Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.

Author's Note: This is a fill for LJ's Tron Kink Meme prompt "Sam/Tron (or Tronzler), fun with a shower".

lightning + water

"Is that it for this sector?" Sam asks as he sits up on the lightcycle. The visor slides up and his helmet retracts from his head, giving him a clear view of the sector in question. Half of the buildings here are still under construction and by his estimates the latest gridbug attack should set them back another cycle.

"Yes," Tron says. "According to Shaddox that should be the last of the swarm."

"I wish," Sam mutters under his breath while the half-chewed skeleton of a new building abruptly collapses in a cloud of code fragments. He has to admit that for all the fucked up things that Clu's done there's one thing he got right - keeping the gridbugs at bay. Without his particular system in place they're encroaching on the city and Sam's at his wit's end trying to implement a new one while saving the Grid from falling apart at the same time.

For now Tron's motley security team holds the fort down whenever Sam's off dealing with ENCOM; when he's here it's just him, Tron, and sometimes Quorra overseeing the reconstruction of the city and dealing with the gridbug attacks as they come up.

"At least we haven't had a virus yet," Quorra pointed out helpfully one time after they narrowly escaped a particularly vicious swarm.

"Don't push your luck," Tron said while the bombs they set went off, blowing up both the gridbugs and a newly built overpass, and that was that.

On their way back to the center of the Grid Quorra's voice comes through the intercom in his helmet.

"The portal's gonna close soon."

"Just finished taking care of the gridbugs; we're heading back now but I'm taking a detour first. I'll tell you when I leave."

After closing the connection Sam looks up at the unnaturally bright star in the sky, then makes a left away from it. He looks over his shoulder; Tron's lightcycle isn't far behind but the security program's helmet is tilted, questioning him.

"Quorra and I are leaving in a bit," Sam says after establishing a line to him. "Stopping by my place first."

There's an apartment in a low-traffic sector that Sam uses when he's on the Grid for long periods of time. It's a replica of the one he lives in back in the real world, down to the faucets in the nonfunctional kitchen. The programs who've been inside to discuss the city's progress with him have always ended up poking and prodding at everything like kids at the science museum, though he did get a laugh when Shaddox, his father's old maintenance program, declared that almost everything here was extraneous.

"One thing you need to know about Users," Sam said as he sprawled all over the white couch, a glass of electric blue energy in hand, "is that we like what's familiar to us. Like, half the Grid looks almost exactly like the city I grew up next to. Dad probably did it on purpose, too."

Shaddox just gave him a blank look but Tron nodded and hid a small smile like he knew exactly what Sam meant.

There's more to the apartment than just looking exactly like the one back in the real world, though. Most of the "extraneous" parts are just there to help him relax and let down after spending grueling hours traveling to the different sectors of Tron City to oversee the (re)construction, get rid of gridbugs, and deal with the occasional gang of Clu supporters, but there are a few standout features.

Namely, the functioning shower stall.

He only put it there when, after a particularly entertaining and roughly run game of "tag the would-be terrorist with a Light Disc to the back", he dragged himself to the apartment, collapsed on the couch, and decided a shower would be damn nice but he couldn't be bothered to get off his sore ass to go back to the portal. While dithering about he realized that one, he's a User, and two, he could just create one if he wanted it that badly. Once it was installed in the otherwise useless and empty bathroom he tested it, and almost missed meeting Quorra at the portal in time to go back; it felt so fucking good that he didn't want to step out.

Hopefully he won't be late this time, though it's no guarantee.

Sam looks over his shoulder again as he slows the lightcycle down; Tron is still with him, staying close while monitoring their surroundings. The security program started doing this about a month ago, when they were ambushed while on patrol near the Game Grid and a Clu supporter almost killed him. Sam didn't have the heart to tell Tron off, not without seeing the guilt in his face and posture, and just went about doing his business, pretending not to notice the near constant presence at his side.

They stop in front of the building his apartment is in and Sam gets off the lightcycle; it collapses into a baton that he swipes off the ground while walking inside. On the elevator up he looks at Tron and asks, "Don't you have anything better to do?"

"No. My team doesn't need me to monitor the Grid." Tron hesitates, then adds, "And when you're here you're my priority."

Sam ignores the flip-flopping sensation in his chest and shifts his weight from side to side. "I don't need a babysitter. I can take care of myself just fine."

"We've had this conversation before."

"Five times."

