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Disclaimer: Weiss Kreuz does not belong to me.
I'm just borrowing the characters for my and (I hope)
my readers' amusement only
have no intention of trying to make money off of them in any way, shape
Pairing: Crawford/Ken, multiple
Warnings: Telepathy induced
amnesia, rape (sort of), bondage, violence, discussion of murder,
Author: The RCK
Last updated: 6 June 2009
Thanks to Olna Jenn for cheerleading.
I sort of wrote this for the Weiss Kreuz
Anonymous Kink Meme,
but I then didn't post it because it ended up not fitting the prompt,
getting long and being about things other than the kink. Also, the
requester wanted the whole thing to be consensual, and I'm not
convinced it is, regardless of what Ken thinks. My main
comment is that, if Schuldig finds something morally dubious and
potentially unwise, other people really ought to think several times
before doing it. Crawford and Ken haven't. It doesn't have repercussion
here, but I rather think it will eventually.
Ken looked beautiful bound. Crawford spread a hand against the one-way
glass, imagining touching Ken's body. Not
This is better. He reached for his mental connection to
Schuldig. //Have you found someone
Schuldig snorted. //I've got
possibilities panting and drooling all around me. He looks utterly
fuckable. Sure you don't want me to do him?//
//No. I wouldn't be able to kill you
afterwards.// Crawford wasn't certain he would kill the stranger
who fucked Ken, but he also wasn't sure he wouldn't.
//Just don't kill the poor bastard tonight. It'll make repeat business
Crawford nodded absently and ran his eyes over Ken's body. Ken's legs
were spread wide and trembling, bound to the bench with crimson cords,
and he bent forward at the waist, his arms bent at the elbows and
restrained together behind his back. A blindfold covered his eyes. I wonder if he's crying... Do I want him
crying or not?
//If you want him crying, I'll have to tweak his memories a bit more.
Right now, he still feels hope.//
//Leave him hope. He'll want that when he remembers. He asked for pain,
for fear, for ignorance. What hurts worse than hope broken?//
Schuldig snorted again. //He asked,
and you, indulgent lover, are giving it. Right.//
//I wouldn't cherish him so much if he weren't already broken in
interesting ways.// Crawford moved his hand as if cupping Ken's
chin then traced the line of the ball gag.
//I have three good candidates. They all know he's someone else's
property. They're all willing to and capable of delaying their own
gratification to give you a good show. They're all going to look good
with him, too.//
//You're enjoying this too damned much.//
//You're the one who asked me in on this sex game.// Schuldig's
mental sneer carried more disdain than his visible or audible sneers
ever could. //If you didn't want me
to participate, too, you should have found a different telepath.//
Ken shifted his feet minutely, as much as the cords would allow. His
buttocks tensed and flexed as he tried to find a comfortable position.
Crawford licked his lips and pressed his lower body against the wall
under the one-way glass, letting the pressure tease his straining cock.
Not until it's over. Watch and enjoy
but don't come until you're in him. He glanced at the video
feeds that showed him Ken from other angles. He planned to take the
tapes home to enjoy again later. //Pick
No. All three. Will they cooperate? I want to see him take it
from both ends. They're allowed to hurt him as long as there's no
permanent damage, nothing that will take long to heal, no damage to the
scarred areas beyond bruising. Stop them if they go too far.//
//You're not asking much.// Schuldig did sarcasm better than
//You can do it.//
//If I didn't know you had your hand hovering over your dick, I'd think
you weren't emotionally involved.//
Crawford frowned. If I had another
telepath I trusted, I wouldn't be using you. He didn't
particularly care if Schuldig heard the thought or not but suspected
that Schuldig wouldn't unless Crawford called attention to it. He's too fond of getting the last word.
He poured himself a glass of ice water and wondered if Ken was thirsty.
He dipped his fingers in the water then watched the drops run from his
fingertips. He thought about dripping that water into Ken's mouth,
about Ken begging for more, about Ken crying when Crawford chose to
drip water on other parts of Ken's body.
//You're a sick puppy.// Schuldig's words contained no
condemnation. //They're willing.
