Adam doesn't know how he's managed to get into such a mess, but then he's pretty sure no one knows how they end up in an abusive relationship. If there were signs, then Adam had missed them. Craig was his first boyfriend. Adam met him the first day he started college and after a few weeks, they had started dating. To start with, Craig had been romantic, kind, patient, the perfect loving boyfriend and Adam had thought it would always be that way, that maybe he would always stay with his first boyfriend. He wouldn't be one of those people who went through life searching for love. But then things had changed. After a few months it seemed like love had turned to hatred for Craig and the fighting seemed to never end. Adam had never had a boyfriend before Craig. He didn't know what to do when they started fighting.
He was too embarrassed to ask any of his friends if they had similar problems, because none of them were with their first boyfriends. They were all more experienced than he was and he knows none of them would put up with such hatred, but Adam didn't want to be alone and things had been so good with Craig in the beginning. For a long time Adam convinced himself that they could get back to that, back to the way things had started. And then the violence started; first a shove, then a slap and it kept getting worse and now he was in his second year and starting to get sick of it. Craig was his first boyfriend, his first everything, but that didn't mean he had to stay with Craig. He knows he needs to get out, but when he tells Craig things should end, Craig does not agree and he attacks Adam. Adam goes to the ER alone, Craig's pleas to come back still ringing in his ears. He's sat cradling his wrist when a guy around his age comes and sits down in the empty seat beside Adam. He looks familiar, but Adam can't place him.
"You're in my music class, well not mine, I'm not a teacher, but the music class I'm in," The guy rambles and Adam has to admit, it's cute as hell, just like the guy himself and for over a year, Adam has looked at no one but Craig, his first, but he's determined that he will leave Craig. He could cope with the random bouts of hatred, the verbal fights, but he can't live with the physical violence which is only getting worse.
"Yeah, um, I'm Adam," He doesn't offer to shake hands, because it's his right wrist that is killing him. He's not sure if it's broken or strained and he doesn't even want to think about how it happened, how violent Craig had gotten with him.
"Tommy, I've seen you around," Tommy says, brushing back his blonde hair. His eyes are warm and brown and he looks nothing like Craig and right now Adam could do with someone pretty to look at right now, someone not like his first boyfriend.
"I'm not stealing anyone's seat am I?" Tommy asks.
"No, I came alone," His wrist is probably sprained. He hopes it's not broken. He doesn't want things to have gotten that bad. He doesn't want to know that his first boyfriend, the first man he ever slept with broke one of his bones. Physical violence is one thing, but for some reason that would be worse to him somehow.
"Me too," Tommy sighs and Adam looks Tommy over. He's in a T-shirt and jeans. He's not holding any of his body strangely, and Adam can't see anything visibly wrong with him.
"It would be rude to ask what is wrong, right?" Adam says softly.
"No, it's cool. My friends want me to get my ribs looked at. I think they are just bruised. I got in a fight," Tommy admits.
"You don't look like the fighting type," Adam says, which is stupid really. He hadn't thought Craig looked like the violent type, but then what does the violent type look like?
"Some asshole attacked my friend. I just stood up for them and took a few hits. I don't like fighting and Sutan likes it even less, but sometimes you have to, to stand up for people. I'm not saying getting violent is the right thing to do, but I had to do something," Tommy explains.
"I'm not good at fighting, I avoid it whenever I can, even just verbal," Adam sighs. He tries not to fight, but fighting seems to be all he and Craig do these days. Craig says he loves him, but Adam sees the hatred in his eyes.
"Neither am I, which is why I got hit, but it gave my friend a chance to call the cops. I remember when my parents were talking me into going to college. They said that it was better than high school, different, but you get the same homophobic bullshit," Tommy sighs heavily and Adam thinks what he wants to ask is rude again, but he wants to know.
"Your friend who was attacked, they're gay?" Adam asks.
"Yeah, Sutan's gay and so am I. They started shit about which one of us was the 'girl'. It was stupid. But it turned violent," Tommy sighs.
"I'm sorry, that's terrible. I go to LGBT meetings, maybe you and your friend should check it out, no hatred in that room," Adam suggests.