"We're not taking any chances."

"That was just one time. It wasn't your fault you missed that group of programs. Those sectors are unstable; it's easy to overlook them when there are, oh I don't know, seven other gangs to keep an eye on."

"Eleven, and we're still tracking down the members of two of them."

"See." Sam elbows him. "You're doing fine. You'll catch them all in no time. Now quit worrying about me."

Of course that doesn't stop Tron from following Sam off of the elevator and down the hall to his apartment. If he's so insistent on tailing Sam everywhere then he can wait ten minutes while Sam ducks in for a quick shower. The first thing Sam does, though, is make a beeline for the couch and flop on it. He tilts his head back and stares at the off-white ceiling, watches Tron standing stiffly in the middle of the living room out of the corner of his eye.

"You need to relax," he says as he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, lets his body mold itself into the cushioned contours of the couch.

Any minute now he's going to get up and go stand under the shower head, let the simulated hot water soothe the aches and sores. And now that he thinks about it that shower stall can be a great way to get the program to relax and maybe even loosen up a bit. Tron has never been in any mode other than on the alert, ready to take action should the situation present itself. It's great when he's doing his job but not so much when he's off-duty or hovering around Sam while he's chilling out at one of several new bars in the safer areas of the Grid or in the apartment.

Now that Sam's made up his mind he tries to figure out the best way to get Tron under that shower head. In the end he gets off the couch and says, "Wanna show you something," while walking down the short hall to the bedroom. Tron looks at him curiously but follows.

Of course, once Tron is standing next to him in the suddenly crowded bathroom and staring at the shower stall, Sam starts wondering if this is a good idea after all. On the one hand he really wants to see Tron let his guard down but on the other hand he hadn't thought about sharing the shower with anyone, especially with him. Not that Sam hadn't thought about it before but that's something he's keeping to himself. Because there's nothing weirder than having slightly inappropriate feelings for what's basically a highly specialized firewall, never mind that he used to worship the hell out of said firewall when he was a little kid and the Grid was just a bunch of larger-than-life bedtime stories.

Man, there's nothing about that that's not creepy at all.

Before he gets the chance to say something like, "Never mind. I'll show you later and hopefully by then you'll have forgotten about this awkward moment," Tron says, "Quorra told me what showers are for but I still don't understand them. What are you trying to show me?"

His mind draws a blank and Sam goes for the first coherent train of thought to pop up in his head. "It feels nice?"

The longer Tron stares at him the more uncomfortable he gets. How do you explain what showers are to someone who's never seen, used, or needed one? Hell, it took him three very awkward days to explain them to Quorra, which involved yelling instructions to her on the other side of the bathroom door. That was fun. And really, on the Grid it's less about getting clean and more about relaxing for a solid ten minutes. How does he explain that to a program who's always on the alert even when taking a break?

You can just show him, you know, a voice in his head, the one that likes to run wild with hismildly inappropriate thoughts, suggests.

So Sam leans forward and waves his hand under the motion-sensitive shower head, triggering it to spray hot water on his palm and lower arm. Tron quickly steps back and Sam says, "Hey, it's okay. It's just water."

Tron looks at it warily and then Sam remembers his slight aversion to water, the result of his fall into the Sea of Simulation months ago. He wavers between telling Tron to go wait in the living room and convincing him that there's nothing wrong with the water, but the program makes the decision for him by reaching over and moving his hand under the shower head. Tron flinches when the spray hits his palm but holds himself still.

"See," Sam says as the program turns his hand over, letting the water run over the back of his hand. "It's just water. Not gonna hurt you."

Then he notices that the circuit lines on part of Tron's hand are glowing more brightly than the ones on the rest of his body. "Uh, is it supposed to do that?"

"I don't-I don't know," Tron says hesitantly. He turns his hand over again so that the palm is facing up but they can both see bluish-white lines wrapping around his wrist and slowly moving up his forearm.

"O-kay, then," Sam says slowly. That's not at all what he's expecting and the unexpected turn of events sours his mood almost instantly. And really, it's a little too weird for him to deal with right now. "How about we save this for another time and-"

Tron steps into the shower; hot water streams down his face and body while he watches his circuits light up, including the ones normally hidden from plain sight. Sam swallows hard as his eyes trace the paths of the thin blue lines; for all the water in the small bathroom his mouth feels awfully dry right now. Then he looks up and his breath hitches at the eerie glow on Tron's face and the blue-tinted water dripping from his now-slick jaw. All those thoughts he had, all the fleeting fantasies about pulling Tron into the shower with him and licking the water off his lips, has absolutely nothing on having the actual program standing there, still staring at the blazing blue lines on his hands while his mouth shines wetly from the light.

