Storia facente parte del Leoverse.
Genere: Introspettivo, Drammatico.
Pairing: Blaine/OC(s), OC/OC.
Rating: NC-17.
AVVERTIMENTI: Slash, Angst, Lime, What If?, OC.
- Timmy never really recovered from that deeply scary moment when his life changed completely to welcome the presence of his father's new partner. More than ten years later, Timmy's a profoundly damaged teenager with little to no control over his own emotions and only one viable option to deal with it (except, of course, his meds): whenever things get to intense, he rates how intense they are with a number from one to four and then visualizes that number on an equalizer with a lever he can pull to tone it down.
It often works.
But sometimes it just doesn't.
Note: E boh, a 'sto giro: le malattie mentali. Con Timmy protagonista, ovviamente, perché io e Timmy abbiamo una connessione speciale e io gli vu bi e queste cose tremende posso scriverle solo su di lui (io dimostro affetto verso i personaggi fittizi in questo modo, deal with it).
Scritta per la quarta ed ultima settimana del WRPG, si tratta della quarta storia (su quattro) più lunga di 10k che scrivo per questo gioco. Non so, sarà una malattia.
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Original characters and plots are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

The rating technique was the first Doctor Williams had ever taught him to keep anxiety at bay, and the only one that had kept working for more than a few months’ time, for a longer time than the one Timmy’s head needed to work some way around it, to throw himself back into the familiar arms of the illness as quickly as he possibly could. The only one except meds, of course, but those were hardly a technique at all. They were more like the cage he voluntarily – or unwillingly, depending where he was at the moment, emotionally speaking – stepped in when he felt he was about to lose control over himself entirely.

It was four years before, give or take. Maybe a little more, since the twins had to be still in the making at the time. She’s always been one to take her job seriously, Doctor Williams, but she probably had no idea of the scale his panic attacks could reach before she saw him having one before her very eyes. That had been the first moment she had introduced the system to him.

“On a scale from one to four,” she had told him, “How intense are your emotions right now, Timmy?”

“Three,” he had said, tears pooling in his eyes, the tremors shaking his body to the point he couldn’t stand up, he couldn’t sit down, he couldn’t stop holding himself, and he was forced to remain bent over her desk, hugging himself tight, knowing for sure if he’d stopped he’d have fallen apart.

“Good,” she had said, “Now I want you to focus on that number. I want you to visualize an equalizer in your mind. That goes from one to four too. There’s an arrow pointing at that number. Is it still a three?”

“Yes,” Timmy had said in a shaky breath, rattling his teeth while tears started rolling down his reddening cheeks.

“Fine.” She had kept sitting behind her desk. She hadn’t stood up to touch him, hadn’t tried to reach out for him, hadn’t asked him to calm down, or to sit and take a deep breath. She had just kept on talking. “Now I need you to picture a lever, right beside that equalizer. You’ve got to pull the lever down. You’ve got to pull it until the arrow’s down to at least two. Can you do that? Close your eyes, if you need to.”

Timmy had tried closing his eyes to focus on the picture better, but the moment he had done it he had seen only darkness, and he had opened them up again in sheer terror, shaking and crying and looking around to make sure Doctor Williams was still there, that he hadn’t been left alone, that he was still there and hadn’t disappeared into nothingness as he sometimes imagined to do at night, in his bed, when he listened to Leo and his dad talk about the twins in the next room, choosing names, laughing softly between themselves.

“I’m right here,” Doctor Williams had said patiently, “Still a three?”

“It’s a four,” Timmy had answered, crying louder. He was only ten, and he didn’t remember ever feeling any worse than he felt back then.

“It’s okay,” Doctor Williams had said, nodding slowly, “We can still pull the lever down. Think of the equalizer. The numbers. Keep your eyes open. Pull the lever.”

It had took Timmy five extenuating, miserable minutes to do that. But he had done it. He had gradually stopped shaking. Stopped crying. Then suddenly he was able to move his limbs, to disentangle himself from the tight knot the illness had tied him into, and he had sat down, breathing slowly in and out, staring at a blank spot on the wall to give himself something to concentrate on as he calmed down.

