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It starts after Elektra leaves (and she does leave, a wave of roses and soft music and softer skin, she’s there and then she’s gone - ), a sort of electric hum under his skin everywhere she touched him (and will never touch him again). He can still feel the marks of her nails on his back, raking around, drawing blood (she was never afraid of hurting him, not with her body, not like that) (but then again, she never seemed to be afraid of anything - ) that, if he concentrates hard enough, he can still smell on his sheets.

Foggy takes him out the night after she’s left, nudging his ribs with his elbow and offering platitudes, and then offering alcohol when that obviously does nothing. “Everyone has bad breakups,” he says, and this wasn’t a bad breakup. This was being gored alive (this was his heart being dragged out of his body by the veins, this was his blood turning to ichor, this wasn’t anything, not anymore). Matt drinks, feels electricity under his skin, finds a girl that smells like roses, and comes back to his room the next day with fresh scratches on his back (not as deep as Elektra’s, nobody can reach as deep as Elektra).

“See?” Foggy says, uncertainly, “no time at all. You’ll make it through this, buddy.”

That night he goes out again, after he finishes his schoolwork, a guy takes him home and they fuck, and this guy – Matt doesn’t even know his name – holds him like he’s spun glass about to break (Matt thinks that even if he were made of stone or metal the thrumming inside of him would still crack him open). But the sex helps. It goes away.

He dreams of hands on his shoulders, legs around his waist, running his hands up someone’s thigh.

“You’re bisexual?” Foggy asks, surprised, and Matt shrugs. It’s not like it makes a difference to him.

He’s too busy to go out again for the rest of the week, and he wakes up hard after dreams of hands and smells and heat pooling under his skin and he jacks off, listening to Foggy’s breathing to make sure he stays asleep (even if he wakes up, Matt’s not certain he would stop), he can’t shower without thinking of her hands on him (he can’t do anything without thinking of her hands on him) so he touches himself again, he hurts so much that it goes from an electricity to a burning –

“Wanna go out tonight, Fogs?” he asks Thursday afternoon, they don’t have class on Friday, they don’t have any obligations until Tuesday, thank God for long weekends.

“Uh, again?” Foggy asks, and then, “I just shrugged. I guess.”

Matt lets a guy fuck him in the bathroom (nobody’s surprised when a blind man walks out of the handicapped stall), and Foggy chuckles and says, “I knew you were a kinky fucker,” and finishes his mysteriously cheap drink. A woman with acrylic nails trails them up his arm, and Foggy mutters “Go get em, tiger,” as he leaves with her. She rides him, hard (not hard enough, never hard enough), and all he can think about is how nice it feels to not be burning any more. He leaves the moment she’s done, goes back to the bar, and does it all over again.

“This guy’s looking for a helluva time,” the bartender jokes when it’s 3am and Matt’s back again after leaving with two women gushing about how they’ve never had a blind guy before (he’s not ashamed to play that card, not now, not when sex seems to be the only thing on his mind). A guy who smells like tattoo ink and motor oil offers to hit “the good spots,” and Matt shrugs and lets him lead the way out.

The guy sodomizes him with his cane, and that’s a new one, and not all the spots he hits are good, but he gets off and that’s what matters. He finally crashes, dreams the whole time of the sensation of rocking back and forth, something hard pressed up against him but never satisfying enough, and comes back to Foggy the next day, who takes one look at him and says “Dude,” and nothing else.

Phone sex lines don’t do it for him, and are also ludicrously expensive. He can hear the background crew in most online porn. Obviously magazines don’t do much. Written erotica is hard since he prefers to read with both hands. He jacks off to conjurations of his own imagination (and most of them are Elektra, and most of them hurt like nothing else, and most of them don’t help).

“Matt, how many people have you fucked in the last week?” Foggy asks, warily, when Matt stumbles in at 7.30 AM Tuesday morning, caneless and disheveled.

“None of your business,” Matt mutters, cranky, sleep deprived, well aware that it’s only a matter of time before he’s gagging for another round (another dick in his mouth, another hand in his hair, another set of scratches on his back). He’s like a junkie looking for another fix, and the comparison makes him anxious, and the anxiety just makes him crankier.

“I haven’t even seen you since Saturday,” Foggy points out, and Matt shrugs and winces as he sits down.

“Well, I’ve never seen you, so…” he tries, and he can almost hear Foggy rolling his eyes.

“Dude,” he says. “That’s not even funny at this point.”

“What’s not funny is you asking about my sex life,” Matt shoots back, feeling around with his feet for the spare cane he keeps under his bed.

Foggy’s heart kicks up a notch, and Matt stills, and remembers that the cane he left at…someone’s place, or maybe the dungeon, was his spare after his first one had broken while drunkenly demonstrated how to use it as a sword (Foggy had laughed, Elektra had done that little trilling giggle she did when she was truly amused and not just making nice, and Matt’s heart had pounded). “I’m worried about you,” Foggy says, and it sounds like defeat.

