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Salted Wound

Chapter Text

A town, a city, a place. Just like many more around the world. Nobody knew the name of it; at the point in the road where there is supposed to be an indication or a name of some sort, there wasn’t any. However, it remained a casual coexisting environment for the people residing there. There was snow for such a long period during the year it would make the most nordic territories in Canada jealous, if lands could actually feel emotions.

 

If there wasn’t snow, it was rain, so much rain. Sunny days were rare, and when they did happen, the temperature wasn’t warm enough outside to actually go for a swim or walk around in a speedo. At least it was only for the bravest.

 

Most of the vegetation consisted of tall pine trees and some other trees who barely grew any leaves due to the peculiar weather. There were about four or five neighborhoods, all spaced out from each other. The most developed part of the town, that everyone called the city, was still sporadically designed, building wise. The roads were still made of dirt, and one could not get some place else without taking a vehicle.  

 

The city was where most of the economic action happened, and where the citizens would go to work, if they didn’t chop wood or fish for a living. Small businesses ruled the place, whether it be groups having reunions for politics, constructing and managing a restaurant, filtering water to be drinkable. One business was located farther from the city, its building actually being the first one would see when arriving at the town, and the last when leaving.

 

At night, only few lampposts lit up the streets, unfortunately leaving a safer space for lawless vigilantes. The only good that came out of this was the retrieved fortune it brought to that one special business. Robberies, abductions, fraud made the headlines of the infamous newspaper pages; the employees never had time to be bored, to say the least.

 

Entrepreneurs, reporters, journalists and secretaries busied themselves in the small building almost ten hours a day. The place was buzzing with telephone rings, rushed or lazy conversations, footsteps in high heels, keyboard typing on a computer.

 

On the second floor, accessible by a row of stairs against the left wall of the building was the business owner’s office. The man had arrived almost two hours ago, at the beginning of working hours. He was now pressing buttons on an old-school telephone, grabbing the handle and bringing the technological object to his ear.

 

His secretary walked by, stopping in her steps at the office’s door. “Is he not here ?”

 

“No.”

 

She frowned. “Should I call in a replacement ?”

 

The owner simply waved her off with his hand. He tapped on the edge of his desk as he waited for the phone to stop ringing.

 

“What the hell are you up to Stuart…”

Chapter Text

An hour earlier.

 

It was a small, cozy wooden house, built between pine trees, grass fields and the town’s centre lake. Being a little isolated from the closest neighborhood had never brought any trouble, only the privileges of privacy and peace.

 

Stuart drew his eyes to the ceiling of the bedroom, lying down on his back. Barely awake, he yawned quietly as he listened to the calm rain against the window, on the wall next to him. Over that sound, he could hear faint snores next to him. He could feel hot skin against his side, an arm around his shoulders. It wasn’t everyday that he got the privilege to be this close to Murdoc, to have him stay a while after a good love-making session. He took a deep, relaxed breath in, only to exhale it slowly. It was a weekend day, they had nothing to be preoccupied about. However, as relaxed as he was, his mind began wandering still.

 

To older times.

 

To a specific night, a couple of months ago. Drunk off his arse, he was feeling particularly possessive after an odd encounter at the bar. He had heard the noises coming from the dirty washrooms. He had seen the way Murdoc’s eyes glistened with fear before the punches came, one after another. The man would try to play it off, claimed that he looooved the pain, but Stuart always knew how to see through him.

 

That night was the first time he thought about moving out of Essex. He had pushed his beloved on the cheap mattress in his apartment, pressing his face flush against the bedsheets. Blinded by an overflow of emotions, he only caught up to the situation when hearing muffled cries, weak words out of Murdoc’s mouth he had never witnessed before.

 

“No… Stop… Please… Don’t…”

 

Guilt washing through his entire body he attempted to make it up to his victim, holding him in his arms, kissing him everywhere he could, pressing whispers full of love into his ear.

 

Later that night he found Murdoc wasted in his old winnebago, empty bottles and leftover pills on the floor around him. He had been sitting on his cheap bed, staring aimlessly out the window, emotionless. Stuart sat down with him, and he listened, he listened to every word spilling out ounces of pain trapped in the man’s body, his pride a prison. Every time his lover opened up, he did his best to be present, to understand.

 

And when he had heard stories of things far from humanity, of twisted horror and stolen innocence, his heart broke. But he understood. He understood that when Murdoc couldn’t see him, the boy became anyone else. And those memories would come flowing back, stabbing him in the gut, forcing the tears out, salting the wound.

 

“I have to see you.” the man had told him, his voice broken and hoarse, from the cries, the terrible alcohol and dry-swallowed amphetamine. His eyes avoided Stuart like the goddamn plague, however the younger knew how difficult this must have been. To attempt trusting somebody again.

 

He remembered pulling Murdoc in the tightest embrace, swearing to himself he would never let him go. And he easily recalled the relief he had felt when the gesture was reciprocated, with just as much force. They had stood, holding onto each other. Time didn’t matter in that moment.

 

He slightly smiled at the memory, laying in bed. It had only been beneficial for the both of them to have moved away from Essex, after all this time. He thanked the universe, or whatever it was that made both of their lives collide. The answer came to him as the car crash memory surfaced to his mind in a flash, and for the first time, it didn’t hurt him. He felt like he was healing, like they were both healing together. It would never be easy for them, but Stuart would never regret the day that he let Murdoc into his house and committed to live with him.

 

He looked up to his lover awakening slowly. “Murdoc ?”

 

The man brought a hand up to rub on his eye.

“Hm… Yes ?”

 

Stuart snuggled a little closer, his nose grazing at the other’s skin on his jaw. “I love you.”

 

Murdoc only chuckled, shaking his head at the random show of affection. He brought his hand to the mess of blue hair, massaging with his fingers. “Love you too, dipshit.”

 

The younger smiled at the words.

“Up for a round two ?”

 

 

Sitting on Murdoc’s lap, legs spread, Stuart took a deep breath. His hand was slowly guiding the man’s member deeper and deeper into his hole. The member was slick with its own cum, attentively spread after Stuart’s marvelous blowjob , description directly quoted from Murdoc. It easily slid into the younger, spreading him wide, driving his teeth to sink lightly into his bottom lip, restraining his hunger.

 

Murdoc eyed him affectionately, running his hand back and forth on a pale thigh, slowly. He then guided both of his hands to the curves of hips, groping possessively. Stuart’s eyes practically rolled back into his skull as the older man pressed his lower body down some, pushing the length fully into tight warmth.

 

Stuart made an effort to gather himself, focusing on his breath. His gaze was drawn to the man under him: his lips parted slightly as he let out a lust-filled, breathy groan. He was mesmerized with Murdoc; he felt as if his heart just grew three sizes, as if his soul was attached to him.

 

Just as he closed his eyes, they were forced opened as Murdoc slid his palm to the younger’s ass. Expecting a rougher approach, the bluenette was pleasantly surprised when he felt nothing but a gentle massage, followed by a light squeeze. He looked at the other, filled with so much love in so little time he thought his heart could burst out of his chest.

 

He leaned down just as Murdoc had pressed a hand on his back; his arms went around the man’s neck as their lips met, delicately, without a rush. Stuart breathed in through his nose, rubbing the back of the man’s neck with his palm, running his fingers through the roots of dark hair. He felt the older’s hand slide down on his back, and then both large hands were on his hips again.

 

He unwillingly broke their kiss as his body desperately reached for air, and his vocal chords were put at work, much like when he would sing. Murdoc’s hands were guiding his hips, up, then down, at a calm pace that still made Stuart lose all his senses. He breathed into the man’s neck, hiding his face heating up, flushing pink.

 

“Ngh– ah, Muds… You feel so good… So good…”

 

His voice was weak, thin in the humid air. He took in the scent of his lover, absorbing it into himself. In the midst of emotions, he remembered. He remembered Murdoc’s panicked expression, the tears running down his face. He remembered what the man had told him.

 

I have to see you.

 

Stuart pressed both of his hands on the sides of Murdoc’s face, looking straight into his eyes.

 

“You see me ?” he let out in a breath, all the air he had left in his lungs before he had to take more in again.

 

He never looked away as Murdoc nodded slowly, observing him with half-lidded eyes, almost out of breath. “Yeah…”

 

Stuart rushed to press his lips onto the older man’s, transmitting all of his love and affection to him as much as he could. His thumbs drew small circles on Murdoc’s cheeks, slowly. He parted his lips, felt the other’s tongue slipping in, felt like he would never let go. Felt him around his hole, pressing on his prostate ever so smoothly, felt like he would never leave this person again.

 

He slipped his hands away to bring them to the man’s arms, and he pushed down on them, carefully. Murdoc pulled away, eyeing him confused.

 

The younger simply smiled. “Let me make you feel good.”

 

Almost expertly, he brought his hips up, only to push them down onto the other. Then, he did the same movement again. And again. And again. Never accelerating, always paying attention to the reactions he was getting. He willingly took in the sounds he was spilling out of Murdoc, the man with too much pride, too much to hide, being so raw, so honest. With him.

 

He felt fingers brushing his hair, soft as ever, and he moaned, he moaned as he began to struggle with his movements, losing control over his body. He forced himself to focus, to do his very best for his lover.

 

Murdoc went to give him a soft kiss. “Love this.” he spoke lowly. “Love you.”

 

Stuart’s heart fluttered. He was saying these words so much more often now, and it made the bluenette so proud. So proud and so… Happy.

 

Pressing his hands on Murdoc’s chest, he fully sat up, straddling the man’s lap. He pushed his shoulder length hair out of his vision with a quick head movement, then almost immediately got to work, rolling his hips back and forth, up and down. He installed a comfortable, but slightly faster pace, a little less patient and a little more lost, somewhere else in space.

 

With Murdoc helping him out, he got moan after moan spilled out of Stuart’s mouth, warm and needy, desperate. The older slid his hands down, from a pale chest to the softness of a stomach; he admired the newly added meat there, and on thighs, arms,...

 

“Lovely, my angel…” the man groaned, struggling to contain all the emotions building up inside of him, burning like fire, threatening to explode.

 

Surprisingly, Stuart began moving at a quicker rhythm, seemingly slipping towards insanity, from nothing but him, Murdoc, from him filling him up just right, so right, so good .

 

“Oh please ! Please Murdoc never stop !”

 

He observed the younger in a hazy gaze, almost seeing stars, such words out of Stuart’s delicate, feminine vocal chords sending him straight to Heaven… Or at least that’s where he felt like he was.

 

In the heat of the moment, he gave the younger’s perky ass a proper spanking, giving a few resting seconds in between. He relished in the piercing high flowing through his entire system, brought by Stuart’s screams, Stuart’s ring of muscle around him, Stuart’s eyes, Stuart’s skin, Stuart.

 

Reaching orgasm in harmony, he pressed on the bluenette’s back to bring him close, as close as he could, and to kiss him deep, kiss him good and wet and hot and…

 

With love. With a lot of love.

 

“I can’t imagine anyone being here with me right now.”

 

The afterglow was powerful, so powerful that he couldn’t fight it, couldn’t bring himself to find the energy to walk away, to leave. They lay on their side, Murdoc’s arms around Stuart, their legs entwined. He brought his lips to the younger’s neck, wordlessly expressing his gratitude, as he could do best.

 

Stuart seemed a little out of energy, barely responding to the words and gestures but with appreciative hums and a tighter hold on the man’s hand. His eyes were closed, so he didn’t see it coming when he heard Murdoc speak again.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Murdoc knew. He knew, he remembered that memory too, with what Stuart had told him earlier, during sex.

 

You see me ?

 

He did. The man saw him, and he felt safe. He felt at peace. He felt at home.

 

And that is what he said to his lover, in quiet whispers, still too proud to admit it, nose buried in soft blue.

Chapter Text

The older man woke up to the sound of a repetitive, annoying instrumental music. He let out a throaty growl, tossing himself on his back. The noise invaded his ears, as if it were close to him. With a turn of the head, he noticed the red of Stuart’s smartphone, left on the bedside table, faint light emitting from the screen. Breathing out deeply through his nose, he stared at the ceiling as he grabbed the device. Tapping on the green button, he brought the phone against his ear.

 

“What ?” he spoke, his voice rough from too much sleep.

 

He barely listened to the response on the other end as he felt a slight shuffling against his side.

 

“Oh, right.” he replied lazily. Boring business shit from Stu’s job.

 

His hand was almost naturally drawn to the disheveled mop of blue hair, making more mess out of it.

 

“No– He did not forget about it.” the man urged out. “Totally not.”

 

He heard a repressed chuckle and rolled his eyes.

 

“Let’s say he had more pressing matters.” Murdoc replied, his eyes taking a peek at the human being next to him. He would have done anything to see the soft red tinting Stuart’s cheeks right now.

 

“Yeah, yeah, sure. I’ll let him know.”

He tried his best to listen to the caller’s last words as the younger turned towards him, embracing him warmly.

 

“Alright. Later mate.”

 

Hanging up, he barely paid attention to where he was leaving the phone as he pulled his lover into a deep kiss, throwing an arm around his lower back.

 

The device fell to the floor and Murdoc pulled away in instinct. “Fuck’s sake.”