“I’m proud of you,” Doctor Williams had said, offering him a tiny smile and a huge cookie, “Now, let’s talk about what just happened.”

Suddenly, what had only been a mandatory meeting with a woman he knew nothing of at all, something his parents had imposed on him, to do once a week, since he had started having panic attacks, had assumed a whole new different meaning. Timmy felt better, when he could talk about what was actually happening to him during panic attacks. The practical side of it – “I’m sweating”, “I feel nauseous”, “My heart is beating too fast”, “I can’t breathe properly” – erased the emotional side of it. By erasing the emotional side, Timmy went back behind the helm. He was in control of his body again. And then he could start thinking about everything else too.

Four years from then, the trick still works. Timmy has learned how to recognize when he should use it, and he uses it without hesitation whenever he needs it. When it gets too much, when his feelings threaten to overflow like water breaking through a dam, he rates how he feels, one to four, visualizes the equalizer and the arrow, and then pulls down the lever. Sometimes it’s easy enough to pull it down back to a one. Some other times it’s harder, but Timmy’s content enough when he can get to at least a two. He doesn’t feel okay when he’s at a two, but he can still function without shaking. Some days, that’s enough of a conquest.

The illness comes in waves. He’s never always sad, never always anxious, never always nervous, never always scared. Some days he’s okay. Some days he doesn’t even need to be on his meds to be okay. (He still takes them, though. He knows what happens when he stops because he doesn’t feel like he needs them even though Doctor Williams said he does. That’s never pretty. That’s like running barefoot down a rollercoaster with a cart chasing after him. That’s something Timmy tried and is not eager to try ever again.)

Some days are hell, though, meds or not. If he’s not on meds he’s shaking, he’s crying, he’s constantly over the edge, walking on a two inches wide road coasting the side of the tallest mountain on Earth, and if he’s on meds he’s drowsy, confused, slow like hell, like he weighted a thousand tons, and the only thing he wants to do in both cases is to stay in bed, curl in a ball, hide under the covers and never come out of it.

It wasn’t always like that. It wasn’t so destructive, before. He didn’t feel good, but the illness wasn’t everything there was to life. He had school, people he talked to, even a very close friend, just one, but it was there. He still had something that wasn’t just the confusing cycle of his own mood swings.

And then there was an even older time. A time in which he was alright. In which the illness wasn’t a problem because there was no illness yet. But he remembers very little of that period. Only flashes, and a generic feeling of peace, of happiness.

Something he hasn’t felt in a very long time, now.


He can see the window, from his bed, and outside of it the blackness of the night, and then the white perfection of the crescent moon. It’s beautiful, and concentrating on it makes him feel better.

First day off his meds after three months. He needs to be on a cleansing period, that’s what Doctor Williams said. Things have been going well, up to now. He’s been responding great to the new dosage. After two months and a half Doctor Williams was already suggesting he stopped taking them for a little while. He felt insecure, though. She understood. She let him go on. Downed the dosage, but let him go on.

Last week, though, she insisted. Timmy learned to listen to her, when she insists. She usually knows what’s going on with him better than he does. He agreed he was feeling better. He agreed it was time to walk on his own for a little while.

He’s been generically nervous all day. Not really nervous, though, more like on edge. He wasn’t really surprised by it, he’s always nervous on a first day without Celexa. But he held on, counted only a couple twos today, one when Leo asked him if he wanted to come along for grocery shopping (he didn’t), another when he heard Blaine discuss the possibility of taking a couple of days for himself and Leo in a month or so, maybe go to the Hamptons’ house, if Timmy’s still okay then (he probably won’t).

Just those twos. No ones. Definitely no threes. Everything’s in control. He knows, if something goes wrong tonight, he’s got Xanax on his nightstand. It’s there, within reach. But he won’t need it. He’s fine. He feels pretty good, all considered. He can manage.

He tries to relax, closes his eyes. Darkness is a hell of a lot to take, as usual. He can’t sleep with his window closed. They tried with lamps, but they hurt his eyes, he couldn’t sleep well. He just needs natural light, doesn’t matter how dim. He needs to be able to know, if he opens his eyes, he’ll see the window, the sky, the moon, the trees, whatever landscape the night has to offer him. Complete darkness is unbearable, since the closet.

