Search and rescue

by BRK

Roger treks deep into the rainforest to find his lost fiancé, Luke, unaware that Luke no longer needs to be rescued.

Added: 3 Apr 2021 3,552 words 915 views 4.8 stars (8 votes) This story was commissioned via Patreon.

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R
Roger almost slipped for the third time as they negotiated the rocky, uphill portage around the narrow waterfall.

“This is insane, Roger!” Chad called up from behind him. He had to shout to be heard over the roaring water. “We need to get back to the hotel before the storm hits!”

Roger gained the top of the crag and straightened, his boots giving him just enough purchase on the wet, mossy rock. Even the rocks were a vivid green in this place. He felt green in the metaphorical sense, though he was kitted out like he knew what he was doing. He forced down that thought and any others but the one that mattered. “I have to find him!” he shouted back.

They were close to where he’d gone missing. He glanced into the forest to the right again and frowned. Was that—had that been a face? He wasn’t sure—it was just a glimpse, but that had definitely looked a lot like a tanned, human face peeking out from the behind one of the broad, close-set trees, almost invisible in the shadows, a little ways into the woods that seemed to be marching up the slope with them only meters away. It had moved so quickly, though. And if it was his fiancé…?

No. Even after a month, Luke wouldn’t be hiding from him. He’d be rushing out to greet them, if only to tear Roger a new one for coming out here after him—the armchair botanist chasing the lost expert jungle explorer.

He shook his head and resumed his climb up the trail, watching to make sure he placed his feet to avoid sliding down the ravine, all while resolutely ignoring the rapidly darkening sky lowering above them. He thought about that glimpse of a face again. No, his mind was playing tricks on him, which was disconcerting but not surprising under such stressful circumstances. He knew Chad was right about it being the wiser course to go back, but he hoped he was wrong when it came to actual insanity being involved.

“The local authorities are—” Chad started to say.

Roger rounded on him. “You didn’t have to come!” he bellowed over the falls.

Chad’s eyes rounded briefly in surprise, then narrowed in anger. He stood his ground, what there was of it—he was standing on a narrow, slightly pitched rock a foot or so below the crag Roger was on, clearly incensed. “If you think I’m going to abandon my kid brother in a Central American rainforest—!”

“Come on then!” Roger barked, cutting him off. He started to turn back to the trail, but just then a fat drop of water smacked the side of his cheek. Roger felt an unwelcome surge of fear—that splash of water hit the wrong cheek for it to have come from the waterfall.

Chad was looking up at the sky, his expression anxious. More raindrops began pelting down on them. “Roger…!” Chad said.

Roger growled in the back of his throat. Fuck, this wasn’t going to go as planned. They needed shelter, and maybe a rethink. “All right,” he said. “Let’s—”

With breathtaking suddenness the sky opened up and torrential rain came pouring down on them. This changed everything, Roger knew. Shelter was no longer the issue—in a storm like this they’d be lucky just to get down the slope in one piece. Maybe the path upslope was short enough to risk going that way? He quickly looked up through the deluge just in time to see a new waterfall spring into being over the lip of the cliff above and start gushing down the slope, straight for him and Chad.

“Roger, look out!” Chad yelled. Something moved in the trees in his peripheral vision, but before Roger could look that way the water hit him hard in the chest, smacking him with such force he was thrown from the crag he was standing on.

His stomach dropped. Hearing Chad cry out he turned just in time to see the cascade smash into him and hurl him off the slope as well.

Everything was happening too fast. Roger threw his arm out as he fell, trying to grab at his brother, but Chad was just out of reach. “Chad!” he screamed, but the noise of the violent deluge and the torrential downpour swallowed all other sounds.

In a single second Roger’s panic became unbearable anguish as his brother plummeted with him toward the lush, steaming ravine far below them, their hands straining futilely toward each other. He had killed them both, and all because his love for his beautiful, sweet Luke had subsumed everything in him, body, soul, and mind—

Another dark blur in his peripheral vision, and then a sudden, violent lurch as something grabbed him in mid-fall. “Got you!” a voice said in his ear. Strong arms held him fast. He threw his own arms around a bare, hard-muscled torso. It was smooth and wet and somehow achingly familiar. He clung to it fiercely as they moved through the air, his legs dangling helplessly below him. The rush of the new waterfall relentlessly battered his savior’s flared back and Roger’s arms as well as he held on for his very life, while the storm continued pounding on them and everything else, seemingly from all sides.

