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Never Let You Go

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"Grab his legs!"

"Ey, shit! This little asshole bit me!"

The sound of heavy fists landing filled the dimly lit alley-way along with screams smothered by a heavy hand echoing dully off the brick walls.

***

Tin was seated at his desk in the classroom when Pete arrived shortly afterward, sitting his backpack on the desk.

"Tin..." Pete hesitated, looking over at the scowling boy beside him. Tin usually looked cold and unapproachable, but this was different. He actually looked... angry. "What's the matter?"

"Nothing," Tin said sharply. He checked his phone once more before putting it away. "I sent Can a text earlier, asking to meet at the canteen," he admitted with a sigh. "Not only has he not responded, but he didn't show up either, leaving me waiting by myself like an idiot."

Pete frowned. "Last night, he said he would call me back, but he never did. That's not like Can, he's usually so considerate."

Tin swallowed, and Pete could see a lump of worry slowly forming in his throat as he considered the implications of Pete's words. This behavior really wasn't like Can. He might be awfully silly at times, and stubborn to the point of mulishness, but he wasn't usually rude without just cause.

"No, I haven't seen him or heard from him. Also, he didn't answer my call just before class."

Tin admitted this slowly, his eyes meeting Pete's, and the look of concern in his eyes was mirrored there.

***

"Finally awake?" The sneering tone was coming from somewhere above him as Can slowly faded into consciousness. The first thing he realized was that everything seemed to hurt, even his eyelashes ached as his eyes slowly opened. Attempting to reach up to rub them, he came to the sudden realization that his arms were bound behind his back, and that was the cause of the pain in his shoulders. Slowly, he began to recall what'd led him to this unfortunate state. He'd gone for a walk late in the evening, intending to clear his head. Not paying attention to his surroundings was nothing unusual for Can, but it'd left him vulnerable in this instance.

Walking past a darkened alleyway, he'd been grabbed by a pair of strong arms, the smell of tobacco strong on the man's clothing. Before he could shout out for help, another man's hand clapped over his mouth, stifling his cries as he was dragged into a dark-colored vehicle. He'd kicked and swung his fists and even bitten someone, but all that'd done was anger his attackers, and he'd been beaten and kicked brutally before being shoved into the SUV, where he'd lost consciousness.

"Where am I?" he demanded, his voice hoarse as he ran his dry tongue over his teeth, relieved to find that none of his teeth were missing or broken, though by the painful throbbing at his temple, he realized he had a wound to the head and that blood had run into his left eye, which explained the pain when he'd opened them - the dry blood had sealed his lashes together.

The face of the voice he'd heard appeared over him finally, and Can was shocked to find that the guy wasn't that much older than himself, with sparse facial hair and a medium build. He looked vaguely familiar but Can couldn't place him; his head hurt too badly to think straight, let alone play guessing games. "Somewhere safe, where no one will find you until we say so," the unnamed man said, delivering a swift kick to Can's stomach that made him feel so nauseated he'd have thrown up if there was anything in his stomach. "So I'd suggest you stop asking questions and start answering them."

Can glared up at him hatefully, tears in the corners of his eyes, but he was too stubborn to let this asshole see him cry.

Another guy appeared, and unlike his companion, his face was clean-shaved, and his appearance was altogether more neatly kempt, with nicer clothes and polished shoes. "The first question is - what is the unlock code on this phone?" He held up a new Samsung phone, and Can realized angrily that this oily bastard had his phone in his hand.

"Give that back! Didn't your mother teach you not to touch things that don't belong to you?!" Can shouted from where he was bound on the floor. Can earned himself another kick, this time in the right thigh, and he couldn't help crying out this time as his entire leg cramped up, without his even being able to rub it or change position. Between gritted teeth, he gave the unlock code, vowing to take revenge for this injustice as soon as feasibly possible.

"See, if you'd just answered politely the first time, you could have avoided all of this," the well-dressed kidnapper said with some amusement after unlocking the phone. Going through the contacts, he apparently found the one he was looking for, pressing the icon to start the call as he looked down at Can, bloodied and bruised on the ground in front of himself.

***

Tin was in the corridor heading to his next class when his phone began to vibrate in his pocket. He quickly slid it out into the open, his eyes widening slightly as Can's number appeared on the screen. He'd only just gotten Can the phone, but already he'd memorized the series of digits that could connect the two of them at any time - so long as Can actually answered the phone. His expression darkening, he answered the phone with a purposefully disdainful, "So you remember how to use a phone?"

Anyone in the hall watching would have seen very little change to Tin's expression as he listened to the words coming from the other end of the line, but someone paying close attention would have seen his fingers tighten on the edges of the phone, noticed the stiffness of his spine, heard the tightness in his voice as he uttered a single word in response. "Fine." Ending the call, he swiftly headed for the parking lot, tossing his book bag into the passenger seat. He sped off-campus, heading toward the address he'd been directed to.

***

Can didn't have any idea why these kidnappers needed to use his phone to call someone, but when he heard the greeting as the call connected on speaker-phone, his eyes went wide with shock and suddenly he realized where he'd seen the younger of the two. He was one of the guys that was talking bad about Tin in the mall, the one that'd called him a 'Drug Addicted Celebrity'! Can listened in helplessly as the better-dressed man instructed Tin to come to this location, and as far as Can could tell, the address was somewhere in the warehousing district, quite a far distance from either his home or the school.

Anger filled his chest as the man continued, directing Tin to transfer a ton of money into a specific bank account, and warning him that if the police got involved, he'd say it was a drug deal gone wrong. Because of Tin's past, which he'd only recently shared with Can, he knew how damning such a story would be, and he started cursing at the top of his lungs. "Ai'Tin, don't give shit to these assholes! Don't worry about me! They can't do anyth-" He was cut off as he was kicked yet again, and this time the guy didn't stop, kicking and punching him in his back and sides until he couldn't breathe, sinking into unconsciousness once more.

***

Tin arrived at the specified address in record time. He would have arrived even faster had he run the red lights and sped all the way, but in order to avoid police involvement, he had to avoid being pulled over so he'd simply driven like a man possessed, taking back road shortcuts and praying all the while that he'd arrive in time. He'd heard Can's shouts, but more alarmingly, he'd heard how suddenly they'd stopped. His blood ran cold with the implications, and the whole way here he'd only hoped that Can wasn't too badly injured when he arrived.

Parked in the gravel outside of a seemingly abandoned old warehouse, Tin took out his phone, fingers unsteady as he made the requested bank transfer. The man on the phone had warned that the account was untraceable, but if any attempts were made to try anyway, he'd leak the drug deal story and have the money transfer as proof. Tin made the transfer.

As soon as the transfer was complete, he leaned back in the driver's seat, nerves taut and frayed as he waited for the phone to ring again.

Blessedly, his phone chose that moment to ring, and once again it was Can's number on the screen. Pressing the phone to his ear, Tin's voice was cold, betraying none of his anxiety. "The transfer is complete. Now give him back."

"So impatient," the voice on the other end of the line admonished. "Wait five minutes, then go to the door of the warehouse and enter in the keycode 1116. Your annoying little friend is inside. It's been a pleasure doing business with you." With that said, the call disconnected. Tin stared at his phone with ice-dagger eyes but didn't waste any time getting out of the car and heading to the decrepit warehouse doors.

***

Can found himself waking up in even more substantial pain than the previous times he'd come in and out of consciousness; his chest felt like it was on fire and his spine felt as if it'd never be straight again. The last thing he recalled before he'd faded completely out last time was the sound of his phone beeping and the kidnappers announcing that they'd received the transfer and it was time to go. When strong hands touched him from behind his back now, he thrashed violently in place. "Get your filthy hands off of me, you piece of shit trash!" he shouted, kicking out with his eyes screwed shut as he gave it his all. Surprisingly, he wasn't beaten for his insolence this time, and eventually, he stilled, eyes slowly opening onto a face that wasn't one of the kidnappers at all.

