nilchance: Picture of a pomegranate with spilled seeds, text "I think you're confused, I'm not Persephone" (Default)
[personal profile] nilchance
Title: That Middle Road (36/48)
Author: nilchance
Pairing: Misha Collins/Jeremy Sisto
Rating: Adult
Disclaimer: This isn't real.
A/N: Set in poisontaster's A Kept Boy 'verse. This story deals with mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder, and with slavery as used in the AKB 'verse. There's also mention of rape, suicide, institutionalization and self-harm. And polyamory. And kink. And a partridge in a pear tree.



“This is Indira, calling to remind you of our appointment at 7.”

Even though Indira is using her dry business voice, there’s an element of steel beneath. Jeremy listens to the simple message and remembers her hand fisted in his hair. She hurt him, and she was kind to him, even on the days he sure he didn’t deserved kindness. It was easier to earn her praise on his knees.

He made the appointment months ago, before Marisa OD’ed. Before Misha. (It seems strange now that there was a time before Misha.) He thinks about canceling it, but…

But he wants it, like a long breath of coming rain in the stifling heat.

When Jeremy looks up, Misha is watching him from the couch. Misha raises his eyebrows in silent question.

“Mish,” Jeremy says. “There’s something I should tell you.”

***

Misha turns Jeremy’s leather collar over in his hands, studying it. Jeremy hovers, hands in his pockets to hide their shaking.

Jeremy’s words come out in a rush. “I like it when people hurt me, sometimes. I like being pushed around. When I have to just…”

Some shadow crosses Misha’s face and is gone, too fast to read. He leans towards Jeremy a little and signs, just what?

Fuck, Misha’s going to make him say it out loud. (Jeremy’s ambushed by the memory of Jeff whispering in his ear: “ask for it, sweetheart. Ask me for what you want.”) Jeremy exhales, the words sticking in his throat. They come out quiet and hoarse. “Take it.”

Misha shivers like a struck bell, dropping his eyes to the collar. For a terrible moment Jeremy thinks he’s fucked everything up, that Misha is disgusted or afraid of him. Then oh fuck, his attention snags on the way Misha runs his fingertips over the buckle. The tips of Misha’s ears are pink.

“I didn’t want to come home with bruises and freak you out,” Jeremy says, trying to fill up the tense silence. He can pretend this isn’t happening. That always works, until it blows up in his face.

Raising his eyes, Misha sets the collar down. He makes no effort to give it back to Jeremy. Why would I be freaked out?

Jeremy shrugs. “Other people have been. Including a couple therapists.”

Misha crinkles his nose. That’s stupid. You take care of everyone else. It’s not so strange to want someone to take care of you.

Awkwardly, Jeremy scoffs. “I don’t take care of anyone. I’m kind of boy disaster.”

You take care of me, Misha says.

Hovering over Misha, ready to bolt, is losing its appeal. Jeremy comes and sits next to him on the couch. “When you let me, yeah.”

Strong. Kind. Smart. Handsome. Misha rolls his eyes. Clearly the worst disaster of all time.

Jeremy tries not to preen and probably fails. “You think I’m handsome?”

Misha gives him a dour look, which is betrayed by his twitching mouth. Instead of answering, he says, who are you seeing?

“Indira Varma. She’s a professional, but. Y’know.” When Misha raises an eyebrow, a clear reminder that he doesn’t know, Jeremy says, “It’s not about sex. We’re friends. Sometimes it’s just something I want.”

‘Need’ is more realistic, but Jeremy can’t make himself say it. It doesn’t matter, Misha hears him what Jeremy almost says anyway.

Misha nods. His next words are uncharacteristically tentative. I’m your friend.

It’s a relief to be on solid ground; Jeremy feels a little dizzy from the way Misha’s looking at him. “You are,” Jeremy agrees. “We are.”

There’s a bright, hungry shine to Misha’s eyes, like there was when Jeremy offered him the collar. Like Jeremy is holding something Misha wants just out of reach. Like Misha isn’t going to ask him for it.

“Do you want to come with me?” Jeremy asks.