“I’m coping, and I’m fine,” Matt spits, and he’s not lying, he’s not. He likes sex. That’s all there is to it.

“How many?”

“Most of Manhattan and parts of Harlem,” Matt tries, rolling his eyes and then remembering that Foggy won’t be able to see it.

“No Brooklyn?” Foggy asks sarcastically, and Matt nods absolutely seriously. Fuck Brooklyn. Well, no, not fuck Brooklyn. “Seriously, dude, I’m all for being a hoe, but there’s a point where it goes from empowering to, uh, worrisome.”

The word hoe sounds ridiculous in Foggy’s mouth, and Matt tells him as much before asking him to shut up while he calls disability services and ask if they have any spare canes. They do, they can bring one to his room if he wants, and yes, that’d be great, thank you. And by then Foggy’s gone to take his morning shower.

He waits until a woman wearing Armani perfume knocks on the door and gives him a cane, and he smiles his best smile and gives her his number, scrawled what he hopes is legibly on a bookmark he had lying around.

The next morning, Foggy snorts while he’s fingering himself in the bed on the other side of the room after dreams of loving a woman who smells like roses, and Matt stills for a moment as Foggy slowly gets a little bit closer to consciousness, and he very slowly moves his fingers in and out of himself, and runs the fingers of his other hand along his dick. Finally Foggy rolls over, mumbles something about croissants, and falls back asleep. Matt cums harder than he has in a while (quite possibly since she left, and he’s not going to think about that any more, he’s not, he’s not, he’s not), and then shoves his blankets off of him and goes to shower.

The issue with being blind, apart from not being able to see, is that most people don’t consider him a viable booty call. Despite sleeping with, well, some number around twenty-five people in the past weeks (the orgy was unexpected but welcome, and that’s why the number seems so high, that’s the only reason), he only has two new numbers in his phone, and they don’t respond when he texts them.

The exception is Marci, who is morally bankrupt enough to not tell Foggy, but not enough to respond the fifth night in a row. In fact, she’s not morally bankrupt enough to keep not telling Foggy, because even she gets on the worried-about-Matt train.

“Your sex rampage is impressive, like seriously impressive, but troublesome,” she drawls at the coffeeshop Foggy has dragged them to, apparently to stage some sort of intervention. “How many of your conquests can you even put a name to?”

Matt shrugs. He’s trapped on the booth between Foggy and the wall.

“Okay, Matt, I’m a fucking slut, do we agree?” Marci says, harshly. Foggy chokes on his drink, and Matt opens his mouth without saying anything. “So we agree. And I’m worried. You’re not usually a man whore.” Matt remembers to close his mouth.

“Well,” Foggy says, and Marci shushes him.

“By my standards, I mean. Foggy manages to be the most sex-positive prude I’ve ever met, which is why I didn’t believe him when he said your behavior was abnormal. Now, seriously, I want names.”

“Hannah,” he offers. He remembers that she smelled like strawberries. “Uh, Jessie, Jesse who was a guy, Manny, Enrique, Susan, Niharika. That’s – that’s some of them.”

“That’s seven of them. Can you estimate a number?”

Matt puts his head in his hands. “Twenty-five. Ish,” he mutters. Foggy freezes, and even Marci blinks and lets out a low whistle.

“In what, eleven days?”

“Twelve. And there was an orgy,” he offers, quietly. “Hence the ish.”

“That…I don’t know if that helps,” Foggy says, defeated. “That’s definitely an amount. Uh.”

“I’m guessing every one of your lays didn’t offer a clean bill of health?” Marci cuts in, all business. “And that all of those weren’t exactly safe? Have you been tested, recently?”

“I – no, I haven’t. I should do that. Fuck.” He hadn’t even considered that. Protection seemed so secondary when all he needed was the sex (and a lot more than that, but there was no chance of that happening).

“Well, after this we’re going to health services, and you’re gonna piss in a cup, my friend,” Foggy says, cheerful, but his heart is pounding.

Matt nods his acquiescence, and it’s silent for an incredibly long, incredibly awkward moment. “What do you want me to do, then?” he finally asks. “Just – just stop having sex?” It sounds impossible. It sounds like asking him to light himself on fire, or to see (or to forget what she smelled like, or how her voice sounded when she was happy).

“I mean, yeah,” Foggy says, and Marci shushes him.

“He’s an idiot, ignore him. Matt, do you agree that this is a problem?”

He does, he really does, but he doesn’t want it to be (he doesn’t know what he wants it to be), so he shrugs and mumbles something.

“Matt,” Marci says, and Foggy’s usually the one ready to cut into his bullshit, but Foggy doesn’t know what to do here, and Marci apparently does. (He wonders why, but he remembers how still she went during disability law during their unit on mental illness and personality disorders, and decides not to ask.) “You’re using sex to cope, and you’re overdoing it, and you’re going to get hurt, if you aren’t already. What do you want to do with this information?”

