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CHAPTER ONE - Prologue

Jak took another shot of vodka and scrunched his face up when he felt it burn in his throat. "Screw you Dax" he groaned. Daxter just snickered "You started it buddy" in response. Daxter was screwing him over really hard. Why had he agreed to play this stupid game again? He could hardly remember how it started. To be fair, this was his 9th shot in under an hour.

Daxter had dragged Jak out to Krew's bar with him that night, yapping about how he needed an intimidating bloke to scare away the jackasses that didn't realize he wasn't actually someone's pet. Jak knew that wasn't the real reason. Daxter had caught him with a needle in his arm again the night before. He had been too high on green eco to even be ashamed. The shame hit him hard the next morning though, which is why he only protested a little when Daxter asked him to come with him. He knew Daxter wanted to keep a close eye on him, wanted him to have some fun with friends for a change instead of going off alone to live in his own head. The embarrassment of being treated like a child irritated the dark eco in his vains, but the shame and a desire to make his best friend happy were stronger. So there he was, playing "Never Have I Ever" like a teenage girl and secretly enjoying himself... a little.

It vaguely occured to Daxter that getting his unstable drug addicted friend shitfaced might be a bad idea. If he wasn't drunk himself he would probably have put a stop to it. But it had been such a long time since he'd seen Jak so relaxed. Poor judgement or not, he did not want to ruin that by being uncharacteristically responsible all of the sudden.

Tess had kicked the game off with the most innocent yet revealing "Never Have I Ever" Jak had ever heard. Cute as always. "Never have I ever cried because of a song" she said, taking a shot herself right after. Keira, Daxter and Jak didn't take a shot. Jak tried to fight off the heat in his cheeks as he remembered a particular song from his time in Sandover. Keira cooed "Jak, you're blushing". Apparently he failed. Shit. "Am not" he protested, somehow turning even redder. He didn't like it when his emotions were on display like this. Normally he had a pretty good grip on what the rest of the world got to see (though he could never hide anything from Daxter), but the few beers he drank before the game were making it hard to keep everything stowed away. "Drink up Mr. Sensitive" Daxter laughed. Jak grumbled something that sounded like "that was before Haven City" before slamming the vodka back. He heard Krew snicker at him when he flew by. Fantastic.

Keira just went straight for the more typical dirty stuff. "Never have I ever been caught having sex". Tess giggled and took a shot. Daxter gaped at her for a second before putting on his flirty persona. "Who was lucky enough to get that reputation boost, sweet stuff?". Jak thanked the precursors for distracting Daxter from the fact that he wasn't drinking. His gratefulness lasted for about 10 seconds. Alright, fuck you, you ancient assholes. "Are you going to lie through the whole game Jak? I've caught you on your kn- OW!" Daxter exclaimed in an accusatory tone when Jak slapped him on the back of his head. He prayed Keira and Tess didn't hear enough of that last sentence to get any ideas. "Fine! I'll drink. Just shut your mouth Dax" he growled before taking his second shot. Keira and Tess giggled and said "Oh come on, details!". Jak quickly changed the subject, evil smirk on his face when he looked in to Daxter's eyes and said "Never have I ever scraped my butt on a tree to get the poop out of my fur". The girls giggled louder and Dax took a shot. The grin on Daxter's face when he put the glass down made it very clear to Jak that he had made a huge mistake. "That how you wanna play it huh? Fine." Daxter said.

That little stunt of his escalated quickly, all three of his friends now trying to come up with "Never Have I Ever"s that would only have Jak drinking. "Never have I ever carried my best friend around in my pocket". "Never have I ever blown up a stolen zoomer". To everyone's surprise Keira took a shot at that one too. "Never have I ever had to run from a horny yakow" (don't ask)... by the time Jak had gulped down his 12th shot all of them were drunk, but no one was as drunk as he was. He watched with a grin and an eye roll as Daxter crawled in between Tess's boobs and pretended to fall asleep. Tess was too drunk herself to pretend to be offended. That was the last thing he could remember of that night.

His next moment of consciousness was strange and hazy. He tried to rub his eyes to get some clarity but found that he couldn't move his arms. A paralyzing fear came over him as he realized what was going on. He was back on the table. Slowly, Erol's laughing face morphed in to existence from the darkness surrounding him. He tried to shout abuse at him, but he was gagged. "Told you I'd get you back Jak..." Erol said with a grin. His hand was slowly stroking up and down his naked chest. "You didn't think I'd let my favorite toy go that easily, did you?". Jak whimpered as Erol's hands went lower and lower. "Please Erol... don't." Wait, how was he saying that? Wasn't he gagged? "Not today. Please stop... just torture me like a normal sadist... please no... NO" he yelled, bolting upright. He sat up straight for a while, shivering in cold sweat and gasping for air. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a familiar voice say "Damn Jak".

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CHAPTER TWO - Just Taking Care of Business

Torn was pacing back and forth in the living room of the Underground safe house he had been staying in ever since he quit the Krimson Guard, trying not to think about anything at all but failing miserably. He had spent the day at the hideout, figuring out ways to sabotage Praxis and mapping out missions. He had spent the last three days at the hideout doing exactly that. He didn't know who kept ratting him out to Ashelin but he knew someone was. Every time he spent more than two nights at the hideout or (let's be honest, it was usually and instead of or) slept less than 4 hours a night, she'd waltz in to the hideout like she owned the place and annoyed him until he agreed to go "home" and get some rest. Torn would have thought it was sweet if he didn't have an oppressive government to overthrow.

His mind was racing, going over the plans he had been working on again and again. For short periods of time his mind drifted away from the plans, but not to anything remotely relaxing. Flashes of memories of a smiling 10 year old tugging on his hand slipped through while he was trying to figure out a strategy for dealing with a new kind of metal head a scout had informed him about. He tried to push the memories away, but when he did his time with the Krimson Guard started to push itself to the foreground. So he tried to push that away, only for his mind to wander to sex of all things. He groaned in frustration and pulled on his dreads. "GOD DAMMIT" he suddenly yelled, scaring the shit out of one of the Underground soldiers that was also staying at the safe house. This wasn't going to work. He knew Ashelin was right. He was killing himself working non stop for the Underground. But what she didn't understand is that he not only wanted to put as much in to the cause as he could, he needed to if he wanted to stay sane. He had no desire or time to mull over old memories and mundane urges. Every moment spent on something else could be the last nail in the coffin of Haven City.

He growled to himself as he janked his leather jacket from the chair he had thrown it on. Ashelin was going to be pissed to hear that he only managed to "rest" for a whopping three hours before returning to the hideout in the middle of the night. He was going to get an earful but he couldn't bring himself to care. Mind still reeling he pulled the hoodie of his jacket over his dreads and hid most of his face behind a scarf. He considered covering up his tattoos with some (illegal, of course) make up but decided not to. It would be dark outside and he knew the latest KG patrol routes. He probably wouldn't run in to trouble and even if he did, they probably wouldn't recognize him. He stomped outside and headed to the hideout.