Even with his eyes closed, the gentle light of the moon follows him. It’s hypnotic, and Timmy relaxes by the second, his limbs growing heavier, his brain clouding up. He can’t stop thinking ‘cause his brain never really stops working until he falls asleep, but he starts losing the threads of his thoughts. He’s thinking about his parents and that vacation they wanna take, but then the thought drifts away, so he concentrates on something else.

He thinks about the twins. Today dad asked him if he’d be up for a walk in the park with them, tomorrow. Timmy isn’t. He never is. But he thinks maybe he should. He tries to think about it, tries to picture himself doing it. Playing with his siblings. Out in the park. Where it’s sunny and the air is fresh and there are other kids laughing and screaming and crying and making a mess everywhere. He frowns, and then the thought fades away, and he thinks about something else.

Something else it’s food. He’s hungry. He shouldn’t eat. The timing is not right. He had dinner already, anyway. Maybe he could, though. Just get out of the bed, walk to the kitchen, open the refrigerator, check out what’s in there, maybe make himself a sandwich, not like last time, not like the milk incident. That can never happen again. Leo and dad were so horrified. That can never happen again.

He’s thinking about swimming, now, cos that’s always the first thought after food. Doctor Williams insists it’s a guilt-induced reaction, but Timmy’s not sure about it. It’s just that the thought calms him down.

He pictures himself in the pool. There are people all around, but in the water he always feels at peace. Nobody bothers him. Under the surface, he can hear no sound. Only the warm embrace of the water, and how pleasant it feels to swim through it as if his body didn’t even exist. As if he was nothing but oxygen bubbling upwards. Dispersing.

Sleep is coming. It’s coming, he can feel it. He loves it when it happens so fast. It’s always such a fucking problem to fall asleep when he’s not on meds. But not tonight, apparently. Maybe Doctor Williams was really right. Maybe it was time to walk on his own. Maybe he can even sleep on his own.

His shoulders drop. His chin, too. He can feel his breathing grow deeper, slower. His body growing number.

And then he twitches in his sleep, and it’s like somebody pulled the bed from underneath him, and it feels like falling, and all his muscles contract in a nervous spasm and he clutches at the sheets, gritting his teeth and opening his eyes wide, terrified, asking himself “have I fallen? Have I hit the ground? Where am I?”, and right there, right in front of him, crouching on the floor at the end of the bed, there’s a boy.

Timmy can only see the upper half of his head, his hands, clutching at the board at the feet of the bed, and the sweet curve of his naked shoulders.

He’s pale, as pale at the moon. Timmy looks for it, for the moon, for a tangible proof of reality. It’s still there, crescent and white and big just as it was when he closed his eyes. He thought seeing it would be enough to determine whether this was a dream or not, but he doesn’t know, now. It feels like a dream. But maybe it’s not.

The boy stands up. He’s so thin and tall, he doesn’t even seem three-dimensional. Timmy can’t understand if the short dress he’s wearing is white or if it’s translucent, and it only seems white because of the whiteness of his skin.

His eyes, though. They’re huge, and so magnificently blue. They’re the most concrete things in the room, together with those dark, shiny hair, falling straight down his shoulders.

The boy climbs on the bed. One knee, then the other. They’re as white as the rest of him, and they look so smooth. His skin looks so untouched. Not just by other hands, but by time, by life, by ageing. He looks perfect, shiny new as if just drawn out of his mold. Like an angel, or at least Timmy thinks that’s how angels would look, as if continuously newly born, if they existed.

“Who are you?” he asks. He doesn’t feel his lips moving. Maybe he’s really asleep.

Then the boy touches his knee through the covers. His white hand lands right on the very spot where Timmy’s knee is, and he feels it. He feels his touch. The warmth radiating from his fingers.

He looks up to him. The boy is smiling. And Timmy shivers deeply.

Something stirs deep down into his stomach. It stirs and it stirs, and it’s like nausea, just not quite as violent yet. But it’s gonna get there. If the boy doesn’t move. If he doesn’t go away. If he keeps touching him. If he keeps smiling. Timmy will surely scream.

“One,” he says, his voice nothing but a whisper. “One,” before it gets to two, “That’s a one.”