They want to know if he's allowed to come.//
Crawford laughed. //As often as
possible. If they can get him to come more than once, I'll pay a
//One of them's disappointed. I think he has a thing for cock caging.//
Crawford growled. //Get them
started. I have no patience left.//
//As you wish. If you do decide to kill any of them, let me fuck them
//You can fuck them even if I don't decide to kill them. Just don't let
it get traced back to us.//
Schuldig chuckled. //As if.//
The door in the wall opposite Crawford's vantage point opened. Three
men filed in. Crawford barely spared them a glance. His attention
focused on Ken's reaction.
Ken raised his head, craning his neck, obviously trying to see through
the blindfold. He tugged at the bonds on his arms and rolled his torso
until he was nearly upright.
Oh, my... Crawford sat down and opened his trousers. Look at his muscles working. They can't
achieve anything, but-- Yes. He hissed as his fingers touched
his cock through his boxers. He imagined the wideness of Ken's eyes and
regretted the obscuring blindfold.
One of the men shoved Ken back down toward the bench. Another caught
Ken halfway and started pinching one of Ken's nipples, working it with
fingertips and fingernails. Ken writhed but couldn't escape. The man
shifted his grip so that one hand circled Ken's throat and the other
wrapped in his hair.
"Your master wants to see you thoroughly fucked." The man holding Ken's
throat leaned in close. "We're happy to oblige." He licked Ken's
jawline. "We have permission to hurt you. A lot. Scream if you want to.
Beg. Nobody will hear you but us." He moved his hand from Ken's throat
to unfasten the gag.
Ken arched his back, trying not to let his weight hang from the hand in
his hair. He choked and coughed as the gag came out of his mouth. He
spat in the general direction of the man who'd been speaking. Then he
Crawford again regretted the blindfold. Next time. He had no doubt that
there would be a next time. Ken's desire for punishment-- And for innocence-- ran too deep.
He considered pushing his precognition to See for sure, decided against
it, then found himself caught in a vision anyway. It lasted only a
minute and might well save Nagi's life in a few weeks, but Crawford
resented the distraction.
Ken was making a keening, unhappy sound while one of the men finger
fucked him. One of the others played with Ken's cock and balls, forcing
him to hardness. The third man stood next to Ken's head, fisting his
Crawford's own cock had gone soft during the vision. He let it be,
knowing that he'd have torturous arousal again soon enough. He leaned
forward to watch the muscles in Ken's arms tense as he tried again to
free himself. He took a moment to imagine Ken gutting the three men who
were playing with him. Pity he won't
want to. Or, rather, he will, but he won't think he should.
The man playing with Ken's cock took it into his mouth as the other two
started rolling on condoms.
Crawford smiled approvingly to see his instructions being followed. He
ran a thumb across the head of his cock as Ken moaned. He squeezed his
cock as the man behind Ken pushed into Ken's ass. Ken's mouth opened.
Whether it was to protest or simply to cry out, Crawford never found
out because the man by Ken's head took advantage of the opening to
start fucking Ken's mouth.
Crawford wondered what Ken was feeling. Is he angry or afraid or even numb? Is he
ashamed? Wondering why this is happening to him? What hurts and what
feels good? Schuldig would tell him if he asked, but Crawford
didn't want Schuldig openly in his head right now. He looks good helpless. I can't see him
like this when I'm fucking him.
The man sucking Ken's cock pulled back and used a hand to finish the
job. Ken's hips jerked once as he came. Semen splattered the floor. The
man pounding into Ken's ass stilled for a moment, his mouth open in
Crawford frowned. If he came
already, I'm docking his pay. Ah. Good. He pulled on his cock as
Ken rocked forward again. Yes. Fuck
him hard. He wants to hurt. Ken's body shifted back and forth as
he was fucked from both ends. Crawford spread his legs wider so that he
could run his hands over his balls.
The man working Ken's mouth pulled out and stepped back, giving his
place to the man who'd sucked Ken off. He leaned down and spoke into
Ken's ear. Crawford suspected that it would be a whisper if man weren't
playing for his unseen audience.
"I'm going to spend some time decorating you before I get my turn at
your ass." He ran a hand along Ken's arm and squeezed. "Your mouth was
nice enough, but I like muscle under my hands and around my cock."
Ken twisted to bash his head against the whisperer's. "Bastard!"
Ah. Angry then. Crawford grinned. And that will earn the punishment he
doesn't remember he wants.
The man fucking Ken's ass pulled out and stepped back so that the man
Ken had hit had a clear shot to assault Ken's buttocks with a paddle.
