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Eleven Heartbeats

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Pride. It’s a strange concept, really, and for two nights and almost three whole days he’s been thinking about it, when he’s not been pacing, panicking and shaking on the floor. Or falling into one of many short lapses of restless sleep. Being alone with the thoughts about pride, where he lost it – if he ever had it to begin with – has only left Juice sinking deeper down into the self-loathing, the shame and destructive spirals his brain turns to when not stopped.

No one has come to kill, rape or even  beat him though and he’s decided to write it off as a sign of Tully’s power. That the shot caller probably wants to get the chance himself to teach his little bitch a lesson and while that thought almost kept Juice calm at moments the last three days, it’s certainly not now. Still, when the nazi opens his arms, Juice curls up into them, hating himself for seeking the comfort but he’s so touch-starved he wouldn’t be able to resist the offer if it made him puke.

“Relax, baby. I’m not angry. Not with you anyway…”

The voice that used to make his hairs raise in fear and disgust whispers words that work like a security blanket. They could be useless against the fear in reality but make him feel safer regardless. Three lonely days without human touch or clothes or even a mattress make Tully’s arms a little piece of heaven right now and Juice isn’t giving that up for the cold loneliness of a useless pride.

His cellmate is warm, he’s not smelling and he’s not even touching his ass right now. The darkness covers them, there are no cameras showing directly into the cell and Juice finds himself nuzzling the chest with the SS mark, the one saying half-breeds like him should be put to death but he doesn’t care. He really doesn’t give a shit as long as he’s treated like he’s alive and breathing.

Tully lets him. The arms form a cradle, rocking his body and the hands are stroking his back, not gripping and tugging. Realistically, he knows that could change in a second, but he doesn’t care. He’s longed for this ever since he was taken to the hole and he swallows.

“Sorry for… I’m sorry, papi…”

There’s a moment of stiffness in Tully’s body, only a second though and then there’s a sigh onto the stubble on his head.

“Shh, baby, I’m not angry with you… Glad you’re back, my pretty Puerto Rican… Papi missed you…”

Juice shivers, it’s a bit from worries but mostly he’s still cold and his muscles are so sore. He just called AB’s number three papi. After pulling another of them off his feet. And the nights in the hole have been ridden with nightmares, panic attacks and worst of all, the loneliness. Hearing Tully take the word in his mouth, acceptingly, feels like a trick.

“He’s been punished, baby. No one’s touching my boy without my permission, and I’ll never give permission for anyone to touch you…”

It’s difficult to keep a realistic and sober thought process going right now. Letting the voice angrily screaming of rape and nazis and what a pathetic little whore he is for finding solace in his rapist’s reassurements wont help. Not at the moment anyway, not if he wants any sleep. He’s barely slept two hours in a row without a nightmare or just restless stirrings for two nights now and his body is screaming for warmth, for relaxation. For human touch.

Tully is a monster, yet he’s so gentle now. A rapist who, for some reason Juice still can’t fathom, has stopped raping him at a point where he just got all but complete access to his ass. He sighs.

“Why aren’t you fucking me?”

He’s an idiot for bringing it up, for encouraging ideas that certainly don’t need encouragement.

“You want me to?”

A thumb wandering up towards his face, stroking his cheek.

“You’re gonna be exhausted in the morning if you don’t sleep now, my pretty Puerto Rican. We both will, so stop talking now.”

The voice isn’t hard, the order not spiteful or even irritated. Juice swallows, fingers grasping carefully onto Tully’s undershirt.

“S-stay, p-please?”
“Where would I go, baby?”
“I mean… with me…”

He should combust from shame, but he’s out of reach for it now.

“I’m right here, baby. Papi’s right here…”

If there’s a thing a miracles, Juice would say that the raspy, usually so even voice sounded like it cared. But there are no miracles and in here, you grab what scraps of care you’re offered, even if they’re poisonous. And Juice buries the shame again, forgets about the pride and falls asleep, finally warming up.