The Remedy

The commuter train car is crowded, packed wall-to-wall with heat and breath and bodies on their way home from the city, every seat filled and every spare inch of aisle occupied by feet, all chilled by the heavy hum of the air conditioner. This, in and of itself, is fairly standard for 6PM on a late July Friday. What isn't so standard, however, is that the New Jersey scenery beyond the windows is static -- the train has ground to a halt somewhere far between stations, and despite several tinny announcements from the garbled PA system, the only words that have gotten through to the passengers at large are 'we apologize' and 'train maintenance'. As the stall grows longer, the ambient sound on the train escalates from curious mutterings to irritated chatter to all-out angry epithets.

Squished between the window and a pair of middle-aged women in floral print dresses, Kieran digs his phone out of his pocket and hits the speed dial for home. There's a click as the phone picks up, followed by the sound of a television's talking to itself and Tomás' voice: "You're late." He doesn't sound irritated, just bored, and by this point in their relationship, Kieran knows Tomás well enough to know that's a sure sign of trouble. "What happened?"

Kieran sighs and leans the side of his head against the window, looking out at the grassy nothing flanking the tracks just west of the river that isn't passing him nearly as quickly as it should. "Train's stopped," he says, the fingers of his free hand tapping against the lighter in his pocket. A cigarette at this moment would be an act of great mercy. "Nothing I can do."

"Aw, shit." Tomás sighs, which becomes a thin rasp through the tiny speaker of Kieran's cheap cell phone. "How much longer do you think it'll take?" Behind his voice, Kieran can hear a small rustling and the creak of couch springs, and then the television falls silent.

"Don't know." Kieran presses the phone closer to his ear, half to hear Tomás better, half so no one else hears Tomás. While he doubts anyone around him is particularly listening in, the life he's led has made a dose of paranoia justified on more than one occasion. "A conductor poked her head in saying ten minutes, and that was twenty minutes ago. I'm still three stations away, so call it another ten home once we get moving."

"Shit," Tomás grunts again, and Kieran hears the couch protest as something substantial -- presumably Tomás' body -- flops down upon it. He doesn't like being left home alone, and Kieran doesn't like leaving him there, but some business you just can't do over the telephone.

Besides, the last thing Kieran wants is one of those bastards he used to do jobs for for making a housecall. He suspects they already know he has Tomás hidden at his apartment, but they've made no move so far to make sure, and he doesn't want them to be. But today's trip into the city has gone well, and he's feeling more relaxed than he might usually be. "And I might have to make a side trip or two on the way home, run a few errands," he adds, thinking about the impoverished state of their refrigerator.

"Don't." Tomás' voice has a bit of a warning edge to it.

"Mm?" Kieran hums, raising an eyebrow at his pale reflection in the train window; the sky is still a bright summer blue, heavy with daylight, and only the edge of his profile and the glint of his small glasses echo back off the safety glass. He crosses his legs, ankle across knee, and cheerfully ignores the look of irritation from the woman seated next to him as he bumps her in the process.

"Don't," Tomás repeats, though this time he sounds a bit more playful, which is almost as dangerous as being bored. "You're already late. You know what I'm doing right now?"

Though independently wealthy from several sources, Kieran still hopes the answer isn't something that will make him lose his security deposit. "I can't imagine."

He can hear Tomás grin through the connection, a grin that begins even before he starts talking again. "Unzipping my jeans." He pauses, and in the breath between his sentences, Kieran can hear a the purring sound of a zipper, as though Tomás has put the receiver right next to his crotch for proof. "I've been sitting here thinking about you for the last fucking hour. I was hoping you'd make it home early."

"I'm afraid circumstances have conspired otherwise," Kieran shrugs. At least this isn't liable to hurt anyone or break anything -- excepting, of course, himself. "Would you like an apology on behalf of New Jersey Transit?"

"Might be nice," Tomás laughs a little. "Nah, I understand. I mean, can't be helped, right? Shit happens. Just pisses me off. I mean, I'm so fucking horny, and you're not here. What am I supposed to do, you know?"

Kieran shrugs again, this time crossing his legs a bit more discreetly. His suitcoat, long-ago removed as concession to the summer heat, has been resting across his knee; he folds it over again and pulls it into his lap, casually, as though this were something anyone might do without even thinking about it. To the disinterested observer, he might look like any other young Wall Street upstart on his way home from work, talking to his wife or girlfriend. "I'm certain you'll think of something."

"You think so?" Tomás purrs. Kieran can picture him easily, sprawled out on the couch, cordless phone cradled by his shoulder, dark hair half in his eyes, ratty too-large t-shirt stolen from Kieran pushed up to bare his stomach, his jeans open wide and pushed down around his hips. "I'm really fucking hard. What would you do?"

"Why don't you tell me?" Though Kieran honestly has few reservations about letting the entire train car hear him detail the answer to Tomás' question, he figures the attention doing so would garner him would slow his return home more than a little, and that would be counterproductive. Besides, this game is so much more fun.

