Malcolm's eyes are cold. They've been that way ever since that fiasco with the damned girl in the box, and now, with shiny new killers to profile, the curiosity he'd settled for in place of love has vanished, too.
“Please, Malcolm,” Martin begs, cringing at his own weakness. Mr. David waits on the far side of the door, hand on the handle, gaze jumping between them. Malcolm scoffs, looks away, fist raising to pound once more-
“Three people died. Almost four.”
“I-I know, it was, a horrible thing-”
“You took advantage of your patient. Manipulated him into destroying his own life by stealing others'.”
Mr. David backs off, presumably returning to his seat. Martin's grateful for the privacy. Grateful, too, for his son's presence, even as Malcolm turns to him with bewitching rage writ across his features.
Strangely hesitant and unsure why, Martin ventures, “You can't just talk someone into murder, Malcolm, you know that—I've been trying to convince you to take the plunge yourself since you were of age. It has to be already inside you, a seed waiting for rain to sprout.”
“You were the soil. The sun.”
A smile tugs at his lips. “I told you not to undersell my nurturing side.”
Malcolm's hand shakes, wiping the humor from Martin's face.
“What if I died? Would you care?”
“What? What kind of question-”
“I don't know what you did to me, but I-I can't get passed it. I don't know if I deserve to.”
In an instant, that wondrous fury falls to a simmer, then dies out completely as Malcolm sighs, shoulders drooping. The tension that's harbored his body since he'd come in dissipates in fractions. The strength of his shame gives Martin pause, for he does not remember the burden being quite so tremendous a short decade ago. One would think spending an eighth of his expected lifespan seeking absolution for his father's misdeeds, saving lives, would've had the opposite effect.
“My boy. Come here.”
Malcolm obeys, steps lumbering, nearly falling to his side before Martin can grab hold of him, like he's similarly shocked with his acquiescence. Martin ignores the question of 'why' for now, clutching at the son finally in reach. Last time they'd had physical contact, Malcolm'd just graduated high school.
He smells plain, vaguely of lemon. A clean, neutral scent. His clothes are soft, cost shown clearly in the quality of material. It's a suit that can survive generations, not that there will ever be a need for such—the Miller fortune is essentially bottomless. Tears blur his vision. It's a good pain, but it hurts being held like this after being so long deprived.
“You need to let go.”
Malcolm tries, but Martin holds on tight to his suit jacket. That his cuffed hands are strong enough to restrain Malcolm against his body is worrying in itself—his boy needs him more than he thought. It's vindicating, exhilarating, to see tangible evidence of how terribly he's faired in Martin's absence. (And concerning, of course, but he'll need this when Jessica finds out and warns him off. Tells Martin he's breaking their boy, and perhaps he is. Perhaps that's what Malcolm needs, to be broken. Maybe on the other side of it there will be peace for him.)
Chuckling, Martin nuzzles the side of Malcolm's face. “Not literally, son.”
“I know. I just, I came really close last night.”
“Someone ruffle you feathers?” Martin hums, burying the swell of jealousy. His fire burns him, but he doesn't want to share it with anyone. At least not without bearing witness.
He feels Malcolm grimace.
“He had D-a cop, and his wife, and he was going to kill them. I talked him into killing me instead.”
Martin snarls, clipped nails digging harshly into the flesh of his boy's waist. He ignores his half-hearted attempt to pull away. “What?”
Malcolm whines, burying his face in Martin's shoulder. “He didn't—nothing happened.”
“What did happen.”
“You're hurting me-”
“What did that scum do to you?”
Malcolm giggles, hysterical. “You can't kill him. He's already dead.”
The words douse his temper. A switch flips, his hands turning gentle, petting the trembling form caged in his awkward embrace. He cranes his neck back to see his son's face, rueful smile in place. Their eyes meet, and he hates the wariness he finds there. As always, it's Malcolm who is the greatest threat to himself, not Martin.