He was so trapped inside of his own head he didn't even notice that some drunk baffoon was blabbering at him until he grabbed him by the arm. He janked his arm away, looking up to glare at the idiot that was distracting him. It took him a couple of seconds to realize that it was an abosulety wasted Jak. Apparantly the boy was so shitfaced that Torn janking his arm away was enough to sent him face first in to the ground. "Ow Torn! Whaddaya did *hic* did that for?". Shit, if a drunk Jak can recognize me... I really should use the make up more. Torn looked around, searching for the talking rat that was always with Jak but he didn't see him anywhere. "Jak? What the hell are you doing here at 02:00 am?" Torn asked when he pulled Jak to his feet. Jak didn't seem to hear him. He wobbled on his legs for a moment before collapsing against Torn's chest. "I played a game Torn" he finally replied, slurring the words together. He started giggling like a mad man, but Torn was pretty pissed off. What the hell did Jak think he was doing? Did he want to be captured by the KG? He was about to chew him out when Jak suddenly stumbled away from him, bent over and barfed all over the ground in front of Torn's feet.

Torn pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes for a second. He was so not in the mood to deal with this yakow crap. He was not Jak's goddamn babysitter for fuck's sake. But he couldn't just wave goodbye and leave him stumbling around like this. He was going to get himself in serious trouble. Torn decided he was gonna kick his ass tomorrow, but right now he was going to take care of the boy.

"Ok, we need to get you to a bed ASAP" he said to Jak. Jak wiped his mouth and pouted at him. Cute. Cute? Wow I've really been awake for too long. "Where's your apartment jackass?" he asked roughly, grabbing Jak by the arm. Suddenly, Jak wrapped his arms around Torn's neck and giggled "You're taking me to bed Torn? Well ok, but don't tell anyone". Torn's eyes widened and a blush crept up his cheeks as certain mental images flashed before his eyes. "Get your mind out of the gutter, pervert" he told himself. Great, so Jak was a flirty drunk. He probably flirted with everyone when he was like this. Dear Mar, did the kid down a whole bottle of absinth or something? Slightly embarrassed he opened his mouth to tell Jak off. "Ssssshhhh" Jak slurred, trying to put his index finger on Torn's lips and almost poking him in the eye in the process. Torn couldn't help but be a little amused. His annoyance was the more dominant emotion at the moment though.

He feared getting a straight answer out of Jak was going to take a whole lot of time. Plus he kind of suspected Jak didn't have an apartment anyway. With a sigh he wiped Jak's arms from his shoulders and put a hand on his back, guiding him to the hideout as quickly as he could. Jak could sleep it off in there. It was a pain in the ass to get him there with all the stumbling around and babbling about the game he played, but they arrived safely. Jak basically passed out the second Torn pushed him onto one of the beds.

Torn was glad there was no one else at the hideout. He had no idea why, but Torn just had to put a blanket over the sleeping boy before he went back to work. It was even more of a mystery to him why he kept looking at Jak every once in a while, or why he thought he was kind of adorable asleep and relaxed. "Concentrate on the mission, ya pervert" his mind helpfully offered whenever his attention was drifting.

He actually managed to do quite a lot of work. He was tracing a route the Underground could possibly use to smuggle weapons on a map of Haven Forest when a noise distracted him. He glanced at the clock: 07:00 am. He looked around the room, searching for the source of the noise. He froze when his eyes landed on Jak.

Jak was lying on his back, gripping the matrass beneath him with so much force he ripped it a little. His eyes were moving wildly behind his eyelids and his face was contorted in an expression Torn had never seen on him before: fear. Real fear. Jak was trashing around, whimpering in a high pitched voice. Torn immediately recognized what he was seeing. Jak was having a nightmare. The kind of nightmare that could only be triggered by trauma. The kind of nightmare that he was all too familiar with himself.

Torn felt his ears burn as he watched Jak trash around, feeling something like second-hand humiliation in his throat and face. Then Jak started to talk. "Please Erol... don't." Oh dear Mar, please no! I shouldn't be hearing this! Torn felt his face heat up even more, a knot forming in his stomach. He had never heard Jak say 'please' before and here he was listening to him beg for mercy.

Jak had never spoken about it, but of course Torn had figured out the basics of what happened to Jak before he joined the Underground. He knew he was kidnapped by Praxis and used for eco experiments for two years. He knew Jak turned... dark when he got angry, though he didn't know what that meant exactly. He knew Erol performed the experiments. Still, hearing Jak say Erol's name hit him like a brick. He felt his stomach turn. He knew Erol from his time as a Krimson Guard, which means he also knew what Jak's tone implied. He felt like he was going to puke when his next words seemed to confirm what he feared.

"Not today. Please stop... just torture me like a normal sadist". Torn was absolutely frozen in place. Fuck, what the hell was he going to do? "please no... NO" . Jak suddenly bolted upright, covered in sweat and chest heaving. Before he could stop himself Torn opened his mouth. "Damn Jak".

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CHAPTER THREE - At the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Jak was still trying to rip himself away from his nightmare when Torn had made himself known. When he looked up all that registered with him were the tattoos. His mind replayed the words he just heard but twisted them too, making them sound like the horny "Damn Jak"s Erol used to pant in his ear while he was torturing him. When Torn got up and walked past his desk Jak panicked, trying to scramble away and ending up on the floor.

"Shit! Calm down Jak, you're ok". Fuck, should've kept your mouth shut moron! Jak scrambled backwards further, arms hiding his face. "Daxter?" he yelled. "Jak, it's Torn. You're at the hideout. Erol's not here". Slowly Jak lowered his arms. Torn didn't know what was worse, witnessing Jak's PTSD nightmare or the look on the kid's face when Jak realized he had. He looked a little angry, but there was mostly shame and humiliation written all over his face. Torn was trying to figure out what the hell he was going to say when Jak got to his feet and sprinted to the bathroom. He wondered if Jak had to throw up because of the nightmare or because of the massive hangover he must have.

Jak stayed in the bathroom long after he was done being sick. He sat on the floor next to the toilet with his knees drawn to his chest and his head in his hands. Why did he have this massive headache? Throwing up after an 'episode' was normal for him, but he didn't have headaches. I have a hangover... I got drunk last night. That explained both the headache and the fact that he had no fucking clue how he got to the hideout. Somehow he had ended up here and Torn had seen him terrified. Fuck. He flushed bright red as he thought about what Torn must have heard him say. What if he said enough for Torn to figure out what kind of torture methods Erol preferred? He had barely survived the humiliation when Daxter had figured it out and Dax had handled it like champ. Torn probably thought he was weak. Maybe he'd even stop giving him missions. Maybe Torn will leave if I stay here long enough. Jak thought to himself. It's not like you've ever seen him express an emotion... maybe he wants an excuse not to talk about this as much as you do". He let out a disgusted groan as he realized that Daxter hadn't been there this time to hold his hair back. He dragged himself in to the shower, hoping that Torn would take his chance to bail once he heard the water pouring.

