Broken Interlude -- A Rhythm & Bruise SideficSeries:
Mature. (references to) violence, spanking, D/s, language, alcohol, etc. Pairing:
Itachi & GaaraWord Count:
Set in Monoshizukanohi AUSpoilers:
After Gaara's breakdown when he gets the news that his father is deceased and he's inherited a fortune, he seeks the comfort of cheap whiskey and finds much more than that. Story was written for Essenceofthedark on Y!Gal for her kiriban giftfic. Note: This story takes place between chapters two and three of Rhythm & Bruise: Gaara's Story.
Gaara sat on a stool in the shadows and drank down his seventh shot of cheap whiskey. The burn scorched his throat and ignited his gut, the aftertaste made his tongue numb, and the bottom of the shot glass hit Deathtoll's scarred bar with a hollow sound. Gaara stared at it: watched a bead of liquor slither down the side. He wondered what good whiskey tasted like; he could find out now, after all.I'm a fucking billionaire.
Lip curled in distaste, Gaara didn't even look up as Jody's friend Sphinx -- who owned the bar -- came over and refilled Gaara's glass without a word. Sphinx's tattooed hand wrapped around the neck of the bottle, his wide chest was covered in an old, black t-shirt with the Harley insignia, and his braided beard was currently dyed red and blue.
"I could buy a Harley," Gaara said, monotone voice dull. Sphinx paused, and Gaara met his dark gaze. Sphinx's bald head gleamed in the dull light, making the tiger tattoo shine on Sphinx's golden skin. One of the cat's claws batted at the place where Sphinx's ear used to be, though now only a mess of scar tissue remained. Gaara stared at the deep pock marks on Sphinx's cheek as the bartender nodded, expressionless.
"But I don't like them," Gaara said, frowning. Sphinx shrugged one uncaring shoulder, turned, and went back to doing whatever it was he did when he wasn't refilling Gaara's glass. Sphinx didn't like talking, and rarely worked behind the bar. Usually he preferred to sit in a corner booth and observe humanity instead of interact with them. It was something Gaara intrinsically understood; one of the many reasons he almost liked Sphinx.
Gaara picked up his new shot, and over the brim he caught the asshole who sat six stools down staring again. Gaara snarled at him, lip curling, but the man didn't look away. Instead, he raised his own glass, paused, and then drank it dry.Long-haired freak.
Gaara downed the shot and closed his eyes when memory rose like bile, coming to the surface as the alcohol loosened the chains that kept the past in a bound box at the bottom of Gaara's black hole heart. On the back's of his lids, he saw his Uncle's smile, saw his father's hand raised before he struck Gaara across the face, saw his mother's tears as she lay in a bed to die."You're a worthless piece of refuse, boy. Get out of my sight."
A high-handed insult from a proud, twisted man. Gaara didn't understand what people meant when they spoke of childhood: of playgrounds, crayons, naptimes. The events of Gaara's formative years left him raped, beaten, and battered before branding him a runaway, a murderer, a whore. The only solace was in surviving: the best revenge Gaara could muster was in choosing his pain, in modifying his own destruction. Gaara knew at age six that he was a lost soul; the only thing that remained was picking the particulars.
And for all the trouble and violence, Gaara was rewarded with money, a car, and a note about his half brother and sister, who apparently lived in this god-forsaken city. Gaara knew their names, knew they were well-adjusted citizens; the children their father chose to sire and forget.
Lucky…weren't they all just so goddamned lucky.
Gaara glanced up and saw an angel swinging in an invisible breeze from the low ceiling. It grinned at Gaara, eyes bulging from the pressure of the noose about its neck, and it held up a hand that clutched a blackened, bleeding, wing.
"Go back to hell," Gaara muttered to the delusion, looking away. His stomach heaved, he swallowed hard, and he tried to think of the last time he'd eaten. Yesterday, he thought, though Jody had tried to--
Gaara winced as unfamiliar and awful pain made his insides curdle. Don't think about Jody. Don't think about his eyes, the way he held you when…
Shivering, Gaara fought down guilt and rage as his eyes met the stranger's again. He was off his stool in a heartbeat, long strides taking him to the man's side in a weaving blur. Gaara's fist hit the bar next to the prick's drink, made the glass jump. Sphinx idled closer, but made no move to interrupt.
"The fuck…are you looking at…bitch?" Gaara hissed as he scanned the man's face.
