Remembering Scars

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Chapter 24

“Andy?” Brad was so confused, but the confusion was short lived as he raked his gaze from Andy’s face to his feet and back up.

He looked terrible. His legs were trembling, his shirt was riped down the left side, hanging on just barely, there were bruises all over his stomach and chest where Brad could see, marks that could only be burns in the shape of keys, circles like pennies and other coins, forks, knife points, and his hair was a ratted mess. He reeked of alcohol, there were dry tears on his face and fresh tears in his cloudy green eyes. The worst part of everything was Brad didn’t just smell alcohol... he smelt semen.

“What happened?” he demanded, but he could kind of make a guess, so he didn’t wait for a reply as he reached out and wound an arm around Andy, leading him into his apartment before closing and locking the door, “Come on, let’s clean you up.”

Andy said nothing the entire time. Brad let him take a shower in privacy, but he only gave him pajama bottoms, so there was no way he’d be able to try and hide the burns, bruises, and cuts when he walked out into the living room. Brad made him sit at the dining table as he set out a first aid kit, doing his best to dress the wounds, put vaseline on the burns, putting a cold patch over a few of the worst bruises.

He pulled a chair up and sat down as he collected the garbage and tossed it out, “There,” he said, setting out a bottle of Ibuprofen before retrieving a bottle of water from the refridgerator, then sitting back down, “Now, tell me what happened.”

Andy stared at the water and pain medication for a long time, his eyes growing foggy and glassed up, like he couldn’t see straight as he eyed the bottle of pills. Brad knew that expression all to well, so he took the bottle away and set out two pills before Andy could try and down the whole thing.

“Someone you live with did this,” Brad said, “Andy, tell me. I promised you I wouldn’t tell anyone, but I need to know what’s going on.”

Andy swallowed thickly, finally opening his mouth to speak, “My cousin,” he said, his voice incredibly soft, “He... his friends... alcohol... and a lighter... broken bottle...,” he lifted a hand to feel over the guaze wrapped around his shoulder and towards his back, where three gashes had been, likely caused by the broken bottle he mentioned.

They were deep enough to need stitches, but Brad had a feeling Andy would have a fit if he suggested a hospital, so he did the best he could with what he had, medical glue and closures.

He reached out to take Andy’s hand, squeezing it as gently as he could, “You smell like sex, Andy... did your cousin... did he assault you sexually?”

Andy shook his head, his expression was still so faraway, “Friend... drunk... it tasted gross...”

Brad ground his teeth together. So Andy’s cousin forced him into a blow job.... bastard. How dare they hurt him, “Who was he? Who is your cousin?”

Andy slowly raised the hand Brad wasn’t clutching, feeling beneath his bangs and wincing. Brad felt his heartbeat quicken as he reached up, pushing away Andy’s light hair and choking. He missed a burn, one that was situated hidden by his hair, just at his left temple, near his eye, in the shape of a heart, like a pendant had been heated up. A pendant from a necklace he recognized.

“That.... fucking bitch,” he said, voice quivering, and Andy looked up at him with confused, tired eyes.

“Brad?” he tensed, looking down to meet Andy’s eyes.

That was the first time he ever said his name instead of coach...

“What?”

“I don’t want to go home,” Andy whispered, eyes wide, and Brad bit his lip before raking his fingers through Andy’s hair, pushing his bangs back so the heart burned into his skin was visable as he pulled out a few more bandages.

“I won’t make you,” he said seriously, pouring peroxide onto a cotton pad and cleaning the burn before spreading vaseline over it and taping a big square bandage on it, “You can stay here for as long as you need to. You can have my bed, I’ll take the couch.”

Andy was crying again, his tears hesitant as they slipped down his cheeks, and Brad took a moment to wipe them away before he continued, “Stay home from school tomorrow. With the raw pain, it will be difficult for you to move around, and-.”

“No,” Andy shook his head furiously, shaking out his blonde hair, “Th-the school will call my house if I don’t go.”

Brad didn’t look too happy with that, but he sighed and nodded to show his understanding, “Alright... but if you start hurting, come to the gym. I’ll let you hide in my office,” Andy seemed to relax, sighing out with a little nod, and Brad stood up, pushing his chair in and helping Andy stand, “For now you should sleep. I’ll be in the living room if you need anything.”