 

Stuart brought a leg on top of his, pressing his body even closer. “It’s okay sweetheart. Don’t be angry.”

 

Looking at his partner, he was met with a delicate, soft smile, and big blue eyes observing him curiously. A shorter strand of hair obeyed to gravity, falling in between his brows. Murdoc had to look away for a second to speak; he pressed the palm of his hand against his eye, pretending to rub. “You had a meeting scheduled.”

 

Stuart’s smile faded to a frown. “Today ?”

 

The older man let his hand fall onto the mattress with a thud. “ Earlier today.”

 

The bluenette shuffled to sit up in the bed. His eyebrows drawn together still. “I told you Murdoc. Don’t be angry.”

 

“Knowing it was that easy I would have stopped ten years ago.” the man expressed, with a little too much venom for his comfort.

 

Stuart was standing up now, leaving Murdoc feeling a lot colder under the sheets. He stared at the younger’s ass while he was picking up a shirt from the floor. “Look at you. You don’t even get sore anymore.”

 

Stuart lifted one of his feet off the ground to slip on a pair of boxers. “You’ve made me an expert.”

 

Eyeing the other curiously, Murdoc sat up in bed, his back against the bed head. He sipped on a glass of water he had left on the end table along with Stu’s phone, before it fell.

“Leaving so quickly ?”

 

Stuart made his way towards the exit of the bedroom, scruffing up the older man’s hair on the way. “Only because I have to.”

 

Murdoc groaned, trying his best to hide his disappointment as he reached for a cigarette and his lighter. Flicking open and freeing the tiny flame, he mumbled words to himself. “Could’ve gone for a round three.”

 

 

Stuart sat at his desk behind an old, fat computer, working from home before his shift. His research consisted in looking through multiple articles, to find the common relevant information. However, Stuart wanted to do more than that; he was hoping to find that piece of data, that one possible result that none of the studies and articles thought to mention. His eyes flickered from the line of a sentence to another, soon arriving at the end of the last paragraph.

 

He was about to go back to the search page when something caught his attention. Under the article he had just finished reading was a window, promoting a twenty-page psychology study.

 

Neurobiological and Psychiatric Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect.

 

The younger man found himself dragging his cursor to the underlined blue title. His interest was piqued; however, he was supposed to research for his job, not for his…

 

No. I am not studying him. I am not trying to analyze him.

 

But as he spent more and more time on that document, there were parts that he recognized; parts that brought him a familiar feeling.

 

A particularly strong link has been identified between childhood trauma and the mood and anxiety disorders, including unipolar depres- sion, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

 

In addition, traumatic experiences early in life are associated with increased rates of schizophre- nia, reactive attachment disorder, eating disorders, and personality disorders.

 

Childhood trauma also dramatically increases the risk for later suicide attempts.

 

Stuart’s heart skipped a beat. Feeling the beginning of a panic in his body, he kept on reading and reading, attempting to find some explanation, some proof that could rationalize his thoughts right now.

 

“ACE: Adverse Childhood Experiences…” he read out loud.

 

He tired his eyes out trying to read as fast as he could, scrolling down incessantly.

 

“Suicide rates at 1.1% in patients with no ACE’s… 3.8% with one ACE…”

 

Then, he scrolled all the way to the end.

 

“... Suicide rates at 31.1% in people with seven ACE’s or more.”

 

He let out a slight gasp, his lips parted. It took a couple of seconds to un-glue his eyes from the screen. With his fingers, he started counting, only able to help himself with his own memory.

 

“Well, well, well… Look who’s already working.”

 

Stuart almost jumped to the sound of the voice. The unknowingly studied man stood next to the chair he was sitting on, putting one of two cups of coffee down on the desk. The bluenette focused on the smoke emanating from the hot beverage.

 

“What’s today’s hot topic, love ?”

Murdoc barely got a glimpse of the words written on the computer screen, the entire window disappearing in a matter of seconds. “The fuck.”

 

Stuart sat immobile in his chair, holding onto the warm red cup. The older man eyed the screen for an answer, then switching his gaze to his partner. “Did you just do that ?”

 

The younger quickly looked up at the other before frenetiquely shaking his head, almost looking as if he were having a seizure. “It must have been a bug.”

 

He saw Murdoc’s eyebrows slowly knit together, however the man had a smirk plastered on his face. “Ah… Got somethin’ to hide huh…”

 

Stuart immediately felt his cheeks and ears heat up. He lowered his gaze; the pressure of the moment was too much.

 

He only relaxed when he heard the man’s genuine, warm laughter. Murdoc’s arm went around his shoulders. “It’s alright, I don’t mind.”

 

He received a quick kiss on his temple, and he allowed himself to smile a bit.

 

“Besides. I feel like I owe you my entire life after that marvelous dick ride. You got all my praise.” the older man mentioned as he left the room, probably for the kitchen to eat. The younger let out a deep breath he didn’t know he was holding, his shoulders dropping.

 

Something didn’t feel right about doing this.

Chapter Text

A couple days later. Stuart laid in bed, on his side. He stared at the bright orange numbers on the alarm clock, waiting to see the minutes change. Before he could do so, he felt his own eyelids giving up on him; he let them close, realizing how tired he was feeling.

 

Murdoc, laying next to him, turned around on the same side, and was met with a small back. Shuffling closer, slowly he brought his hand to the back hem of Stuart’s shirt (which was obviously not his), and he let his fingers slip under the fabric. He felt the other tense at the touch; immediately he slid his hand farther to the top of the soft back, applying just the right amount of pressure to his spine.

 

Stuart closed his eyes again, relaxing against his lover’s hand. He felt an arm going around his waist as the fingers on his back traveled lower and lower.

 

“Hm, Murdoc…” he whispered, moaning ever so slightly, his body growing warmer. The older man’s fingers then went to press a bit harder on his coccyx, and he couldn’t help the whine of pain that escaped his throat.

 

“Sensitive huh...” Murdoc remarked before pulling the covers down some to take a look at the bluenette’s body. He frowned when he noticed an especially harsh bruise, exactly where he was massaging seconds ago. “Got hurt ?”

 

Stuart pressed his lips together. “Yea.” he let out under his breath.

 

“Tell me what happened.”

 

Throwing orders around wasn’t in Murdoc’s habits with the younger anymore. Whenever he did decide to use that syntax meant business.

 

Meanwhile, Stuart was struggling to find a vague but satisfying answer. “I had an encounter at work. That’s all...”

 

“Stu, I told you: tell me what happened.”

 

He was surprised by the man’s fast reply, blinking and looking around nervously. He was in Murdoc’s hold, he couldn’t escape. He didn’t feel trapped, but he still didn’t think telling the truth was going to end well. “I–”

 

The younger was cut off as the other pressed a few fingers on his bruise, hard . His teeth sank into his bottom lip as he practically forced himself not to respond to the pain.

 

“Tell me...”

He felt Murdoc’s breath on his ear as he spoke. Then, the man was letting go. “Sorry.”

 

Stuart closed his eyes, then took a deep breath. “I was working on the field, spent the day meeting people… When I realized I had to leave, it was already dark out.”

A deep breath again. “I walked… Then I got in a fight, with some people.”

 

He could feel that his partner was trying his best not to lash out. He silently thanked him for it by reaching for his hand.

 

“What kind of people ?”

 

“The kind to kick you to the ground, call you a faggot.”

 

“The weak kind.” Murdoc growled lowly, tightening his hold on the younger, who found himself craving to kiss the man for caring so deeply for him. “D’you remember any names ? What they looked like ?”

 

Stuart shook his head no. He received a soft kiss on the side of his neck, delicate whispers of sweet nothings. They were both comfortably silent for a moment, until Murdoc spoke up.

“I got a gun, you know.”

 

“What.” the bluenette gasped out. He could still feel the man’s anger, from his tight hold to his short breath. And from how well he knew him by now.

 

“I could blow their fuckin’ heads off.” the man practically spit out.

 

Stuart hesitated. “... I don’t think fighting violence with violence is the way…”

 

“Are you serious right now blue boy ?”

 

The younger turned around to look at his lover.

“Yes, I am.” he put his hand on a broad shoulder. “We’re not like them. So let’s not show otherwise.”

 

Murdoc eyed him for a minute. Stuart slid his hand to the man’s back, rubbing slowly.

“I don’t feel like you’re in the right conditions to own a gun, Muds.”

 

The older man frowned, immediately defensive.

“What do you mean right conditions ?”

 

The younger kept on massaging his partner’s back, even going for a collarbone kiss.

“I think, you’ve still got a lot to figure out, y’know until you’re… stable enough.”

 

“I am stable enough.”

 

“What you said you would do to those people just showed me otherwise.”

 

Murdoc sighed. A few seconds passed.

“Alright. Maybe you’re not entirely wrong.”

 

Stuart snorted. “You mean… I’m right.”

 

The older man looked away. “You’re only partially wrong.”

 

“So I’m right.”

 

“There’s a fine line, you know… You’re on it. Maybe a little towards wrong .”

 

The bluenette smirked. “Right.”

 

Murdoc exhaled audibly. “Sure, whatever.”

 

Stuart pulled his lover closer, pressing the side of his face onto his chest. He listened to the heartbeat he could hear, smiling to himself.

 

“So…” Murdoc broke the silence, mocking. “The bruise means I can’t fuck you anymore ?”

 

The younger turned to press his forehead onto the man’s chest. His complaint came out in a whisper. “Fuck’s sake Murdoc.”

 

 

Fuck’s sake Murdoc .”

 

The man made a poor imitation of Stuart, walking around the kitchen waving his hands dramatically. The younger sat at the counter, munching on oatmeal with blueberries. “Didn’t know you’d get hung up on that.”

 

He jumped as Murdoc’s hands slammed on the counter, too close to his ear.

 

The older man sat on the chair beside him.

“I’m not hung up on it.”

 

The bluenette plunged his spoon into his food. He waited for the other’s predictable second answer.

 

“I’m just… bothered, I think.” Murdoc sighed.

 

“That’s what hung up means.” Stuart stated before slipping his spoonful into his mouth.

 

The older pressed his elbow on the depressing gray counter, the palm of his hand on his cheek. “Isn’t that when you get a hard on or somethin ?”

 

“It really isn’t, Murdoc.” the younger answered blatantly.

 

Looking at his partner, the man felt himself frustrated at the lack of meaningful response. He sighed again. “I– ugh. Put yourself in my shoes for a sec, bluebird.”

 

Stuart turned on his seat to face him. His index finger and thumb went to his chin, in a thinking manner. “Okay. Maybe you’re upset about what I said because…”

 

Murdoc waited, his stare piercing, barely restraining his anger anymore.

 

The bluenette blinked at him. “I’m sorry I can’t find anything.”

 

The older suddenly stood, the legs of the stool screeching the floor from pushing it away. Stuart physically cringed.

 

“Can’t you see ? My life… is miserable. I’m tired, I’m bored, hell, I see you for two minutes and then you’re leaving. You’re always leaving.”

 

The younger could see the fear and sadness behind the fit Murdoc was throwing. He frowned, eyes full of understanding. “I didn’t realize that…”

 

He looked down, pensive. Then, when he felt like he could, he brought his eyes back on his partner. “I’m sorry.”

 

The older man took a breath before slumping back on the stool, his back against the counter.

“Don’t be… You’ve got nothing to be sorry for.”

 

“I do .” Stuart insisted, reaching to put his hand on the other’s arm.

 

Murdoc looked at him, a smile in his eyes, but nowhere on his lips. “Satan I love those two words coming outta your mouth.”

 

The bluenette gave a small laugh. He slid his hand down to the man’s wrist. He sat silent for a moment, enjoying the warmth of another human’s skin.

 

“I mean it, Muds.” he spoke softly. “I should be more present with you. I should have seen you weren’t doing good.”

 

“No,” Murdoc immediately answered, dreading the next words. “It’s my fault… I didn’t tell you anything, shouldn’t expect you to fuckin’ read my mind.”

 

Stuart frowned, not convinced. “But there’s a reason why you never told me.”

 

His words triggered the man’s anger once again.

“I just told you, you’re never there !”

He stood again, pacing slowly on « his side » of the kitchen.

 

The younger took the opportunity to stand up as well, grabbing his oatmeal bowl on his way to bring it to the sink. He washed the dish quickly, giving his partner some space to calm down.

 

He stored the bowl back in the cheap cabinets. “Murdoc… How ‘bout you come to work with me today ?”

 

The older man seemed pensive before he decided upon walking up to Stuart, who was facing him from the counter, leaning against it with the palms of his hands.

 

“You mean to your world of deranged prostitutes and hot robbers–”

 

“It’s called journalism.” the bluenette cut him off.

 

“Whatever that is.” Murdoc brushed off. “Tell me, do you get a lot of serial killers hitting on you ?”

 

Stuart blinked, emotionless. “You decided to test me today, huh.”

 

“You bet your ass I did.” At this point, the older man had met the younger where he was at the counter. He stood, looking at the other with a big teasing smile.

 

Stuart never broke eye contact. He didn’t let the other get one more inch closer, making his way out of the kitchen.

 

“So… It’s bring your boyfriend to work day.” Murdoc teased, not even turning around to face the bluenette.