Roger panted into a pale, wet neck, his heart racing uncontrollably. Against all odds, he knew whom he was holding onto, though the impossibility of it on top of the terror was threatening to unbalance him. He started to say the name, but then a single rational though pushed up through the mayhem. “Chad!” he panted. “We have to save—”

“I know!” Luke said. “Hold on!”

Suddenly they plummeted, and Roger let out a scream, clutching onto Luke’s torso as tightly as he could. He finally dared to turn his head and look. Chad was halfway down the long slope, clinging to a rocky outcropping, but the water from the new cascade was smashing mercilessly down on him as if trying to dislodge him from the world itself. They were hurtling directly toward him, Luke’s arm outstretched.

Roger couldn’t quite make sense of it. He glanced behind them and gasped. The waterfall and unceasing rain under dark rainclouds made it hard to see clearly, but Roger had no doubt what he was seeing: the sinuous, dark-scaled body of an enormous snake, at least a foot in diameter and impossibly long. He followed the length of the powerful body into the forest where the end was wound fast around two mighty trees a good ways up the slope, abreast of where Roger had been standing when the storm and cascade combined to pitch him off the slope. As they moved, the massive snake moved with them, tightening with a sudden strain as its immense length abruptly reached its limit.

No. What—? That’s not—“Luke?” he whimpered against wet skin, overwhelmed.

Strong arms gripped him even tighter. “Hold on!!” Luke commanded, and it struck Roger that he didn’t just mean physically.

Roger knew he was a stubborn man. He resolved to hold on. He tightened his own grip and tried to clear his mind as he turned to look at what was happening below him.

They had reached Chad. Water filled the air around them, though Luke’s body was shielding Roger from the worst of it. They were almost upside-down as Luke strained to reach Chad with his left arm outstretched. As he watched, his heart in his throat, Chad made a supreme effort and grabbed at Luke’s hand. Skin smacked audibly against skin amid the noise of the downpour. Luke snatched Chad’s wrist, clasping it tightly, and Chad wrapped his fist around Luke’s wrist as well and held fast. Yes! They had him!

But nothing was happening. The uncanny might of the newborn waterfall was against them, working with unceasing force to wrest Chad out of Luke’s grasp, and Luke didn’t have enough leverage yet. Roger heard him grunting with exertion as he tried to pull Chad away from the deluge.

Roger moved his lips closer to Luke’s ear. “You can do it,” he said, clearly and firmly. “I believe in you.”

Luke was huffing with effort. He seemed to gather himself. Roger felt a brief kiss pressed against his stubbled jaw. Then there was a sudden wrench as something shifted around him.

Roger looked back and saw that Luke—somehow—that Luke——

Hold on, he told himself doggedly. Hold. on.

Two of Luke’s familiar left arms reached down to Chad now, corded muscles taut, their pale lengths converging on Chad’s upraised hand. Two hands clasped Chad tightly around the wrist and forearm now, as Chad gripped the original arm as tightly as he could.

Though his thoughts gauzy and disconnected, Roger told himself that he should have already known Luke could do this. He could feel from the beginning that he was being held protectively against Luke’s torso with two arms around his waist and another strong arm around his upper back.

He looked down at Chad looking up that them. His brother was preparing himself to be hauled free of the deluge. He ought to be staring up at us in wonder, Roger thought randomly, but pandemonium and panic trumped everything.

With a tremendous heave, Luke took Chad’s full weight and lifted him free of the waterfall and into the rain-soaked air around them. With another fierce effort he jerked them all to the left, almost hurling Chad into the safety of a small gap between the towering trees that climbed the slope to either side of the storm-twinned waterfall. Chad slid a little on the muddy soil, but was able to the latch onto the trunk of the nearest tree and regain his footing.

“Are you all right?” Roger shouted over the noise. Chad nodded and gave them a thumbs up. He looked shaken but okay, enough so that now he was able to stare in shock at Luke and what he had become.

