentle pace. She might have rushed the very first penetration, but now she wanted to take her time getting used to being with a male.

David didn't mind it one bit. Being bound in that way was certainly an exciting experience, and he hoped that in the future when it happens again in not a sexual setting he wouldn't get erect right away. He felt a little guilty about her doing all the work, but it was her first time. If she wanted to set the tempo, and simply slowly move her tight snake pussy over his cock while they embraced, he'd be more than fine with it.

Fine wasn't the right word, though. He loved every second that he felt her scales sliding against his skin. He watched her face and eyes shut as she focused on the intense pleasure that she could finally experience. Something that her race was denied for far too long by the Elders.

At first, the movement of her tail was stiff and awkward as she pulled their bodies together. David used his unbound arms to hug her, helping her motion but letting her keep control of the speed. Before long, the shakiness of her body was no longer an issue, replaced with almost instinctual movements as the pace began to gradually increase to a steady tempo. His help was no longer necessary as the powerful muscles coiled around his lower body held him possessively against her. He only realized how much he loved her heat when he was moved away, and unable to feel it against his skin.

Once it fell into a lovely rhythm of small, deliberate movements, Torque opened her eyes to look down at the human in her grasp. His mouth was agape, trying to stifle as many pleasured sounds as he could. Now that she was watching his expression, she could hear his breath hitch when she pulled him away, a small gasp when he was finally firmly pressed against her body again.

"I've heard stories, read stuff online, and even watched some, but nothing could prepare me for this."

David brought his hands down near the point where they connected, holding her sides while he pushed his lips against her scales. Kissing gently along her exotic skin as he took in the entire situation.

"You can't ever compare words to the act, especially if it's an intimate one like this. It seems to me like you are getting the hang of it."

To emphasize his point, he selfishly pulled her down onto his hips, making her moan from the unexpected dominance he was showing. "I can't let you control the pace forever, can I? You'd easily win our little bet"

Even with her confidence shaken, David watched her give him a sly smile. "You want it a little faster? Tighter? I can do that."

He felt her tail pull tighter against his body, starting from the very tip and moving up her body until he saw her tense near his hips and that's when he let out a moan that turned into softly saying her name. He realized he had forgotten about her impressive muscle control, tightening not only on the outside but inside as well. She wasn't immune to the feeling either, her walls grinding against his shaft making her mind go blank. Her tongue flicked against his shoulders, following it up to his neck and staying there as she let it roll against his skin.

"I'm starting to develop a taste for humans. Or you, rather," she said the first part more to herself than to him.

"As long as you keep those fangs to yourself, I don't terribly mind it," he said and kissed her on her snoot.

She was done with foreplay, and that promise of having him be her prey was far too tantalizing for her to pass up. Torque moved faster, hissing gently as she tightened around David's length, but he wasn't about to just let her win. Neither of them could hold back their feelings any longer, and soft grunts and moans filled the room.

David knew he wouldn't last if this kept going, and seeing how she reacted to him taking a little control, he grabbed her hips and started thrusting back into her. It became a dance between the two, her trying to keep him down and within her grasp, and him using all his strength to hold her so he could ram it back inside her eager pussy.

He started to thrust hard, pushing as deep as he could. All he wanted was to hear her moan his name, and he gave his all to make that happen. He was so close, the divine feeling of scale and skin rubbing against each other making it impossible for him to slow down.

After moving his hips against hers for a while, he finished it with the deepest one he could manage, doing little thrusts to go even deeper. That's when he heard it, her voice gasping and then calling out to him.

With him so deep and throbbing hard, her orgasm approached like a truck. She embraced him for the last time and kissed him, holding him close with everything she had as her pussy started twitching. Her vaginal muscles went hay-wire, hugging his shaft close, moving all around it, begging it to finish inside her, needing it.

David placed a hand on her head, deeply kissing her back as he was pushed over the edge too. Her tongue flicking against his as her body quivered, her tail coiling tightly around his body as the pair passed the point of no return. Neither of them cared about the bet anymore, all that was on their minds was the pleasure that their partner gave them.

