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off the rails

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It’s 2:30 A.M. on an early Wednesday morning, and Johnny is dog-tired, trudging into the train station and wearily swiping his metro card through the turnstile. The dark and dingy platform is familiar, and oddly comforting. White subway tile intermingles with shades of terracotta, forest, and marigold, worn from decades of being in the dank subway underground. The harsh white fluorescent lighting on the yellow safety strip by the tracks is the only sign of modern life. Hardly anyone is on the platform at this station at this hour of night except a few other tired service workers, off dishwashing and bussing shifts and ready to go the fuck home, Johnny included. He’s feeling weirdly restless for some reason. He puts on his late night playlist and zones out until the screech of the arriving train over his headphones brings him back to reality. 

 

The doors to the car directly in front of him open, and Johnny realizes that the car is empty. This is usually a bad sign, but he can’t see, hear, or smell anything wrong with it when he steps on. Maybe it’s a rare win. It’s overnight and one of the older lines, so it’s a retro train, one of the ones with wood paneling and horrific off-orange plastic seats and yellow, creaky lighting. The gray-green pebbled linoleum floor is sticky from decades of abuse under Johnny’s safety shoes. Johnny drops into a seat towards the end of the car, near the silver connecting doors, and readies himself for the long trip from uptown back to his borough. Other city inhabitants schooled in the rule of not getting on empty or near empty cars seem to avoid him, and Johnny watches the ebb and flow with the same alertness-cum-disinterest that every long-term city dweller cultivates. People think about stepping onto the car and instead go for the one next to him with more people. He doesn’t think he’s particularly scary looking, but it works for him. He appreciates the space to decompress.

 

After several stops, someone finally gets onto his train car. At a first, quick glance, there’s nothing really remarkable about him. He looks to be in his early twenties, with dark hair and a wrinkly white oversized t-shirt. An open messenger bag hangs off slim hips and a hoodie is nestled in the crook of his arms. His jeans have a rip at the knees, he’s wearing scuffed sneakers, and he seems to be lost in his own world, unaware of Johnny’s presence or attention. He sits down and pulls out his phone, and Johnny studies him, pausing the music in his ears.

 

On second glance, Johnny realizes that the stranger has a certain boyish charm. High, sharp cheekbones, a distinctive chin, ears that stick out enough to be endearing, and almond shaped eyes that have a certain glint to them. At third glance, under the strobing light of the train traversing the maze of tunnels below, the stranger’s attractiveness fully hits him. Johnny’s gaze traces a prominent vein down the length of the man’s forearm, watches him hum and tap manically on his phone, ratty sneaker tapping in time to a beat Johnny can’t hear in the man’s headphones. Johnny can’t see what’s on the screen from his angle. Probably writing of some sort, maybe lyrics. Everyone in the city has the thing they actually like to do after they get off from the thing they’re paid to do, Johnny included. Johnny’s vintage Leica sits in his backpack as a reminder of his original aspirations for moving here.

 

The train stops at the next station, and Johnny and the stranger are still the only ones on the subway car. The fluorescent light flooding in puts the man in bas relief. A curl of his dark hair gently sits atop linear eyebrows. Johnny should really stop staring before this man catches him, but something is magnetic about him, even though they haven’t exchanged a single word. Johnny doesn’t know anything about who this stranger actually is. He could be anyone. Johnny could be anyone. In the liminal space of public transit in the early morning, anything can happen.

 

Johnny can see a hint of stubble over soft pink lips as the stranger hunches over his phone, positioning his sweatshirt over his lap. Probably as cushion for his sharp elbows so they don’t dig into his thighs - which fill his jeans nicely. The stranger’s tongue pokes out in concentration, biting his lip just slightly as he continues to type.

 

That restless feeling is back, settling deep into Johnny’s bones, and there’s only one free way he knows how to blow off that type of steam. 

 

Should he?