Torn was leaning on his desk, frantically trying to figure out what to do. He noticed that Jak stayed in the bathroom for a long time after he had stopped throwing up. He's embarrassed. He probably hopes you'll leave so he doesn't have to talk about it. Honestly, it was tempting. Torn had no idea how to handle this. He carefully maintained his tough commander demeanor, partly because the Underground needed a leader like that but mostly because it was the easiest way for him to be. When you radiate an energy like that people don't exactly feel compelled to discuss any emotional trouble with you. He had no idea how to comfort someone. Jak was one unlucky kid, having this happen around the person who was probably the least equipped to deal with it gracefully.

Maybe it really would be better if I left. Torn mused. At least it would save Jak some embarrassment. Not to mention himself. He didn't want to get close to people, but this is not the kind of thing you can talk about without growing at least a little closer. How could he remain a strong leader if he had to either worry about or grieve over friends all the time? Maybe Jak would be fine if they just pretended nothing ever happened. He started walking towards the door of the hideout, feeling worse with every step he took. Somehow, this was different. Jak was... already his friend. Shit, when had that happened? He didn't even make it to the stairs before deciding he couldn't just walk away.

He understood what Jak was going through better than he could ever know. When he was Jak's age, before he had learned how to hide his emotions, there had been a lot of signs that he was not ok. He knew many older adults had noticed and he knew that just as many completely ignored all of those signs. That had fucked him up almost as bad as what had happened to him. He'd be a hypocrite and even worse, a coward, if he did the same thing. Despite the fact that his combat boots suddenly felt like they were made of lead he turned around and walked back to his desk . He was at least going to try to let the kid know his secret was safe. He groaned when he heard the shower turn on. He was going to have to be alone with his thoughts for a while, wasn't he?

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CHAPTER FOUR - Confrontation

About 15 minutes later Jak finally came out of the shower, dressed in the same clothes he fell asleep in. Torn didn't know what he was expecting but it certainly wasn't for Jak to march over to him, grab him by the collar and shove him against the wall. His face was twisted in an angry scowl as he leant in very close and snarled "One word of this... ONE. WORD. to ANYONE... and I'll feed you to the metal heads myself, got it?". In hindsight Torn really should have anticipated this reaction. It's amazing how seeing someone in a vulnerable state can make you forget what they are usually like.

He ignored his instincts to fight back and just gently grabbed Jak's wrists. "I'll never talk about it with anyone, I promise" he said in a calm voice. Jak was thrown off by the uncharacteristic gentleness. He had expected more of a fight. He opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before deciding none of the comebacks he had rehearsed in his head were applicable. He slowly let go of Torn's collar and turned around so he didn't have to look at him.

"How much did you figure out?" he asked. Torn saw the tension in Jak's shoulders and back, heard the anxiety in his voice. He almost lied and said "I just came in when you woke up" or something equally stupid. Instead he said "Erol did a lot more to you than just perform the eco experiments, didn't he? Satisfied his own needs?". He saw Jak's ears turn red and his shoulders hunch. "I- ... He-..". Torn turned Jak around by the shoulder and pretended not to see the tears in his eyes. "That fucker is going to be dead soon Jak, and you are going to be the one to kill him. I can feel it." he said with a smirk. Jak sort of smiled at that.

"I... I'm gonna go. Dax is probably worried about me." Jak said suddenly . He tried to hurry to the door but Torn stopped him. Jak was looking at basically everything in the room but him. "Torn... don't.". Torn sighed and said "Sit down, Jak", gesturing to one of the beds. Jak visibly hesitated but eventually sat down. Torn sat down on the bed opposite to Jak. Jak had found the courage to look him in the eye again. "Look Jak. We will never talk about this again if you don't want to ok? But we can't leave it like this, you know what I mean?". Jak grumbled "I guess".

Suddenly it was Torn who was avoiding eye contact. It took a couple of tries but eventually Torn stopped opening and closing his mouth like a fish and actual sound came out. "I... have been through something similar." he admitted. Jak gaped at him. "You?" Jak asked in disbelief. "But you are the toughest guy I know". Torn looked him in the eye and said "Tough or not, this kind of bad luck can cross anyone's path, Jak." Torn took a second to figure out what to say next. "It... I had nightmares like yours too. I still do sometimes. I didn't talk about it with anyone for years. I started talking to Ashelin eventually and... Well, if I had done something like that sooner it probably wouldn't have taken me 8 years to start recovering."

Jak thought about it as he talked. Torn has been.... just like him? Part of him believed he was still dreaming. Torn was actually telling him something this painful and personal right now? Torn saw Jak pinch himself. He rolled his eyes and pinched Jak's ear. "Ow Torn" Jak protested, slapping his hand away. "There, you're awake alright? I'm trying to open up here. I'm a little rusty, cut me some slack." he huffed. Jak grinned at that. It was oddly comforting to know that Torn understood what happened to him on a personal level. Torn finally continued. "I guess what I'm trying to say is don't ignore it. Talk about it. You can try to stomp it down but it will always come back.". Jak still couldn't quite believe this was happening. "Talk about it? With you?" Jak asked perplexed. Torn shrugged. "Look, I really fucking suck at talking about shit like this but I'm willing to try if you ever want to talk to someone who gets it, is all I'm saying. At least talk to the rodent if you're more comfortable with that." Torn said.

"I don't know if I can" Jak said. Torn nodded and said "Ok. Just keep it in the back of your mind". Torn and Jak just stared at each other for a while after that. Torn cleared his throat and said "So, uhm... dismissed?". Jak stood up and walked to the exit of the hideout. "Thanks, Torn" he said while walking through the door. "Oh and by the way, don't get that fucking drunk again you hear me?" Torn yelled after him. He let out a half amused, half annoyed snort when Jak's sarcastic "Ok, dad" reached him .

Torn sighed with relief. He felt like he had handled that pretty well.

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CHAPTER FIVE - Bits and Pieces

Jak was surprised to find that he didn't feel like total crap when he left the hideout. Honestly, he was grateful that Torn had had the guts to talk to him. If they hadn't Jak would have worried himself sick, wondering if Torn was disgusted by him, if he was going to tell someone, if his status in the Underground would be affected... He was glad to know it was ok.

Jak groaned in pain as the bright sunlight worsened his headache. Emotionally he might have felt a lot better than he expected but physically... I'm never touching alcohol again he thought as he basically dragged himself to the bar. Hopefully he would find Daxter there. Preferably with some tall glasses of water.