"That might be a good idea. Can I ask how you hurt your wrist?" Tommy asks.
Adam takes a deep breath. He plans to report Craig to the police, to finally report the physical violence he's been receiving at the hands of his first and only boyfriend. He thinks maybe if he can tell a stranger about Craig, then he'll be able to finally tell the people who should know.
"My boyfriend, well soon to be ex-boyfriend did it. Got into a fight when I said I was leaving him," Adam admits and for the first time he's said it, admitted to the violence, the fighting, the hatred.
"Fuck, I hope you're reporting him," Tommy says, looking like maybe he's pissed off on Adam's behalf.
"Yeah, I'm going to. It might be just a sprain, but I'm not waiting for things to get worse. The fighting's been getting worse, I know the violence will as well." Adam sighs.
"I'm glad. No one should have to put up with that. I had a boyfriend who I walked out on after he slapped me once. We never really fought, we weren't even fighting when he did it. Physical violence shouldn't be a part of a relationship. I'm sorry you've gone through that," Tommy says softly and it makes Adam feel a bit better. He knows he's not the first man to have a partner turn violent, but talking to another guy his age, who got past something like that, it makes him feel less alone.
"He's my first boyfriend. We didn't fight at all when we first when out. Now he acts like he hates me, but he doesn't want me to leave," Adam admits.
"People like that always want to be the one to end it, to be in control. I'm going to come to a LGBT meeting and I hope you're not with him anymore by then. You seem like a really nice guy and no one should be with someone who makes them feel hated, someone who hurts them," Tommy says firmly and Adam talks with him till he's called to get an x-ray done.
His wrist is sprained, not broken and when he leaves with it bandaged, he finds Tommy leaning against the wall outside.
"How is your wrist?" Tommy asks.
"Sprained, your ribs?" Adam asks, wondering over to Tommy's side.
"Badly bruised, but I'll be okay," Tommy shrugs.
"Well that's good, I'm glad you didn't get hurt because you stood up for yourself and for your friend," Adam likes Tommy. He's sweet, clearly very caring and from what Adam's seen, easy to talk to. He doesn't need a crush right now, but it's nice to know that his violent relationship with Craig hasn't made him give up on all men. Craig might be filled with hatred, but Adam is not. His first relationship doesn't mean all of his relationships will be like his one with Craig.
He says goodbye to Tommy and goes to the police. The doctor said he would send a report of the assault to the police and he has. They know about the sprain and the doctor said it was clear his injury had been caused by someone else. Seen as it's his word against Craig's, they are not sure they'll be able to get an assault charge to stick, but they do offer him a restraining order. Adam doesn't even have to ever see his ex ever again. Craig is no longer his first boyfriend, he is Adam's first ex-boyfriend. Adam goes back to his Dorm. It feels good to know he won't be facing the risk of physical violence each day. He doesn't have to fear Craig's hatred, his twisted love. His sprained wrist is a reminder of what Craig did, but the fighting is over, he had been so tired of fighting.
Tommy comes to five LGBT meeting before he asks Adam out for coffee. Adam accepts, it's been a while since he went on a first date with anyone, but it goes well. Adam is a little nervous, a little wary, but he thinks those things will leave him over time. He trusts Tommy even though his first relationship had become so twisted and dark, but he can't ever imagine fighting with Tommy the way he did Craig and he is sure that Tommy would never get physically violent with Adam. Tommy's not a fighter, he only believes in fighting when he has no other choice. Adam doesn't think they'll ever have to face that, till they've been dating a month and they run into Craig when Tommy is walking him back to the dorm.
"You dumped him for me?" Craig spits, glaring at Tommy with such hatred in his eyes that it makes Adam shiver, fear twisting his stomach.
"No, I dumped you because of the fights and violence," Adam says coldly.
"You couldn't wait to jump into someone else's bed, slut," Craig growls and Adam has never felt such raw hatred.
"Don't call him that," Tommy says, voice tight and Adam grips his hand tighter. He doesn't want Craig to hurt him. Craig is more than just Adam's first boyfriend, he's the monster in his nightmares.
