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Something, Anything, Everything

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Curt awoke on his side in a dark room, his cheek pressed to the cold concrete floor. The first thing he became aware of was the pain erupting along his body, and he groaned. He made a quick mental list of the soreness of his ribs, the stinging of his temple, and the ache in his wrists, which were bound in chains in front of him. He tried to shift, but the chains pulled against his skin uncomfortably, rubbing them red in places that already looked raw.

 

 How long had he been here?

 

How had he gotten here?

 

His eyes followed the chain, which was fed under a small, metal arch that looked to be welded to the floor, effectively pinning his arms out in front of him unless he could manage to wrestle a little slack free. He adjusted so that he was laying on his stomach so that he could better examine the room. His gaze continued up the chain, which was pulled up to the ceiling and held in place by another metal arch. The chain then continued back down to the floor and was attached to a slumped figure several feet away from Curt. 

 

His heart jumped into his throat. 

 

Even in the low lights, with his head still foggy from what he guessed must have been a considerable blow to the temple, he knew it was Owen. He would know Owen even if he was blind and deaf, he reckoned, though he could not tell if that was due to their closeness as friends and partners or caused by his ever growing infatuation with the man. He could hardly disentangle his romantic feelings for Owen from his professional opinion of him anymore.

 

It wasn’t as if that it mattered. Curt was forced to maintain a strictly work based friendship with Owen, lest he risk both of their careers in some misguided attempt at a romantic confession. His love for his partner was illegal and, most likely, entirely unrequited.

 

Despite the ache in his shoulders from the position he was laying in, Curt decided to remain still. He would give Owen as much slack on the chain as he could, so that he would wake up in a position that was a little more comfortable than the one Curt had found himself in.

Then, Curt busied himself with examining the room they were in—there were concrete walls, a concrete floor, and a metal door behind Owen— in an attempt to devise where they were and how they could get out, but his eyes and mind kept wandering back to Owen as more and more time passed. 

 

Owen was curled up on his side, his back to Curt. His clothes were crumpled, and his hair was a mess. He looked like he’d been in a scuffle of sorts, which aligned with Curt’s assumption that they’d been captured on a mission. Neither Curt nor Owen were the type to go down without a fight. Upon closer inspection, Curt could see that something was matted into his hair near his right ear, something Curt assumed was blood. 

 

He took a shaky breath, his observation of Owen turning frantic as he searched for any sign that his partner was still alive. His whole body tensed, and he could not stop the whirlwind of anxious thoughts from plaguing his mind. After a moment of panic, Curt locked his eyes on Owen’s shoulders, which were moving up and down almost imperceptibly.

 

Owen was still breathing.

 

Curt let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he had been holding, his body relaxing, and he let his head rest back on the cold ground to avoid straining his neck too much. He would wait until Owen woke up (and he would wake up, Curt told himself) to make any plan because he didn’t know the extent of his injuries. Other than the smattering of blood that was dried in his hair, Owen had no visible injuries that Curt could see from the angle he was looking from.

 

Curt tried to focus on his memories of what had happened, how they’d ended up like this, but it was like pushing past a haze. He remembered fragments, like shards of shattered glass that he was struggling to piece back together into a cohesive story.

He remembered Cynthia, her expression sour and smoke curling around her lips, saying something about being careful. He remembered Owen’s smile, friendly and warm. They had been in a bar of sorts. Their shoulders had brushed.

Curt shook his head. Latching onto those types of memories, while exhilarating, would do him no good as he struggled to discern what exactly had happened in this specific situation. He could be uselessly gay on his own time, not when Owen was counting on him.

He focused on the memory of Cynthia, trying to recall what she had been scolding him about. Flashes of a compound flooded his mind. He remembered the cold weight of his gun in his hand and the reassuring warmth of Owen beside him, close enough that he could feel Owen’s breaths on the back of his neck. He remembered the bite of something hard and heavy connecting with the side of his head. He remembered nothing else.

 

His head felt heavy from all his effort spent thinking, but he would not even consider letting himself dose off again. He wouldn’t leave Owen to wake up alone, unguarded. The chains prevented Curt from being able to do little else but stare, but he’d writhe and squirm his way over to Owen if necessary, even if that meant breaking every bone in his fingers and wrists in order to slip free of his chains.

 

Curt Mega loved Owen Carvour, that was for certain, and, if nothing else, Curt was extremely loyal to his own. He’d give anything to keep the people he loved safe.

 

What felt like hours but was more than likely only a handful of minutes passed before Owen stirred. He came to with a grunt and a groan, but it might as well have been music to Curt’s ears. Owen sat up, his chains rattling as he did so, giving Curt enough slack on his end to pull back onto his side in a more dignified position than sprawled out on his stomach.

 

“Welcome back to the land of the living,” Curt said, his voice sounding much too relieved to come off as nonchalant, which was what he was aiming to achieve. “You certainly took your time.”

 

Owen turned with a start at Curt’s words, but he moved backwards in the process, pulling the chains enough to yank Curt back down onto his stomach. Owen quickly looked between Curt and his own bindings, his eyes following the chain between them just as Curt’s had only a little while before.

