I got him back for that little jab at the dorm after we moved into the apartment together.
It wasn’t like I hadn’t warned him that I was going to get him back for it. I had. I warned him before he’d ended up beneath me. I’d warned him that I was getting him back for the jab, that I’d have him testing out whether or not the walls of the apartment were truly thick. That I was sure that our neighbors would be the first ones to let us know if we were being too loud and they didn’t want to hear us anymore. Any banging on the wall would be our indication or, if our neighbors were more subtle than that, if any gentle words the next day.
His response had been typical Type. He’d called me an asshole as his face had turned pink, firmly said that he wasn’t going to say a damn thing the entire time, that I wouldn’t be able to make him make any sort of noise. That he wouldn’t give in, he would win, and I would lose, and he would laugh when he was victorious. While I believed fully that he was that stubborn, I didn’t believe that he was that determined.
Well, I didn’t believe that he was as determined as I was.
I gave it to him; he lasted a great deal longer than I thought he would but watching him trying to keep himself quiet had been a pleasure in itself. His hands had fumbled for places to hold onto, moving from the sheets to my shoulders or arms, back to the sheets. His breath had hitched, and his poor bottom lip had suffered more abuse than it rightfully should have as he bit down on it countless times. His back arched and the only sounds that passed his lips were soft, soft whimpers.
He’d given in when I’d gone from the teasing pace that I thought would draw the frustrated moans from him to the hard pace that I knew he liked. He’d switched from soft whimpers and the moans that I’d always craved to hear at the dorm, but he’d been forced to hold back. The sounds of his pleasure had wrapped around me, a pleasure for me itself. I’d wanted to hear his voice let free for a while; it was thrilling to finally be able to hear it. Nothing held back, nothing blocking the sound; just Type in his pleasure, my name from his lips as I offered him that pleasure.
Not to say that he hadn’t thrown a pillow at me after we had finished. He had. He’d thrown it right at my face, his breathing still returning to normal as I’d walked out of the bathroom to clean him up. The tips of his ears were red, and he dropped his head back against the bed, sprawled in the same position that I’d left him in before I’d disappeared into the bathroom to throw the condom away and to fetch a damp cloth.
“If one neighbor complains, if one person walking down the hall complains, I’m smothering you in your sleep with that pillow. Your life as you know it will end, you’ll have signed your own death warrant. Any threat you can think of, I’ve given it to you.” He muttered, shooting me a glare when I grinned at him. One of these days, he was probably going to actually hit me for just grinning at him when he threatened me, if not to just prove a point. That he’d actually do it.
“If someone complains, I’ll bribe them to keep them quiet. I promise.”
“You’ll need to bribe me to keep me from killing you.” He snapped, though there was no anger behind his words. I knew when he was angry and knew when he was embarrassed about something, had become used to the two different emotions. Here, he was embarrassed, worried that we would have been heard and that he would have to handle a neighbor approaching him and asking him to be quieter next time. Embarrassed and shy. I hoped, over time, I would be able to help him become more comfortable with being vocal with me, though I didn’t mind that shy side of him.
It was cute, though I’d never tell him that. I didn’t want to be smacked,
“And what should I bribe you with to keep you from killing me?” I asked, leaning down to press my lips against his. I was met with a face full of pillow as he shoved it into my face as he shoved me back away from him. He was running out of pillows to attack me with. If I got that one away from him and tossed it away, he’d be pillowless. He’d still have weapons in the form of his fists, so it was better to leave the pillow with him, they were softer.
“Figure it out yourself, asshole. It won’t be easy, so you’re going to find yourself with a face full of pillow again.” He jerked the pillow back to himself, hugged it to his chest even as he shot me a glare over the top of it. It wasn’t odd to see him hug a pillow to himself if he were shy about something, he did it often, actually. Whether he realized it or not, I wasn’t quite sure. He would hug it to himself, rest his chin on the top of it, turn his face into it.
The pillow he hugged to himself was mine, his fingers curling into the pillowcase around it. He’d been doing it more often, recently. I’d noticed him hugging onto things that were mine, woken up with him all but plastered to my side. I’d walked in on him holding onto the sleeve of one of my shirts the other day, only to have him stalk off in an embarrassed huff. I hadn’t been sure what was bothering him until I’d sat down and thought about it, then I’d had a sneaking suspicion about what it might be.
It was just a matter of getting him to tell me.