Andy suddenly leaned forward, lying his head against Brad’s chest, making him freeze up, looking down in shock as Andy whispered out, “Thank you.”

Brad bit his bottom lip and looked off to the side, his hands raising to Andy’s shoulders, “It’s fine. I said I’d look after you, right?” Andy nodded, “That’s what I’m gonna do. Go now, sleep. We’ll talk tomorrow.”


Brad hadn’t seen Cal all day. Then again, he was trying to avoid him, so he wasn’t surprised. He took the long way to the gym so he wouldn’t have to pass in front of Casey’s office or the History room. Chrystal had preschool til two o’clock, so he was going to be alone in his office most of the day. At least that’s what he was expecting, but not an hour after the bell and he heard a knock, looking up to see Andy shuffling into the room, looking pale.

“This is why I told you to stay home,” Brad scolded as Andy shut the door, giving him a halfhearted glare before walking over and sitting down in one of the two chairs in front of Brad’s desk.

“Shut up. I’m fine.”

Brad gave a hum as he propped his elbow against the desk and set his chin in his hand, staring at Andy incredulously, “Has anyone questioned you?”

“That freshman, Rivera,” Andy mumbled, scratching at the burns on his shoulder, “He practically yelled at me though. I don’t think he knows how to ask questions nicely.”

“He doesn’t. I asked Casey to talk to him about that,” Brad shrugged, “Anyone else?”

“Creed,” Andy said, “Your cousin.”

Brad sighed, “Course he did.”

“I don’t like him...”

Brad laughed, “That might just be the first time I’ve ever heard that phrase spoken about that man!” he frowned at the seriousness on Andy’s face, “Why not?”

“He’s cruel to you,” Andy argued, “and whenever he talks about you his voice is cold.”

Brad just looked away, “Not surprised.”

“But it isn’t fair!” Andy leaned forward, “You’re not a bad person!”

“No one is bad, Andy. Everyone is stupid though.”

“You’ve changed, though!” Andy insisted, “I know you have! If you were the same as when you were in high-school you wouldn’t have followed me into the locker room that day! You wouldn’t have let me get out of PE by looking after Chrysta! You wouldn’t even be a good father at all! You wouldn’t... you wouldn’t have helped me last night,” tears were in his eyes, and Brad winced, looking away from his face.

“People don’t change, Andy.”

Andy stared at him blankly for a long moment before whispering, “You’re right,” Brad cringed, gritting his teeth, “You haven’t changed,” Andy smiled softly, “You’ve always been this way.”

Brad turned to stare at him, confused, “What?”

Andy sighed and leaned back in his chair, “I’m not surprised you don’t remember me, but... still kind of rude.”

“Remember you?” Brad’s face wa sblank of understanding, “What do you mean?”

“Four years ago,” Andy explained, “I was just a freshman. My parents sent me here because it’s where my cousin went, and they they thought he’d look after me, to fend off the bullies. In middle school I was harassed a lot. There was no specific reason, they just... chose me as the recipient for their cruelty. High-school was supposed to be a fresh start for me, that’s what my dad said. He said my cousin would watch over me, but... he didn’t really know my cousin as well as I did. My father saw a kind young man... I saw a kid turning into an abuser. For a while everything was okay here. I wasn’t bullied, though my cousin ignored me, everyone ignored me actually. I was a nobody, I didn’t exist, I had no identity, people didn’t know my name... I didn’t mind much... but my parents got in a crash,” he sat forward, hands folding on his knees, “My aunt and uncle were in the front... my mother and father were in the back, I was between them, and... my baby sister was sitting on my lap. I know, that’s dangerous, but we had to go home in one car and there was nothing else we could do for it, so I held her on my lap.

“It... it wasn’t even raining, the road wasn’t slick, it was sunny and dry and beautiful... but people are cruel. There was someone else driving on the road, drunk, swerving all over the place. My uncle freaked out because this car was just bulleting for us. He turned the wheel to get away, the other car slammed into the right side, for a little were were skidding, then... we flew off the road, down into the fields, flipping around, metal crunching, all the windows were destroyed. The only thing that stopped us was when we hit a tree head on. My sister... flew out of my arms when that happened. The EMT’s said the entire top of her head was flattened when she hit the tree,” he took a moment to breathe before he continued, “My uncle, he was driving, the seat belt sliced open the side of his neck, and he hit his head really hard against the steering wheel... he died in the hospital from an aneurism. My aunt... when we crashed into the tree, a branch punctured through her throat and her side.