Rubber covered wood met flesh with a thwack.
Crawford winced. He's not pulling
it. That's going to hurt later. He narrowed his eyes and
considered ways to kill the paddle wielder.
Ken twisted his upper body again to bring himself nearly upright. He
snarled and tried to throw himself backwards. One of the currently
uninvolved men grabbed Ken in a stuttering motion that suggested that
it hadn't been entirely his own idea.
//I won't let him hurt himself,// Schuldig told Crawford.
Crawford was on his feet and almost to the glass. He couldn't manage
more than a mental growl in response.
//Would you like to ghost any of them? Or ride? I could do that.//
Crawford shook his head. He watched as Ken was wrestled flat and
strapped to the bench. He hesitated then set his jaw. //Show me Ken's mind.// He wasn't
certain it was a good idea, but he needed to know. Is he getting what he wanted?
Schuldig hesitated. Crawford could hear it in the silence of their
linked minds. Finally, Schuldig said, //I
recommend it, you know.// in a way that told Crawford that
Schuldig would do it if Crawford insisted.
//Why not?// You didn't recommend any of this. Crawford pressed
his head against the glass and closed his eyes. He heard the paddle
smacking Ken's ass again.
//It's...primal in there. He's not exactly Ken right now. He didn't
want to be, and we decided against a full alter build. He's just
programmed not to look at the gaps. It's just.... He doesn't even have
a name right now.// Schuldig's sigh came clearly across the
link. //He's sensation, emotion, a
generic sense of himself as a normal guy who does vague normal things
and a certainty that he never did anything to deserve this. That's what
he said he wanted, exactly that, and you said to give him what he asked
And Ken didn't really understand what he was asking for.
Crawford sighed. //Suppress the
berserker. Gradually. He forgets that it's there, and it wouldn't fit
his view of being an innocent.// He opened his eyes to watch the
paddle descend again. //He doesn't
like to remember that it's part of him on a basic level.//
Ken's curses and struggles slowly changed to whimpers, flinches and
pleading as Schuldig leached away the killer. Schuldig let Crawford
watch that process, and Crawford found himself wishing for enough
telepathy to be able to touch that part of Ken as it passed away behind
the walls that kept his memories separated from his current awareness.
//Can you help him accept the killer, too? He needs that as much as he
needs this. I've Seen that he needs this, that he'll be glad of it
afterwards. Purged for a while. He needs the punishment. He needs the
helplessness. He needs the berserk bloodlust.//
Schuldig's mental fingers massaged the stress out of Crawford's mind. //We'll talk about that later. For now...
Enjoy the show. Watch how he looks with them fucking him hard-- the way
he begs you to fuck him. Watch him respond to pain and to pleasure. You
can't see it nearly so well when you're doing all the work.//
Crawford sighed and let Schuldig soothe him. He worked his hand over
his cock, attempting to rebuild the lost physical edge. After several
minutes he sighed. I'm not even
paying attention. At least I know he'll be pleased with it after.
Hurting but very pleased. That's what I need to do... //Schuldig, I'm
going into the Sight. Keep things going. You know the boundaries. The
cameras will catch everything for me for later.// He closed his
//Seems a waste to set up sex and then go away.// Schuldig
didn't really sound like he was trying to be convincing.
//I know he'll be happy afterward. I need to See why, and I need to see
what this does later, in the long term. I know he'll want it again. I
need to See how to make that help him.// Crawford started the
timer on his watch. //Have them done
in forty-five minutes.//
//And rouse you after that whether you're done or not.//
Schuldig didn't ask if Crawford would really take that long. They both
knew it was possible. Seers who chased visions risked putting a foot in
continuity's snare. Those who undertook it without a spotter sometimes
failed to come out, either fixing on a particular future and not being
able to escape or fragmenting beyond reconstituting. Schuldig had been
Crawford's spotter for years.
Crawford took a deep breath, closed his eyes and let himself fall
backwards into the depths of his own psyche. Ken's best interests. Our best interests. What we need...