 

“Yea.” Stuart kept walking, speaking a little louder to be heard across the room. “But first, shower.”

 

The older man was still in the kitchen, staring down at the counter distractingly. “I’ll be waiting.”

 

The younger peeked his head in the kitchen from the corridor. “You’re coming with me. You smell like shit.”

 

Murdoc shook his head, annoyed, still with a smile on his face. He turned on the heels of his feet.

 

 

Stuart worked at the business at the border of town. The office was the most modern construction in the area, and the most modern Murdoc had ever seen. He tried to not look too impressed as he and Stuart strolled down the hallways, floor of wood between tall walls, white as snow and wide windows.

 

The older man made a few quicker steps closer to his partner, slightly lowering his voice. “Did you teleport me to another dimension ?”

 

The younger furrowed his brows, giving a half-second glance to the speaker. “No.” Murdoc could barely take him seriously with his knee-length beige coat waving around.

 

They turned a corner. A large window gave a view to the houses on the descending hill, and to the lake on an even lower level.

 

“Cause last time I checked you didn’t have my consent.” Murdoc mumbled.

 

“Last time I checked you weren’t such an idiot.”

 

The man frowned at the other’s response and stopped in his steps, staring at the mop of blue hair. “Last time I checked you didn’t have an attitude with me.”

 

It didn’t take time for Stuart to stop and turn to him as well. “Are you getting comfortable ?”

 

“What ?” Murdoc was taken by surprise. Around them, some people walked left and right, papers in their hands, business in their speech, rush in their feet.

 

Stuart narrowed his eyes on him. “You’re getting comfortable with me. You don’t care about being annoying. Clingy .”

 

The older felt his heart in his throat for a second. He quickly swallowed it down, dryly. “You know, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to do things to someone without their consent.”

 

The younger kept his eyes on him, analyzing closely. “You doin’ LSD again ?”

 

“You’re going to jaaail, Stuart.” Murdoc teased, crossing his arms, restraining a smile.

 

The bluenette opened his mouth to speak, but then saw the older switch his gaze somewhere behind him, giving a fake, polite smile.

 

“Hello, Stuart.”

 

Forcing himself to switch behaviors, the younger took in a breath. “Good afternoon sir.” he greeted as he turned around.

 

The owner opened the door for them. It seemed to lead into his office. “After you.”

 

They both walked in, and the door was closed behind them. Murdoc stayed a little behind, weary of the stranger.

 

Gray hairs, still not balding though. Could be around his mid-forties. Good built, probably works out everyday, the maniac. Taller than me, that’s for sure. But barely. Only by a few inches.

 

Shifting his gaze, he spotted a plaque at the front of the wooden desk, displaying letters engraved in gold.

 

Charles Dickinson.

 

Dickinson went to stand behind his desk, quickly ordering papers around. “How are we doing today ?” he looked up at his employee for a second.

 

Stuart stood farther from the desk, fiddling with his fingers. “I’m alright, actually.”

Murdoc restrained his amusement from seeing his partner suddenly lacking the confidence he had minutes ago.

 

“No migraines ?” Charles asked. He went to stand in front of the furniture, hands in his pockets. The older man frowned at the familiar behavior.

 

“No migraines.” Stuart confirmed, smiling slightly.

 

“I thought only I knew about your migraines.” Murdoc slipped in, lowly. The other shushed him, but it was too late. Dickinson was eyeing him.

 

“Who do I have the pleasure of meeting today ?”

 

“He’s, um,” Stuart began.

 

“It won’t necessarily be a pleasure.” the older man bitterly said, with his most polite voice and the fakest smile of his entire life of faking it until he makes it.

 

The younger tried his best not to lose his patience in front of the manager. “He’s,” he searched for words, “my intern.”

 

Charles nodded, slightly raising his eyebrows in interest.

 

New intern,” Stuart clarified. “I just got him last week.”

 

Murdoc was immediately offended, still keeping his voice low. “ Got me ? What, I’m a bloody toy now ?”

 

“Good. We can never have too many workers,” his boss stated, trying to sound welcoming even with Murdoc’s behavior. “Now there’s something I need you to look at.”

 

Dickinson walked up to Stuart, a newspaper page in his hand. The bluenette looked at it as it was explained to him.

 

“Leslie Hoffman. Female child, around 8 years old. Gone missing last Monday.”

 

Murdoc crossed his arms, taking a peek at the paper from his position.

Stuart looked up at his boss after reading. “Did the police find anything ?”

 

“Not for now.” Charles took the newspaper back. “But that’s not your job.”

 

The younger’s gaze flickered anxiously. “Then why did you show this to me ?”

 

His boss crossed his arms. “The street where this occurred. Hoylake. You should go there and ask people what they know, if they’ve seen anything.”

 

“Sure hope I’m getting paid for this.” Murdoc grumbled.

Chapter Text

Murdoc angrily shoved his fork into the steak. He then pushed the knife in horizontally to cut a piece of the meat. Stuart, a garden salad in front of him, watched his partner with knowing eyes. Soon enough, the man realized he was being stared at.

 

He looked up from his task to the blue of his lover’s eyes, half-chewed meat in his mouth stretching the skin, bump on the side of his cheek. “Wot ?”

 

The bluenette subtly switched his attention to his food, picking at the lettuce, but still making eye contact some times. “Wish you’d cut down the meat.”

 

Murdoc held back his laughter. “You know I’ll never do that.”

 

Stuart shrugged, munching on his food before replying. “It just makes me upset.”

 

“There’s a lot more about me to make you upset.” the older man pushed the knife into the meat again. “Yet it doesn’t.”

 

“That’s part of being a couple, Muds.”

 

He looked up and Stuart was smiling at him, as if he weren’t some deranged lunatic with trust issues. Because he wasn’t; he was much, much worse than that.

 

Dropping the subject, Murdoc resumed cutting his steak. “Well I’ll tell you what makes me upset,” he grumbled. “That fuckin’ boss of yours…”

 

The younger frowned. “Don’t be mean to him…”

 

They ate in silence for a few seconds.

 

“You two are a lot alike, in some ways.” Stuart stated, to which he immediately received a mocking snort from Murdoc.

 

The man took a deep breath, trying not to cause a scene in the middle of the restaurant. “You are really pulling at my strings right now, Dee.”

 

The bluenette listened, and lowered his gaze. He added more dressing to the remainings of his salad. “I think you were both having a bad day.”

 

“I don’t care.” Murdoc couldn’t manage to eat anything else anymore. He dropped his utensils. “The way he looked at you… Hell, he even called you by your first name… He could fuck you or hit you and I wouldn’t know.”

 

“Hit me ? Like you used to ?” Stuart snapped, but still with a calm tone. His partner became immediately silent.

Having finished with his food, he put his fork down. “You’ve been a lot angrier today…”

 

The older man had leaned back against his chair, arms crossed. “Go figure.”

 

“I feel like you’ve got some… tension built up.” The younger kept his eyes on the other.

 

Murdoc froze, not without Stuart noticing. “Oh yea ?...” he let out as emotionlessly as he could. He watched as the bluenette grabbed his coat stood up, grabbing his coat from the chair.

 

The man hurried to get up from his seat as well. “We’re leaving. Yeah. We’re definitely leaving.” he stated, as an attempt to get some control on the situation.

 

 

Stuart knelt on the bed, slowly unbuckling his belt. Murdoc lied on his front, all the way to his lower stomach where his body was lifted to the younger’s hip level. As he struggled to breathe normally, his back arched, result of primal instinct. He could almost feel the smile in Stuart’s words.

 

“Yeah, go ahead.” the younger breathed out as he slipped down his pants. “I want you to relax.”

 

Murdoc could find nothing else to do but roll his eyes, suddenly feeling a lot more submissive than he usually did. He figured he would always be surprised by how Stuart made him feel.

He bit his lip hard when the younger’s cock sank fully into him, slowly. He didn’t do this very often, to say the least.

 

“How you feelin’ ?”

 

The older man heard the words and it brought him out of his haze. He sighed lowly. “Good…”

 

The younger bent over, pressing his body against his partner’s. Murdoc felt wet lips on his upper back, and he closed his eyes. Stuart pushed the man’s shoulder-length hair on the side to go and kiss the skin on the back of his neck. The younger man’s cock twitched when he received the lustful sounds he wanted.

 

“Satan, Stu,” the older man groaned, his throat already feeling tight and weak, “are you gonna fuck me or not ?”

 

“I’m not.” Breathing into his lover, Stuart slid his hand on his thigh, to the slight curve of his hip. “I’m gonna make love to you sweetheart.”

 

At a slow rhythm he began thrusting his hips, back and forth, remaining close to Murdoc. Immediately the younger pushed more sounds out of him; the man felt himself lose all of his senses. No coherent thought could form in his brain anymore, he could only focus on the heavenly pressure forced onto his prostate.

 

“Fuck,” he succeeded in breathing out some words in a rush, “you really know how to do it, gotta give you that.”

 

“Yea ?” Stuart spoke under his breath as well. “Gotta remember that next time you get angry at me.”

 

Without control Murdoc felt his own face heat up. He was overwhelmed with emotions, with so much at once, it was meant to spill out at one point. He grit his teeth, bitter with himself, with the love he wasn’t used to nurturing in his soul.

 

“Stuart,” he whined out, barely audible. “I’m never angry at you. I promise… I promise you… Oh, shit…” he whispered the last words.

 

The relaxed pace felt too caring, too intimate. He was so close to losing his temper, the tears were slowly bubbling up in his throat. He should have known this wouldn’t be easy, it never was.

 

“Fuck me,” he let out desperately, “Stu fuck me.”

 

Pulling at a chunk of dark hair gently, the younger looked at him. “I won’t hurt you,” he spoke lowly, “I want you to feel good, Murdoc. Want you to feel loved.”

 

Slowly, he loosened his hold on the man, until he let his head rest on the pillow. He massaged the back of Murdoc’s scalp as he kept thrusting his hips, never accelerating, absorbing every moan out of his partner’s deep, throaty voice.

 

Pressing his mouth closely to the older’s ear, he gave a couple of kisses on the skin around there as he talked. “So good… You feel so good Murdoc… You’re so good… So good to me…”

 

He picked up the pace, only slightly, nibbling at the older’s shoulder, neck, jaw. When he looked at his lover’s face, he saw a tear running down his cheek. Caringly, he licked it away with his tongue, then staring into deep, mesmerizing, mismatched eyes, window to such raw emotions in that moment.

“Don’t cry… Don’t cry love… I want you happy…”

 

Clueless as to what to do with all the mess in his brain, Murdoc reached around, placing a hand on Stuart’s cheek and pressing his lips onto his, sloppily. The kiss didn’t last, as soon he was giving out under the pressure. The softness of the pillow against his cheek, he parted his lips slightly, panting and sweating.

 

“Yea, fuck… So beautiful like this… Let yourself feel good Murdoc, sweetheart…”

 

Each word out of Stuart’s mouth drove him closer and closer to the edge, and when he fell, oh he fell, but in his mind he was flying high, so high he wasn’t going to get back on the ground any sooner. He felt the long fingers of the younger man’s slim hands, barely applying pressure to his throat, only touching in a loving manner. He felt liquid warmth, deep into his hole, and he swore he could pass out.

 

 

Murdoc lay on his side under the bedsheets, his back facing Stuart. He could smell cigarette smoke in the air; he really wanted to ask for one, but he couldn’t get himself to turn and speak to his partner. Every time he surrendered to be so vulnerable and exposed, something in him was pounding an alarm, telling him to abort mission. He tried his best to never act on it; sometimes he did, leaving Stuart alone after sex, treating him like a one night stand. Today he ordered himself to stay in bed, although he knew he was unusually quiet.

 

He was lucky to have a partner who understood that emotional constipation. Stuart carelessly put out his cigarette on the wall, shuffling to hug his partner from behind, resting his chin on a warm shoulder. He breathed in calmly. “You were so lovely.” he complimented, his voice almost a whisper, cautious to the man he was holding.

 

He wasn’t surprised when he didn’t get a response. He tightened his hold on the older. There was still one thing he needed an answer to. “Are you okay ?”

 

He felt the man become more tense. Carefully, he wrapped a leg around the other’s, drawing himself closer, trying his utter best to radiate safety.

 

Murdoc groaned sleepily, not letting it show how incredibly comfortable he was right now. “Myea…” he finally responded.

 

The simple word put a soft smile on Stuart’s face, and he reached to kiss the older’s cheek. “Love you.” he whispered.

 

They lay under the covers, to the sound of the calm rain pouring, and the faint light from the window of the lampposts lit up in the dark streets. On one of those streets, in front of the house, an empty black car was parked. A small red light flickering.

Chapter Text

The next day was cloudy; everything around the town seemed covered in a hazy gray of fog. Murdoc stepped out of the house through the front door. Shoving his hands in the pockets of his black jacket, he looked around the scenery, taking in the fresh morning air. Barely seconds and Stuart was outside as well, closing the door behind him.

 

He spared a glance towards his partner. “Are you avoiding me ?”

 

The older man tilted his head slightly towards the other. He could see the worry in his lover’s eyes, from the way he seemed to be wanting to look at every inch of his face at once. “No.” he replied, his voice empty of sarcasm or arrogance.