Dark eyes that titled at the corners regarded Gaara without a flicker of fear. Gaara's jaw twitched. He blinked. The man still stared, upper body turned toward Gaara. The stranger was a tall, lean fucker; hair pulled back into a low tail, pale skin, nice jacket and clothes. Asshole screamed money, looked like he didn't belong here, looked--
"Familiar," Gaara murmured.
The man nodded.
Gaara's eyes narrowed. "Haze…?"
It took Gaara a second or two to search through his memories of screaming submissives to come up with an image of this man on a rack: naked, bound, bleeding, soundless except for low grunts as Pein's whip steadily impacted Itachi's skin. Oddly, he never screamed until Pein stopped to speak to him; whispered something in his ear. Then
this guy bellowed: profanity, incoherent nonsense, shit that made Gaara stay the hell away.
"Itachi," Gaara said, eyes searching the man's face. He was pretty, Gaara supposed; much like a glacier was a stunning piece of Mother Nature.
"Gaara," Itachi said in reply.
"The hell do you want?" Gaara asked again, studying the man's mouth.
Itachi said nothing. The two men looked at one another, tension coiling and unfurling like thorny vines. Sphinx hovered, Gaara waited, and finally Itachi reached out and caught a piece of Gaara's leather jacket between thumb and forefinger. Emotions played in Itachi's eyes, but Gaara didn't know what they were. And he didn't care.
Itachi cut Gaara off by standing up. The man was tall. Not Jody Tall, but he still loomed over Gaara, eyes down and meeting Gaara's. He stood too close, fingers playing on Gaara's jacket, and he didn't let go as he reached for his wallet. Gaara stared up at the other man while Itachi removed a one hundred dollar bill, tossed it on the bar, and licked his lips just enough to give Gaara a glimpse of pink tongue. Thin eyebrows quirked in a quick up-down, and when Itachi turned to leave, Gaara followed. He didn't know why, and it didn't matter.
Outside the air was crisp with a faint hint of first frost. Itachi walked with his hands in the pockets of his long coat, the heels of his shoes hitting pavement with steady, dulled thuds. Gaara tailed him, working hard to manage straight lines and longing for the old days where he could suck lines of oblivion up his nose or down his throat.
"Hey baby, you lookin' fer a date?" Gaara struggled and sidestepped the hooker who spoke in a man's voice, glitter all over his lips. Gaara staggered and regained his stride.
"Drunk-ass bitch!" The whore screeched after Gaara, but he ignored it. He kept his gaze on Itachi's back, and flinched as cars roared by on the street. Lights flickered and hummed above their heads, a dog barked down an alleyway, and Itachi didn't even look back as he turned to yank open the dirty door of a hotel that had vacancies by the hour.
Gaara paused in what passed for a lobby. A woman sat huddled on a bench to his right, and she coughed, weakly, as Gaara passed, the track marks on her arms telling too much of her story. The keeper of keys stood inside a booth with bars that imprisoned him safe from humanity, and Gaara watched the keeper slide a card to Itachi. The brunette delicately picked it up, inclined his head, and headed for a doorway. Gaara watched the man go, waiting and wondering. He heard Itachi's scream--"I had to do it for him, you sorry little fuck!"
--and the words made no sense. He recalled the sobs that wracked Itachi's shoulders when Pein finally finished with him. How many times had Gaara seen that show? Too many to count and too often to note it unusual. Gaara remembered the crying though; he used to do that himself quite a lot before the Saints.
Killing people had a way of drying up the tears.
Feet moving and brain spinning with whiskey and dreary confusion, Gaara's boots went soft on the thin, stained carpet of a long hallway. At the far end, Itachi stood with his hand flat on a door. He wasn't looking back at Gaara, though; instead, he stared at the ground.
Gaara's shoulder collided with a wall as he trudged toward the mysterious brunette, and Gaara wondered if he should throw up now or later. "Come see what Uncle's got for you, little Gaara…"
Now: definitely vomiting now. Gaara sank to the floor on his hands and knees, staring at the grime smeared along the baseboards. His back heaved once, he fought to keep down his gorge, and after a short struggle, Gaara won. Spitting on the carpet, Gaara scowled at himself. There was a time when heroin and a fifth didn't even do this to him. He didn't know if acting like this made him weak, stupid, or entirely too--
The word rasped loudly in Gaara's ears, and he was unsure if he said it or heard it. Using the wall, Gaara got back on his feet. Itachi watched him, dark eyes curious and body holding open the door into the room. Gaara forged ahead, steadying himself on the wall. His fingertips trailed over greasy green paint, and Itachi pushed the door wider to let Gaara inside.
