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Without a Chaser

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It’s the sucker punch to the jaw that seals the deal.

Patrick flies off the bed, anger like a jet engine in his gut. He can barely feel the pain underneath the hot, ugly rage that has settled under his skin. He’s smaller than Pete in both height and width, but he’s madder.

Pete snarls at him like a dog as their bodies crash together, all of those big teeth on display. Patrick wants to punch every single one of them out of his head, wants to wear them like a filthy trophy. His knuckles graze across an eyetooth as he swings wildly, and it goes red with blood. He hopes he’s knocked it loose.

The thing that pisses him off the most is that he can’t remember what started the fight. They had been peaceful for most of the day, passing a weak joint back and forth on the floor next to his bed, enjoying the silence. And then Pete had done something, or said something, or existed in just the wrong way, and then-

Patrick kicks Pete’s shin hard enough that he feels like he’s broken a toe. Pete barely flinches. He’s like a damned machine. One of them hits Patrick’s nightstand and his lamp crashes to the ground, splinters of ceramic and glass exploding onto the carpet. The sound is like a gunshot.

There isn’t enough space between them for Patrick to put all his energy into any of his punches. He’s going for big, tough hits but Pete’s just hammering away at him with one hand, quantity over quality, the other wrapped up in Patrick’s shirt to keep him close in.

Everything aches. Every pull of Patrick’s arm or leg makes his back twinge and his head feel like it’s going to explode. Tiny black spots dance in front of his eyes as Pete lands a particularly vicious blow to his cheek. When he gets close enough, Patrick bites down on the sweaty, bare curve of Pete’s shoulder and locks his jaw.

The roar of pain that fills his ears is deafening. He holds on until he can’t, until the pain of Pete’s jackrabbit punches to his chest drive him back. He nearly falls over into the carnage of his lamp, but Pete’s got a stance wide enough to hold them both up and he isn’t letting go.

Then there’s a hand in his hair, pulling his head up and back. It takes away any leverage he might have had. He struggles against it, but Pete’s just tall enough to make him stay off-balanced. It makes Patrick’s blood boil. Only one of them is leaving this room alive, and it will be him.

He can see Pete winding up for a headbutt. He can almost feel the explosion of pain behind his eyes. Before Pete can shut him down, Patrick reaches out and locks a hand around his throat and squeezes. He puts all of his weight into it until they stumble into the wall, Pete’s head bouncing off the plaster.

Pete’s sweating and baring his teeth, the red patches on his face and chest already going purple blue. The place Patrick had bitten looks raw, a fist sized patch of skin surrounded by the gates of his teeth. His eyes are more black than brown, pupils blown so wide Patrick can almost see himself in them. He looks wrecked.

Pete yanks his hair in an effort to dislodge him, but Patrick holds tight. He’s not letting Pete get the upper hand again. Patrick is acutely aware that he could kill Pete like this. If he just keeps his fingers tight, if he just presses a little harder-

“I swear to god, I will break you in two,” Patrick hisses. His voice sounds wet and he’s not entirely sure why. He presses harder, until Pete’s hand falls away from his head. He can feel the way Pete’s adams apple is fighting to move.

Pete’s still holding onto his shirt, but his grip isn’t as strong as it was. His face has gone a little red, and Patrick’s not sure if that’s all from anger or all from Pete’s breathlessness or a little of both. What he does know, with perfect, sparkling clarity is that he’s so hard that it’s making him dizzy.

Pete coughs, and it jostles Patrick’s hand. He presses down harder, feeling the way the muscles in Pete’s throat constrict and stutter. Bright, shining tears collect at the corners of Pete’s eyes, but he doesn’t try to move. He stands there and takes it.

Patrick doesn’t want to admit how hard it is to let him go.

Pete falls to his knees and wraps his own hands around his throat, coughing and sputtering. Even in his own shadow, Patrick can see the dark places where his fingers have stained Pete’s skin. Everyone that comes across him will see and know. It sends a vicious thrill up his spine.

As he’s starting to step back, winner and champion, Pete grabs his leg, fingers like a vice. Patrick stares at him, unable to believe that he’s going to keep trying to fight when he’s been so thoroughly destroyed.

Before he can kick free, Pete’s hands are ripping at his belt and fly, oxygen-starved clumsiness making them slow and thick. Patrick can’t move, but he knows without the shadow of a doubt that he wouldn’t even if he could.

The feeling of Pete’s hot, hot, hot hand on his cock makes Patrick groan. He braces himself with one hand against the wall, hunched over Pete like a bridge. His knees feel weak.

Without looking at him, Pete opens his mouth and sucks Patrick in. Patrick swears and knots the fingers of his other hand in Pete’s hair. It’s greasy and slick, barely long enough to hold onto, but Patrick has to.

