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By the time he came back--it hadn't been that long, not really, but prison had a way of warping time--Mikey wouldn't have believed that it was actually Frank, as opposed to some sort of mind trick, except that Frank was pale and gaunt and tired in appearance. He said, "Um, hi."

Mikey said, "You have something to tell me," and, "Don't you ever, ever decide to be heroic again, ever," both in a fierce whisper. Then he went to work.


At dinner that night, Frank served Mikey up extra peaches. Mikey liked peaches, even the ones that came from 10 gallon aluminum cans.


"They had to take out my spleen," Frank said, when the four of them were sitting around a table during their free hour. Well, Bob, Gerard and Frank were at the table. Mikey was on the floor, at Frank's knee. He sensed it should have bothered him more than it did. He sensed that perhaps he shouldn't have felt so settled to be back in the position.

The rules in here were different, though, and Mikey had long since given up trying to understand them as anything other than an entirely new set, one he had to play by. Mikey had gotten good at knowing how to rewrite certain parts of the rule set, bend it to fit his needs. Frank allowed him space to actually play.

"I have no idea what a spleen is," Bob said. Mikey was glad, since he had no clue, either.

"Yeah," Frank admitted, "I didn't really, either. Part of my immune system, I guess, from what they said. I have to be more careful about infections, now."

Mikey filed the information away. Sometimes Frank didn't watch out for himself the way he should have. Sometimes he was too preoccupied with Mikey.

"Suck," Bob said.

Frank shrugged. The movement somehow made his knee twitch closer to Mikey.


Mikey waited until lights out, but that was long enough. More than long enough. He crept onto Frank's bunk, onto Frank, lying himself carefully along the side that hadn't been injured. "What do you have to tell me?"

Frank made a murmuring noise and for a second, Mikey thought he'd said something that Mikey just hadn't been able to determine. Then he looked at Frank's face and realized that no, Frank had just actually managed to sleep through Mikey planting himself atop him. That was a pretty impressive level of exhaustion. Mikey sighed, kissed Frank's lips gently, tugged the blanket a little further over him, and went back to his own bunk.

There was always the next night.


It ended up being four nights later that Frank was still awake and on his feet when the lights went out. Mikey took advantage of the situation to carefully push Frank into a sitting position on Mikey's bunk. Frank said, "Mikey," softly.

Mikey pressed his lips to Frank's ear and covered them with a hand. "We're doing this my way," he breathed. Frank nodded. Mikey said, "Tell me if I'm hurting you."

Mikey's eyes had adjusted to the dark well enough that he could see when Frank mouthed, "Mikey," once more. Mikey kissed the word off his lips and then leaned back so that Frank could see the way there wasn't a flinch written anywhere on his body. Frank reached out a shaky hand to touch it to Mikey's hair. Mikey arched into the touch.

Frank leaned in, put his lips gently to Mikey's and when Mikey didn't pull back, he deepened the kiss. Mikey responded in kind. He couldn't see, but he could feel the way Frank was still forming his name, even through the kisses. Mikey came back at him with a silent, "FrankFrank."

Eventually Mikey made himself pull back. Frank made a noise, and Mikey put a fingertip to his lips. Frank nodded. I'll be good. Mikey smiled in the dark, and heard the catch of Frank's breath. It stopped him for a second, that tiny hitch, because his smile had never been that important to someone; well, maybe Gerard. Even the girls he'd dated before prison hadn't been that taken by the simplest of his expressions.

Gently, Mikey nudged Frank's arms up, careful to watch for any signs of strain. Frank lifted them easily and Mikey pulled his shirt up over his head. He threw it aside and took a moment to look over all the ink that was there on display for him, particularly his tattoo. Mikey laid his lips to it, traced it with his tongue, scraped it with his teeth.

Then he turned his attention to the forming scar along Frank's midriff. He whispered the words, "Never, ever again," and gave it the same treatment, if more gentle.

Mikey stripped himself of his shirt--fair was fair--and when Frank hesitated said, "You won't hurt me," instead of the million other things he'd considered--I'm not dirty, and you didn't break me, and my skin, my decision. He thought he was going to have to elaborate for a moment, but then Frank followed through, touched cold fingers to Mikey's collarbone, and oh, oh, Mikey had missed that touch, sweet and just knowing enough.

