This was written for BlackIce Week on Tumblr and my first time writing anything vaguely smutty, so be gentle! Also, this was beta-ed by the wonderful and talented Hikari199111. Everyone should go check her out on Tumblr and AO3!

This fic now has a sequel, The Dark in You, so please check that out after you've finished reading!

I put together a playlist for this fic, which is linked in my profile.

Also on my profile is a poll about BlackIce fics I'm planning on doing and it would be a great help to me if you voted. I have quite a few fics planned, so knowing what my readers want will go a long way toward prioritizing them. Thanks!

He has always been afraid of the dark.

It starts when he is young, when he feels like something watches him after he turns off the lights. He huddles under the sheets, staying awake for hours only to have terrifying nightmares when he falls asleep. The dark is a common enough fear for young children, so his parents simply buy him a nightlight and wait for him to grow out of it. Except that he never grows out of it. The night terrors continue and the shadows dance on the wall; the presence watches him, instilling deep terror in his mind whenever he can sense it.

He keeps the nightlight until he's thirteen, when he tells himself it's all in his head and it's time to stop being scared of his own room. Figuring the best way to cure his fear is complete immersion, he unplugs the nightlight before bed. He doesn't sleep at all that first night. Perhaps the nightlight did keep that presence at bay because now it is all around him, the darkness is surrounding him, suffocating him, and he can't even bring himself to close his eyes.

He has to force himself to do without the nightlight the next night, and the next, and the next. It takes weeks, but it starts to get better; he beings to feel safe falling asleep.

As time goes on, his fear diminishes. The presence that watches him appears less frequently, as if it has gotten bored. Those nights when it does return are often the most intense, but he is able to cope because of the span between their occurrences. For five years, his nights fall into a pattern of quiet, deep sleeps interspersed with absolute terrors and he accepts this as something with which he has to deal.

He's eighteen when a post on Facebook catches his attention. Normally, he just scrolls past things his friends share, but this one gives him pause: As soon as you turn the lights off start masturbating. No monster wants to see that shit. While doing it, stare at the corner and whisper, tenderly, "This is for you." Oh.

It's just supposed to be a funny thing – and, on the surface, it is – but to Jack it could be the answer to dispelling his fears. Just because they have gotten easier to manage does not mean he wants to continue living with them. He's willing to attempt anything to be rid of his fear and the presence. What does he have to lose by doing this? If there is something there this will scare it off; if there isn't anything there then he's just jacking off. As a teenage boy, masturbation is a normal occurrence, so that's not a problem, though he's used to doing it with the lights on – even that is something he's too afraid to do in the dark.

It's with that thought in his mind and apprehension in his heart that he turns off the lamp next to his bed, plunging his room into darkness. As he draws his hand back from the switch, he grabs the box of tissues sitting on the nightstand to place nearby on the bed. He sits against the headboard in the dark for several minutes, mentally talking himself into following through with his plan. He is by no means embarrassed by his own body, but the possibility that the presence will be watching makes him hesitate. He tells himself this is something he has to do; it will reassure him that there really isn't anything to fear. He mulls it over for a while, debating with himself.

Caught up in his musings, he starts to nod off, slumping down against the headboard. A familiar fear invades his mind, tendrils of it wrapping around his brain and pressing in . . .

He jerks to full consciousness. That's definitely the presence. The fear isn't as overwhelming as it was a few seconds ago, but he can still feel it lurking in the background. Pushing himself up, he makes up his mind.

He slips his boxers down his legs and leaves them near the end of the bed. His eyes stare blindly into the darkness of his room as he spits on his palm and takes his cock in his hand. As he starts to stroke himself, he searches the inky black in front of his eyes for a hint of something, anything, but the dark is impenetrable. He still feels the deep rooted fear and it distracts him from completely enjoying the movement of his hand. Trying to focus on that, he drops his head back, whispering, "This is for you."

He holds his breath, waiting for something to happen, for the shadows to dissipate, for some indication of movement, but there is nothing. His exhale of relief turns into a quiet hum of pleasure as his body finally relaxes and he is able to enjoy the stroking heat of his hand on his half-hard cock.

The assuagement quickly dissipates as a hand wraps over his own on his length. He goes entirely still and his stomach drops out. Then his flight instinct kicks in and he strains to get away, but he's completely paralyzed. A hot breath ghosts over his cheek and a smooth voice whispers directly into his ear, "Oh, this is for me, is it? Well then, I'll just help myself."

