Ink My Heart

John closed his eyes and felt the needle prick his skin again and again. The process was not quite as painful as he had thought it would be, but the seemingly obsessive pin pricks were rather annoying. He rolled his eyes to the side and watched the skilled, gloved, hands move the instrument. The man would have before made him curl his nose in disgust, he was covered in ink, donning various piercings in places on his face that John thought would have been impossible, and his hair was long and raven black. He almost reminded him of his young, straight edge lover who was waiting at home, most likely lounging on the sofa in one of John's button up shirts with nothing else underneath. Phil wasn't very fond of pants: a fact that did not at all bother his Texan lover.

John smiled, imagining Phil curled up with his lap top, which John always seemed to fuck up the moment he touched it, (which was why Phil refused to let him near it) with one of his pale, pretty, legs tucked underneath him, the other dangling off the couch, swinging as he bit his lip ring, updating his Twitterspace or Mypage or whatever the hell kids did on the computer these days.

In fact, Phil was at home doing just that, only he wasn't wearing Johns' shirt as he might have every other time, because he was pissed off at the self-proclaimed wrestling god and Wall-Street king. He was wearing a black Affliction t-shirt with nothing else. Just the way John would like it. He tried to banish that thought from his mind, but felt the non-present eyes of John roaming over his half-clothed body, those beautiful caramel orbs glimmering with mischief and lust. Phil chewed on his lip ring, then quickly shoved the metallic ring out of his mouth with his tongue. That habitual chewing of metal was another thing John liked—or at least Phil had thought so—what with the it made the older man shiver and sigh. But not any more Phil. His fingers flew over the broken keys of his lap top (thank you John), tapping and ticking, angrily updating his Twitter.

Str8ght3dgePunk: Pissed off. Johns' gone again. I tried, & I'm done. 2 sec ago from web

Brooks closed his lap top, warm beads of sadness welling in his eyes and slipping softly down his cheeks. He had made up his mind that if John was late again tonight, he wasn't going to be there when the Texan came home. All week he'd been coming home late in the evening, making up lame excuses. When he tried to get close to John, tried to take his shirt off to let his tattooed fingers roam over the chest he loved so much, John pushed him away, refusing any kind of intimate contact beyond the rushed and short lived mingling of their lips.

He tried to tell himself that his John would never—could never—do the horrible thing that crept into his mind, but as the scenes repeated themselves again and again, Phil began to think that he was wrong. John had found a replacement for him, maybe he'd finally tired of his loud music and 'gothy' style (as John called it), maybe Phil had finally nagged him too much about those stinking cigars he liked to smoke, or the whiskey he liked to drink. Maybe John had decided he would rather opt for a boyfriend who was more traditional and didn't paint his fingernails. Phil looked down at the chipped black tips on his fingertips, and picked at the polish. He had thought that John had loved all those things about him, all his quirks, that they had become endearing, but he must have been mistaken. If those things were true, then John wouldn't have had to find a replacement, and not even had the courtesy to tell him to his face that he was bored, but to go behind his back and act like nothing was even wrong.

Phil made his way to the bedroom, glancing over all the things that had became so familiar in the lavish New York penthouse that had became his home. He ghosted down the hallway, feeling numb, emotionally detached. Some part of him wondered if this was not just a horrible dream, and that his footfalls that thumped bare against the floor as he walked towards his self-banishment, was only a figment of his sleeping imagination. He padded into the bedroom and pulled open a closet, bending over to find a suitcase that was in the back, and wishing that at any moment John would sneak up behind him and pinch his bare ass, and then carry him over to the bed and lathe his wanting lips and flesh with loving, passionate kisses. He could almost feel Johns' soft, wet, lips trailing over his ticklish skin, making his nerves burst into flames of need, but those kisses were not real: Johns' lips were claiming new territory. Tears burned Phils' dark, glistening eyes, and plummeted off his lashes, tip-tapping silently against the grain of the wood floor.