Mikey pushed down his boxers to make a point of how ready he was, what Frank just being there was doing to him. Frank bit his lip, swallowed back a sound. Mikey said, "Lift," and with Frank's help, pulled Frank's boxers down as well.

Frank wasn't quite as ready, but Mikey attributed that to a mixture of nerves and the process of recovering from a stab wound. It was all right, Mikey had just the remedy. He knelt between Frank's legs and took Frank's cock in one slow glide, all the way down his throat.

Frank stopped breathing for several seconds, until Mikey pinched at his thigh. Then he petted frantically at Mikey's hair. Mikey hummed happily around Frank's cock for a few seconds and then lifted himself off. Mikey had plans, and they didn't include Frank coming down his throat. Maybe next time. He missed that part, too.

Mikey unearthed the lube and condoms that had been waiting far more patiently than Mikey himself for Frank to come back to them. He ripped open the condom package and was rolling it on Frank when all the process--and then some--Mikey had made with his mouth was undone.

Frank said, "Mikey, I don't think I can--"

Mikey said, "My way," softly, but with intent. He grabbed the lube, opened it, and poured some onto Frank's fingers. Mikey said, "Warm it." It took Frank a second, but he obeyed. It didn't pass Mikey's attention that Frank's cock was starting to firm up again just a little from the orders.

Mikey spread his legs, standing over Frank and said, "Get me good and ready."

Frank looked up at him, and just the glance was enough to help their cause a little. Mikey ordered, "Fingers, Frank."

Frank gave him one. It didn't really do anything for Mikey at first, but that wasn't the point of this. Mikey didn't need to be turned on, he needed to have this happen on his own terms. Frank twisted a little, twirled a bit and Mikey all but swallowed his tongue. Than again, he wasn't going to complain about it being good, either.

Frank helped him stay up, a wet hand against Mikey's hip. Mikey whispered desperately, "Two fingers, Frank, two."

Frank didn't make him wait. Mikey glanced down. They hadn't made much progress where Frank was concerned. He swallowed back his own distaste at what he was about to do and said, "On your knees."

Frank slipped to them, not even particularly careful of the cement that would greet them. Knowing that he would never really ask Frank for this, knowing that lube really, really didn't taste good, Mikey ordered as quietly as he could, "Finish the job with your mouth."

The first touch of Frank's tongue was almost too much for Mikey. In the wide breadth of things, pleasures, that Mikey had imagined indulging in with Frank, nothing had ever been quite this vivid, this indescribable. For a second, Mikey held himself back from pushing further onto Frank. Then he remembered the whole point of this exercise, and let himself do as he would.

Frank panted against his skin, pushed his tongue further inside and Mikey had to close his eyes, think of pain and violation just to hold on to the edge he was managing to maintain. When he couldn't, absolutely couldn't he pulled off and looked down, hoping against hope that he'd succeeded in what he'd set out to do. He had.

Mikey hauled Frank up onto the bed and sharply muttered the words, "I swear you'd better stay hard," directly into his ear. Frank gulped and Mikey straddled him and slid down. It hurt a bit at first, Mikey wasn't really used to controlling the angle, didn't have any experience with how to make it good from this end. He tried shifting a bit, but then Frank said, "Mikey, I can--" and Mikey gave himself over, let Frank rework their bodies into the right positions.

Mikey rocked up and down and, "Oh," oh. Suddenly it made a hell of a lot more sense that Frank kind of liked this. Mikey leaned in, wrapped himself over Frank, bit at the scorpion gracing his neck. His, "Frank, oh, Frank," was muffled by Frank's ink, his skin.

Frank seemed to understand, because for the first time since The Shower, Frank grabbed on, held Mikey just tight enough that Mikey could still ride him, still control the action, but too tight for Mikey to get away. Just tight enough, really.

Mikey released Frank's neck and pressed his lips to Frank's mouth, where he told him, "You'd better come for me. You'd better."

Frank did. Mikey returned the favor.


After they had cleaned up, before Mikey allowed Frank to go back up to his bunk, Mikey held Frank under him on the bottom bunk, said, "What did you have to tell me?"

Frank was quiet for a long time, and Mikey thought he was maybe going to have to give an order or get it out of him by stealth. Finally, Frank said, "The one thing I can't say in here."

"Oh," Mikey breathed, and when Frank slipped from his arms, up to his own bunk, Mikey was too surprised to fight him, even though he should have. "Oh."

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile