TITLE: Edge Play

AUTHOR: Sharkbait


PAIRING: Tommy / Jamie UST

CONTINUITY: Set during episode 1x03, where Jamie makes with the oops-I-hate-your-song and Tommy tries to kill him with death-rays from his eyeballs.


DISCLAIMER: Instant Star is still CTV's. I am still not CTV.

NOTE: Vague-ish sequel to Anger Management. Implied slash.

Two years since you last really lost your head, lost some skin from your knuckles on somebody's face. It's still there, still bad, but the Quincy temper hasn't led your steps in almost as long.

And this kid -- this skinny little nobody kid -- is fucking your cool all up.

Before you even find out about his pep talk with Jude, you can feel it building at the base of your spine, black cloud gathering danger to your record (musical and otherwise). He's been chapping your ass since day one, self-righteous loudmouth twerp always ready to stick the needle in, and you've wanted it more than once, to just wipe that so-goddamn-earnest look right off his pointy, ironic face.

You wanted it like that motorcycle for Christmas when you were eight; something you were never gonna get.

But Santa Claus is coming to town today. You stalk the halls 'til you find him, pop your knuckles heading unstoppable like a freight train, and know it's Merry freaking Christmas, Little Tommy Q, 'cause you've been a very good boy this year.

You haven't laid a hand on anyone in anger since Darius, but you slam the kid into his locker as easy as breathing, feel the bone-deep satisfaction in the impact of his thin shoulder blades. It's like riding a bike.

Right up in his face, intently violating his bubble, you two have your own little chat, and you can feel him responding to your unspoken threat, coiling in on himself. He flares back like a cornered animal, agitated and defensive, but you can almost hear his stomach churning, taste the bright nickel zing of fear. There's a dark, hidden sliver of you that's enjoying this, relishes it.

Violent potential roars in your arteries, your capillaries, your synapses that spark with it.

But you don't let it go. It's close when he finally owns up to what he said to her, but you're still fisting the leash inside, even when that hand is shaking. You don't let go.

"What do you want me to do?" his voice breaks a little, under your pressure and his guilt. He's scared of you. That's good.

Ugly, overhead fluorescent lights pick up the blue dye in his dark hair.

Vision of yourself, wrapping your hands around that long, lanky neck and just squeezing. He's taller, but you're stronger, and you know you could. Palms itching, you can almost feel warm solid skin, taut lines of tendon and cartilage, his pulse hammering beneath your thumb.

Always in your business, as if his opinion matters somehow. As if he in any way deserves this place in Jude's esteem he's bumbled into. As if he deserves Jude AT ALL.

You take a breath, and count back down from the meltdown in three, two, one. Curl your fist a little tighter inside, and make the situation very, very clear to him: un-FUBAR this mess, and quit fucking with your artist's head or you're gonna fuck with him. "We are not having this conversation again," you snap. "Right?"

The kid drops his eyes, sulky beta wolf. Hits the wrong damn switch in your brain, trigger-pull for something deep, lurking primitive. You invade his space without moving, pin him without lifting a finger, with nothing but the force of your aggression. "Right?" stare him down 'til you make him say it, repeat the words; 'til he is under no delusion as to who's in control.

Behind the funky glasses, his eyes are dilated, and you can smell hair gel, Old Spice. You can feel his breath on your face.

He turns away to shut his locker, and you flash on this sudden, primal desire to shove him back up against the metal, press your forearm into the base of his skull. You keep very carefully still until the urge flickers out, when he's facing you again.

Looks you right in the eye, and no one is more surprised than you at the angry spark of defiance glittering there, thin mouth drawn sullen tight. He pushes past you, not quite bumping into you but almost. You watch him thunder off, angular shoulders held stiff, and long, lean legs eating up distance in big bites. Tension hums through the rangy arc of his body.

Junior's got himself a little spine after all.

You follow him with your eyes, and your heart's in your ears, loud and drumming hard. He doesn't, but you know how close the call was. You know this idiot kid owes his skin to the years between Tommy-that-was and Tommy-that-is.

Your hands feel unsteady, so you clench them into fists, lean your forehead into the locker's cool, flat surface and slow your breathing. Inhale. You do not have a hard-on. Exhale. Angle your body, so the milling teenage herd won't see its nonexistence.

God, the tabloids would love you for this one.

It's an involuntary response, you tell yourself. Sometimes anger can get you like this, and it doesn't mean anything. You remember that from the pamphlet you got in Grade 7, all about Your Changing Body and why little Bobby hides a jar of Vaseline under his bed now.

Burnt out rage turns sour in your stomach. You lost your cool for a second, that's all. It doesn't mean anything (trace of Old Spice on the painted steel, lingering body heat impression, and you twitch).

You want to kill that fucking kid.