Written By: epicallytired
Rating: NC 17
Summary: Classicly Themed Hurt/Comfort
I leave Babylon, leave him at Babylon. I’ve got a project to work on. He knows what I’m doing but he’s not stopping me. I know he agrees, at least politically. The rest, well, that’s just business and far be it from me to stand in the way of Brian and business. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up what I believe in. I believe in our right to fuck where we want. I believe that Stockwell is a homophobic prick. I don’t know if these posters will make an impact. I think they will.
It’s cold, and I’ve already covered most of Liberty Avenue. I’m moved further from the main thoroughfares. I duck into an alley. I’ve ducked into this alley a lot since I met Brian. The brick is cold. It’s darker than I’d like but I want this entire building gift wrapped in anti-Stockwell art.
I move to put a second poster up next to the first and someone grabs my wrist. I turn to look. Fuck.
“Fuck off. I’m not breaking any laws.” I’m not entirely sure that’s true but hey, I doubt this guy would know.
“Laws of nature. Freak.”
A cold trickle of sweat starts. I’m freezing, how the hell can I be sweating? I try to twist my wrist out of his grasp. He’s strong.
He pushes me backwards and I let out a breath of relief. Scared, sure, but he can back the fuck off now… except…
I take a step away from him and back into something, someone else. He’s got his arms around my chest. Holding my arms helplessly at my sides. I’ve dropped my brush. I want it back. I could use it as a weapon… I could… what? I could get glue on his face. I struggle harder, and as the first guy comes towards me, I kick. He laughs as he catches my leg and puts pressure onto my ankle with his thumb. I want to cry out. This fucking hurts.
He and his friend take a step away from each other and now I’m not touching the ground. I try to kick out with my other foot but someone catches that leg too. I scream. I’m scared, but that’s not why I’m yelling. Three guys. I need help. I can’t take them alone.
They laugh again and literally drop me to the ground. I feel my head thunk against the asphalt. I feel the wet, cold water seep through my jeans and jacket. I move quickly to turn, get to my feet, run. Not quickly enough. I’m on my knees about to stand up when one of them plasters me back to the ground. My face pushed hard against the same asphalt my head just recently became acquainted with.
They’re throwing the words faggot and abomination around. They’re talking about showing me what it’s like to be fucked by a real man. I’m not going to panic.
I flail out. Kicking, moving my arms, but they hold me down. Rough hands at my waistband pulling at my jeans. I’m screaming. They’re laughing. I try to move but one guy is sitting on the backs of my legs. There’s another one straddling my back, one arm twisted behind me. A third is somewhere around, talking, egging them on, encouraging them.
I gather my strength and as I push against the weight of the two men sitting on top of me a hand snakes around and covers my mouth and nose. There’s a foot in front of my face and I close my eyes. I know from experience, if you’re about to get your skull bashed, it’s better if you don’t see it. He doesn’t kick me but the rough rubber sole of his shoe is pressing on my temple, pushing my face further into the puddle. I can’t breathe. When I try to inhale I get water in my lungs and as I’m coughing, I feel cold air on my ass.
I want to pass out. I don’t want this. I don’t want to remember this. That’s something else I’ve learned from experience. It’s better if the memories aren’t there.
I feel one of them push my legs further apart. A rough hand is pulling at my dick and there’s nothing that could make me hard right now. He’s laughing. I try one more time to scream and hear it as a muffled whimper. I’m going to kill these motherfuckers if they don’t kill me. I swear it.
The one on my chest presses down harder and all the air is pushed out of my body. I brace myself as I feel the pressure release a little on my legs.
He leaves me to go put up more posters. I know what he’s doing, and he’s right. Just because Stockwell is paying me… it doesn’t change my fundamental beliefs. Doesn’t change who he is either. I’m proud of him. He’s doing what he knows is right, damn the costs. How can I not be proud? Fuck, he’s paid a hell of a price for doing what he wants, and he’s still willing to try. How can I not help him? I leave. I know where he’s headed, or have an idea. He’s a creature of habit… who always surprises me. Yeah, I’ll ponder that one later.
I follow the trail of new posters, tracking him. I stop to admire his work, not just the posters, but the way he places them, the way they become more than the sum of their parts. Agit-prop art indeed.