Jeremy would never ask anyone else. It should horrify him to think about another person seeing him stripped down raw. He fucks people easier than he lets them see him on his knees.

But it’s Misha, and that makes a difference.

To his relief, Misha is immediately pleased. You wouldn’t mind?

“I wouldn’t mind,” Jeremy says, a little surprised at how much that’s true.

****

To Indira’s credit, when Jeremy shows up with a strange new bodyslave she doesn’t blink. She takes them to the wood-panelled room without the St. Stephen’s cross. Jeremy’s glad. He hates that fucking thing, with its waiting cuffs. Indira knows better than to try to bind his wrists, but Jeremy’s body seems to remember when he didn’t have a choice about restraints.

Maybe she has a filing cabinet full of reminders about which clients are fucking crazy. Jeremy remembers filling out a contract when they started, but he hadn’t listed bondage as a hard no. He’d thought he could grin and bear it. Then he’d almost broken his wrists trying to get out. Indira had been nicer about it than Jeremy thinks she should’ve been.

When the door shuts, Indira turns to Jeremy and asks, “May I borrow Misha for a moment?”

Jeremy glances at Misha, who shrugs, before he says, “Knock yourself out.”

Indira guides Misha a few steps away. Enough for a little privacy. They watch each other like gunslingers, trying to figure each other out. Turning away, Jeremy examines the scuffed floor and tries not to listen. Still, he catches a few of Indira’s words: demonstration, why, master.

Whatever Misha tells her is apparently enough, because Misha reappears at Jeremy’s elbow. Jeremy fingerspells o-k? and Misha pats his arm, which is totally not an answer.

“Make yourself comfortable,” Indira says to Misha, gesturing to the plush armchair with the table at its side. “Have some tea if you like. Watch.”

Misha signs his thanks and sinks into the chair. He doesn’t reach for the tea, though, instead leaning forward with his hands on his knees. The intensity of Misha’s regard is like heat on Jeremy’s skin.

“Now you.” Fondness in her voice, Indira hooks her finger in Jeremy’s tie. “Take this off. The shirt as well. I want to look at you.”

“You can look at me now,” Jeremy points out, even as he’s unbuttoning his shirt.

Indira raises an eyebrow. “Are you going to fight me today?”

Jeremy grins at her. “I haven’t really decided yet.”

Fast as a snakebite, she grabs him by the chin. Her voice is dangerously soft. “Is this how you’re going to behave in front of your boy?”

Jeremy can’t make himself say that Misha isn’t his boy. That they’re friends. Bringing Misha here is as much as admitting that they’re not only friends, although damned if Jeremy knows what that makes them. More intimate than friends. Misha has seen the grimy inside of Jeremy’s heart and hasn’t turned away.

Capitalizing on Jeremy’s hesitation, Indira uses her grip on his chin to turn his face towards Misha. Jeremy’s breath hitches in his lungs at the expression on Misha’s face, the avid light in Misha’s eyes.

"Safeword?" Indira says.

"Promissory." To his own ears, Jeremy's voice is already scraped thin.

It's watching Misha that's killing him: the way Misha breathes faster, lips parted, his eyes devouring everything. And Indira knows that. Jeremy wonders when he got so transparent.

Because he's as much as naked in both their eyes, Jeremy unbuttons his shirt. Indira eases up on his chin, turning his head back to her. He hesitates at his belt, raising his eyes to Indira's; she smiles and doesn't help.

Slowly, Jeremy undoes his belt and his pants. He has boxers beneath and he left his shoes at the door, so it's easy enough to skim out of his pants.

Indira runs her fingernail down Jeremy's side, her eyes frankly appraising. It's so like how Jeff rousted Jeremy out of sleep, at the end of his latest manic swing, that Jeremy's breath hitches in his throat. Indira hmms at his reaction and does it again, digging her nails in this time, leaving long welts from his collarbone to his hip.

Jeremy twitches but doesn't pull away from her. He's intensely aware of Misha's eyes on him. He wants to be good, god help him.

