And with this exchange, their first dance began. Glass was fresh to the role of Head of Psychology, and had only recently taken over his unfortunately deceased predecessor Doctor Urms’ task of routine psychological evaluations for the Foundation of its most esteemed personnel. Glass had thought he had done rather well with this new task so far, but he hadn’t accounted for Doctor Clef (who had insisted he play an A chord on the ukelele instead of his name, but he was not sure how to put that detail in the notes so had stuck with the Doctor’s official name on Foundation records), nor for Doctor Bright.
He had heard of Bright, of course, hard not to have heard of the brilliant mind in Site 19 doomed to live as the immortal SCP-963. The Foundation had even sent him and some of the other people he had needed to evaluate here to make things easier, rather than move Bright, which struck Glass as odd until he had his first conversation with Bright, and things started to make more sense. He read over Dr. Urms’ notes on him before their appointment. Depressive moods. Evasive. Deliberately aggravating. Surely he couldn’t be that bad.
“How have things been since your last appointment with Doctor Urms?”
Bright shrugs. Glass tries not to chew the inside of his own lip and keeps his face impassive.
“And here I thought you were known for being talkative, Doctor. Or do you prefer deeper questions?”
Bright shrugs again, but this time, he’s smirking in a way that Glass can only term mischievous. He underlines the word evasive on his own notes. He briefly considers underlining aggravating, but chooses not to, and sits up a little straighter, ironing imaginary creases from the front of his suit with the flat of his hand.
“Not to sound cliché, but as it’s our first evaluation together, I suppose I should start at the beginning. How was your childhood?”
Bright’s smile widens into one Glass would term as ‘shit-eating’, and he slowly underlines aggravating as the Doctor finally speaks. You can hear the amusement dripping from his voice.
The set of Glass’ jaw changes. He knows enough about Bright to put two and two together about certain aspects, such as why he might, perhaps, visit SCP-590 whenever he can despite being the one that made him the way he currently was. Glass was not a stupid man.
He could continue this futile exercise in evaluating Bright. Instead he chooses to lapse into silence and make scribbled notes on his own legal ledger, occasionally looking up over the rim of his glasses to observe Bright, who was starting to squirm in his seat.
“Aren’t you going to ask me anything else, Glass?”
He looks up at him again and makes another pointed note on the ledger about the drop of ‘Doctor’ as soon as he starts to get uncomfortable.
“No, I have all the detail I need.”
He says it very sweetly, and calmly. Bright’s jaw sets much in the same way as Glass’ had earlier.
“I’ll… Be off then.”
“So soon? You have half an hour of appointment time left.”
It’s Glass’ turn to smile smugly at Bright, but the man does choose to stay, surprisingly. “You could ask me anything you’d like to know, Doctor. Therapy, even evaluations, are a give and take exercise.”
Bright considers this for a moment as Glass leans back in his seat, unbuttoning his suit jacket so he can relax into its plush leather.
“What about your childhood, Glass?”
It’s a few months before they’re scheduled to meet again. In that time, Glass is notified that Bright had requested his records and had, in fact, found that they were classified and Simon had not merely been being difficult. Two could play at the game he wanted to play. As he dresses for his various appointments at Site 19 in the accommodation they’d laid on for him given that his flight had arrived so late in the night. His hand ghosts over the scar from being shot by why his childhood was officially classified and he straightens up, making sure he’s pristine and composed. Showtime.
The conversation goes a little better this time. Bright actually talks about how he’s been doing recently (bad) and Glass is able to actually talk through some of it with him before running through Glass asking his last few questions and Bright replying that their answers are classified before lapsing into a silence that’s a lot more comfortable. They’re sat a little closer, Glass in a wing-backed leather armchair that had belonged to his predecessor and Bright on the couch, diagonally across from him, mere inches between their knees.
“I suppose you’ve been told I looked - well, tried to look up some info on you, Glass.”
“I was curious. Did think you were bullshitting me with the ‘that’s classified’. You can’t imagine my surprise when I found out it was actually classified.”
“Oh I can,” the redhead responded, grinning back at Bright. 963 gleams around his neck, a different neck from the last time the pair had met. A new D-Class had been assigned to him following an incident with his previous body. “I knew you would, more than likely look, given your security clearance would usually afford you access to my personnel file. Unfortunately mine is rather heavily redacted.”
He grins. Bright has two spots of colour high in his cheeks and looks a little shamefaced at being so easily known.
“I know you got shot,” he throws out. “And that it has something to do with why so much of your file is redacted.”
Glass considers him for a moment. Bright is clearly not used to someone merely refusing him information in a setting like this. A setting that by all means had been perfectly friendly until he started delving somewhere Glass did not want him to.
