Word Count: 4,400 (12,125 for the entire chapter)
Warnings: References to rape; rape aftermath
Summary: So many things happen. This is a LONG chapter. Very long. So long, I had to split it into three parts to post it here, but I felt like it needed to be one very long chapter, at least at the time.
Disclaimer: I don't own what I don't own. But I do own what I do own, such as my original characters and my plot.t.
Reggie stalked into the common room, face drawn, mouth tight. "Hey, you got a minute?"He gestured to Juliane.
"Yeah, we need to talk to you," Dean cut in. "Juliane made this offer to all of us—"
Reggie raised his index finger in a polite gesture."Gimme one sec?"
Dean read his expression and backed off. "Sure."
"Let's go in my room." Juliane took Reggie where it was more private.
"Marcus won't eat. It's been two days."
"That's not uncommon after a trauma."
"It's…" Reggie wrestled with the words. "Marcus. He…The thing is that…" He looked up at the sigils painted in silver on the ceiling. "This is impossible."
Juliane laid her hand gently on Reggie's shoulder, a brief touch of reassurance. "Just be blunt. Don't mince words."
Reggie kept his eyes turned up to the ceiling."He's not eating because he's afraid to take a shit."
Juliane sat down heavily on the edge of her bed. "I was meaning to talk to you about that, actually. Sam thought he was hurt worse than he was letting on. Can be blunt too?"
"He needs a rectal exam. I'm almost positive he has some anal tearing. And if he refuses to go to a hospital, he's going to have to let me do it."
Reggie winced. But he knew she was right.
Marcus took some convincing. He resisted the suggestion vehemently, but when Reggie Beaumont knew for sure he was right, he was an immovable object that could stand up to any force.
"I'm fine!" Marcus gesticulated angrily. "Drop it!"
"You aren't. And we both know it. So stop trying to hide." Reggie sat at the kitchen table, calmly letting Marcus be angry. "And stop pretending you're not hungry. You know damn well why you aren't eating, and so do I."
"How the hell would you know?!"
Just be blunt. Reggie took a deep breath. Don't mince words. "Because after I was raped, the first time I had to take a crap, it hurt so bad, I passed out on the toilet seat."
Marcus stopped moving, his mouth half-open, a last protest dying on his lips.
"So yeah, I figured out why you're afraid to eat. You took some damage you're afraid to tell me about. So you're gonna let her examine you, and whatever she says you need to do, you're going to do, ok? And if she says you need to go the hospital, you're going to damn well go." Reggie's cheeks were flushed bright red.
"Ok." Marcus put his hands up in surrender, his voice soft.
"Don't fight me on this. You can't…you just gotta trust me on this. Ok?"
"You're right." Marcus reached out and took Reggie's hand. "I'm sorry. I know you're right."
"Oh, thank god," Reggie sighed.
"It's just…" Marcus fell silent.
"It's just a grown man doesn't like anyone wearing latex gloves poking around his butthole."
For the first time since the attack, Marcus laughed.
Reggie pushed his chair away from the table with a squeak and folded him in his arms. "Ah, you have no idea how good it sounds to hear you laugh, darlin'."
Marcus melted into the embrace, breathing in deeply, nuzzling his cheek against Reggie's thick moustache. "But you can't be in the room while she's doing it."
"I just can't have you there."
"I get that."
Reggie went to fetch Juliane, and accompanied her into the bedroom, where Marcus stood, nervously fidgeting. He had gotten fully dressed, complete with shoes. Reggie gave Marcus a kiss on the cheek, whispered, "You got this," and left the room.
She extended her hand. "We didn't really get a chance to hello properly last night. I'm Juliane."
"Yeah. Hi." He shook her hand. "Marcus."
"I know this is difficult for you."
Marcus glanced down at the carpet.
"It's totally normal to feel that way after what you've been through." Juliane set the bag of medical supplies on the corner of the bed, and pulled off her sweater in a seemingly innocuous gesture, just like she had done the night before when Marcus was brought into the sanctuary. Underneath it, she wore a black tank top. Again, Marcus could not help but stare at the intricate pattern of scars visible on her bare arms and upper back.
Juliane busied herself in the medical bag, taking her time, allowing him to look at her freely. She pulled on one latex glove. "My husband was a Hunter. He cleared out a nest of vampires, but he missed a couple. They followed him back to our place." She put on the second glove. "I was there too. So…" She gestured to her arm.
"They did that to you just because you were with him?"
