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take you down (build you up)

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The chair beneath him is unfairly comfortable, Klaus thinks. Therapy chairs are meant to be plastic backed things that you just can’t wait to get out of, but all he wants to do is sink into this one. 


Maybe that’s just Dave though. Dave who’s trying to talk to him, even though Klaus’s mind keeps wandering.


“I’d like to go over intake with you,” Dave says for what Klaus hopes is the first time and Klaus shifts uncomfortably, curling his toes inside his boots.


“What? Oh, yeah, sure Doc.”


Dave smiles easily at him. “I’m a senior therapist here—“


“Senior?” Klaus blinks. “You don’t look a day over thirty,”


“I assure you Klaus, I’m perfectly qualified. I’ve been doing this for six years now.”


“Oh, no,” he twists in the seat again, picking at the ragged edge of his nails. Dave’s blue eyes watch him, careful and placid. “I wasn’t trying to, you know, call you under qualified.”


“I know, Klaus,” Dave says, managing to not sound condescending as he leans forwards. “I’ve looked over your file personally.”


“Ah. Great. You got all the sordid details then.”


“Not exactly. I only know what you put down on the questionnaire. That it’s been about a year since your last dominant partner, that you’ve had a fairly traumatic life, and that you want to seek professional help.”


Klaus swallows around the sudden lump in his throat. “I wouldn’t call it traumatic. Exciting. Adventurous. Glamorous, some might say.”


Dave nods again. “I know you’ve had a struggle with addiction. And I know the public parts of your childhood, as much as any other person might know,”


“Little kiddie superheroes you mean. Fighting baddies on the four-o-clock news.”


Thankfully, Dave has the good manners not to wince. “I would, however, like to hear from you what you’re seeking from this. The goals you might have, what you’re struggling with, so on and so forth.”


Klaus feels put in the spotlight, his breath hitching in his throat. All he can do is nod, like some bobble head doll, as Dave’s gaze stares into him. So blue, so bright. Like the sky on a cloudless day. Like his own powers, curling around his hands.


“Firstly, though, I want to explain a little bit more about this facility and the treatment here, does that sound good?”


He swipes his tongue between his own dry lips at the question that’s not really a question and then nods. “Sure. Sounds good.”


“Good. Well, first things first, this is an urgent care facility for submissives, not a pro-dom service or straight up sex therapy. We incorporate elements of both, but our main focus is on urgent treatment. We can discuss specifics later, but there are a few key distinctions.” Dave’s voice is low, carefully soothing, but Klaus still feels tense. Like he’s going to fall off an edge.


“Key distinctions?” he asks eventually, when the room doesn’t feel quite as warm. 


“We don’t engage in direct genital contact in this room, and nothing we do here is for my benefit. Your health and well-being, physical and emotional, are my priority. You’ll be my sole focus. Probably a little different from what you’re used to in a casual scene.”


“Yeah, no kidding,” he mutters, his chest tightening again. At his sides, his hands twitch and clench into fists, nails digging into the soft flesh of his palms, and he has to fight to release and relax them. Once again, Dave watches but doesn’t comment, just gives him that same pleasant smile as before.


“To that end,” he continues, “there are no punishment-reward dynamics here. One of the core tenets of my profession, and of my own personal beliefs, is that every submissive deserves compassion, attention, and touch, regardless of behaviour or circumstance. We find that treating those things as an expectation, rather than a reward or something to be lost in punishment, is most beneficial to those who need it.”


“To those of us fucked up enough to need it, you mean?” Klaus corrects with a blank look, raising one elegant eyebrow, but Dave doesn’t take the bait.


“That’s not how I feel about my clients, Klaus, and I’m sure you could have guessed that.” It’s unfair how he’s right. Klaus knows what the people who look down on him are like, and none of them watch him like Dave. He gestures at him to continue.


“Everyone who qualifies for my service is different Klaus, but they all have at least a fairly dire need to get here in the first place. Whatever you need me to be—whatever you need to be, is alright. If you want to be aggressive, contrary, solicitous… I’ve seen it all Klaus and I’m not going to judge you for it. You can’t bait me into punishing you, and you don’t need to act a certain way to be rewarded. This isn’t about what I want or need as a dominant, because you’re the focus of our work together. You can think of me as a tool, if you like.”


“A tool? My tool?” Klaus can’t help but raise an eyebrow, leaning forwards in his unfairly comfortable chair. He gives Dave a slow and obvious up-and-down, trying to imitate a dominant as best he knows how—which isn’t bad for a submissive, thanks Dad—his legs spread, smirk plastered in place.  “Didn’t think you swung that way, Doc.”


