It's a quiet night but Ollie wakes up anyway. Nothing unusual about that; he's a light sleeper at the best of times and being camped out on the floor in constant humidity is not those times. He can't remember the last time he's managed a good night's sleep.
What is unusual is that for once Ollie isn't the only one awake. A quick scan of the room reveals Shado beside him in her usual place but Slade's accustomed spot (best vantage point, close to the door) is an empty pile of bedding. He picks his head up and finally spots Slade sitting against the far wall, his knees drawn up and one of his swords sheathed across his lap. "Hey," Ollie whispers, not wanting to wake Shado up too. Slade nods, putting one finger across his lips; Ollie takes the cue and shifts a little closer, making sure his voice stays low. "Something up?"
Slade shakes his head, rubbing one hand over his face. "Had a dream," he says after an instant's hesitation. Ollie stays very quiet; Slade's looking in his direction but not exactly at him, eyes still locked on whatever he'd seen in the dream. Like a taut string snapping Slade closes his eyes, leaning his head back against the wall. "The three of us were out in the jungle," he begins, gesturing to Ollie and Shado, "and Fyers was alive again. Or it was before then, I don't remember now." He goes quiet again and for a few minutes Ollie thinks that's all he's going to get; he closes his eyes and turns away, acting like he's going back to sleep. When Slade gets himself in these moods pretending you'renot listening usually manages to get him talking again.
Never fails. "We got separated," he says, his low voice filling the silent room. "You were off in the trees to my left, she was to the right and you'd both gotten yourselves grabbed. Couldn't see either of you but I could hear you both screaming." Ollie cracks his eyes open again; Slade's looking down at his hands now and even in the dim light Ollie can see the tremor there. Ollie's been around him long enough now to know the shakes only catch up with him at times like this, in the quiet and the dark, long after the shooting's stopped. "Not words, just screaming. Couldn't move. Legs locked up every time I tried 'cause I knew whichever direction I chose, that meant I was killing either you or her."
"Fyers is dead. The three of us, we burned the body."
"I know that." He shakes his head, such obvious walls coming down around him Ollie can all but reach out and touch them. "Forget I said anything. It's nothing. Go back to sleep."
Ollie would be faster to believe that if it didn't happen three more times that week. "He watches us," Shado tells him one morning, nudging his shoulder when Slade's safely out of earshot. "For hours last night, like he expects us to disappear."
"Yeah, I know," Ollie says, stretching out his sore back. The less sleep Slade gets, the meaner the "training" sessions he puts Ollie through come daylight. "He's having nightmares. It's like he can't handle things going okay for a change. He slept like a baby the whole time we were planning to take on Fyers."
"Some soldiers are like that."
"Yeah, I guess." She gives him a clear Be nice look as she mixes a balm to rub on his back. "Just wish he wouldn't make himself feel better by kicking my ass."
"Are you saying I go easy on you?"
It's a moment of pure, instant panic. "There's nothing I can say that won't make you two double up on me tomorrow, is there."
"Don't blame me. This is your own doing." She smiles as she wipes off her hands. "That's how he shows he cares, you know that."
"That doesn't make me feel better."
She gives him a playful shove as she gets to her feet. "I just wish I knew what to say."
"Don't say anything. It'll just make him crankier." Ollie lays back, one arm behind his head. "He had nightmares the first time he got shot, too," he confides. "Once the fever cleared up and we knew everything would be okay, just like now."
"Oh? How did you handle it then?"
"Um." Ollie knows he's blushing bright red and can't do anything about it. "Figured out a way to make him stop thinking."
"How?" Ollie meets her eyes and sees understanding dawn on her face. She sits cross-legged in front of him, her lips curled up into a perfectly wicked grin. "Tell me everything."
Both he and Shado are up that night when Slade startles awake but they pretend to sleep as Slade curses under his breath, his breathing loud and ragged. Ollie opens his eyes then, just the way he and Shado had conspired. "Problem?"
Slade shakes his head, his head in his hands like he's fighting off a migraine and not even pretending to meet Ollie's eyes. "Nothing. I'm gonna get some air," he says before Ollie can get out another word, pushing himself to his feet and slipping out the door.