 

“You didn’t come to shower with me…”

The keys flickered as Stuart brought them out of his jeans pocket, locking the front door.

 

Murdoc worried at his bottom lip, trying to think of an answer that made sense. Nothing he was feeling made sense right now. “I needed to be alone, I think.”

 

A smile slowly drew itself on Stuart’s soft lips. “Okay…” he breathed out.

It felt part of his daily routine as he rested his hand on the back of Murdoc’s neck, leaning in, kissing him softly.

 

The man’s hand searched for something to hold onto, settling for the wood railing behind him. His entire body relaxed during the moment when Stuart’s lips were on his. Pulling away, he refused to distance his face from the other’s too much.

“Wanna call in sick today ?” he growled, a hand pulling at the younger’s coat collar.

 

Stuart kept a strong eye contact. “Can’t.”

He pulled the older closer with a hand on his back, kissing him some more, daring to push his tongue into a warm mouth, savouring the taste of his lover… He was the one to pull away, ending it as soft as it began. Murdoc eyed his lips, then his ocean tainted pupils, waiting for more.

 

“Get in the car…” Stuart spoke lowly, heading down the porch stairs.

 

The older man stood there for a second, watching the other open a car door. The bluenette stepped into the car, his low rise skinny jeans perfectly advantaging the curve of his ass. And the leather jacket was a whole lot better than that stupid detective coat.

 

“Stu…” he mumbled as he walked, “have I told you how much I hate you…”

He jumped on the passenger seat, slamming the car door behind him.

 

 

The door opened in front of the two men. 

Stuart put on his best smile to the woman standing on the other side of the door frame, inside her house. “‘Ello.”

Murdoc stood on his right, looking around as he waited impatiently.

 

The woman eyed them for a short moment. “... Hi.”

There was a certain tremor in her voice, something of hesitance. In the attaches of her robe hanging loose on the sides, the flip flops in her fuzzy socks covered feet.

 

“Clear lack of fashion sense.” Murdoc whispered.

 

“What ?” Stuart looked at him, dropping the smile.

 

“Lack of fashion taste,” the  older man didn’t move, elbowing his partner gently. “Write that down.”

 

The woman’s gaze flickered from the blue haired man to the green one. “What do you want from me ?”

 

Murdoc had crossed his arms. Amusement in his eyes, he leaned his head into the door frame slightly. “Lady, we’re not here to kill you.”

 

The younger cleared his throat. “We were wondering if you–”

 

“Not yet.” the man cut him off, a smirk plastered on his face.

 

Stuart widened his eyes at him, and the second after, the woman was closing the door right in their faces. “No, wait !” he rushed out, his hand instinctively going in front of him.

 

Murdoc stopped it from fully closing with the front of his cuban heel between the door and the frame. The woman looked at them, frightened.

 

“We wanted to know if you’ve seen this girl recently.” the younger man said, showing the woman what he had in his pocket: a crumpled piece of newspaper showing a black and white picture of Leslie. “She’s been missing since Monday.”

 

The woman slightly squinted as she looked at the paper; she then proceeded to put on glasses that were hanging around her neck. She removed them when she looked back at the two men.

“I’ve never seen this child. Sorry.”

 

Murdoc sighed exasperatedly, turning to the side as a lazy attempt to hide his discontempt. Stuart gave the woman a sad smile, putting the paper back into his pocket.

 

“Can you leave now before I call 911 ?”

 

The younger took a second to glance at his partner, who was already stepping off of the porch. “Yes, sorry... Thank you for your time.”

 

He slightly sped up the pace to catch up to Murdoc on the sidewalk of Hoylake Street.

 

“How many more of these ?” the older man asked carelessly, sounding like a pissed off teenager. Which wasn’t far from an accurate description.

 

Stuart took in a deep breath, looking ahead of him. “Betcha we’re reaching the end of the street under an hour.”

 

“Don’t you get tired ? Of doing the same shit everyday ?” Murdoc asked, directly looking at him, ignoring the slight fog the day was bringing, fog turning into drizzle.

 

The younger took some time to look around the houses and the tall trees. “Not often.” he then glanced at his feet. “I like what I do.”

 

“But wouldn’t you wanna do more ?” the older man began walking backwards to face his lover. “Get out of here. See the world for a change.” he drew half a circle with his hands.

 

Stuart smiled, looking to the side and shaking his head.

 

“Don’t you miss it, leaving the country ?”, Murdoc rambled. “New York, Paris, Tokyo…”

“...  Jamaica ?” he teased, raising an eyebrow.

 

The younger man finally looked back at him. “I don’t care where I am. Just need you with me.”

 

The older said nothing back, chuckling to himself as he resumed a normal walk.

“Well I miss us.” he confessed, eyes elsewhere. “In the middle of nowhere, nothing to worry about.”

 

Stuart smiled to himself, bringing his hand to Murdoc’s hair to mess it up teasingly. “I don’t particularly miss that time.”

 

“Wasn’t talking about that time.” he reassured the younger, putting his pride aside to look at him. When he didn’t get a response as quickly, he stared at the street in front of him. The arm sleeve of both of their coats occasionally touched; for now it was enough contact.

 

“I can’t forget, you know.” Stuart finally said, hesitant. “Ever.”

 

“Me neither.” Murdoc’s reply came quick and as stoic as possible. When he noticed the younger man stopped in his steps, he did the same, turning to face him.

 

“Murdoc,” the bluenette began, gaze furtive. “I’ve been thinking…”

 

“Therapy.”

 

Stuart suddenly stared at him, barely hiding his confusion and shock.

Murdoc wheezed bitterly, looking around. “Very predictable.”

 

“I’m not saying this to hurt you–”

 

The older narrowed his eyes. “You think a stranger will fix me ?”

 

“No…” the younger paused, lowering his gaze, pensive. “‘S not what they do.”

 

Murdoc rolled his eyes, shoving his hands in his jacket’s pockets. Feeling his own heartbeat pick up, he attempted to control his breath.

 

“Besides,” Stuart added. “... I don’t want you to go alone.”

 

“Couple therapy. Really ?”

There was no anger in the man’s voice. It sounded breathy, tired.

 

Stuart shook his head, still taking some silent time in between sentences. “I want us to go as friends. As… partners in life.”

 

Murdoc’s lips slowly parted before he spoke. “You’re dumping me. Right here on Soy latte street. Could’ve at least gone for Almond.”

 

Murdoc .” Stuart snapped. He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. “Will you listen to me for one bloody second ?”

 

The older exhaled through his nose, esquissing a sad smile at his partner. He couldn’t think of anything else to say or do for now.

 

“Just…” the younger looked down, then back up at him, despair showing through glossy eyes. “At least consider my offer.”

 

Murdoc avoided his stare, knowing the sight would break his heart. Now was only one of the many times he accidentally pushed his lover away.

 

“Please ?” Stuart insisted, silently asking for one ounce of a response, even just eye contact.

 

A few seconds of silence, and a door opened a few meters farther from the men. Without knowing, they had stopped at the front of another house on the street. A middle aged, short but slightly larger woman was now opening the door to them, not considering the distance…

 

“Gentlemen ! Come in, the storm is near !”

 

… nor the fact that she was letting strangers into her house. The younger man gave his partner another chance to speak. Murdoc only looked back at him, very poorly hiding his hurt. Stuart eyed him before heading towards the woman’s house. The older man stood, feeling the beginnings of a heavier rain on his skin.

 

The woman peeked her head through a crack in the door, the man turning to her. “I’ve got vodka !” she yelled.

 

Murdoc nodded to himself. “Convincing enough.”

 

 

“God,” the woman sighed as she sat down in an armchair, in front of the living room couch. “It’s getting quite cold outside.”

 

Stuart was pinching his lips as he had been waiting. “Yeah,” he replied distractingly. “Winter. The seasons.”

 

Murdoc sat next to him, a displeased expression on his face. His lip curled in annoyance as he felt the roughness of the couch under him. It’s brown leather. What did you expect ?

“You said you had vodka.”

 

The younger man on his right rolled his eyes, looking away from him.

The woman smiled at Murdoc. “Yes,” she nodded, “Vodka flavored tea.”

 

The older grumbled complaints and curse words under his breath, his cup of tea remaining on the coffee table, ironically enough.

 

“While we’re here, um,” Stuart began. “We would like to know something.”

 

“Oh go ahead, I’m an open book !” the woman joked, her hands joined on her lap.

 

“We can tell.” Murdoc said, more to himself, shifting his left leg over the other and resting an arm on the armrest.

 

His partner completely ignored him, taking the paper out of his pocket and handing it to the person in front of them. “Does this girl look familiar to you ?”

 

The woman took the piece in her hand, observing for a moment. Stuart waited with anticipation, still having a bit of hope left in himself. Murdoc distracted himself by looking at the rain, out of the window on his left.

 

“Yes…” she finally responded, focused; Stuart’s face lit up immediately.

“I feel like I’ve seen her somewhere…” she furrowed her brows. “Playing in the street, or something.”

 

“When exactly ?”

The younger took a notebook and a pen out of nowhere. Murdoc eyed him judgingly.

 

“... I couldn’t say, my apologies.” she smiled sadly. “It must have been a month ago.”

 

“So around four weeks ?” Stuart pushed.

 

The woman seemed taken by surprise. “Oh, I don’t know.” she wheezed. “I lost the notion of time when I turned forty.”

 

“Forty’s not that old.” Stuart gave a soft smile. “I have another question uh, Miss… Mrs…”

 

Miss Furthold.” she smiled back at him.

 

“Thank you…” the younger made a quick nod of the head before shifting back to work mode. “Did you see anyone who was with Leslie, when you saw her ?”

 

The woman broke eye contact for a second. “Not that I remember. But then again, I’m getting old.”

 

“Is that why he left you ?” Murdoc intervened, holding a toothpick between his teeth.

 

There was a silence as the owner of the house breathed deeply, in and out through her nose. “No.” she sighed, replying politely. “I kicked him out.”

 

“I apologize, Miss Furthold,” Stuart hurried to speak. “My colleague must be tired. He’s getting old too.”

 

It took all the energy he had for the older man not to start yelling and throw the coffee table in front of their respondent. His nails gradually dug into the armchair material as he growled, avoiding his partner’s gaze.

 

The woman smiled, putting a hand on Stuart’s knee. “Don’t worry, young man. It’s all in good spirits.”

She sat back in her chair, taking a sip of her tea. Stuart was about to do the same before he saw that his cup was empty.

 

“I couldn’t live with him anymore,” she added. “He became really… violent, full of hatred.”

 

“Well I believe everyone deserves a second chance.”

 

Murdoc almost blew his sulking cover as he heard Stuart’s words. He subtly looked towards his partner, only with his eyes.

 

“Trust me,” Miss Furthold smiled, “I gave him a lot more than that. That man didn’t take any of the chances he got.”

 

“At some point he can only blame it on himself.” the older man commented. Every time he spoke, both of the people around him looked, surprised to hear anything from him. It reminded him of his days in school, but he made quick to brush that thought off.

 

The woman eyed him curiously. “You’re a rather smart man aren’t you ?”

 

“I’m a PhD.” Murdoc smirked, taking the opportunity to brag. She smiled at him, while Stuart stayed silent, trying his best to hide his annoyance.

 

Miss Furthold stood, taking the plate carrying the tea cups with her. “Would you like some more tea ? Water ? Some alcohol ?”

Murdoc’s face immediately lit up. “Why yes–”

 

“Actually we were just about to head out.” Stuart stood up, grabbing his coat from the couch’s backrest. The older man stared in front of him with half lidded eyes, emotionally tired.

 

“Alright. More tea for me.” the woman joked as she and Stuart made their way into the hallway leading to the kitchen and the front door.

 

The bluenette watched the rain from the door’s window as he buttoned up his coat.

Miss Furthold left her food tray on the kitchen counter. “Be careful out there. Storm’s announced to last up to midnight.”

 

Stuart turned his head towards the woman, smiling. “Thank you.” He went to tuck in the last button, then to twist the doorknob.

 

“And with all those gun accidents… Lord… The world’s getting scary !”

 

The younger stopped in his actions. He blinked once or twice, then turned towards the lady again. “Gun accidents ?”

 

Miss Furthold was now rubbing a dishcloth around a tea cup. She took a glance at the bluenette. “Yes. It was all over the news yesterday.”

 

Stuart stared at the woman, blinking as he looked away before it became awkward. “Oh, right. I forgot.”

He finally stepped out of the house, walking off the porch through the stairs.

 

Miss Furthold was still washing dishes when Stuart walked into the house again. He headed straight to the living room. He came back with Murdoc on his steps, dragging him by his arm. “You left the door unlocked.” he said before stepping out for good.

 

“I reaaally needed that drink...” Murdoc sighed as they both started feeling the rain on their skin.

Chapter Text

Bring your boyfriend to work day had now lasted three days, even with Stuart’s discontempt towards Murdoc. For a rare time, the bluenette had no idea where he was going. He didn’t know if he should feel guilty for researching on Murdoc’s trauma, or if he should pat himself on the back for trying to be of help. But even with all the studies he read, he still didn’t know what to do with the information he had found. It seemed as if it were too late to heal, sometimes. He was discouraged, feeling like they were back at square one, after all the years of effort to better their relationship.

