Title: Hourglass Perception
Series: Hanna is Not a Boy's Name.
Genre and Pairing: PWP, Surrealism. Conrad/Worth.
Words/Progress: 2200; Complete.
Notes: NC-17. Severe chronic insomnia with elements of hallucinations and visual distortion. Dirty talk. Bloodplay. Possible dub-con.
Summary: In which Worth cannot sleep and doesn't bother trying to, walls are constantly moving, and Conrad just wants to eat.


It's only hour sixty-four, but everything is already churning—dull colors running into ugly stains, ugly stains dark against the fray. In the mostly indeterminate blur that is his vision, part of the room expands, part of the room contracts. It would be distracting to most, but usually Luce was okay with it. He'd long since memorized his office's measurements—this long x that wide x however high. And even if the hour pushes eighty, he has the numbers carved into the side of his desk: fingers across the ledge will give him the correct dimension of the room. That's all he usually needs to focus... to find the outline of a trashed cabinet across the room, distinguish a wilted plant's shadow from its creator, know that the walls really aren't closing in.

But at the moment, the worn numbers aren't enough. He can't recall them (they're just a haze of symbols in his memory) and none of his fingers can decipher the scratches. There's something like an 8 or a 3 or R... but R doesn't make much sense, now does it? Actually, nothing makes much sense: his office is in shambles but he still gets business; he stinks of day-old cologne, sweat, dust and rubbing alcohol; there's a jagged ache behind his ear and a monotone form is fixed to the middle of the room.

The last of these peculiarities is out of the ordinary, but Luce shrugs it off. New shit comes and goes all the time: this will probably be another passing fancy he forgets about once it's gone; once his sleep-deprived mind finds something else to obsess over. And there will always be something else because nothing is ever still with Luce, and he cackles at a sudden buzzing he hears that tastes like death and nonsense on his tongue. He figures he likes the sensation, and even though he wants to keep to his chair (which is meticulously held together with duct tape and surgical thread), Luce stands, strangely docile and compliant. The buzzing quakes a little when he begins to stumble forward, but fuck it if Luce cares about that.

(His insomniac visual distortion makes it difficult to judge where objects are in relation to him, so several miscellaneous objects snap under his boots as he crosses the room. Whatever. If they were on the floor they couldn't have been that important.)

Some time later, he arrives at what he takes to be his destination. In reality, it had taken only a minute; in Luce's reality, it felt like he had always walked between his chair and the little fridge he keeps tucked into a corner. (The strained way his walls curved as he traveled certainly made it seem like forever...) He hesitates for once in his life: the fridge is meant for medical use only. What's in there is there for a reason. He can't play with that shit. But... he needs to get at the blood. Right, right. Yeah, that's why he got up from his chair. He needs blood. He needs to—Wait. No. That can't be right. Why does he need blood? He ain't no filthy vamp and he certainly won't waste any of his supplies on a random impulse, no matter how fucked up he is at moment.

But... the buzzing chirps at his proximity to the blood, pulsing for it like a slut. Like nothing can be better than a mouthful of red sludge. (Distantly, Luce notices the monotone shadow moving—slow, slow, like movie stills held up one at a time; it's still far away but he knows it's closer.) Luce glares angrily at the fridge door (stained yellow—everything is so yellow) and turns away. He doesn't need the blood... yet the buzzing sharpens. It's confused and angry and for fuck's sake shut up. I'll get you your blood. I'm just saving this batch for someone more deserving. (Buzz—buzz—buzz.) You don't realize how many hemophilic fiends I've got on my ass, depending on me for their fix, do you? (Buzz.) Well. Fuck you, too. Coming in here like you mean something.

The buzzing stops when Luce's inner monologue (his lips moved... but he can't hear himself; he has to be thinking his tirade) does. Luce really should leave it at that, but the monotone patch flickers into a stretched field of gray. Dark, light, gray, gray, coming closer and Luce gets it into his head that he should talk to it. Make it even more upset; make it come to him faster. You mean shit—Luce's hackles raise, exposing a crooked set of nicotine-rotted teeth—and you are shit. Not even good enough to be buried, you scum you corpse you—

Pressure. Tightness in his right arm. He fights against it but it stays, cold and burning. "Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body": one sign of a heart attack. He's too young for this shit, but he... he can barely feel his fingers, and the buzzing is back but it's no longer buzzing: it still tastes awful but it's loud and grating and right in his ear. At least the gray has returned to its monotone state, a block of white with a black tuff on top, then below the white a black shirt with rolled-up sleeves, and twin white columns stretching out to Luce and...

Luce has a sinking feeling in his stomach as one of these columns comes toward his face in a rush, and a burst of (pleasure) lightening erupts on his jaw. It's sort of like a flash of absolute lucidity, feral and stark like the punch he sends in reply.

Perhaps, this feeling tells him as the buzzing-turned-grating sounds more and more like a voice—accented and fucking annoying. Perhaps... it's not hour sixty-four. Perhaps... he doesn't know what time it is or the time it was when he last slept; and... more importantly, how long he slept (his mind supplies two hours, but then another question: how long was he awake before that?).