"Tin?" he gasped in surprise, eyes widening and brows lifting toward his hairline. He hasn't expected Tin to actually come, not after he heard the amount demanded. One million for a poor Thai Program? It didn't seem very likely, and he'd resigned himself to whatever violent conclusion fate had in store for him. Never did he imagine that Tin himself would be here, untying his wrists and personally rubbing sensation back into his hands, which had long gone numb and were now tingling painfully as circulation returned, causing his face to screw up miserably.

"Can. Can this is all my fault. I'm so sorry." Tin paused in the kneading of Can's fingers and hands, his eyes full of grief as he took in the bruises visible through the jagged tears in his shirt, and he reached up with one hand to gently brush over the lump on Can's forehead, drawing it away when Can hissed in pain.

Can could finally move his arms again, but they were too weak to support him in sitting up. Luckily, Tin understood what he was trying to do, and supported him as Can painstakingly arranged himself into a sitting position. "How can it be your fault that those two idiots wanted to snatch what wasn't theirs? You think you're the only rich asshole around?" he groaned, rotating his shoulders slowly. "Don't be so arrogant. You were just unlucky."

Tin was getting used to being lectured about his wealth by Can, and was only glad that Can was here in front of him and able to tell him off once more. "You were definitely the more unlucky one," Tin countered gently, still sounding contrite. Even if they were out to take Tin's money, it was still Can that had suffered the most. He helped Can to his feet, and when the smaller boy staggered, about to fall, Tin didn't think before scooping him up into his arms. "Let's get out of here, you need to see a doctor right away."

Can cursed in his heart; who told him to be so weak he had to be picked up by this guy? It was damn shameful, okay?!

"What is this princess carry?" Can shouted, one weak fist pounding on Tin's chest as he was carried toward the car outside, the bright sunlight stinging his eyes after the duskiness of the warehouse for so many hours. "I am a man, damn it!"

"My man," Tin answered with unshakeable confidence, looking down at the battered boy in his arms.

Can scowled immediately but couldn't fight the blush that spread to his cheeks, turning his head to hide his face against Tin's chest. "Don't you have any shame at all? How can I even look at you right now, you're really an embarrassment to yourself, Ai'Asshole," he dissed wholeheartedly.

Tin settled Can into the back of the car, making sure he was secure before getting into the driver's seat and heading toward the hospital. "Get some rest, we'll be there soon," he said, before turning his attention to the road ahead.

Can tried to get comfortable, turning this way and that, but it was no use. His left arm hurt so badly he couldn't lie on it, but his right side was nothing but a big green and purple bruise, so no matter which way he lay, he was in agony. He wasn't going to tell Tin this of course; he could see that Tin still blamed himself for this whole ordeal. He sighed inwardly. If only he'd been paying attention to where he was walking, he could have outrun those sticky-handed bandits. Thinking further, if only he'd accepted Tin's feelings in the first place, he wouldn't have gotten himself so worked up that he needed to go for a walk outside so late in the first place. He was really feeling sorry for himself; he'd caused so much trouble and Tin had lost so much money.

***

At the hospital, Can was treated right away, x-rays confirming that he had two cracked ribs and a dislocated shoulder. Other tests were run, but aside from a mild concussion and some severe bruising there were no internal injuries; for all his pain his injuries were superficial for the most part. A sling was fitted to his left arm, and he was given a prescription for strong pain medication and stern instructions to rest for two weeks and avoid any strenuous exercise for six weeks, and of course to visit his doctor if the pain persisted longer than that.

Back at the car, Tin helped Can into the passenger seat, buckling his seatbelt for him. "I'm not an invalid," Can finally had to shout. "Quit hovering like a male nanny!"

