lb_lee: A pencil sketch of me drawing/writing in my sketchpad. (art)
[personal profile] lb_lee
The Bionic Prosthetist
Word Count: 2500
Series: Durable Medical Equipment
Summary: Levi Ibrahim makes prosthetics that feel real. Brand Olajuwon is interested, but not as a customer.
Notes: This story was originally written for Pink Narcissus press’s ‘Brave Boy World.’ It didn’t get in, so I cleaned it up, added 500 words, and my Patreon crew picked it up!  Not gonna lie, I hope to make this a new series, so please, let me know if you're interested in seeing more of this!

A bust of Brand Olajuwon in color.  He's brown-skinned, freckled, with a scar across his nose and curly, frizzy reddish brown hair.  He has a placid, sleepy-eyed smile on his face, but don't fall for it.

Pinoko Prostheses was a cheery shop, for one that sold replacement body parts.

Not that Brand was an authority on the matter, but the other place had been clinical and beige. Pinoko, though, was in the old neighborhood, crammed under apartments in a ramshackle four-story wooden building and covered in graffiti that apparently nobody had ever bothered to scrub off. Inside, shelves and racks of various prostheses were everywhere, brightly colored, oddly shaped, sometimes not resembling the original appendage at all. Arms, legs, ears, tails, various internal bits (bones and joints, mostly), even facial features.

Plus genitals. Lots of them, in various sizes, shapes, and colors, including some that Brand was dead certain had never appeared on a human body. But he had to admit, when he picked up one of the dicks and gave it a squeeze, they felt impressively real...

“May I help you?”

Brand jolted; he was sure the place had been empty when he came in. Then the curtain at the back of the shop opened, and a short, chubby man came out. He wore a tool-belt and thick glasses, but his hazel eyes couldn’t seem to quite focus.

“Sorry if I startled you,” he said, fingering the cord down his ear. “My implant’s an echo, not vis. Are you interested in that model?” He gestured to the dick that Brand was holding.

“Uh,” Brand said, and hastily put the thing back. Embarrassing enough to be caught by surprise. “It... felt real?”

“I would hope so!” The man picked it up, ran his hands over it. “That’s one of my soft models, not so much erection capability, but good for urination and other daily use; if you want something harder, I’ve got--”

As he rambled cheerfully on about the virtues of his various creations, picking them up to show off the specs, Brand had to give him credit for both salesmanship and obliviousness. He was about as brown as Brand was, and not unattractive, but as it was, him running his hands all over dicks was a little distracting. Brand was just deeply thankful that the man’s echo implant probably couldn’t make out the subtleties of his facial expression.

Eventually, though, the proprietor seemed to realize he was holding the conversation down on his own. He turned, arms full of multicolored dicks, and said, “You… you don’t actually need one of these, do you?”

“Nah,” Brand said. “’S a good speech, though. You should keep it.”

“Well, darn. Sorry about that.” He put everything back and extended a hand. “Levi Ibrahim, proprietor prosthetist. What can I do for you, then?”

Brand spread his hands. “You tell me.”

Levi looked startled a moment, then bit his lip and glanced away. “Oh. Well, then...”

Brand cocked his head, took in both Levi and his shop again, but this time, as a layman, not a professional. This place was small, cramped, obviously ran on a small budget and a lot of elbow grease. He compared Levi to the person who had sent Brand here. He came to a decision.

“I’m Brand Olajuwon,” he said, and shook Levi’s hand. Levi showed no sign of recognizing his name, but Brand didn’t expect him to. “Can we talk somewhere?”

“Er. Is this a professional thing, or...?”

Well, that hadn’t been what Brand intended, but hell, he could roll with it, Levi was cute. “Yeah. We shouldn’t talk here, though.”

“Oh. Well, there’s the pho place around the corner, they’re pretty great...”