The room had a double bed, a chair, a dresser, a window, and a bathroom that smelled like stale smoke and bleach. There was one light in the room, a lamp in the corner, and it provided a narrow ring of illumination that barely combated the darkness. Gaara'd definitely seen worse. He made his way to the chair, turning to sink ungracefully into it. He glared at Itachi as the other man approached, seemingly unbothered by Gaara's attitude. That was odd; usually people flinched away or said something or got that
look in their eyes that told Gaara other people didn't understand him, never would, and the best he could hope for was for everyone to leave him alone. Jody was the only one--Jody. Fuck.
Gaara started to reach for his phone, paused, and settled back in the chair. Jody knew how Gaara tried to cope after an overload like the one Gaara went through that afternoon. After the man with the briefcase and documents showed up, told him his life was about to change for the so-called better, that there was so much money, and that his father was dead.
Bile rose, Gaara leaned forward to put his head between his knees, and he stayed like that until something nudged his shoulder. Gaara flinched and found Itachi standing too close again, holding out a flask. Itachi maintained the pose for a long moment and finally he brought the flask to his own mouth, drank, and offered it again to Gaara, swallowing. The black gaze never wavered, and Gaara took the flask and sniffed at it.
"Whiskey," Itachi said.
Cool metal met Gaara's lips, and smooth liquid hit his tongue and slipped down his throat like silk.
"…good," Gaara said.
Itachi didn't answer. He put his back to Gaara and shrugged out of his jacket. He wore a black button-down underneath, and Gaara squinted at the fabric. It didn't move right. Instead of flowing with Itachi's body, the shirt looked stiff; like it'd been soaked in too much starch. Gaara'd seen something like that before: on the backs of men with gunshot wounds. Gaara cocked his head to one side as Itachi threw the jacket on the dresser. The tall man began unbuttoning the next layer, and Gaara stared. Itachi paused with undone shirttails, hands falling to his sides in loose fists. Gaara listened to Itachi breathing and thought he should go; get the fuck out of here before this insanity went any further. Gaara didn't know much, but he knew that Itachi was no paragon of normalcy.
Gaara reached around to the small of his back, felt the gun there, and watched Itachi shrug out of the long sleeves to reveal a white undershirt. It looked like someone had used it to mop up after a gang fight. Bandages covered Itachi's skin -- fresh ones, with drying red-brown streaks -- and the brunette tossed the shirt into a pile with the jacket and turned to look at Gaara. His eyes made Gaara consider soul eaters, death, and pain.
"Haze," Itachi said, coming over to sit on the edge of the bed. He held out his hand, and Gaara passed him the flask.
"Nagato?" Gaara asked, curious.
"I don't know." Itachi drank with his eyes open and wiped his mouth with his wrist.
"…oh." Gaara wondered about a man who let himself be blinded to whomever wanted to beat him bloody; found it easy to comprehend.
Itachi looked at Gaara and the furnace gaze softened, making Gaara's eyes slide away. He ground his teeth until his jaw hurt. What the hell was he doing here? Why was he so overwrought? Should he call Jody? Have him come get Gaara or provide backup? The big man told him not to go as Gaara stalked out the apartment door; pleaded with him to--
"What?" Gaara barked, glaring.
"I said, 'Do you want to stay?'" Itachi answered, implacable calm making Gaara want to scream.
"I don't know what the fuck I want." Gaara's numbed lips formed the words, his ringing ears heard them, but his brain refused to acknowledge the depth of old ache entwined around them.
Itachi considered that, sipping at the flask. "Me, either," he said, finally, holding out the alcohol again. Gaara reached for it, the room swam, a dead angel cackled, and a hand caught Gaara before he could fall face-first to the floor.
"Let go of me," Gaara mumbled, but Itachi ignored him. The flask tumbled to the floor, surprisingly strong arms wrapped around Gaara, and Gaara got caught up in his fight with stomach and gravity as he was bodily moved. Seconds later and his cheek pressed into scratchy fabric, and he felt hands at his hips, shifting. Gaara rose up too fast when the gun got pulled from his pants, and he gurgled a groan. A warm palm pressed his head gently back onto the thin pillow beneath the bedspread, and the gun appeared in Gaara's line of sight, placed next to his fisted fingers.
"Trying to get you comfortable," Itachi said.
"Fuck you and your comfort," Gaara groused.