She met his gaze, her blue eyes kind but direct. "Yes. So while I don't know what you actually went through, and I wouldn't presume to say I know your pain, I think I have some idea. More than most people."
Marcus nodded. The scars she had bared for him to see were testament to that.
"Is that other guy your husband?"
"Danny? No. Well, not yet. Donovan was my first husband. He died. The night this happened."
Marcus, to his credit, maintained eye contact, not shying away from the painful intimacy of the moment that passed between them. "I'm sorry."
"Me too." Juliane turned her attention to the bag of medical supplies, and switched her voice to a calm, soothingly clinical tone."I'll need you to get undressed from the waist down and lay down on the bed. You can leave on your socks." She turned away so Marcus could take his clothes off without showing any more of his body than she needed to examine.
Marcus removed his shoes and took off his pants and boxers, folding them more slowly than necessary and placing them neatly on the chair next to the bed. "Face down?" He tried to keep his voice steady, but it wavered slightly.
Marcus arranged himself as she asked, but kept his legs closed tightly..
"I'll be as gentle as I can, but this probably won't be comfortable for you." She sat on the edge of the bed.
"I can handle it."
"Can you spread your legs a little for me?"
Marcus took a deep breath, and did what she asked. Juliane carefully examined Marcus, prodding as delicately as she could. Even so, he buried his face in the pillow, muffling the sounds of pain he could not hold back.
"That's what I was afraid of." Juliane stood up straight. "You have an anal fissure. A tear in the skin. It's not deep, and it's not infected, so I don't think you need to go to the hospital."
"Good," Marcus muttered into the pillow.
"You can go ahead and get dressed now." She turned away and allowed Marcus to put his clothes back on in privacy.
She peeled off her gloves with a faint snap, and sealed them into a small zip-top red plastic bag marked with a black biohazard symbol. From the bottom of the bag, she retrieved a small round pillow with a hole in the middle.
"I think you'll be ok with some sitz baths and antibiotic ointment. But you need to eat, alright? High-fiber food. Drink a lot of water, and do some light exercise. We have a small gym here. I'd recommend the treadmill. Walk a half hour every day. It's important. And use this whenever you sit down. It'll make you more comfortable." She set the donut pillow in the middle of the bed.
"What's a sitz bath?" Marcus looked confused.
"It's literally a little bath you sit in. It helps heal injuries like what you have. Since the apartments don't have bathtubs, we'll get you a kit that fits over the toilet. It's just a little plastic basin You fill it with warm water and sit in it. 15 minutes, three times a day."
"Ok. Got it."
"For the next couple of weeks, you have four jobs to do every day: Keep yourself clean. Move. Drink Water. And eat."
A frown creased Marcus's brow.
"It's uncomfortable to talk about this, I know, but it's important. So I'm not going to waste your time with euphemisms and hints, alright?"
Marcus looked relieved at her honesty. "Please."
"Your first couple of bowel movements aren't going to be fun. And without the right care, it could have been excruciatingly painful. So your being worried about that is totally reasonable. But if you take these and drink a lot of water, it shouldn't be bad." Juliane reached into the bag and handed him a bottle of stool softener.
"That'll help?" He looked skeptical.
"Tremendously. I promise." She tossed him a second bottle."And this should help make the next couple of days pass a little easier. But go easy on them." It was a full bottle of Vicodin.
The frown line between Marcus's brow disappeared. He clutched the bottle of pain pills like it was a life preserver. "Really. Thank you." He looked slightly dazed.
Juliane reached into the bag once more and pulled out a tube of antibiotic ointment. "Just to be on the safe side, use this after every time you clean yourself."
Marcus took the tube from her hand. "Thank you. You're really nice. You made this a lot easier than I expected."
She smiled to hear that."I'm glad." She closed up the bag, then hesitated. Finally, she said what was on her mind."I didn't want to get involved in this whole thing. Hunters. Supernatural creatures. This whole life. My husband…he wanted to keep me safe from it, like Reggie did with you. But I got brought into it. Hard. Just like you were."
Marcus sighed. "I can barely wrap my head around it. Demons and vampires? That shit's real?" He looked at the serious expression on her face. "That shit's real."
"Yes, it is." She glanced towards the closed door. "But with him by your side, you don't have to be afraid of a damn thing. That man out there is the most respected Hunter in the country."
Marcus's eyes widened. "Really?"
"In our world, everyone knows the name of Reggie Beaumont. He's a legend."
Marcus looked stunned.