 

Owen cursed under his breath but stood, his face mirroring the look of concern that Curt was giving him. His face was covered in dirt, grime, and blood, but his expression was full of determination. It was an incredibly attractive look, especially when Owen flexed his jaw absentmindedly.

Curt was quickly pulled from his distracted thoughts, however, because, as soon as Owen stood, Curt could see the slight tremor in his leg. 

 

“No, don’t!” Curt blurted. Owen froze, his eyes going wide. Curt took a deep breath and composed himself when he saw Owen’s panicked look. He clarified, “Don’t stand if it hurts you.”

 

Owen shook his head, a small smile on his lips. It was a welcome sight.

 

“I’m fine, Curt,” Owen said in that lovely British accent of his, placing emphasis on his name in just the right way to send shivers down Curt’s spine that he had to work very hard to suppress. “Besides, the pull of the chain was hurting you.”

 

How could he be so damn considerate when he’d only just woken up from unconsciousness?

 

“Thank you,” Curt said, for lack of a better response. He used the extra slack of the chain to rise to his knees, sitting back on his heels. They both settled into as comfortable of a position as they could, given the circumstances, and the silence stretched for a long moment before either of them spoke.

 

It was Owen who finally broke the quiet, his voice strong despite the pain he was clearly in. 

 

“What’s the damage?” He asked. His eyes scanned over Curt with concern.

 

It took Curt the duration of a deep breath to tear his eyes away from those brown eyes he’d come to know so well. They could be hard, could flash dangerously, in every fight they found themselves in, but they always seemed to melt into something akin to warmth when it was just the two of them grabbing a drink or relaxing together after a mission. Curt felt like he was coming home every time he saw Owen’s eyes like that, like he was looking at him right now.

 

“Bruised rib or two, probably not broken, a killer headache that might be a very mild concussion, and some sore shoulders and wrists,” Curt listed off. Owen nodded, shifting his weight again.

 

“Bruised ribs and a potential concussion here, too, and my left knee feels pretty shite.”

 

Curt did not get the opportunity to respond because the door flew open, and three men walked in. 

 

The first two were tall and brutish, both with dark hair and light eyes, and they had very bitter-looking expressions on their faces. Their clothes were dark and functional, almost militant in appearance, which spelled bad news for Curt an Owen. If they’d pissed off and then, subsequently, been captured by the Soviet Military, then they likely would be tortured and interrogated until their hearts gave out. On the bright side, Curt could not see any weapons on the men, nor did he see any holsters or garters on which they might normally carry a gun. They were, as far as Curt could tell, unarmed.

The third man was shorter, more weaselly in appearance, with a very long neck and long hair that had been slicked back. Although his color palette was just as drab and dreary as that of the other two, his clothing was more business casual than special ops. He looked more like an accountant than a threat.

 

Curt and Owen shared a look, both mentally bracing for the interrogation they were about to endure. Neither man was new to being tortured, but that didn’t mean that it was any less taxing. Curt started building up his mental walls, and the way Owen was gritting his teeth told him that he was doing the same. 

 

“Ah, care to join us?” Curt asked, forcing his voice to come out nonchalant and relaxed. Owen settled into his own act of calm, mimicking Curt’s laid back appearance.

 

“If we knew we were going to have company we’d have dressed for the occasion,” Owen added, and Curt snorted. They certainly did look like they’d been through the ringer, what with Owen looking like he’d just crawled out of his own grave and Curt looking... well, he didn’t know how he looked,  but he certainly smelled like sweat, dirt, and disaster.

 

Their words fell on deaf ears. The first two men had closed off expressions and a look of determination on their faces that sent Curt’s skin crawling. The third just looked curious, and perhaps a bit excited.

For a moment, Curt worried that they’d just come to finish the two off. Fortunately, that didn’t add up, as they wouldn’t have gone through all the effort it would have taken to chain them up in the first place if they just planned to whack them as soon as they awoke. The third, more squirrelly looking man stayed back by the now closed door, and he gave a subtle nod to the other two. Curt wondered if that was to designate that he was ready, or if he was the one in charge.

 

The two burly men then stepped closer to Curt and Owen, and Curt had only a second to process the fact that the man coming towards him had a crowbar hidden by his side before said crowbar connected with his ribs. 

 

He let out a gasp of air, his breaths labored as he blinked rapidly to hold back tears that quickly welled up in his eyes. As soon as he had doubled over, something slammed into his back—the man’s foot, he thought. Curt let out a groan, his nonchalance overtaken by the pain blossoming all over his torso.

 

Owen growled, low in his throat, and moved towards Curt a few steps, but he stopped as soon as he saw that he had accidentally pulled on the chain and inadvertently yanked Curt down until his nose was touching the floor. Owen froze, but his expression was tight and his breathing heavy. 

 

The man behind Curt tossed the crowbar to his partner, and Curt almost protested. As long as they were beating him, Owen was safe. Curt would gladly take all of the pain that they could ever inflict upon him if it meant that Owen was spared. 

 

Upon seeing the crowbar switch hands, Owen snarled at the man in front of him. Curt knew that expression well; it was a challenge. 