He emerged from the seeking, blinking, and looked immediately at his
watch. Forty minutes. //Schuldig.//
//Ah. Good. I was worried.// There was the slightest trace of
relief in Schuldig's words. //They're
Crawford glanced up then looked away. //Ken
I will watch the tapes later.// He stood and straightened
his clothing. //Anything to report?//
//One very tasty case of guilt.//
Schuldig sighed. //I quashed it. How
someone with a conscience got in here... Is there anything about this place that
looks safe, sane or consensual?//
Crawford laughed sharply. //Ken
walked in here under his own power with no bonds. Let that one go with
a suggestion not to come back. And blur the details.//
//Done. You missed quite a show. One of them spent a while working on
your man's cock and balls, an expert job if a bit rushed. Oh, and they
got him to come again, so you do owe that bonus.//
//Expert?// Crawford smiled. //Tag
We'll want him later. I want to see Ken bear that for me when he
knows who he is and knows he can stop it any time.// He brushed
a hand over his hair, making sure it lay the way he expected it to. //You haven't asked if I found it.//
//You wouldn't be this pleased with yourself if you hadn't.//
Schuldig still didn't ask. //They're
gone. You can look again. Should I bring him back?//
//Not yet. Not until after we...talk. Pay the men. You can watch if you
want, ghost either of us. No commentary, though.//
//Talk? Is that a new euphemism?//
Crawford waited two minutes to be sure the corridor had cleared. Then
he stepped out the door. He paused at the door to the other room and
took a deep breath. That's
not Ken in there. Anything I do,
it's not to Ken. It's for Ken.
He allowed himself a smile.
The smell hit him first when he opened the door. Sweat, fear, used
condoms, semen. He wrinkled his face, allowing the disgust to show and
looked straight at one of the cameras. He walked carefully as if
picking his way around debris. His shoes clicked quietly on the tile
floor. //Easy to clean and cheap as
hell. We deserve better.//
Ken raised his head a little when the door opened then sagged again. He
trembled, whether from fear, exhaustion or some combination of the two
Crawford couldn't tell. His breath came in gasps and pants.
He's shaking too much to breathe
easily. Crawford touched Ken's hair, just the barest brush of
fingers against scalp. "Tired already?" He let an edge of contempt into
the words. "I expected better."
Ken raised his head, turning in the direction of Crawford's voice. The
cloth covering his eyes was wet. "Please-- Whatever you want--"
"Whatever I want, I'll take." Crawford walked around Ken. He made sure
to make enough noise that Ken would know where he was. "If I release
you, will you obey me? You're filthy, and I'd rather have you clean
"Please-- I--" Ken seemed to be having trouble getting words out.
"Close your eyes." Crawford allowed the barest hint of gentleness in
his voice. After a moment for Ken to obey or not, he tugged off the
Ken's eyes were closed. After a fraction of a second, they blinked open
then squeezed closed.
Crawford ghosted fingers over a darkening bruise on the side of Ken's
face. Where he hit that smug bastard.
"You may open your eyes when you can tolerate the light." He ran
fingers over Ken's lips. "You look lovely with your mouth full. I
Ken shuddered and struggled to keep his eyes open.
He's utterly terrified, but even this shadow of him, given time to
think, would try to find balance. "I'm going to release your
legs first." Crawford removed himself from Ken's line of sight. The shadow needs a name. Later. He
studied the cords then shrugged. Scissors made short work of them. They're not needed now.
Ken started to shift his legs then froze.
Crawford patted Ken's hip, studying the bruises so obvious from this
angle. I will not kill them. Not
now. Ken would find out. That would shatter him. "You may move,"
he said. "I'd not have you fall just now." Leaving open that a fall may be in his
future. Yes. He moved on to the straps holding Ken to the bench.
These he undid slowly, giving Ken time to wonder. "There's nothing for
you but what I want." He squeezed Ken's still immobilized arm.
"Nothing." He laughed softly. "No responsibility but obedience."
Apart from his trembling, Ken lay very, very still as the last strap
Crawford patted the top of Ken's head. "Excellent. I'm going to pull
you upright now. Let me know if your legs won't hold you."
Ken staggered against Crawford as his legs refused to hold him up. Ken
jerked himself upright.
By sheer will. Crawford stepped back, hoping to get a look
without letting Ken fall.
"My-- my arms?" Ken had trouble getting the words out, and he swayed,
trying to keep his balance.
"Soon enough." Too soon. Except...
"You reek, and you'll need your hands to wash." Crawford gave Ken a
nudge that he hoped was slight enough not to send Ken to the ground.