He found the suitcase and flung it onto the bed, it opened up like a gaping, dark mouth, ready to swallow up what was a beautiful relationship, and digest it into nothingness. Phil shook his head and wiped his eyes on the back of his hand as he remembered when he'd been unpacking instead of this, just starting his life with John—what he thought would last for a blissful life time—but now it was ending, his folded clothes being placed inside told him that.

Soon the case was stuffed with Phils' clothes—at least the original ones he'd came with. He decided to leave the majority of his clothes behind, because all the rest John had bought for him, and he didn't want the gifts. He would rather have John, which was not happening. Phil found a few more of his things, and added them to the suitcase which was going to hold everything he owned, and accompany him on a trip back to Chicago, to start a new life, alone. He sniffled, and contemplated snatching one of Johns' shirts and stuffing it in the bottom of the suit case. He pulled one off the hanger-- it was light pink—or as John insisted on calling it 'salmon'. It was one of Phils' favorites, even though he liked to tease John about looking like a pastel Easter egg when he wore it. He ran his fingers over the familiar feel of the cotton material, and gently lifted the collar to his nose, filling his sense with the scent of John and his cologne. He ultimately decided against taking that shirt, and started to hang it up again, but instead, just tossed it to the bottom of the closet, frowning at it bitterly. John wasn't his anymore, his oversized, ugly dress shirts were going to be on someone elses body after they made love in the bed that Phil was used to sleeping in, nudging John out of it when he snored too loudly.

Phil found some jeans and reluctantly put them on, then hunted down his shoes, and grabbed the suitcase, giving a last, mournful glance around the bedroom. He forced his despair-filled eyes closed, as they were filling with salty warmth again, and walked away.

He made his way to the living room before he completely broke down, the suitcase clamoring to the floor and falling open because he'd forgot to zip it all the way. He melted into a chair, Johns' chair, and buried his face in his hands, wondering what he hadn't done right enough for John to love him.

John admired the image in the mirror, before it was covered with a bandage. He shrugged into his shirt and buttoned it, grabbed his tie, let it hang loose around his neck, and then snatched his Stetson from the table, perching it atop his head where it sat regally. Reluctantly, he thumbed through bills and paid the artist, mumbling about how he thought it was over priced, even though his Punk who was waiting for him at home was worth more money to him than he could ever spend or make.

He sauntered out of the small shop and his boots clicked out the few steps to his car, which was parked against the yellow line of a curb, garnering him a parking ticket which he rolled his eyes at. He set the annoying paper to smoldering with his lighter, used it to light the tip of his cigar, then unceremoniously dropped the burning citation to the pavement and stamped it dead with the heel of his boot. He grinned crookedly, hearing Phils' voice in the back of his head sweetly nagging him about both the brushed off violation and the health hazard currently dangling, smoking from his lip. John chuckled, and ducked into the car, turning it on and finding some news channel on the radio that was discussing finances and the economy.

He half listened to it as he drove towards home, the window cracked so he could blow tendrils of curling smoke out into the nippy, autumn, air. His mind was mostly on Phil, wondering what his reaction would be when he got home and showed him. Bored, John sped faster and changed the radio station, finding some heavy metal that he was sure would already be on in the car, if Phil was with him fidgeting in the other seat.

Soon John was in the elevator, tapping his toes impatiently, and thinking about the Jack Daniels he still had in the cabinet, and that he might finish it after Phil went to bed. But most importantly, he was thinking of what was under that bandage. Johns' hands ghosted up to his chest and rested there, smiling, on pins and needles to show the kid, who would most likely laugh at him, and asked if he hadn't lost his damn mind once and for all.