The restaurant turned out to be even tinier and more cramped than Levi’s shop, run by a shriveled old lady with a lemon-sucking face. She seemed to hate Brand on sight but chatted with Levi in a familiar way in what was presumably Vietnamese. The place smelled of onions and cilantro and limes, and Brand tried to look relaxed. It wasn’t the area of town; he’d grown up in these places, where people were stacked on top of each other like bricks and pooled resources for a Cloud connection. It wasn’t even the job, quite. It was just that Brand wasn’t used to being on speaking terms with the people who were attracted to him.

He told himself not to worry. After the news he was about to deliver, that’d be the last thing on Levi’s mind.

When the woman had taken their orders (balefully, in Brand’s case) and left, he cut straight to the chase. “Lightfire hired me to wreck you.”

Levi froze in the middle of unwrapping a straw. “Wreck me?”

“Y’know. ‘Persuade you to do business elsewhere.’ You cutting in on his cash, and he don’t like it.”

A plastic straw wasn’t ideal for throwing angrily to the table, but Levi tried anyway. “Lightfire? What the hell, is he still sore about me cornering the furry market? Not my fault my ears and tails have sensorimotor capability, he’s still got the wings market covered, his visuals trump mine, he’s been in business longer than I’ve been alive...”

Brand let him sputter and rant until their drinks and cucumber salad came. Levi was obviously new to this; Brand had worried he’d have to cajole the story out of him, but Levi was spilling the whole thing all on his own. That was convenient.

“Would you believe you’re the third person Lightfire’s sent after me?”

Brand munched a bit of cucumber. “Yeah?”

“Yes! The third in the past year! First was a Department of Health and Sanitation guy, claiming my place was a health hazard, which it is not, thank you very much! I’m blind, not incompetent.” The old lady was coming up behind him, and looking in her vague direction, he gestured to her imploringly, “I can clean, right?”

The old woman set a plate of sweet basil and bean sprouts between them, along with two bowls of soup, and affirmed, “Yes. He cleans very well.”

Levi gave Brand a look of justification. “See? And Madame Nguyen would know; I worked for her while getting my license.”

Brand looked at her with renewed interest, but she was already moving on, bitter expression back on her face. Brand tried the pho and found that Levi hadn’t been lying; it was impressively good. He’d have to try and replicate the recipe at home. He ate, enjoyed, and tried to nudge Levi into talking again.

“You bribe him?” Brand asked. It was the traditional solution for inconvenient official.

“Yeah, though it was higher than I wanted, because Lightfire kept outspending me. Anyway, second one? Church of Humanity pastor. Brought her entire flock here to protest my business for months. Months! My business went through the floor; who wants to run a gauntlet of screaming zealots to get their hip replaced?”

Brand listened with a mild expression, but inside, the gears were turning. The Church of Humanity were no friends of his. They were fixated on what they considered “natural” human bodies, and he could imagine their reaction to someone as obviously modified as Levi.

“So how you get rid of ‘em?” He asked.

“I didn’t,” Levi admitted with a rueful smile, scratching at his implant. “My neighbors did. Right now, I’m a neutral party who sells to all the gangs in town—it’s the only way to do business here. I didn’t want to upset the balance by hiring any one of them, and anyway, I couldn’t pay them. Turned out I didn’t have to; one of the Cougar women came to get a new arm and got so offended by the protesters that she got her girls and sent them packing, pro bono. Turns out her daughter got taken by them a few years back.”

“Lucky.”

“Yeah. And now there’s you. And I’m out of money and favors.”

“Forget it,” Brand said derisively, waving a hand.

“What?”

“I said forget it. I seen your place. I seen his. His place, it was the usual. Yours, though, I didn’t see no cameras. You use echo shit or something, don’t you?”

“Well… yes,” Levi admitted. “Built it myself, actually. I couldn’t afford it otherwise.”

“Yeah, I figured. Fuck that shit. Lightfire ain’t offering me near enough to bust some home-brew security system I don’t even fucking understand. He ain’t just a bastard, he a cheap bastard.”

