Title: You Were Only Waiting
Total Word Count: 14171
Rating: M for mention of abduction and recurring psychological issues stemming thereof, and sex.
Summary: Eames' douchey frat buddies realize that he has a crush on super-serious grad student Arthur, so they decide to abduct him and give him to Eames as a present. Eames despairs that he's lost all hope for getting together with Arthur, but recovery takes time, and Arthur can't do it alone.
A/N: The title for this chapter, "Darkest Night," is from a song by The Sea and Cake by the same name.
Arthur hadn't expected to spend his Saturday night being fucking abducted, but then who the hell did? He recognized the guys holding him with his arms behind his back from the class he was a TA for, so if he got out of this alive, he'd be able to put faces to names. It was dark, and the halogen lights buzzed only dimly, but he could pick them out as the bottom-dweller frat boys who sat in the back row of the lecture hall and thought he didn't notice them sharing porn over facebook chat. They were drunk, obviously—he could smell it on their breath—but still, there were five of them to one of him, and he hadn't been prepared. Mostly Arthur was just fucking annoyed, because really, what could they want with him, but the way one of them was wrenching his arm really hurt, goddammit.
"If you let me the fuck go, right now, we'll just forget about this," he snarled. Of course it was a lie, but it could only get worse for them if it got worse for him, and even frat boys had to have some common sense, right?
But then the group of them began manhandling him over to a van parked at the entrance to the otherwise deserted parking lot, and a thread of something deeper than run-of-the-mill anxiety settled over him. Arthur knew he should yell, knew he ought to do something, but his body froze up like it was already resigned to what was going to happen. 'This is not going to end well, is it?'
"Get the fuck in there, you little pansy-ass," one of them laughed. They were all laughing, like shoving Arthur roughly over the back seat of a piece of shit van was the most hilarious fucking thing in the world. One of them immediately leapt on top of him, sat on the small of his back and began circling Arthur's wrists with duct tape. Another threw his bag in on the floor next to them, thank heaven for small mercies, but there was no way he could reach for his phone now.
"Oh, he'll fucking love this," said somebody from the front seat as the engine turned over and they pulled away, and Arthur wanted to scream, wanted to demand 'who' and 'what the hell are you going to do with me', but the air was crushed from his lungs by the guy on top of him and his shoulders burned, his muscles screamed, and shit, fuck all, his eyes were stinging and no, he was not going to fucking cry about this.
"Aww, look, you scared him," the guy on top of him giggled, and finally Arthur was just too fucking exhausted to resist. He'd be humiliated about it later, when he was sure he wasn't going to get killed or raped or branded or whatever the fuck it was frat boys did with grad student TA's who had done nothing whatsoever to deserve this.
At some point Arthur must have blacked out, because the next thing he knew somebody was slapping him lightly in the face, ordering him to wake the fuck up. The exhaustion seeped back into him even as he came to, so he didn't struggle. What was the point? The biggest of them hauled Arthur roughly to his feet, ignorant or uncaring that Arthur's legs were asleep and his feet dragged as they led him into the frat house. His abductors were still laughing, stumbling into the furniture, but they managed to get him into one of the rooms down the hall. It was somebody's bedroom. Arthur felt the fear wash over him again in a sickening wave. 'Fuck'.
"Take his shirt off," said one of them. "Let's see what he looks like under there."
"You fuckin' idiot, we taped his hands together. We can't get it off."
"Don't untape him, he'll try and get away or punch us or something."
Arthur didn't tell them that he'd lost circulation to his fingers ages ago, and he couldn't even make a fist, much less punch them. But apparently the big guy was the least drunk of them, because he solved the problem easily enough. He flipped open a balisong, grabbed the sleeve of Arthur's t-shirt and slashed the fabric across his chest in one smooth motion. Arthur tried to shrink back, but his knees made contact with the bed and suddenly he was sprawling backwards.
"Whatever, we can leave him there," Big Guy grinned. "You won't go nowhere, will you?" Arthur tried to glare at him, but he figured the effect was ruined by the tears sliding down his cheeks. "No, he won't." Big Guy motioned to the one who'd sat on his back in the van ride. "You, just... pretty him up or something. I'll go get Big D."