Aside from Tess the Hip Hog was empty when he entered. No Krew, no customers, not even a single gaggle of criminals in sight. Tess was cleaning up the mess of last night, probably getting ready to close the bar for the day. "Jak! What are you doing here? Came to brag about your night to Daxter?" Tess giggled when she saw him come in. Brag? Brag about what? "You just missed him! He left like 5 minutes ago to find you. I'm surprised you didn't run in to each other!"

"How did he know where to find me?" Jak asked, confused. He sat down at the bar. "Tess, can I have some water? I've got a wicked hangover." Tess raised an eyebrow as she poured him an entire pitcher. "What do you mean honey? You went home with Keira right?" Keira? Oh fuck... He vaguely remembered making out with her a little behind the Hip Hog but for some reason that didn't feel like a happy memory. We had a fight. He couldn't remember what the fight was about, but it had made him angry enough to get the dark eco boiling. I left. I was afraid I would hurt her.

"Right" he lied, not ready to examine that memory further. "I guess he took the route through the gardens then". He gratefully gulped down half of the pitcher in one go. More memories started to come back. He had been aimlessly wandering around the city after the fight. He ran in to Torn and he had made a total ass out of himself. He groaned and downed more water as he remembered almost puking over the commander's shoes. Why did he have a memory of Torn's face so close to his? You're taking me to bed Torn? Well OK, but don't tell anyone. He had been flirting with him, hadn't he? Oh fuck... Oh FUCK! You fucking moron!

Tess misunderstood his silence and the blush on his cheeks. "You two had a wild night didn't you? Don't think about it too hard at my bar or I'll have to spray you like a cat" she smirked, winking at him. Feeling flustered Jak got up and said "Thanks for the water Tess! I'll talk to you later, I gotta find Dax". He dashed out the door so fast he didn't notice the look of suspicion on Tess's face.

On the other side of the city Daxter walked in to Keira's garage with a grin on his face. "Goooood morning lovebirds! Everybody indecent? Don't bother getting dressed for me!" His face fell when he saw Keira was alone and crying. "Keira? What's the problem, hun? Where's Jak?" Keira sniffled and wrapped her arms around herself. "We had a fight Daxter. A big one. I don't know where he is". Daxter climbed in to Keira's lap. "Oh boy, what did he do? I'll slap some sense in to him for ya Keira, don't you worry!" Keira managed a watery smile and said "I'm afraid it's not that simple this time, Daxter. But thanks."

Jak walked in to the garage just as Daxter opened his mouth to ask for more details. "Dax! There you are." He froze when he saw the tears on Keira's face. "Uh... Hey Keira" he said shyly, one hand scratching the back of his head like it always did when Jak was feeling awkward. "I know I have something to apologize for, but for the life of me I can't remember what." Jak said sheepishly.

Keira wiped the tears of her face and suddenly steeled herself. "Not really Jak. You were right yesterday." Jak looked confused. "Don't you remember why you got so angry?" Keira asked. She put Daxter on the table, stood up and turned her back to Jak. Keira sighed. "I said I missed the carefree you. I said I wished you would cheer up sometimes". The anger suddenly flared up in full force as he heard the words. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. "You got angry and basically told me 'too bad, this is who I am now'. And you know what, you were right".

"Keira... I-" Jak started. "No Jak, you were. You are not the boy I liked so much back in Sandover anymore. And that makes total sense. I mean, after all the stuff that happened to you... It's unfair to expect you to be that guy again. I'm sorry that I made you feel bad about changing." Jak moved closer. He tried to wrap his arms around her, but she pushed him away. "I've changed too. I think we changed in opposite directions, you know. Grown apart." She turned to look at Jak and was glad she didn't see anger in his face. He just looked sad. "So this is over then? For real?" he asked. Keira nodded.

Daxter was looking at the two of them, ears drooping and eyes sadder than Jak's. He felt like crying when Jak just sighed, resting his forehead against Keira's and kissing her one last time. "I'll see you around, Keira. Come on Dax" Jak said, tapping his shoulder. "Hop on buddy". Daxter climbed up his arm, for once in his life at a total loss for words. "See you later Keira" he said awkwardly as Jak walked towards the door.

"Boy, that was rough" Daxter said when they were out of earshot. "How are you doing, pal?". Jak thought about that question for a second. He was sad but also relieved. He had been trying to hold on to Keira so hard, trying to hold on to one of the last pieces of Sandover he had, and it had been exhausting. Keira was right. They had both changed too much. Since their first meeting here in Haven City he had been pretending around her. "I guess I saw this coming. I'll be fine.". Daxter frowned and rubbed his cheek against Jak's shoulder. He didn't know how else to comfort his friend in his ottsel body.

"Dax, something bad happened last night. Besides the fight." Daxter looked at Jak's face. "What is it?" he said anxiously. "Torn found me wandering the streets. He brought me to the hideout. I... had an episode while he was there working." Daxter saw the shame in his face. "Oh shit. How bad was it?" he asked. "It could have been worse. But he figured out what Erol... how he liked to... what happened" he finished clumsily. "Jeez you are having a rough couple of days, aren't you? I should have never left you alone drunk like that. I'm sorry buddy." Jak patted Daxter on the head and said "Hey now, none of that. I fucked it up all by myself".

"So, how did Tattooed Wonder react? Did he need to reboot himself after figuring it out?" Jak rolled his eyes at the robot comment. "He was actually pretty great about it. Said I should talk to someone about Erol. And that he wouldn't tell anyone." Daxter was staring at him with his mouth open. "Are you sure you were talking to Torn? Maybe he has a friendly twin brother or something?" "Very funny. No, he was just... nice."

Daxter didn't know if he was imagining it, but Jak seemed more relaxed than usual despite the awful breakup he had just witnessed. He felt a new appreciation for Torn. He took good care of his friend.

"Hey, let's go to the gun range! I wanna see you shoot up the gold record this time!" Jak grinned at him and hopped on an unattended zoomer. Daxter hoped some senseless violence would help Jak forget about everything that was going on for a while.

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CHAPTER SIX - Baby Steps

Torn hadn't been alone with Jak since That Night. The past three weeks had been no different from any other normal pre-drunk-Jak week, as far as 'normal' exists for people that are trying to overthrow an authoritarian regime. Torn had been working as non-stop as his body (and Ashelin) would allow. Daxter had tried to get under his skin with his stupid jokes. The average amount of Underground soldiers had met their ends. Torn and Jak had fought over the boy's recklessness. Jak's big mouth and tendency to get in his face when they fought had made Torn want to slam the kid down on that big wooden table in the hideout and make it rock. A scout had discovered a new type of metal head. All 'normal'.

There was only one exception: Torn had been worrying about Jak. Whenever night came and most Underground members left for one of the safe houses (or their apartment, if they were lucky enough to still have one), he wondered if Jak would show up and want to talk. It made him restless and kind of nervous. He meant it when he said he would listen if Jak wanted to talk, but that didn't mean it would be easy for him. He didn't like talking about emotions, didn't really know what to do with himself when someone was upset, had a hard time being comforting... he would try, but it would be hard. Truth be told he had been dreading it, which is why it surprised him whenever he felt disappointed because Jak hadn't stopped by.

