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Peering Through Windows

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He handed me a pair of pliers
and he told me to pull out his teeth,
because as long as he'd had them he'd
use them to do bad things.
You're cold on the inside,
there's a dog in your heart
and it tells you to tear everything apart.
My body's covered in teeth marks.
Your bite's worse than your bark.
You ruin everything you touch and
destroy anyone you love.
You're all over me.

- Dog Teeth, Nicole Dollanganger


Against his will, he began to cry.

Slow sobs that seemed to come from the very bottom of his stomach...sobs that wracked his body, and pulled the most painful emotions out of the dark tangle that made up his heart. He cried what felt like bloody tears, and they slid like knives down his cheeks to land in a pool around his knees.  

Kyle hung his head. The tears continued to fall, cutting into his skin and leaving burning trails of shame. He hated himself for crying. In fact, he hated himself for feeling anything deeply enough to make him want to cry.  

He knew he had displeased him in some way. He wasn't sure how exactly, but nevertheless Kyle knew he wasn't at all happy with him.  After getting home from work Kyle had fallen asleep on the sofa in the living room, and when he had awoken, he had been handcuffed and propped against the wall in the basement with his clothes gone, leaving him to shiver under the chilled fluorescent lighting.

Kyle's head was swimming. Feeling terribly groggy, he managed to turn his head slightly and move his arm a little. A tiny red spot hovering over a swollen vein caught his attention.

He had drugged him. Again.

With Thorazine, no doubt, he thought, tiredly. It's amazing that I didn't wake up when he injected it.  That's what I get for marrying a doctor...and a good doctor at that.

The “good doctor” had done something like this before, drugging him while asleep so he'd wake up in a completely compromised state; filled with a pervasive sense of terror. The reason for such behavior was always the same: he had “displeased” him in some fashion.

Attempting to shake the cloudiness from his brain, he tried to sit up straight; his head throbbing from the effort. A soft clucking of a tongue emanated from the doorway of the basement.  Kyle lifted his head slightly to see his husband walking towards him, his patent leather shoes clicking as he descended the steps. Involuntarily, he cringed against the cold wall; residual aches registering in his back. He gritted his teeth and could've cried from that alone; he'd been so close to being completely healed from their last song and dance, and now this.

“You seem so sad, Kyle,” his husband said, voice smooth and soothing like honey dripping from a spoon, though lacking its cloying sweetness. “Crying doesn't suit you, not at times like this. Where's your fire, huh?"

He sighed a little. In one smooth motion, he knelt before Kyle, and rested one large hand on his pale, exposed thigh.

“You're always so difficult, you know that? I feel like I've been pretty clear in what I expect from you, and just don't seem to get it. Or maybe you do get it and you just don't want to play the game, which, frankly, I find even more concerning."

Kyle felt unbearably helpless in the face of his current circumstances, and as such, could only stare up at his husband with wide, fearful eyes; vague fury registering somewhere deep in his brain. Deep in the place where he was still able to muster up rebellion, but that part of himself was becoming weaker and weaker with every passing year.

Suddenly, his husband was reaching out a hand slowly, causing Kyle to recoil against the wall. Staring at it with terror, cold sweat leaked out of Kyle's pores as they regarded one another. Grey eyes studied him, eyes that were narrowed and methodical, but sudden humor ignited in them. Again, the hand drifted forward and caressed Kyle's cheek, smelling of something medicinal; most likely the soap he'd used prior to sliding his hands into a patient laid out on the operating table.

"Are you going to recite the little poem we agreed on while I correct you?" He murmured, sliding a roughened thumb across Kyle's lips.

Kyle choked back another sob and nodded his head slowly. He didn't want to, but he knew he didn't have a choice; not if he wanted to be able to walk tomorrow.

"Say it for me now," his husband commanded, standing. "I like to hear it...I love to hear your voice at times like this. It's like we can be completely honest with each other."

Trembling, Kyle closed his eyes and willed himself far, far away where misery was just another concept that didn't exist; a place where lemon drops melted above the chimney tops and bluebirds sang. Teardrops coursed down his cheeks as his tremulous voice filled the gloom, his mind working tirelessly to conjure up the happy memories before the horrors began.

"Louder, love," his husband said. "After all, this is for your own good, isn't it?"

He was readying something but Kyle wasn't going to try and piece it together in the darkness. In instances like this it was better to be surprised; usually that made it so whatever happened didn't hurt as much. He kept his eyes shut tight as he repeated himself, the words drenching the air and filling it with a light out of place in a world of such misery:

Your heart is a dish,
Fill it with joy
And it will quench sorrow.
Fill it with sorrow
And it will drown joy.