So, entry for Freak-of-Spade's December Challenge! It's...well, I don't know. Kinda bizarre. Um... Well, I guess that's what happens when one character has next to know backbone and the other's insane. :D But, I hope you like it, anyway! (Can anyone spot the movie scene re-enactment?)

Hanging by a Thread

His parents had found the pictures.

Artistic black and white photographs with soft lighting and carnal images. Some with him selfishly gaining pleasure alone, others including the both of them, twisted together in ecstasy. A blend of sex, passion, desire, and raw, throbbing hatred.

Tastefully erotic. Or maybe not.

His parents finding them had been an unlucky mistake. Safely hidden in his desk, they had been dislodged by his mother's fruitless search for a pen. Falling from their secret drawer, they had spread across the carpet in a horrifying phantasmagoria of artistic pornography.

Of course, the only solution to this dilemma had been to get rid of the disgusting creature that could produce such images. It was the only way to keep their perfect little world spotless and sterile.

Avery tightened his jacket around his thin body, trudging through the thick snow in a worn-out pair of hiking boots. The news had called for a blizzard that night, and already the flakes were beginning to fall, the sky having moved from a blaze of mandarin to a more sinister slate grey.

Christmas was a terrible time to be kicked out of the house.

"It's the floaty men, dude…they're here to steal your soul and put it in a little star-shaped glass box…" he muttered to himself, repeating something his friend had said to him the other day during one of his trips. He snorted, a wry smile twisting his lips. "What the fuck does that even mean? Guess it doesn't matter. Seems to fit the moment. Maybe I can blame the floaty men for the pictures falling out of the desk. Maybe they're like little demon things out to make my life a living hell." He laughed humourlessly, kicking a chunk of ice out of the way. "What the hell am I talking about? Jesus, the cold must be getting to me."

Ignoring the thick drifts, he trekked across yards until he came to a long winding path covered in ice. Following it carefully, Avery eventually reached the small neighbourhood park, devoid of life for obvious reasons. He briefly considered perching on a swing, but it was simply too cold to stay still for too long. And he didn't want to get his pants wet.

Instead, the brunet moved past the jungle gym and headed toward the small bridge hidden in a grove of trees. A deep, rushing river split the vast park, and was only traversable by the sturdy, wooden bridge currently covered in snow and ice. Beyond it lay more trees, and eventually houses. Avery didn't know where he was going; he just knew he had to keep moving.

The snow crunched gently under his feet as he slowly made his way toward the bridge, a light breeze whipping his already messy hair about. However, it was only as he reached the end of the path that he noticed another figure already on the bridge…or rather, the bridge railing.

Avery's brow furrowed in confusion as he watched the other person balance carefully on top of the cold metal, arms spread to the side. It took a moment before he realized what was happening, a panic stabbed through him.

"Stop!" he yelled, rushing forward, skidding on the ice in his hurry to reach the person before he jumped.

A pale, sharp face turned toward him, and Avery's breath hitched when he saw who it was, feet sliding awkwardly in the snow as he abruptly stopped.


"What the hell are you doing here?" the scarecrow of a boy standing on the railing hissed, grey eyes narrowed at Avery.

The brunet stared back, stunned.

"M-my parents kicked me out…" He shook his head, not blinking. "Are…you trying to kill yourself?"

A derisive snort was his only answer as the blond turned his head back to the rushing grey waters beneath him.

"Maybe. What of it? Not like I need your fucking permission."

Avery shivered, wrapping his arms around himself.

"But why?"

Cal shrugged, blond strands obscurely his shadowed face.

"Why not? No point in living, is there? Better than jumping from a building, at least; flat as a pancake on the pavement below."

That confused Avery and he bit his lip, frowning.

"You were fine the other day."

A short, harsh laugh.

"The other day we were fucking. Of course I was fine."

Avery flinched, eyes narrowing.

"Get off the railing."


The brunet looked up at him, green eyes wide.

"You don't actually want to jump."

Cal pivoted, eyeing the other boy mockingly.

"What makes you such a good judge of my wants, huh? What do you really know about me?"

Avery stared back, gazing into the icy eyes for as long as possible before he finally looked away, feeling sick. He could feel the sneer sent his way, slicing through him.

"That's what I thought. Don't act like you fucking care about me."

Green eyes flicked back up to him.

"Is that why you want to die? Because you think no one cares about you?"

The look of disgust that twisted Cal's pale face made Avery take a step back.

"What are you, my fucking psychologist?" the blond demanded, eyes like daggers. "Gonna tell me the world's all sunshine and rainbows, and everything's gonna be fucking okay?"

"That would be lying," whispered Avery, hands twisting in his shirt.

Suddenly, Cal spun around, shoes squeaking against the railing as he pounced on the brunet. Avery stumbled back, yelping as sharp hands bit into his arms, spinning him around.

"Why don't I kill you instead?" Cal whispered, hand tightening around Avery's jaw as he pressed him back against his bony chest. His lips brushed against the brunet's throat as he hissed, "It would be so fucking easy."

"Please don't," Avery whimpered, heart pounding.

He knew Cal would follow through. Not like he had any special attachment to the brunet, despite the several times they'd slept together. The pictures Avery's mother had found weren't an archive of devoted lovers; they'd merely been the product of Cal's twisted mind and Avery's easy compliance. A bad idea born from a poisonous pairing.

Cal squeezed Avery's hip, five points of pain against his skin.

