They've been fucking for a year now, on and off, not-so-random encounters at the illicit weekend raves in empty BLI warehouses.
Poison's not sure if Gerard even realizes how long it's been; between the pills he swallows like candy and the rotgut alk he picks up at the raves, he's usually pretty out of it.
Doesn't matter, really.
Poison tries to talk himself out of these dangerous little jaunts to Bat City; Kobra tries, too. One day his luck is going to run out and he's going to get caught. He manages to stay away from the raves for a couple of weeks at a time, sometimes longer, but he always goes back. Gerard just smiles at him, a little blurry, and Poison curses at himself for being so fucking weak.
A year of back-alley sex, quick and filthy blowjobs and handjobs, bitten back moans and stolen kisses. Gerard might be a strung-out junkie, but it's Poison who's addicted. And that's something he can't afford anymore. This has got to stop.
He wanders the periphery of the floor, keeping to the shadows. The music is loud with a driving electronic beat, something easily synthesized on homemade computers. It's not the same as the music in the Zones, but it has a rough artistry to it that Poison can usually appreciate.
The place is packed with BLI worker drones letting go for the weekend, most of them stoned or drunk, flying high. Right here, for a little while, there's no BLI, no rules, no regulation. Just good times. Some alk, a handful of pills and the heat of a crowd of people moving to the music.
A hand grabs his arm and it's Gerard, smiling and loose-limbed, throwing himself at Poison like they're old friends. Poison can't help himself, he wraps his arms around Gerard and holds tight, trying to burn the moment into his memory.
"I didn't think you were coming," Gerard shouts in his ear.
Poison shrugs. It would have been better if he'd managed to stay away.
Gerard tugs on his hand. "Let's get outta here." He leads Poison out of the warehouse and down a couple of blocks, into an abandoned building. It's a place that Gerard's got to be familiar with, because he doesn't hesitate, just pulls aside a couple of boards blocking the doorway and gestures Poison in.
In the dim light, Poison can make out a rickety table and some chairs, and an old mattress thrown on the ground. As secret hangouts go, it's not too bad; there's a lot of junk but little in the way of actual garbage. It smells damp and musty, different from the dust and the dry of the Zones.
Whatever. Poison tugs Gerard close and kisses him, busy fingers working on the fastening of Gerard's pants, clumsy against the sudden pounding need to touch. He bites at Gerard's lip, follows his jawline to his ear, drops down to the sensitive skin of Gerard's neck, leaving behind marks that will bloom dark long after Poison's gone back into the Dust for good.
"Poison, fuck yeah, please, more—" Gerard's stumbling backward, heading toward the mattress and Poison's always glad to oblige, pushing Gerard down, shoving his way between Gerard's legs and settling between them, grinding their cocks together through the fabric of their clothing.
Gerard fingers are digging into Poison's back, and the sounds he makes are needy and desperate and even in the darkness Poison can see the fear in Gerard's eyes. Something is wrong. He reaches back and grabs Gerard's hands, pushing them down and pinning them to the mattress.
"No—wait, please, Poison—"
And as difficult as it is, Poison pushes away the haze of heated arousal. "What's up, doll? As much as I appreciate this—" he moves against Gerard, rough friction that makes him growl low in his throat, "I like to know how much it's gonna cost me in the end."
"It's not—" Gerard licks at his lips, looking a lot more nervous and a lot less strung out than usual. "I have a band."
Poison has the idea that they're not talking band like MGMK or Flyin Iguanas. "A band," Poison repeats dubiously.
"Yeah." Gerard twitches his hands and Poison lets go, sitting up and moving away a little. "BLI recruited us when we were just kids to shill Better Living, draw in the younger demographics, show them how cool BLI could be. Perform at rallies, do commercials, that kind of thing."
"We've been working on getting out of Bat City, making connections and arranging things—"
Poison closes his eyes against the sudden realization that he's been had. "How long have you been planning this?"
"It's not like that—"
"How long?" There's steel in the snap of his voice.
"About—about a year."
"Yeah." Poison gets to his feet and looks down at Gerard. He wants to be pissed, wants to feel betrayed, but honestly, he's just mad at himself for even believing, just for a little while, that there was something more between them. He's a fucking idiot. "Upper management twig onto what you're doing?"
Gerard nods, rubbing tiredly at his eyes. "We need to get out. Real soon, before we end up in the re-education center, brains wiped clean and reprogrammed to think happy thoughts."
"How many of you? In your band?"
"Five, including me."
Poison runs his hand through his hair, wincing as his fingers tug hard on some knots. The pain helps center his thoughts. "Tomorrow night. Little before midnight. Your band better be here, ready to leave, with nothing more that what you can carry. If you can live without it, leave it behind. A white BLI van will stop in the street. Get in and don't ask any fucking questions." He looks at Gerard. "You got that?"
"Yeah, yeah." He draws in a deep breath. "Listen—"
"No." Poison is really not in the mood to deal with this right now. He feels flayed, every nerve raw and exposed and he needs to get out of this fucking city. "You paid for this, sugar. Paid for it with your mouth and your pretty eyes and your sweet words. I'll get you and your boys out of Bat City and then we're done. Even Steven."
"No." He turns away, heading for the door. "Tomorrow night. You give any of my people trouble and I'll ghost you myself." He's almost out when he hears Gerard say, "I'm sorry."
Poison really wishes he could believe it.