Beautiful, the voice in his head whispers as Sam raises his hand and slowly reaches out.

He freezes when Tron looks up, and that's when he hears a strange dissonant purr through the rhythmic water spray, a sound he rarely hears but knows is Rinzler's echo. Even stranger is the way the program is holding himself, body taut but trembling like he's trying not to lose control. Sam glances at the shower head but can't imagine why it would have some kind of effect on Tron, or why the program stays put despite it.

He refocuses on Tron and is taken back by the way the program is staring at his hand, like he wants Sam to close the short distance between them. Then gray eyes slide to him and his heart lodges itself in his throat; the gaze is predatory, anticipating his next move. Sam has no idea what the water is doing to Tron but the cracks in the program's normal, stoic calm are deepening the longer he stands under the spray, revealing something needy. Reckless. Wanton.

The air thickens with tension and Sam has to make himself breathe; his nerves-turn-circuits are firing all wrong and his bodysuit feels too tight. Heat coils in his chest as he slowly touches the side of Tron's face; the program trembles, circuits flaring while something like electricity snaps through Sam's fingers, up his arm, and into his body. It isn't at all what he expected; Sam yanks his hand back and the sensation dies instantly. He stares at his wet fingers, tries to make sense of what just happened but his mind draws a resounding blank. All he can tell is that after the initial shock of there being any kind of reaction it actually felt nice. Pleasant. Pleasurable. Like a promise of lightning-

Oh. Oh.

It's something Quorra told him a while back, something about how a program's circuits are the most sensitive parts of the body and stimulating them is like creating a static charge that builds and builds until the program overloads. Sam doesn't even remember how they got around to talking about it - they might have been drunk, really drunk - but it explains why Tron is acting so strange, why touching him is like touching exposed wiring. And it's not just the sensation of running water over his circuits that's turning him on but that it's water.

Somehow it doesn't sound as strange as it should.

Sam looks at Tron again and something in his face must have given him away because the program moves to the side, giving him space to slide in. Water sprays on him, plastering his hair to his forehead; he rakes it back and makes a futile attempt to wipe the excess from his face while spitting more out of his mouth. He blinks through the droplets at Tron, feels like a deer in the headlights with the heated, expectant gaze on him. The program's pupils keep flashing electric blue like his circuits and Sam has a terrible thought that he might end up electrocuting himself if they do this.

What are they doing? Sam knows what he wants, what he wanted for longer than he'd like to admit, but what about Tron? There was nothing to suggest that he felt the same way and the running water stimulating his circuits could be clouding his judgment; if this is just some "in the moment" thing, that whatever happens afterward is going to be awkward as fuck and Sam can't have that.

He just can't tell with the way Tron is watching him.

"Tell me you want this," Sam blurts out. His voice echoes loudly in the bathroom and he winces, ignores the desperation as he repeats himself. "Just tell me. I have to know."

Despite the hot water and the simulated steam curling around them he goes cold as confusion filters into Tron's face, followed by abrupt clarity. Sam slides a half-step back, identity disc hitting the wall, and then freezes as the program follows him, crowds him against the tiles. He licks his bottom lip nervously as the rumbling purr fills his ears, wishes like hell that he didn't stop by here but rather kept going to the control center at the heart of the city.

Then Tron leans in and Sam stares at the rivulets curving around the shape of his face, forgets to breathe as his eyes travel down to the program's mouth. He watches the lips move but almost misses hearing Tron say, "I want this."

He snaps his head back up. "What?"

"I want this."

Tron places his hand over the large white circuit on Sam's chest and he gasps as power surges through him, tendrils of electricity weaving right under his skin and following the billion trails of water all over his body. It's gone as soon as the program breaks contact, leaves him aching and wanting more. Sam looks at him and Tron nods, leans in while he reaches out to curve his hands around the program's face before sliding down and lacing his fingers around the back of his neck; Sam pulls Tron flush against his body and energy floods into him from the program, a hot-cold rush chasing what little air's left out of his lungs, arousing him, leaving him lightheaded and out of his fucking mind.

