I blinked at the man dancing wildly, his hair moving not to the music but to some other tempo, however it damn well pleased, his body following much more coordinated movements. He looked frenzied, frantic, and sexy as hell.
“Is he always like this?” I found myself asking the bartender as he brought me another beer. He followed my gaze and found the man, now partnered up with some beefy muscle head, his ass grinding against the man’s cock and his head thrown back.
The bartender shrugged. “Yeah. That’s just how John is, you know?”
“John?” He didn’t look like a John. “That’s his name?”
He laughed. “No, no. He doesn’t tell anyone his name. Or maybe he has, at some point, but it got lost in all the other shit he’s told.” He looked at me, one eyebrow raised. “Told me his name was Theodore Xavier Roosevelt, but I could call him baby.”
I had to laugh. “So why John?”
“John Doe. Plus, gets as much use as the public johns, y’know?” He winked, gesturing towards the bathrooms. I didn’t respond, just watched him push away so he could grind against another guy. This one was closer to his size, and they entwined carelessly, drunkenly, sensually. “Although some of the guys call him Rocky.”
I turned to him to ask what that meant, but he just sighed and said, “Oh, damnit. Fucking John.”
The noise on the floor was sudden, and violent. Someone screamed and someone else cursed, and I was off my barstool and headed into the fray before I could really decide if that was what I should do.
Bren was in there somewhere, that’s what I was thinking at the time. Bren was in there, and this whole fucking place had turned into a free for all. I shouldn’t have worried - I found Bren wrapped up in some bear’s arms, his leather jacket draped over my small friend’s shoulders. I raised an eyebrow but didn’t say anything. Bren stuck out his tongue and kept pretending to be scared, when I knew he could take down any of these idiots with an ease that would truly frighten them. It frightened me, and we were friends.
“You good?” I still asked, and Bren just rolled his eyes. Of course he was good. The bear wrapped his arms around my friend tighter and I raised my hands, trying not to smile. Bren loved that protective shit. He was going to have fun tonight.
That’s when I turned and saw that fucking man.
He slammed into a much larger guy, his face twisted up with something I didn’t feel like unpacking right then. When the guy raised his fist the man they called John all but ran into it, laughing, his eyes wide and something like release written on his body. It was there only for a moment before he was bunched up again, ready to throw himself back at whoever he thought could hurt him.
I knew I couldn’t help him; you can’t help someone who doesn’t want it, and he didn’t want help. He wanted the opposite of help. I had the feeling that he wanted to be drug down into oblivion, torn to pieces, become nothing in flame and violent explosions.
But then again, who knows? I’d barely even met the guy. But I was good at people, and I hated that sometimes, because it meant that even tiny glimpses could get into my head and amplify until I knew more about people than they did, sometimes. And that wasn’t a great way to live. People should have to tell you their secrets; you shouldn’t tell them theirs. You don’t make a lot of friends that way.
You also don’t always make the best choices.
Which is probably why, in that moment, I found myself leaving Bren and wading through the violence towards the dark haired man, knowing innately that if I didn’t stop him he was going to keep fighting until he was so broken he didn’t recognize himself anymore, and he would think that was a good thing.
Fuck, I thought, dodging a fist. I hate this bar.
What a fight. What a fucking fight. I slammed into another body and felt the impact push a laugh from my lungs, felt a bruise already beginning to grow under my ribs, on my chin.
Someone grabbed me from behind and I flailed, my fist connected with something fleshy and soft and then something crunched and they let me go and I was off again, flying, fighting, fantastic and farcical, and there wasn’t a damn thing in the world that could bring me down.
“You fucking cunt,” I heard, and then some dick head grabbed me by the wrist and started pulling, but I kicked and I heard him curse and then I was moving, flung faster than my body should have moved, and I laughed and laughed and laughed.
What a fucking fight.
I didn’t have a lot of time to consider my actions as I made my way through the crowd. Some big guy immediately picked me out as a good way to show his dominance or prowess or some other shit and took a swing at me. I blocked it and sent two quick jabs at his face, sending him reeling away with a bleeding nose. The next guy who came at me actually had his hands up like he wanted to box, but he didn’t know what he was doing and an overhand sent him down.
After that, most guys let me pass. “Goddamn brawl in a gay bar,” I muttered to myself as I shoved away a kid wearing nothing but a mesh top. What the fuck was I doing with my life?
Then, suddenly, another body was pushed into mine, causing me to stumble from the weight. I grabbed onto the body without thinking, twisting the arm so no punch could be thrown even as I turned him and pressed his back against me, knowing that distance is what makes most attacks have power.
“Fuck,” the body said, and I recognized that voice. Recognized the black hair that was getting into my mouth, too.
Well, I thought, at least I found him. Now what?
A guy, I guess the one that had pushed John into me in the first place, detached from the seething mass around us and made his way forward. I guess John had pissed him off, or maybe he just thought it was important to finish what you started. Either way he had that look on his face that said, “I want to punch the man you’re holding,” and the clenched fists to back it up.
I spun us quickly and deflected the hit with a raised elbow, surprising him, then surprised him further when my hips snapped open and my knee met him in his exposed and vulnerable stomach.
