million_star: ((Matt: Bashful))
[personal profile] million_star
Title: Fierce Frequencies (11/?)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] millionstar
Pairing: Belldom, AU
Rating: This Chapter, R.
Warnings: Language.
Summary: America. The 1970s. QBUT Radio is a station with some familiar looking staff members.
Disclaimer: I don't own Muse, no profit is being made and this never happened.
Beta/Support: As always, the boo, [livejournal.com profile] dolce_piccante.
Author's Note: If you remember this fic and you choose to read, thank you, so, so much.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten

Dominic and Matthew were each, in their own way, eagerly awaiting their Saturday date. When the day finally came, Matthew was adorably nervous, Dominic cool and simply happy. They spent the afternoon downtown walking through Matthew’s favorite bookstore, Dominic’s favorite thrift shop, and a hamburger joint that they both loved. They talked and laughed, Matthew seeming to grow more and more comfortable as the day went on.

This made Dominic happy.

Young men will be young men, though, so that evening, Dominic once again found himself in Matthew's apartment, pressed against the wall as they kissed. The third time that Matthew bit down much too hard on Dominic’s bottom lip, Dominic put his hands in the air and backed away.

"Hold up."

"What?"

"Not like this."

"Why?"

"Can we not be so... rough this time, maybe?" Dominic asked, breathless. "Like, could we put the whip away, and lose this?" He caressed Matthew's leather-clad inner thigh with one hand.

He’d decided before things went any farther that he would take Mabel’s advice and let Matthew know he was uncomfortable with the physical aspects of their relationship. The DJ only hoped that Matthew would understand.

"I don't want you to dominate me, I don't want you to spank me, or degrade me. I just want Matthew. I want to kiss him, and touch him... I want to find out how he likes to be touched, how he needs to be touched.”

Matthew jerked away, unable to meet Dominic's eyes. He stood abruptly, the whip falling to the floor with a thud.

“You...what?”

“I don’t want a quick, hard fuck. I want to take my time with you. I want to map out every inch of your body with my mouth, Matthew. I want to kiss you for hours.”

"Oh. Okay." Matthew nodded and padded away to his bathroom, leaving Dominic at a loss for words.

When Dominic saw Matthew next, he was wearing a thick, dark blue robe. The leather collar was gone, as were the assless chaps. He glanced at Dominic as he sat on the edge of the bed.

"You should probably go," he said, quietly.

"What?" Dominic flinched, as though he'd been slapped across the face. His erection had flagged, his heart felt like it was on fire and a sudden, rather painful lump had begun to pulsate in his throat.

"I said," Matthew repeated in a shaky voice, "that you should leave."

"Wait, why? I didn't mean to-"

"Please."

Dominic crawled to where Matthew was sitting and put one hand on his shoulder, which Matthew immediately shrugged off, as though he couldn't bear for Dominic to touch him. Dominic tried again, to no avail - Matthew refused to even look at him.

"Matthew, wait, talk to me."

"I don't know what to say."

"Was it when I was telling you about what I wanted? But it's not just what about I want, Matthew. I'm sorry if I made you feel that way, I certainly never meant to. I'm just not used to...' Dominic gestured around the bedroom, "all of this. It's not working for me. Maybe the type of sex I like isn't as adventurous as what you might be used to, but that doesn't mean that we can't compromise on things, maybe?"

"It's not that simple."

"Maybe it could be?"

"Those things you want, that you mentioned earlier?"

"Yes?"

He finally turned to Dominic, who gasped when he saw that Matthew had been silently crying this whole time. "I can't give them to you," he whispered, wiping his eyes with the back of his trembling hand.

"Matt," Dominic soothed, tears gathering in his own eyes now, "why not?"

"Because," Matthew replied, a fresh wave of tears streaming down his face, "I don't know how to." He paused, a cloud coming over his face for a moment. "He was right," he whispered, "oh my god, he was right."

Dominic bit his lip; there it was, a reference to the mysterious ex. "Matthew," he began carefully, "here, sit with me. Please?"

He gestured toward the headboard of the bed and pulled Matthew back with him. Dominic fluffed the pillows out and smoothed the bedclothes, gesturing for Matthew to sit next to him. He made no effort to touch Matthew; he didn't want to make him uncomfortable. Matthew sniffled and scooted back onto the bed, his back flat against the headboard and his knees up to his chest, his arms hugging them tightly.

"Right about what?"

"About me."

"What about you?"

Matthew glanced away, his toes tapping nervously on the bed. Ever mindful of Cass' words from that day at the station, Dominic gave Matthew the chance to answer in his own time.

"That I am the worst kind of pathetic."