Panic and terror shoot through his system and his eyes widen to a point that's almost painful. He tries to scream, to call out, to anything, but he can't make a sound, not even a whimper of fear.

"I couldn't allow any of that, now could I?" the voice speaks again. Another hand is now at his neck, the fingertips lightly tracing down his windpipe, sending spikes of panic lancing through him, before slipping around it in a firm grip, not quite cutting off air, but threatening to.

He wants to bring his arms up and defend himself, but the only part of his body he can move are his eyes, which frantically search for some sign of another being. He sees nothing; the room is so dark he can barely make out the pale glow of his legs. His arm, reaching between them, is smudged with shadow, starting just below his elbow and getting darker closer to his wrist before being completely consumed. He can't even perceive the hand he knows covers his own. It begins to move faster, squeezing each time it reaches the base of his cock. His breath comes in quick, shallow gasps filled with fear and pleasure. With every downward stroke, the hold on his throat tightens minutely and his breathing becomes thinner and thinner, before one final clench cuts it off completely.

"I imagine you would make the most beautiful noises for me." Lips are moving right against his ear and he tries to focus on that sensation, anything but the hand on his cock. "Mmmm, but you would be so loud you would wake the others up and I know you wouldn't want to disturb them for something as trivial as your fear of the dark. Because that's what they said, isn't it? There's nothing there, nothing to be afraid of. But you and I know that's not true. You were right to fear the dark, to fear me. Just look at what happened when you tried to conquer it."

A burning tongue traces the shell of his ear, but he barely feels it. Remaining conscious is a struggle. If he could see anything other than darkness, he's sure there would be black spots blotting his vision. As if sensing his imminent decent into unconsciousness, the grip on his throat lets up slightly, allowing just enough air to stave it off, though he still needs more, so much more. The next upward stroke of the hand brings fingers sliding over his head and the breath caught in his throat now has nothing to do with the pressure against it. The soft, sinister chuckle that follows sends shivers down his spine.

"You're so desperate. Tell me how much you want it."

There's nothing he can do in response to that statement. He wants to get away, but instincts demand he thrust his hips up and, ultimately, he can do nothing. It's frustrating in every way he can imagine. The hand pulls away, taking his with it, and places his arm by his side. If he was able to make any sound, he isn't sure if it would be a groan of frustration or relief. The touch returns, but it's too light, just barely skimming up and down his length. The grip on his throat returns to full tightness before he has a chance to draw an adequate breath.

He's aware of only those teasing fingertips, the sensations they create heightened by his lack of air and he feels closer than ever, but he needs more. More air, more touch, just more. He keeps trying to lift his arms, but they won't move and he isn't sure what he would do even if they did; the presence is shadow, intangible, not something he can fight off and force to release him.

Blunt nails scrape along his length, just as lightly as the fingertips, but causing a different sensation altogether. He squeezes his eyes shut and a tear slips down the side of his face. That burning tongue catches it near his jaw and follows the trail back to the corner of his eye, where lips press a kiss. Confusion sings through his muddled thoughts, but everything is quickly scattered when a hot palm covers his head. His whole body shudders and another tear escapes. It is also kissed away as the palm smears through the pre-come leaking from the tip. The now-slicked hand returns to stroking him, finally giving him the contact he needs. He's already close and it isn't long before he's falling over the edge. He still can't breathe, can't move, can't make a sound, but he's never come harder before in his life.

The pressure disappears from his throat and he takes a gasp of air; his head spins from the sudden rush of oxygen. Lips seal over his mouth, preventing him from drawing another breath. His lungs cry out for more and he unconsciously inhales through his nose. Relief floods through him; he can breathe!

He forgets that he can as soon as a tongue invades his mouth. He becomes aware of the hand that was stroking him now gripping his hip and the other running through his hair. Opening his eyes, he still can't see through the blackness, but the intensity of the dark slowly beings to melt away as he feels the hands relinquish their hold. The mouth is the last to move away and he wants to cry out; he doesn't want to be alone in the darkness, without even the shadows to comfort him. A different blackness bleeds into his vision and he feels his consciousness slipping. The voice is back near his ear with a soft chuckle. "Go to sleep for now. I'll be back soon."

He loses all awareness

and gasps awake.