"You're so handsome under those clothes," Indira says thoughtfully. "Somebody ought to keep you naked and on your knees. Would you like that?"

The words are locked in Jeremy's throat. Indira curls her small hand around his neck, her thumb resting on his windpipe like she can see what he wants to say through his skin. Even in her heels, she's shorter than Jeremy, but he doesn't doubt that she could put him on his knees if she wanted him there.

She's waiting for an answer. Old shame prickles Jeremy's skin. Every time, it's like handing over something stained inside him. All the times he's seen bodyslaves forced to kneel and be used, all the times he wondered what was wrong in his head, all the times as he wondered if this was why the guard raped him.

All the times he wondered if this was why Jeff left him in that hospital and didn't look back.

Tenderly, Indira strokes Jeremy’s throat with her thumb. "It’s all right. You don't have to ask. Your boy and I, we know what you need.”

Indira uses her grip on Jeremy to steer him to the wall. Once he’s there, she arranges him to her liking: on his knees, his hands braced on the wall. The wall is golden wood, cool against his forehead.

Her whisper in his ear: “now turn your face so that he can see.”

Jeremy almost balks. Indira waits him out, her spread hand resting between his shoulders. A comfortable weight.

If Jeremy doesn’t look at Misha, he can’t see his words. He can’t see how Misha feels about this. Jeremy trusts Indira to get Misha away from a scene if he’s freaking out, but Misha can be… opaque. To people who don’t know him, anyway.

So Jeremy turns his head to look at Misha, resting his cheek against the wall.

Misha looks back. His pupils are blown wide, the blue nearly gone. He gives Jeremy a crooked smile, encouraging, and gestures at him like bring it on.

Though Misha is sitting forward, like he’s drawn by a magnet, Jeremy can see that Misha’s hard. God, Jeremy wants to kneel between Misha’s feet and suck him off slow.

Bringing Misha here was a mistake, but the brakes are off now. Can’t take it back. Honestly, it’s kind of a relief.

“Such a good boy,” Indira praises.

Misha hums his agreement, scalding heat down Jeremy’s spine. Jeremy squinches his eyes shut.

Indira kicks his legs farther apart, a sudden jolt. In that same soft voice, she tells him, “Keep your hands where they are.”

“Okay,” Jeremy says. The part of his brain responsible for smartass remarks is offline. “Thanks.”

She leaves him there. Jeremy listens for her, the click of her heels and the creak of her opening a cabinet to retrieve some tool to play him with. He responds to those sounds like Pavlov’s dogs.

“What shall I use?” Indira asks.

It takes Jeremy a second to realize she’s asking Misha, that they’re talking around him. It’s a little humiliating how much he likes it. He opens his eyes and yeah, Misha is looking him over like he can see under Jeremy’s skin to his desperate needy heart.

Misha catches Jeremy’s eyes and tilts his head, questioning. Jeremy shakes his head no; he doesn’t want to have a say. Misha’s smile grows sharper edges, and he turns towards Indira to answer.

Fuck, Misha is liking this; Jeremy doesn’t know what to do with that, a loud feeling like relief and hunger all at once.

Because he doesn’t want to know what’s coming until it hits him, Jeremy closes his eyes again. His breathing sounds loud to his own ears, not quite covering the noise of the cabinet closing.

Indira hits him. For the first brain-scrambling second, Jeremy can’t tell what she used; a noise jerks out of his throat. When she hits him again, the thin burning stripe of pain tells him that it’s a belt. It might be his belt.

“Thank you,” Jeremy gasps out belatedly, one blurred word: thankyou.

“Shh. You don’t have to thank me,” Indira says. “You don’t have to count. Just take it. Can you do that?”

“Okay,” Jeremy says, and barely avoids repeating ‘thank you.’ He wants to say words, to fill up the quiet between cracks of the belt so he can’t feel anything, no matter how much he wants this. No matter how much he needs this. “Okay.”

The belt strikes three times, fast. Jeremy hisses out a long breath. He can feel his pulse beating in his back and in his dick, an intensity of feeling that’s more loud than painful. It would be so easy to grind his hips against the wall, to hide his burning face, to ask Misha to stop watching this.