It’s cold. I put out my cigarette and push my hands into my pockets. He got a lot done tonight, he’s further along that I’d have thought. He must be cold. I move faster. I want to help him, especially if it means that both of us will get back to a warm loft sooner. I’m watching the buildings change, moving a little further off of Liberty Avenue, when I hear a scream.
My steps speed up, but the alleys back here are labyrinthine. There are other voices. I can’t tell if it’s him. I pause, trying to get my bearings. The scream, it could have been him. It could have been anybody.
I duck down an alley, one I’m very familiar with, and I hear a muffled sob. I move further and then I see it. Three men, and… Justin… they’re… I can’t think.
The image is another that will be seared into my brain. His thighs spread, some guy, angry, muttering the words faggot and abomination while he’s stroking his own cock, there are other guys there. One of them has his foot on Justin’s head, the other sitting on his back, and I need to kill them all. I need them all dead but first, this asshole and his unprotected, ugly fucking prick need to get the fuck away from Justin. I move quickly and punch once. He falls, he’s down but not out.
Justin's not moving.
I push the guy who’s holding him down off of him. I should call the cops. I can’t think, I just need to…
Justin moves, inhaling deeply now that the weight is off his chest but his face is half in a puddle and he starts to cough.
The guys are scared, running, and I want to run after them, find out who they are, kill them, but Justin’s coughing and backing himself against the wall, trying to pull up his jeans and wipe the snot from his nose at the same time. My priorities are clear.
I move towards him and he backs away again.
“Justin.” It’s the only word I can think of.
He looks up at me, expressionless. Fear makes sense. Pain, sure. Anger, yes. Nothing? He’s in shock.
I reach out my hand, but he ignores it and stands up.
“We’ve got to get you to the hospital.”
He shakes his head. “Home. I just want to go home.”
I nod and we start to walk when I realize I’m assuming the loft but he’s not even willing to touch me. Does he mean Daphne’s? Oh, hell no. He’s not going to sweat these nightmares out alone.
I take his hand and he lets me. We’re back to where I parked the jeep. He gets in and I decide that tonight, I’m not giving him a choice. We go back to the loft. He doesn’t complain, good.
I help him out of the jeep and watch him walk. He’s limping. Out of the elevator, safely behind the locked loft door. I set the alarm. He seems unsure. I think we need to go to the hospital, and the police, and realistically that means he shouldn’t shower, but neither of us got a good look at the fuckers who did this, and even if he did press charges, nothing would come of it… and he needs a shower. The gravel and dirt from the alley are all over him. He’s shaking and cold.
He hugs himself and still hasn’t taken off his coat. I move towards him slowly, pulling his coat away. It drops to the floor, wet and muddy and ruined, but that’s fine. We’re burning everything he’s wearing. I move to take off his shirt, but he just wraps his arms around me and buries his head in my chest. I hold him, making small shushing noises that mean nothing, and don’t help him. They help me. I think he’s crying but when I stroke his hair, and run a hand along his face there are no tears. He’s shaking, but not crying. I think about slow painful deaths to nameless faceless men and try not to think about Justin’s body, bruised and exposed and… fuck, if I hadn’t been there. My grip around him tightens and he shakes a little harder. We just stay like that.
I’m in shock. I know that. Rationally I know I should go to the hospital, although I’m not in any pain. I don’t think they really did any damage. Intellectually I know that I’m not fully processing what happened. Emotionally I just can’t stand the thought of being naked. Brian tries to take my shirt off and I just… I can’t. I cling to him, holding him. I want to thank him, and to assure him I’m okay.
I’m in shock, I’m not insane, he’s going to take this hard. He thinks it’s his job to protect me. It isn’t. I’m glad that tonight he thought it was. I don’t know what he was doing in the alley. Maybe trying to stop me from putting up posters. I do know that if he hadn’t been there I’d have been…
I start to shake harder. I can’t even think the word. His grip around me tightens. He’s whispering wordless, meaningless syllables against the top of my head. He hasn’t done that in a while. Not since I first moved back in after the bashing. He’d use them to calm me down from a nightmare. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
What did work then will not work now. I want it to. I want him to replace the nightmares with pornographic images. That’s what works: Him whispering that he’s here, and I’m safe, and that he’s naked and then describing, in detail, just what we’re going to do to each other. Trust me, much better dreams. Not tonight. Tonight I can’t think about anything other than… oh god. I can’t think about anything. I pull away from him.