Shado opens her eyes then, sitting up next to him. They wait somewhere in the area of five minutes, then she nudges him, nodding toward the door. "That should be enough cool-off time."
"You sure about this?"
She gives him that same smile from earlier in the day. "I had a dream like this a few weeks ago and didn't think there was a chance of it coming true," she says, giving him a peck on the cheek. "Go, bring him back. Let's see what it takes to tire him out."
Slade hasn't even made a cursory effort to cover his tracks. Any other time that might worry Ollie but tonight he takes it as a sign Slade wants to be followed - on his best day Ollie knows he couldn't find Slade if he was trying not to be found but the trail is clear enough for Ollie to find him leaning against a tree after barely ten minutes of searching. He still remembers to make noise as he approaches, because sneaking up on Slade Wilson is a terrible idea whether he expects you coming or not.
"You checking up on me?" Slade says, not raising his head.
"Well, y'know. Shado thought something might eat you by yourself out here."
That gets a little ghost of a smile out of Slade. "Nothing big enough on this island for that any more."
Ollie assumes he means Fyers. He really, really hopes he means Fyers. "I'm asking one more time: you okay?"
Slade nods. "Nothing to concern yourself with. Always have a time of it winding down from ops." He still doesn't look at Ollie. "You should probably head back."
Neither moves. After a handful of moments Ollie makes a show of turning away and that's when he feels just the tips of Slade's fingers brush against his wrist.
Finally. This is how Slade asks for help – he'll demand things loudly and all day but when it's an actual need it's always this way. A hand on Ollie's arm to make sure he's still there as they wait for the fever to finally break, or his weight against Ollie's shoulder when his shot-up leg's given out for the third time when there's still a quarter mile left to travel.
Or like now, his words warning away and the touch light enough that all Ollie would have to do is take a step back if the answer is no.
Ollie hopes Slade gets it through his head someday that the answer's not going to be no. He holds still, not moving, not so much as twitching until he feels Slade's fingers curl around his wrist. Slade lets out a soft, shaky breath as he reels Ollie in, not raising his eyes until Ollie's inches away. Slade's eyes are always intense, as sharp as the edges on his swords. It took weeks for Ollie to really be able to meet that stare.
He meets it now. Slade's tongue darts over his lower lip and that's when Ollie leans in, Slade's lips parting almost immediately under the kiss. Slade always urges faster and more right away but Ollie knows that's not what either of them need now. He keeps the kiss light as long as he can stand it, until his self-control withers away and he presses Slade back against the tree. Slade lets out his deep in his throat chuckle at that, the one that always sinks right into Ollie's bones; he scrapes his teeth against Slade's lower lip, not enough to draw blood but just enough to tease what might come later. It's too early in the night to get rough and that's one of the few things Slade's never been shy about asking for.
Slade's hands snake up into his hair, groaning right in Ollie's ear as Ollie presses his thigh between Slade's legs. The inch or he has on Slade makes their heights line up pretty perfectly for this; he can tell Slade's hard and it's all Ollie can do to not take him right down to the ground.
Slade picking that moment to slide his hands past Ollie's waistband doesn't help Ollie's patience one bit. He swears under his breath and Slade laughs at him again, palms flat against Ollie's hips as he pulls Ollie in tight and close. Ollie starts grinding, his hands up under Slade's tank now; he strokes his thumb down Slade's stomach, nice and light and teasing until he feels Slade shiver. Ollie'd never known what it meant to be touch starved until landing here, to feel his skin crawling with need that went deeper than just sex. The first time they'd crossed the line like this Slade had exploited the hell out of that, running his hands over every inch of Ollie's skin he could touch. He would have called it torture except he hadn't wanted it to stop.
He's not above a little bit of payback. Ollie tugs off the tank and drops it at their feet, tracing his tongue along the hollow of Slade's throat and feeling the vibration when that makes him moan. He feels Slade grab a handful of hair to pull him up into a messy kiss, moaning again when Ollie goes back to grinding against him. Ollie shifts the slightest bit, just an inch or so up and there, that's the angle he's been looking for. He feels the tremor run right through Slade, one arm locking around Ollie's neck as he gives up doing anything but holding on, his face pressed against Ollie's shoulder. Ollie darts his tongue out to lick along the curve of Slade's ear and Slade's whole body jumps. It only takes a few more seconds of this, Slade riding Ollie's thigh, Ollie breathing hot right against his ear, and then Ollie feels him shudder, his hands tight in Ollie's clothes as Slade moans into his skin.