Dave gives him another passive smile, failing to show offence at Klaus and his little show. It’s not what Klaus had expected, but then Dave had been defying expectations since he walked into the room. “As I was saying,” Dave responds in a gently teasing manner that has Klaus’s stomach jumping, “it’s not about how I swing, Klaus. And I’m not a doctor, though you can call me that if you enjoy it.”  


Klaus’s face twists into a frown. He can’t help but be slightly annoyed that Dave isn’t easier to rile up—being annoying has always been like his second super power and now Dave is seemingly immune. Truth be told, he’d expected to be thrown out fifteen minutes ago but Dave is still unruffled.


“Something else that isn’t going to happen,” Dave continues, as if he’d never been interrupted at all. “I won’t push your limits. You’re not here for that, and I doubt it’s what  you need at this point in your journey. I expect you to communicate with me, Klaus—“




Dave holds a gentle hand up and Klaus bites on his tongue. “I know it might not be easy. I’m not going to force you to admit anything off the bat, but I will ask you questions to determine if any discomfort is therapeutic or counterproductive and adjust accordingly.”


Something inside of him burns, low and simmering. The type of heat that Klaus can’t quite ignore. He nods again, voiceless. 


“If you can’t communicate, that’s okay, but I won’t do anything that I’m not comfortable with until you can, okay? This is about giving you a safe place to submit.”


“Certainly safer than an alleyway,” Klaus tries to joke but there’s a thick blockage in his throat. Vaguely, he worries about being sick.


“I would hope so.”


“Anything else?”


“Just a little bit more. Don’t worry, Klaus, we only have to do this once.”


“Okay. Okay, go on.”


“We use standard safewords here, red for a full stop, yellow for a check in, green to continue. Triple tap if you’re unable to speak for any reason, or a bell if you’re further restrained,” Dave rattles off, like he’s reading from an internal list. It sounds clinical, rote. Klaus wants to squirm, that heat sparking a little higher.


Not now, he thinks at his own dick.


“I think that’s all our ground rules. So, why don’t you tell me, in your own words, why you’re here and what you hope to get out of this?” Dave leans forward, legs crossed at the ankle. There’s a new glint in his eye that makes Klaus feel like he’s under a microscope.


“I’m here because my brother is freaking out over me, Dave. Hate to disappoint you, but this isn’t exactly my idea of a fun Tuesday afternoon.”


“You’re not disappointing me,” Dave says, simple, even, true. Klaus hates himself for the frisson of pleasure that bolts down his spine at the basic statement, nothing more than a simple turn of phrase making him want to bolt or drop to his knees. “Can you tell me what’s been ‘freaking him out’?”


“Apparently I am ‘dangerously unbalanced’.” Klaus rolls his eyes as he thinks of Ben, making air quotes with his fingers. “He doesn’t like me passing out in the bath. Bad for the health, apparently.”


The flinch that Klaus was expecting doesn’t come. “So you’ve been experiencing severe submission withdrawal,” he summarises, voice still low and warm and unbothered and slipping over Klaus like sun rays. “Have the symptoms been getting worse lately?”


“Yeah. Yeah sure they’ve been getting worse, why else would I be here?” Klaus snaps and then regrets it, the shape of his words hanging in the air between them. “Look, you want to know my goals? Obviously I’m fucked up, David. Dave. I need not to be fucked up as soon as possible so my family stops accusing me of being back on drugs and I can get back to my life.”


Not that it’s much of a life, he thinks but doesn’t say. No one, not even Ben, knows how bad it’s gotten for him. Physically, mentally, every inch of him falling apart. Still, Klaus wishes that he could just ignore the need, ride it out. 


The last thing he wants to do is be vulnerable with a stranger, biology be damned.


“Alright,” Dave says gently. “Is there anything in particular you like to do with a dominant partner? Any particular time you’d like to take?”


“Just do your worst,” Klaus mutters, deeply suspicious that his mild mannered, button down shirt professional is going to be able to do anything for him. He just wants to get it over with. Be a disappointment and go on his way, just like every other encounter in his overly long life.


But Dave just gives him a long, assessing look, sitting perfectly still on his chair. When he finally stands it’s slowly, feet carefully padding across the rug as he makes his way over to Klaus. It’s almost anticlimactic when he fists his hands in Klaus’s soft curls and drags his head up, pulling his face close to Dave’s hip.


“I don’t think you want me at my worst,” Dave says, voice half an octave deeper and full of confident. Another bolt of pleasure spins its way down his spine, bubbling into a whine that he keeps locked in the back of his throat. God, Klaus hates himself for needing this. “I might give you my best though,” Dave muses idly, his nails scratching along the back of Klaus’s neck.


