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Reply to Lucy

Added to the Roswell Slash Archive 10/24/2001

Title: "Bruised"
Author/pseudonym: Lucy
Fandom: The Forsaken
Pairing: Sean/Nick.
Rating: R.
Status: New, complete.
Archive: No.
E-mail address for feedback:
Series/Sequel: None.
Other website:
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Sean realizes that some bruises bring pain, while others don't.
Warnings: Not beta'd. Just another little ficlet written in the lj to pass the time.

        The light wasn't on because he didn't want to look at himself.

        This was one of those times that he was grateful the water ran colder from a bathroom tap than anywhere else; it felt good, and soothing, running over his knuckles. He couldn't _see_ anything, and that was good, too; there was a little sliver of light coming from underneath the closed door - blue-light, from the television, mostly likely.

        He wanted to stay in here until that light went out. His hand was numbing from the cold, and he was shivering - from the cold, even though he'd been shivering for longer than the water had been running. There was an ice machine in the office, he remembered seeing it this afternoon when he picked up the room key. He wondered if Nick would go and get him some ice if he asked.

        Finding out would require speaking - out loud, shutting up the constantly-running narrative of 'stupid, _stupid_' currently filling his mind - though, and he didn't think that was possible, in his current state.

        He figured that the water was probably numbing enough. Not _enough_ enough, but - enough.

        He was so busy thinking and feeling his hand go numb that he didn't hear the approach, and the door suddenly opening startled him more than it should have. He jerked his hand away from the flow of water and splashed droplets over his shirt and the mirror.

        Nick switched on the light. The buzzing harshness lit up the small room, and he winced, turning right around so he didn't have to _look_.

        "Let me see," Nick said, half-command, and he tipped his head a little towards the light - not enough for him to see, but enough for Nick. The look in Nick's eyes said everything, though, and he shrank away.

        Nick put down the small black bucket he'd been holding, took a clean towel and shook a little of the ice into it. He picked up Sean's hand and rubbed the makeshift icepack over his knuckles, soothing the already numbed flesh. There was a tiny cut between his ring finger and pinky, but it wasn't bleeding anymore. Nick put Sean's other hand on top of the icepack and made another one from another towel, bringing that up to his eye.

        Neither one of them said anything for a long time, just stood there.

        "You've got a bruise," Nick said, finally, and Sean thought that was a funny thing for him to say. He was covered in them, right eye nearly swollen shut and knuckles painfully reddened. But Nick brushed a thumb over his collarbone. "Right here," Nick said. "Did I do that?"

        He smiled, fleetingly.

        "Sorry," Nick said, brushing his lips over it, a brief, ghostly kiss. "I'll have to be more careful from now on."

        'Don't be careful,' Sean thought, but he didn't say anything.

        "I kind of like it, though. You'd have to look really hard to see it, but - just knowing it's there - I don't know." Nick shrugged. "I suppose it'll be gone tomorrow." He sounded regretful, and Sean wondered if it was because the bruise was there in the first place, or because it would soon be gone.

        Icy water dripped from the pack over Sean's eye and slid down his cheek like a cold tear. Nick wrung the towel out in the sink and replaced it.

        "It's not true, you know," Nick said, softly, without looking at him, and Sean stiffened, the clenching reaction in his hands automatic and shameful. "We both know - people like that, the things they can say. Fucking backwater towns." He snorted. "Hell, I bet half of them probably went home to sleep with their sisters and have a dozen kids with two heads."

        Despite himself, Sean laughed, a sharp, shocked sound, the first noise he'd made since they left the bar. He hadn't trusted himself to make a noise without collapsing, because, dammit, it shouldn't _matter_ what the fuck some rednecks thought or said to him and Nick in some backwater hellhole. It didn't matter, but that didn't mean he didn't _hear_ it, didn't _feel_ it, didn't want to -

        He flexed his bruised hand, gingerly. It was completely numb _and_ it still hurt like hell. It was going to hurt even more tomorrow.

        Nick put the icepacks into the sink and lifted Sean's bruised hand up to his lips. "Promise me something? The next time you decide to take on a bar full of homophobic rednecks, give me a little advance warning, okay?" he teased, and Sean couldn't help but smile, even though the terror was still there, deep inside. He'd acted on instinct, _reacted_ to the hateful words of a couple of drunken assholes without even thinking. He could have been killed - he could have gotten _both_ of them killed, probably would have if Nick hadn't pulled out his gun and gotten them out of there, and, dammit, it wasn't even _loaded_ -

        He wrapped himself tightly around Nick's neck and tried to blink away hot, salty tears. He was shivering, and Nick was soothing him, and it didn't _matter_, nothing mattered except this. Nobody could touch this. Nothing anyone said, or did - no matter how they tried to break him - they couldn't touch who he was inside.

        Nick kissed him, and he winced, a little, but didn't pull away. There was a little swathe of blood on Nick's lips, and Sean guessed the cut on his lip had opened up again. He licked at it, tasting wet copper, until Nick replaced Sean's tongue with his own.

        They kissed until he was dizzy, and some of the pounding in his head was for a reason other than the pain from the bruises. That made him feel better, somehow. Nick cleaned him up and took him to bed and lay there with him in the dark.

        Neither one of them slept for a long time. Sean didn't even blink, staring up at the dark ceiling of the room, trying to remember if it was stucco or warped tile. Finally, Nick leaned over and fastened his lips on Sean's neck, down low, just above his collarbone, and sucked there, hard, a hot, consistent pressure.

        "There," Nick said, when he pulled his mouth free from Sean's flesh. "I gave you a bruise. The others will fade, but you need to keep that one, I think." He settled on his back, fingers knitting together with those of Sean's unbruised hand. "I'll make sure it stays, okay?"

        Sean squeezed his fingers, and slept.


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