Tin flashed a half-smile, settling in the driver's seat. "I'm not your nanny, I'm your boyfriend," he corrected Can, and the intensity in his gaze made Can shy again, judging by the way he quickly angled himself to look out the window, slapping his cheek with his good hand.

"Who said?" he asked viciously, staring out the window as if the view was fascinating, all in order to avoid looking back at Tin. "You think rescuing me from kidnappers and paying a ransom makes you my boyfriend?" he asked imperiously, but in his heart he could feel his resolve weakening. These were, in fact, some pretty good qualifications for a boyfriend, risking himself to come to Can's rescue without police backup, risking his family's reputation with the threat of another drug scandal, and even losing a million baht to ensure his safety. Chewing his bottom lip, Can slowly turned back toward Tin, looking at him through lowered lashes.

Tin hadn't moved, his expression hadn't changed. He was still looking at Can with that same burning intensity, that same covetous, burning possession gleaming in his dark eyes. "Can, I'm begging you again. Na. Be my boyfriend?"

How could he resist?

"Fine," Can muttered, still blushing pitifully. "It's too hard to argue with you on an empty stomach. I haven't eaten in ages, do you want to torture me some more?" he demanded, covering up his shyness with bossy demands.

Tin's smile widened in quiet satisfaction as he drove away from the hospital parking lot. "Good. Let's go eat."

***

Can was sitting in Tin's bed, of all places. Tin had made the argument that if he took Can back to his house and his mother saw his injuries, she'd be devastated and would likely call the police. With the promise of being able to order whatever food for delivery, Tin had coaxed Can into spending a few days at his house, long enough for him to recover from the worst of the bruising and come up with a plausible excuse for the shoulder injury.

Thus, Can was in Tin's bed, a tray of different sweet and savory dishes in front of himself as he happily ate and flicked through the movie channels on Tin's wide-screen television. When he finished three main courses and a dessert dish, Tin dotingly cleared the mess, using a warm towel to clean Can's hands and wipe his sticky mouth, before capturing those plump little lips with his own.

Caught off-guard, Can couldn't voice his protest before Tin's tongue was licking its way into his mouth, the strawberry flavor of the dessert mingling with the delectable sweetness that was all Can, delicious and addicting and just for Tin. Knowing that no one else had ever kissed Can this way made it even better for Tin, inciting his desire to monopolize every aspect of the boy in front of him.

"Tin!" Can finally managed to take a breath, his head swimming from the intensity of Tin's onslaught, and he called out for the older boy's attention.

Resting his forehead against Can's, Tin was careful not to touch the bandage over Can's left temple, his chest heaving as he struggled to hold back from claiming those lips again. They were so cute, all pursed up into a pout as Can looked at him with a 'taken advantage of' grievous expression. "Yes?" he asked, sounding for all the world as if he had no clue what Can's complaint was about.

"Can't you have mercy on me? I'm injured," he pouted, moving his sling-fitted arm slightly to call attention to it. In reality, the pain medication he'd taken had gotten rid of most of the pain; it really was as the doctor said - most of his injuries were superficial and it was the bruising that made it look so bad. He wasn't above taking advantage of this fact, however; the way Tin was looking at him as if he wanted to eat him up was scary as hell!

"Injured," Tin echoed, but then a slow smile spread on his face. "Then I'll be gentle," he promised, pressing Can back down into the pillows and kissing him once again, pressing his leverage and Can's misfortune of only having one good arm to completely take advantage of Can's helplessness.

Can protested, of course, pounding his fist against Tin's chest, but this only seemed to make him more excitable. Soon enough, Can had exhausted himself, or at least that was the excuse he gave himself in his heart as he sank back into the pillows, skin flushed as Tin worked the buttons of his borrowed pajama shirt undone. Tin's mouth was everywhere, pressing hot, sucking kisses over Can's skin, leaving little red marks over the areas of his chest that weren't already bruised up. When his lips caught one of Can's nipples, tugging the tiny point upward and making Can's breath catch audibly, Tin's eyes lit up as he did it again, lashing his tongue over the reddened pebble as he licked and sucked until Can's heavy breathing turned into moans he tried to smother in the crook of his right arm.

