|Primary Characters:||Thomas, Pierre, Martial, Bertrand, Fatia|
|Warning:||m/m sex, some strong language|
|Description:||Pierre and Thomas fight, then Pierre bumps into Martial. Martial, as always, has an unsettling effect on Pierre. For a while, things seem to work out, but Martial is a very complicated person. Most of the students at the dorm end up getting hurt before the situation is resolved.|
The others eventually returned to bed, even Thomas, who couldn’t understand why Pierre would suddenly be so keen on making sure Martial was ok. Elodie cast Pierre an enquiring gaze, but didn’t comment either.
Martial himself said very little. He was ok, nothing was wrong. That was all they could get out of him. When the door had closed behind the last visitor, Pierre wheeled himself across the floor to where Martial was sitting, back against the wall.
“Are you ok?”
“I said so, didn’t I?”
“Yes, I know. Are you – really?”
Pierre held out his hand to Martial, to help him to his feet. Martial just stared at the hand for so long, Pierre had a horrible suspicion Martial didn’t think he had the strength to pull him up. By the time he was about to let his arm drop into his lap, Martial finally took it and got up. It was obvious he could have managed on his own, but he thanked Pierre, absently, as if his mind was on something else.
“Alright. What was Bertrand doing here?”
“What? We were drinking and got sleepy. What did you think?”
“I thought perhaps that you – fancied him.”
Something about Pierre’s tone made Martial snap out of his daze and finally pay attention. He glared back at Pierre, eyes dark with emotion.
“Just because we fucked the other day, doesn’t mean you own me.”
“Right. I guess it means that you don’t want me at all. Is it Bertrand now?”
Martial stared at Pierre’s face. It was impossible to guess what was going on behind the rigid, intense mask that was the southerner’s face. Something must have been processed, because suddenly the tension, or at least some of it, was gone and he shook his head. Pierre held his breath, wondering if it was ‘no, I don’t want you’ or ‘yes, it is Bertrand’.
Slowly Martial began to push Pierre towards the bed. He stood in front of the wheelchair, as if waiting for something. Eyes fixed on Martial’s face, Pierre put his arms around his neck and let himself be picked up and deposited on the bed. Martial put the chair away, then turned out the light. It was really a useless gesture, because already the daylight was coming in through the windows, but it felt like an intimate gesture to Pierre, who was beginning to feeling better.
Martial skipped the preliminaries this time. He lay on top of Pierre, eyes again completely unreadable, then he began to move, slowly at first, then increasingly faster. Despite the lack of attention to detail, Pierre found this direct approach irresistible. He had no reason to fear his own inadequacy. It wasn’t until later, he realized that this time, despite all the talk about getting release regularly, Martial wasn’t aroused or made any effort to satisfy himself. Pierre’s inexpert attempts were gracefully sidestepped and ignored.
They were about to fall asleep, when the door opened and Thomas looked in, gazing anxiously around.
“Martial – is Pierre still -”
He didn’t complete the sentence. The scene on the bed registered, and stupidly, Thomas blinked as if to clear his sight. Whatever his eyes were telling him, he found it hard to believe. His brother, who was as crazy about girls as he was, more so, in fact, was lying partially undressed with Martial almost completely on top of him. There was no doubt about what they’d been doing until – perhaps seconds before the door opened.
“Yes, Pierre is still here. Why?”
Mortified, Thomas backed out and closed the door. He remained standing in the corridor, half expecting to hear Pierre’s voice calling to him from inside Martial’s room. He couldn’t hear anything and eventually, he walked back to his room, his mind in turmoil. Pierre. Martial. Impossible. His own brother.
After a while, the shock began to wear off and Thomas began to recall every single time he’d helped Pierre in the bathroom, in the shower, undressing him at night before bed. It felt embarrassing, but worst of all, their emotional intimacy should have made this sort of surprise impossible. They always told each other everything. Or did they? It was beginning to dawn on Thomas that he was the one always sharing everything. He was the one to ask Pierre about his life, and Pierre made the decision about what he wanted to tell his brother. That hurt.
Now the memories began to flood back. He’d told Pierre about how much he cared about Elodie. Pierre had laughed at him, but never suggested he forget her. Instead, he’d flirted with her, forever breaking the spell for his brother. He would never see Elodie quite the same way. Yet all the time, it had been Martial he wanted. Then why had he pushed Elodie away? Did he grudge his brother the same happiness he presumably enjoyed with Martial?
Thomas had to blink away a few tears. He’d thought he knew his brother. It hurt to realize that all he’d known had been what he wanted is brother to be. The real Pierre was someone else, someone he didn’t know anything about.
It was too late for Thomas to get any more sleep, so he got dressed and took his books and left the dorm to spend the entire day at the uni. Why bother staying until the last minute to make sure Pierre was cleaned up, fed and dressed? Martial could help him.