"There's a bath across the hall. We'll use it when you're clean."
Ken took one step toward the door, hesitated then took another.
Yes. That hurts, doesn't it. Ken would take it and be planning
something. This one... Crawford raised his eyebrows. Does he remember sports training or does
he have no idea what to do with pain? "It's a lesson," he said
softly, watching Ken's shoulders twitch at the words. "Did you learn
Ken froze. He ducked his head and didn't answer.
"I see." Crawford closed the distance between them. He traced Ken's
spine. "There are ankle shackles in the shower. Don't get any ideas."
Ken's shoulders sagged a little.
Crawford allowed himself a small, silent laugh. "I won't test your
obedience too strongly. Yet," he said. You will learn to be good, shadow of my
lover. I Saw that. He guided Ken across the hall and into the
shower stall. He squeezed Ken's calf muscles as he clipped the
restraints around Ken's ankles. He stood. "I'm going to release your
arms now. Don't do anything stupid. I'd rather not have to punish you
"Is that what that was?" Ken had gotten his breath back.
"No," Crawford lied. "That was for my pleasure. Punishment is something
else." He unfastened the straps holding Ken's arms then stepped back
Ken's right arm jerked in a quickly aborted move. Crawford wasn't
entirely sure if it had been meant as a grab or a shove and guessed
from that that Ken also wasn't sure. Ken shuddered when the spray first
"The soap is on your right." Crawford kept himself carefully beyond
splashing distance. "The shampoo is on your left."
Ken washed rapidly at first. His movements slowed as he worked his way
down his body.
Efficiency means being done which means... Me. Crawford
considered commenting but decided to wait to see if the shadow would be
smart. Ken's smart. You have the
same brain he does. He let himself admire his lover's body. Even without the night job, you'd never
let yourself go. I'll have my hands on you soon enough. His lips
twitched in a ghost of a smile, and he tugged on his tie. In fact, I'm not going to wait any longer.
Crawford stripped rapidly. He placed his clothing and his glasses on a
shelf beside the door. Without his glasses, Ken's body became a vaguely
moving blob. What do nearsighted
people do without precognition? He allowed himself a smile. Other people don't matter.
A few seconds later, he pressed his body against Ken's wet back. "Brace
yourself. I'm going to fuck you, and I expect you'd prefer not to smash
your face into the wall."
Ken started to shrug Crawford off then froze. After a few seconds, he
inched toward the wall, covered his face with his arms and bent
forward. "Are you going to kill me?" He sounded more resigned than
Numb. Crawford slipped a hand into the crack of Ken's ass to see
how tight he was. "If I were going to kill you, little shadow, I'd have
spent considerably less money on the project." I'll call him 'Shadow.' Better than giving
him a real name that I'll just have to take away. Or that he might
realize isn't his.
Shadow gasped as Crawford's fingers pushed into him.
"Hurts does it? They were-- relatively-- gentle with you." Crawford
nuzzled the back of Shadow's neck then bit hard. "I don't want you
broken. Physically." He was hard already, remembering how Shadow had
looked with his body moving under the force of being fucked. He pressed
against Shadow, letting him feel the hard cock that would soon be
inside him. Something to up the
ante... "A little game, Shadow. I'm going to fuck you. I'm going
to look at every inch of you. There's a bath here. We may use it. We
may not. The game is this-- If you can manage to come again, I'll give
you something for the pain you're feeling. If you can't, you live with
it until it heals."
The body under Crawford's hands gave a shuddering sob.
You don't think you can do it? Ken could. Crawford reach around
to tweak a nipple. Shadow's flinch and gasp of pain surprised Crawford
for a fraction of a second. Ah. So
they tortured you that way, too? He allowed himself a chuckle.
"Classic tortures are classic for a reason."
Shadow sobbed once then went silent. His body still shook. Spray from
the shower bounced off his back.
He's biting his arm, isn't he? Crawford aimed his cock at
Shadow's hole and pushed inside. He bit his lip. Slowly. Make this last. We only get one
first time. Except-- Fragments of vision flickered into being
and shattered as he pulled back slowly. Except that it could be the first time
every time if we want.
Shadow reached a hand down to touch his own cock then flinched and let
the hand fall.
Crawford gripped Shadow's hips and pulled. "Give me some enthusiasm."