Tron shudders as he continues pulling the excess electrical charge from him, slams his hand into the wall as he tries to stay on his feet. Sam's not doing much better; he's relying on both Tron and his disc to keep him from sliding down but his disc doesn't have a good grip on the wet tiles - and really, he shouldn't abuse it more than he already does - and Tron's knees are buckling and fuck. He can feel every drop of water hitting him and sliding down his body, the weight of the thick damp air in the cramped space, every vibration passing through Tron as the program buries his face in the crook of Sam's neck and keens. It feels like the last seconds before he orgasms, either by himself or with another person, but the building euphoria is a full-body experience, every inch of his body thrumming and coming alive.

And all he's done is touch the program, and not break contact.

"Oh god," he gasps; his harsh voice cuts through the water spray, the incessant rumbling, and the buzzing in his ears. "I can't-fuck. Fuck."

His vision is whiting out, or it's his circuits, glowing and pulsing and blinding, he can't tell. His nerves are fraying, unraveling, unable to ground themselves as the first spasms wrack his body. A sudden violent tremor has Tron crying out and pressing him into the wall from chest to hip; it's the only warning Sam gets before white-hot energy surges through him like lightning - coldbrightburningrelentless - and he overloads.

For an eternity all he sees is endless blue-white light. Then Sam gasps and it becomes the light panel overhead. He stares at it blankly and then flinches with droplets of water hit his right eye. After a moment the dull roar in his ears sharpens and he hears running water, the echoes of his ragged breaths running over each other as they bounce off the tiled walls. He sucks in steam and tastes electricity on his tongue; it's everywhere, coursing slowly through his circuits and over his skin, becoming a disabling pulse with every aftershock of pleasure. He doesn't know how he's still standing with the heavy weight of the trembling program wrapped around him and then his legs give way, knees buckling under; he ends up slowly sliding them down the wall to the floor.

The shower continues to run, spraying water all over them. Sam looks at the program while licking water off his lip; Tron is shaking in his arms, running hotter than the water, rumbling and moaning softly while his visible circuits flicker erratically. Every rivulet running down Tron's back leaves behind a too-brief trail of electric blue light and the first coherent thought - the first coherent and sensible thought, because the first one is can he lick it? - to pop into Sam's head is that the running water is still stimulating him, or rather it's over-stimulating him and giving him absolutely no rest. He should move Tron out of the shower stall and to the low bed in the room the bathroom is attached to, but he doesn't know how to make himself slide out from underneath the program.

Sam leans back against the wall and shuts his eyes, breathes out slowly while his hand slowly trails downward from the back of Tron's neck. He stops when the rumbling suddenly becomes louder and looks down just as Tron lifts his head and blinks up at him. Tron's soaking wet and thoroughly debauched, a completely different image from the serious, deadpan head of Security and the Grid's champion, and the sight has Sam's heart racing and stomach all twisted up in knots. The program shivers every few seconds despite the heat, eyes brightening and dimming just as irregularly as his circuits, and his lips are parted like he's trying to say something.

And now Sam's staring at that mouth again, realizes that he hasn't even kissed Tron. He lifts his hand and slides a curled finger along the program's jaw, tilting his head up. Tron shivers again and then holds himself absolutely still as Sam leans in and makes his intent known with a soft press to the corner of his mouth and then another on his bottom lip. Even after what happened a few minutes ago the program is charged from head to toe and Sam's lips tingle before going pleasantly numb. He slides his tongue over that bottom lip, licking up electricity-tinged water, and then wraps his hand around the back of Tron's head and pulls him in to deepen the kiss.

A minute later, while he's kissing a long line down the program's neck, Sam has another coherent and sensible thought and slams the palm of his hand on the wall, shutting off the shower.

Sam doesn't make it back to the portal in time and waits a few more hours for Quorra to reopen it. He pointedly ignores her accusatory glare when he rematerializes in the lab of an ENCOM-owned research building but he can't hide the stupidly big grin on his face as they pack up and leave. He then spends far too long in the shower back home, standing under the hot water and reliving every electrifying moment while stroking himself. He comes with a shuddering sigh and a name on his lips, then stands under the shower head for ten minutes more, stares at the wrinkled pads of his fingers while thinking about the next time he goes to the Grid.

That next time he's overseeing the construction of the first new city on the Grid while Quorra monitors the progress form the other side. On the way back to the control center he stops by his apartment, and grins at Tron as the security program joins him on the elevator going up and returns a secretive smile of his own.