origamiflowers: (rather be reading)
with a violin and a song to sing ([personal profile] origamiflowers) wrote2009-08-03 01:16 am

fic: Heroes: "Thy Outward Walls" (Knox/Claire, NC17)

Title: Thy Outward Walls
Fandom: Heroes
Characters/Pairings: Claire/Knox
Rating: NC17
Length: ~1900 words
Summary: Knox and Claire become partners, just when she's starting to come apart at the seams.
Notes: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] heroes_exchange V-Day exchange.

Claire pauses in the doorway of the gym. It's empty except for one person, a dark figure doing a set of lat pull downs in quick succession. The scrape of the pulley rings unnaturally loud in the silence.

He must hear her approaching, because before she can react, the weight drops with a clang, and he stands up and turns around to face her, draping his towel over his neck.

"Knox." She can't think of an appropriate greeting.

"You must be little Claire," he says, looking amused, his arms crossed. "Can't believe they're sending me out with a kid." Knox shakes his head.

She resists the urge to snap stupid something back at him (like I'm not a kid, I'm nineteen years old). But she can't shut down her mouth entirely: "Well, I can't believe they're sending me out with a criminal."

He shrugs, just barely, but it draws her attention (just a little bit) to the well-defined muscles of his shoulders.

Claire sighs. "You wanted to see me about something?"

"Figured we should get to know each other, make some kinda plan soon. Company wants him by Thursday. You seen the file?" She doesn't miss the way his eyes skim over her bare stomach, briefly, before returning to her face.

"Yeah, okay." Claire heads for a pair of gloves, straps them on without looking at him. "Get the punching pads, okay?"

Knox grins. "Sure thing."

They spend the next twenty minutes going through drills, him blocking her padded punches, both of them silent. She doesn't look him in the face; he's hard to look at, he makes her footing feel unsure, displaced somehow. It's easier to concentrate when she aims her eyes at his collarbone, or the base of his neck, or his sternum.

"Take a break," he says finally, when drops of sweat are stinging her eyes and her upper arms are screaming at her, and he tosses her his water bottle.

He watches for a moment as she sucks down half the bottle in one go, and then says, "Why'd you get into the business? Following in daddy's footsteps?"

Noah had died almost two years before. An accident, the Company had told her. She knew better. "What business is it of yours?"

"I gotta know you've got my back," he says shortly. "Some kid with an axe to grind ain't any help out in the field."

"Don't worry about it." Claire tosses his water bottle back at him, probably harder than was really necessary. "I'm thinking this guy will be easiest to catch on his commute home. He takes the subway from …"

Thursday night, when they're finally alone, Knox grabs her by the elbow and twists, shoving her against the doorway. Her back twists against the frame. "I thought you had my back," he hisses. "What the fuck was that about?"

Claire can feel his grip tightening as her panic rises. There's that gleam in his eye, too, the same one she saw earlier that afternoon, the one that made her intervene.

That's his power, of course: Elle told her that. The more afraid she became, the worse it would get. So she tries to relax, to slump in his grasp and tell herself, over and over, He can't hurt me. There's nothing he can do that I haven't already tried myself. He can't he can't he can't. You're safe.

It does the trick, just enough to catch him off-guard; there's surprise in his expression, and she smiles as his grip wanes momentarily.

Claire ducks under his arm and dances away. "I saved you."

His eyebrows rise. "Really? 'Cause I'm pretty sure that looked like you were helping him back there. You get your job description mixed up with someone else's?"

"They wanted him unharmed!" she shouts. "I saved your ass! What do you think they would have done to you if he died, or was seriously injured? What is it, someone gets scared enough and you just can't stop yourself? Is that it? Like some sick little bullying complex?"

His expression twists into a sneer of disgust. "What do you think, they're all gonna come like meek little lambs in handcuffs? We're not humanitarians, Claire."

Claire jabs her finger into his chest. "I don't care about your cynicism. Minimum force required. That's it. Nothing more."

Knox licks his lips. She hates him, in that moment. Just looking at his face is hateful. Irrational annoyance builds up under her skin, so close to the surface, waiting for something to break so it can spill out, the threads of her unraveling.

His expression, on the other hand, is almost appreciative as he looks at her. She wonders how often he experiences this, someone standing up to him and holding their ground, someone set against him without fear. Maybe that's why they were put together in the first place.

She tongues the area between her teeth and lip absently, then abruptly turns away and calls over her shoulder, "Care to be my kicking bag tonight?"

"I'm handling it."

"It doesn't look like you're handling it," he says, unperturbed, reaching to catch her wrist in one large hand.

She struggles against him ineffectually for a moment, before realizing that it's pointless. "What do you suggest I do? Just forget about it? Forget about him?" Even asking the questions makes it worse; it feels as though everything in her life, every part of it, is opening up, spiraling wildly out of control. Her control.