“Ah, well, I'm glad you're being looked after out there. But why do such a thing?”
“I didn't have a choice. He was going to-”
“No, no. You're too smart! There are a dozen ways you could've disabled him, a dozen more you could've manipulated him into wasting time. You were his victim because you wanted to be, why? Because he was my copycat?”
“What were you punishing yourself for? Failing to stop me sooner? Coming back to me?” Martin presses. Malcolm shudders as his hands rove his figure, assuring himself that he's here, he's alright. He thumbs the pulse pounding in his neck, delighting in the delicious gasp it elicits.
“You don't think it would've been poetic?”
“Hm. I prefer you alive.”
“Why? I'm not, I-I-I'm never going to be what you want me to be. I'm not a killer.”
“Strongly disagree, but not the point.” Martin presses their foreheads together. “Didn't I tell you? You are my son, and I love you always.”
Malcolm averts his gaze, jaw clenching.
Martin sighs, exhausted by his honesty. The excitement of seeing his son again, the threat of his departure, the cracks he's found littering his boy's armor—these factors don't create an environment for languid mind games, fun as playing with Malcolm is. If he could only find the chink letting him return to Malcolm's heart...
“What's it going to take for you to believe me?”
Unbidden, a tear slips down Martin's cheek. Malcolm locks onto it, panting softly, an echoing wetness filling his own eyes. It is the proverbial last straw.
“C'mon, Malcolm. Lance the wound. Drain the poison.”
“I wanted the Surgeon's pain.”
It's said calmly, but to Martin it is insanity. “My pain?”
Malcolm nods, miserable, solemn. “I turned you in. I betrayed you, then I left you.”
Martin's lips part. His heart hammers in his chest, and his hands travel up to cradle his darling son's head. He never expected this, never allowed himself to indulge in consciously wanting it, this bundling of his every secret desire. It may as well be a love confession. No, it is a love confession.
“I have nightmares of you refusing to let me leave. You-you..”
“I what?” Martin asks, leaning in close enough their mouths brush as he speaks. Pupils dilate, eating up the beautiful blue of his beautiful boy's irises and Martin, Martin wants to devour him. This is it, the golden opportunity to sink his non-metaphorical teeth into Malcolm, finally sate a hunger born fifteen years ago. He's salivating.
“I wake up screaming.”
“Ah, ah, not the question I asked.”
Malcolm swallows. His hand is shaking, yet his body is angled into his father's, not away. The situation at present is a complete reversal of how their encounter started: Martin is in control, Malcolm is the prey held captive in his grasp. But oh, what a willing victim he's turned out to be! Nevertheless, it was adorable watching him posture and pretend to be the dominant force between them.
He wonders if this will be the breaking point, the final sin unleashing the beast he knows Malcolm harbors. He's the monster who put it there, after all. The greatest threat to its hatching is Malcolm's need to please the stronger ties he has in his life, and laying with his serial killer father will soundly cost him these few outside supports, though Martin hopes he will eventually be able to persuade Ainsley to their side—maybe fucking her brother will be just the thing to lure her to his doorstep.
Lost in the future, Martin's caught unprepared when Malcolm surges forward and kisses him with the intensity of a supernova. He doesn't—can't respond, paralyzed by the unexpected passion and boldness both. His son lives to surprise him.
Before he can return this fervor, Malcolm whines in despair, yanking away from him so abruptly Martin almost—almost!—fails to hold onto him.
This next kiss Martin initiates, taking advantage of his son's gaping to plunder his mouth, furious to find he tastes like the lime candy symbolic to his relationship with Gil.
So instead he bites at his son's neck, grunting as Malcolm's hands fist in his clothes, trying to pull him impossibly closer. The resulting rush of blood to his cock makes him sway, and Malcolm manhandles him to the bed.