"Don't do that, I want to hear you," Tin warned, pulling Can's arm away and pinning it over his head, their fingers interlaced among the pillows as Tin delved into Can's mouth again, kissing him fiercely as if to draw all the breath out of Can's lungs, as if his little lover's air was the only thing that could sustain him.

Torn between stubborn pride and mind-numbing pleasure, tears formed in the corners of Can's eyes. To say he was overwhelmed was an understatement; his emotions had been a roller-coaster between being kidnapped, beaten, rescued and all to wind up pressed down beneath his former-enemy-turned-hero-turned-boyfriend.

Boyfriend.

Can gasped as Tin finally released his lips in order to return to kissing down his chest to his stomach, his head swimming as the sensations nearly drowned him. He didn't have the strength left to move his arm, let alone try to stop Tin's advances further south, and deep down inside he didn't want to stop him. He had feelings for Tin, it was obvious. The way his heartbeat turned chaotic whenever Tin fixed him in place with one of those soul-devouring stares, it was obviously more than just 'feelings'.

Boyfriend.

The tears in the corners of Can's eyes finally spilled as he felt his pajama pants sliding slowly down his legs. He was nervous, who wouldn't be nervous their first time?! But he wanted this, wanted it so bad he was trembling. Tin took his time, kissing and biting the sensitive curve of Can's inner hip until his legs parted of their own volition, and Tin slowly pulled his boxers down as well, tossing them aside.

Ashamed at being the only one naked, Can closed his legs suddenly, pouting up at Tin. "You still have all your clothes on," he said accusingly, expecting Tin to make up some plausible-sounding excuse for it. Who would have thought Tin would immediately kneel up on the bed, treating Can to a striptease of sorts as he unbuttoned his shirt, showing off his well-cared-for physique? Soon he was just in his fitted black boxer-briefs, and as he hooked his thumbs into them to pull them down as well, Can found the strength to reach out and stop him, his heart beating chaotically. "Injured," he whined piteously, looking up at Tin with wet eyes even as he cursed in his heart, 'Who told him to be so shameless?! If I see that thing I definitely cannot unsee it, who's ready for that, ah?!'

Tin laughed quietly, but left his own underwear on, even as he carefully lowered himself on top of Can, kissing and nibbling the side of his neck, tongue toying with the shell of Can's ear, which was so sensitive Can let out a ragged breath of surprise. Happy to have discovered this reaction, Tin licked and bit at Can's ear until Can was limp and pliant beneath him, his cock standing straight and drooling clear nectar onto his abdomen. Supporting himself on one arm on top of Can, Tin reached down to circle his fingers over the tip of Can's erection, his fingers glistening with the younger boy's precum, and still maintaining eye contact with Can, he licked his fingers clean, the lewd act making Can's face redden explosively.

"You taste so good everywhere," Tin informed him, and Can was simply wishing for death, this guy was too embarrassing! But then Tin was kissing him again, the taste on his tongue not too strong, but still incredibly intimate and undeniably erotic, and Can's embarrassment melted away as he was so lovingly kissed and caressed, the truth of Tin's intense feelings written plainly into these touches that made Can's skin burn with desire, the pain of his injuries no match for the heightening pleasure.

Tin worked his way back down, finally drawing his lips along the length of Can's glistening shaft and savoring the sound of Can's broken moans.

"Please," Can begged, hips lifting away from the mattress. He didn't know exactly what he wanted, but he wanted it desperately.

"Anything for you," Tin promised, before his lips engulfed Can's throbbing length, the wet heat of his mouth making Can cry out in pleasured agony. Encouraged by this, Tin bobbed his head up and down, spit and precum coating Can's cock as he licked and sucked lewdly, his eyes focused on the reactions of Can up above, red-faced and groaning out loud as his free hand grabbed at the pillows and blankets, helpless, and Tin took great pride in knowing he was the one that'd messed Can up like this.