Perhaps... he doesn't remember when hour sixty-four started; how long it's been since hour sixty-five was supposed to have begun.

Perhaps he should pay attention to the voice, hear it say ...a doctor! ...tell me to—Luce is pushed against the fridge, the glass stuck in his boots shattering further—wait a few more days, come over when you call me, like a dog (I'm not your dog, I can't stand dogs, but even if I did I wouldn't be yours). ...crawling in my skin, you demented twat, ...barely made it over here without jumping someone. ...have been on you. What kind of twisted

Now it's Luce who interrupts. Slips the side of his wrist between thin lips, and uses his other hand to force the jaw closed—teeth sinking into skin, breaking flesh; blood immediately seeping around sharp edges. The fuc—Conrad (epithets aren't for a man who's got his mouth on you) knows what Luce's poor-quality blood tastes like—like cigarettes, sleeplessness and Vitamin-D deficiency—and yet he still gasps throatily around Luce, chewing down on until his fangs find purchase on something that makes Luce's fingers spasm. If Luce was a well adjusted individual, he would be offended by and/or curious of the unquestioning manner Conrad accepts the offer. But Luce is not well adjusted, so instead he pulls his wrist and, with it, Conrad's head closer to his mouth, sneering:

You're snorting it in like a pig, you cheap...

—you suck like a pro; are you sure I won't have to push a few dollars into your grubby hands when you're done...

...ugly Brit, can't make sense if you—Luce yanks on Conrad's hair, but Conrad steadies himself, putting all his weight on Luce as he clutches to the bleeding wrist.

...piece of...

...and Luce keeps pulling like a—Conrade keeps sucking like a—there's going to be a bruise...

The room is spinning on its own now, Luce's head pounds, and he feels things he knows doesn't exist: heat bringing sweat to his thighs, a ghost of a touch down his side...

…how much of it in your mouth before you choke...

Thrusting shallowly, desperately against a sharp hip: Luce is hard.

—bet you can take it all...

Luce isn't sure whether what he's saying is disjointed or not, if it is more than a string of half-thoughts and ugly teases. He doesn't care at this point because he hears more than sees Conrad's tongue lap at the curve of his wrist, half-assedly cleaning up the mess that he made. It's only making everything worse, of course: grimy saliva of the dead sealing the bite like wet cement, mixing with the stain of red on his sickly, taunt skin. Conrad even has the balls to unravel some of Luce's sodden bandages, tonguing the first scar he finds as if he can taste both the blood from the new bite and the blood from when the old cut was made.

...drooling for it—

—starving for it; got your spit running down my wrist...

He's so fucking hard but Conrad's brain can't handle anything more than its own bloodlust and related interests (namely, Luce's skin). Figures Conrad would be a horrible, inattentive fuck and... and even Luce—in all his insomniac stupor and blood loss and angry desire—jumps a little at this thought. It's proof that he's so bugged out that sex and Conrad can exist in the same figurative breath without destroying all of his mental capacities. It's bordering on intriguing and Luce hisses blasphemous insults to nothing in particular as he gropes his own zipper, deciding that's too much work a second afterwards: instead, he pushes both his pants and briefs down just low enough so he can pull out his dick, hard and hot in his palm. Conrad doesn't even blink at the movement; he continues coating Luce's arm in a sheen of spit as if either of them can actually get off on that shit.

...and, really, Luce doesn't groan a uh yes you filthy fuck when he directs Conrad's licking to his hand. (He's seething, not moaning, and yes you're going to believe him.)

Luce ignores Conrad's ministrations and just tries to jerk himself off without hurting himself. There's just him and the movement, slim hand tight and skin-against-skin slick with a dead man's spit and the friction killing him. His headache dissolves into a numbing calm, and he pumps clumsily. It would be nice to have Conrad doing something sexy, something to push Luce over the edge so he can get back to rooms that make no sense and tables with now-meaningless scratches in their ledges.

He might have said as much aloud because Conrad's teeth are on him again: they push through his skin halfway up his forearm between a melody of scars. The pain is real but the wounds are shallow, and before any significant amount of blood is drawn the pain moves—again and again it moves around Luce's arm and the punctures startle his body into searing heat. Luce detests Conrad for doing this to him and he kicks Conrad hard. Harder than he has any right to be able to do with his mind starved for sleep and his cock starved for release. Conrad finally stumbles away from Luce and just as he notices what the fuck Luce has been doing to himself, Luce bites out Conrad's imbecilic name, orgasm jolting out over the crotch of Conrad's black slacks.

Luce, of course, doesn't pass out (he actually stays up for another six hours, but does manage to sleep uninterruptedly for ten: a victory in the end), but he is not the first to recover. (If he had been, he would have had something insanely clever to say; he would have made fun of Conrad while disguising the guilt of his own misdeeds all at once.)

Instead, Conrad wipes the back of his hand across his wet mouth, eyes flickering between Luce's arm, cock and cum, before spitting out a simple yet elegant, "This still doesn't mean I'm gay."