I take a deep breath. I don’t want my voice to shake. “I’m going to take a shower. Then I’m going home.”
I can tell by his expression he wants me here tonight. I want to be here tonight but I can’t. I just… I can’t. I move towards the bathroom and he follows.
I turn to look at him and he nods. His lips pressed tightly together, his arms crossed against his chest. I take another step and wince. Then I shrug. “I think I’m still in shock.”
“Let me help you.”
I shake my head and move to the bathroom. I close the door, that’s rare for us. I turn the water up as hot as I can stand it and start to peel off my clothes. Closing my eyes does nothing to prevent the images of the last time these jeans were below my hips. I step out of them and my ankle does hurt. There’s a thumb sized bruise blooming on it. I notice one on my calf as well and decide not to look at the rest of me just yet.
The room is full of steam. I can’t see myself in the mirror and that’s good. I step under the scalding stream of water and just let it pound into me. That’s what it feels like. Hot fists. My face hurts, I wonder if it’s bruised or just scraped. There’s a sharp pain when I inhale too deeply. I’m considering that hospital option seriously when the water starts to turn cold. Shit, I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve used up ALL the hot water. I must have been in here a while. I step out and Brian’s sitting on the counter, holding a towel. I move slowly, stepping into the thick cotton and the feel of Brian’s strong hands drying me.
He moves away to shower and he’s limping. I want to join him but I just know that’s a bad idea. He’s in there for a while. I start to worry. I sit on the counter, still in jeans and a shirt. I’m not sure how ready he is to deal with skin. I’m not sure where his head is. I need to know, but I refuse to push him to act better just because it will make me feel better. Did that once, didn’t work out too well.
I wait, and almost an hour later I hear the clunk of the hot water heater running out. He turns off the water and steps out. I rearrange my features. I remind myself to not react. The bruises are beginning to show and I’m thinking maybe we need to get him to a hospital. Instead I hold the towel out for him and he moves into it. I wrap it around him and slowly move my hands over the soft cotton, I avoid the areas where he’s bruised, it’s not hard to do. That image is seared into my corneas. I won’t forget it, I can map it with my fingertips and I only saw it for a second.
When he’s dry, but still shaking, and his teeth are chattering, even though we’re still in the bathroom and it’s still too steamy to see the mirrors, I stand up. He looks at me questioningly. I lead him to the bedroom. I left sweatpants, and a t-shirt and hoodie on the bed. He moves away from them and grabs a pair of underwear. He never wears underwear to bed, unless that’s all he’s wearing. I close my eyes but then open them again just in time to see the flash of bruising between his thighs. Harsh large bruises that were probably created by someone’s knees. Smaller finger shaped bruises, and I want to scream. It occurs to me for the first time that I might not have gotten there in the nick of time, but too late.
There were three of them… had one of them already…? I don’t know how to ask. I move to the living room. He follows mutely. Good, he’s given up on the idea of going back to Daphne’s. This is home… he has to know that. Right? I light a joint and hand it to Justin. He takes a long drag while I pour us each a couple of fingers of Beam and sit across from him.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
He downs the Beam in a single gulp. I refill his glass. He shrugs. “I was hanging posters and some closet cases decided to teach the queer a lesson.”
“And did they…?”
“Did they what? Teach me a lesson? Yeah, keep pepper spray handy.”
I nod. It’s not what I meant but anger is probably healthier than shock. “Did they hurt you?”
“Rape me. Brian, you want to know if they raped me.”
I flinch, but so does he. He says it with the bravado he’s always had, but he cringes, I can tell. I nod. “Yeah, I want to know that.”
“No you don’t.”
I freeze. The Beam about to come back up. I was too late. Too late too late too late too late. I think I’m going to cry, or be sick, or both.
He looks up at me, and then takes the last drag from the joint before putting it out and pulling his knees up, wrapping his arms around his legs and resting his chin on his knees. “No. They didn’t get a chance.”
I nod, more relieved than I can express. I feel the muscles in my neck relax. I take a deep breath and no longer feel like I can’t get enough air. “Are you hurting?”
He nods. “I think it’s all just superficial.” He runs a hand over his face. “This is probably pretty nasty looking, huh?”
I shake my head, but it is. There’s a large bruise forming on his left cheekbone. There are small marks where the gravel dug into his face. A few of them are scabbed over. I want to touch him, I’m not sure he’s ready.
