Title: Hunger Pains.
Fandom: K – Memories of Red.
Warning: PG-13, abuse.
Characters: Eric, Fujishima, Yata, Izumo.
Summary: Just getting Eric to eat is a trial at the beginning.
Hurt/Comfort square: hunger/starvation.
Notes: Any comments will be fed ice cream and taken out for daily walks ^_^
There is a bowl, plastic and red. It sits at the foot of Master's plush, leather chair.
Eric is chained there, a cheap collar around his neck that bites in with each, impatient tug. He sits back on his heels and waits.
Izumo isn't sure what he is supposed to do with Fujishima's latest stray, and so he leaves Eric where he is and simply cleans around him. Eric sits with his knees tucked up to his chest, crowded into as small a space as humanly possible without ceasing from existing altogether.
Eric doesn't move, his eyes never flickering from their spot on the floor. Izumo isn't entirely convinced he is breathing half the time, as each breath is shallow and minimal.
Still. Eric isn't breaking the furniture, setting the light fittings on fire, or trying to sneak alcohol from behind the bar. For those reasons alone, he's probably the most acceptable customer Izumo has had all day.
"You can help me clear up all the glasses," Izumo says when Eric's stillness finally manages to outweigh his lack of destructiveness. Eric shuffles to his feet and starts doing as he is asked, never meeting Izumo's gaze. Curiously, Eric doesn't return after taking the glasses out back, and Izumo isn't pleased at having to track him down.
Eric hasn't gone far, lingering in the doorway to the kitchen as through hypnotised.
Izumo has prepared an array of dishes there, their aromas decadently sweetening the air. There are rich chocolate mousses that are a dream, and the dark, succulent flare of a perfectly cooked steak. The broth alone is enough to make a wealthy man weep gold.
And Eric, Eric is hungrily eying the scraps on the side as though they are the world's greatest delicacy.
Izumo isn't entirely heartless, and he sighs around his cigarette before stubbing it out in a nearby ashtray.
"Sit," Izumo commands, and Eric obeys automatically and without thought of hesitation. "I meant at the table," Izumo adds finally, a touch more gently. Eric moves robotically up from the floor to the tiny table that Izumo has stuffed out back, eyes widening when Izumo moves Suoh's meal in front of him. "Eat."
Eric stretches out an unsteady hand for the chopsticks, waiting for Izumo's approval. Izumo nods.
Suoh doesn't say anything when Izumo brings him up a simple meal, perfectly spiced and the flavours wonderfully balanced, but nothing like what Suoh is used to.
Izumo has a feeling he knows.
Master is dining with his men, and Eric flinches with each, drunken laugh. Occasionally a scrap of food drops in front of him, and Eric has to forcibly snap his head away. If the food isn't placed in his bowl or handed to him by Master, then it isn't meant for him. Even if the food stays there on the floor in front of him for hours and hours and hours, he can't-
Eric has learnt the hard way to not take food that isn't his.
It has been four days since he last ate. The hunger has faded into a numb emptiness that is slowly consuming his other senses. Master's pat on his head feels like it is through a wall of clouds, and even the smells of the meal seem muted, distant.
Eric waits, but he expects nothing.
He knows better.
Hours pass and Master doesn't drop him anything. The floor slowly starts to blur bitterly in front of Eric's eyes.
"Are you hungry, my pet?"
Master's voice pierces through the clouds, and Eric's startled gaze flickers up to the hand dangling in front of him.
It's painful watching Eric sit on his couch, all harsh lines and minuscule movements. Biting comments sometimes escape his lips, but Yata never sees anything pass the other way. It's freaky, because they've all been at the bars for hours and Eric is the only one who hasn't eaten anything.
"Catch, you idiot," Yata says suddenly. Eric's eyes widen as the packet of crisps come flying at him. They spin slightly in flight, bouncing off his shoulder with a muted crunch before landing harmlessly on the couch.
"What the hell?!" Yata barks, shocked. "How the fuck did you miss that? Would you like me to phone you in advance next time? Maybe make a booking?"
