something i have not yet proofread. sort of part 4/a side thing i guess

warnings: prostitution, rape/non-con fetish, actual rape/non-con, hurt/comfort

It’s not the crying; Justin almost always cries. And it’s not the inscrutable way he (always) looks at him afterward, like Scooter is something alien to him, some strange and potentially dangerous animal. He’s so wary, and Scooter has never known whether to believe in that look or in the words I trust you, I do off Justin’s full lips.

No, it’s not that - that’s not what has Scooter running cold water over his hand, fingers pink with heat where he’d distractedly reached bare-handed to take the teakettle off the stove. “Shit,” he breathes, kills the flame and wraps a towel around the pot-handle to move it. Justin had been fine.

Better than fine, actually. Not shaky, not gasping and shuddery the way he always is - dead calm, totally steady. Righting his clothes with careful, deliberate gestures and excusing himself to the bathroom with a quiet I’ll just be a moment, go ahead downstairs.

It shouldn’t be so unsettling. He should be used to this by now, to being with someone almost impossible to read - someone he’s more comfortable holding down

over the back of the couch as Justin struggles, one of Justin’s wrists caught in his fist and held pinned against the upholstery, other hand clapped over Justin’s mouth - fingers curling in against the warm wetness of his tongue, unconsciously mirroring the movement of his hips as he thrusts, never gentle -

than talking to, sometimes. He should be used to second-guessing everything out of Justin’s mouth, wondering how much is real and how much is - just humoring him. He should be used to wondering whether the person he’s growing to care about so much really exists.

“You’re so fucking beautiful,” he’s gasping into the sweat-damp skin of Justin’s neck, bare above the collar of the shirt Scooter didn’t even try to get off him - just shoved it up out of the way to palm at his abs, chest, the peaks of his nipples. “I want you so much, give it up to me - ” He’s fucking him, taking him, pushing for something real and visceral and honest. “I have to have you, baby, you’re perfect,” he’s saying, maybe a little desperate because sometimes it feels like the closest he’ll ever get.

“Is that for me?”

Scooter looks up from where he’s found himself curling his still-throbbing fingers (familiar gesture) around a cube of ice from the freezer. There’s a mug of tea on the counter steeping, chamomile like Justin makes himself before bed sometimes, the cheap store brand Justin once joked made him homesick and then shut his mouth like he hadn’t meant to say the words aloud. Justin does that more and more lately - tells him things by accident. Scooter won’t let himself believe it means anything yet, but he stores away every little detail like if he collects enough of them he’ll be able to stack them up into a person, someone whole and present and permanent.

But right now there’s tea. He made Justin tea, somewhere between burning his hand and opening the freezer door. “Uh. Yeah, that’s for you.”

He watches as Justin picks up the cup. His fingers are longer than Scooter’s, overlap as he cradles it and blows over the rim lightly. He has pretty hands - artistic, like a musician’s. Everything about him is pretty, which is an understatement. It would be distracting (it usually is) if Scooter weren’t already preoccupied.

“Are you okay?” They both say it at the same time. Scooter is caught off-guard, stutters and stops short; Justin is calm, indecipherable. Or maybe not. Scooter isn’t so far away he can’t see ripples forming on the surface of Justin’s drink. Justin is breathing slow and deep like it takes effort, not quiet enough to be lost under the drip of melting ice water from between Scooter’s fingers.

Scooter repeats the question, alone this time. “I’m fine,” Justin says, but he cracks a little bit more, bends his face down over his mug so he can pretend Scooter won’t see him blink back tears.

Scooter doesn’t move; he’s afraid if he reaches for Justin he’ll close up, shrug and flash that thin, hard smile that means Scooter would have better luck asking him to marry him on the moon than repeating whatever question he’d just asked. So Scooter stays where he is, helpless dread congealing in the pit of his stomach because he’s almost not even surprised when Justin finally says:

“I wanted you to stop.” He doesn’t say it like an accusation, just a fact, a line in a conversation he’s having with the mug in his hands and not the man a few steps from him (he might as well be in another house altogether). “I wanted to say - you know, the word, but. Your hand.”

“Justin - ” Scooter is suddenly conscious of that hand, the throbbing ache in his fingers and sliver of half-melted ice that he flings into the kitchen sink in disgust. The sound makes Justin suck in a short breath, startled, and Scooter is struck by the reality of what he is to Justin, what he just did to him.

He takes a step back. “I - the car, I think I left the windows down, I should - ” and he’s striding quickly (running away) toward the garage, needing to be alone (needing Justin to be safe).

Justin’s eyes are red from crying, but he’s smiling that lazy half-smile of his, hair bath-damp and wearing one of Scooter’s old t-shirts instead of his own. “You’re always so sweet to me after,” he’s murmuring, perched on Scooter’s lap and reaching to clasp his hands behind Scooter’s neck.

“Is it because you want to be or because you feel guilty?”

His breath is warm against Scooter’s skin and he says it lightly, like a joke, but Scooter shakes his head. “I’m sweet to you after,” he replies, “because that’s when you let me be sweet to you.”

“Don’t feel guilty,” Justin says as though he didn’t even listen to Scooter’s response (as though he sees through him like glass). Presses his mouth to Scooter’s for a second. “I can take it. Maybe I even like it sometimes.”

“Sometimes?” Scooter asks, sharply, but Justin’s gone sphinx-like and only shrugs, stifles a yawn.

“So how about another one of those great massages while you’re being so sweet?”

Justin’s fingers are cool around Scooter’s wrists, gently pulling his hands from where they’d been covering his face. “Don’t,” Scooter says, but Justin only looks at him, eyes red but dry, and says “Come inside, I’m not wearing shoes.”

“I’m sorry,” is all Scooter can manage, and he’s not sure whether he’s referring to Justin’s bare feet on the dirty concrete floor of his garage or to what he can’t name, can only keep thinking about around its edges (I’m sorry for my fingers in your mouth, I’m sorry you couldn’t tell me to stop, I’m sorry I didn’t make sure you were okay -). “I’m so sorry, Justin - ”

He lets himself be pulled toward the doorway for a few steps and stops. “Do you want to go home?” Justin looks at him sharply so he continues, “If you don’t want to sleep here, I can drive you home or call a cab or - whatever.” He’s suddenly sick with the thought that Justin has spent the past hour under the obligation to spend the rest of the night sharing a bed with someone who.

He shudders with it, but Justin only stares at him, looking numb. “This is home. Come on, already.”