 

It’s a terrible habit of his, one that’s bound to get him in trouble some day, but people do worse all the time. The man is clearly in his own world, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. For some reason, the rustle of Johnny’s sweatshirt and jeans as he shifts in his seat seems so weirdly loud, and he winces, hoping it doesn’t disturb the stranger. 

 

The anticipation is always the best part. Johnny positions the loose fabric of his sweatshirt with his backpack blocking any side views, and gently, just barely touches the waistband of his jeans, snaking his hand gently across the button as he continues to observe the stranger. The man’s still in his own world, a thick eyebrow raising just slightly at his screen, and Johnny lets out the barest, shakiest sigh as he finally pops the button open on his jeans. 

 

He won’t fully touch himself yet. He’ll give it a bit more build up. The train stops again at a midtown station, and still no one joins their shared car, and then they’re off again. Johnny snakes one finger under his waistband, just touching himself at the base. The restless feeling is now supplanted with horniness as his cock starts to fill out in his boxers. He knows he shouldn’t be doing this, but that’s why it feels so good. The thrill of potentially getting caught makes him hard as diamonds. The short bursts of underground time between stations are Johnny’s favorite, like little countdowns for bad behavior. 

 

The stranger’s eyebrow is still furrowed, pink tongue still licking at the corner of his lips, and Johnny imagines what those lips would feel like around his cock. If he and the stranger said fuck it, went into the dark corner of the car by the emergency exit door, the stranger dropped down to his knees, and looked up at him from the thick eyelashes fanning the tops of those sharp cheekbones. Would he be neat or sloppy at giving head? Would he make little noises, or swallow his release? Just then, the stranger makes a hum again, and Johnny imagines how the vibrations of it would feel against his dick. He has to stop himself from moaning. God. They stop at another station, and still no one gets in their car.

 

Johnny knows if he holds off for just a bit longer, it’ll feel so much better when he finally does stroke himself. He continues to watch the stranger. The stranger is no longer typing, reviewing something on his phone. With a satisfied noise, he pockets the phone. 

 

And then he’s looking straight at Johnny. 

 

It sends a shock straight to Johnny’s dick. Has he been caught? Johnny’s obviously got one hand under the fabric of his sweatshirt, too stunned to move it. Then, the stranger’s mouth curls into a smirk, gaze traveling down to Johnny’s crotch. 

 

He’s been caught.

 

It should freak him out more than it does. Instead, a pang of arousal goes through his body, cock now wet at the tip with new pre-come. How long has the stranger, way more observant than Johnny gave him credit for, been watching him jerk it while staring at him like a creep? Then, the stranger angles his head and nods, as if to say, go on. The train doors close with a chime, and Johnny feels off rails as he wraps his hand around the base of his cock, slowly stroking himself. Johnny wonders if he fell asleep on the ride home and is dreaming.

 

The stranger doesn’t take his eyes off Johnny’s groin, watching intently as he continues to pleasure himself. He doesn’t break eye contact as he moves one forearm, vein bulging as he moves his hand under his hoodie, lifting himself from his orange plastic seat, just enough for Johnny to note an extremely perky ass. The stranger is obviously undoing his pants, too. The stranger gives him a shy, evil smile from under the fan of his lashes, and then his hand is moving under the sweater as well, eyes fluttering closed at that first, good stroke  - a feeling Johnny knows all too well. The stranger makes the softest, whiny noise at the first good drag down, opening his eyes again, smiling at him. He makes a whiny keen again, sweatshirt rippling with the movement of a hand underneath, and yeah, he’s definitely playing it up for Johnny.

 

Then the train resurfaces into a station, and they both freeze. The harsh light of the underground platform contrasts with the blooming cherry color on the top of the stranger’s cheekbones. He’s pretty and handsome, fresh-faced and manly, all at the same time, and it’s maddening. By grace of some pervert god (or demon), no one gets in their car, again. 

 

With a thrill, Johnny realizes that the next station is twice the distance away as the others. 

