A Public Shower Is Paradoxically A Great Place for Some Privacy
Cal didn’t stop jerking off when the door opened with his food, but he did look up. “Hey,” he said in Nathnjek. “Want to help me out?”
“I think he’s inviting us to join him,” said the darker skinned guard with a snort.
“Pass, he’s not my type,” said the other.
Rude, thought Cal, thinking very hard in Kyn. Over two days he’d figured out that if he worked at it, he could avoid having the beetle translate him automatically. It wasn’t perfect and he still had to be careful how quickly he talked back to the guys now, but he hadn’t fucked up yet. “You’re not my type either,” he promised, in Kyn.
Then he noticed that neither guard was holding any food. “Come with us,” said the lighter skinned guard, coming over and hauling Cal to his feet.
Cal put up a token struggle, but that was mostly because his shorts fell the rest of the way down and he tripped over them. They pulled him out of the cell. “Where are we going?” he asked, looking around. The hallway outside was just as featureless as the cell, a metallic hallway lined with more doors like the one that was shutting behind them. Long, rectangular lights were on the ceiling and the sides of the floors. They led Cal through a big door that opened into a big common room with long tables in it, though it was totally empty. There was another big door on one end that was obviously an exit.
But they didn’t take him there, dragging him down another hallway and all but tossing him in another room. “Stay here a minute,” one of them said.
“Do you think he’ll figure out the shower on his own, or will we have to do it for him?” the second one asked.
Cal banged on the door as it shut, and he heard a beep, which he suspected meant it was locked. He sighed, looked around. This was a much larger room than before, long and narrow and featureless except for the metallic faucets jutting out from the wall well above Cal’s head. Below each faucet was a dial.
Telling himself he’d have figured out that this was a bathing room on his own, he went over to one of the dials and turned it experimentally, pretending to be surprised when water came out. He took his shirt off and tossed it aside, pretending to play with the dial while he adjusted the water temperature to one he liked. This wasn’t terrible, he had to admit. He hadn’t been able to wash properly since he’d gotten here.
There was a small metal lever on the wall and when Cal pressed it, a sticky liquid that almost had the consistency of cum came out. It smelled like rocks, and foamed when Cal rubbed it between his wet fingers. He used it to soap up his body, thinking that they’d better invent soap like this on his world soon. On the other hand, dropping bars was always fun, but…
The door opened again, and the guards came in. “Cal.”
Mick was with them. “Mick.” Cal hurried out of the water and hugged Mick. The guards were already leaving again. Holy fuck, he was here. “Are you okay, did they hurt you?”
“No, I’m fine. This is the most boring jail I’ve ever been in.”
Cal nodded, pulling Mick towards the shower. “Come shower, we don’t know when they’ll let us next.”
Mick nodded, stripping his clothes off and tossing them with Cal’s. Cal pulled him under the spray of water, and started kissing him. “They may be able to listen to us through the walls,” Cal said, between kisses. “Need to tell you some stuff.”
“Okay,” said Mick. He pressed Cal against the wall just beside the temperature dial and lifted him, his hardening cock coming to rest between Cal’s legs. Cal reached down with a soapy hand and got Mick the rest of the way there, then wrapped his legs around Mick, holding him tight.
Mick pressed inside him and Cal forgot what he’d wanted to say for a minute, but it didn’t matter. Mick started fucking him gently, slowly, and Cal rode him back, holding Mick tight as the water washed over him. “What did you want to say?”
“They only caught seven of us.”
“I can talk to them a little. Their boss is this doctor named Nadya and I heard her say something about me and six other prisoners. I think they’re going to bring us all here and I want you to pretend nothing is wrong because we don’t need them hunting down whoever they didn’t catch.”
“Got it,” Mick muttered, nipping at Cal’s ear. The door opened again, and Cal heard Sully swearing and smiled.
Sully went quiet and Cal waved him over. “That dial there will turn another faucet on,” Cal told him, pulling him closer to kiss him. “They’re spying on us.” He lingered for a second before letting Sully go, keeping him close.
“No kidding,” Sully muttered. He kissed Mick too, then pulled his clothes off as well and turned the next faucet on. “They going to bring us all in?”