Ollie sets his feet as Slade slumps against him, breathing hard like they'd just outrun an army. "C'mon," Ollie says to him, stepping back when he's reasonably certain Slade's legs will hold him up. Slade kisses him like he wants to go for round two right there but Ollie steps back again, even though that sure as hell sounds tempting right now. ""C'mon," he says again, picking up the discarded shirt and draping it over Slade's neck. "Let's go back. We're gonna get you sorted out, okay?"
"We?" Slade's voice still sounds just the slightest bit dazed, and he stumbles enough that Ollie grabs his arm. Dazed and just a little cautious, like his brain's turned back on enough to realize they've been plotting about him.
"You've been keeping us up. We finally decided to make you pay for all the lost sleep."
"Got a funny way of making me see the error of my ways."
Even with Fyers dead and gone they both still pause before getting within visual range of the camp, instinct making them check to be sure they weren't followed. The extra tension teamswith the adrenaline already flowing through Ollie's veins to make his hands shake as he opens the door. Slade's not the only one who's needed to blow off the tension of the past few weeks.
Shado's sitting cross-legged on the floor, her eyes closed like they caught her meditating, but when they open as she looks up at them Ollie can all but feel an electric charge hit the air. She approaches them like a stalking leopard, giving Ollie a long, sideways glance as she passes him. Watch this. Watch me. She stands in front of Slade, sizing him up like he's on an auction block, then she grabs the ends of the shirt draped around his neck and pulls him into a kiss that makes Ollie's knees weak.
If Ollie'd thought the tension at the camp had been getting a little thick from the look of her Shado had been quietly about to climb the walls. Ollie doesn't even know why he's surprised – half the time when she spars with Slade it finishes up with them both looking like they need a cigarette. She leads Slade to the center of the room, the look in Slade's eyes like he's starting to think maybe he's hallucinating and can't bring himself to care. She kisses him again, teasing Slade's lower lip between her teeth as she slides his hands under her shirt. She glances at Ollie again as she lets Slade undress her, and if most of Ollie's blood hadn't already started rushing south that look would have done it. That Shado wants him to watch actually makes him a little lightheaded; they've both been strictly hands off since that kiss in the forest, a line that's gotten harder to keep drawn each hot, sticky night in such close quarters. Right now Ollie doesn't even know why he drew that line in the first place – it certainly never stopped him with Slade. It had seemed important at the time.
And it still seems important, just in a distant way he doesn't have enough bloodflow in his head to grasp. It's about how the last woman he kissed before Shado was Sara and how her blood would never wash off his hands, and how the last thing he did with Laurel was to lie.
He could fall in love with Shado if he let himself. He could fall in love with both of them. Maybe he already has, hell if he knows what he's thinking half the time on this island. Maybe all that line does is let him keep lying, this time to himself, but Ollie knows he still needs it.
But this is blurring that line in a way he's ached for.
Slade's naked now too and Ollie can't take his eyes off them. They look like someone carved them both out of marble, perfect, honed weapons. Shado executes a take down that surprises Slade, putting him on his back; she crouches over him like he's a piece of prey, running one hand down his chest as she tries to decide where to start. Slade slides his hands up to her waist but she grabs his wrists and pulls them away. "When I say," she teases; she pushes Slade back to his back and when he surrenders to that Ollie feels sweat bead down his neck. She pins his wrists down to the floor as she straddles him, taking him in inch by slow, slow inch until that alone has him gasping. He murmurs a swear in a language Ollie doesn't catch when Shado finally settles on top of him, her eyes rapt and locked on his face.
The first time she moves her hips his head snaps back, his hands closing into tight fists. Shado laughs at him, calling him something in Chinese as her hair falls over her shoulder. "I know what that means," he murmurs, his back arching as she sets into a slow rhythm.
"Well, I'm not taking it back." She moves his hands to her thighs, uncurling his fingers so his hands lay flat.
"Not exactly an insult." She sighs as Slade draws little circles on her skin with his fingertips and that sound sinks right into Ollie's bones.