 

So as another day came to an end, the younger man knocked on another person’s front door. Murdoc was still by his side, even with the tension that had built up in the last few days. They hadn’t done this in a long time, bottling up their emotions until it broke them. But here they were, doing exactly what they thought they would never do again. What they thought was past them.

 

Nobody answered the door. Stuart eyed the material of it for a second, before turning around and leaving the property. He heard his partner’s steps close to him and found himself wondering why somebody like Murdoc wasn’t being petty after a fight.

 

Even after all these years you still don’t understand him. Pathetic.

 

They arrived at their car, parked at the end of Hoylake Street. The younger went to reach into his pocket to grab the keys, but found it empty. When he looked towards the older man, that is when he realized he was the one who had the keys. And he was drunk.

 

He was trying to be subtle about it though, his brows furrowed as he fiddled to find the right key. He usually always knew which one to use for the car. Finally finding it, he almost tripped on his own steps, his body swaying slightly.

Stuart walked up to him. He reached for the keys in Murdoc’s hand. “Give me that.”

 

The older was still busy at his task. The younger got a hold on the object, pulling slightly without success. “Give me the keys Murdoc, I’m driving.”

 

“No. I’m driving.” Murdoc mumbled.

 

Stuart smelled whiskey in the other’s breath and immediately lost patience. “You’re drunk, give me the keys you bellend.”

 

The man stumbled away from him, raising his voice. “ Do NOT fucking get like that with me.”

 

The younger avoided his partner’s gaze as he was made aware of his own behavior.

We’re just running in circles. This is pointless.

 

He walked past Murdoc, in the opposite direction of the car. The older didn’t turn to look at him, his lips parted, his breath heavy. “Stuart,” he called lazily, then raising his voice. “ Stuart .”

 

“I’m taking a taxi.” the younger yelled as he brought his phone out of his pocket. “You get killed by yourself.”

 

The older man stood there, leaning against the side of the car. His body got into the car, but he felt like his brain wasn’t following. Slamming the door, he sat there, trying to catch his breath. With a few more minutes he was on the road, hands firm on the wheel. He blinked as his vision kept getting blurrier, and his thoughts louder.

 

He was losing his Stuart. Slowly, but surely. The only person who accepted to deal with him for more than one night, way more than one night. The only person who had taught him how to trust again. The only person who was patient with him, even through his impulsive fits and depressive episodes. His heartbeat accelerating, he accidentally turned the car on the other side of the road; he saw another vehicle coming just in time to manoeuver out of the way, in the dirt next to the forest.

 

He could still hear the other driver honking at him and yelling; thankfully, those sounds gradually went away. Panicking, he put the car in park, trying to breathe. He was overwhelmed, realizing how pathetic he was.

 

You can’t do this on your own.

 

He stepped out of the car for some fresh air. But he couldn’t seem to get himself to calm down. Feeling his own breath pick up again, he kicked his foot into a tire.

 

“FUCK !” he yelled at the pain, pacing. He brought his hands into his hair, a heavy lump in his throat. After a few seconds of pacing, he forced himself to get back into the car, slumping into the seat. His vision became blurry again, but not because of the alcohol.

 

His eyes wandered around, aimlessly looking for an answer to something, anything. He grabbed at his hair again.

 

“Shit…”, he cursed as he began sobbing. “Stupid. So stupid .”

 

He realized how easily he could break down, even from the most meaningless fights. His life was always walking on the edge of a cliff on fucking eggshells. 

 

He sniffed, quickly wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his coat. He stared at the forest through the left window, then the back window was shattering. He jumped, his heartbeat picking up the pace and his worries from seconds ago all gone. Looking ahead of him, he tried to get a glimpse of his surroundings in the rearview mirror. This time, he heard a gunshot, and quickly he lowered himself in his seat, just in time to be missed. He saw the bullet hitting the steering wheel, then tumbling to the floor.

 

Still sitting low, he picked up the small object from the ground, observing it with puffy eyes. “What in Satan’s name…”

 

Slowly, and carefully, Murdoc turned to look behind him. He could barely see anything, only a tall, ancient tower somewhere farther around the trees. Another shot was heard, and he immediately turned back on his seat.

 

“Fuck !” he yelled for the second time that night as he started the engine, driving as fast and as far as he could. As he kept on hearing shots, he began driving messily, insanely manoeuvering the wheel to turn the car from left to right.

 

It seemed like an eternity until he arrived at the house, parking the car as far from the road as possible. Stepping out, he hurried his pace, looking around anxiously. He felt the remains of alcohol in his system as he walked messily, then found himself struggling with the keys again.

 

“Come on I’m not dying by gunshot.” he growled to himself.

 

Stepping inside, his gaze flickered until he spotted his Stuart, safe and sound, asleep on the living room couch. Quickly he locked the doors, and walked around the house, searching for any presence of danger, checking all the windows. Then, he activated their alarm system.

 

“Not you,” he grumbled to himself. “Not letting you die.”

 

Not even taking the time to shower, he undressed himself to his boxers, laying down in the bed. Pulling the covers on himself, he stared at the wall. He knew that he needed to talk to Stuart about their recent issues, about what had just happened to him. But something inside him was fearing to confide, scared of not being believed, of being called paranoid, lunatic, drug addict. It scared him, because it would only be rational of his partner to think that of him. Exhausted, he pulled the covers even farther over his body, hiding from the world for the night.

 

 

“Murdoc.”

 

The voice called, but through his ears it seemed very far away. Trying to make sense of his surroundings lead to nothing; all that was around him was close pitch black.

 

“Murdoc,… et… m… e...”

 

He couldn’t hear the rest of the sentence; it sounded like an echo. Slowly his eyes started tracing shadows of furniture, windows, a person. It looked like a house, but it didn’t feel like home.

 

“Hit him.”

 

He heard and it froze his heart, sending chills down his body. He was now aware of the coldness of the floor under him, the coldness and familiar noise of the refrigerator he was leaning onto.

 

“Hit him.”

 

Another shadow of a person appeared, slowly growing bigger and bigger. He could only watch it tower over him, feeling his heart in his throat, still frozen and on the verge to break. 

 

“Hit him.”

 

The shadow was too close. He shut his eyes.

 

“Hannibal.”

 

“Hit him.”

 

 

Murdoc suddenly opened his eyes. He wished he had woken up naturally, but there was an extremely loud ringing resonating through the house. Turning around on his back, he had the instinct to block out his ears with his hands, groaning. He forced himself to get up, feeling leftovers of a cold sweat, everywhere on his body. He walked past last night’s clothes, randomly sprawled on the ground.

 

Walking out of the hallway into the living room and kitchen, the older man went towards the alarm system, located in the entryway. Not too far on his steps, Stuart appeared, his hands on his ears.

 

“Murdoc, what’s going on ?” he spoke as loud as he could, face contorted in discomfort.

 

The man didn’t respond, nonchalantly pressing some buttons on the small machine.

 

Stuart waited near, getting impatient. “Murdoc answer me.”

 

The noise suddenly stopped: success. The older man shut the system off, turning to his partner.  “I’m sorry I didn’t hear what you were saying.”

 

The younger rolled his eyes, to which Murdoc only replied by a slight smirk.

 

“Why would you turn that shit on,” Stuart complained, “when you know I always wake up before you, to clean out the porch.”

 

The older man sighed, having no energy whatsoever to deal with this. “I’m sorry Dee, won’t happen again.” he detachedly responded.

 

“Your acting skills are only getting worse.” the younger commented. He watched his partner walk towards the kitchen, slowly following him. “Why would you do that anyway ?” he insisted.

 

Murdoc pressed his hands against the counter, his back to Stuart. He hesitated for a second. “... You don’t wanna know.”

 

The younger frowned. “I do want to know. Are you really that comfortable with not telling me anything ?”

 

Murdoc chuckled bitterly, lowering his head. “That’s not it.”

 

Stuart walked up to the side of the counter, trying to see his lover’s face. “Then what is it, huh ? I can’t understand you when you’re like this Murdoc.”

 

The older man suddenly looked up, his palms still on the counter. “I almost got shot. Alright ?”

 

Silence from the bluenette. For Murdoc, the room felt like it was slowly closing up on him. He felt suffocated.

 

“By who ?” Stuart finally replied, clearly shocked but trying to control himself.

 

The man thought for a moment. He was having a hard time remembering anything about this, other than the fact that he almost died.

“I don’t know.” he shrugged, raising his hands from the counter.

 

“What happened ? Couldn’t you see their face ?” the younger genuinely questioned.

 

“I don’t know. I don’t know !” Murdoc repeated, beginning to pace, his hands in his hair. These actions felt too familiar.

 

Stuart took a deep breath. “Murdoc… You were drunk. Are you sure this really happened ?”

 

The older man stopped pacing, staring at his partner. “Yes. Yes ! I even have the bullet to prove it.”

 

He immediately headed to his room. The younger watched him from his spot in the kitchen; he sighed in despair.

 

In the bedroom, Murdoc kneeled next to the clothes he had left on the floor. He grabbed his jeans, reaching into the side pocket. Furrowing his brows as he didn’t find anything, he searched in the back pockets. Then in the other side pocket. Nothing.

 

Stuart arrived from the hallway, standing in the door frame, arms crossed.

“What bullet, Murdoc ?”

 

The older man dropped his hands down, along with the pants he was holding. He stayed there, gaze flickering helplessly.

“I… I don’t understand…” he breathed out. “... It almost hit my head, I saw it. In the goddamn car.”

 

The younger sighed again, worry in his expression. “Muds, it’s okay. I’m not mad at you.”

 

Leaving the jeans on the floor, Murdoc slowly stood up, refusing to face his partner. His nails slowly dug into his palms, and he tried his best to keep his breath under control. He felt helpless.

 

“Come to work with me again,” Stuart propositioned. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be alone today.”

 

Seeing he wasn’t responding in any way, the younger turned to walk away. “Don’t take too long, we’re already late.”

 

Murdoc exhaled deeply as soon as his partner was gone. His shoulders dropped, and his hands weren’t in fists anymore. Although, the feelings weren’t going away.

 

He went to the bathroom sink to splash some cold water onto his face. He spread it with his hands, looking at his reflection in the mirror. He noticed that the bags under his eyes appeared darker, his left lid was shaking, his jaw set.

 

Am I going crazy ?

 

He closed his eyes as a poor attempt to relax. Then suddenly he was in Stuart’s work building, in the entrance hall, walls covered in wide windows. He could hear his partner chatting with his boss Dickinson next to him. He couldn’t make sense of any of the words though.

 

Did he black out during the car ride ? He couldn’t figure it out. He didn’t feel like he was a part of the world right now. Nothing felt real, not since his Stuart stopped believing him.

 

Oh no. Here comes the panic again.

 

Murdoc looked around. All the people were talking, walking, laughing. The world was still turning for them.

 

Run.

 

“Uh.. Excuse me for a sec.” he succeeded in articulating. He began to walk but was stopped by a grip on his arm.

 

“Where are you going ?”

Stuart was looking at him. He still had that look on his face, like he was speaking to a troubled child. Which was almost exactly accurate.

 

“Bathroom.” he spoke lowly. The younger had no problem letting go of his arm, so he made his way to the stairs, following the tiny sign on the wall.

 

On his way, Murdoc started recognizing the path. Soon he was passing by Charles’ office; the door had been left half-opened. It got him thinking.

 

He went to stand on the side of the hallway, pretending to stare out the window. Subtly, he looked out of the left corner of his eye, then his right. He waited until the hallway was generally cleared to head into the office with the most normal walk he could achieve right now. Carefully, he closed the door behind him. He took a deep breath.

Looking around, he couldn’t see much of anything. He was brought back to last night’s nightmare for a second.

 

“Fuck’s sake, focus you idiot.” he angrily whispered to himself.

 

His eyes slowly got used to the darkness, and so he walked up to Dickinson’s desk. On the surface of it, nothing looked out of the ordinary. Lots of business papers, paychecks, old contracts. He decided to look through the four drawers in the desk. The first two weren’t so interesting; pens, post-its, more papers. In the third one he even found an old rotting apple.

 

He ruffled his nose at the smell. “Christ.”

He didn’t say that often.

 

The fourth (and last) drawer was farther down on the desk. Opening it, everything seemed normal. This search was beginning to be a waste of time. Losing determination, he ended up spotting a small printed photo, turned face down against the papers. Picking it up, he recognized Stuart’s face. All smiles, trees, clouds and sun behind him.

 

The man frowned. “Who the fuck hides a picture of their employee in a desk drawer…”

 

He was starting to feel like his suspicions were right all along. He realized he was able to get his hand farther into the drawer; they were longer than he had thought.

 

So he searched through the other drawers again. He kept looking at the door, watching shadows of people walking by through the glossy window. Then in the second drawer, he felt something cold, hard on his fingers. He froze for barely a second; he recognized the material. Forcing himself out of his hazy state he slowly brought the object out. Just as he thought, it was a gun. A brand new, deep carbon black glock, hiding in the desk of his boyfriend’s boss. His breath picked up for the hundredth time today.