"Don't be mad at him for not telling you what he did. What's really out there. Usually, civilians aren't targets unless they're living with a Hunter. And most people can't handle finding out there really are things that go bump in the night."
"I'm not mad at him."
Juliane cocked her head, eyeing him curiously.
"Ok, I'm a little mad. But I don't blame him. Does that make sense?"
She laughed. "It does, actually."
"It sucks, though, finding out after the fact that a line of rock salt at my door would have kept all this from happening."
Juliane shook her head sadly. "Actually, that's not true. That demon targeted you, and a salt line wouldn't have stopped him. He would have just snatched you up when you left and taken you somewhere else."
Marcus's expression changed, the faint flicker of anger visible at the corner of his eyes disappearing as he realized once the demon set his sights on him, there wasn't anything an unsuspecting Reggie, or anyone, could have done to prevent it. All Reggie could do is help him after it happened, and protect him (and give him the tools to protect himself) so it never happened again.
"That said, Reggie blames himself, and he's going to blame himself the rest of his life. Just, if you love him—you do love him, right?"
Marcus rubbed the back of his head. "Yeah. I sure do."
"Then don't let him torture himself over this." She slipped her sweater back on. "I didn't have a chance last night, but I should tell you how it works here. You can stay as long as you need to. You can even live here. I don't put a limit on sanctuary. You don't have to do anything, but we do ask our guests to help with the cleaning if they stay a while, but only if they're up to it. You don't have to pay anything. We can bring you what you need as far as food goes, and we like to do communal meals. You can join us for dinner if you want, but you don't have to." She adjusted the hair band that held her hair back in a ponytail. "And since you're with him," she gestured toward the living room, "and I'm going to be taking care of his needs from now on, I guess I'm taking care of you too, even after you leave. So you don't have to worry about finding work just to pay the bills."
"Wait, you're what? Taking care of him?"
"I'll explain everything to Reggie and he can explain it to you. The only thing you need to worry about over the next few weeks is taking care of yourself, and doing everything Reggie tells you. Deal?" She held her hand out.
Marcus dropped the supplies on the bed and shook her hand. "Deal."
"When you're ready, come find us and we'll answer all your questions. But just know one thing. You've seen pure evil. Faced it. So you aren't blind to what's really going on out there anymore. But don't feel that you have to become a Hunter. If you want to help, there are other ways, but you have the right to not get involved at all. I mean, more than you already are, being with a Hunter." Her expression was soft and sad.
Marcus swayed on his feet. "This…it's a lot to take in."
"I'll get Reggie." She reached for the door knob.
"Wait." He reached for her hand and stopped her, gripping her wrist lightly to keep his balance. "I know you said I don't have to do anything or pay for anything. But I don't believe in taking without giving. So once I'm feeling a little better, is there anything I can do?"
She beamed at the offer. "I don't know. Is there anything you can do?"
Marcus thought about it for a moment. "You said communal meals?" She nodded. "Well, there you go. I'm a hell of a cook."
In the living room, Juliane filled Reggie in on her offer to become a patron for himself, Bobby, Sam and Dean, and take care of all their needs that money could provide. Reggie was struck dumb for a full minute. Then he asked simply, "Sam and Dean on board with this?"
"They both said yes," Juliane assured him.
"Hell. I'd be a fool to turn that down."
Juliane looked pleased. "When you have some free time, though, you should talk with Danny. We have some ideas for something much larger to help the Hunter community. I'd love to know your thoughts on it. And I think you could contribute a lot, if you're interested."
"Alright." Still reeling from the unexpected change of fortune, he hugged her. She flinched only briefly, but accepted the physical contact with relative comfort.
Marcus allowed Reggie to make him a sandwich of cold deli turkey and Swiss cheese on a chewy French roll, and a bag of potato chips the size that would be suitable for a child's lunch, with a glass of instant iced tea. After the first bite of food, he popped a Vicodin, then finished his lunch, then drank a large glass of water with the stool softener pill.
"I should have told you."
"Why you weren't eating?"
Marcus changed position in his chair. "I was embarrassed. To talk about that."
"No, I get it. But you always talk so freely and honestly. I hope you know you can do that with me about everything."
"I know." Marcus shifted again, clearly uncomfortable.
Reggie glanced at him, and then into the bedroom, where the donut pillow sat on top of the bed. "She left that for you for a reason."
Marcus looked away, ashamed.
Reggie swore softly under his breath, and before Marcus could protest, he was scooped up in Reggie's arms and carried to the couch like a Southern gallant whisking his good lady wife upstairs to their private chamber.