It was 11:00 pm and Torn was alone in the hideout. No wounded members that needed to stay overnight for once. Torn was just thinking about Jak when the handsome hero walked in with two six packs of beer, no orange ottsel in sight. Here we go. "Hey there tough guy" Jak said as he walked past the bunk beds. "Jak" Torn said a nod. They awkwardly stared at each other for a couple of moments until Jak broke the silence. "Beer?" he said, ripping the wrapper of one of the six packs. Torn took a can and kicked a chair out from under the table, vaguely waving his hand at it. Jak sat down, downed an entire can in one go and grabbed another. "Woah big boy, slow down" Torn said. A challenging grin appeared on Jak's face. "How about you catch up instead, old man.". Torn hated himself a little for taking the bait. He looked Jak straight in the eyes as he gulped down his beer and grabbed another. "I could drink you under the table anyday" Torn said. Jak raised his hands in mock defeat, stupid grin still on his face.

They avoided the elephant in the room for a long time. They talked about missions, zoomers, Krew, even Daxter & Tess. They were both actually having a pretty good time, but the unspoken words could be felt in the air. Torn wasn't quite ready to bring up Erol and neither was Jak, apparantly. He decided to ask something personal to break the ice a little. "So Daxter normally sleeps at Tess's. Where do you normally sleep?" Jak looked at him sideways, a little thrown by the question. "Dax and I usually sleep in the same place actually. But he's been going to Tess's every once in a while, yeah. We sleep anywhere we can.". He paused and took another big sip of his beer. "We used to find hidden places in the city and sleep there. But last time we tried that I woke up with a KG boot on my neck, so now we go to the forest or Dead Town.". "Shit, do you think they recognized you?" Torn asked. Jak stared at his beer and said "It doesn't matter. I didn't leave any survivors". He kept staring at his beer. "Damn." Torn said, keeping his tone purposefully void of judgement. "Yeah. I'm glad though. If I hadn't killed them I probably would've been back on Erol's table by now".

And there it is. "I would have done the same" Torn simply said. It made Jak smile. They didn't talk about Erol for the rest of the night, but Torn felt like Jak's casual acknowledgement made it a little easier to bring it up again some other time. They talked about nothing in particular until both six packs were gone. "I think I'm gonna go find a soft tree in the forest, man" Jak slurred. He got up from his chair, steadying himself before he could fall over. "You're drunk. Remember last time? I don't think you should go wander the streets. Just take a bed" Torn jawned. "You know why I can't" Jak said. "There's no one here." Torn answered. Jak shook his head. "Yeah, but people could walk in at any moment." I could send him to a safe house... but the chances that he'll get to sleep alone there are practically zero. Shit. Torn sighed and got up. "Follow me". Jak had a skeptical look on his face but did as he was told anyway. They walked to the back of the hideout. Torn opened the door of a storage room. "There's an old matress in here. Use it whenever you want.". He pointedly looked at Jak's clothes. "There's also a washing machine in the room across the hall". Jak looked at his dirty pants and sheepishly scratched the back of his head. Cute. "Do you also have a shower hidden somewhere?" Jak asked. Torn snickered "Yeah, end of the hall. You showered here before remember? Clean clothes in the bathroom cabinet".

It was probably the alcohol but Jak suddenly felt a little emotional. Torn was offering him a safe place. If he wasn't drunk he probably would have sneered that he could take care of himself. His pride would have him sleeping on a dirty floor somewhere. But after the surprisingly pleasant evening and six beers that hypothetical reaction seemed ridiculous even to Jak. So instead of lashing out he wrapped his arms around Torn in a hug. He felt very short when he realized his head barely even touched Torn's chin as he pressed it against his chest. Torn let out a shocked noise and froze. Jak almost pulled away, but Torn wrapped his arms around his back just before the awkwardness became too much. They stood like that for a minute or two. Jak nuzzled Torn's chest (something his sober self would never, ever admit). Tattooed Wonder smelled nice. Who knew.

Torn eventually broke the silence, murmering "You reek kid. Go take that shower.". Jak let him go. "Fine. But because I want to, not because you told me to". He walked away with a goofy smirk on his face. Adorable little shit.

His private room in the hideout was next to the shower. Ah, the perks of being second in command. Realizing how tired he was he quickly stripped down to his boxers and crawled in to bed. He was about to doze off when he heard Jak turn on the shower. His mind wandered to the hug they just shared. Jak had been warm. Torn had felt how muscled his arms and chest were as Jak squeezed him. The sound of the shower running made him imagine what those muscles would look like without a shirt covering them. Fuck! Torn groaned when he noticed he was getting hard. He rubbed himself a little through his boxers. This is so wrong. The kid is barely even 18 for fuck's sake. Sober Torn would have ignored his hard on, but his imagination had free reign now. He felt like he was blushing when he imagined Jak washing his hair in that unrealistic shampoo commercial kind of way. Suddenly he was in the shower with him and Jak was dropping to his knees. Ah fuck yeah. He didn't remember taking his dick out of his boxers but he must have at some point. He was stroking himself firmly as he fantasized about Jak teasing him by licking the head of his cock. He started breathing heavily as fantasy-Jak took most of his length in to his mouth and started bobbing his head, wet hair stuck to his face and water running over his back. Torn groaned and sped up his strokes as he imagined Jak moaning with his mouth full of Torn's cock, cheeks flushed and eyes looking up at him mischievously. Fantasy-Jak was hard just from having his cock in his mouth. Torn tried to keep quiet but he couldn't hold back some small groans and moans as he started twisting his hand over the head of his dick on the upward strokes. He came hard as fantasy-him painted Jak's face with cum.

He felt both satisfied and ashamed as he came down from his orgasm. Hopefully he would be able to look Jak in the eye tomorrow. He probably would have felt less guilty if he had known that Jak had been jerking off under the shower too, thinking about Torn's strong arms holding him down as he fucked him from behind.

Neither of them had nightmares that night.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER SEVEN - Proximity

The next three weeks were not so similar to the pre-drunk-Jak weeks of Torn's life. It's not like Jak slept at the hideout every night, but he had still been there quite a lot. He even hung around a little when he didn't have anything to do. That was unfortunate for Torn for two reasons. First, he had to deal with the annoying rat a lot more. Second, Jak unknowingly but constantly distracted him. For example, he learned that Jak cleaned and maintained his guns regularly and the ritual he performed to do that was just plain... erotic. He'd sit on one of the beds and slowly dismantel the gun he was working on. He'd polish every separate goddamn phallic piece with great care. As if that wasn't distracting enough yet, he often stuck his tongue out while he was concentrating before licking his lips. It was both cute and fucking sexy at the same time. Ok, so maybe it was only erotic to Torn. That didn't make it any easier for him to not lose track of what he was doing whenever Jak got to work.