Instead Jeremy opens his eyes. Misha is watching him, pink in the face. When Indira hits him, with exquisite timing, Misha tenses all over.

Jeremy has a sudden, vivid image: Misha riding Jeremy’s dick, shuddering like that as he was being fucked, every time he was filled up? Would his eyes light up like that?

Every time the belt hits Jeremy, Misha reacts like he’s being kissed.

The next hit unstops Jeremy’s throat, a moan bubbling up like champagne.

“Let me hear you,” Indira says. Her voice sounds far away. “Let your boy hear how much you like this.”

Then she picks up a rhythm, the belt cracking like percussion, and Jeremy couldn’t keep quiet if he tried. He feels himself sinking, a slow trick of endorphins, softening the edges. Indira beats the sharpness out of him, the fear, the sadness. Indira uses him up until he’s languid, until he’s watching Misha with half-lidded eyes, a cat in sunshine.

Sometimes Jeremy forgets that Misha isn’t the one wielding the belt.

It’s good. It’s so good.

It stops. The distant throbbing in Jeremy’s back feels like another lash. He makes a little complaining noise, and Indira laughs.

“There,” Indira murmurs, “that’s very good. That’s what I wanted. You’ve done so well.”

She continues praising him, warm honey in his ear, until the individual words start to make sense. Jeremy shifts, hissing as the heat in his back resolves into pain again.

“You’re all marked up,” Indira says. She runs her fingers down Jeremy’s spine. “It’s lovely. I wish I could take a picture of you just like this.”

That sounds like it might require actual words. Jeremy clears his throat, his voice scratchy with use. “Wouldn’t mind.”

“Sorry, love, I can’t take your word for it. I think you’d agree to be my desk if I asked right now.”

“Mn.” Jeremy blinks heavily until he can focus on Misha. Misha, who’s leaning back into his pimp chair looking shocky and sated, like he just got the best blowjob of the year. Man, Jeremy could go for giving a blowjob right now. Except his jaw kind of hurts from how hard he was pressing it against the wall. “Might be awkward at tax season.”

Indira runs her fingers through Jeremy’s hair. Gives it a little tug. “You must be coming back. You’re talking about taxes. You can move your hands.”

Cautiously, Jeremy does. His shoulders ache from being in the same position, as much as any of his muscles can ache while he feels like a wrung out rag. “Thanks. God, you’re amazing.”

“I know. Do you think you can get to your feet?”

Maybe. Probably not. “Sure.”

So Indira pulls Jeremy to his feet. His knees are stiff from kneeling; he’s grateful for the wall and then, as she leads him to Misha’s chair, for her steadying hands. Once Jeremy reaches the chair, he’s grateful for the opportunity to sit the hell down again. His head feels thick with endorphins.

“Here’s your boy,” Indira tells Misha, a smile in her voice. “I’ll leave him in your care while I fetch some juice, shall I?”

It’s strange because Indira keeps juice close at hand, like some kinky Mary Poppins, but whatever. Jeremy is happy to be spilled onto Misha’s lap.

Misha signs thanks. Then he takes Jeremy’s face between his hands. Peers at him like he can read something profound there. Misha’s hands are cool against Jeremy’s feverishly hot face, a benediction. Jeremy wants to kiss Misha’s fingers and his palms, his knuckles and wrists. He wants to kiss anywhere on Misha that he can reach. Flogging makes Jeremy stupidly cuddly.

“I’m okay,” Jeremy tells Misha, because that seems important. “It’s okay.”

Nodding, Misha strokes his thumbs over Jeremy’s cheekbones. His eyes are very blue, his mouth bitten up and made to be kissed.

Jeremy is so utterly screwed. Misha is under his skin now, if there was any doubt before. Jeremy should be scared. Maybe he will be after juice.

The restlessness that's always under Jeremy's skin, that impulse to bolt for cover, quiets. He sighs, the last shivers of endorphins wringing him out, and lets Misha hold him.
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