“I’d hope so, with what I’m paying you.“


Klaus doesn’t remember how much he’s paying Dave at all. Not when his mind is already drifting towards syrupy, thick and sweet. He doesn’t care either, trying to keep himself present and focused instead of drifting away.


The problem is, it’s too tempting. The desire, the thought of falling. Klaus had left off a building once, fourteen and chasing after his father’s enemies. For a second, he’d been flying free through the sky, no thoughts, no worries. Nothing but the threat of hitting the sidewalk.


It feels a little like that now—like stepping off a skyscraper.


Klaus wants to follow that nebulous train of thought,the one that wants to be good for Dave, be worthy of Dave’s best in return. If anything drove him to this clinic, to Dave, it’s that Klaus doesn’t know how to be vulnerable without the glossy veneer of being high. And there’s nothing he wants less than one of his siblings having to bring him down.


He’s had enough of pity for a lifetime.


“I want you on your knees,” Dave says next, oddly polite. It’s like he can see all the cogs spinning in Klaus’s feeble, fucked up head and knows just how to silence them. Klaus wants to quip back, god knows he has a wealth of snark to draw on, but he can’t.


That deeper, wounded part of him is desperate for any scrap of attention he can get, and he’s folding to his knees before he can stop himself, feeling the thick carpet beneath him. 


“Good boy,” Dave murmurs. Klaus can’t help but snort in disbelief—Dave had said it earlier too, but Dave hadn’t known him then. Dave has to know now that Klaus has never really been a good boy in his life.


One black mark after the other. 


The sound is barely out of his mouth when Dave grips his hair tight again, forces his head back so Klaus is staring into those ocean eyes. Still so blue and hard as iron now.


The slap to the face is practically gentle, but Klaus is startled enough that he whispers when it comes. Unexpected contact, the flat of Dave’s hand against his skin. A reminder of who’s in charge. “ Good boy,” Dave repeats, voice low and insistent as Klaus hisses at the sting in his cheek, the matching sting where his hair is pulled tight against his skull. 


Klaus opens his mouth only to close it again when Dave’s other thumb comes up, rubbing across the underside of his jaw, the contrast of textures that make up his chin.


“Do you want to do as I say?” Dave asks, all mild again. The change makes Klaus’s head hurt. One thing to another before he can blink. All he can do is frown, trying to think through the dizzying haze that’s slipping itself over his brain. He feels cockdrunk and they’ve barely even started.


His lips twitch again, torn between sarcasm and being awfully, brutally honest for the first time in his goddamn life. But before he can make a decision, Dave slaps him across his other cheek—harder this time, a deeper sting. Then he’s being pushed back, Dave on one knee above him, warm and looming and ever so real and alive. Lips brush across the shell of his ear and Klaus can’t help but whimper again, a tiny choked out noise.  


“I think you do,” Dave says, one large hand coming up to circle Klaus’s throat and Klaus is suddenly reminded of just how small he really is compared to a man like Dave. Oh, he’s not short, but he’s slight. Twiggy. The type of slender that lends itself to being called fragile. Klaus has always loved and hated it with equal measure, and right now he’s swinging all the way to love, love, love.


Emotions well up inside of him, hot and unexpected—this whole day has been unexpected—and Klaus blinks hard to force down any rogue tears. Crying has never been something Klaus fears but right now he feels torn open and he wants to curl up, pull his guts back inside.


Then, before he can move, there’s a body bearing him down into the rug. Dave is thick and heavy, the type of weight that squeezes all the air out of him as they’re pressed together. Even clothed, he can feel Dave’s warmth, all those hidden muscles and Klus exhales with a little hitching breath. Lips meet his own, soft and strangely chaste, somehow that breaks him.


“You’re safe, Klaus,” Dave coos between little kisses. Klaus hates himself for his fear, for his desire, for his need, but he can’t bring himself to stop this because god knows he’s wanted it for too long. A year—longer.


The hand around his throat tightens a hair, and something warm loosens itself at the base of Klaus’s spine, the rush of feeling filling all those splintering cracks that have opened themselves in Klaus’s body. “That’s it,” Dave purrs. “Nice and easy, just like that, Klaus.”


Somehow his hands are above his head, one of Dave’s pinning his wrists down. Even if he wanted to, Klaus doesn’t think he could escape now and that forces another tiny noise from between his parted lips. Dave smiles sweetly down at him, drags a nail across the sensitive inside of Klaus’s wrist, over that damn umbrella tattoo. He pinches the blackened skin there, catching it so that tears finally spring to his eyes.


Humiliation floods his veins, the type that makes Klaus want to sob, but then Dave hurts him again, again, again, and everything becomes nothing more than sensation blanketing his mind.


Freedom. Stepping off a building. Joy like wildfires.


Klaus lets himself fall.