Knox glares down at her. "I don't need your forgiveness. Your father made his own choices, I've got nothing to be sorry about."

She shakes her head and looks away stubbornly. "I don't want to talk about this."

He doesn't let go of her wrist, and she realizes at that moment how close they are to each other. She can feel him exhale gently. "Good," he says, eyes boring into her. "Anger gets you nowhere."

Claire's smile is blazingly empty. "I guess you would know all about that. Or, wait …"

He pulls her body against his, hard, pressing her against the hard planes of his body. Even through their respective layers of clothing, she can feel the heat coming off him. With a degree of embarrassment, she notes the way her nipples harden on contact. He must notice, because he looks down and then grins at her.

"What do you want from me?" she whispers, half in anger and half resignation.

Knox shakes his head, his white teeth flashing against his skin. "You're never afraid of me. I don't see that much," are his only words of explanation.

She's a conquest, maybe, she theorizes. A way for him to get control back.

Well, Claire's not unfamiliar with that. She goes up on her toes and – to both of their surprises – kisses him.

It's really more of a smush than a kiss, messy and wet, teeth clicking together as they fight for control, domination. He swipes his tongue across her bottom lip roughly, and she bites his lip in return, grazing her teeth just hard enough to hurt. It's not romantic, not gentle like those times she kissed West; it's angry, hurtful, frustrated.

She doesn't notice that he's let go of her wrist, moving instead to wrap his hands around her waist and digging his fingers into her soft flesh hard enough to leave bruises.

Her breasts are pressed high against his chest, and his hands pull her even closer, trying to eliminate all the space between them. She can feel the thick line of his cock, half-hard, pressing against her belly through his pants.

Claire drags her mouth away from his for just long enough to say, "Get down. On the floor."

He laughs, the sound a low rumble in his throat. The sound of it infuriates her. But he complies, pulling her down with him, until she's stretched out over him and their hips align. His cock is there, right there, and the feel of it lying between her legs sends a sudden wave of heat and desire through her belly.

Claire is overcome with the sudden desire to feel the surface of her skin against his. With one hand, she yanks up her workout tank to just under her breasts and presses her belly to his, her mouth sliding sideways against his, the slippery feeling of sweat already forming making her dizzy as she rubs her body against his and moans aloud, just a little sound.

Without warning, his rough palm slides over her small breast and kneads the tender flesh there, too hard, making her gasp in pain and squeeze her thighs together a little.

Claire decides to punish him a little for that, reaching down and finding a nipple with two fingers, twisting, savoring his grunt and causing his hips to buck up a little under hers and his cock to slide against her clit just so. She sighs in satisfaction.

Knox tries once to flip them both over, but she pushes back and wriggles out of her shorts, casting them aside carelessly. Her little hand slips down between them and covers his cock, squeezing the length gently. "My way," she whispers in his ear.

His hand tangles in her hair, mussed and sweaty, running the other up the back of her thigh and making her curl into him. She arches her back and dips her head down to meet him for another kiss.

She shoves his gym shorts down, just enough to free his cock. It springs up, erect, and it feels heavy in her hand as she bites her lip and runs her palm up its smooth length, feeling him shudder beneath her. Her thumb presses down gently on the head, swirling around the sticky drop of pre-cum she finds there.

The cold of the tile floor bites into her knees. Her skin flushed rosy-pink, Claire spreads her thighs further and places one hand on his stomach, feeling his muscles contract slightly, for balance. The other grips his shaft while she squirms over him, frantically trying to find the right angle.

Her body jerks as the head of his cock bumps against the sensitive flesh of her inner thigh, and then, it's there, right there, teasing the entrance to her cunt.

She can feel how slippery she is as she parts her knees and pushes down, down, down but she's tight, so it takes some time. Claire squeezes her eyes shut.

Knox pushes up, his cock surging into her until she feels stretched and full, the sensation coaxing a small strangled sound from her throat. Claire pushes her body up, straining against him, and then sinks back down onto his cock.

It's slow going at first, as she tries to sort out a rhythm, but after a minute or two her strokes are even and purposeful, drawing jagged gasps out from deep inside her. His fingers clutch at her hips; her nails rake down his chest and dig into his shoulders. She slips one hand down her body and rub at her clit erratically.

Neither of them says anything, both offering up inarticulate, guttural sounds. Her orgasm is close; she can feel it building at the base of her spine, and she needs to go faster, faster, faster, until it breaks, it washes over her, a sudden white spike of warmth and pleasure.

He comes soon after with a groan, forcing her body up as he spills himself inside of her.

Claire pulls out but doesn't move away from him. Instead, she lets her body curl into his, her long hair brushing against him, and sighs deeply.

They are both quiet for a time.

"Better?" he asks tiredly, hand brushing over her hair.

"Enough," she says. And it is calm again.