“Tell me about your childhood, Bright.”
“That’s classified. Tell me who shot you.”
Their appointment ends with Bright leaving the room abruptly, and Glass makes a point of scheduling the next one as far away in the future as humanly possible.
“Haven't been to Site 19 in ages. Why is it that you can't come to Site 17 again?”
He deliberately does not look at the Orangutan that has been sat in the seat by the Site 19 staff and tries his best not to laugh. It’s just absurd. They knew he had an appointment for regular therapy and his routine evaluation and they sent him in this body. It’s absolutely farcical.
He gives a sharp burst of laughter before regaining control over himself.
“Oh, right. Sorry, Bright.”
He moves to the desk and presses the buzzer, which is quickly answered by support staff.
“Someone get me a D-Class in here for a few minutes….”
After five or so minutes, they’re presented with D-1787, a young woman convicted of brutally slaughtering a stranger for no reason other than wanting their money, and she looks at Glass with dead little eyes, and flexes her hands.
“I wouldn’t,” he says simply. Glass may look a soft, bookish man, but he had been an Agent long before he was a psych. Agent Shard as he had been known, was not a man to be trifled with. Until he was shot, of course.
“1787, I have a simple task for you. This specimen here, you see his necklace?”
“Yes,” the young woman responds, uncertain. “What am I supposed to do?”
“This particular ape responds… Poorly to me. I need only for you to remove its necklace.”
She nods, still very uncertain, and approaches the ape, before cautiously reaching out and touching the amulet. The change is instant and the orangutan goes limp as the woman very calmly removes the necklace from its corpse and puts it on herself, before starting to shimmy out of the jumpsuit.
“Please don’t strip in my temporary office, Jack.”
Jack Bright, in her new body, turns around and gives him an exasperated look.
“I’ll do what I want with my new body, thanks, Simon. I’m decent underneath.”
She puts the jumpsuit awkwardly over the dead ape, looking at Simon expectantly.
“Well? Don’t tell me you didn’t bring anything other than a jumpsuit for me?”
Simon sits at his desk and they stare each other down for a few minutes before he reaches under the desk and lifts up the bag of new Foundation issue clothing he’d procured to keep in his office for this exact occurrence, handing her the jumper, slacks and fresh lab-coat kept therein.
“No shoes, I’m afraid. Wouldn’t give me any because I couldn’t tell them a size.”
Jack murmurs something gratefully back, pulling the jumper on over the t-shirt the person before her had been wearing beneath the jumpsuit, and as soon as she’s decent, SImon buzzes for a clean up team to come and rid them of the deceased ape, before the pair continue the merry dance of desperately trying to know each other whilst avoiding exposing their secrets at any cost.
He hasn’t been expecting to meet again so soon, but the weather had been bad enough that after their session, where Jack in his latest body had made allusions to using Glass’ hands in part of his plans for 291, that Simon had been forced to stay at Site 19. He had shrugged it off, planning to get some work done and, as was the usual when he worked late, he had ended up sat as his desk at two in the morning, blinking suddenly in surprise when he realised that he hadn’t eaten since a few biscuits were pressed upon him by someone who’d brought him coffee earlier in the day.
But now, here he was, in the hall leading back to his temporary office, coffee in one hand and plate of whatever sandwiches had been left in the fridges in the break area nearest, gazing down at Jack, who was sat on the tiled, white floor looking rather like a puppy that had been kicked.
“Fancy seeing you here.”
“I live here.”
Simon would give him that one. That was more than a fair point.
“I meant in the hall specifically, but okay. Everything alright?”
Simon’s suddenly very conscious of how dishevelled he is, having gotten rid of his jacket and tie to be comfortable while he worked on some reports and reviewed reports that had come in from the staff that worked under him, reviewing files for redaction and recommending some Agents for reassignment from their current tasks. But with his hands full, he can’t really do anything about it.
Ah. He’d mentioned perhaps feeling…. Down, earlier. Simon mulls this over for a minute.
“Come on, my office.”
Jack thinks about it, and then rises, reluctantly and starts dragging himself down the hall, clearly unhappy with this turn of events but seeing the logic in it. Simon sighs.
“I have a thirty year old bottle of Ardbeg whiskey in my bag and I’m not opposed to opening it to share.”
Jack perks up a little at that and enters his Simon’s temporary office, dumping himself in the couch expectantly as Simon sets down his coffee (to be abandoned) and the depressing sandwiches (to be wolfed down) on his desk and goes over to his bag, pulling out the still sealed bottle. He has a couple of plastic cups in his drawer and he pulls these out, pouring a healthy measure of it into each before passing one to Jack, who accepts it eagerly.
