The Stains Beneath Our Skin {mxm}

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Agonies & Indecisions

Right, so this was where he should run. Or like at least tuck himself nicely back in the kitchen, drag all those covers and pillows over to a tight little corner – perhaps all the way into the pantry, cosy and hidden – and hide there ’til morning came or Cain stumbled into a wall and knocked himself out. One of those things. Get the fuck out of sight, slap out some of that self-preservation instinct, and cower beneath a floorboard like the roach he was. Something.

But he couldn’t move. His heart slammed against his ribs like a mad thing. As if it might break them and run, screaming, free. Bolt off down the corridor like Casper should have. The pulse of blood in his head made it spin, and his nails ached where they bore tiny scratches into the wood.

Because he knew one thing, and that was that once again, that wasn’t Cain’s blood.

Casper searched in his gut for the nausea, but all he found was tiny, squirming worms of fear.

And curious, delighted intrigue.

Cain sat with his back against the wall, long legs bent at the knees but splayed unevenly off to each side. One arm lay like a dead thing against the floor, scrabbling for a grip it couldn’t find every time Cain’s balance canted off that way. Each time, he fixed it with a jerk back upright, a moan going through the gasping of his breaths and his other hand grinding deeper into his forehead. His cheeks were flushed, and with the colour that the crimson lifted in his face, those pants of breath looked so hot they should plume with steam in the air.

He was totally fucked. Couldn’t even sit up straight and his body swayed in a constant motion of trying to stay still. Fuck knew how he’d managed to get home, but he sure as shit didn’t look like he was going anywhere now he was here. Casper’s wired eyes traced the strewn state of his hair, the rough, untucked mess of his shirt, the heady pink in his cheeks, and all his damn mind kept shoving at him was the image of Cain arching against the bed beneath him while Casper had ground against his cock.

This was it. Confusion at its absolute rock bottom worse. This is what pretty moments in the night-time get you, Roach. Every goddamn time.

A hiccup echoed down the corridor. Between them, R2 whizzed in a circle then sped back into the kitchen. Another hiccup, and Cain almost toppled with it, the heel of his hand smearing across his eyes and leaving behind a streak of something wet as it fell away. A clear highlight above the gleaming blush of the gore drenching him from the jaw down.

One more hiccup, and the end of this one burst into a wail.

Oh shit. And before Casper could bolt, there the drunk fucking twat was – sobbing with his head thrown back against the wall, hand fallen to his lap. All the misery that convulsed through his face and throat was bared shamelessly in his drunken isolation. The sheer rawness of it twisted in Casper’s gut, nailing his feet into the floor and his hands into the doorway.

Shit.

It wasn’t anything like Cain. It wasn’t graceful, it wasn’t dignified, it wasn’t controlled, and it wasn’t even awkward. The sobs wrenched out of his throat like living things, ugly and wretched as they spilled at once from his nose and mouth in the wet catches of the wails. Tears poured over his cheeks, messy streaks splayed across his twisting head like angel wings beneath the light. Wriggling tracks of tainted peach slid through the smear of blood that painted him a crimson mask.

It looked like it hurt. It looked like hurt, and it fucking hurt watching it. It wasn’t the mad laughter or the furious panic or that cold bite of his voice this morning as he denounced Casper as wolfsbane. It was real. Human.

Casper pressed his tongue against the roof of his mouth, willing his feet to move. Just fucking piss off, Roach. Isn’t this what you wanted? Didn’t you want to see him break?

Casper didn’t care about human. Never had. Sometimes in the dead of night while Jack cried out the anguish that wrenched through his mind, all Casper could do was sit there, token hand in his hair and machinated nothings spilling from his lips all while he stared into the pit of darkness in the corner of the room. The only bit of darkness, lurking where the wardrobe blocked the thin light that always seeped past the curtains.

And he’d wondered when it would stop, when the drink would kick in enough that Jack would pass out. Pray he’d drunk enough to get there. Could he crawl out of bed and take a hit? Get so fucking high that the dark corner turned into a dream of slurred warmth, and the tears were nothing but white noise behind the slow pump of his heart searching for euphoria.

And he wondered whether under this skin, he was still human.

No matter that he knew better than ever before that he wasn’t, the echoes of his footsteps still rung around that hollow hall, stamped in the places that Cain’s tears didn’t fill. His fingers trailed along the whitewashed grit of the wall, and even the clatter of the ghoul’s clawed feet as it bounded down the hall didn’t break Cain out of his misery.

His grief.

For all those little lost boys haunting the shadowed spaces of his mind.

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