"Can't talk, huh? Right, right, you're in public." Tomás breathes a contented little noise that says all by itself how glad he is he's the one behind closed doors, and Kieran envies him more than a little. "Sucks to be you. I know what you wish you were doing. I've got my hand on my cock right now." For all his many and varied skills, Tomás had yet to master the art of the smooth segue. "Just holding it, not really stroking it yet. Thinking about jerking off about you. I've been thinking about it all day, actually."

On the bridge visible about a mile away, car traffic has ground to the same halt the train has, and Kieran wonders if anyone else there is having the same problem he is. "You do have a lot of free time," he answers, willing his voice steady. He's gained a reputation for being one frosty bastard, even in the shittiest tight spots, but Tomás has known from the start how to melt through just by opening his mouth. Maybe he still can't quite explain why he took in the messed-up junkie kid (still thinks of him as kid even though as far as either's willing to share, they're about the same age), but Kieran sure as fuck knows why he's let him stay.

There's a little wet mouth sound from Tomás' end of the line, maybe licking his lips, maybe sucking his fingers. "Yeah, well, I get bored. Hold on, I'm gonna take off my shirt." The phone goes quiet for a moment, and there's a rustle of fabric. "...There, that's better. Fuck, I want you. I wish you were fucking me, I mean just shoving me up against the wall with your cock inside me and fucking me until I can't stand up anymore. You know how hard just thinking about it makes me?"

Kieran's grin inches up his lips fractionally. "I can imagine." As one who's never had many raw exhibitionist tendencies of his own, he still finds them greatly entertaining in other people. He shifts his jacket a little closer toward his lap, bunching up the material carelessly; Tomás is getting him hard, and Kieran knows Tomás isn't going to stop talking anytime soon.

"I bet you fucking can. Does it make you hard? Are you showing off for everybody else? Are you thinking about me?"

"Baseball, actually," answers Kieran, ignoring all questions but the last. This is part of the game, too, for Kieran to pretend he doesn't care up until the last possible second -- because he's never had to pretend before, because he's never cared before, not before Tomás. "Maybe this is the year the Jets'll win the World Series."

"That's football, asshole," Tomás snorts, but he doesn't sound offended in the slightest. "Even I know that. I bet you're hard like a fucking rock. Wow, that's got to suck when you're stuck on a train car, huh?"

Kieran quietly swears to kill Tomás the next time they see one another -- after, of course, Kieran puts that dirty mouth of his to work. "I've had worse." It's almost not a lie.

"Uh-huh. I'd blow you if I was there, you know. Just get down right on my knees with my head between your legs and take your cock out of your pants and suck you off. Free entertainment for the other fuckers stuck with you, right?" The last word is breathy, a moan barely restrained, and at least Kieran can take some shred of consolation in how he isn't the only one wound tight by this. "Nah, that'd probably get us arrested, and I'm not going to get picked up for fucking in public like Al Capone getting picked up for tax evasion. I guess I could just turn myself around in the seat and block the view, and jerk you off. You got some sweet old lady sitting next to you?"

"Two, actually," says Kieran, pointedly not looking in the direction of his seatmates, who at least seemed to be sufficiently distracted by the hard work that was complaining about the situation at the tops of their voices. "Younger than that, though."

"Yeah, I bet they'd fucking love that. Just me sitting next to you and pulling on your cock and talking to some woman on the other side of me like everything was normal and fuck." He lets out a long breath. "That's it, I've got my cock out, I'm jerking myself off." And of course he is. He wouldn't say it if he weren't. If Kieran hadn't been as hard as a rock before, he would be now.

Another tinny announcement crackles across the PA -- the most Kieran can get from it is that they may be moving again within five minutes -- and he silently curses everyone working on the line for being too fucking slow. "Are you, now?" He folds his hands in his lap and lightly presses down, then stops when it doesn't provide any release, just makes him want even more to jerk off in public.

Tomás moans, definitely louder than really necessary, putting on a show in the way Kieran always pretends doesn't drive him crazy, even though it does every fucking time. "You know I am. God, it feels so good, I'm so fucking hard, feels like I've been hard all day, just waiting for you to come home." His voice is breathier now, heavy with arousal. "Only problem is, it's my hand, and I want yours, I want your fingers around me, squeezing my cock, getting me off, fuck, I want you...."

Kieran clasps the phone a little closer to his ear, though the ambient noise is such that he doubts he has to worry about listening in; even so, he's completely unwilling to share this with anyone else. He's claimed ignorance when the few people he calls friends have brought it up, but quietly he has to admit that it's true -- since Tomás came to live with him, he's grown possessive, greedy about the other man in a way he's never behaved about anything or anyone else as long as he can remember. It makes him angry because it makes him vulnerable, leaves him wide open after decades spent developing an armour with no weak spot, and yet, if he could countenance never letting Tomás out of his sight for the rest of his life, it's exactly what he'd do. "You said that already," he levels coolly, licking his lips even as he does.