He wants to get laid, is what he wants. “It feels like electricity,” he says, finally, “under my skin. And sex is the only thing that helps. I want it to go away.”

Marci sits back and makes a noise, and Foggy asks “What’s that face? I don’t know that face.”

“I was thinking he’s just a sex addict,” Marci says, and Matt frowns in her direction, because that’s not quite right and he knows it (even when he compared himself to a junkie, he knew it wasn’t quite right, it hung off of him like an ill-fitted suit, he needed sex but not like that, not quite). “Now I’m not so sure.”

“I want it to go away,” he repeats. “I just – I want sex all the time, you’re sitting here all worried about me and all I can think about is how much I want – I want to stick my dick in something, or have someone stick their dick in me, or…” he ruffles his hair, “it feels better, after – after sex, but.” He clams up again, and Foggy rubs his shoulders, which are tenser than they should be, for some reason.

“It’s not ‘I’m sad and I want sex because it gives me something else to think about,’” he tries, slowly. “I just want sex. It’s just something that happens. It even happens when I – when I have somebody.” For a week or so, he and Elektra had been fucking at least twice a day, he’d finish and then she’d pull out her strap-on and suddenly he wasn’t as finished as he thought, and she had loved it about him (she had loved a lot of things about him. He had loved everything about her). “I don’t know what to tell you.”

They’re quiet again, for a long time. Foggy finally stands up and gently grabs Matt’s arm. “Look, I’m really worried that you’ve picked up the clap or hantavirus or something so I’m gonna take you to health services, and we’ll figure it out after that, okay?”

He pees in a cup, and the woman behind the counter winks at him. He only knows because Foggy loudly says “She just winked. Really obviously. He’s blind, ma’am, but good for you.”

Matt stays in that night, dreams of nails raking his back, wakes up hard, and jacks off loudly enough that Foggy rolls over and wakes up enough to ask “What’s up, Matt, what…” and then falls back asleep.

He’s on day 4 of no sex when he slams his head backwards into the wall, prompting Foggy to go “Woah, woah, dude, what the fuck?”

“Fuck me,” Matt replies, massaging his temples and slamming his book shut. “I can’t focus. At all. Look, can I just – “

“You wanted to go back to normal,” Foggy tells him, reasonably.

“Okay, normal, not Amish,” he tries.

“I’m pretty sure the Amish have sex,” Foggy says as though that’s the most obvious response in the world. “Which is why there are still Amish people.”

Nuns, then!” Matt almost yells. “Oh my god. I need sex.”

“You don’t,” Foggy says, gently. “You really, really don’t.”

Matt groans. “Can I suck your dick? Seriously, I just need – “

“You don’t need anything, Matt!” Foggy hisses, nervous now. “You seriously don’t.”

The mind controls the body, he reminds himself. The mind controls the body. The mind controls – it’s his fucking mind that’s the problem, he thinks, and groans again, louder.

“Matt,” Foggy says, “I’m going to buy a spray bottle.”

“Kinky,” Matt mutters, and Foggy exhales loudly. “Tie me up, too?”

“Oh my god,” Foggy whispers, too quietly for someone with normal hearing to hear. “You are incorrigible,” he says, louder.

“Yeah,” Matt agrees. “That’s kind of the problem,” he adds.

He sneaks out once Foggy’s asleep and finds a woman wearing too much perfume, and remembers to wear a condom this time, and when he goes back to his room Foggy’s just waking up. He pretends nothing happened.

And that’s it, somehow. It goes away, ebbing over the course of the next few days, he even wakes up the next morning and isn’t rock hard. His test comes back positive for chlamydia, and Foggy provides a clap every time the doctor says the word, which makes it a little bit less terrible (it’s still terrible). He gets antibiotics and a pamphlet on safe sex, which Foggy announces that he’s going to tape to their door.

“I can’t even read it,” Matt says, quietly.

“But you’ll know it’s there,” Foggy says, and it’s true. (Foggy never actually tapes it to the door.) “Is your sex rampage done, do you think?”

“It wasn’t a rampage,” Matt replies petulantly. Foggy pats his arm.

“Because the only person you hurt was yourself?” he offers sincerely, and Matt shrugs him off. He just feels ashamed, now. What was he thinking? What was he thinking? The electric feeling has worn off, and now it just feels like black sludge is pumping through his veins, thicker than tar. He feels heavy. Guilty. “Woah, buddy, it’s fine.”

“It’s not,” Matt whispers, hunching in on himself. “I don’t know what happened. I just – I just wanted sex.”

“Yeah?” Foggy asks. It’s what he does when he doesn’t know what to say, but thinks someone should continue to talk out their feelings. Or something.

“Yeah,” Matt responds, wise to his tricks. They walk in silence the rest of the way back into their dorm. Matt crawls into his bed. The sheets smell like Elektra. He falls asleep.

He doesn’t dream.