And one by one they filed out, until it was just Arthur and 'Fuckface', he called him in his head. Fuckface stumbled around for a bit before coming up with a box of tissues. Arthur's hands were still bound behind his back, so Fuckface wadded up the tissue and dabbed roughly at Arthur himself. Arthur's eyes stared straight ahead at nothing.
"Why am I here?" he finally asked, inflectionless, though he thought he knew the answer. "Who the hell is Big D?"
"You don't get to fuckin' ask questions," Fuckface answered, but after a minute he giggled, as if the secret was just too good to keep. "You're his present. He's always lookin' at you, you know. In class. We figured out he was a faggot because he just wouldn't stop fuckin' staring. So we got you."
"Got me? Yeah, you fucking got me," Arthur whispered. Fuckface finally moved away, leaving Arthur alone in the room and shutting the door behind him. Arthur closed his eyes, shrinking in on himself. This wasn't happening this wasn't happening this wasn't happening, only it was, and when he blinked his eyes open again the scene hadn't changed. He swallowed. Maybe it would be over quickly, at least. Maybe 'Big D' wouldn't be too much of an asshole about raping him. He could only hope. And wasn't that fucking sad?
It was nearly eight by the time Eames got in from the library. He'd been trying to study, but it'd been hard to concentrate on an empty stomach, so finally he gave it up as a lost cause. He could study in his room, maybe, as long as his floormates kept it down—not that he could count on them for that. Of course, this would all happen after he'd made himself something to eat. But he was accosted as soon as he'd walked in the door.
"Big D, man of the night!" Nick crowed, snagging a bewildered Eames by the wrist and dragging him out of the foyer.
"Man of the... wha?" All five of the blokes in his hall were milling around the living room, all of them drunk, judging by the way they were stumbling over each other in their excitement. Clayton threw an arm over his shoulder and breathed right in his face when he said, "We got something to show you, buddy!"
Eames gave a half-hearted laugh. "What is this, boys?" he said good-naturedly, because telling them outright he wasn't interested in whatever idiotic stunt they'd decided to pull this time probably wouldn't go over well.
"Present," said Clayton, still in his face. "We knew how much you wanted him. It. Him."
"Shut the fuck up, Clay, you'll ruin the surprise." Nick jerked Clayton off by the collar of his polo and shoved him backwards.
Something twigged in Eames' head, but he hoped he'd just misheard that. "Wait, what?" he asked in his confusion.
"Man, just go see," Matt grinned. "We went through all that trouble, so you might as well."
Eames shook them all off him, but they followed close behind as he strode down the hall to his room. Eames had never liked most of these blokes, thought they could be a right bunch of idiots most of the time, but even he thought well enough of them that the idea was absurd, that they could have... Something like dread collected in his gut as he reached for the door handle, though. And when he opened the door, suddenly it was a rock, a fucking rock, trying to tear its way out of him.
"What the fuck?" he asked, his voice ascended to higher registers. "What the bloody fucking fuck?"
Arthur's eyes snapped open as soon as he heard the footsteps coming down the hall. There was a new voice, deep and smoky with a London drawl to it. It had to be 'Big D'. Arthur scooted back as best he could, put his back to the wall and drew his legs to his chest. His arms were burning, and his hands had been taped for what felt like an hour now. There was no possible way he could fight back.
Then the door opened and he was locking eyes with David fucking Eames, who sat quietly every day in the front row of class and turned in his papers on time, Eames, who Arthur had once held a friendly conversation with via notes on the rough draft of one of his essays, fucking Eames, who was friends with these guys and apparently liked raping TA's for sport. But he seemed shocked about it, maybe as shocked as Arthur, and as Arthur's vision started blacking out around the edges, the last thing he saw was Eames' fist smashing into Fuckface's nose.
Everything was quiet when Arthur came to again, but he wasn't alone. Someone was touching him, somebody was touching—he jerked back, tried to twist away, but he only succeeded in entangling himself in the blanket thrown over his shoulders.
"Hey, hey," came a voice, a familiar smoky drawl, and Eames backed away, hands up in surrender. "I'm not going to hurt you," he said placatingly. "I was trying to rub some of the circulation back into your fingers, but I won't touch you if you don't want me to."
Arthur blinked groggily at the close-cropped hair, full lips, wide eyes and eyebrows drawn into a frown and felt himself relax, if only by a hair. "You're not going to...?"
