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Pain Is Preferable

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It starts four days after Lockwood's funeral. That day, in the cemetery he'd remembered the first time they'd met Irwin. It had been such fun, changing their brothel to a war scene to get one over on Felix. Don had noticed him crying and taken his hand as the coffin was lowered into the ground. The gentle squeeze had helped for a moment. After the funeral he told Don about the memory of them playing war.

Self-harming has always held an appeal for him but he's never done anything about it till today. Don is at work and he takes a break from marking essays to do the dishes. He picks up a glass, dries it and deliberately drops it. It shatters satisfactorily on their ceramic tiles and some of the pieces skitter away to be swept up later. Crouching down, David assesses his options. Some of the slivers are too delicate but there are some larger shards. He finds one perfectly pointed piece that is sharp enough to draw a pin prick of blood from his thumb with a little pressure.

He sits on the floor, taking care to sit away from the glass and rests his back against the cupboard door. He pushes the sleeve of his sweatshirt up and turns his arm this way and that wondering where to cut. He drags the glass lightly across his arm, just above his elbow. It leaves a drag mark but nothing more. It then occurs to him that any marks on his arms would be obvious to Don.

Pulling up the end of his trouser leg, he shoves his sock down and tries again. Like before there's only a surface mark. He closes his eyes and repeats the movement adding more pressure. It hurts but he's relieved to have drawn blood. Holding the shard of glass up he thinks for a moment of stained glass windows and then he looks at his leg. It's not an especially deep cut but it's very satisfying.

There's a fleeting temptation to wait and be found like this. He'd like to be rescued, have Don see he's struggling. That wouldn't be fair though. Don is grieving too and he's meant to be a lover not a burden. Don already worries when he gets too quiet, fearing it's one of his dreaded dark spells. He stands to grab the kitchen roll and some blood trickles down onto his sock. Folding a piece carefully he places it over the cut and pulls his sock back up to keep it in place.

Before Don comes home he wraps the broken glass in newspaper and changes his socks so he can wash the stained one. Don kisses him and then talks a bit about his day. Dinner passes without incident as does an evening watching telly. Don would have said if he'd noticed anything so that means he's gotten away with it. He smiles before falling asleep, happy that he has something to look forward to tomorrow.