Reggie settled Marcus on his left side, in a much more comfortable position. "That better?"
Marcus nodded, feeling much less pain in that position.
Reggie sat on the edge of the couch and put his arm on Marcus's hip."You're so open with me when it comes to sex, though. You aren't afraid to talk about anything at all when it comes to your body. Or mine. "
"This isn't sexual though. This is… it's about… I mean, I never ever leave the bathroom door open when I've got to go number two…I even run the water when I pee."
Reggie listened, and thought. He didn't speak until he had processed everything and understood it. "I think I get it. Tell you what. You use that thing when you sit, and I'll pretend not to notice."
Marcus scratched the back of his neck, surprised. "That would work, actually."
Reggie retreated to the bedroom and came back with the two full-sized sleeping pillows and the topmost blanket. He settled one of the pillows under Marcus's head, covered him with the blanket and sat cross-legged on the carpet on the second pillow. He took Marcus's hand gently and began massaging it.
Marcus exhaled. "That feels good."
Reggie smiled like the sun had just come out."Just wait 'till I do your feet."
"A foot rub too? I could get used to this."
"Well, you just lay there until your pain meds kick in, and we can watch stupid movies all afternoon."
Marcus just smiled softly as Reggie massaged his hand, working his thumbs into the meaty part of his palm, pulling gently on each finger and squeezing down the sides of each one. Finally, he asked, "What's a wendigo?"
Reggie coughed. "What?"
"'Werewolves. Wendigos. Ghouls. All real.' That's what it said."
Reggie's mouth tightened. He let go of Marcus's hand and ran his fingers through his long silvery hair. "I told you before, if you ask me about this, I'll tell you. But I'm not going to hold anything back, and a lot of what you're gonna hear is damn ugly. You sure you're ready for that?"
"Honesty is exactly what I need from you."
"Alright. You got it." Reggie leaned in and kissed him, lingering a curiously long time, then gave Marcus a strangely intense look. He got up and went to the kitchen for a bottle of bourbon and two glasses, each with two cubes of ice. Marcus only wanted a splash, since he'd taken a pain pill. Reggie sat cross-legged in front of Marcus, poured himself four fingers of bourbon and finished two of them in one long, smooth swallow.
"Wendigo is a Cree word. It means 'evil that devours.' Wendigos used to be human, but the lore says they ate human flesh and turned. They're tall, like 15 feet, and can live hundreds of years. They're smart. Super-powerful, scary fast."
Marcus watched Reggie's face calmly. "You ever see one?"
"Yes." Reggie answered without hesitation.
"How do you take one down?"
"Kill it with fire."
"Have you killed one?"
"Yes." He took another sip of bourbon, swirling the contents in the tumbler, the ice clinking against the side of the glass.
Marcus's gaze intensified, a new level of respect for Reggie building within him.
"Tracked and killed it with a partner. With Nathan. Before we got together."
Marcus blinked at the mention of Reggie's former love, remembering what Reggie had told him about the circumstances of his death. He shifted the subject back. "What's a ghoul?"
"Scavengers. Kinda like Wendigos, in that they eat human flesh, but a ghoul only eats the dead."
"How do you kill one?"
"Cut off its head." Reggie took another drink of bourbon.
"You ever kill a ghoul?" Marcus sipped his drink, watching Reggie over the rim of the glass.
"Yeah. Killed a lot of those."
"Stake through the heart?"
"That's pop culture bullshit. A vampire, you kill by cutting its head off." Reggie brushed his fingertips over the handle of his knife.
"You kill a lot of them?"
Reggie's face darkened. "Shit, yeah. I lost count."
Marcus's eyes gleamed, his mouth softening, the horror of hearing that all his childhood fears about monsters were true fading with the surge of pride in his man's prowess and bravery. "What's the worst monster you ever killed?"
Reggie raised his head slowly, like it hurt to move, and forced himself to look Marcus directly in the eye. "The humans that beat Nathan to death."
Marcus inhaled sharply.
Reggie looked away, unable to meet his gaze, see what emotions would flicker over his face once the first flash of shock wore off. "This is why I was afraid to tell you. I didn't want you to know what I really was."
Reggie jumped to his feet, but Marcus took his hand and pulled him back down. His knees hit the carpet with a soft thud. "Sounds like you're a hero to me."
Reggie shook his head, hair flying into his face, obscuring his features, hiding his eyes. "Heroes don't have as much blood on my hands as I do."