 

The man continues to stroke himself, this time breaking eye contact, making soft sighs and yeahs and uh-huhs, and it’s unbearably delicious. Johnny can’t believe his luck. The stranger obviously wants to play along with the idea that he’s being watched unknowingly. Johnny’s trying to drag the moment out as long as possible - the scorching heat of the situation isn’t promising any favors to longevity. Johnny’s hips buck slightly as he presses the pad of his finger into the tip of his dick, smearing precum to smooth down the length of his shaft. The stranger’s tongue is back at the corner of his mouth, pink and wet, and his eyebrows are furrowed like earlier, the singular curl of hair now slightly damp with the sweat of exertion and riding a train in the muggy heat of summer. The intensity of his expression contrasts with the mewling noises he’s making, lovely little things, each of them gifts to Johnny’s ears. 

 

Then, the stranger stops. He shifts his sweatshirt just slightly, enough so that Johnny can see the way his dick tents his oversized t-shirt. Johnny can tell without fully seeing that the stranger’s cock is thick, long, and slightly curved. He’s hung. Johnny can’t stop the fuck that loudly chokes out of his mouth, reverberating through the empty train car. The stranger grins sinfully wide as he replaces the sweatshirt, moving his hand back to his groin, and Johnny grips himself hard as he twists up on the next upstroke. Fuck holding back.

 

The stranger’s oversized t-shirt has shifted with their activities to reveal a pretty collarbone with a hollow Johnny wants to lick. With the way the shirt drapes, Johnny can tell there’s a trim waist underneath broad shoulders, a tight little body. He’s gorgeous, and Johnny is floored at the chance of this encounter. Johnny can feel a familiar tightening. He’s close now. He hopes the stranger is too. He seems to be enjoying himself, getting a bit louder with each of his own jerks of his dick. 

 

Suddenly, the stranger shudders and stills, just as the train rolls into the next station. The stranger’s chest is heaving as he makes eye contact, again, and the look in his eyes is dark and wanton. What little sense of self-preservation Johnny has left makes him bite his lip hard enough to leave a mark as he tries not to cum right then and there as the doors open to the station. 

 

Johnny’s on edge. Every second the doors stay open is agonizing. Johnny’s not a religious man by any stretch, but he prays to anyone that can hear his thoughts that nobody joins their train car in the next ten seconds. 

 

Ten. 

 

Nine. 

 

The man’s still focused on him, now smiling benignly like he didn’t just cum in the middle of a train car at 3 A.M. in front of a complete stranger. Johnny feels feverish. 

 

Eight.

 

Seven.

 

Six.

 

A woman approaches the train, and Johnny hopes to god she isn't coming into their car.

 

Five.

 

Four.

 

Three. 

 

Johnny hears the chime of the doors that signals they’re closing, and whimpers with relief. The stranger laughs in a high staccato, throwing his head back, eyes crinkling. It’s unfair. So, so, so unfair.

 

Two. 

 

One.

 

The doors finally close, and Johnny tries to muffle a cry into his forearm as he pumps himself a few last times to release with his other hand. The stranger watches him the entire time, rapt. It’s one of the best orgasms had in months, and he rides the wave of the feeling as far as it’ll take him, painting the inside of his jeans. 

 

The stranger smiles at him again, hand moving to probably zip up and button his jeans. The man studies his hand as it appears from under the sweatshirt. There’s a few smeared, pearly drops on the back of the palm, and Johnny’s cock forgets what a refractory period is at the sight. The stranger shrugs. That pink tongue appears from between his lips again, to lick the back of his hand clean. Logically, it’s gross. They’re on a train that’s probably carried every communicable disease known to mankind. It’s also scorchingly hot. 

 

The train glides into the next station. The stranger stands up, collecting his belongings. “Thanks,” he says, the first word spoken between them all evening. The timbre of his voice is deep and pleasant, with just a hint of vocal fry. He steps off the train, and Johnny is alone again on the car, underground in the city.