“Drinking on the job, Glass?”
“It’s two-am. Fuck you.”
Jack laughs and drinks from the plastic cup. “Where’d you get this, anyway?”
“Won a bet with Clef, he had it sent here so I’d receive it quicker. The man is a mystery, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have taste. Surprised he took the bet at all, really.”
Jack mulls that over as Simon wolfs down one of the sandwiches. He needed to set reminders on his calendar or something. ‘Eat food, eejit.’ Something like that. Something to be considered in the morning. He takes a drink of the whiskey.
“What did you bet on?”
Simon swallows slowly. He’s not working. Perhaps it’s okay to let Jack get a little personal with him.
“Before I joined this team as a junior psychiatrist, I was a field agent. But that’s not classified, so you can have that bit for free,” he says, winking. “I went by Shard.”
Jack makes a face at that.
“Yeah, that Shard.”
“Fucking hell, Simon. I knew you were a Agent Shard, but I wasn’t sure if you were that one.”
“Language,” he says, smiling lazily. “Bit at odds with who I am now, but getting shot’ll do that for you.”
He’s cheery as he devours the next sandwich, considering how best to phrase it without giving him information he couldn’t.
“Anyway, the new Agent Shard? We had a bet on whether or not they’d complete a task they were sent on without being shot. Did you know every single Shard that’s been sent… To that location has been shot? It’s fucking hilarious.”
“Language,” Jack replies mildly, amusement quirking the corners of his lips.
“They actually did it. Clef bet on the side of them getting shot, but I did their evaluation before they got sent out, taking their baseline for normal behaviour and, well. I think if you shot her it’d just piss her off.”
He takes another drink of whiskey, noting that Jack has finally started to relax. He’s not even going to ask what brought this on. He’s not on the clock and neither is Bright, who looks comfortable in his presence for the first time in a while. Then he stiffens and looks at Simon from the corner of his eye.
“If you’re going to ask what’s up-”
“Jack, I’m working on the assumption that you’d tell me if you really wanted to.”
That makes him go quiet.
“I don’t like making you uncomfortable, and you’re clearly having a bad enough evening. Let’s just… Enjoy some whiskey. We can talk about whatever you want, for as long as you want. I’m not doing anything tomorrow.”
Jack just looks at him for a moment, and then, quietly: “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.”
It’s a couple of months before Glass is able to return to Site 19, and when he does, it’s with his arm in a sling. He’s late to his appointment with Bright, who is lounging on the couch in the office, and raises his eyebrows as Glass struggles in through the door, doing his best not to drop his briefcase. He does stand and pull the door the rest of the way open to give him access, shooting him a look of concern as the redhead drops himself into his seat.
“Simon, what happened?”
Simon gives him a look of absolute, utter exhaustion. He hasn’t had a chance to take anything for the pain yet today, so the pain is totally and utterly mind-bending. He opens his briefcase and pulls out the recorder he’s been given to help with his notes, given that he’s having to write left handed. Not that he can’t, it’s merely too slow for notes during an evaluation.
“New asset was brought in. He was apparently very docile and considered safe.”
He moves to the chair, nearer to Jack, and nearly cries as he sits down, instead settling for breathing fast and hard through his teeth as pain explodes through him at the movement.
“As soon as I started, he attacked. Snapped my wrist like a fucking twig. Had to pull my gun from the drawer and shoot him in the head three times before he stopped trying to push his thumbs through my eyes.”
It’s coming out snappy, and he stops, breathing for a minute. Jack touches his knee gently.
“Sorry, Jack. I didn’t mean to be short. I’m… I’m actually in a lot of pain.”
He laughs bitterly, then leans forward, teeth gritted to put the recorder on the table.
“Simon, have you brought your painkillers?”
He nods in response, and Jack rises to his feet, first drawing a cup of water from the cooler and handing it to him before moving to his briefcase. “Main or side pocket?”
“Main,” Simon replies, relaxing back into the seat. “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.”
The next time they meet officially, Kondraki is dead. Jack has been installed as Director of Site 17 in his stead, and there’s something rather… Pleasing about that. He regularly appears at Glass’ door in the early hours to challenge him on still being awake and working, something that has become a much more regular occurrence since Kondraki went missing. He’s been a bit brighter since the obvious show of trust from the Overseers, and now he has access to an even higher security clearance than Glass himself, he finally knows enough about the Berlin incident for the pair of them to carry a conversation, even if Jack uses it to try and evade questions during their on-the-clock conversations.