"Bad blood," Marcus brushed the hair out of Reggie's face, revealing his vivid blue eyes, not afraid to look directly into them. "Blood that needed to be shed."
Reggie looked into Marcus's eyes, and saw no fear or disgust there. "I don't deserve you."
"Well, you're stuck with me now. For life. Remember? You promised me."
"I surely did," Reggie answered.
"I'm going to hold you to that promise, you know." Marcus pulled Reggie close and kissed him. Reggie kissed him back, hands clenching at his sides, trying not to grab him and touch him too aggressively, even if love and need prompted it, not evil.
"Mmm," Marcus murmured. His hand slipped down Reggie's chest.
"Marcus." Reggie's voice was low and rough, a soft but clear warning to be careful.
"I know what I'm doing."
"Hey, hey, hey. There's no rush."
"I want to." Marcus's hand fell to Reggie's belt and tugged at it.
"That's the Vicodin talking."
"It hasn't kicked in yet. This is me." Marcus's green eyes were wide and clear. "I want this. I need this. Just… let me. Ok? Just let me do this one thing."
He undid Reggie's belt, undid his jeans, and freed his cock.
"Oh, god." Reggie trembled.
Marcus kept kissing him. "You're shaking."
"I don't want to hurt you."
"You're not going to hurt me. I just need you. I really need you."
Reggie shook even harder, but the fear of hurting Marcus faded and desire gained the upper hand.
"Hold still, ok? Let me do everything."
Marcus took Reggie's cock into his mouth, looking into his eyes, avidly seeking contact. He was delicate, playful, curious and exploring, as thought it was the first time he had ever done this. His gentle mouth, and the almost shocking intimacy of his unbroken eye contact, eased Reggie's fear that Marcus was just doing this in a desperate need to get back on the horse before he was ready.
Finally, he relaxed his jaw and slowly and carefully took Reggie as deep as he could go, then pulling back just as slowly to suckle gently on the head of his cock. He did it over, and over. Reggie kept his hands on Marcus's arms and held still, so careful not to move, fighting the urge to thrust into his mouth, letting Marcus do what he wanted to him.
"You taste good," Marcus whispered."Jesus, you taste good." He controlled every movement, reclaiming this first part of his sexuality, loving Reggie and giving him pleasure, until Reggie couldn't hold back any longer.
"You're gonna make me come."
"I want you to."
"Jesus." Reggie fought to hold off his orgasm. "Gonna come in your mouth, I don't want to—"
"Reg. I want you to." Marcus put his hands on Reggie's hips and brushed his mouth over his cock. His lips were wet, and his face bore no sign of trauma or distress. "I want you to."
Reggie nearly caved, but went with his gut instinct. "Trust me." He pulled out of Marcus's mouth, and brought Marcus's hand to his cock instead. A few tugs was all it took, and he was coming, not in Marcus's mouth, but spilling over his hand. Reggie touched his thumb to Marcus's wet fingers, and brought it to Marcus's mouth. "Just a taste. To start."
Marcus suckled on Reggie's thumb. At the first taste, salty and bitter, burst over his tongue, Reggie whispered, "I love you. I love you so much," intentionally timed so that the electronic signals carrying the taste in his mouth reached Marcus's brain at the same time as the message of Reggie loving him.
Just as Reggie had feared, the taste of semen did trigger a dark memory, but it was much less strong than it would have been if Sam hadn't helped Marcus earlier, and cleared out so much of the psychological damage the demon had done. A trace remained, but Reggie's words deflected it, drowned it out.
Reggie kissed him, sharing the faint taste of himself on Marcus's lips. He poured as much love into that kiss as he could muster, again creating a link in Marcus's mind between that taste, and love. He repeated, "I love you."
Marcus shivered, mouth opening with a gasp, then he pulled away and curled in on himself, fists clenched, body suddenly tense.
"Baby. What's wrong?" Reggie pulled him close. Marcus's breath hitched, as he struggled to keep control. "It's ok." Reggie stroked his hair. "It's ok to cry."
"Men don't cry," Marcus blurted out.
"What are you talking about," Reggie drawled. "Men cry all the time. Hell, I cry like a baby."
Marcus hiccuped, then a sob burst out of him.
"You let it out, darlin'. It's ok."
For the first time in his life, Marcus cried in the arms of a grown person other than his mother. Cried until he had cried it all out of him. Cried not just for what had been taken from him, but for what he had been given.