"No," Eames interrupted, before he could finish. "Christ, no." He let his head drop into his hand, and Arthur took the opportunity of Eames' distraction to scoot back an inch or two anyway. Arthur was still in Eames' bed, though the blanket was on him now instead of under him, and he supposed he at least had that to be grateful for. Truthfully, Eames looked pretty tortured about it, but that didn't stop Arthur's heart pounding in his chest.
"Where are the others?" he croaked.
Eames heaved a sigh. "They fucked off after I punched Clayton in the face. I think I might have broken his nose."
Arthur was... confused. "So you didn't ask them to throw me in a van and duct tape my hands together so you could rape me?"
Eames looked shocked again, and it seemed genuine enough. "I would have never, ever—just, no. Not ever." He gave a dry chuckle. "Frankly I'm still surprised they even did it. Though not too surprised." Then his expression turned back to concern. "They didn't hurt you too badly, did they?"
Arthur raised his arm and gave his hand an experimental flex. The fingers still tingled, but he was able to make a loose fist, at least. "No lasting damage," he concurred. But when Eames smiled in relief, he couldn't managed to return it, and they fell silent for a moment.
"We should call the campus police," Eames said finally. "I should have called them as soon as I found out about this, but I decided to wait until I could ask you about it."
Arthur chewed at his lip. Even thinking about it had his heart going again, but the idea of telling the police what had happened had him even more apprehensive. "Okay," he said, "but not just yet. I... don't want to do it from here."
"We could go to the station and tell them in person," Eames offered, and Arthur considered it for a moment before nodding. "I can give them all the names."
"But you," Arthur said as he realized. "You'll get it too. For punching that guy in the face, and probably just for being involved."
Eames gave a sad nod. "Probably. I could lose my scholarship over it, but it doesn't matter. I have to do right by you, because what they did is just. It's not right on so many levels. It's sick. It's just sick."
Eames' gaze moved to the floor and Arthur felt safe enough that he watched him, so obviously battling his emotions, shaking minutely as if he were as afraid as Arthur. Arthur thought back to the notes Eames had written on his papers, the little 'how are you's' and 'what do you think of's' and 'do you like such-and-such band's'. The doodles he'd drawn, of the professor, who no one liked, of the university's chancellor, of Edgar Allen Poe riding a giant raven with Samuel Taylor Coleridge on an albatross. He had a sneaking suspicion, had always had one, that Eames was a good guy.
"I don't want you to lose your scholarship," Arthur said quietly after a moment, and Eames blinked up at him disbelievingly.
"Arthur, you can't not tell the police about this. Even if I lose the scholarship, have to go on probation, what have you, I'll still live. I'll find another way to get the money if I have to."
"Do you like me?" Arthur blurted, before his brain filter had had the chance to catch up with what his mouth was saying. Eames froze, his skin gone pale. Well fuck, now there was nothing to it but to keep going, Arthur supposed. "You wrote me all those notes, and... and the guys. They said they caught you watching me in class." Eames' eyes widened.
"Arthur, I swear I wasn't trying to be a creep," he said frantically. "I've always... but I was just going to ask you if you'd like to get a coffee, that's it. Not this."
"It's alright, it's alright, I believe you. I just... wanted to know." Arthur ran a hand through his hair. He wasn't sure what difference it made, really, considering the trauma he'd just been through. But Eames didn't deserve this either. "I'm sorry," he finally offered. "I'll... tell them the truth. That you saved me, that none of this was your idea at all. It may still look bad, but I'll stick up for you anyway."
"You don't have to do that." Eames gave a watery smile.
"This isn't your fault, Eames. You shouldn't be punished for it."
Eames considered a moment. "I'll do whatever it is that you want me to do."
"Help me up, then?" Arthur asked, and both of them held their breath as Eames tentatively stood, then reached a hand to Arthur. Arthur exhaled and took Eames' proffered hand. Eames' grip was steady as he pulled Arthur to his feet. "Thanks."
Arthur looked around him as Eames led him through the silent hallway and out the door, to where the van was missing and Eames' blue Honda sat instead. "Are you going to stay here?"
"They'll understand if I find lodging elsewhere," Eames grumbled. "Besides, I don't think any of us will be allowed."
"Well, good riddance," Arthur chuckled as they got in the car. And Arthur could stand again, and he'd stopped shaking, and his heartbeat had finally resumed a normal pace. He didn't need to keep holding Eames' hand. But he did anyway.