“Well, that’s very nice of you,” Levi said, throttling his lime into his soup, stirring hard, “and I appreciate it and all, but if you don’t do it, Lightfire will just hire someone else. He’s been in business way longer than me and he’s got money to burn. At this rate, I’m going to have to take him to court or something...”

“You could,” Brand said, smirking.

Levi caught the tone of his voice. His eyes narrowed. “Or?”

“Or,” Brand said, “you let me handle it. I know all the arm-breakers in town. They won’t cross me, sure as hell not for the money Lightfire offering. Just keep me around, and I bet his guys walk the other way.”

Levi looked skeptical. “And I would pay you how?”

Brand was silent for a moment, gauging, trying to decide. He didn’t like bringing his personal stuff into business, or risking things. But at least Brand was still new in town; he could skip out if things went bad and suffer nothing worse than hurt pride. Still…

Madame Nguyen was glaring at him from behind the register. It was as though she could read his intentions and vastly disapproved.

“Well, uh...” He scratched the back of his neck. He knew Levi probably heard stuff like this all the time, but it was still hard to undo the years of conditioning.

Levi raised an eyebrow.

“How much one of them...” the old lady couldn’t possibly hear him from that distance, but he lowered his voice anyway, even though it made him sound like a teenager buying porn for the first time. “How much your cocks cost?”

Levi’s eyes lit up. This he understood. “Oh! Well, that depends. You want it for packing, pissing, or play? Sensate? Custom?”

“Uh.” Brand shouldn’t have been surprised by the options, but he was. “All of ‘em?”

“You’ll want two then—while I can make one for both work and play, you’ll need to boil it in-between, which I can guarantee is a total buzzkill. It’s much easier to just switch between them at will.” Levi’s fingers were tracing the air, as though feeling out specs and figures in his head. “Let’s see, custom jobs range pretty heavily, depending on complexity—you want within realms of human size and shape, or are we talking a fantasy model?”

Brand’s ears were flaming. “What? No! Just… custom… normal… it just looks like a cock, okay?”

Seemingly oblivious to Brand’s discomfort, Levi continued on, “Sure, sure. Well, obviously I’d need to hash out the details with you, I can’t give you a specific price right off the bat, but my ballpark is fifteen-hundred, two thousand.”

“Deal. Good price for taking down Lightfire.” Brand put out a hand.

Levi shook it heartily. “It’s a business doing pleasure with you.” Then, laughing, “well, now I feel silly. When you first asked me over here, for a second there I thought you were cruising me...”

“Well, that too,” Brand admitted.

Levi toyed with his cord, bit his lip. “Oh. Well. In that case, if you’re still interested, there’s something you should know”

“What, you pos? That’s cool, I...”

“No, I’m trans too.”

Brand froze. “You’re kidding.”

“Nope.” Levi sipped his pho then gave him a self-effacing smile. “How do you think I got into the prosthetic genitals business? Living vicariously!”

Brand resisted the urge to look him over more closely. “Huh. Had no idea.” Then, awkwardly, “I was just gonna… you know. Suck you off.”

Levi grimaced. “Honestly, I was hoping you’d let me suck you. It’s... easier for me.”

And fuck, Brand’s cock just throbbed, it’d been so long and Levi had such a pretty mouth and… “You don’t get to see shit. My clothes stay on. We gotta hit my place first, but we ain’t doing this there.”

“Deal! But let’s finish the pho first, it’s too good to skip.”

It was. Brand needed a moment to collect himself anyway.

As it turned out, the curtained area at the back of Pinoko Prostheses led not just to a workshop, but a living area. It was crammed with even more junk than the shop, and Brand was positive he crashed into half of it stumbling to the bedroom with Levi, who was busy getting his hands up Brand’s shirt and kissing the breath out of him. Brand found him just as soft and squeezable as he’d hoped, and the sounds he made when kissed… well, Brand just tried not think about his mental rule not to date. It didn’t count as a date if it was one dinner that somehow went right.