“I think so. I negotiated with the boss a little bit. They’re afraid of time travel, I think, and they want to know how we got here, but I refused to talk to her until I got to see you guys. Not everyone is going to be here.”
They brought Juniper in next, who didn’t need instructions to turn on the shower on Cal’s other side with ice cold water. Cal could feel the temperature difference from here. “Did you talk to Nadya?” Cal asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yeah. Nice lady, for a bitch. Wait, did you?”
Cal nodded. “Bob taught me English on Earth, remember?”
“Right.” Juniper started washing off. The water was quite loud with three faucets going. Cal caught him up—it was stupid to keep doing this, but he wasn’t going to make everyone wait until they were all here, so if he had to keep repeating the same information, so be it—while they waited for everyone else.
Next they brought in Joey, who was fighting and spitting and was restrained hand, foot, wing and tail. His clothes were missing. “Put me down, you fucktwats! I’m going to rip all your organs out and stick them in your eye sockets and…guys!”
The guards clearly weren’t interested in taking Joey’s restraints off, probably because Joey had been growling at least half in their language, but Sully went to him and helped him over to the rest of them. “Calm down,” Sully ordered. “Listen to me, I get that you’re mad, but calm the fuck down. We’re going to get out of here and the fewer chains they feel the need to put us in, the better.”
“Okay, okay.” Even pinned to the wall, Cal could see Joey seething. “Remember how I used to wear a cloak? Travis gave it to me. He said if humans saw my horns and tail, they might kill me or try to put me in a cage or something. He was right.”
They’d put them all in a cage, but Cal wasn’t going to make him feel worse. “Just lay low, okay? Go under Juniper’s water there.”
Joey did, yelping at the cold, which got everyone to laugh. He scowled, but he had humour in his eyes, which was a good sign. Wary, Joey joined Sully under his water instead, which was lukewarm compared to Cal’s. He tried to touch the dial and Sully slapped his hand.
Mick came inside Cal with a grunt and rested there, panting on his face. “Do you have thoughts on who got away?”
“Wes and Travis would have had the easiest time,” Cal said, letting Mick put him down and finish him off with his hand. “And Bob,” he said, once he’d cum.
“And Ray,” Sully added.
“You ever try to catch a cat that doesn’t want to be picked up?”
“Are they going to come break us out?” Joey asked, nuzzling Sully now. Sully was giving him a handjob, and Cal started rubbing a horn.
“No,” Cal told him. He kissed Joey’s head between his horns. “We’re going to break ourselves out.”
The door opened and the guards brought Lillian in. She came over immediately, stripping off without hesitation. Cal didn’t appreciate her naked that often since she wasn’t into men, but she was really fucking hot and it was therefore mildly unfair that she didn’t really want to fuck Cal ever. But whatever, she was into Beatrice, so her standards clearly sucked. “They’re probably spying on us,” she said, without preamble.
“Yeah,” Cal agreed. “A few things to tell you.”
She had a few more questions than the others had, but Cal got through them a little faster because neither of them was actively having sex now. When the door opened for what Cal knew would be the last time, he was pretty surprised to see Travis there. “Travis!” Joey tripped trying to move fast, but Travis hurried over and helped him up.
“Joey, are you okay? I was so worried about you, holy shit. What did they do to you? What did they do to any of us?”
“Great question,” Cal said. “Get under the water while I explain.” Of course Arky had gotten away, little shit. He was probably perched in a window somewhere watching them, even without his powers.
Once he caught them all up, he said. “Okay, the main thing is that this Nadya person knows about the Involuted Clock.”
“She built it,” Juniper said. “That’s what she told me. Or actually, she’s currently building it.”
“Fucking time travel,” Lillian muttered, while Mick washed her hair for her.
“She managed to learn English, which is a language they used to speak on Earth,” Cal began.
“This is Earth, remember?” Juniper asked. “They probably have like, historical records and shit to learn from.”
“Yeah. I also know their language thanks to a gift from Bob. But I’m pretending not to and I’m also worried they might have machines that can translate what we’re saying, so listen. From now on, Juniper and I are the only ones who know about Earth or the Involuted Clock.”