Martin flops onto the mattress, laid flat on his back with Malcolm curled over him, straddling his lap. He's panting open-mouthed, chest heaving, sanity abandoned in their frenzy to reconnect.
“Eager, are we?” he chuckles.
Fingers curl around his throat, but Martin meets Malcolm's glare with the smug grin of a conqueror, and promptly yanks. The tangle of hair in his grasp forces Malcolm to expose the vulnerable line of his own neck, and with the grip around Martin's slackened, he rolls up and buries his teeth in the junction of neck and shoulder—hard. Blood blooms, erupting into his mouth and dribbling down to stain Malcolm's clothes, a taste he's dreadfully missed.
He kisses Malcolm next, cleansing his boy of the polluting lime flavoring. Malcolm groans, rocking his erection into Martin's hip—and grinding his ass on Martin's dick.
“Oh, fuck,” Martin breathes. Laughter bubbles out of Malcolm as he rides him harder, possessed by something wild Martin can't wait to explore further. He knew it. He knew-
Malcolm scoffs, self-directed derision appearing and vanishing between waves of pleasure. It's useful. Martin hates it.
“I love you.”
“...I love you, too, Dad.”
Martin flips them, hastily undoing Malcolm's trousers and pulling them down to his knees. His boy's dick is an ample seven inches, thick, lined with throbbing veins and decorated by a well-trimmed patch of hair. Malcolm shies away from his father's stare, hiding his face inside his elbow.
Feeling strangely adoring, Martin takes hold of his boy's hand, caressing it gently, deliberately. Patiently. Seconds or minutes later, Malcolm's spare hand seeks purchase where his suit jacket buttons up, and those cold, sharp eyes that see far too much of anyone fortunate enough to garner their attention return to Martin's own.
“Whatever you're going to do, just do it.”
Smirking, Martin swallows his son's cock. Malcolm howls, sound muffled in the pillow. He bucks, and Martin relaxes his throat, lets him fuck his mouth until he comes, fast and hard and entirely unexpected. But the taste of him is sweet, and Martin thinks he can forgive the enthusiasm—it's taken only Malcolm's whole life for them to get here.
He nearly beats the record in his own fist, watching Malcolm pant, eyes half-closed, flush high on his cheeks and sinking under the cover of his suit. Not the ideal first time, the both of them remaining mostly closed, but Martin's content all the same, easing down carefully beside his boy, one arm resting adoringly on Malcolm's abdomen.
The panic spread across his handsome features, thankfully different from Jessica's or Martin's own—he could imagine what she or, worse, his “therapist” would say—is expected. What's not is his staying. Of course, Martin's thankful for every second of Malcolm's time he's allowed, and this moment they spend in silence, inarguably cuddling, it's precious, but. As they linger, the threat of Mr. David's intrusion grows, and while he's passed the point of pretending shame to his guard, Malcolm is not. They don't have a thing yet—they've merely crossed a boundary. If Martin wants to cross it again anytime soon, which he undoubtedly does, he needs to derail this panic.
Craning his neck, he spots Mr. David posted a ways down the corridor, near to the outermost door, blank stare fixed at the wall opposite; probably ensconced in the fog of daydream so Martin could have private time with his boy. So courteous.
“Malcolm,” he purrs, cupping his face, “it's okay. I promise: no one saw a thing.”
“Hush. Let me take care of you.”
Exhausted, Malcolm does. He lays prone on the bed as Martin cleans their mess with his blanket, frowning at his loving, lingering touches but also leaning into them like someone starved. Deprivation is a hell of a thing; a hell of a useful thing.
Martin helps Malcolm dress, kissing and stroking each inch of skin he covers. Malcolm shivers at the attention, flushing; he shies away from a brushing of lips, this quiet intimacy seemingly failing to chase away the last vestiges of sanity he clings to. But he's still here, and Martin kisses his forehead instead, a familiar motion from happier times.
And when he leaves, Martin's sure he'll return. He will have his son again—all of him.