All day, Thomas kept dwelling miserably on what had happened. He considered moving out, but felt ashamed of his own reaction. If he left Pierre now, it would be as if he couldn’t handle his brother’s homosexuality. That wasn’t it at all. It was the betrayal that kept eating at him. All the lies, all the pretense. Betrayed. He was already coming to terms with losing Elodie, but this – this falsehood – how could he ever get over that?
In the evening, Pierre wheeled himself into their room, looking shamefaced, yet defiant and he didn’t say much. There wasn’t even the quarrel Thomas had come to half expect. Nothing. Pierre lowered himself down onto the bed and lay there studying until it was time to go to bed. He didn’t ask for help undressing and Thomas didn’t offer.
As the days went by, the awkward tension between them didn’t disappear, but they began to get used to it. The change in their relationship wasn’t plainly visible to the others in the dorm, but they both felt it keenly. Each time Thomas was going to confide in Pierre or ask him about his opinion of something, he remembered and caught himself. He didn’t know what Pierre was thinking, because obviously Pierre would never tell him now.
They began making their separate ways to the uni and no one seemed to notice the change. Thomas sometimes helped Pierre in the bathroom, but not all the time and if Martial helped Pierre instead, Thomas never found out about it. They would have chosen to eat at different times, if that wouldn’t have given them away to the others. It was amazing no one noticed the charged silence between them, but it seemed no one did. Martial never said anything, but Thomas thought the southerner spent even more time alone. He would have asked Pierre about it, if he’d felt he could, but each time he was about to, the words died unsaid on his tongue.
Thomas took to studying in other locations, like the library or the communal areas of the dorm. Somehow, it wouldn’t be the same to sit at his own desk or in his own bed, now that everything had changed.
One night, he suddenly realized he’d forgotten all trace of time, studying anatomy. When he was about to fall asleep on his chair, he closed the book and returned to his – their room – and was about to sneak in and go to bed, without disturbing Pierre. The lights were out, so he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, until suddenly, the lights came on. He turned towards Pierre’s bed, wondering if his brother finally wanted to talk, then felt his cheeks turn red.
Once again, he saw his brother lying on the bed, with Martial draped across his now completely naked body. There was such a look of satisfaction on Pierre’s face, Thomas wanted to look away. The cause for the satisfaction was not only plain to see, but also intensely embarrassing and worst of all, Thomas knew it would be a long time until he felt anything like that.
Martial grinned lecherously at him, or so it seemed to Thomas and suddenly he’d had enough.
“You don’t do that in our room. Do you hear me, Pierre? If you have to screw Martial, do it in his room or wherever you like, but not here.”
“First of all, it’s Martial who’s screwing me, and secondly – this is my room too. If you want to live like a monk, fine. That’s your problem. I’m trying to have a life.”
Thomas stared at Pierre. To be honest, it wasn’t the tone or even the choice of words that bit the hardest. After all, Pierre was always that harsh. What really pained Thomas was the whole situation. Martial standing there grinning, still not dressed. His clothes were lying strewn across the floor, the floor Thomas always had to tidy up.
He was seized by a blinding rage. Advancing on Martial, he was about to grab the intruder and throw him out into the corridor, as he was, then throw the clothes after him. The mocking grin on Martial’s face vanished, replaced by a look Thomas couldn’t read.
His attempt to grab Martial’s shoulder failed and instead Martial barrelled into him, pushing him back onto his own bed. Martial ended up on top of him, pressing him down into the covers. Again, that infuriating grin spread across his features.
Sensing Thomas’ discomfort and revulsion, Martial closed the distance between their faces, his mockingly grinning and Thomas’ distraught, and now at last, frightened.
Martial continued the intimidation by grinding his hips into Thomas’ groin.
“You can play too, you know. No need to be jealous of your brother.”
“No, please. Get off me.”
Thomas was beginning to panic and he fought to catch his breath. His face and most of his body was hidden from Pierre by Martial’s body.
Pierre couldn’t see his brother, but he was feeling intensely at a disadvantage. The look in Thomas’ eyes had made him feel exposed, soiled – damaged somehow. No longer the admired older brother, just something vile and unlean. His own anger exploded and he laughed derisively.
“Why not? Do it, Martial. Thomas needs to lighten up.”
“No, please. Let me go.”
“Don’t be such a wimp, Thomas. You’ll like it. Don’t try to tell me you don’t find Martial the least bit attractive.”
Thomas managed to break one arm free and hit Martial across the face. Martial’s eyes darkened and he raised his fist in the air and punched Thomas once, twice, a third time. This time, he wasn’t fighting a girl. Thomas, despite his fear, had a physical strength at least Martial’s match. He fought back, his terror lending a fierceness to his attack.
Martial again brought his fist down hard against Thomas’ face.
It was beginning to dawn on Pierre that the situation was getting out of hand. The last thing he wanted was for his brother to get hurt, or his lover.
“Martial, that’s enough. Leave him alone. You’re hurting him.”
Martial seemed oblivious to Pierre’s pleading. All his attention was focused on his opponent.
The door opened and Elodie and Julie stood in the doorway, eyes wide, seeming unable to comprehend the scene they were witnessing.