 

“I really need a vacation.” he let out.

 

He was forced to act normally for the rest of the day. He tried to find reasons to keep Stuart away from his boss; thankfully, they weren’t at the office for too long. They went back home early, the younger man researching the Leslie case on his laptop, and Murdoc secretly panicking for his life in the bedroom, keeping his gun under the pillow.

 

He was left to sleep alone again that night. When he couldn’t find sleep past 3 AM, he almost went to talk to Stuart. He changed his mind as he watched the bluenette peacefully sleeping on the living room couch, wrapped up in a warm blanket. As his eyes watered, he got himself a couple of beers from the refrigerator. He spent the rest of the night drinking his sorrows away, until he passed out.

Chapter Text

Waking up the next morning, Stuart rubbed his neck, slightly sore from the lack of support on the couch. Dragging his feet onto the cold hardwood floor, he went to take a quick shower. Later on, he tied on his robe as he exited the bathroom. He then made himself a cup of decaffeinated coffee, that he went to drink outside on the porch.

 

Leaning against the railing, he realized that the soreness spread all the way to his back. Looking around at the view of trees and mountains farther away, he considered sleeping in their bed tonight. But then again, it didn’t feel right. He and Murdoc couldn’t bring themselves to talk to each other honestly lately; those kinds of issues happened so rarely that Stuart almost thought they had become better as a couple and put that bad communication habit behind. Maybe they did make a little progress, but he couldn’t get himself to believe that right now. He felt hopeless.

 

He was aware that he had a lot of bad habits, and a lot of things he wasn’t being honest about. However, he didn’t know how to bring it up in a conversation with Murdoc, seeing how unstable he had been these days. He wondered for a second if it was his fault, for leaving him to drive home alone, drunk in the middle of the night. Closing his eyes for a second, he sighed, then downed the remains of his coffee.

 

Walking back into the house, he went to leave his cup on the kitchen counter. As soon as he put the object down he was taken by surprise by his partner’s voice.

 

“Stuart.”

 

The man walked up to him in a hurry, pulling him in a tight embrace. The younger didn’t know how to react for a moment, but ended up reciprocating the gesture.

 

“Thank Satan you’re alive.” Murdoc mumbled against the fabric of his robe.

 

“Yea,” Stuart chuckled. “Why wouldn’t I be ?” Suddenly he could feel the man tense against him. He even felt a slight tremble in the other’s hands.

 

Murdoc pulled away, enough to look at the bluenette. “Somebody wants you dead, Dee.”

 

Stuart stared right back at him, his brows furrowed and lips parted. “I… What ?”

 

Murdoc seemed to be looking for the right words to say. “I don’t know how to tell you this. But it’s Charles, it’s your boss. Your boss wants to kill you.”

 

The younger only grew more confused, exhaling shakily. “Wha… Why would you think that ?”

 

His partner went towards the entryway, where he rummaged through a pocket of his black coat, the one he wore to work with Stuart. He got two separate bullets out of it.

 

“Look,” he began as he walked back towards the bluenette. “This was the bullet I told you I saw in my car, after I almost got shot. It ended up under the bed.”

 

Stuart could only nod slowly, eyeing him scared. The man left the first bullet on the counter.

 

“And…” he trailed off. “... Guess where I found the other.”

 

The younger didn’t say anything back for a moment, looking around as he thought.

“I… I don’t know.”

 

“Charles’ office.” Murdoc firmly stated. He was almost proud as he saw his partner immediately become shocked.

 

“You went into his office ??” Stuart exclaimed.

 

The older man panicked. “Really ? Is that what you’re worried about ? He had a fucking gun Dee, all along. He could’ve killed you, hell he probably killed Leslie and faked the disappearance.”

 

“Now you’re being ridiculous.”

The bluenette stared at him; his expression was difficult to read. Something between anger and despair. “I’m gonna be late.”

He headed towards the entryway.

 

Murdoc made quick to react. “No, no. Stu, you don’t understand.”

 

Stuart turned to look at him, holding his coat.

 

“You can’t go to work.” the man explained. “You can’t go where Charles is.”

 

The younger put on his coat, ignoring his order. “You don’t get to control me like that.”

 

The older felt himself growing more and more upset. “It’s not about control, Stu it’s about your damn life !” he argued, his voice an octave higher.

 

“Murdoc,” Stuart called calmly. “You’re gonna have to accept that you’re wrong sometimes, about certain things.”

 

The man stood there, at a loss for words. He should have trusted his gut; he knew he wouldn’t be believed. His own boyfriend couldn’t trust him. And it hurt even more, because he still felt the urgent need to protect the sod.

 

Murdoc gathered all the energy he had left to walk closer and flip Stuart’s body around. He heard an audible gasp as he got a firm grip on soft, pale hands. He pushed himself and the other against the front door, hearing the restrained whine of pain from his lover.

“I already regret what I’m about to do to you.”

 

“Ugh,” Stuart grit his teeth, struggling to move. “Thought we were done with this.”

 

“You’re leaving me no choice.” the older man fumbled to tie his partner’s wrists up, keeping him steady with his knee.

 

The younger fought the tears as memories came rushing through his head, one after the other. He recognized the feeling of thick sowing rope around his skin. Remembered his mother teaching him how to sow, even with the old school machine, and even though he was a boy. He closed his eyes, and tried focusing on that loving memory, without any success.

Murdoc …” he whispered weakly.

 

The older man stopped in his actions, sighing.

“I don’t like this either, Stu. But I need to keep you safe. I won’t let you get hurt again.”

 

Stuart bit his lip, his eyes forced open as his partner slightly pulled at his hair and guided him away from the door.

 

They walked all the way to a storage room at the end of the hallway. The bluenette panicked.

 

“What ?...”

 

Murdoc gently pushed him into the small room, helping him sit down. He could see the other starting to shake and shiver; he crouched down to his level.

 

“Stay here,” he ordered. “Don’t move, don’t yell, don’t try to escape.”

 

The younger couldn’t look at him in the eye. He sniffed. “... I thought you changed.”

 

“I did” the older man replied, putting his hand on his partner’s knee. “Because I’m not doing this for myself. I’m doing this for you .”

 

When Stuart looked back at him, his blue eyes were filled with tears, his lip quivering. And he understood; he could see how similar this was to their past issues. He dared to reach out, cupping the bluenette’s face with his hands. Only more tears rushed out.

 

“Stuart…” he called his full first name, meaning business. The younger was still looking at him, still giving him too many chances.

 

“Can I kiss you ?” the man asked, voice low.

 

Stuart eyed him, before slowly shaking his head, looking away. Murdoc felt his own heart break, but he didn’t let it show. His fingers slipped away from the soft skin; he stood, leaving the room. As soon as he heard the door close, the bluenette shut his eyes, sobbing tiredly.

 

On his side, the older man leaned against the door, eyes closed, swallowing harshly to fight the tears. They were broken again. And it felt just like an addiction relapse, just like a mental illness relapse. Suddenly, the only thing close to a success for him was just another fuck up of his.

 

 

Murdoc spent most of the day drinking to avoid a potential breakdown. He carried his firearm with him, ready to react whenever he would have to. He barely got any food into his system, so paranoid and so stressed out that the simple thought of it made him nauseous. He kept on checking every door to see if they were locked, and he turned all the lights off. It didn’t change much during the day; however, as the night dawned on him, the scenery grew darker and darker.

 

The older man sat on the living room couch, lounging, pretending this was just another normal, casual night. He lit up a cigarette, which emitted a faint light around the room as he slipped it between his lips. Whenever he remembered that his Stuart was supposed to be here with him, he had to down another beer bottle to push away his need to sob in the fœtal position all night.

 

You did this to yourself. It’s your fault.

 

He nodded to himself, finishing his fifth beer, wishing he had thought to buy better quality alcohol. But it was Stuart who most often ran errands, it was Stuart who took care of the house, it was Stuart who took care of Murdoc like he was a sick old man in a hospital. He stood, pacing to try and calm the ascending panic. One thought, the simple thought of the boy on his lap, holding him, kissing him when he’d cry… and he lost it for a moment. The growl in his throat turned into a scream, and he threw the bottle he had in his hands.

 

Murdoc was trying to gather himself when he felt cold in the air. He looked around clueless until he spotted a broken window. His heart dropped. “Fuck.”

 

Realizing he didn’t have any pockets, he hid his gun against his back, held around the band of his jeans. He searched through the drawers in the kitchen, looking for anything that could help him fix his own mess right now, and quickly. He found large tape, and impulsively he tried covering the window frame with it. He was about to finish an X pattern with a second line of tape when a familiar face popped up right in front of him. Charles Dickinson, standing on Murdoc’s porch, holding a gun to his face.

 

“Well good evening mister Niccals.”

 

The older man immediately backed up, dropping the tape as he held his hands up. Charles stepped into the house through the broken window. He looked around the room casually.

 

“Nice house you got there.”

 

Murdoc kept a considerable distance with the intruder.

 

“I assume you have been living here for quite a while.” Dickinson added.

 

The man swallowed. He was aware that he couldn’t lie; business men knew how to find information on anybody. “Actually, no.” he articulated. “This was… my partner’s house. I moved in a while ago.”

 

Charles pretended to be interested, walking around aimlessly. Then, he turned around to face the older. “Where is he ?”

 

Murdoc felt himself panic, but he didn’t let it show. Acting oblivious to the question, he watched the other come up to him with slow steps. When he was too close for his comfort, the green man backed up again.

 

“Where is Stuart ?” he asked again, clearly getting angrier this time.

 

The man felt a gun pointing against his stomach. He panicked. “I-I don’t know ! He’s not here, but I– he didn’t tell me where he was going !”

 

Dickinson eyed him, not convinced the slightest. Murdoc observed him as well; he still had his work suit on, without the matching jacket, his shirt one third unbuttoned.

 

“Liar.” the intruder spit at him. “You wouldn’t leave him alone when you know he’s on a killer’s list…”

 

Killer .” the older man breathed out. He could feel the sweat on his forehead. However, the fact that Charles knew that he knew didn’t surprise him. “There are cameras in your office.” he deducted.

 

Dickinson chuckled darkly. “Clever.” Immediately ceasing to laugh, he pressed the gun harder on Murdoc’s stomach, dragging it farther up near his heart. “Now tell me where you left your lovely blue boy.”

 

The older man’s breath picked up. “I uh–”

 

“He didn’t leave me anywhere.”

 

Taken by surprise, Dickinson turned around. Murdoc looked in the same direction. Stuart stood at the end of the hallway, red wrists matching his eyes, hair in knots. The man almost sobbed at the sight. Then he remembered Charles’ presence, and he made quick to get the gun out of his pants, pointing it towards his head.

 

“Drop the weapon fucker !” he yelled.

 

Dickinson raised an eyebrow, not even turning to look at the gun grazing his hair. He observed the bluenette, pouting mockingly. “You look a mess, sweetheart.”

 

Stuart eyed him scornfully, but his attempt to look intimidating failed due to his disheveled appearance.

His boss laughed bitterly. “Aren’t you tired of being treated like a hostage ?”

 

Pausing, he narrowed his stare on the younger man, menacing.

“You know I fuck you better than he does.”

 

Murdoc felt his heart sink. “What the fuck did you just say ?”

 

He held onto his gun for dear life. Charles simply smirked, still looking at Stuart as Murdoc did, since he wasn’t getting any response.

The younger seemed torn apart, on the verge of tears.

 

“I’m sorry…” he mouthed to his partner.

 

The older man clenched his jaw, and immediately switched his attention back to the intruder, pushing the gun into his head. “What the fuck did you do to him ?”

 

“Everything.” Dickinson replied, more to Stuart, his gaze still on him. “And yet you still chose him.”

 

Murdoc frowned, still not moving an inch.

 

“Murdoc Niccals.” he spit, venom on his tongue. “The selfish, lowlife abuser… The decayed loser who does nothing other than project his well-deserved trauma onto an innocent boy.”

 

“Do NOT talk about him like that.” the younger intervened, his hands in fists. 

 

Charles became angrier as well, raising his voice. “Why, Stuart ? Why him ?? Why this… psychopath ?? I would do anything for you. Hell I even killed a CHILD for you !”

 

Murdoc froze, his thoughts gathering the information.

“Leslie.” he breathed out, the firearm shaking in his hands.

 

Stuart was in complete shock, stuttering to find the words. “H-How… How could you do that ?...”

 

Charles rolled his eyes. “Quit the whining, Stuey. I made you a LIFE. I gave you work . I gave you money .”

 

“I don’t care about any of those things.” the younger man spoke through his tears and shaky breath.

 

“But you kept coming back,” Dickinson responded with a sly smile. “Didn’t you ?”

 

Stuart couldn’t find anything to answer. Slowly, Charles pointed his gun towards the bluenette. On his side, Murdoc lost his patience. He pressed the gun hard into the intruder’s head.

 

“Drop the fucking weapon you sicko. I won’t hesitate to blow your garbage brains out.”

 

Dickinson didn’t move, that annoying grin still on his face. “Do it,” he said calmly. “And I shoot the pretty boy.”

 

The younger man was paralyzed. He still succeeded in raising his trembling hands.