Itachi chuckled and stroked Gaara's hair. "I understand."
Gaara shut his eyes when the room flickered and became his old bedroom at his uncle's house. Despair and lack of comprehension made him feel small, helpless. "No, you don't."
The bed shifted, Gaara's eyes squeezed tighter, and he breathed through his mouth when he felt the other man lay down. A hand rubbed Gaara's lower back, and he snarled a bitten curse, trying to get up and get away.
"Stop that," Itachi said, but he sounded tired, not angry, and he didn't try to stop Gaara. "I'm not going to hurt you."
"What if…" Gaara panted, head down and hair in his eyes. One arm shook, the elbow gave, and Gaara collapsed onto the bed.
"What if what, dear one?" A hand smoothed through his hair again, and Gaara gasped, shivering as Itachi wrapped around him like some sort of human blanket. It felt awful; made Gaara's body do strange things, made a noise break on his tongue.
Itachi hummed. "What if you want me to hurt you?"
"Get off of me," Gaara whispered.
"Pain I can do," Itachi said softly, shifting. Gaara felt the other man pull at his jacket, and Gaara's mind reeled when he didn't even try to fight. Instead, he lay on the bed on his stomach, passive as a kitten while Itachi removed the outer shell of clothing. Hatred seethed through Gaara's veins, threatened to make him black out.
Hands on his hips, gentle and careful enough that Gaara felt made of glass. "It's more effective without clothing in the way, dear one." Fingers squirmed beneath Gaara, helped him to his knees before starting to undo his pants.
"Shit," Gaara said, not even knowing why. He looked at the gun and for the first time in his life he realized it couldn't save him. It wouldn't bring back his father, it wouldn't help him deal with Jody, it wouldn't go to dinner with his goddamned siblings, and it wouldn't stop the heat in his veins that ignited when Itachi pulled off his jeans and underwear in a slow slide. Itachi's touch was warm on Gaara's skin, and Gaara wanted to yell at him to stop. Or maybe he wanted to turn and whisper that Itachi had
to continue. It was too late to run.
"Back down, my precious boy…want you flat."
"U-uncle, no…" Gaara didn't obey for a shuddering second, and then gentle hands forced him onto his stomach. His clothing bunched around his shins, made him want to use the gun, but on whom, Gaara didn't know. He imagined how the metal would taste; thought about Itachi's thin lips wrapped around the barrel, cheeks hollowed as he sucked.
"Not your uncle, dear one, and I won't hurt you like that."
Mind misfiring, Gaara tensed so hard on the bed a muscle cramped in his lower back. Itachi shushed him, stroked his bare skin with light fingertips.
"Like what?" Gaara asked, voice level. The man couldn't know, he couldn't.
Words in his ear, mouth moving and tone too caring for the likes of little lost boys: "Won't hurt you in a way that destroys. There's too much of that in this room without me making more. Say my name, and I stop."
All sorts of words and phrases clamored for freedom from Gaara's mouth as the other man moved again and Gaara's gaze fixed on the lamp: Stop, I don't need this, get away, fuck off, what are you going to do, please make it go away…
"Going to touch you now." Gaara's eyes widened as Itachi kneaded the small of his back, down his ass, both of his legs. He hated it but said nothing. He shuddered and denied himself the asking for more: now, faster, harder, God, please…
The first strike stole Gaara's breath. The second one made him jerk. The sixth made him exhale an explosive cry, and he turned his face into the covers. Fast, damp breathing steamed hot back into Gaara's face, and the strikes fell, stung, smacked over his ass and legs and hips. Gaara strangled a noise, clutched the bedclothes, and everything blew away beneath the relentless blows and the building burn. Itachi's steady breathing filled Gaara's ears, barely heard over the pounding of his pulse. The man and the pain consumed Gaara's world, made him shake when the strikes stopped, made him relax when they resumed. The impact of palm on skin was impossibly loud, seemed to echo off the walls, but soon it faded. Gaara's ears became cotton-filled, his eyelids grew heavy, and when he shifted on the bed, his cock dragged and the frizzle of sensation made him do it again.
