25 September 2013 @ 08:27 pm
Prompt #101: Strange Battles  
Title: A Battle of Wills
Pairing/Characters: Adam/Brian
Rating (Word Count): PG-13 (9 X 100)
Content(s)/Warning(s): D/s
Author's notes: Many thanks to [personal profile] leela_cat  for the beta. Any remaining mistakes are mine.

Brian has no idea how long he’s been listening to Adam going on and on and on. He’s leaning against the wall, arms crossed as Adam paces around the room. He knows that Adam’s pushing for a fight. Another day, Brian might have taken the bait. He’s done it before, at times when he could be sure that what Adam needed was to have that attitude fucked or beaten out of him, and that he, himself was in a state where he could give that to him.

Not today, though. Not when he can see how badly Adam’s been hurt.


He knows that, to Adam, this feels like another betrayal. The knowledge that his former label might have not put all the effort they could into making Trespassing a success once it was recorded is a cruel reminder of all the people, over the years, who believed that Adam couldn’t succeed the way he has. He can hear it in the way Adam stumbles over his words, the way his voice cracks now and then.

He waits, with all the patience he can muster, until Adam seems to have run out of words. Then he asks, “You done yet, boy?”


Brian expects Adam to start ranting again. Instead, the fight seeps out of him and he nearly collapses on the couch. That’s all the confirmation Brian needs to be sure he’s making the right choice.

Adam rests his forearms on his thighs, lets his head drop forward. “I don’t know.”

Slowly, Brian walks over to him, going to stand behind the couch and lay his hand on the back of Adam’s neck. “Let me help you.” He isn’t asking, not really, not here and now. But he’s aware that just one word that’s too harsh could make Adam break down.


He feels Adam lean into his touch with a, “please, sir,” that sounds like it’s being torn out of him.

“Bedroom, baby.”

Adam jerks, throwing a questioning look at Brian, but Brian doesn’t add a word. Giving Adam room to argue won’t help.

They stare at each other for maybe a minute before Adam sighs. “Yes, sir.”

As Brian watches Adam walk away, he grabs onto the back of the couch and takes a couple of deep breaths. He’s giving Adam time to settle and making sure that he, himself, is as grounded and as solid as he can be.


When he enters the bedroom, he finds Adam naked and kneeling on their bed. One quick glance confirms that those of Adam’s clothes that needed to be put away immediately have been. The rest are properly folded on the chair beside the bed. Brian allows himself a small smile. He’s glad that Adam isn’t making this harder than it has to be.

“Lie down on your front.”

He can practically feel Adam’s hesitation. He knows that Adam’s still expecting, wanting to be punished for his outburst, that that’s the exact reason why he did it. But tonight, it won’t help.


Instead, he grabs the soft blanket that he always find Adam wrapped in when things start going wrong and Adam doesn’t know where to look for comfort, and he lays it over Adam. Afterward, he straddles Adam’s hips, rests his weight over Adam’s back, follows the length of Adam’s arms over his head with his and links their fingers together.

He drops his voice to a whisper. “Breathe with me, baby. Just breathe.”

Adam twitches and Brian can practically hear the fight going on in Adam’s mind. He knows this isn’t what Adam wanted nor what he was ready for.


This is one of those moments when so many things are out of Adam’s control that he can’t help but turn this into another struggle.

Today, though, instead of forcefully taking control as Adam is expecting him to, Brian knows it’s better for both of them to wait things out.

After giving Adam a moment to find his ground, he says, with just the right hint of authority, “Breathe, Adam. Breathe with me.”

There’s another hesitation, then he can feel the moment when Adam stops thinking and follows Brian’s rhythm, focusing only on breathing and this moment, here and now.


He waits until he’s sure that Adam’s whole world has narrowed down to him, his body, his voice. Then he brushes a soft kiss on Adam’s shoulder. “I’m right here, Adam. I’m not going anywhere. Let it out.”

It’s a testament to how close Adam is to falling apart that that’s all it takes for the first sob to be ripped out of his throat.

Brian moves, just enough to let Adam turn around, to let Adam cling to him. He feels Adam’s tears wetting his neck and shirt, and pulls him closer, never once stopping murmuring nonsense and encouragement.


He keeps talking as he traces soft, slow circles on Adam’s back, holding Adam for as long as he needs to cry out his feelings of betrayal and shame and, somehow, of not being good enough.

He knows that Adam barely hears him. His words are nothing but a reminder that here, it’s okay to let go. And that, together, they can reduce the outside world to a background noise because they’ll always be each other’s safe place.

Even when it turns into this strange battle of wills because there’s a world between what Adam wants and what he needs.