 

“Charles,” he called carefully, “you don’t have to do this…”

 

His boss pressed his lips together, still angry. “Oh trust me, I do.” he argued. “I’ve had enough, of seeing you with this man child .”

 

Stuart’s lips parted, and he looked back at the man who spoke to him, even though he couldn’t stop his anxiety.

 

“I’ve seen you with him, everywhere .” Charles explained bitterly. “I saw you kiss him… It drove me mad.”

 

“You were spying on us, you fucking psycho.” Murdoc deducted, still not having moved from his position.

 

“Not you… Him.” Dickinson corrected. “You know, sometimes I was even closer than you think.”

 

Stuart’s breath picked up; the intruder noticed it.

 

“Yes…” he smirked. “I saw you in the Dark Alley, and I couldn’t resist teaching you a lesson.”

 

Murdoc growled behind him. “That’s it. I’m killing the fucker.” he spoke, more to Stuart.

 

“No !” his partner immediately yelled. “No.”

 

There was silence for a moment. Stuart could see that Murdoc was angry, but he could also see the intense desire for vengeance through Charles’ eyes. His boss’ weapon was still pointed towards him. He took in a breath.

 

“Murdoc… Drop the gun.”

 

“What ?” the older man blurted out, confused.

 

“Put the gun away !” Stuart repeated desperately. “You have to put it away, or he’s gonna hurt me.”

 

“Hurt you ? You mean kill you .” Murdoc spoke through his teeth.

 

“Please, listen to me sweetheart…” the younger man begged, swallowing the tears. “Don’t let me die…”

 

The man hesitated for a moment, before slowly lowering his weapon, keeping it in his hand. Charles immediately turned around, pointing his glock at him.

 

“Such a weakling of our species.” he commented.

 

Stuart began to walk closer. “Charles, stop.”

 

“You take one more step and I pull the trigger.” Dickinson warned.

 

“If you do this,” the younger explained, “I will sue you for wrongful death and repeated sexual assault.”

 

His boss stared at him, almost laughing.

“What ?” he wheezed.

 

“I have a law degree.” Stuart stated, emotionless. “I won’t hesitate taking you to court.”

 

Murdoc looked at his partner through loving eyes. “You are bloody amazing.”

 

Dickinson still wasn’t moving.

 

The younger man sighed. “You don’t wanna get yourself into this Charles. It will ruin your life, and your career.”

 

“I don’t think so.” Charles confidently replied. “You have absolutely no evidence that I did this to you.”

 

Murdoc cringed. “You disgusting prick–” Immediately the gun was pushed into his forehead, and he grit his teeth.

 

“You will lose this case,” Dickinson advised, “just like all the pathetic people getting off on playing the victim.”

 

Stuart searched for something to say. “... There were cameras in your office.”

 

Charles smirked. “Poor Stuey… You can’t always get what you want… Whenever I felt like using your sad excuse of an asshole I deactivated every camera.”

 

“Say that again ?”

 

That was a voice none of them recognized, except Stuart. A policeman walked in from the hallway, armed with a rifle. Soon three more of them followed behind him.

 

The younger kept eye contact with the intruder, watching his expression turn to defeat. “I don’t think it will be necessary…”

 

“You fucking genius, you called the feds !” Murdoc exclaimed, finally relieved.

 

“Drop the weapon and put your hands up.” the policeman ordered.

 

Dickinson looked down and surprisingly obeyed as the man walked up to him to handcuff him.

Chapter Text

The four policemen walked out through the front door, leading Charles towards their car, flashing lights. Stuart went to thank one of them, who seemed to be the chief. Murdoc watched the scene from the doorway, arms crossed. The adrenaline decreasing, he found himself feeling immense pride for his partner. For all that he had survived, for getting himself out of the storage room, for having the instinct to call the police and orchestrate a trap. After learning what the bluenette had been going through, all on his own, he felt guilty for every time he caused a silly fight, or threw a childish tantrum.

 

He wanted to apologize, truly. But he couldn’t deny the hurt that was aching his chest, the deception that he was aware he shouldn’t be nurturing. The two cars left with Dickinson, hopefully leading him to jail. There was nobody more qualified than Murdoc to know how hellish of a punishment that was.

 

Stuart climbed the porch steps and walked past him to get back inside the house. Looking in the distance, the older man sighed, knowing the night was far from over. Walking back in, he closed the door behind him.

 

Stuart stood at the counter, his hands pressed on the material, his head down. This night must have been a lot to handle, and part of it was on Murdoc. He was aware of it.

 

“Hey…” the older man attempted to communicate, walking a little closer to the other. “I’m sorry.”

 

Stuart looked up at him, dried tears on his cheeks. “Sorry for what ?”

He could sound both destroyed and pissed off, Murdoc didn’t know how he did it.

 

The man looked around for an answer; there were too many. “For everything.”

 

His partner stared at him. “Do you really think that’s still enough for me ?”

 

The older shook his head slowly. “You know I don’t…”

 

Stuart looked away from him, biting his lip. The previously suspenseful room was silent, the cold of late autumn seeping through the broken window. All of it was your fault, Murdoc heard. He pushed the thought away.

“Do I get an apology too ?” he asked, only barely restraining his frustration. “Cause last time I checked, you were always quick to defend that maniac.”

 

The younger man lowered his gaze. “You don’t understand, Murdoc…”

 

“Actually, yes. I do.” the older cut him off, raising his voice. “I know what it’s like, Stuart. Been there, done that.”

 

“He kept me quiet.” Stuart explained, on the verge of breaking down. “He would tell me.. that if I said anything, I’d lose my job.”

 

Murdoc raised his arms, exasperated. “Alright. So now you care about money.”

 

“I would lose my job,” the younger insisted, “the only job I’ve ever had that allowed me to take care of you, and this house, and the slightest possibility of our future.”

 

The older man felt the rush of energy suddenly going low. He sighed, taking a few steps closer.

“Stu… You could have told me. He doesn’t control you, I mean… He can’t spy on us everywhere.”

 

Stuart looked away, sniffing, struggling not to cry. Murdoc frowned, saddened at the sight.

“You could have told me,” he repeated, “and I would have listened to you, I would have protected you… Didn’t you want to be understood ?”

 

“You wouldn’t understand.”

The younger looked at him again, this time a little less sad and a little more angry.

 

“What.” Murdoc breathed out.

 

Stuart‘s brows knitted together. “Don’t you look at yourself ? You’re getting out of control. You had a handgun, you were ready to kill.”

 

The older man’s lips parted as he could only eye his partner, hearing a truth he wasn’t ready for.

 

“There is so much rage inside you Murdoc… And it scares me.” the younger admitted.

 

Murdoc felt his body tense, and his brain switch to survival mode. He was immediately wrongfully defensive.

“What do you know about my head, huh ? Have you ever seen the shit that’s going on in there ?”

 

“I haven’t.” Stuart responded honestly, oddly hesitant. “But I… I’ve learned some things.”

 

The older man had a bad feeling in his gut. It felt like it was twisting, his head was pounding, he was exhausted. “What things ?”

 

The younger searched for words. “Things… Things about you ! About what you’ve been through, and what you do !”

 

“Why not ask me for those things ?” Murdoc genuinely asked.

 

“Because I know you’re not exactly excited to talk about them, Muds.” he paused. “I know you. And now, I really want to understand you.”

 

The older lowered his gaze to the torn shirt Stuart was wearing. “I thought you already did.”

 

“Barely.” the younger took a deep breath. “You’re still such a mystery to me sweetheart…”

 

The nickname only got Murdoc spiraling, remembering the time he truly trusted Stuart, that he willingly exposed himself, in a vulnerability he had fought all his life to face. Was he nothing more than a disturbed mind to analyze ?

 

His partner took a step towards him, almost reaching for his hand before the man was taking a step backwards.

 

The bluenette frowned.

“Murdoc… I want to help you.”

 

“Shut up.” the older rushed out. “I’m not a fucking mental patient you get to fix to stroke your own ego.” 

 

That wasn’t what it was, at all. Stuart was hurt by his words, he could tell. The man’s gaze dropped again.

 

“I need time. To think.”

 

The younger was obviously not fully in agreement with his statement. But he nodded, closing his eyes, reopening them as he spoke lowly.

 

“Okay.”

 

Only taking the car keys with him, Murdoc walked out from the front door. He didn’t know anything; if he was making the right decision, if he was seeing the situation wrongly, if he was indeed becoming violent again like Stuart was telling him.

 

He sat in the car, attempting to clear his mind without any success. He started the engine and drove away, having absolutely no idea of where he was going.

 

 

It took the entire day to get to the closest hotel; Murdoc arrived in the town’s city, and the sun was hiding between mountains, barely lighting up the streets. He left his car in a small parking and made his way inside. He didn’t feel like dealing with strangers. But he didn’t feel like dealing with Stuart either.

 

In the morning, back at the house, the younger man tried to push all the recent events aside to go to the office. Arriving there, he was greeted with an announcement: every employee was now jobless, and needed to pack up their things to leave the place as soon as possible. There were even policemen at every corner of the hall, Stuart noticed as he headed to his office. He walked past Charles’s office, where some other policemen and investigators were looking through everything there.

 

He drove back home with a torn heart and a pile of cardboard boxes in the backseat. He quite literally felt empty; he had just lost the best job he had ever gotten. He tried to comfort himself knowing that he wouldn’t have to put up with the abuse anymore. Some part of him still thought he deserved it. He had to stop midway to let out the tears, accidentally honking as he leaned down, his face against the wheel.

 

In his room, at nighttime, Murdoc sat on the carpeted floor, right against the window. He watched the cars come and go on a single route between pine trees. He then looked up, admiring the mountains and the tiny houses, sporadic around the vegetation. His mind uncontrollably wandered to Stuart, to what he might be up to, to what he might be feeling.

 

He remembered their warmest moments, and he desperately craved to be close to the bluenette again. He swigged a bottle of cheap alcohol he bought downstairs. All of the lights in his room were turned off, the exception being the lamp on the bedside table. He leaned his side against the window. He needed to find a way to fix this.

 

 

It was the evening of the next day when he went back to Hoylake Street. He knocked on a door.

 

Miss Furthold answered. “Oh, hello dear.”

 

“Hi,” Murdoc greeted awkwardly. “Can I uh.. come in ?”

 

The woman didn’t hesitate. “Yes, yes. Make yourself at home.”

 

The older man gave her a polite smile as he stepped inside. The house smelled like roses and salty food. “Makin’ dinner ?”

 

“Roasted chicken, peas and potatoes.” the lady replied warmly as she busied herself. “I can make some for you, young man.”

 

Murdoc still stood in the entryway, his anxiety making itself known at the front of his head. “Oh no it’s fine. I’m vegan and uh… I already ate.”

 

“Vegan huh ?” Miss Furthold smiled, intrigued. “Is that recent ?”

 

“Yea,” the older man put his hands in his jeans pockets. “Somebody convinced me.”

 

“Was it the man who came here with you last time ? Blue haired, very handsome ?”

 

Murdoc looked down, chuckling. “That’s him. And he’s not into older women.”

 

The woman genuinely laughed. “And I’m not into anybody at the moment, honey.”

 

He smiled, then looked down again. Miss Furthold eyed him.

“Is everything alright, between you two ?”

 

The older still avoided her gaze, uncomfortable. “Yea, yea… We were fighting, nothing more.”

 

The lady put down her pot of food on the counter. “Did he kick you out ?”

 

The man shook his head, emphasizing his response. “I needed time on my own.”

 

“Apparently you can’t stay on your own for too long.” Miss Furthold said, giving him an understanding smile.

 

All of Murdoc’s bottled up feelings resurfaced. He went to sit down on a chair in the kitchen, not knowing why he was suddenly confiding in an old woman he barely knew. Like good ole times.

“Because I’m… lost.” he admitted. “I’ve never solved anything the right way. I don’t know what the fuck I’m supposed to do.”

 

The lady stood in front of him, crossing her arms. Murdoc looked up at her.

“What would you do ? When you and your shit husband would fight…”

 

She brought her gaze up, seemingly thoughtful. “Well,” she sighed. “There wasn’t much that could be solved with him anyway.”

 

The older chortled.

 

“But I would still try.” Miss Furthold added. “We would sit down, express how we feel. Tell each other what we don’t like, what we want.”

 

Murdoc nodded slowly. “I’m far from an expert at that.”

 

The woman smiled at him. “You don’t have to do exactly what I said,” she explained. “You can adapt it, do it your own way.”

 

“My own way…” the man echoed. He was lost in his thoughts for a moment.

 

“Are you certain you don’t want some chicken ?” Miss Furthold asked, and it sounded far away in Murdoc’s head.

Chapter Text

A few days after the accident, Murdoc decided to come back home. He had taken their second-hand car; he was growing tired of driving the broken engine. But especially, he was growing tired of lacking human contact. Stuart’s contact.

 

Arriving home wasn’t as stressful as he thought. He walked in, closed the door behind him. He didn’t have time to turn the lights on as Stuart was already on him, kissing him desperately. The man felt his own jeans tighten as he was pushed against the wall, groaning with desire. He clung to the younger man’s shirt fabric, deepening the kiss, letting a warm tongue into his mouth. It tasted heavenly, it tasted like home, tasted like his Stuart.