“My parents...,” he had to stop again, staring down, “My mother’s neck snapped, so fast and so drastically that her spine tore from the back of her neck, like a hairline fracture, and my father... glass. He was jolted so much, his head was crushed against the window, when the side he was hit by the car, the glass shattered and cut him in so many places... he died slowly... the only reason I’m still alive is because both he and my mother wrapped themselves around me, shielding me with their own bodies,” he raised a hand to wipe at the tars on his cheek, “After that happened, I stayed with my grandmother, but she was old, suffering from dementia, it was very bad. She had to go to a retirement home, and the government sent me to live with my cousin. He was my only living relative, and he was eighteen, so he could actually legally watch me... but he was cruel.

“A few months after everything happened, it was near the end of the school year, the pain was too much, I broke down, crying in the bathroom here, sobbing my eyes out, crying so hard I couldn’t breath or see. People walked in, saw me, then just left. I remember my cousin came in with a friend and just scoffed at me. He threw a book at me and told me to shut up, kicked me a few times, then left,” he paused so he could lift his head to see Brad, “One person didn’t walk out that day when they saw me crying huddled on the floor on the bathroom. You. I don’t remember you walking in, but I remember someone was suddenly next to me, hugging me, and when I looked up I saw the school bully, the one everyone whispered about, saying he was a whore, a psycho who raped people.

“That aparent psycho was holding me and letting me cry for the first time in six months, petting my hair, sitting back four times so he could wiped the tears away with his sleeve. He didn’t say anything, just sat there for over an hour and a half and let me cry. When I was fine again, you left, but I never forgot that, Brad,” he shook his head, smiling softly, “You’re right... people don’t change. You’ve always been kind, you just tried to hide it because of pain and inner termoil. I can’t even begin to comprehend how terrible it was for you. People said you were a monster, so you decided to prove them right. I wish I could have helped you like you helped me.”

Brad was staring at Andy with wide eyes, his heart thundering, his fingers curling into the fabric of his jeans. He remembered that. Now that Andy had explained it, he remembered that day. He remembered standing with Rick, Chris, and Sam, and Rick and his other friend were both muttering about some dumb freshman sobbing in the restroom so they couldn’t do their business. Brad wanted to see. he didn’t know why, but when they all split off to go to their classes, Brad took a sidetrip. He unconsciously moved in the direction of the bathroom, and when he saw that boy... when he saw Andy... he decided he couldn’t leave.

He was always a monster, but this poor kid had done nothing... all of his victims had done nothing, and he felt so much pain in his chest, seeing Andy like that, so he walked forward. He decided he wanted to help someone for once in his life. He never thought... never imagined... that the boy from that day would be sitting in front of his desk telling him he wasn’t what everyone said he was. What he decided he had to be in order to meet the standards of human cruelty. He never imagined he’d end up actually caring for that boy when he sat down to wipe the tears from his puffy red face.

He was completely speechless as he stared at Andy. He really had no idea what to say or how to reply to what he’d said. Seeing his parents die like that... his baby sister..., “How old was she?” he asked finally, and Andy stood up to pace a few times.

“Four,” he answered, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans, “Chrysta’s age,” he added a little quieter.

Brad felt himself smile, “You said you were bad with kids.”

“I am,” Andy shrugged one shoulder, turning to face the desk, “Because they all remind me of her.”

The smile fell, and Brad felt his chest tighten in sorrow, “I’m sorry.”

“So,” Andy stepped forward, leaning towards Brad with his hands against the desk, “Imagine losing your baby sibling like that... then go talk to him.”

Brad gaped up at him before scowling, “I already told you-.”

“He doesn’t want to see you, yea, but you want to see him. I lost my entire family, Brad, you didn’t. Well you did, but not permanently. You can change it, you can make it better.”

Brad shook his head and looked down, “I don’t understand you.”

Andy walked around the desk, a hard look of determination on his face, as he held the back of Brad’s chair, “I know you don’t want to die thinking he hates you... you don’t want anyone to hate you.”