It also didn't help that Jak liked to be a little shit whenever he was bored. He kept finding new ways to annoy him. He started by folding paper planes with Daxter and throwing them at Torn while he was concentrating on some reports. Torn pretended not to notice. When one hit him in the head he stood up and slammed his hands on the table, glaring at Jak. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" he snarled at him. Jak grinned when he said "You twitch when you're trying to ignore us. It's funny." Torn looked at him as if he had lost his mind. "Are you fucking kidding me? I'm doing important work here. Go to your room!" Daxter snickered when Jak said "Did you seriously just say 'Go to your room?'" They stared at each other for a couple of seconds before Jak burst in to laughter. Torn couldn't fight the small smile on his face. Torn really didn't want to encourage Jak's attention seeking bratty bullshit but he couldn't help it as he realized how absurd it had sounded. "Fuck you, you know what I meant" Torn said. "Entertain yourself without involving me". Other ways Jak liked to annoy him included staring at him while he ate and singing some weird ass lewd songs with Daxter. Torn suspected Jak was very out of tune on purpose whenever he sang, just so it would be more annoying.

So maybe they were kind of funny. Maybe he kind of enjoyed having them around. He was never going to admit that out loud. He was still relieved when they left for missions or their own shenanigans most of the time. He honestly did get more work done without them.

What he would be willing to admit if anyone would ever ask him was that he admired Jak and Daxter's friendship, now that he had got to witness it from up close. They were protective over each other. Talked real to each other. Laughed like little children together. They were even quite affectionate. Jak absentmindedly scratched Daxter's belly sometimes when he was a thousand miles away, thinking about Mar knows what. Torn had watched him scratch his friend to sleep twice. He scratched him behind the ears all the time, sometimes because Daxter asked him to ("Come on Jak, I have an itch! It's your fault I have fur anyway. Give a brother some love.") and sometimes just to show appreciation. To top it all off, Daxter slept with Jak in the storage room whenever he wasn't with Tess. Torn had seen him curled up against Jak's chest one night when Jak had forgotten to close the door after coming back from the bathroom. Some people might have thought they were a little too close. Torn just thought it was cute as hell. He also thought it was a great opportunity to annoy them for a change.

He stared at them one evening while Jak was running his hand through the fur on Daxter's belly. Daxter's leg twitched from time to time. "What?" Jak asked when he caught him staring. Torn grinned "You guys are adorable. Did Jak scratch your stomach like that when you were still human, furball?" Jak glared at him, but Daxter just lazily opened an eye and said "Why, Velvet Thunder? You jealous?" Jak looked amused and a little embarrassed when Torn choked on the sip of water he had just taken. "If you were still human you'd be kicking and screaming right now" Jak said. Daxter looked puzzled for a moment before he remembered. "Oh right. I used to be so ticklish. I can't believe I forgot that.". Daxter stared at Jak's stomach with a questioning look on his face. "Dax... don't you dare. No DAX STOP THAT!" Daxter poked Jak's side with his long fingers. Jak shrieked and tried to scramble away but Daxter clung to his tunic with his other hand. Daxter laughed as he teased Jak for a minute. Torn's plan to annoy the duo might have kind of backfired, but he was still amused as he watched them.

Daxter noticed that Jak smiled more since he had talked to Torn. It surprised Daxter. Jak had told him what they had talked about that night he took off with two six packs in his hands. It sounded like he had fun, but it didn't necessarily sound therapeutic. At first he thought it had to be the regular showers, clean clothes and semi-regular sleep. He was sure that was part of it, but even when they were away from the hideout for two or three days Jak seemed cheerier. He talked about Torn a lot (a lot for Jak, which basically meant he had mentioned him maybe twice a day). Daxter could see it in his face whenever he said something about him: Jak was developing a crush on the commander. He had seen that look on his face before when he thought about Keira, or about that girl he had liked before her, or even the handsome tourist boys he was so fond of back in Sandover. He doubted that Torn swung that way, which is why he pretended not to know instead of teasing Jak with it. Even if it wouldn't go anywhere it still did Jak some good and Daxter was glad about that.

Jak found out that Daxter was wrong about Torn after they took down five Hellcat cruisers for the Underground. Daxter had left to brag to Tess and it made Jak feel kind of lonely. He decided to buy some beer again, hoping he would find Torn alone in the hideout. He didn't know if he would be able to talk about Erol, but for the first time he felt like he actually wanted to. Hopefully Torn wouldn't be too busy.

Torn was drawing new KG patrol routes on a map as he walked in. The hideout was empty. Torn was about to tell Jak to leave him alone when he saw the six packs in his hands. "Beer?" he asked exactly the same way he had done three weeks before. He should have told him no. He had far too much work to do. You always have too much work to do. You can't leave him hanging now. "Sure kid" Torn said. He leant against the table as he opened a can. Jak told him about the Hellcats in detail. He got a little excited when he told him about the cruiser that had crashed itself when it tried to follow Jak's zoomer. "Where's Daxter by the way?" Torn asked when Jak proudly told him how Daxter had taken down one of the cruisers. "He went to see Tess. She's going to be hearing about that cruiser for the next ten years" Jak said. "Don't you want to go brag to that Keira girl? She's your girlfriend right?" Tess had told him that ages ago. Jak's face fell a little. "We're not together anymore" he said. "Oh." Torn said. It didn't seem like Jak was going to go in to more detail without being prompted. "Why?" Jak sighed. "Keira and I know each other from before we ended up in Haven City. Before Praxis and Erol. She wants the undamaged 16 year old I used to be. She can't handle the darkness. We broke up six weeks ago." "That sucks man" Torn said, slapping Jak on the shoulder sympathetically. "Had any luck since then?" He grinned as Jak turned a little red. The kid was so easily embarrassed.

"The whole thing with Erol makes it kind of hard for me to trust people like that" Jak said, looking at his knees. He glanced at Torn's face. Torn noticed Jak looked nervous. He took a deep breath and said "Especially guys, you know". Torn felt like fireworks had just been set off in his stomach. He hoped his face didn't show it. Did Jak just suggest... "You like men?" Torn asked. Jak turned bright red, but this time it was not at all amusing. He was clearly ashamed of his attraction to men. He suddenly felt like beating Erol in to a bloody pulp. "Women and men. Or just all, I guess." Jak said. "Have since I was 14". Jak refused to look at him. Was he afraid Torn would be bothered by that? "I was also 14 when I figured out I like men" Torn heard himself say. Shit. He wasn't planning on telling Jak he's gay at all. He mostly said it as a way to assure Jak that it was fine. Jak's head snapped up and he looked at him with wide eyes. "Really? You like both too?". Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. "I'm only attracted to men" Torn said. "I thought you were dating Ashelin" Jak said with a confused frown. "Ashelin and I have been in an on again/off again kind of thing for a couple of years yeah. Until we figured out we're more like brother and sister." They seemed to realize that they could potentially be attracted to one another at the exact same time. A tense moment of silence followed during which they felt the tension that had always been there between them increase tenfold. Torn cleared his throat. "I dated Ashelin because I couldn't trust men like that either after... after what happened to me. Thought maybe I could live life as a straight guy. Didn't work out." Jak nodded. "I understand."