Tomás is panting in his ear now, blowing and rasping across the line so intensely that it seems like Kieran should be able to feel the warm breath against his ear. "Wait, shit, fucking pants, got to take them off...." More struggling sounds ensue, and he can again hear the couch springs creak under even the feather weight of Tomás' skinny ass. "Okay, there." More unidentified rustling noises, and then Tomás' narration picks up again: "You know, I'm really fucking glad I brought the lube out into the living room. Slicking up my fingers, I'm gonna put them inside me ... oh, fuck, yeah." He moans again. "Right there. Fucking hell, I want your cock in me, but this is gonna have to do until your fucking train gets moving again, huh?"

"You're very resourceful." Kieran's voice betrays barely a hint of arousal, a trick he's only learned after a great deal of practice, and one he's finding increasingly harder to pull off as the conversation goes on. His cock is straining against the tight cut of his pants, and he's glad for the multitude of sins his coat covers. "You don't even need me."

"Like fuck I don't," moans Tomás, good and loud, apparently not caring who gets an earful of his arousal. "Oh, fuck, this is getting me so hard, I wish it was all your cock, just buried right up to your balls in me." And then he laughs, a choked breathy laugh that says he's just thought of something. "Aw, fuck, I bet it's real crowded in there, huh? Like, you can't get up and move around?"

"Yeah," nods Kieran, sparing his fellow travellers another glance. "Like sardines."

"Well, that's fucking disappointing. I wanted you to get up and move around a little, maybe move to the next car or something, find another seat."

"Why's that?"

"So every one of those people stuck there with you can see how hard you are," purrs Tomás. "How much you want to come home and fuck me." And he laughs again, the same crazy laugh from earlier -- though Kieran doesn't join him, because he knows that if there had been any way, any possible way to do that for Tomás, he would have in a heartbeat, consequences be damned. He would have walked the length of the train and let everyone see, and he would have loved every sideways stare, because Tomás would have loved it. Some days he thinks the only thing that saves him is that Tomás himself doesn't know how wrapped around his little finger Kieran is. "I know you want it. I can hear it every time you open your mouth."

Kieran's expression doesn't flinch, but neither does he try to deny that what Tomás says is absolutely true. "We'll be moving again any minute, you know."

"You're so fucking hot," Tomás continues, his breath hitching with every word, as though Kieran hasn't even spoken at all. "So hot. Thinking about you is making me so fucking hard, I keep shoving my fingers inside me and thinking about your cock, and jerking myself off, and fuck, I'm close, I'm so fucking close...."

At that, a dangerous thought pops into Kieran's head: telling Tomás no. No, he could say, stop it, put your hands down, don't you dare without me; and what makes it an especially heady prospect is the knowledge that Tomás would. Oh, he'd bitch and moan to high heaven about it with all the righteous fury of a wet cat, but the sword of their relationship cuts both ways, and Tomás would be unable to refuse in the same way Kieran would have been unable to refuse if there had been any possible way to move around the train. They're both at the mercy of one another, and some days Kieran wonders how much Tomás knows that, and whether it troubles or frees him.

The thought of mercy is what brings to Kieran's lips a different command. "Do it," he growls, low and dangerous in a way he no longer cares if anyone hears. "For me. I want to hear you."

"Fuck!" The sound Tomás makes is even louder now, so much so that Kieran worries less about his fellow passengers and more about the next-door neighbours. "Oh, fuck, I want you fucking me, I want your cock in me, I'm gonna come, I'm gonna fucking come so hard--" And then he's not really talking anymore, just babbling long, loud moans with some profanity mixed in, the precise words incomprehensible but the meaning behind them clear as day.

The train lurches back to life in the instant Tomás comes loud and hard, and the resulting cheer from the commuters covers any sound of Tomás' that might have bled past the earpiece. Kieran smiles along with them, though for an entirely different reason. "Well, it sounds like you had a good time," he says when the commotion dies down again, as though he'd just been told the tale of a particularly enjoyable trip to the zoo.

As the landscape begins to scroll by again, there's near-silence from the other end of the line, just a rhythmic panting that gradually slows even as the newly resurrected train speeds up, the two falling gradually out of synch. Eventually, though, the panting stutters into out-of-breath laughter. "So," purrs Tomás at last, "are you coming straight home?"

Kieran shrugs as the train makes its first stop, stretching out in the seat as the two chattering women -- as well as most of the rest of the train -- make an exit. "Maybe."

"Asshole," says Tomás with an audible grin, and hangs up.

With a smile, Kieran snaps the phone shut and shoves it in his pocket. Two more stops to go and the short walk after seem a hell of a long way right now. He considers stopping in a public restroom to jerk off before realizing Tomás will probably actually kill him if he's anything less than completely hard by the time he gets home; thus, he resigns himself to the trip without relief. He supposes, though, that there are worse things in the world.

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