“I deserve it though.”

“Nobody deserves anything that hurts them,” Andy argued, “Everyone deserves a second chance. You, my father, the people who did this to me,” he felt across the bandage on his head, pressing his lips together, “It’s human nature to make mistakes.”

“Mistakes,” Brad stood up, towering over Andy, “What I did to my family is not a mistake, it was monstrous. I do not deserve to be forgiven for it.”

“It doesn’t matter if you deserve it, because you want to be forgiven! Wanting to be forgiven means you regret it, and that’s all that matters!”

“Of course I regret it!” Brad pushed his hair back, “I promised to stay away from them! I... it’s the only way to atone, is to stay away, let them live in peace.”

Andy shook his head, “What makes you think your presence would hurt them?”

“It always has,” Brad turned away, leaning his hands against his desk, “Please, just... stop bringing it up. I’ve already conceded to the fact you don’t care about my past, but you weren’t there, you weren’t the recipient, you didn’t see me like that. You wouldn’t come anywhere near me if you had been.”

“Yea I would’ve,” Andy argued, “I still go home despite the fact my cousin beats me bloody. I’m afraid, but I want to think he’s still a good person.”

Brad shook his head, “I don’t want you going back to that house,” he said, staring down, “I don’t want to see you as beaten as you were last night. I don’t want to see you get so tortured you stop believing that humanity can change.”

“I am going back,” Andy said, “After school today. I want to see if he’s okay.”

“After what he did?!”

Andy shrugged, “I have a strong belief that everything he does is for a reason. I know he’s in pain, he blames me for his parents dying because I was the only one who survived, so he put blame on me sense I was the only one there. He couldn’t accept the fact accidents happen, it was easier to deal with if he could place blame on me. I’m okay with that.”

“Yea, well I’m not,” Brad straightened up, glaring at Andy, “You’re not going back.”

“You can’t really stop me,” Andy scoffed, and Brad growled.

“I’ll call CPS.”

“No you won’t.”

“How do you know?”

“Because you already promised you wouldn’t, and you’re not the kind of man to break a promise,” Andy explained, “I’m going back.”

Brad shook his head, “I won’t let you.”

Andy folded his arms defiantly and lifted his chin, “Give me one good reason to stay then.”

Brad grit his teeth, “Because I care about you and I don’t ever want to see you like that again!”

Andy’s eyes grew, red dusting across his cheeks as he dropped his arms, staring numbly at Brad, “R... really?”

Brad sighed and turned away, running his fingers through his hair to push it from his face, “Yes.”

Andy looked down, shuffling his feet as he played with the sleeves of his shirt, “You care about me?”

Brad flushed and looked over at Andy, eyes wide, “I... yes. No one deserves to be put through a home like that. Especially you.”

Andy’s face was red, his eyes on his shoes, but he slowly lifted his head to look at Brad, “Can I ask you something?” Brad stared at him silently before nodding, “Would it be okay if I was falling for you?”

Brad’s head reeled, “What?”

“Well,” Andy folded his arms, hunching his shoulders, “It’s kind of hard not to. If more people got to know you they’d be falling head over heels too.”

“I highly doubt that.”

Andy shrugged, “Fine with me. It means I don’t have to share you.”

Brad stuttered and turned to Andy, “After knowing everything I’ve done-.”

“Yes,” Andy glared up at Brad, “After knowing everything you’ve done, hurting your best friend, your brother, hurting someone who loved you, yes, I still fell for you. Problem?”

“Yes! I-I’m not meant to love anyone! Everytime before now just screwed me over! Well... I screwed them over... and I don’t want to hurt anyone else!”

Andy just grabbed onto Brad’s shirt collar, lifting up on his toes, “Then don’t push me away,” he said, leaning closer and closing his eyes as he pressed his lips to Brad’s.

For the longest time he was tense, his body was rigid, his eyes wide, he so wanted to push Andy away, but doing that would just hurt him, and he didn’t want to hurt him. Plus... it felt nice... so he slowly let his eyes close, his hands lifting to cup around Andy’s face, deepening the kiss by parting his lips, their tongues clashing. Andy let out a hum of satisfaction when Brad finally accepted the kiss, and he moved his hands away from his shirt collar to wind his arms around his neck, head tilting to deepen the kiss and move closer so their bodies were flush against each other.