With the way her muscles tightened around him, he was locked in place. With a final throb, he started to shoot thick ropes of seed as deeply as his cock allowed, easily filling up Torque's womb. All he could do was moan as the continued stimulation from her muscles made him release everything he had to the very last drop.

Torque could feel her body tightening by itself, matching every throb of David's cock, milking it, pulling him in as deeply as she could. With the temperature difference, she could feel the cool sensation of his cum filling her womb, marking her mind with the alien feeling of mating with a human. Once she felt completely filled by him, her tail started to slowly uncoil from around his legs, giving him his freedom. Her body had gotten what it needed for so long.

Both of them were breathing heavily as their bodies were coming off the orgasmic high they had just experienced. David was the first to regain his senses, patting Torque on her hood as she cuddled up to his chest.

"Looks like nobody won, huh?" he said, feeling his body relax.

"I want a rematch," Torque answered with a grumpy groan when her body was no longer drowning in pleasure that she was missing her entire life.

She moved from being on top of him, his cock no longer inside of her as she did so. She then moved to his side, David doing the same, so they were face to face once more, cuddling in the sweet afterglow.

"Could you… stay for the night? I never slept with someone before," she asked, not even bothering to hide her embarrassment. It was new to see her like this for David. No remarks, no snark. Just a cute viper wanting night cuddles.

"Nothing I'd want more," David said as he pulled her close. Torque used her tail to turn off the lamp near her bed, letting darkness swallow the room. With their fun over, and their bodies calming down, the cold crept upon them. Torque pulled a blanket over both of them, cuddling against David, using him as her little heat source for the night.

ooo

The next morning came quite fast after a good night's rest. Torque groaned, shifting in her bed against... something. Something warm. Or someone, rather. In her half-awake state, she moved her hands across the warm body that hugged her very close. The realization dawned on her slowly, like her tail that uncoiled from David's leg to avoid disturbing him. Last night wasn't just her mind teasing her with what she deeply craved.

She pulled his arms from around her body, looking at his face for any warnings that he might stir awake alongside her. It was slow, and although a part of her wanted to give up on peeling herself away from the embrace, she was a creature of habit. Her mind was filled with topics she wanted to talk to Kelly about, many of them focusing on David having spent the night in her room. Before long, she slithered out of the bed, leaving the still snoozing David to his dreams. She took a last glance at the sleeping man, enjoying the look of someone beside her being in that bed.

As the door to the restroom closed behind her, she looked at herself in the mirror. A smile plastered on her face, and the unshakable feeling of wanting to tell her friend of everything that occurred. She got to work with her brush, cleaning up her fangs before pulling out her mobile. It was early in the morning according to the phone's clock, but Kelly was an early riser. Her job required her to be one. Torque shrugged and dialed the number, waiting patiently for the director to answer.

It took a few beeps, but eventually the call went through.

"Good morning, Kelly," she said. Although she was a little sleepy, her eagerness to talk overpowered the sensation.

"Good morning, Torque," Kelly replied. "Almost got me before I had my coffee. Almost. Considering the fact that you called me in the morning the day after you picked Safeguard up, I'm willing to bet you guys hit it off rather well. Care to tell me how it went?"

"I listened to your advice, Jane. We ended up talking, going bowling, and even got some ice cream afterward. I would never try any of that on my own, I always thought it was just humans being weird. Normally I'd think doing all that would be a hassle, but I enjoyed it."

"Well, how about that." From the tone of her voice, it was easy to tell that it impressed Kelly. "I'm so proud of you! To be honest, I was worried there might be some awkwardness between you and Safeguard, but I'm thrilled to hear I was wrong."

"I mean, it was only a little awkward right before we had sex, but aside from tha"

The sound of coughing, an object clattering to the ground, and a few expletives from over the phone interrupted the viper. She didn't need to see the director's reaction to know she was completely shocked.


Here we are, at the end. Do share any thoughts you might have about the story in a review! They are like cookies to me. And I like cookies.

Of course, follow and/or favorite if you liked the story. Maybe if there's enough interest I'll cook up a part two to this, we'll see!

SN: It took a bit of time to get here, but I think the work was worth it. I've never actually published before, although I do have some experience writing in my free time. Who knows what I might get up to in the future… Until then? Have a good one, everybody.