“Tell me about your childhood,” Simon says with a sly smile, the first time they meet in his proper office at Site 17, potted plants on his desk and certificates for his numerous degrees on the wall. They’ve been talking in this room a lot in the small hours before dawn, leading up to their official, must be recorded conversation. “I know you had siblings?”
Jack smiles back. “That’s classified,” he replies. “Tell me about your sibling. The one in Berlin.”
Glass freezes in scribbling down his usual note of evasive, and slowly looks over the top of his glasses at Bright.
“I’m a little deaf in this ear,” he says, tapping his hearing aid. “Can you repeat that?”
He knows what Jack said. He’s just giving him an out.
“You know. The one that shot you.”
Simon very deliberately puts down his pen.
“These sessions are about you, ” he snaps, slipping into the side of unkindness that comes from being uncomfortable with the line of questioning. “If you want to ask me that, come back when I’m not working.”
They both sit there in complete silence until the end of the session elapses, and Jack leaves Simon’s office.
It’s three in the morning when Doctor Bright knocks at his office door with an eighteen year old bottle of Glenmorangie and two glasses. Glass steps beside to let his new boss in, and drops himself onto the couch as Jack sets the glasses on the desk and fills them. They’re both silent, Glass watching him carefully. He reaches into the pocket of his suit trousers and pulls out his cigarettes, and lights one as Jack hands him the glass.
“Your wrist seems to have healed nicely,” Jack says quietly, lowering himself into the seat next to him, before reaching out to pinch his cigarette and take a slow drag before returning it to him. “I’m… Sorry if I made you uncomfortable earlier.”
Simon sighs, and reaches out until his fingers brush the back of Jack’s hand before he thinks better of it. “I’m sorry. It’s a reasonable question and I freaked out.”
Jack takes the initiative and catches Simon’s hand, rubbing reassuring circles on the back of his knuckles. “It’s fine.”
They both pull away and Simon takes a drink of the whisky. He rolls the glass in his hand.
“My oldest brother is the one who shot me,” he starts, uncertainly. “If you’ve read my file - as unredacted as you can see with your new security clearance, you’ll know he’s Chaos Insurgency.”
Jack just takes a drink, and stays quiet. Simon’s grateful for the chance to pace himself. He fears if he didn’t have it, everything would pour out of him like water from a broken dam.
“I had been sent to Berlin to retrieve an asset. It was crucial we beat the Insurgency, but they were already there when we arrived. The rest of my team died. Then it was me and a man in a mask. I’d finished off his team myself, single shot. Both of us had to be down to our last bullets. I got the better of him.”
He finishes his glass of whisky. He needs to pause for a minute and seriously think about what he’s going to say next.
“He pulls his mask off, and there’s my brother, David. I should have just pulled the trigger. I was Agent Shard, for christ’s sakes, I was known for all sorts of shit, why not shooting my own fucking brother in the face?”
Jack pours him another large whisky, but says nothing, merely puts the bottle back on the desk and moves until his leg is pressed against Simon’s in a show of familiar, reassuring contact.
“I hesitated. He didn’t.” Glass presses a hand to his side where the twisted scar lies. “Kondraki came to see me in hospital and told me I was coming here to work under him and Urms in psychology. Use my degrees. The rest, as they say, is heavily redacted history.”
Bright says nothing, but moves until he can slide an arm across Glass’ shoulders, and rub his back. Glass flushes a deep red at the familiarity of the touch and takes a big gulp of his whisky. He definitely has not eaten enough today, because the effect it’s having on him is making him loose and relaxed and… Well. He doesn’t want Jack to stop touching him in the slightest. He leans into the contact. He downs the whisky. He continues making bad choices, like putting his hand on his boss’ thigh. Jack doesn’t react, besides from the muscle briefly tensing under his hand, before relaxing again. He’s glad he’s not told to remove his hand. Bright turns his head and shifts close, until his lips are brushing against Glass’ ear as he speaks.
“Can I help you, Doctor?”
Glass’ breath catches in his throat as he turns his head to be met by some very intent, deep red eyes. He can feel the warmth of Jack’s breath on his face. He leans in closer.
He closes the distance and presses a kiss to Jack’s lips, who brings his hand up to bunch it in Simon’s long hair. This was perhaps not the best idea Simon had ever had. This was perhaps going to bite him in the ass, but he doesn’t think like that and instead brings up a hand to Jack’s cheek, cupping his face as he deepens the kiss. Jack slides a hand to his thigh and squeezes the flesh through his trousers, and Glass makes a soft noise at the back of his throat. Everything from that moment happens quickly. Bright slides a rough hand over his chest and down to the buttons of his waistcoat, unbuttoning them single handedly even as he used his other hand to encourage Glass to sit in his lap.