“You want to go to the…”
He shakes his head. “The police can’t do shit. I don’t need a hospital. Couple of days and I’ll be fine.”
“Let’s just go to bed.”
“You go, I’ll meet you there later.”
He shrugs and follows me. I pull the covers back and he slides in, fully clothed. I tentatively lay my arm over his waist and he doesn’t resist. I wait and eventually his breathing evens out and he’s asleep. I try to sleep too.
Brian’s whispering into my ear. I’m sweaty and not sure why I fell asleep in all these clothes. I struggle out of his grip and pull the hoodie over my head. I move to kick off my sweatpants, but as I do, I remember rough hands pulling my jeans over my hips. I remember the cold of the street water against my face, and the cold of the asphalt through my jeans. I pull the hoodie off the floor and put it back on.
Brian’s watching me. Fuck, I knew I shouldn’t have stayed here tonight. I want to get out of bed, but if I do he’ll follow me. I lie back down, on my back. I close my eyes and I feel him staring at me while he pretends not to.
“Just a nightmare Brian. I get them all the time. I’m fine.”
He lights a cigarette and I keep my eyes closed and focus on my breathing the way I’m supposed to.
I guess eventually I fall asleep, because I wake up again to the sound of Brian’s voice in my ear, and the desperate need to get the fuck out of here.
This time I do get up and Brian does follow.
“Can we just not talk about it?”
“That doesn’t work, we tried that.”
“So now I should go find a therapist?”
“Just tell me what happened.”
“You were there.”
”Why were you there?”
He bites his lip and now I’m actually curious.
“Why were you there?”
I almost answer, “Needed a good back alley blowjob.” But realize that’s probably the worst answer I could give. So I try not to stare at the bruise on his face, and the small flecks of blood, all of which seem to be reminding me that I wasn’t there. Wasn’t where I should be. Wasn’t there in time.
I wait. Hoping he’ll answer my question before he presses for an answer for his. He doesn’t.
“Justin,” I prompt him. He looks up, confused. I think he forgot the question. “What happened?”
He shakes his head. “Not yet, okay?”
I nod. “Come back to bed?”
I nod again and move to a more comfortable position.
“I’m going home. I’ll talk to you later.”
I want to stop him but I don’t know how. Physically blocking him is not an option. Kissing him 'til he forgets his own name is not an option. I try something a little simpler. “Stay, okay?”
He turns to look at me and I can’t read his expression, but he nods. I move towards him and tentatively touch him. Wrapping my arms around him, I kiss his forehead and he sighs. He pulls my head down and kisses me. “I’m sorry.”
I pull away a little. “For what?”
“For doing this to you again.”
I don’t know what to say to that. It’s not like him to take responsibility for shit that’s not his fault, hell, it’s hardly like him to take responsibility for the shit that is. I shake my head. “Sorry’s bullshit.”
He smiles, it’s crooked and not complete, but it’s a start. I take his hand and lead him back to bed. I lie on my back and he curls against me. I’m going to take that as a good sign.
He asks me to stay. He does that sometimes, or used to, but he hasn’t in a while. I know he feels responsible for this. He’s not. I am, maybe. I could write it off as random bullshit but it’s hard to tell. He leads me back to bed and I curl around him. I want him to feel me here, present, whole, his. One of us should sleep, if this helps him, I can relax and let him hold me.
He does fall back asleep, his hand resting on my back, my face in the crook of his neck. I wrap my other arm around his chest. I just inhale his scent, warm, musky, smoky, with a hint of his cologne, even after he showers. It’s soothing. I close my eyes and I picture the men who tried to hurt… who tried to rape me. I have to get used to that. I have to keep my guard up. I have to get some pepper spray, or a gun. And really, I probably shouldn’t go wandering down dark alleys alone in the middle of the night. It’s the first rule of safety right after “look both ways before crossing the street.”
A couple of hours later he’s awake again. It’s almost eight, he won’t go back to sleep. I move slowly, kissing down his chest. I want to taste him. I want him to get that peaceful look that he gets only after a morning blowjob, and really only after one with me. I’ve seen him with other tricks. He doesn’t let go the way he does with…
He’s pulling at my hand. I look up and he looks less than peaceful. I give him a small smile. Kissing him, my hands running over his thighs, and then back up to his chest. my mouth moving to his cock, sucking and licking his balls. Tasting him, touching him, feeling his strength and his warmth and his reassuring presences. I crawl back up his body, leaving kisses across his abdomen and neck. I let my mouth hover over his for a minute. Our eyes meet and then I kiss him. His hands don’t move. He’s afraid to touch me and that pisses me off. I pull away from him and slowly unzip my sweatshirt. I start to pull my shirt over my head but a sharp pain makes me stop. He sees it and sits up. Helping me with my shirt. “Let me see.”