"Close your eyes. Go on."

The brunet shook his head, heart pounding. "No."

Cold fingers pressed against the brunet's eyelids, forcing them down.

"Close your eyes," he repeated, voice leaving no room for argument.

"What are you doing?" asked Avery, voice wavering slightly.

Cal's free hand wrapped tightly around his wrists, yanking him forward through the snow.

"Step up. Hold onto the railing. Keep your eyes closed; don't peek."

Avery tried to pull away from the hand covering his eyes, but the blond wouldn't let him.

"Let me go!"

"Step up onto the railing; hold on. Keep your eyes closed."

Cal forced the shorter boy against the cold metal, using his greater strength to haul him up. Panicked, Avery's feet scrabbled for purchase, finally resting on the slippery railing.

"Do you trust me?" Cal asked, arm tight around his waist.

"No," whispered Avery, voice tight with fear. He could hear the water rushing below him, begging for fresh blood.

A short, harsh laugh escaped the blond as he pulled the pale hand away from Avery's face.

"Alright, open your eyes."

Tears pricked Avery's eyes as he stared, horrified, into the river below him. A short sob escaped him as his arms were forcibly stretched out, Cal's hands clamped around his own. Terrible time for his fear of heights to kick in. He'd never wanted to fly.

"How's this, sweetheart?" Cal whispered into his ear, breath hot against his skin. "If you care so much, why don't you join me?"

"Let me down," choked Avery, shaking. "Please."

"You should have stayed away, pumpkin. Wouldn't have been in this mess, then, eh?"

"But I couldn't let you die!"

"Gonna die either way," he replied easily. "Except now you're coming with me."

Avery groaned helplessly, regretting the pictures all over again. They were the reason he was in this situation. Why the hell had he let Cal take them?!

"Cal, please…" Avery begged, desperately trying to keep his footing. "You don't have to do this!"

The blond snickered, nuzzling the shorter boy's neck. "No one will miss me. And your parents have made it pretty clear they don't want you."

"They'll forgive me," he whispered insistently, trembling.

"No, they won't. They found the pictures, didn't they? How could they possibly forgive you after finding out you're nothing but a dirty little whore?"

Avery's teeth grit as he squeezed his eyes shut.

"This is all your fault."

"You're giving me far too much credit," he purred, lips trailing along the brunet's throat. "It's not like you tried to stop me."

Avery shivered, unable to deny his words. He had been more than willing to give himself to the blond. It had all started with a class project, before escalating to meaningless, passionate sex whenever they were alone in the brunet's house. The incident involving the photographs had happened a week ago, during a two-day absence of Avery's parents. Cal's only hobby was photography, and he had decided to test his new equipment during one of their trysts. It hadn't taken much to convince Avery; several deep kisses and part of a hand-job had had the brunet in bed with the camera set up to automatically take photos at steady intervals. It wasn't until afterwards that he had had the chance to feel regretful and rather violated.

"Any final words?" asked Cal, bringing his pseudo-lover back to the present.

Avery had a sudden rush of adrenaline as he realized Cal still intended to send them both toppling into the icy river.

"Stop it!" he yelled, pushing back desperately. "Stop trying to fucking die!"

Suddenly Cal's arms were wrapped tightly around him, pinning down his arms.

"Make you a deal," the blond said abruptly.

Shaking, Avery managed to stutter out, "W-what?"

Cal's hold tightened, feeling like a protective vice. "Come home with me and I won't jump."

Avery was stunned. "Go…what?"

There was a rushing feeling in his stomach before he hit the ground with a thump, pain shooting up his legs. Before he could fully realize what had happened, he was pinned against the railing, Cal's arms caging him in. He gripped onto the freezing metal, trying to keep his legs from giving out under him as relief washed through his body. Never before had he been more thankful to be on solid ground, although the air was still tense with fear and intimidation.

"Live with me," clarified Cal, icy grey eyes boring into his. "Your parents don't want you, but I do."

"B-but I can't stay with you," stammered Avery, eyes wide.

"Don't worry, I'll take care of you," murmured the blond, pressing closer. "And if you come with me, I promise not to kill myself."

Avery gulped, still trembling uncontrollably from his brush with death. Live with Cal or face possible suicide again? Not really a lot of choice in the matter.

"Why do you want me to live with you?" whispered Avery, confused.

"Maybe I've become…attached," replied Cal, grinding his hips against the shorter boy's.

Avery suppressed a groan, collapsing slightly against the cold bars behind him, melting like butter against the hard body in front of him.

"You're…dangerous," he forced out, trying to keep his green eyes open.

"But I'll take care of you," Cal repeated, trailing a finger along his cheek. "Because I don't want anyone else having you, and the only way of keeping you is through this or death."

Avery closed his eyes tightly, stomach twisting at the bizarre turn in events. He wasn't an idiot; living with Cal was far more preferable to drowning with him. And he had nowhere else to go.

"You promise?" he asked, softly, peering up at the blond with wide eyes.

Cal leaned forward, pressing his lips against his soft hair.


"Fine," Avery finally whispered, nails biting into his palms.

There was a brief pause before he was suddenly dragged forward into a hard, demanding kiss, fingers weaving tightly in his hair. His pained moan was lost in the blond's mouth, but it didn't matter; Cal was already pulling him in, just like all those times before. But this time it was more serious; this time, Avery would be living with him.

And somehow, he felt like he'd made a terrible mistake.