Roger and Luke were both breathing hard. The two powerful arms Luke had just used to save Chad now wrapped around Roger, joining all the others, and affection, love, and need suddenly flooded through him now that the crisis had passed. He gripped Luke tightly to him as they straightened, the rain washing over them both.

“We need to get you two to shelter,” Luke said gently in his ear. He started to move them both closer to the trees near where Chad was, shifting his weight as though preparing to set Roger down.

“Don’t you dare let go of me,” Roger said, holding his man close. He wasn’t letting go of Luke, anyway, no matter what had changed about him. Not now, not ever again.

Luke pulled his head back enough so they could look at each other, and Roger did the same. He almost expected to see a bald, scale-covered head and protruding, glittering snake eyes. But it was his Luke. Thick ash-blond hair cropped short on the sides, wet with rain and still sexy as anything… dark blond eyebrows over bright, mischievous blue eyes… a long, perfectly planed face with sweet, pink lips that seemed permanently quirked in a cocky half-smirk. Even now, in the wake of their near-death experience and the shock of an impossible revelation, that twisted smile pierced Roger’s heart.

“You sure?” Luke said, his love for Roger shining from cerulean eyes. Six brawny arms shifted their grip on him again, as if to remind Roger of their existence.

Roger moved his thumbs slowly up and down the wet skin of Luke’s back, a familiar gesture that made Luke’s smile blossom into a still-crooked grin that stiffened Roger’s dick in his sodden cargo pants. “Never more sure,” he said.


Luke moved the nearer part of himself onto solid ground near Chad, then carefully unwound his far end from the sturdy-looking trees he’d been using to brace himself. Now free to move he began slithering through the forest with Roger still held fast in his arms, his grip loosened enough so that they could look at each other as they went, occasionally grinning at the jubilation of having found each other again. Chad tromped alongside them through the trees, glancing up and behind them now and then as if constantly needing to confirm that, yes, Luke was part monster snake now. For his part, Roger didn’t even look around at all the unusual plants and growths in this part of the rainforest as he normally would. He could do that later; right now he only had eyes for his amazing, transformed man.

Under the canopy the noise and impact of the rain was considerably lessened, and the trip had the calm feel of an aftermath. As they went, Luke explained that his last expedition had gone awry right at the start: he had gotten separated from his team only to get bitten by a very rare species of snake whose venom caused people with a certain genetic marker to transform, slowly and painfully, into snake people. The snake itself was almost never encountered, and even in the case of a bite the odds against having the right genetics to transform were astronomical; Luke, as it turned out, was the first snake person in these parts in eighty years.

“Wait,” Chad broke in, “how do you know all of this?”

“There’s a village half a day or so from here,” Luke said. “Maybe faster for me now,” he added with that crooked grin, and Roger smiled back. “We were based there, and after I went missing they sent some of the men out looking for me. When they found me, already mostly transformed, they send for the wise woman. She came out and helped me through the final stages. I’m still in contact with them. I don’t eat much now, but one of the boys brings me hoagies a couple of times a week, and in return I teach him about Babylonian mythology.”

Roger raised his eyebrows, not sure if he was being snowed or not. Luke was good at winding tales for an appreciative audience, though they were usually mostly true. “Hoagies?” he asked skeptically.

Luke shrugged. “They’re really good at hoagies. I’m not sure what’s in ‘em, though,” he added with a wink.

“Hopefully not snake. Why Babylonian mythology?”

“The kid wants to be an historian, and he’s interested in comparative ancient religion.”

“Of course, that typical boyhood obsession,” Roger said, playing along. “I remember when I was a boy… big poster of Ishtar on my wall, always building Towers of Babel with popsicle sticks…”

“You,” Luke said fondly, “are not typical in any way.”

“Said the beautiful, six-armed snake person.”

“You two need to get a room,” Chad said. He sounded like someone who was still unsure he hadn’t smacked his head on the side of all of the cliff and wasn’t dreaming his brother’s fiancé turning into a snake person.

Just then they rounded the lower side of a large promontory and came alongside a largish cave, which they entered. The interior was surprisingly extensive, and off to one side Roger observed a large, sturdily-built table and a marching set of shelves with various books and belongings, though there were no chairs and no bed that he could see. “Voila,” Luke said with a grin.