"What did she say? What'd she call you?"
"Aw, someone feels left out," Slade says, his lips curling up into his usual grin.
Shado locks eyes with Ollie for an instant, an evil grin on her face now too, then she bends down close to Slade's ear. "Oliver's just waiting his turn," she stage whispers and Ollie's never heard anything better than how that makes Slade's breathing go ragged.
"How come he's still dressed, anyway?"
"That is a very good question."
She gives Ollie an up and down look, one eyebrow quirked up and Ollie can't obey fast enough. He only pauses when he can't avoid exposing the torture scars; he's managed to not have her see them yet, something that's taken some work with the three of them living in such close quarters. There's no way to mistake them for anything but torture scars, especially to a trained fighter's eye and Ollie doesn't want that image in her head. He's just started believing he'll be able to hold his own with these people, the last thing he wants is to show off proof of being helpless carved into his skin.
But Ollie knows he's been worrying over nothing when she looks at him scars and all without the slightest hint of pity. She reaches out but doesn't quite touch him, her chin tilted up in an appraising expression. Ollie rolls his eyes when she says something else in Chinese. "Can we keep it to English, please?"
"It means 'survivor,'" Slade translates, the words ending in a low moan as Shado moves his hands up to her hips. "More or less. Think she likes them."
He gasps as she digs her nails into his chest in retaliation but from the smile on his face it was worth it. Ollie kneels behind Shado, one hand on her shoulder. "C'mon," he says, making sure he's looking right at Slade as he says it, "finish taking him apart."
Shado moves Slade's hands up to cup her breasts, then braces her hands against his shoulders as she starts to ride him. Slade moans, his eyes closing as he traces his thumbs along her nipples. Shado's nails leave impressions in Slade's shoulders as she starts to moan too, soft ones chasing each breath. Ollie wants to see her come so much he feels like it must be written all over his skin, right above his scars; he starts trailing his fingers up and down her spine, blurring that line a little more but Ollie can't bring himself to care. She does come a few minutes later with a soft little groan, the release so strong her whole body shakes with it. Slade looks like he's just outfought a whole platoon on his own, he's so proud of himself.
Shado takes a moment to compose herself, then she eases off of Slade and kneels beside him. She wraps one hand around his shaft before he can even gather enough breath to complain. He's already so close even that's enough to put him right on the edge, so when she bends down so her lips wrap around the head of his cock it only takes seconds before his whole body arches up from the floor, his lips parted as he gasps for air. Shado strokes one hand down his stomach, like she wants to feel him breathing, and Slade squeezes it tight for a second. Shado wipes her lips as she sits back, giving Ollie a perfectly shameless smile as she says, "It gets messy otherwise," with a little shrug, making Ollie wonder just how good she was at that and whether he'd ever work up enough courage to find out. She nods over to Slade, still lying there limp and wrung out. "Your turn."
That makes Slade moan low and deep in his throat; he tries to push himself up but doesn't quite manage it. Ollie starts circling Slade, both to give him some time to recover and because really, it was fun to torture him a little bit. "I don't know," he says. "You think he's up for more?"
"I can go as long as either of you," Slade insists, shaking hands covering his face.
"Be patient, Oliver," Shado says, the teasing tone in her voice matching his. "It's not his fault you're twenty-two and he's not anymore."
Nothing she could have said could have motivated Slade more; he gives her that I will kill you look he was so good at but the only reaction he got was Shado giving him her most innocent smile as she wrapped her arms around her knees.
"How should we?" Ollie asks, one hand on Slade's shoulder.
Slade shoots another ineffective glare Shado's way, finally managing to prop himself up on his elbows. "Lady's choice."
Shado bites her lip, like she's running through a world's worth of possibilities. "Turn him over."
Slade heaves himself over to his stomach without another word, muscles moving under his skin as he stretches out. It's a good choice, as positions go; he and Slade did a lot of experimenting in that span between the first assault on Fyer's camp and rescuing Shado – it's not like there's a lot of ways to pass the time here – but Ollie knows that Slade's leg isn't as fully recovered as he likes to pretend and they've run his tank pretty low already. Athletics could be saved for another time.