Dominic seethed quietly.

"He made me better, you know? I owe him for that. He kind of... he fixed me. He turned me into someone another man could endure being with."

"Matthew," Dominic whispered, Matthew's use of the word 'endure' prompting the DJ to speak. "What? No. I…look, I don’t want to pressure you to talk if you don’t want to, but why would anybody ever make you feel as though it was a chore to be with you?”

“He taught me what a man wants, what a man needs from a partner, you know? What I needed to do in order to keep him happy.”

“I don’t understand. Explain it to me.”

“I’d never been with anyone before him. He became the closest thing to a partner I’d ever had. And, as you know, I’m sure, it's hard,"  Matthew stressed, in a whisper, "it's so hard for a gay man to be able to put himself out there to find anyone, you know? So many of us die alone because of it.”

Dominic did know. He thought about his own life, and how lonely he’d been for these last months. Mostly, though, he thought about the late nights he spent wondering if he were, in fact, doomed to spend the rest of his life alone. The despair was something that he felt pretty certain other gay men struggled with as well.

“Society doesn't exactly welcome us with open arms. One day I met him - he was a part of Cass' crowd - and, Dom, he was beautiful, and wonderful, and of all the men he could have had, he chose me and it made me feel special, because who the heck was I? Just another guy, you know? It was like this gorgeous person seemed to fall into my life from out of nowhere and for some reason he wanted me. Shy, geeky, awkward me,” Matthew shook his head, “with my telescope and my science books and my suspenders.”

Dominic remained silent, tucking his legs beneath his body as he pulled the sheet up to his chest. Now that the floodgates had opened, Matthew couldn’t stop talking.

“Cass was the first one to realize that our relationship was… different. How it was less a relationship and more a...dictatorship. How I began to follow him around like a sad little puppy, things like that. The sex became a way to placate him, keep him happy, and eventually it went on so long that I began to believe the things he said to me. That he was doing me a favor every time he could be bothered to fuck me. That the only way anyone could ever get it up for me was if I was bound and gagged. That I was pale and skinny and pathetic; to be tolerated, not desired. Things like that.”

“Did, did he ever hurt yo-”

“No,” Matthew said, shaking his head emphatically, “not once. For all of his issues, he never once laid a hand on me. He and Cass did fight once, though, at the end. Cass broke his nose.”

“Good.”

Matthew ran one hand through his hair. “Anyway, that was four years ago, and I decided I’d rather be alone than open myself up to anyone again. But then,” he looked at Dominic, “I met you, and I wanted to open myself up again finally. I just… don’t know how to. I was afraid of that, and now I’ve hurt you. It’s going to sound mad, but I don’t know how to do all those things you mentioned. I don’t know how to be tender with someone, because all I know is physical degradation. I’m still having a hard time believing you want to be here with me at all. My self-esteem is nonexistent.” He looked down at his bare feet and wiped a lone tear from his cheek.

“Hey. Bell,” Dominic whispered, lifting Matthew’s chin with his fingers, “you haven’t hurt me. Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me all of this. I mean that. I’m just so sorry, because, Matthew, what you went through was a form of abuse.”

"I let him do it, though."

"Put the blame where it belongs, at his feet. He took someone who was kind and lovely and manipulated them until they no longer recognized themselves."

"That's what Cass says."

“Cass is right.”

His eyes scanned Dominic's face, scrutinizing every inch of it intimately. "Why... why do you care so much? How did I rate the attention of someone like you? You’re kind and beautiful and filled with life and positive energy and you call me Bell and I've made an absolute mess of this, of any chance I had with you."

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“I-I just thought-”

Dominic shrugged, smiling, pulling the sheet up over his chest.

“I think you’re kinda groovy, that’s why. And I want to help you get past this, if you’ll let me, I mean."

"How do you re-learn how to be… well, anything?"

"Lots of practice, I imagine."

"It might take time."

"For you, I have nothing but time."

Matthew finally met Dominic's eyes. "Thank you," he whispered.

A sudden rainstorm had burst into existence while they had been lost in conversation. They sat there, next to each other on Matthew’s bed, watching the water pound against the window in sheets. Matthew extended his legs and looked down at his hands, now folded in his lap. Dominic could sense his shoulders droop a notch.

“Typical,” he sighed. “Normally I like the rain. Today it’s just depressing.”

“Hmmm. The only good thing about the rain is that it passes, eventually.”

Much to Dominic’s surprise, Matthew leaned his head against Dominic’s shoulder, his hands still folded primly in his lap. “Will you be here when it does?” he said quietly.

“I will,” Dominic answered, his cheek nestled against Matthew’s hair. “I will.”
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