“What’s your name?” Patrick asks, probably on the late side. He rubs his hand over the warm, dark skin in front of him, feeling the places that he’s been. This is usually his favorite part. This is usually done with someone he knows.
“Pete,” the man answers. His voice is rough and low, muffled, head pillowed on Patrick’s thigh. He’s smiling faintly.
Patrick hums in response and runs his fingers carefully down Pete’s spine. There’s welts, thick and raised and bruising just a little, but Pete whines every time Patrick tries to soothe them down with ointment. The part of Patrick that’s been in the scene for a while is screaming at him to take control again, to make Pete let him take care of him. The rest of him is content like this.
The music is dim enough from inside the play room that Patrick can barely hear it, but he hums along anyway, bringing Pete up slow and steady. He hasn’t done this for a long time, too busy bouncing between helping out at the studio and playing sound engineer for anyone that will let him near their system. It had seemed like enough for a while, like he could be content just being- regular? Normal? Someone that doesn’t beat people with belts to get off.
“I’ve never seen you here,” Pete says sleepily. He rubs his cheek against Patrick’s thigh, stubble catching on the denim. He’s still naked, knelt down on the padded floor like he belongs there. In the dim light, his tattoos look almost like burns.
“New to the city,” Patrick replies. It’s true in a way. He hasn’t gone many places outside of his apartment and the venues close enough to bus to. There’s nothing exciting about being a homebody.
Pete winces when Patrick skips his fingers over a particularly thick welt. The skin isn’t broken, but it could have been if Patrick would have hit just a bit harder. He thinks about Pete strung up on the x-frame, hands tensing and loosening, head dipped forward. He thinks about the soft, pitiful sound Pete made at the first blow. It makes his chest flutter, makes him feel proud of this complete stranger for being able to take it all so well. He’s not hard any more, can’t think about anything even remotely sexual when he’s at this part of the game, but he still feels his dick twitch at the thought.
“Do you want to stand?” Patrick asks, tucking his fingers into the dark mess of Pete’s hair. Pete shakes his head. He arches his back up a little, tries to urge Patrick’s hand back down. Patrick tugs at Pete’s hair gently. “Hey. You can’t stay kneeling. Up or down?”
“Down,” Pete says eventually. He doesn’t move on his own, still clinging to Patrick’s legs. It’s- kind of endearing. His hands are all tangled up in Patrick’s belt, holding it close to him like it’s precious. Patrick had given it to him at the end of the scene, let him hang onto it as something to ground him.
Patrick helps him down slowly. Stretched out on the floor, Pete looks wrung out. He rolls onto his back and hisses. Patrick hasn’t dealt with anyone quite like this. He places a foot gently on Pete’s hip, pressing down until Pete whines.
“No,” Patrick says. “We’re done playing right now. You’re going to let me take care of you, or I’m going to leave.” Patrick hopes he doesn’t have to leave. This really is his favorite part.
“Don’t,” Pete says. He looks kind of scared, like he’s not really ready to be on his own. Patrick squats next to him and runs a hand over his thigh, soothing him like a timid animal. He wonders if Pete’s always like this.
“Just let me take care of you, okay? I don’t want your back to get fucked up.” He puts pressure on Pete’s hip until Pete finally rolls onto his stomach. “Talk to me.” Patrick reaches behind him for the ointment on the bench, keeping his hand on Pete’s leg. It seems to settle him. “Tell me about yourself.”
“Not a lot to tell,” Pete says, muffled against his folded arms.
“I’m sure you can think of something,” Patrick replies idly, thumbing the cap of the tube. The slick sound of him rubbing his palms together sounds almost dirty.
“I have a lot of issues.” Pete sucks in a sharp breath when Patrick touches him, curling into the floor. Patrick shushes him, running his palms down Pete’s back gently. The welts are fading quickly, but Patrick doesn’t want to hurt him any more than he has to. “Sometimes I like to be beaten until I faint.”
“Sometimes I like to hit people until they scream,” Patrick says dryly, working his thumbs into the dimples at the small of Pete’s back. It’s warm here, the skin smooth and soft. The noise Pete makes sounds good, sounds like it’s something he could like. Patrick presses harder. “I think we’re pretty level.”
Pete laughs into his arms. He doesn’t speak again, just shifts against Patrick’s hands and moans softly whenever Patrick hits a knot. This is nice, Patrick thinks. Easy. Good. He could do this for days. He can feel Pete relaxing under his hands, can feel the tension leaving him in slow, steady waves. There’s something powerful about knowing that he can do this.
“Don’t fall asleep on me,” Patrick says. He brushes a hand over the crest of Pete’s ass. Under him, Pete laughs a little.
“Nah.” He rolls onto his back again, naked and proud and grinning. “Wouldn’t want to miss out.” The Pete Patrick saw in the front room is back. “We still have time in here, if you want to keep things going.”
“Tempting,” Patrick says. And god, it is. But Patrick’s got an itch to get back to the party and a thump of nerves growing in his stomach every time Pete looks at him. He tries not to be disappointed when Pete reaches for his boxers.
“You break my heart, Rick.” Pete pulls his clothes on slowly, unhurried. Patrick feels like he’s about to miss out on something that could be good. Something that could be beautiful.
The timer in the corner of the room goes off, beeping cheerily. Patrick swallows down the strange urge to ignore it. There’s rules for a reason and if they’re not out soon a DM is going to come in and make them get out. Instead, he straightens the room up and keeps his back turned as Pete gathers himself up, listening to the sound of his shuffling.
“So. Thanks,” Pete says. He’s got his hands jammed into his pockets when Patrick turns to look at him, rocking back onto his heels. He smiles tightly, all the stress already back in the set of his shoulders.
“Yeah.” Patrick wants to- to something. Leaving like this doesn’t feel right at all. “So, uh. Do you-”
“I’m here every weekend,” Pete says, cutting him off. “If you wanted to play again.”
“Yeah,” Patrick repeats. This, this is better.
Something in him loosens up as he leaves the playroom with Pete at his side, heading back to the loud, crowded club. He jerks when Pete grabs him, kisses him. By the time he’s got his bearings Pete’s pulling away, grinning like he’s done something hilarious. He backs away until he fades into the crowd, leaving Patrick alone again.
Maybe this can be Patrick’s normal. He could live with that.