"That's it, my delightful boy…move for me." Itachi's low voice was reserved but breathy, and he crawled to one side while Gaara rolled against the bed. The next strike hit both his ass cheeks, and the next ones fell with the same intensity on the same spot. Gaara called out, muffled but loud, and thought he would drown in the red that flashed behind his eyes. He squirmed, only partially aware he moved at all, and his head turned to the side. He sucked in cool air in a shaky inhale that was interrupted by harsher spanks to each cheek and finally another one fell and made his groin light up and screech for more and for mercy."Itachi…"
Gaara gasped and other noises filled his ears: affectionate whispers, soft sounds. Those made his arms come up so his hands could cover his head, hiding in plain sight, but he let Itachi roll him onto one hip. Itachi grasped one of Gaara's wrists, moved it away from his head to tuck it to his chest, and Itachi squeezed Gaara in a hug.
"Safe and beautiful; held and wanted," Itachi murmured, and Gaara half-screamed. Itachi shushed him, palm petting his abdomen beneath his shirt. "Going to lay here with you and reach down to touch and stroke you. Help you find a different kind of release, my desperate boy…say my name if you want me to stop."
Gaara hissed through his teeth, and he felt torn and scattered around the room. He didn't know what this was; he couldn't fucking think. And when Itachi's hand wrapped around his half-hard cock, Gaara didn't want to try anymore. He bucked into Itachi's fist, body eager and mind repulsed.
"Ooh," Itachi moaned in Gaara's ear. "This is what I wanted, precious boy. To hold someone in my arms, to have him need even a part of me…" Itachi trailed off, and Gaara blinked, dazed. He didn't understand anything, but it didn't matter because Itachi worked him swift and sure. Hot breath blew on Gaara's damp neck and in his hair. Itachi didn't kiss him, and Gaara found gratitude wrapped up in need and terror. He whimpered, hips moving in time to Itachi's strokes.
"I'd forgotten," Itachi mumbled, and he shuddered behind Gaara. "Oh gods above, I'd forgotten…"
"Fuck," Gaara choked, high-pitched. He thrashed, tensed, and came with a gasp of relief that bordered on outrage. Itachi kept stroking, milking Gaara, and oh God
but it made Gaara unable to do anything but endure the pleasure. He didn't make a sound as Itachi slowed his hand, the glide slick with Gaara's cum. Itachi didn't pull away, he continued to hold Gaara's body and spent cock, breathing slowly and deeply until Gaara found himself matching Itachi's rhythm.
"Thank you, precious Gaara," Itachi said. They were the last words Gaara heard before he closed his eyes and let the sweet reprieve of unconsciousness take him.~*~
Gaara woke up lying on his stomach, fully clothed and mostly comfortable. The light was on in the bathroom, and when Gaara turned his head, he saw Itachi sitting in the chair. The brunette's legs were crossed, his shirt and jacket were back in place, and he stared out the dingy window. An ambulance went by, siren wailing, and Gaara licked his lips and struggled to rise. His lower half ached, but that was oddly comforting, and his head didn't hurt nearly as much as it should.
"Try to drink more," Itachi said, dark eyes meeting Gaara's sharp gaze.
"What?" Gaara asked, not comprehending.
Itachi merely pointed to the half-empty bottle of water on the bed. "You woke up enough to let me give you aspirin and make you drink." Itachi's eyes slid to stare at the floor and his mouth worked into a good imitation of a smile. "You were sweet in your need."
Gaara wanted to curse, but it came out as a grunt. He drank the water, scowling, and sighed when he was done.
"Do you want help home?" Itachi asked, eyes back out the window.
Itachi nodded and stood. Gaara saw a flash of pain mar his features before it vanished. Gaara tensed when Itachi walked over to the bed, and he knocked Itachi's hand away when it came up to touch Gaara's cheek. Itachi looked sad -- Gaara understood sad -- and the brunette fixed him with a deep-seeing gaze.
"Sometimes surviving is the hardest thing to do in life," Itachi said, voice a quiet rumble. "Death is always there, an easy way out, and denial for denial's sake grows tedious with time."
Gaara listened with clenched teeth. That almost sounded like something Jody would say, only it was prettier coming from Itachi; melodic and entrancing.
"Find something to love, Gaara. It's the only way out of hell." Itachi reached for Gaara again, and this time he let Itachi smooth back his hair from his forehead. Fingertips stroked skin, caressing so lightly as almost not to be a touch at all.
"I don't know how," Gaara answered.
"Then find a way," Itachi replied. He bent, kissed the air over Gaara's eyebrow, and stepped back with one last look. Gaara didn't watch Itachi leave, but when the door clicked shut, Gaara's eyes went to the window. Moonlight shone down on the building across the street, and Gaara stared at it for a long time before he reached for his phone.
It was time to find his way back to Jody and home.~*~