"So you haven't tried being with anyone aside from Keira since you escaped?" Torn asked. This time the funny kind of blush crept up Jak's cheeks again. The kid was so easy. Jak groaned and hid his face behind his hands. He looked at Torn through his fingers. "I tried once" he admitted softly. "Oh no... you hit on a straight guy didn't you? Who?" Torn grinned. Jak lowered his hands and whispered "Sig". Torn's mouth fell open. "Sig? Sig? By Mar, you've got balls. That damn recklessness of yours" Torn laughed. Jak grinned shyly. "Well? What happened?". Jak held up his index finger and chugged his beer. He needed more alcohol to tell this story. "We were drinking at Krew's four weeks ago. Daxter was in the storage room flirting with Tess and there was no one else at the bar. I don't know what came over me. I just kissed him mid-sentence" Jak giggled awkwardly. "What did he do?" Torn asked incredulously. "He wasn't a dick about it, was he?". "He has been a total dick about it ever since! He just pushed me back a little by my shoulder. He smiled at me, so I thought it was OK. I fucking tried to go in for another kiss like an idiot. He held me back and said..." Jak paused to put on his best Sig impression "He said: 'I'm not saying you ain't pretty, Cherry, but I'm more in to the soft, squishy kind of pretty if you know what I mean.'"

Torn laughed so hard he almost fell off his chair. Jak put his head on the table with a groan. "Yeah, Dax thought it was funny too" he said with a pout. "Oh you poor guy" Torn said sympathetically, still out of breath. "Well at least he didn't go on some "no homo" rant. Or punch you.". "I almost wish he had. You know what he does to me now? He fucking flirts with me all the time. In front of Daxter too, so I've also had to have this lovely conversation with him" Jak complained. Torn raised his eyebrow. "Really? How does he flirt?" "He winks at me whenever he catches me staring. Sometimes he slaps my ass when he walks by. One time on a mission he got scratched real bad across the chest by a metal head at the pumping station. We needed to get some green eco cream directly on the wound to heal it, so he had to take off his armor and shirt. He laid down on the beach like he was posing for the fucking Krimson Guard calender and said 'I'm a damsel in distress Jak, you got to save me.' I punched him in the dick for that one before helping him." Torn was laughing so hard there were tears in his eyes. "That is so mean! It almost sounds like he is changing his mind about it". Jak snorted. "He's not. He just likes his big old ego stroked." "Too bad for us we can't say the same about his big old dick" Torn flapped out, slapping a hand over his mouth as soon as the words had left him. They both laughed at the unexpected crudeness. Torn was still snickering when Jak spoke up again. "But it's ok you know. It's kind of nice to get that kind of attention from a guy who doesn't actually want me. Feels like a safe way to get used to it again." That hit Torn hard. A sudden reminder of why he should not be pursuing Jak, even if he had a chance with him. Jak was young and more importantly, he was recovering. The last thing he needed right now was some older dude lusting over him. He needed a friend. No more flirting he told himself.

"Keira, Ashelin, Sig... You certainly have a type, don't you?" Torn said. Jak didn't even bother asking how he knew about Ashelin. It's not like they ever had a moment or something. It must be obvious that he liked her then. Great. "What type is that?" Jak asked. "Tough, beautiful beefcakes that don't put up with any of your shit." Jak wondered if Torn realized that he had just basically described himself as Jak's type. "So what's your type then?" Torn looked away for a second. "Handsome guys, rough around the edges but with a hidden heart of gold" he admitted with a light blush on his cheeks. Torn wondered if Jak realized that he was basically describing him. For fuck's sake, you just decided not to flirt with him anymore you perv. Luckily for Torn Jak didn't feel like any of those things and therefore didn't catch on. "Narcissist" Jak snickered. Torn turned a little redder when he realized that meant that Jak thought he was handsome and had a heart of gold.

They chatted a bit more about Sig. When all the beer was gone Torn called it a night. He had way too much work to do tomorrow. He ignored his urge to kiss Jak goodnight and went for a friendly hug instead. Again, neither of them knew that they were on the other's mind while they both had a late night wank. And again, neither of them had nightmares that night.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER EIGHT - Old Habits

Jak was beyond exhausted. The Underground had had a rough time the last couple of days and Jak and Daxter had been running from one rescue mission to the next with almost no rest in between. Only a few weeks ago Jak would have told Torn to train his soldiers better if he wanted them to live instead of answering every call he got. The thing is, if you stay at the hideout a lot you can't avoid meeting a whole lot of Underground members, can't not learn about their reasons for being in the Underground and can't overlook just how much they are willing to sacrifice for it. Just this past month alone Jak had seen how at least fifteen different soldiers were brought in with bad injuries. Some were scouts that got a little too close to the metal heads they were supposed to observe, but most had been hurt trying to get away from Krimson Guards that had recognized them. It was happening more frequently lately because the KG was rotating patrol routes quicker than before. One soldier had died from blood loss despite Torn's frantically administered medical attention.

He would never say it out loud, but he had started to care about Haven and even more about the Underground. He wouldn't waste an opportunity to get at Praxis for them, but he did find he truly wanted to help them as much as he could. Some of the Underground members he met were even becoming... well not friends, but friendly acquintances at least. Especially Jinx and his crew.

When that one soldier had died in Torn's arms Jak had gained some understanding of why Torn was the way he was. He'd seen how her death had affected him (despite Torn's best efforts to pretend it didn't), but had also seen him crush whatever he was feeling in to tiny little shards the minute the Underground needed their strong leader. Torn might seem stone cold at first sight, but everything he did he did for the the impoverised, mistreated and suffering people of Haven. Jak couldn't help but fall even harder for the rough man than he had before.

Jak walked in to the hideout with Daxter half asleep in his pocket. He grumbled some half-hearted greetings at the people in the room before he noticed Torn wasn't there. "Torn is usually busy with strategy, but he gets his hands dirty if he's really needed. Some metal heads broke through the wall in the slums. You know the KG are not going to risk their lives for a bunch of 'sewer rats' so Torn went there with a team to get rid of the metals himself" Jinx told him. Jak was already halfway back out, intent on running straight to the slums, when Torn's raspy voice blasted through a communicator. "We got the metal heads. I'm staying here to help fix up the wall. Tell all soldiers coming in to take some rest.". "You heard the man, pretty boy" Jinx said. "They don't need you right now. You look like you've been awake for two weeks straight.". Without another word Jak walked to the storage room, stripped to his boxers and basically threw himself on to the mattress.