 

Naked, finally in their bed together, Murdoc kneeled on the mattress as he thrusted back and forth into his lover, his hand on a pale bony hip. Stuart lay on his stomach, ass up, his high-pitched moans resonating through the room. The older man growled, watching himself disappear into the younger.

 

“Murdoc…” the boy whined out. “T... Talk to me…”

 

The man bent over, pressing his body against a soft, warm back. “I’m here. I’m right here love.” he whispered. “You’re safe.”

 

He went to kiss the younger’s neck, soon leaving bite marks, from his jaw all the way to his shoulder. He groaned, fastening his pace, savouring the reward of Stuart’s moans growing louder.

 

“Mine…” he breathed out possessively, gently pulling at a chunk of blue hair, using his other arm to support himself. He pounded into his lover, lips parted as he breathed and observed the other lose his senses.

 

“Oh.. ngh, I…” Stuart panted, eyes shut and breath short.

 

The older picked up the pace again, and the boy was screaming, begging, crying.

“Please… Please… Don’t leave me… Don’t leave me– ahh, I can’t… without you…”

 

Murdoc took barely seconds to pull out, turn Stuart on his back, and push himself back in, his thrusts rough and quick, but deep, and loving. He kissed the younger open-mouthed, sliding his hands up to tiny wrists, holding them in place. When he pulled away, both of them tried catching their breaths, without any success. Their bodies sweat against each other, radiating warmth; the bluenette’s legs went to rest around his hips as he opened himself up for his lover.

 

“I love you.” the older man groaned. He kept his eyes on the younger as he fucked him to orgasm. He watched Stuart’s pale cheeks darken red, a line of saliva messily flow down the corner of his mouth, his hair stuck to his forehead.

“I mean it,” he added, barely containing himself. “Word for word.”

 

The younger took a moment to collect himself, eyeing his lover with half-lidded eyes, catching his breath. He then pushed the man on his back and, as expert as he was, climbed on his lap, burying Murdoc’s dick inside him again.

 

He moaned and moaned from the overdose of pleasure, bouncing around the aching hard member, pleasing his partner as much as he could. The older man sat up immediately, resting his hands on Stuart’s ass, using one hand to spank him, merciless. He was convinced that their far away neighbors could hear them at this point; he didn’t have a care in the world for it as they kissed sloppily again, never ending.

 

Almost an hour later and they lay side by side on the bed, taking a moment to relax and bathe in the afterglow. Stuart rest his head against Murdoc’s shoulder, a strong arm wrapped around his waist.

 

“We had a lot of tension to ease didn’t we.” the older man teased, looking at his partner.

 

The younger was barely keeping his eyes open; Murdoc noticed it quickly and went to press a kiss on the soft forehead, no matter how sweaty.

“When you wake up we really need to shower.” he suggested.

 

Stuart breathed deeply, blinking a few times before looking back at the man. “Yeah…” he whispered.

 

Completely enamored, Murdoc brought his arm up to gently rub the bluenette’s frail shoulder as he kissed him lovingly. The younger sighed against his lips, a weak, breathy moan escaping his throat. Pulling away, Stuart rest his head on the pillow, closing his eyes.

 

The man chuckled. “Satan… I really tired you out huh. I’d almost feel sorry if you didn’t suck the living soul out of me.”

 

I do feel sorry,” Stuart spoke, voice soft and relaxed. “Really sorry... For not trusting you.”

 

Murdoc looked back at him, a sad smile on his face. His eyes went to the younger’s reddened lips as he thought before speaking.

“... I’m sorry for thinking you cheated on me.”

 

“I’m sorry for doing research on you.” the bluenette added, playing with a strand of dark hair.

 

The older stared at the ceiling. “No, that was fine.”

 

Stuart stopped in his task to look at him. “Wot ?”

 

Murdoc shuffled to turn on his side to better look at his partner.

“I’ve thought about it, and I realized... I don’t really mind, you doing this. I know I can be… hard to understand.”

 

The younger man turned on his front, his head towards his partner, his movements slow and lazy. “But I shouldn’t have to do that… I would prefer if we talked more.”

 

“Agreed.”

 

“Wot ?”

 

“Are you getting deaf ?”

 

“You want to talk ?”

 

“Yeah.” Pausing, Murdoc eyed the bluenette, affection in his gaze. He reached to touch the other’s cheek, caressing softly.

“I know I haven’t exactly been doing great lately.” he admitted. “One thing you need to know is that I do want to try.”

 

Stuart leaned in closer. “You have no idea how much that means to me.”

 

Murdoc looked back at him. Express how you feel, remember .

“I’m also sorry for not being there for you,” he rushed out before he could regret it. “... For having you think you couldn’t tell me about your… issues.”

 

The bluenette frowned, his hand going to the side of the man’s neck, rubbing slowly. “Sweetheart… It had nothing to do with you… I would have told you everything, if I could have.”

 

Murdoc simply looked at him, lost somewhere between the blue of his eyes and his own disturbing thoughts.

 

“I’m sorry for treating you like a patient, Muds.” Stuart added. “You’re my partner, partner in life… Just know that all I wanted to do was to help you.”

 

“I know.” the older stated. “I know.”

 

Slowly, he leaned in, pressing his lips onto the bluenette’s, taking his sweet time in savouring the intimacy, the comfort of their closeness, physical and psychological. Never had he been actually comfortable with having a tight connection to somebody. He pulled away slowly, pressing his forehead against the other’s.

 

“You’re my world.” he spoke lowly.

 

Stuart, soft as ever, smiled at him, with glistening eyes. Feeling his heart on the verge of bursting out through his chest, Murdoc cupped his face and pulled him in for a kiss again, exhaling through his nose deeply.

 

 

It was the first snow of the season when Murdoc stepped in front of the door leading to the storage room. Opening it slowly, he stared at the inside, remembering worse times. Stuart walked up to him, observing him. He saw what the older man was now looking at: his gun, held in his hand. He looked back up at his partner, who did the same before lazily throwing the weapon at the back of the room.

 

Stuart wrapped his arms around Murdoc’s arm, pressing his chin against his shoulder.

“Surely wasn’t expecting that.”

 

“Who’s Surely ?” the older said, closing the storage room’s door and turning to his partner.

 

The younger chuckled, looking to the side.

 

Murdoc simply observed him. “I wanted to give you something.”

 

“So did I.” Stuart said, staring at his own feet.

 

The man put his finger under the bluenette’s chin, lifting up his head. He then handed him a tiny cube-shaped package, wrapped in teal blue paper. He watched his lover become mesmerized with the sparkles reflecting through the light on the material.

 

“Merry Christmas. Or whatever they say.”

 

Stuart slowly took the small box in his hands, unwrapping it delicately. It took barely seconds, and then he was opening the package, taking out a small, golden ring, matched with an immaculate, white pearl, reflecting shades of pastel blues. His mouth gaped, and his gaze flickered, his heart beating against his chest.

 

“Are you…”

 

“No.” the older immediately reassured. “It’s more of a… promise.. thing.”

 

The bluenette looked up at him. “You know I already promised to you… So many times…”

 

“Well I want you to remember, wherever you go.”

 

To that, Stuart looked down. Murdoc didn’t notice however, busy with putting the ring on a slim finger, carefully.

The bluenette eyed it, speechless.

“It’s… It’s, ah… Fuck…”

 

The man chuckled, but was quickly cut off as the younger pulled him in a warm embrace.

 

“Hey, hey you said you had somethin' for me too.” he joked.

 

Stuart pulled away, clearing his throat. “Right.”

He rummaged in his jeans pocket, revealing an almost flat rectangle package. It seemed to have been lazily wrapped, with leftover matte red paper.

“Merry.. Christmas.” he said, handing it to the man in front of him.

 

Murdoc chuckled, slowly removing the wrapping. The younger watched his reaction as he realized what was truly being given to him.

 

“What ?... What the fuck Dee ?”

 

Stuart bit his lip, restraining himself from bursting out laughing.

 

Murdoc shook his head, almost laughing as well. “Jamaica ? You’re almost as crazy as me.”

 

“Go figure.” the younger stared into the other’s eyes, and soon he was pushed against the wall behind him, Murdoc kissing him passionately. His eyes fluttered closed as he melted against the touch.

 

“I couldn’t wait to get outta here…” the bluenette spoke in between kisses.

 

“Me neither,” the older man groaned, stopping his actions. “But I’ve got somethin’ else to tell you.”

 

“You’re pregnant ?” Stuart asked, serious as ever.

 

Murdoc growled, rolling his eyes. He slowly pressed his knee between the other’s legs, teasing. “Stop acting like an idiot, and let me speak.”

 

The younger could see the hint of a smile in the corner of the man’s mouth. He didn’t move. “I’m listening.”

 

The older now seemed nervous. He remained close, reaching to grasp at the bluenette’s wrists. 

 

“I signed up for therapy.”

 

He pulled out a piece of paper from his jeans’ back pocket.

 

Stuart’s face lit up. “You… What…”

 

“For me… and you.” Murdoc added. “Whenever we come back from our little vacation.”

 

The younger was speechless. “I don’t know what to say anymore…”

 

“Say thank you, Murdoc, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. ” the man joked.

 

Stuart smiled at him, eye contact strong. “I love you.”

 

“That’s even better.” Murdoc smirked.

He brought his arm around his partner and guided him towards their room. “Come on let’s pack our bags for fuckin’ Jamaica.”

 

 

They took the car and began a two hour ride to the airport. Stuart kept putting on corny pop songs on the radio, turning up the volume until the man would get annoyed and turn it down. He would wait a few minutes to turn it up again; sometimes the older would notice and they would start bickering. It lasted for about half the car ride.

 

At one point the bluenette ended up sitting calmly in his seat, a blanket wrapped around him. He was on the verge of falling asleep, his eyelids obeying to gravity…

 

“What do you think is next ?” he heard from his partner and turned to him. “For us I mean.”

 

Stuart squinted, confused at the question. He brought his hand out of the warm blanket to scratch his head.

“I don’t know… It doesn’t really matter don’t it ?”

 

Murdoc chewed the inside of his cheek, watching the road ahead of him.

“How long are we staying there ?”

 

The younger shrugged, looking at the road as well. “I paid for 20 nights at our beach house.”

 

The older tightened his grip on the steering wheel, attempting to stay focused.

 

Stuart frowned. “Doesn’t it make you happy ?”

 

“It does.” Murdoc replied without hesitation. “But I have a feeling you won’t have much money left when we come back.”

 

“We, Murdoc.” the bluenette corrected. “It’s our money.”

 

The man sighed. “You earned it, not me.”

 

“That’s not the point.” Stuart almost lashed out; he looked away. The older took a glimpse at him, seeing parts of himself in his partner. He brushed off the scary thought, staring at the concrete again.

 

“I figured it all out, sweetheart.” the younger finally spoke. “The police called, and agreed to give me a portion of Charles’ money as compensation.”

 

Murdoc’s knuckles were white on the wheel.

“Nothing can ever be compensation.” he growled. “Nothing, except his cold, dead body, a hundred feet underground.”

 

Stuart frowned. “I think you should stop the car.”

 

The man didn’t listen, not even realizing he was pressing harder on the accelerator. The boy rest his hand on the other’s shoulder.

 

“Just for a moment, alright ?”

 

Murdoc took a deep breath before obeying, slowing down to go park the car on the side of the road. He took a moment to observe himself; seeing his hands, he slowly let go of the wheel, realizing how much pain was in his knuckles. He leaned his back against the seat, noticing how tense his posture was.

 

Stuart was massaging his shoulder, slowly. “You’re doing good. Real good.”

 

The man looked back at his lover, receiving the warmest of smiles. He unbuckled his seatbelt, leaning closer to press his lips on the softness of Stuart’s. Seconds passed and they couldn’t let go of each other, deepening the kiss. Murdoc pulled harshly at the bluenette’s shirt collar, impatient. The younger pulled away, messily making his way to the driver’s seat. He straddled the older man’s lap as their lips met again, fervent and silently thankful. Murdoc brought his hands on the other’s hips as he felt arms around his neck, massaging the skin on the back of it, gently.

 

The man pulled away only to speak, his nose against the skin of the other’s cheek. “Hm… I’m gonna fuck you in the backseat…”

 

Stuart kept a strong eye contact, burying his fingers in soft, dark curls. “We’re gonna miss our flight you idiot.”

 

Murdoc narrowed his gaze, lustful. “Hey I’m the one who gets to call you an idiot. Capiche ?”

 

The younger guided his hand to the side of the man’s neck, rubbing slowly. “I don’t listen to your orders anymore…”

 

Growling hungrily, the older went to bury his face into his partner’s neck, kissing and biting as he pleased. Stuart felt his breath pick up; his impulses were loud, and heavy on him, to the point where he could simply not ignore them. He closed his eyes, hips instinctively bucking against Murdoc’s crotch.

 

The older smiled against the soft skin. “Last minute change of heart ?”

 

“Make it quick.” the bluenette breathed out.

 

The man looked at him, absolute love and desire in the deepness of his eyes.

“I’m going to treat you so good you’ll forget about the rest soon enough.”