Pete sucks him sloppy and dirty, his mouth wide open and skilless. Patrick stares down at him, unable to see anything other than the whiteness of his hand in the pitch of Pete’s hair. He curls his fingers tighter and pushes Pete down. Pete goes without much force.

“Jesus, Pete, what are you doing?” Patrick asks breathlessly as Pete chokes around him. Patrick wants to see it. He wants to see the saliva-wet curve of Pete’s mouth, wants to see everything, but there’s no way he’s moving.

Pete grabs his ass, his hand an inferno through Patrick’s boxers, and shoves him forward. Patrick tries to fight him, he does, but the sweet, slick heat of Pete’s mouth is more than his will can take.

He fucks into Pete’s mouth recklessly, holding his head still with one hand. He wants to feel bad for reviling in the choked, ugly sounds that Pete’s making, but he really, really can’t. Each little cough squeezes around the head of his dick, so tight and sweet. He’s an awful person. He’s terrible. He’s so close to coming he can’t see straight.

Pete grabs him with both hands and pulls him in. For a terrifying moment, Patrick thinks he could kill Pete just as easily this way. His dick’s buried so far down Pete’s throat that he’s sure Pete’s going to just swallow him whole and be done with it. He gives one last weak thrust and comes.

It feels like bombs. Bombs under his skin and in his balls and inside his brain, every last bit of him one giant piece of shrapnel.

He feels his fingers coming loose from Pete’s hair, but everything is dulled. Pete pulls back and presses himself into the wall. His mouth is swollen and red and wet, a split that Patrick hadn’t even noticed before bleeding sluggishly. His chin is shiny in the way Patrick had known it would be, eyes bright.

Patrick watches, holding himself up on weak legs, as Pete ruts against his own hand. It’s filthy the way he’s writhing around on the floor, still folded on his knees. He’s watching Patrick, lips parted as he drags in ragged breaths.

Patrick knows he should help. He knows he should return the favor, suck Pete down with the same vigor. Instead, he slides bonelessly to the floor next to him, his jeans trapping his knees together, and wraps his fingers around Pete’s throat again.

His anger has faded away, but he’s still entranced by the vulnerability of Pete’s bared throat. He presses his thumb under Pete’s adams apple and holds it down a beat before letting up. Pete’s chest heaves. His hips rock up, up, up, sharp little jabs that drive him straight into Patrick’s grip.

Patrick tightens his hand and leans in. When he kisses Pete, he feels like he’s sucking the last of the air straight from him. He can feel the moment Pete comes, shaking and gasping.

Pete slumps against him when Patrick releases him. All the fight’s been driven out of him, leaving him a mess on the ground. Patrick kicks off his jeans and sits against the wall. He’s so tired. Pete crawls to him and lays across his lap.

“I’m sorry,” Pete gasps into his thigh. It’s wet and ugly and so sincere Patrick can almost forgive the pain that’s blossomed all across his body. His mom is going to kill him when she sees him.

“It’s okay,” Patrick says, gently. He folds himself over Pete like he can make himself a bandage to fix it all, insides and outsides. “You’re okay. We’re okay. We’re okay.”

Pete cries, big heaving sobs that make him shake. Patrick wraps him up in his arms and keeps repeating himself over and over again, hoping repetition will make Pete believe him. You’re okay, we’re okay, we’re okay.

Eventually, Pete shakes him off and sits up. He laughs weakly as he wipes at his eyes. He looks as beaten as Patrick feels. The hand marks on his throat are frightening. Patrick touches them with gentle fingers and feels guilt well up when Pete flinches.

“Fuck,” Pete says. His voice is raw, barely a whisper. “Fuck.”

“Are you okay?” Patrick asks. He wants to hold Pete again, but he’s afraid of what will happen if he reaches out.

“Yeah,” Pete says. He rubs at his throat, his fingers leaving white streaks behind that immediately turn back to red purple. “We shouldn’t have done that.”

“The part where we beat the shit out of each other, or the part where we screwed?” Patrick looks at the wreckage of his room and wonders where things had turned in on themselves.

“Both.” Pete runs a hand over his face. His lip is still bleeding. “I shouldn’t have done that. It was out of line.”

“I wasn’t stopping you,” Patrick says softly. “I wasn’t stopping me.” He stands slowly, every muscle in his body screaming as he moves. He offers a hand to Pete and waits patiently for Pete to take it. “And when have you ever cared about being in line, anyway?”

They waddle to the bed together, both of them hissing and swearing under their breaths. Patrick pulls off the top cover and helps Pete onto the mattress. He curls around him, the sweaty heat between them almost uncomfortable. They’ve broken something important, but Patrick doesn’t know how to fix it.

He stares at the bruises at the back of Pete’s neck and holds his breath.