I try to pull my shirt back down but he gives me a look and I know that I can’t just avoid being naked until I’m healed. I’m really not sure if I need a hospital or not. I can tell what he thinks by the sharp intake of breath when my shirt comes off. I know he wants to do the same thing with my sweatpants. He wants to see the damage, assess the damage, and fix the damage. He won’t. His hands hover at my waist but never move to my waistband.
I slowly pull my sweatpants off and push them to the bottom of the bed. I lie on my back and close my eyes. I can’t watch him do this. I just can’t.
I feel his touch, soft and gentle. He prods at a sore spot and I move away. His hands are warm and he’s careful but I know he’s touching each bruise and I haven’t really examined them myself yet. I let Brian’s fingers map them out for me. It’s a prettier picture that way, trust me.
His fingers are between my thighs now and I can feel the heat of Brian’s hand and the tenderness where the man’s knees prodded me open. I flinch at the memory and Brian’s hands pull away. He’s pushing at my hip. I’m not sure I can do this. My back hurts, and I don’t know if I can let him see this but he’s whispering in my ear. “Just let me see.”
I roll over and he’s ghosting his fingers over my ass, and my legs. His lips are soft and wet and when they kiss what I know is an ugly bruise I start to cry. He licks gently at the delicate skin and I am so grateful for him today I don’t have words for it.
His mouth continues to kiss each spot as if he really can make it all better. He can’t. We both know that. I would have thought all my wide-eyed innocent belief in safety got knocked out of me with a bat. Turns out, I had to have it knocked out again, and again and I wonder if it’ll ever be gone. Sometimes I’m glad it’s not. Today, I wish it had been removed with the bone fragments after the bashing.
His mouth is on my ass now. He’s being careful. More careful than he’s ever been. His tongue moving over my hole. I don’t know if he just wants to make me come or if he’s checking to make sure I’m not lying to him. I wouldn’t lie about something like that. I think he knows that. I think he just wants me to come.
He’s pulling my cheeks apart and licking me, his tongue probing each fold of skin until I feel so wet and open I swear he could fuck me right now, without lube.
His mouth is on my balls, and as he runs a hand over my cock I wince. It’s scraped raw from that guy’s hand and then it was pressed into the asphalt and gravel and I’m just not that kinky.
He pulls away, and I roll over. I look at him and he’s staring at my hard cock, the bright red marks prominent, the small nick in the skin from a piece of gravel mesmerizing to him.
I shake my head. “It’ll heal.”
He looks like he’s about to say something but stops.
“Brian, please. I want you.”
He shakes his head. “You’re not ready.”
“I am. If you’re not, I’ll understand.”
He leans over to kiss me and pull him on top of me, wrapping my legs around him and ignoring the bruises that are hitting his hipbones. “Please.”
He buries his head in my neck.
“Like this. So I can see it’s you. Please.”
I risk letting go of him with one arm and reach for a condom. His hand meets mine; he’s reaching for the lube.
I lay back, crossing my arms over my eyes and enjoying the feel of his gentle fingers, slick and long, stroking me from the inside. I let my knees fall further apart and before he moves on top of me again he lays a few gentle kisses on the insides of my thighs. I squeeze my eyes shut against the tears and when he fills me, slowly, inching forward into me, I arch into him, taking him deeper, letting him know I’m there with him.
We find our rhythm. It’s slow, and gentle and he’s looking at me, I can feel it. I lift my arms up a little so I can see him, and he’s watching me carefully. I smile and reach out to stroke his face. He kisses my cheek, butterfly kisses, covering the red flecks that will be gone in a few days, but for the moment remind us both that the world is dangerous.
Then his movements become rapid. I wrap my legs around him and cling to him as we both come.
I’m crying. He is too. Not weeping, just… overwhelmed.
His head is buried in my neck. He’s stroking my hair. “I was so scared.”
He pulls back and kisses the tears that are pooling in the corners of my eyes. We just stay like that until we both fall back asleep.