"Chihuahua's play catch," Eric responds in English, and Yata erupts. It takes three Homra members to wrestle him from the room, and even then his insults can be heard from the street.
Eric eats the chips, all the same. Yata counts it as a victory.
Eric permissively runs his tongue over Master's palm, lapping up the remnants of the salt and sweat that linger there. It's not, it's not enough to carve into his intense hunger, and it isn't what his Master wants, even though Master still seems pleased.
Eric's lips slide downwards, slowly takes one of Master's wet fingers into his mouth. The shock of flavour spikes up through his skull, and Eric shudders. The spice of the sauce is intoxicating, and Eric takes another finger dizzyingly into his mouth. He licks tentatively up and around his Master's knuckles, sucking the finger in deeper. Eric's eyes drift closed and he moans. There are so many different tastes...
"Aren't you lucky that you have such a caring Master?"
Totsuka finds it just a little bit difficult when Fujishima isn't there. Eric isn't disruptive unless Yata is also present, as Yata seems to fire an instinctive combativeness in Eric that is as amusing as it is welcomed. But while Eric is generally well behaved, he is just a little bit odd. They've been at the bar for hours, and while Eric has ventured away from his couch to sit with them, he hasn't said a word.
Totsuka takes an exaggerated handful of nuts, never breaking from his conversation with the others as he pops several in his mouth.
Eric watches carefully, before taking an exacting handful for himself.
Minutes later, Totsuka takes another handful.
Eric does the same.
An hour later Fujishima drops in after school, and Eric skitters after him when he leaves on a delivery.
Totsuka drops his head onto the bar with a friendly groan.
"You could have put something else out," he chuckles out of the side of his mouth. Izumo continues drying a wine glass, unimpressed.
"You could have always ordered something," Izumo says pointedly. "You just went through three days worth of nuts."
"I don't think he would have taken anything else if I had actually offered," Totsuka says, his smile saddening. "It's a little difficult to get him to eat on his own, isn't it?"
"Good boy," Master murmurs when Eric is done. He tugs at Eric's lead, drawing him forward onto his hands. Eric half crawls, is partially dragged so that he sits between Master's parted knees, a trophy now as much as a pet. Fingers slick with Eric's saliva come down to cup his chin, tipping his head upwards. Appreciative eyes sweep over Eric's cheeks, and a different kind of hunger darkens Master's gaze. Eric's stomach churns.
"Now," Master says warmly, and Eric shuts out the world. "Would you like something to drink?"
Sometimes, Yata is recovering from his injuries or Izumo has too many patrons, and Totsuka has a new member to indoctrinate with kindness and warmth. Sometimes, Fujishima can't be there, because unlike Eric he has school and responsibilities, and a family who demands his attention just as much as Eric often refuses it.
When Fujishima returns from his class trip, it has been three days. Eric looks as he always does, drawn and tight and just a touch skittish. Fujishima is used to looking deeper now, and so he sees more. Shadows cloud Eric's eyes, and there is a hesitation when he stands, almost as though Eric is trying to weigh up whether moving is such a good option.
And Fujishima looks deeper, sees more. He's ... he's getting better at this.
"Next time you're hungry, ask," Fujishima gently admonishes. The pie he hands Eric is one of Izumo's finest, however Eric's shattered look is reserved solely for Fujishima. Fujishima's heart wrenches, and somehow, somehow he feels as though he's broken something within Eric, because the other boy looks so distraught-
Finally, green eyes drop down to the pie, piping hot and smelling divine. When they lift up again they are backlit with a crippling fear. Fujishima smiles encouragingly, and Eric bites down on his bottom lip before finally daring to speak.
"I don't like chicken."
Defiance flashes in Eric's eyes, so at odds with the tense line across his shoulders and the pre-emptive clenching of his jaw.
Fujishima blinks, and then grins widely.
"I know Izumo has a cold fish pie in the fridge," Fujishima leans in conspiringly with a wicked smile. "Want to swap it?"
It's a start.
There is a bowl, plastic and red. A burnt, warped collar sits beside the scorched skeleton of a once-expensive chair.