They ended up making out on top of a bed covered in quilts (and half a prosthetic leg, before Levi shoved it off), shirts up and flies open, before Levi shoved him down. Brand was even surprised enough to let him; usually it was him doing the shoving.

Levy mapped Brand’s body with hands and tongue, and god, it’d been forever. Normally, Brand preferred to stay in charge and never let anyone touch him below the belt, never mind get him off, but Levi touched him like it was okay to be the kind of guys they were, and seemed completely unbothered by any of it; maybe he never had been. He kissed the freckles at the corners of Brand’s eyes, and then his beard was tickling Brand’s stomach and Brand was very, very glad to have stopped by his place to grab something he was okay with Levi sucking.

Brand tried to reach down and bury his hand in Levi’s hair, but Levi moved it to the cord behind his ear.

“Here. Touch me here, it—oh fuck!”

Brand didn’t pause to think, he just buried his fingers in it and enjoyed.

Afterward, as Levi purred and snuggled into his side, Brand’s fingers found the cord again, idly toyed with it. Levi arched into it with a sigh.

“Man, you dirty,” Brand teased. “Playing with this in front of me.”

Levi poked him. “It’s not like that, come on! It just… itches sometimes.”

“Uh huh. You make it like that on purpose?”

“Well, you know. My junk never worked well. And when the implant accidentally hit some sensory stuff, I mean, why not, right?” Pause, then a light tap against Brand’s dick. “I can totally improve on that, you know.”

Brand thought about how Levi had squirmed and wailed when his implant was touched right. He thought about the possibilities.

“Mm.” He played with the fuzz on the back of Levi’s neck. “Yeah. Sounds fair.”

Lightfire never did succeed in shutting Levi down.

Date: 2017-04-18 01:28 am (UTC)
buttonsbeadslace: drawing of a high-heeled boot (Default)
From: [personal profile] buttonsbeadslace
I wish I had a more substantial comment to make but ahh this is lovely.

Date: 2017-04-18 03:05 am (UTC)
buttonsbeadslace: drawing of a high-heeled boot (Default)
From: [personal profile] buttonsbeadslace
:) I saw it! Thanks!

Date: 2017-04-18 02:26 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
Jay, Daron and I like this. Jay says he's reminded of home wit hthis-and it's got him in this weird mode between what he is now, and what he was then...his past is interesting and you'll have to ask him about it later, but...yeah. We wouldn't mind seeing more of this. ... And all of us trying to use the fingers: Not gunna work guys. xd

Lightfire sounds like a nasty ass though.

-Fallon~

Date: 2017-04-18 01:57 pm (UTC)
brin_bellway: forget-me-not flowers (Default)
From: [personal profile] brin_bellway
This is an interesting setting, and I'm definitely curious to hear more about it.

Date: 2017-04-19 12:30 am (UTC)
starways: Photo of a section of a nebula, which is mostly colorful and gaseous but has several bright and distinct stars (Default)
From: [personal profile] starways
THIS IS AMAZING AND WE LOVE IT SO MUCH!! Trans queers in an absolutely fantastic sci-fi world! Disabled prosthetists! FUCK YEAH! As soon as we're graduated and have money to throw at people, we're totally throwing money at this.

Date: 2017-04-23 01:17 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: Claudia from Warehouse 13 all in purple, text: if I only could make a deal with God (WH13: Claudia: deal with god)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Hee. Cute story, and I love the worldbuilding details!

Date: 2017-06-04 09:25 pm (UTC)
thatlasswiththechocobos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatlasswiththechocobos
Ahahaha this is AMAZING - I love it! It's beautiful and hilarious and adorable and sexy and just. So good. <3

Date: 2017-06-06 08:26 pm (UTC)
thatlasswiththechocobos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatlasswiththechocobos
I'd love to see more of their adventures if there's any!
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