“Shouldn’t be hard,” Sully said, rolling his eyes.
“I know, but I mean you guys don’t talk about it with each other unless I’m there and bring it up first. Juniper, I know you’re experienced but please let me do the talking.”
“Because you know what you’re doing?” Juniper asked, washing soap suds off his dick. “Or because you’re a control freak?”
“Both,” Mick promised, at the same Cal did. He smiled at Mick, who kissed his cheek.
“I have a tendency to be slightly antagonistic towards authority figures,” Cal began.
“Oh really?” asked Travis. “I never noticed.”
He looked innocent and was getting a blowjob from Joey, so Cal only flicked a little bit of soap in his eyes, which closed automatically. “So it’s possible that after talking to me she’ll go try and talk to you, Juniper.”
“Right, divide and conquer. We tell the same story and she can’t do that.”
Spoken like someone who’d been arrested before. “Exactly. But you’re nicer than me, so make it so she wants to talk to you and we can control what she knows. I need to know exactly what you’ve already told her. I think she’s going to help us but she has all the power and I don’t trust her.”
They filled each other in while they filled each other up, and after a half hour or so the guards came back, this time with a rolling tray that had fresh clothes—boring and identical, but clean—and towels on it. It was a pretty clear signal, though Cal made them all linger for a few more minutes before going over and getting dried off. “Remember,” he said, before they turned the water off. “Assume they’re listening in on us from now on.”
“You’re really good at this,” Juniper muttered, as they dried.
“Yeah, I used to get arrested all the fucking time.”
“No, I mean…” Juniper gestured at the other guys, who were chatting quietly as they dried off and grabbing clothes. Even Joey seemed content and he was still chained up. “This being in charge thing. You calmed them all down really fast.”
“That’s why he’s the boss,” Mick said, tossing Cal a shirt that was too big. “He knows what he’s doing.”
“Leadership is a skill you can practice like any other,” Cal promised. The clothes seemed to come with horrible boxy shorts that were similar to Dolovin smallclothes but bigger, and Cal opted to go without like a sane person, quietly judging Juniper, Mick and Travis for putting some on. The door was open now and Cal led them back out into the common room. The guards had vanished, but there was food on one of the tables.
Nadya was sitting there. “You may all take your meals out here from now on, and we will allow you to share cells, but no more than two to a cell.”
Not good enough, but it would do for now. “Thank you,” he said. “I appreciate that. There are seven of us.”
Nadya considered that, and nodded. “Very well. One group of three, if you so desire.”
“That’s very kind of you. I’d also appreciate if you’d take Joey’s chains off.”
“Once he’s demonstrated that he’s not a danger to us, we will.” Nadya stood up, her movements crisp. “Tomorrow I shall fetch you for an interview and you will answer my questions.”
“Promise,” Cal said, holding a hand up and splitting his fingers, a peace gesture they’d used to make on Earth. “I’ll tell you about the other time I was on this world, if you want. It was the Involuted Clock’s fault that time too.”
“I’m very curious as to how you’ve had so many dealings with it.”
“Me too. Maybe we’ll both learn something tomorrow.”
Nadya nodded. “I’ll leave you to eat in peace.”
“Thank you,” Cal said. Nadya looked at Juniper before turning away and leaving them there. Once she was gone, he sighed. It sucked that they had to perform a little, but it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t like they had to lie. “Travis, you’re going to feed Joey, right?”
“Yeah, I got it.”
“I can feed myself,” Joey muttered.
“You just had a shower, you’re not eating with your hands.”
“They’ll take your chains off if you stop threatening them. How about you tell us what you did to get them on in the first place?” Cal asked, picking up a spoon. This looked like the same shitty food as before.
“It wasn’t my fault! There was racism!”
Cal smiled and let Joey rant. It wasn’t acting. They weren’t talking about certain things, but they wouldn’t be able to anyway. Cal didn’t have a full plan yet. So they could at least sit and talk and enjoy each other’s company. And try not to worry too much about the teammates who weren’t with them.