Phil startled at the minute click of a key in the door, and hopped up from the chair, flying to the floor and hastily throwing in his clothing that looked like it had been vomited across the floor, his hands going up to his face now and again to swat away the last few tears that insisted on falling. He kept his eyes trained on the floor, his fingers wrapping around a picture frame with a photo of he and John in it, the glass now cracked from its meeting with the floor. He shoved it under some of the haphazard clothing in the suitcase and then slowly, turned his eyes upwards, noticing a shadow fall over him. John was looking down at him, the expression on his face perplexed.

"What's with the suitcase darlin', did Vince call y'back early?" The sound of Johns' voice, that accent and the way it always seemed to have a tint of 'I'm better than everyone else' to it made Phil shudder, and feel empty inside. It was a voice he would not be hearing once he reached Chicago, unless in his dreams. The younger man tugged the zipper on his suitcase and clutched the handle, straightening up and forcing a cold, uncaring expression.

"I'm leaving." He bit out simply, the words turning Johns' heart to painful shards of ice. His mouth fell open, eyes blinking and flicking up and down the punk as he pushed past John and headed quickly towards the door.

"Wait!" John bellowed, sprinting to the door, and wrapping his hand around Phils' wrist. "What did ah do this time?"

There gazes met one another, Johns' completely lost, Phils' smoldering with anger, his pierced lips pressed into a tight, white line.

"Are you serious?" Phil spat. "I can't believe you!" He tore his hand away from Johns' grasp and reached for the door knob, John spun him around by the shoulders, frantic, his voice almost cracking with what he said next. The thought of his precious straight-edge lover walking out of his life for good, his greatest fear realized, had him feeling almost faint, but he barreled on, intent on figuring out what he'd done to upset the boy and if it came to that—begging on his knees for Phil to let him make it right.

"But Philly, darlin', please, ah don't understand!"

"You wouldn't understand. You're an arrogant, impossible, self-absorbed, overbearing, uncaring--"

John dropped his eyes, knowing that all those things were true. He had hoped to find someone who could overlook those hard-edged aspects of his personality, and love him anyway, and he'd known—no, he still knew that Phil Brooks was that person.

"You listen to me! Ah am all those things, ah know it ahm a jackass…but ahm a jackass who loves y'to the end of the earth and back. Ah'd do anything for you, don't ya make me get down on my knees and beg you to drop that suitcase…look here, just let me show you Phil darlin', let me show you." John fiddled with the buttons on his shirt, fighting back the tears that wanted to slick his eyes. Phils' hand was on the door knob, clutching it tightly, in a matter of seconds he could be walking out of Johns' life forever.

"Show me what?" Phil bit out. "Son of a bitch! You think you can stay out and fuck whoever the hell it is you've found to occupy yourself with, and then come back here like nothing---" Phils' hard venomous words fell dead when he saw a gauzy white bandage over Johns' chest. Any anger he had towards the Texan dispelled to concern as his fingers reached out to hover over the dressing. "What did you…"

John peeled the bandage away, and suddenly everything was perfectly clear to Phil. The late nights, the avoidance of physical contact and closeness, it all made sense now. Phil laughed, and John burst into a grin, he knew Phil was going to laugh at him over this.

"Ah did this to show you how much ah love you. You're forever with me." John said, dipping down to catch Phils' lips in a kiss. Phil wrapped his arms around Johns' neck, his suitcase now forgotten and leaning up against the wall. He melted into the door, closing his eyes, enjoying the taste and feel of Johns' lips, even if that taste was partially of tobacco. The kiss was reluctantly broken, so the two lovers could keep from suffocating on their affection. Phils' eyes scanned over Johns' chest again, and his lips turned up into a smile.

"Do ya like it?" John asked, trailing his fingers through Phils' soft, ebony, tresses.

"I love it!" Phil grinned, biting at his lip ring. Phil fixed the dressing back over the raw looking, inked image of himself that was all in all, pretty poorly etched into Johns' skin. That is the worst fucking tattoo I've ever seen, and I absolutely love it. "And I love you too." He added, slipping Johns' tie out from under his shirt collar. He looked down at the hideous, paisley, print and laughed. "I love you so much."