Glass grinds down on him and elicits a breathy sigh from Bright, who is pulling apart the buttons of his shirt even as Simon slips his hands down to undo Jack’s belt. He pulls back to take a breath and presses his forehead to Bright’s, who slides a hand beneath his shirt and runs it up his side, pausing for a second as his hand runs over the messy scar beneath his ribs.
“I want you,” Simon breathes, kissing him again. Jack kneads at the back of his thighs with his hands. “I know I shouldn’t.”
“What, think I’m going to tell your boss?” Jack teases, kissing along the edge of his jaw. “Get those off.”
He tugs at the edge of Glass’ trousers, and he shakily lifts from Jack’s lap and starts divesting himself of the trousers, before suddenly growing conscious of something.
“Hey,” he starts, swallowing nervously, unable to tear his eyes away from Jack’s hands as they make short work of the belt and slacks he had been wearing. “I… Should mention something.”
Jack pauses as he pulls away his trousers, and Simon has to swallow hard at the outline of him through the black boxers.
Simon wrings his hands. “I’m… I’m transgender, Jack.”
Jack looks as if as if he’s said something stupid. “...I know? We’ve talked about this before.”
“Yeah. But… I never had… Well. I never had bottom surgery.”
Jack shrugs. “I really, sincerely do not care about that, Simon. I want you .”
He pulls himself from the boxers and strokes himself slowly, then grins cockily at Glass.
“Now, are you going to get in my lap or am I going to bend you over that desk?”
Glass doesn’t think he’s ever managed to get partially undressed faster in his life. He pulls his shoes off so he can kick off his boxers and trousers, desperately wet, desperately ready for him, and slips back into his lap, batting his hand away when he tries to touch him, far too needy to accept anything other than sinking down onto Jack’s cock like it’s what he was made for. He wraps long fingers around him to get him to the right angle, eliciting a pleased sigh from Bright, before slowly pushing himself down with a soft moan. As soon as he bottoms out, Jack kisses him hard on the lips before murmuring a hang on, sitting forward and moving 963 to be at his back.
“I’ve wanted this,” he confesses, brushing the mess of red hair that had fallen free from Simon’s usual, neatly swept back hair away from his face. “Longer than I’d care to admit.”
Simon rolls his hips down slowly and Jack hisses back a pleased noise, moving a hand to his hip to help keep him steady. They stay like this for a while, close, eager, until Glass’ thighs burn with the effort of riding him, and Jack catches him as he bottoms out and holds him there, kissing his neck until Simon’s face is pink and he’s breathing heavily.
“You able to stand?” He murmurs against a collarbone, as he nips at the pale skin of his neck.
“Th-think so,” Glass replies. “Why?”
Jack nips again at his collarbone, blessedly low enough that the marks won’t show during his day to day work. “Get yourself bent over the desk.”
Simon moves to stand on shaking legs, like a newborn fawn, suddenly and disappointingly empty, and hesitantly gets himself situated on his desk, feeling hopelessly exposed until Jack is behind him, running hands down his sides, before lining himself back up with Glass’ cunt, trailing his head over his entrance teasingly until Simon fears he might go mad with the want of it. Before he can beg, however, Jack slams himself home in one rough, desperate movement that forces Simon to bite the back of his own hand to stop himself from crying out in desperation. It’s with this pace and roughness that Jack continues, fucking him hard and rough until Simon comes hard around him, tightening desperately on him as he does and making him utter a string of curses. He leans down over him, still rolling his hips languidly.
“This what you wanted? To get bent over this desk and fucked properly?”
He sounds as desperate and eager as Simon feels, pressed between him and the deep mahogany of his desk. He doesn’t feel capable of speaking and just nods, grabbing weakly at Jack’s wrist. Jack kisses his shoulder - then resumes the brutal pace he’d had before, but his breath is desperate, needy; and Simon again has to bite his own hand to stop himself from crying out as he gets close to coming again, Jack’s fingers tight in his hair.
When they come, it’s together, Glass tightening hard around him as Bright reaches his crisis, hips stuttering as he gasps out something that sounds like a lot of platitudes and thank yous all rolled into one run on sentence. They have to stay there for a moment for support until they both feel able to make themselves decent and slump onto a seat. Simon looks a mess, bite marks visible on his collarbone where his shirt is open, hair a nest of tangles and suit crumpled. He drapes himself against the arm of a couch, twining fingers with Bright. After a few minutes of silence, where the only sounds are their breathing slowly returning to normal, Jack speaks.
“We should talk about this.”
Glass shakes his head.
“Not tonight. When we’re both sober.”