Having heard the door, Martial broke out of his compulsion and turned to face the girls. He was on his feet and at the foot of Pierre’s bed, picking up his clothes, before either of the girls had managed to get a word out.
Thomas too, got up and ran past Martial and the others. He had to get away. The shock and pain had shaken him and it was beginning to dawn on him that his own brother had lain there, naked, encouraging Martial to – it was unbelievable. In the doorway he paused and glared at Pierre.
“You’re – sick. What you did was – I can’t believe you’d do such a thing. Obviously, I never knew you. I – don’t want to see you again, ever.”
Elodie drew herself up, indignantly.
“You’re such a hypocrite. Guys – sometimes do these things when they’re drunk. It’s perfectly natural. Besides, everyone’s bisexual. How could you turn your back on your brother just because of that? I don’t want to know you anymore.”
Thomas had been about to walk away, but he turned and finally really saw Elodie. Who was the hypocrite – really?
“Bisexual? You wish. The truth is, he never wanted you. It was all just a – front. Dream on, Elodie.”
With that, he walked away. He didn’t look back. If he had, someone might have seen the tears which were now flowing freely, mixing with the blood from his nose and mouth.
Julie still couldn’t believe her eyes. When Elodie stalked off, offended, Julie remained, still staring wide-eyed at Martial, then at Pierre’s naked body, then back again.
Martial dropped the clothes and stretched out beside Pierre again, holding Julie’s gaze, a provocative expression in his eyes. He demonstratively kissed Pierre, who was trying to cover himself, deeply embarrassed now. Martial’s hands began to fondle Pierre, in a way that utterly failed to arouse him.
Julie began to cry. Finally, it was beginning to dawn on her that she’d made a terrible mistake, trusting Martial, giving her feelings full reign.
Martial raised his head and fixed a hard gaze on Julie.
“What’s the matter, Julie? Don’t you want to join us? Come on, there’s always room for one more.”
He made a mocking kissing gesture, which finally broke Julie’s paralysis and she ran blindly down the corridor. She made for the bathroom, seeking a private place, away from other people’s eyes.
There, she ran into Thomas. He was sitting on the floor, his face buried in his hands, still not quite able to believe his own brother had wanted – Hearing the footsteps he looked up, afraid that Martial or Elodie would have followed. Instead, he saw Julie, her face crumpled up, tears staining her cheeks.
His face was covered with blood, causing a muffled shriek to leave Julie’s lips.
“Oh. What did he do to you?”
She sat down beside him, gingerly touching his face. Thomas winced and pulled back.
“It’s ok. Looks worse than it is.”
She got up again and brought some paper towels. Thomas didn’t fully trust her skills as a nurse, but sensing her misery, he let her wipe away the blood. He was touched by her gesture. Julie had always struck him as a selfish, self-centered, spoiled little brat. Suddenly, he was forced to reexamine his views on her. She was still sobbing, off and on and her face was still wet and he took one of the clean paper towels from her and rubbed away the mascara.
His attention made her calm down and after some hesitation, she tentatively put her arm around his shoulders. He didn’t pull away. Instead, he put his arm around her and pulled her closer. Her head resting on his shoulder, they remained sitting there, in silence. Thomas didn’t feel up to explaining anything and he had a feeling Julie was hurt and humiliated. She wouldn’t want to have her feelings exposed. It had been obvious for a long time, that she’d had a crush on Martial.
Thomas felt a great deal of resentment towards that – creep. Leading Julie on, only to ridicule and mock her. The bastard came to their room to screw his brother and – when he was told he wasn’t welcome, he tried to – Thomas wanted to report him, to have him expelled, but he realized that losing Martial would devastate Pierre and he didn’t feel up to the conflict. He didn’t want to see Pierre again, but even so, he didn’t want to hurt him.
“Are you ok, Thomas?”
Her voice had a tone that was so – vulnerable, so crushed – Thomas wanted to break Martial’s jaw.
“Yes, I’m fine. What about you?”
He couldn’t help smiling. She was actually quite sweet. He found himself planting a kiss on her cheek, which was still damp, but warm and smooth. Julie turned and faced him, studying his face intently. Suddenly, she closed the distance between them and kissed him fully on the mouth. Taken by surprise, Thomas returned the kiss, and for a while, they sat kissing each other, the world around them suddenly forgotten.
“Would you like to sleep in my room?”
He wasn’t sure of what to make of her offer. Was she coming on to him or merely offering him a place to spend the night?
“What about Fatia?”
“She’s moved out. Didn’t you know? She’s in Bertrand’s room now. We were all ever so surprised. I didn’t know they were – you know.”
“Oh. I didn’t either. In that case, yes, I’d love to. Thanks.”
“I’ll make up her bed for you and -”
“Thanks. I’ll help.”
When the bed was made and Thomas had crawled under the covers, after having removed his jeans and shoes, he caught Julie watching him, a contented smile on her lips.
“Good night, Thomas. It’s great to have you here.”
“Good night, Julie. Great to be here.”