He woke up six hours later, less tired but not less stressed. Daxter was still asleep next to him. He was too stressed to get up and go do something, but he was also feeling too restless to just lay down and do nothing. He really should get up and check if the slum situation was under control. Instead he whispered "Hey Dax?" to check if his friend was really asleep. The only answer he got was some soft snoring. It felt totally inapproriate to do it now, but Jak had a go to method for dealing with chronic tension. Well go ahead. Jerk off while your friends are risking their lives, selfish bastard.

He sighed as he cupped himself through his boxers and tried to relax. He rubbed himself a little and let his mind drift. He was annoyed with himself when the very first fantasy that came to him featured a certain tattooed hardass. He remembered the last time Torn had explained a mission to him. He was bent over a map, pointing at locations that had new KG surveillance equipment Jak was supposed to destroy, rattling off without even looking at Jak. Jak didn't mind because Torn's focus on the map gave him the opportunity to stare at the commander's ass. He imagined walking up behind him, placing his hands on the table between Torn's and pushing himself against his back. Torn would freeze and then he would rasp out "Jak? What are you doing?" in that rough voice of his. Jak started stroking himself a little as he fantasized about grinding his cock against Torn's ass. He would say something corny that would piss Torn off... "I think this equipment you are packing back here is far more interesting than whatever is on that map" or something. Torn would snort at him, turn Jak around and push him against a wall. Would probably pin his hands next to his head. Shit that's hot. Jak bit his lip and stroked a little firmer. Torn would... he would grind himself against his ass and whisper "I'll show you some interesting equipment" in his ear. He'd kiss and nip his neck, tease Jak by grinding his cock against him until he was so horny he couldn't see straight... Move him to the table and lay on top of him... Kissing him... Unbuttoning his-

"What ya thinking about, Jak" Daxter whispered next to him. He jumped a little and groaned. "Not telling you." Daxter smirked as he watched Jak stroke himself for a while. "C'mon buddy, you know that's not going to be enough to get you off" Daxter whispered. "Shut up Dax." Jak moved a hand to his nipples anyway and moaned, getting more turned on now he knew he was being watched.

So he and Daxter had a weird habit. Daxter watches him in sexual situations sometimes. Has since the first time he accidentally walked in on Jak "beating things" back in Sandover. They both knew it was strange, something friends shouldn't be doing, but that only made it hotter. It wasn't like they wanted each other like that, contrary to what most people might think if they found out. Daxter wasn't even attracted to men. They just accidentally discovered together that Daxter is a huge voyeur and Jak is a bit of a exhibisionist. They already trusted each other with their lives. To them, this didn't seem like a big deal. Just some weird, casual fun.

"You're thinking about Torn aren't you?" Jak just groaned, hoping that was enough of an answer for Daxter. He pinched his nipple and sped up his strokes, images of Torn sucking his cock after laying him down on the table flashing before his eyes. He heard his friend's breath quicken as he watched him. "He was staring at you when you were walking out of the shower without a shirt, you know. He looked at you like you were a super sized pack of cigarettes. I think you have a shot" Daxter snickered. Jak's hips stuttered. "Seriously?" he whimpered. "Yeah." Daxter enjoyed the blush on Jak's cheeks. "Bet he thinks about joining you in the shower all the time. Or spreading you out on the hood of a cruiser." Jak made a desperate little noise. "Fuck, Dax, shut up."

"You know what you need pal, c'mon.". Jak shook his head. "Can't with you watching" he whispered. "Let's see how long you can keep that up this time" Daxter snorted. Jak ignored him and pumped away, teasing his nipples while a cruiser related fantasy developed in his mind. Daxter was right though, he needed a little extra this morning. Jak turned his head away from Daxter when he handed him the bottle of lube Jak hid in the room ages ago. He lubed up two fingers and reached behind his balls. "Fuck Jak, so hot" Daxter mumbled as he watched Jak bite his lips to stifle a whine when he pushed his fingers inside. He didn't even last a minute after that.

"You're an asshole" Jak said after returning to this plane of existence. "You could have just asked about Torn earlier instead of prying it out of me like that". Daxter grinned. Jak wiped his hands on the sheets, too lazy to get up for tissues. Feeling a little self-concious he crawled back under the blankets. "My time to pry. How does this work with you and Tess?" Jak asked bluntly. "We don't have sex if that's what you mean" Daxter said. "Is that difficult for you guys?" Surprisingly, Daxter smiled. "Not really. I mean, it's frustrating for me but Tess doesn't really care about sex." Jak raised an eyebrow at him. "No seriously. She told me. The whole giggly bombshell thing is an act. Her way of using her looks for the Underground. She said sex is different for her." Jak was silent for a second. "Different how?" "She doesn't feel that pull you know? She says sex can be fun but it's more like an activity to her than a need. She had this example. It's like reading a book. She likes to read books but it's not like she has to read a book every once in a while, or like looking at a specific book makes her need to read it. She said that sex just isn't part of being in love with someone for her. That she wouldn't care if she never got laid again."

Jak looked a little perplexed. "Huh. So girls, guys, it doesn't matter? She just never feels... horny for someone else?". Daxter nodded. "She said it's called being asexual. It's uncommon but she's definitely not the only one. Some really don't like sex apparently but she's just kind of neutral about it." Jak thought it over for a second. "I guess I get it. But she is in love with you?" Daxter couldn't keep the smile of his mug if he tried. "Yeah. For her that means that she wants to spend a lot of time together. And cuddle. Talk, sleep in the same bed, you know all that stuff. 'Make a commitment' as she put it. The only thing she's frustrated about is that we can't really kiss. I think I'm also really in love with her, Jak. You have no idea how great she is. She is smart, man. She engineers weapons for fun. When we're alone she wears this ugly ass oversized unicorn shirt just because she can without blowing her image. And she draws. You guys should really get to know each other some time." Jak looked at him like he was a crocadog puppy biting on a slipper. "Wipe that look off your face. I'm not cute" Daxter grumbled. Jak chuckled.

"What if we manage to turn you human again, though?" he asked. "We talked about that. Tess said it would be a little different than what I have been imagining, but that we would figure something out that works for both of us. To be honest, even if she changed her mind... Don't get me wrong, it would be frustrating as hell and I would probably be unhappy about it sometimes, but I think I'd still want to be with her. Even if it means i'd have to walk around with a right bicep the size of a volleyball for the rest of my life." Jak snorted. "Gross, Dax." "Did you already forget what we just did?" Daxter asked with a raised eyebrow. Jak just blushed a little and shrugged. "I'm really happy for you, buddy" he said. They were both silent for a while.

"Don't you think it's time we got up and checked on your prince Charming?" Daxter said with a smirk. "Or maybe go to the gun course so we can pretend we never got this freaking girly with each other after a wank?" Jak rolled his eyes and got up to get to the shower. "Yeah. Be right back."