He dropped, and I moved us away from him before he could figure out what had happened. “Fuck,” John, or Rocky, or Theodore Xavier Roosevelt said in my arms again, and I ignored him and headed toward the bar.
“How much do I owe you?”
The bartender was watching me with a slightly amused expression. “You got him. Usually people can’t get within three feet of him when he’s like that.”
I looked down at the man in my arms. He didn’t have much of a choice about where he was in proximity to me right now. I tried not to think about that, and how it might look, or feel. This was a professional thing, I thought, unconvincing even to myself. This was just to calm him down. “Someone threw him at me.”
“That’s a first. Usually he’s throwing himself.” He shook his head, looking at the man I held tightly. I could feel him tensing at the stare and tightened my grip in preparation of him trying to escape, but he didn’t make a move. “Fucking John,” the bartender said again.
I spared a glance back at the roiling mass behind us. “You need any help with that?”
He shrugged. “They’ll calm down soon enough. Besides, it looks like you have your hands full.” It was true - I didn’t know what I would do with this guy if -
There was a sudden noise behind me and I turned to find that one of the bigger men had picked up a chair and was moving towards the bear that Bren had picked. “Shit,” I said out loud, and the bartender looked up just in time for Bren to dart out and drop the guy loudly, angrily, and with extreme prejudice.
“Whoah,” the bartender stated, and I sighed, knowing full well that, now that Bren was fighting, shit was only going to get worse.
“I’ll take care of it.” I set the man. John. Theodore. Fuck, I had to decide what to call him. I set him up on a stool and propped him against the bar. When had he gone so limp?
“Yo,” I said, but he didn’t respond. I frowned, tapping at his face. “Look at me.”
His eyes met mine and I almost hissed. His pupils were massive, taking over his eyes and practically fighting to get at the whites. The fuck had this guy been doing? I touched my hand to his neck to find his pulse and he moaned, pressing into my touch. His skin was hot and clammy, his heartrate incredibly fast.
X, I thought. It’s gotta be X, with the way he was reacting to touch and. Shit. Fuck him, fuck all the shit he does to make it worse. I was surprised at how angry it made to see him like this; I’d just met him, and ostensibly barely knew him.
But I knew better than that.
“You’re gonna leave him here?” asked the bartender, sounding a little disappointed.
“He’ll stay.” It was more of a hope than anything else. I spotted a half empty glass near me and pulled it closer, fishing for ice in the fruity mix. Whoever’s drink it was, they’d probably split anyway. I drug the ice over his skin, watching him react, his eyes fluttering closed and his body practically shuddering apart beneath my hands and I reminded myself again that this was professional, this was just to keep him cool. But even still, my hand shook as I watched him moan.
It wasn’t really fair, with him in that state. But he needed to be cool. And I needed him to stay. I had an idea of how to do that - but maybe it wasn’t the best idea, and maybe he wouldn’t go for it but I thought he might, with the way he was reacting to me right then. The way he had reacted to my eyes earlier. But then again, having him submit like that, while he was high? It didn’t quite seem right.
I don’t know why I cared. Maybe I didn’t. In that moment, I’m pretty sure I just wanted to watch him open his mouth and take something I gave him.
This is a bad idea, I had time to think before I pressed the ice cube to his lips.
His eyes flew open in surprise, as did his mouth, and I slowly slid the ice in. “Take it,” I whispered, and I felt those shudders in his body again and remind myself very, very hard that this was all just a ploy to keep him here. To make him stay. “All of it.” His tongue came out and guided the ice into his warm mouth, and have to admit my body shuddered a bit, that my eyes flared to see it, that I had a thousand different things that I wanted to be doing to him right then.
I closed his mouth, watching him fight against the sensations he was suddenly experiencing. If he was on X, this would feel brutal. Way too cold. Fuck, this was a terrible idea. “Don’t chew it. Let it melt,” I heard myself say, and noticed with a bit of frustration at myself that I’d lowered my voice into the tone I used when I was domming, when I was playing with someone who reacted to that sort of thing. He didn’t need this. This wasn’t a fucking game. But he was moaning around the cube and I couldn’t stop now. I leaned in closer, feeling his body heat against me, letting myself slip a hand into those gorgeous black locks. He tilted his neck like he was inviting me to touch him there, but I wasn’t here for that. Not right now.
I pressed my lips to his ear and he jerked, surprised. “Don’t you move until that ice cube is gone,” I commanded him, and I felt the electricity that surged through his body as the cold in his mouth mixed with the cold of my words, felt it crash into the heat that racked his body, all of it amped up by whatever drug he’d taken.
Now that I was so close to him, it was really hard to move. Shit, but the man smelled good. I found myself tracing his hairline, soft and gentle, and felt him press into my touch. I wondered what it would feel like to kiss his mouth, so cold with the ice. I wondered what it would feel like to have that mouth around my cock.
There was a large crash behind me, and I spun to see that Bren, now, was holding up a chair. “You fucking fuck,” he was shouting, and I knew that we really, really needed to get out of there before Bren caused serious damage. Groaning, I pulled my hand from the man’s hair and threw myself back into the fray.