 

The man slammed the crowbar into the back of Owen’s knees, which caused him to crumple to the ground like a discarded rag doll with a gasp of pain. As Owen went down, the chain jerked Curt forward. He caught himself on his hands, still on his knees with his ass in the air. 

 

The man beside Curt kicked him hard, square in the chest. Curt’s body lifted off the ground slightly from the impact, but the lack of slack from the chain yanked him back down just as quick. He landed on his elbows this time, coughing and spluttering violently. He tasted blood in his mouth.

 

Across the room, Owen was gnashing his teeth and jumping to his feet in an attempt to give Curt a little more room to move and defend himself. Curt was thankful for the effort, but it was a short lived victory. The man behind Owen swung the crowbar once again, this time connecting with the side of his knee. Owen cried out, and Curt moved involuntarily to go to his aid, only to be stopped as the chain yanked him forward again as Owen went down.

 

“Leave. Him. Alone,” Curt coughed out, grinding his teeth together before baring them like some sort of wild animal. His words were still met with silence. 

 

Their torturers were unnervingly silent. There were no laughs or taunts or even questions thrown at them, and Curt was left wondering what exactly they were after. This was cold and calculating, and it frightened him a shade more than normal torture ever had before.

Normally, he could fight back a torturer with his words. A serious question would always be met with a sarcastic and, more often than not, overtly sexual answer, and he would throw the torturer off by maintaining his flirtatious, fuck-it-all attitude. Being frustrating and impossible to crack always made him feel victorious. In this specific situation, where their torturers where silent and efficient, Curt supposed that the true victory would just surviving. 

 

With a grunt, Owen shakily rose to his feet again, still determined to give Curt a fighting chance. Curt locked eyes with Owen and shook his head, trying to communicate that it was not worth it, that he could take it, but Owen was steadfast. It struck Curt that Owen might want to protect him as much as Curt wanted to protect Owen.

 

The thought warmed him somewhere deep in the pit of his stomach, but the feeling was quickly overcome with a sharp cold that stemmed from watching Owen, his brown eyes hard and sharp, take the crowbar to the same knee again. There was an audible crunch, the sound of steel on bone, and then Owen’s scream. 

 

Curt was screaming too, incomprehensible pleas for the men to just tell them what they wanted, to stop it, stop it, stop it. 

 

The men did not stop, however.

 

The one behind Curt grabbed him by the hair and, taking advantage of the newfound slack in the chain that Curt didn’t understand how he had, yanked him back up to his knees. The hand holding his head up did not move, and the man’s second hand curled around Curt’s throat. It was a dangerous position to be in because, when Curt shook his head to try and get him off, the man slid his whole arm around Curt’s neck, effectively pinning him with an arm choking him and restricting his air flow. The pressure on his windpipe was not extreme but rather enough to be uncomfortable unless he stayed absolutely still. The man tangled his hand in Curt’s hair and yanked his head around until he was facing Owen again.

 

He wondered what the man was doing, what he wanted Curt to see, until his eyes shot back towards Owen. 

 

The man who had previously been beside Owen was now in front of him, his crowbar long since disregarded. He had the chain in his hands and was pulling on it hard, leaving Owen dangling from the ceiling with his arms above him and his toes barely ghosting the ground. 

 

That explained why there was enough slack for Curt to be yanked back into his current position. 

 

Owen was blinking in and out of consciousness, his expression melting from determined to exhausted. The man holding the chain was pummeling him with random kicks, and Owen was starting to slump over more and more, no longer reacting as much to the assault. 

 

Curt on the other hand was writhing to get out of the grip of the man behind him, no matter how it pained him, desperate to get to Owen.

 

“Stop it, you’re killing him!” He shouted, voice rough from the slight but consistent lack of oxygen he was experiencing. That only seemed to encourage the man to continue at a quicker pace, slamming his foot into Owen’s stomach, Owen’s hips, Owen’s knees. 

 

Owen looked up at him, his expression somewhere between exhaustion and apathy. He tried to smile at Curt in what he only assumed was an act meant to calm him, but the way his lips curled and the grin twisted in pain as another blow struck his torso just made Curt all the more panicked. Owen’s eyes met his, and they were warm, so very warm, no longer filled with the dangerous glint Curt was used to on these missions. 

 

And then Owen passed out completely, his body swinging limply from the chain. 

 

Curt was screaming again, trying in vain to tear himself away from the man holding him back. He felt something warm dripping down his wrists but didn’t dare look, already aware of the fact that he’d likely rubbed them to the point of drawing blood. He was still screaming when a quiet voice spoke up, and he wouldn’t have even noticed it if not for the commanding tone that seemed to echo around the room despite its low volume.

 

“That’s enough. I have what I need.”

 

The voice had come from the third man, the one Curt had long since forgotten about. He was standing by the door, observing the situation with dark eyes. Curt didn’t know what he meant and, frankly, didn’t care because, at his words, the man behind him let go, allowing Curt to scramble to give Owen as much slack as possible. The man holding the chain released it, and Curt braced himself for the pull of the chain as Owen went down, crumpling into a ball.

 

Curt barely noticed the men leaving. His eyes were locked on Owen. 

 

Owen was the only thing that mattered.