Character(s)/Pairing: Michael Corinthos III

Posted for the leverage challenge over at gh_unwrapped on livejournal. (btw, almost our one year anniversary!) Been a while since I posted anything here and I figured this was long enough.

"I'll never help you." Michael spits a mouthful of blood and snot onto smooth Italian leather shoes. He's already lost a tooth and his jaw is numb, red saliva flecking out around his mouth as he swallows clumsily. He's probably in more pain right now than he's ever been, ever, just tied to a chair and being consumed by physical hurt – but he's not going to give them what they want, not even if it kills him. He'll never sell out his own father.

They've used a variety of tools but it's mostly been shock value and scare tactics. A cigarette, a knife. Fists and heavy boots the most though. Now one of them has a baseball bat, and Michael just thinks that it's old school and it…it's going to hurt.

He's already been crying so a little more won't matter but he's not going to tell. Not even for this. Not even if it means he'll never be able to watch another Yankee's game in his life.

Antonio Saenz has a smile like a shark, but instead of gleaming white it's just rows of gold and silver. He wipes his bloody knuckles on Michael's already matted hair. "Okay." He says agreeably, pinching an open cut on Michael's face. "You are a stubborn boy. I wonder if it's genetics. We'll have to find out, won't we?"

They're just playing with him now, really, because Saenz gestures to the thug with the bat and the hit of it cracks Michael in this gut, hard enough to choke him on his own strangled yell, but it's not anywhere near as bad as Michael knows it could be. He coughs on bile burning in his throat, straining against the rough ropes, his body fighting to curl up and protect itself. "If-ff you could find my dad, you w-wouldn't need me."

Saenz looks at him like he's funny, like he's a comedian telling an alright joke, a court jester finally doing something amusing. "But you're not the only one who knows where he is, boy. What about that pretty sister of yours, huh?"

Michael hears the swing of the bat in its full arc, so slow he could have counted down to contact but so quick he doesn't realize it's coming until he jerks right before impact, the dull pop of his leg or bone or skin or something breaking not even registering over his screaming. Michael screams and screams and can't think straight until he tapers off for breath, sobbing noisily. His whole body is twitching and tearing itself apart under the ropes, wanting more than anything to get out. One of his feet scrapes uselessly against the floor.

"We don't usually do girls, you know. Women and children and all that." The conversation continues as if it never stopped in the first place. Michael's ears are ringing, his heart is pounding, he's sucking in loud gasps but hears it all, Saenz's voice loud and overbearing. "But for your sister, I think we'll make an exception. Do you think she'll hold out as long as this?"

Michael can't close his mouth. His fingers have stopped tingling. He feels like he's half on fire and half gone, like if they gave him a chance he'd rip his own heart out to get away from this. Michael can't even remember his name or the date or how he got here but he can think of Kristina and he can think of his father and it's his own personal immovable object versus an unstoppable force inside of him.

Saenz watches him. The thugs are stoic, distant giants just out of the swaying overhead light. The one with the bat spits in his own hand to lube it up. He's going to make the next swing count.

Michael can't feel that first leg anymore. He just closes his eyes and tells himself that – there are some things in the world worse than this. He just has to decide which of the two is the worst.

"Okay." Saenz says again. He is talking to someone – Michael finds he can't open his eyes again. "Go get her. Bring her here."

He rests his hand on Michael's head, big rings heavy on the bump that had knocked him out in the first place. "The first hit – I'll tell her it's from you."

If Michael tries hard he can slit his eyes open, bleary and sticky. They burn when he tries to pry them open wider and he can only see Saenz smiling, the shine of his teeth and his jewelry and his slick hair blurring haphazardly. He looks like a monster in a black suit. He is a monster.

"Wha-" Michael slurs. His throat stings when he swallows and his tongue feels heavy. "Wait."

Saenz tilts his head playfully, inquisitively, like a dog.

"Not her." Michael says. Begs. Stray tears are steadily sliding down his face, through blood and dried saliva. "I'll tell you."