Sliding one arm under Can's slender thigh, Tin opened him up, tilting his hips upward until his goal was in sight, and after letting himself up off Can's dick with an audible smack of his lips, he lowered his head, the flat of his tongue laving Can's balls wetly before he continued downward, the tip of his tongue fluttering over the tightly puckered entrance down below. Can shouted, his hand releasing the pillows and instead grabbing Tin's hair as if to shove him away, but then Tin kissed him down there, sucking wetly on Can's previously untouched rosebud and the shocking sensation made Can sob out loud.

Satisfaction ringing in Tin's ears at the sound, he wiggled his tongue, licking Can loose with sinful patience. Slow, dragging tongue-work coupled with his hand slowly stroking Can's impossibly hard cock had the smaller boy practically dancing on Tin's tongue, tears streaming down his cheeks as he suffered this onslaught of sensations, helpless to resist. Tin's mouth suddenly around his cock again was a welcome relief, and Can's hips stuttered upward, chasing his pleasure, and Tin acquiesced, sucking Can harder and faster.

Of course, this was just a distraction, as Tin retrieved the lube from the folds of the blanket where he'd left it, coating his finger in the warming liquid. Still working Can over with his mouth, his fingertip pressed against Can's relaxed sphincter, sinking in up to the first knuckle before Can realized what was happening, his hips slamming upward so sharply he startled himself into an orgasm, groaning out loud as he pumped jet after jet of cum into Tin's mouth to his own mortification. Even more mortifying however was the fact that Tin swallowed every drop, milking it from him with his tongue as if he wanted to empty Can's balls in one go.

Can, who'd thought he was all cried out, found himself with wet, red eyes all over again, gasping for breath and oversensitive. "No more," he begged, squirming downward to escape Tin's mouth, only to accidentally force himself down further onto Tin's waiting fingers. "Ai'Asshole!" he shouted hoarsely, punching at Tin's shoulder angrily. Tin surged upward to kiss that angry little face again, his two fingers shallowly fucking in and out of Can at a slow pace that matched his tongue in Can's mouth.

Can was tempted to bite Tin's tongue, but he couldn't gather the resolve; every coherent thought he attempted was brushed aside by the sweep of Tin's tongue in his mouth, every protesting action had its strength sapped by the thrust of Tin's fingers in his hole - he was defeated before he'd even begun.

"Good boy," Tin murmured when he felt the fight go out of Can, and he lay alongside the red-flushed boy, working his fingers skillfully as he opened Can up, relishing yet another first he'd taken from him, to keep and cherish for all time. Delving deeper, Tin searched around for the one spot he knew would make this so much better for Can, if he could just find it...

Can's back arched upward violently, his mouth opening into a silent scream.

'There it is,' Tin thought smugly, and then as if just to be sure, he angled his fingers just so, brushing hard against that spot inside of Can that had him thrashing like a fish out of water, tears streaming from his eyes so pretty that Tin couldn't resist leaning in to kiss the corner of his eye, tasting the salty proof that he'd found Can's prostate and reduced him to tears yet again. "Such a crybaby," Tin murmured, before going to town on Can's ass, his fingers banging away at Can's prostate as if holding a grudge. Can's cock, which had never completely softened after his first orgasm, was hard as steel yet again, but this time Tin didn't touch it, instead continuously working his hand between Can's legs, listening to the boy bite back gasping moans, obviously on the cusp of exhaustion.

"Tin," Can cried softly, sounding bullied, and this just turned Tin on even more.

"What do you need, baby?" Tin asked, sucking on the side of Can's neck as he fingered his ass skillfully, two fingers deep inside while a third one teased at the entrance, threatening an even wider stretch of Can's virginal hole.