He dug his fingers into Shadow's flesh, letting his fingernails scrape
skin. Yes, touching yourself must
hurt like hell. I wonder exactly what he did to you there...
Shadow pushed back to meet Crawford's next thrust and ground his ass
against Crawford's body.
"Very good." Crawford pulled Shadow back and up so that he was no
longer leaning against the wall. Crawford wrapped one arm around
Shadow's waist and the other around Shadow's chest and neck. He bit
Shadow's ear, licking moisture from it. He rocked his hips a little but
didn't try to pull out or push in.
Shadow didn't resist as Crawford forced him to turn his head. Shadow's
eyes were shut, and the water on his face might have been tears or
drips from the water soaking his hair. His heart raced under Crawford's
"Even through the water, I can smell your fear." Crawford was lying.
All he smelled right now was soap. Should
brought our own. This stuff is crap. "That's mine. You're
mine, just a shadow for me to play with." He squeezed Shadow's waist.
"A shadow with some substance. I like that." He licked then bit
Shadow's jaw. With this soap, he
tastes different. Maybe that's a
good thing. He pushed Shadow down again to give himself a better
angle and began fucking Shadow hard.
The white static of orgasm surprised Crawford, coming several minutes
before he expected it. He shuddered, his legs giving enough that only
Shadow's arms braced against the wall of the shower kept them both from
hitting the floor. Crawford sighed then straightened up and stepped
back. Slipping out of Shadow's body felt like a loss. It's not the last time.
Shadow sagged, slowly collapsing to his knees. He covered his face with
his hands and curled to protect his belly.
Crawford simply looked for a long moment, watching the water bounce off
the huddled body. He reached down and seized a handful of hair.
Shadow twisted in response until his face was aimed at Crawford's
groin. His eyes widened then closed. He whimpered.
Crawford laughed. "Wash me." He pushed the bar of soap in Shadow's
face. He kept his grip on Shadow's hair so that there could be no
mistake as to what needed washing.
Shadow took the soap, almost going cross-eyed to look at it.
Crawford mussed Shadow's soaking wet hair. "Soap," he said. "Wash me." He really thought I was going to fuck his
face, too. A flattering estimate of my virility.
Shadow's hands shook as he rubbed the bar of soap between them. He
reached for Crawford's cock then started scrubbing Crawford's thighs
You can't avoid it forever. Crawford gave Shadow a small smile
of encouragement as Shadow's fingers brushed his balls.
Shadow answered with a flicker of a smile that Crawford suspected
Shadow hadn't even noticed making. He rubbed Crawford's balls then ran
the bar of soap along Crawford's cock.
It looks small to hurt so much, doesn't it? Crawford remembered
his own disbelief at just how much being fucked could hurt. Perhaps I should be glad they meant me for
leadership and taught me to hurt others before teaching me that I could
be hurt. Not that I'd failed to See it coming. "You're doing
Shadow's touch became a little more sure.
Crawford remained still while Shadow applied soap to his cock, balls
and surrounding hair twice. Then he intercepted Shadow's hand, pushing
it away. He let water wash the soap away. "Finish washing yourself." He
turned away and stepped out of the stall. He didn't look back as he
toweled off. I think we'll skip the
bath. A bed is better for cuddling.
He put his glasses, his boxers and his pants back on but left
everything else on the shelf. He hung the towel to dry. Then he gave
Shadow his full attention again.
Shadow stood under the water without moving. His chin rested on his
chest. His arms hung limp at his sides.
Crawford turned off the water. One
Shadow looked at him, face expressionless.
Shadow sank to his knees on the wet tile. He looked at Crawford's bare
"You belong to me. Say it." Crawford wasn't sure that Shadow would. Maybe not yet. Soon enough, though.
"I do suggest obedience. You'll lose more if I have to force you." He
allowed himself his nastiest smile. "I won't release the shackles until
you do, and I doubt you can stand cold water pounding your body for
Shadow put his hands on the floor and bent his back until his head
almost touched his hands. "I..." He shuddered. "I belong to you." It
came out as the barest whisper.
"Good, Shadow." Crawford almost regretted missing the sight of Shadow
huddled under icy spray. Some other
time. He took his time walking over. He put one hand on the back
of Shadow's neck and used the other to unfasten the restraints.