"Stay out of it, this has nothing to do with you, asshole," Craig snaps and it's clear, he hates Tommy, just because he is with Adam.
"After you sprained my wrist, I got a restraining order. It's still in effect, you need to stay away from me," Adam says firmly. He doesn't want to fight. He doesn't want to be around Craig's hatred.
"You're nothing but a pathetic whore. You can't make me leave you alone," Craig say, stepping forward and he goes to throw a punch. Adam freezes, he's never fought back before, but he doesn't have to, because Tommy doesn't freeze. He's not afraid of Craig the way Adam is afraid of his ex. Tommy punches Craig in the stomach and he stumbles back, gasping for breath and Adam still doesn't like violence, but he's oddly glad that Craig is getting a taste of his own medicine, feeling his own hatred.
But he's not done and this time all his hatred is aimed at Tommy and Adam can't let him get hurt, he can't. He steps between Tommy and Craig and for the first time throws his first ever punch, catching Craig's nose and it makes a somewhat satisfying crunching noise and Craig stares at Adam, hatred and confusion mixed on his face. Like he hates Adam for doing this and he can't understand Adam finally standing up for himself, because Adam has never fought back. He thinks Craig will keep going, but instead he turns tail and runs. Which just proves what Tommy has been saying since they met. Craig is nothing but a coward and a bully. In a fair fight he doesn't want to fight, he only likes to get violent if he won't get hurt.
"I really hate him," Adam says softly and when Tommy pulls him in for a hug, he melts into Tommy's arms.
"I'm proud of you for standing up for yourself," Tommy says softly.
"You made me feel brave, you're my hero," Adam says, dipping down so that he can kiss Tommy.
Tommy presses into the kiss, relaxing in Adam's arms, his hands tight on Adam's shirt like he needs to hold on and Adam kisses him until they are both breathless. When he draws back Tommy is smiling, his eyes full of lust, not hate and Adam thinks this is the way relationships should be; no hate, no violence, no fighting or trips to the ER with a sprained wrist, just lust and maybe a little love.
"Want to come back to my dorm with me? My roommate's going to be out with his girlfriend all night," Adam says, feeling his voice come out a little husky.
"Hell yes," Tommy grins and he holds his hand out for Adam to take. They make it back to Adam's dorm pretty quickly, because they are both impatient to be alone. The only fighting they do once they get there is with each other's clothes. They are both naked long before they get into Adam's bed.
He can't believe how happy he is with Tommy, can't believe he met Tommy in an ER waiting room because of a sprained wrist. His life doesn't have violence in it anymore, but it does have the love that had been missing from Adam's relationship with his first boyfriend. Tommy spreads out on the bed, waiting for Adam, letting him take the lead. Adam gets out lube and a condom, preps Tommy until his boyfriend is moaning, begging Adam to just get on with it already.
He kisses Tommy softly and starts pushing slowly into Tommy as Tommy wraps his legs around Adam's waist. Adam starts slow, but he's soon speeding up as Tommy clutches his back, moaning. He's not turned on from the fight, he just wants to feel close to Tommy and he always feels that when they are together like this. He's never felt as loved as he does when Tommy looks at him with those big brown eyes.
"Adam," Tommy groans and Adam can tell by the strain in his voice that he is close, so he gets a hand between them to start jerking Tommy off, feeling close to the edge himself. Tommy comes first and when he does his nails dig into Adam's back. That combined with the way his body tightens around Adam's cock has him coming only moments after Tommy did. They lay together, enjoying the afterglow and it's a long time before either of them move. Eventually they get cleaned up and get back into bed, spooning so they can both fit in the small single bed.
This relationship is so different from his first and sometimes Adam wishes that Tommy had been his first boyfriend. He wishes he never had a boyfriend who was physically violent and he wishes they hadn't been fighting all the time. But he's glad that he went to the hospital, glad that Tommy was the first person he told about how he really got his sprained wrist. He walked away from hatred and found love and now he has a better life and he's with a man who makes him feel brave, who will be his hero, but doesn't stop Adam from protecting himself. They have the balance right and Adam doesn't think he could be happier. He won't allow his past to rule him.