“What’s bothering you, Type?” Sometimes direct was the best course of action with him. Sometimes coaxing worked best, sometimes just asking him directly worked better. Which worked best in each situation was something that I was still figuring out, but I had the feeling that direct would be the best in this situation. Direct and quick, not giving him a lot of time to think of an excuse to give me to not tell me. While I wouldn’t force him to tell me, I didn’t want him to suffer with whatever was bothering him on his own. He didn’t have to anymore.
His gaze darted to the bags that had been backed and placed by the door and away from them just as quickly, settling on the wall, his arms tightening around the pillow he clung to. My thoughts had been right. We’d decided to move into the apartment before he headed home when our break came around. He was looking forward to seeing his parents, he had expressed his pleasure about being able to see them again, but I had been able to tell that there was something bothering him at the same time.
Part of him was nervous about going home too.
“Are you nervous about going home?” I asked. He rolled onto his side, his back to me and I gave a small smile at the gesture. “I won’t make you talk to me, Type. You know I won’t, but I can’t help figure something out to make you feel better if I don’t understand what you’re feeling. Can you try and explain it? Or do you really not want to?”
Type gave a soft sigh, his head tipping down towards the pillow. “I am nervous, but not for the reason you might think. I’m not nervous about running into him again or anything. I won’t. I’m nervous about having nightmares again. I don’t know if I will because you’re not there. I don’t have them now because you’re here and I don’t know… I feel safe. I never really felt safe before. I knew that I wasn’t going to randomly run into him, but I never actually felt safe. There was always some part of me that just felt scared, like I was in danger. I feel safe when I sleep next to you. You’re not going to be there with me, so I don’t know if I’ll have nightmares again or not. And I’m nervous about that. What do I do if I do? My parents run a hotel. I can’t wake everyone else up with my screaming and crying.”
I slid down to lay next to him as he spoke, drew him back against him, relieved when he scooted himself back into my embrace. I said nothing as he spoke, letting him speak of his fears, my lips pressed against the back of his shoulder. There was nothing more that I wished I could do than shield him from anything that would hurt him, but it wasn’t something that I could do. There would be things in the world that would hurt him in the future, things that I wouldn’t be able to shield him from. They would hurt him, make him cry, but they would make him stronger too.
All I could do was be there to comfort him, to help him pick himself up and face it when he was ready to. That’s all I could do now. Help him face the little bits of things that haunted him from his past when he was ready to.
“I’d go with you if I could, but I know you want to go home on your own.” He did but didn’t at the same time. Both of us needed a little bit of time away from each other before we got on each other’s nerves, having been together near constantly for weeks on end now. I didn’t think he was quite ready to tell others about us, which I understood. It was something new to him, something that he was still adjusting to himself. I didn’t fault him for it, wouldn’t push him to let others know before he was ready. “Is there something that you think might help you?”
He was quiet and tipped my head forward, resting it against the back of his shoulder as he thought. Quiet settled around us, his back warm against my chest as I held him. It was possible that he wouldn’t answer; that he didn’t have an idea. If that were the case, I would suggest what I had observed him doing, it might have been a subconscious thing he’d been doing.
“I want to take a few of your shirts with me. To sleep in.” He muttered softly, softly enough that I couldn’t help but smile just a little.
“You can take as many as you want. I’ll go buy new ones if you want to take all of them with you.” His elbow made contact with my stomach, a light little jab. “If you want to call me at night, do that too. No matter how late it is. I’ll answer the phone for you, I’ll have it right next to me in case you need me. So, don’t worry about the time you call at. It won’t bother me at all.”
“Even if it’s two in the morning?”
“Even then. I’ll still answer it for you. If something happens, call me. If you have a nightmare, call me. Even if you just want to talk, call me. We’ll talk for as long as you want, about whatever you want. We’ll talk about soccer even.”
“You don’t know anything about soccer.”
“So, you can teach me about it. I’ll listen intently and you can quiz me on it when we see each other again.” I touched my lips to the back of his neck. It wasn’t a sexual move, just a soft and reassuring gesture that I offered to him. An attempt to soothe the fears that he had. I couldn’t shield him from the hurt that would come, but I could offer him comfort and soothe the worry that settled on his shoulders. “We’ll figure it out together. I promise.”
I didn’t see his hand move from the pillow down to my own, but I felt it. Felt his fingers slide into mine, lace with mine, felt him hold to my hand tight. They weren’t big steps, nothing grand or monumental, but he was taking his own steps towards me. And for me, those little steps were grand. They were signs of trust, of acceptance. Signs that he was trying, even if it was difficult for him.
Which it no doubt was.