"I need," Can began, but he couldn't say it out loud, embarrassment too strong to let the words past his lips, and he sobbed instead, small and pitiful and incredibly sexy.

"Do it, Can. Make yourself feel good, I want to see." Tin's free hand placed Can's hand around his own cock, helping him to stroke himself while Tin continued to tap-tap-tap against his prostate, forcing precum out of his dick with every thrust - they'd need to change the sheets after this, Can was so wet it was driving Tin insane with lust. "Be a good boy and come for me."

Choking back sobs, Can stroked himself uncertainly at first; he'd never done this with an audience before and he was feeling so shy he wanted to bury himself alive, but Tin's salacious whispering coupled with the fingers up his ass left him no room for shame, so he stroked harder, faster, giving in to the pleasure racing up and down his spine as his fist jacked up and down, his eyes clenched shut as he breathed through his teeth, back bowed and heels digging into the mattress.

"You're so beautiful, Can. Such a good boy, so messy and dirty and so, so good," Tin praised shamelessly, fucking into Can with wanton abandon, imagining Can writhing like this on his cock, the imagery making him so hard he might come in his own underwear without even touching himself. "Come, baby. Fucking come for me," he growled hot and heavy into Can's ear, and he was rewarded with a high-pitched shout from Can in turn as he came, cum spurting up onto both of their stomachs as his cock twitched and jerked in his hand.

Tin slid his fingers out of Can, wiping them on the discarded towel nearby before cuddling Can close, brushing his sweat-soaked hair back away from his brows as he cried brokenly in Tin's arms. This wasn't just after-sex crying, but rather the build-up of emotions from the entire ordeal that'd started nearly twenty-four hours ago. Tin carefully moved Can out of the wet spot, using the towel to clean up the mess on their skin before tossing it aside and pulling the blanket up over them. Throughout it all, he didn't stop hugging Can, whispering soft words of devotion, stroking his skin and wiping his tears until finally Can passed out from a combination of mental and physical exhaustion. Tin lay with him until he was sure Can was definitely asleep for the night, and only then did he carefully extricate himself from the bedding, tucking Can in before getting himself dressed silently, leaving the room.

***

The sound of a dull thud followed by a groan came from the shadowy back office of a trading firm.

Tin stood over the man curled pitifully on the ground in front of him, giving him another kick, his eyes narrowing into pleased slits as the man dry-heaved in agony.

"He was just playing his part, can't you go easy on him?" The well-dressed man sitting behind the desk didn't sound overly concerned despite his words, and once he finished counting the money in the manila envelope, he tossed a rubber-banded portion of the cash to the man on the ground, before sliding the rest into a safe built into the desk.

"I said no serious injuries," Tin countered coldly.

The man on the ground cried out, angrily, "He fucking bit me!"

Tin drew back his foot as if to kick the man again, but he paused as the man whimpered pathetically. Although he'd acted overzealously, at least he sold the part. At no point did Can even suspect that the men who'd kidnapped him had done so at Tin's behest, that the entire drama was of his own orchestration. He'd set it all up flawlessly; from the 'missed' messages and calls to making sure the 'kidnappers' spoke to him on speakerphone. He'd wanted Can roughed up so he'd be extra grateful to Tin for saving him, but the sight of those bruises afterward had still set his teeth on edge. His one worry through the whole ordeal had been that Can would be hurt worse than he'd wanted.

With one last disdainful look toward the man on the ground, Tin took his leave, returning home and sliding into bed beside the sleeping boy who immediately turned in his sleep, shamelessly burying his face in Tin's chest for cuddles he'd never be able to ask for if he were actually awake.

***

In the end, it was worth it. Sure, Can had some bruises that would last a while, and sure, the nightmares sometimes woke him up crying in the middle of the night, but these just pushed him further into Tin's arms, certain that Tin would make it all better, would keep him safe.

And he would. As he'd vowed to himself not so long ago - he would never let Can go, and would do anything to keep him by his side.

Anything.