Slade arches into the touch as Ollie runs one hand down his spine, trailing past faded combat scars. Ollie licks along the small of his back; that's always a good spot and it draws out a low moan now. "Don't take all night," Slade says as he props himself up.
"I'll takes as long as I want," Ollie says back, scraping his nails lightly down Slade's back. He arches into this touch too, sighing as Ollie strokes across his hips and down his thighs. Ollie feels Slade shiver as he touches the bullet scar on his leg, the in and out one through the muscle; those scars are still sensitive and Ollie has to be careful how much he teases. Slade's hard again but when he moans there's a little hitch in his breathing that tells Ollie it's time to stop; he reaches down and strokes down Slade's shaft as he gets himself into better position.
"You finally done wasting time?" Slade says, gasping a little as Ollie keeps stroking him.
"Man, you ever shut up?"
"You haven't found a way to make me yet."
That sounds like a challenge. Slade moans as Ollie starts fingering him, frustration in his voice now; Ollie's tempted to keep going like this, to make Slade ask for it, but he finally decides to have a little mercy. His own self-control is getting ragged; Ollie's been waiting for this all night and doesn't think he could wait one more minute if he was held at gunpoint. He spits into his hand – it's not perfect but the island isn't teeming with options and they've always made it work – and slicks up, pressing close enough to lick up Slade's spine one more time. Slade's nice and relaxed and loose and when Ollie presses in that first inch the moan he lets out hits Ollie so hard he has to stop to catch his breath. He digs his nails into Slade's hips as he pushes all the way in, taking as much time as he can stand. Slade's all but vibrating with frustration and he curses as Ollie finally starts to move, his hands clenching into tight fists as Ollie sets a slow rhythm. Slade likes to swear, especially as he gets close as Ollie uses that as his barometer of when pick up the pace and when to ease down, stretching Slade's endurance until his voice breaks and his accent gets so rough Ollie can barely make out the words.
Keeping his focus takes so much concentration he barely notices Shado sit down in front of Slade. She catches his eye, then she tips Slade's chin up with one hand, stroking her thumb along the edge of his lower lip. When she closes her eyes and kisses him Slade's whole body shakes; the muffled moan he lets out knocks out every thought in Ollie's head and he lets himself go fast and hard, the way Slade bucks again him making it hard to breathe. He wraps one hand around Slade's shaft, squeezing his eyes shut as that first tight contraction hits him. Slade groans again as he comes over Ollie's hand and Ollie finally lets himself go; he has to brace himself as the climax rushes through him, coming so hard lights flash in front of his eyes and sensation races up and down his legs. He collapses to the floor and pulls Slade on top of him, aftershock tremors rocking Slade so much even his breathing shakes. "Think I'm done," he murmurs, eyes wide and dazed as he lies draped over Ollie like he'll never move again.
And that's good, because twenty-two or not Ollie doesn't think he's good for any more tonight. "You take a lot of work," he says, kissing Slade's forehead.
"We should do this all the time," Slade says.
Ollie hears Shado chuckle at that; she tosses him a cloth to wipe himself off on and he makes a token effort before giving that all up as too much trouble. She laughs at that too, curling up next to him in exhausted heap with her head resting on his shoulder. "He's right, though. We should do this more often."
She falls asleep before he can come up with some argument against that. He feels Slade's breathing start to slow and settles him into a more comfortable position. "Think you'll be able to sleep tonight?"
"Might drop into a coma."
"Good. Well, not good. You know what I mean. Go to sleep." Slade sighs as he stretches out, his eyes closed and one arm slung across Ollie's chest. "Hey."
"How long were you on your own out here before I got sent this way? I don't think you ever said. Been wondering." He's been wondering since this latest round of nightmares started, in fact.
Slade shrugs. "Lost track."
Ollie can feel just a little tension back in Slade's shoulders and that would have been enough answer without Slade having to say anything. Ollie maneuvers him into a deep, wet, messy kiss, one Slade moans into as he returns it. When he finally pulls back he's relaxed and sleepy again, draping himself back over Ollie like a human blanket. This time when he closes his eyes his breathing goes deep and even in seconds. Ollie tries to stay awake a little longer but finally the sound of soft breathing lulls him into the first really restful sleep he's had here, deep and dreamless and unbroken until long past daylight.