He slid further inside and finally set Roger on his feet. Roger, a little disappointed to be disengaged from Luke, stepped back with Chad and watched in fascination while Luke brought the rest of his impressive link into the cavern and coiled it neatly up behind him.

A wide fissure at the back of the main area seemed to form a natural hearth and flue, one that had probably been used by forest-dwellers, hunters, and the occasional snake person for hundreds or thousands of years. Chad spotted this and the wood stacked next to it and got to work starting a fire.

As Chad conjured light and warmth in their new shelter, Roger seized the opportunity to take a good, long look at his fiancé. Luke seemed amenable to being thoroughly ogled, as always. His clean, glistening upper body was just as Roger remembered, mostly: that sculpted, generously-muscled gymnast’s torso was slightly extended with three sets of perfect, squared-off pecs packed close together, each powering a set of muscled, graceful arms whose embrace Roger longed to feel again. Further down his exquisite, hard-carved eight-pack seemed to have been extended with new, wider rows of abs merging almost seamlessly into the scaled beauty of his rippling, salmon-colored underbelly.

Roger kept going, amazed at the extent of Luke’s transformation. The full expanse of his snake body was at least fifty feet long and a half-meter in diameter at its widest, with sleek midnight-black scales so lustrous they almost looked purple in the growing light of Chad’s fire. Roger found himself marveling at just how much powerful muscle was coiled up before him, and was surprised to find the thought intensely arousing.

Luke’s crooked grin was as cocky as it got. He deftly lowered himself back so that he was reclining on his own coils, like a potentate luxuriating in his private chambers. He spread his arms and asked, “You like what you see, don’t you?”

Roger stepped toward him, aware his leer was answer enough. His massive hard-on, obvious against the heavy, wet fabric of his trousers, prompted him to answer, “I do, but what about…” He let his eyes drop to the place where Luke’s lengthened torso shifted into his lower snakeness.

Luke’s crooked grin did not abate. “Actually, I still have that part of me too,” he said. “It’s the same as ever—maybe a little bigger. But maybe now is not the right time to show you,” he added, glancing circumspectly at Chad.

Thank you,” Chad snarked, walking over to them. Then he added, “And, Luke… thank you for saving my life.”

“Our lives,” Roger amended.

“Our lives,” Chad agreed.

Luke straightened and moved toward them across the smooth stone of the cavern floor. If you didn’t look down at the snake part he was moving on it was almost like he was walking toward them, though his movements were so smooth and fluid it was more like he was rolling in their direction. Like on a Segway, Roger thought, suppressing a snicker. He and Luke had always made fun of how uncool those were. Luke’s solution was much better.

Luke placed hands on both their shoulders, and another set on their upper arms. “I’m glad I was able to help you both,” he said sincerely. “But you do realize you were idiots to come out here after me, right?”

Chad grinned. “Don’t look at me,” he said, jerking his thumb at Roger. “He knows you’re the jungle guy, but he had to come find you.”

“I did,” Roger admitted. “I didn’t want to be without you.” He met Luke’s eyes and added, “I still don’t. Not ever.”

Luke held his gaze. “I feel the same way. But…”

“He can’t come back with us,” Chad said, stating the obvious.

Roger nodded. He looked penetratingly into Luke’s beautiful eyes and saw only love and acceptance there. Chad stepped back to stand to one side, watching them both, and Roger and Luke faced each other, Luke’s hands now on both of Roger’s shoulders and arms.

Roger knew now that Chad would have to leave his kid brother behind in the Central American rainforest after all, though with the prescience of serene certainty he had no doubts there would be many visits in the coming years. He and Pam were expecting, and Roger couldn’t wait for a family visit to see Uncle Roger and Uncle Luke. Though there were other things he was looking forward to even more.

Roger grinned and took Luke’s remaining set of hands in his. They were warm and strong. Firelight shifted around them, making the cave walls dance and the smooth scales of Luke’s long snake body glitter. Outside, rain pattered against the leaves of the high trees. “Do you think you can teach me to be a jungle guy too?” he asked.

Luke’s lips twisted into his usual heart-quickening smile, slightly crooked as always. “I do,” he said. Together they leaned in for a deep and passionate kiss that lasted for a very, very long time.

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