Brad didn’t even realize that it was getting so hot. He moved his hands from Andy’s face, wrapping his arms around the middle of his back and holding him up from the ground to keep him in the kiss. Andy was basically standing on Brad’s feet, but neither noticed. When Brad moved, Andy moved, his back hitting the desk top, papers flying and pencils clattering to the ground as Brad situated himself between Andy’s knees, hands against his waist.

When their lips finally parted, Andy didn’t let go, Brad didn’t pull away, neither looked even remotely done with their make out session, so Brad whispered out a defeated, “Fuck it,” before attacking Andy’s lips. It had been three years since he did anything like this, kissing or touching, he’d been so focussed on Chrystal that he didn’t even think about it, but with the whole idea of sex lying willingly on a table for him, he couldn’t push the thought away. He wanted it, he wanted Andy, bad, and if the way Andy was moving his body was any indication, he wanted it too.

It would be rude not to ask though, so he pulled his lips away, trailing them down to Andy’s ear, “Can I...? Do you want this?”

Andy’s reply was to rock his hips into Brad’s, making him hiss out from pleasure, his hand fumbling to pull open a drawer to his desk. Being a teacher for physical education, he was required to have things like lube and condoms in his office so he could lecture horny teen boys and girls before stuffing like twelve of the little foil wrapped squares down their throats so they would be smart and use protection, so he had all that was needed for what he wanted to do.

Thoughts raced through his mind as he undid Andy’s jeans, making him stop and lean down to meet his eyes, “Are you a virgin?”

Andy hesitated and shook his head, “I had a boyfriend a while back,” he admitted, and Brad nodded, kisisng his neck.

“So you’re used to this?” he eased a finger inside, and Andy gasped, head falling back in a heavy moan.

“Y-yes, h-he was really sexual.”

“Did you use protection?” Brad asked against his neck, and Andy laughed.

“A bit late for that question, isn’t it?”

Brad just growled a little, biting the skin of his shoulder as he rolled the condom on and pushed the head of his cock against Andy’s entrance, “No. Tell me.”

Andy sighed, hand over his eyes, “Most of the time. I don’t have any STD’s if you’re worried about that. He was really kinky, it was annoying, so he’d go without a lot of the time.”

Brad hummed, pushing in, moving slow as he eased his way deeper, eyes closing from the feel of Andy’s heat slowly encasing him. Andy made a noise of bliss, his nails biting into Brad’s shoulders as his mouth opened in a silent cry, “Did you want it without?”

“Why are you... asking... questions?” Andy panted out, “Jesus... I don’t understand you... ask me later... after... please.... shit....”

Brad sighed and closed his mouth over the pulsing artery in Andy’s neck, sucking on it as he pulled out before thrusting back in, hard and slow, his hands holding apart his legs by holding beneath his knees. Andy moaned in pleasure and covered his mouth, eyes pinched closed as Brad moved inside of him. The pleasure was indiscribable, he couldn’t even think straight as Brad moved inside. He was big, he hit against Andy’s prostate each time, bringing out a neverending wail of bliss, and he just got bigger with each push inside.

He dropped one hand away from Andy’s leg to grab onto his erection, pumping along his shaft skillfully and hiding the heavy moans with his mouth closed over Andy’s. The younger man arched hard against him, screaming into his mouth, and sticky heat covered Brad’s hand as he stilled, his orgasm wracking through his body. He pulled his lips away before pulling out, and Andy jolted on the desk, hands covering his eyes as he panted hard. Brad tied off the condom and tossed it in the trash before leaning over Andy again, kissing his swollen lips softly.

“Andy.”

“Hm?”

“Don’t go back to that house.”

Andy pulled his hands away from his eyes, raking his fingers back through his hair and staring up at Brad, sighing and rolling his eyes after a moment, “Alright,” he finally agreed, “I won’t go back. Today I won’t, but I’m going to have to eventually.”

Brad didn’t look too happy with that, but he nodded anyway, and Andy tipped his head back to look at the locked door, “What time is it anyway? Don’t you have a class?”

Brad’s face went white, “Shit.”

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