When Crawford stood and walked away, Shadow remained unmoving.
"Good," Crawford said again. "Stay." He retrieved two large towels and
carried them back to where Shadow knelt. He draped one over Shadow's
back and used the other to start drying Shadow's hair and face. //Give him back to me now, Schuldig.
Ken turned his head so that his cheek rested against Crawford's lips.
"I belong to you," he said.
"You sound pleased about that." Crawford smiled, feeling something he
hadn't known was tense relax. He wrapped the second towel and his arms
around Ken's body.
"Who else would-- could-- do that for me?" Ken turned enough to land a
kiss in the general vicinity of Crawford's lips.
"We should move somewhere drier and softer."
"That's a weird way to say 'I love you.'"
"I didn't say that. It's just my pants are getting soaked." Crawford
stood and helped Ken to his feet. He didn't let go of Ken's arm until
he was sure Ken was able to stand. "Walking's going to hurt." He pulled
Ken in close, not quite putting his arms around him but silently making
"Everything's going to hurt." Ken took a step and winced.
"It's not far."
"I know. I was there when we picked the place." Ken put the slightest
emphasis on the plural pronoun.
Yes, but you're running on the high. You haven't had your tears yet.
Crawford guided Ken toward the third room they'd reserved. When they
got there, Crawford was glad to see that it was as clean as he'd been
promised. He dropped his wet clothes and Ken's wet towels on the floor
and got both of them under the blankets as fast as possible. "Do you
need something for pain?"
Ken's eyes were a little too wide. "I didn't come again. You said--"
Crawford ran his thumb along Ken's cheekbone. "That was part of the
scene. Also--" He chuckled. "I said you needed to come. I didn't
actually give you a deadline. I'm sure you'll manage it eventually."
"Vicodin." Crawford got up to fetch it. When he came back with the pill
and a glass of water, Ken lay curled in the middle of the bed, shaking.
Crawford set the glass and the medication down and slipped in next to
Ken. "I've got you." He rubbed Ken's back. "I'll always catch you."
"How many of them were there?" Ken's voice shook. "I couldn't tell."
"Three." Crawford could see Ken trying to count his memories. "I know
we said one, two at most, but... I wanted to see you. I was afraid that
I'd end up thinking about how much I wanted to kill the bastard
Ken tangled their legs together. "Did you? Want to kill them I mean?"
"A little. More than a little when one of them took a paddle to you."
"You hit harder." Ken nuzzled Crawford's shoulder. "And I deserved it."
Crawford closed his eyes. "That was my mistake. I should have talked to
Schuldig more carefully." He inhaled through Ken's hair then wrinkled
his nose. "That shampoo smells funny."
"I enjoyed the rest of it. More than I thought I would." Crawford knew
he had to say that much now. He'll
believe me right now. He propped himself up. "It was hot as
hell. I didn't know I liked to watch." He reached for the water. "Sit
"Vicodin. I'd suggest ice on the bruises, but I think we're too late." And you're already chilled.
"I want the bruises."
Crawford put the pill into Ken's mouth then propped him up. "Drink." He
tilted water into Ken's mouth. "I'd have thought that you'd want
Ken sipped and swallowed. "I drank in the shower."
"Was it enough?" Crawford wasn't asking about water.
"I--" Ken shrugged. "It was what I wanted. I don't know if it's ever
Crawford settled them both back on the pillows. "We can do it again.
Sometimes. Tell me when you need it, and I'll arrange it." You trust me that much. That's...amazing.
"There are a couple of things I'd like to try again while you're...all
of you, not just a shadow of you."
"Was I-- Did you really--" Ken blushed. "You told me, while I wasn't
me, that I looked..." He mumbled something that Crawford didn't quite
"You were breathtaking." Crawford put a hand on Ken's abdomen. "If I
think about it too much, I'm going to want to fuck you again now." He
drew in his breath slowly. "When I'm this close, when I have my glasses
off, I can't see you. I want
to see you. When it hurts, when it's wonderful, when you can't bear it
but you have to."
Ken closed his eyes and smiled. "I'm not up to anything more right now.
I wish I were."
"I'm a patient man. I can wait." Crawford kissed Ken's forehead. "Sleep
now. We have eighteen hours in this room, so you can take your time."
He settled in to watch Ken sleep.
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