He twitches once again, he opens his eyes but he’s not sure they were ever closed to begin with.

The boy is gone.


“A boy.”

She doesn’t even look surprised by his tale. Nothing ever fazes Doctor Williams. Timmy knows. Back when he was younger, around 12, he wanted to impress her. He had nothing except the illness to try and do that, so he used it. He tried telling the truth. She never flinched. Once, he exaggerated something, just to see if that would’ve forced a different kind of reaction out of her. She just said ‘you don’t need to lie, Timothy’. He had never tried it again.

“Who was him?”

“Was it supposed to happen?” Timmy asks eagerly, torturing his fingers, “Because of the meds? Should I start taking them again?”

He’s nervous, and she can see it. She never simply tells him to calm down, though. She knows it’d be useless, since he has no control whatsoever over that. She usually just keeps talking with a soothing voice. That often works on its own. When it isn’t enough, she uses the cookie.

She’s got a metal jar of handmade cookies in her drawer. She bakes them with her daughters. She’s got twins too. A little older than his siblings. Timmy remembers first hearing about them, and the cookies, and he remembers thinking, wow, to do something like that with your parents. He could’ve baked cookies with Leo, he’s the one doing all the cooking.

The thought had made him feel dreadful.

But the cookies themselves were linked with something pleasant. Doctor Williams’ calm, low, deep, soothing voice. Her gentle smile. Those black eyes filled with understanding. Whenever her voice wasn’t enough, she always used the cookie. The cookie never failed. Anything the cookie couldn’t solve, needed Valium to be solved. Timmy tries not to ever get to the point of needing drops on an emergency, though. They make him feel numb, slow and sleepy. It’s extremely unpleasant.

He’s nowhere near that, now, though. He’s nowhere near needing a cookie either, at least for now. Doctor Williams’ voice is enough, at the moment.

“Would it make you feel better if I told you it was expected?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“I was expecting something to happen,” Doctor Williams nods, crossing her legs under the desk and relaxing against her chair. Timmy’s body instantly sets to follow her lead, and he relaxes too against the back of the armchair.

“But not the boy.”

“I never know what to expect with such precision,” she explains, “What you see is always personal.”

“So it was normal,” Timmy insists, trying to make sure he isn’t slipping already. That’d be such a failure. After only one day.

“I believe it was,” Doctor Williams says, “You said you were aware.”

“As if I was awake. But I couldn’t be awake. There was no boy in the room. But I saw him. I felt him. He touched me. I couldn’t move, though.”

Doctor Williams nods, quickly writing something on her tablet. “It sounds like lucid dreaming, to me,” she says, “It had never happened to you before, right? It can be a rather scary experience for some people, especially when it’s not tried on purpose.”

“Lucid dreaming…” Timmy looks down at his own hands for a second. His skin is so much darker than the boy’s. “How does that work?”

“You basically keep being vigil even during the REM sleep,” Doctor Williams says. She searches for something on her tablet, then sends it to Timmy’s with a couple taps of her fingers, “I sent you a couple links on the topic, in case you want to try and understand better. The term basically refers to the condition of dreaming while aware of being dreaming. Expert oneironauts can sometimes control what’s happening during the dream, or surpass the dream’s boundaries themselves, traveling through it.”

Timmy listens carefully, and doesn’t move. “It didn’t feel like I was in control,” he says.

Doctor Williams stay silent a while. “How did you rate it?”

“One,” Timmy answers. The fact that she knew already he would have rated something like that makes him feel particularly safe and inclined to share. “Do you wanna know what happened?”

“Only if you want to tell me, Timmy.”

Timmy nods eagerly, and tells her everything about the boy. His whiteness, his clothes, those shockingly blue eyes. “He touched me,” he insists, “On my knee. It felt so real.”

Doctor Williams listen carefully, keeping quite through the whole tale, and then nods. “Did you want to be touched, Timmy?”

Timmy freezes on the spot and says nothing. He clutches his hands around his knees. The one closed around the knee the boy touched, just a little tighter.

“Do you remember us talking about the eventuality of your sexual drive awakening again after interrupting your meds?”

He looks down. He can feel himself blushing. He doesn’t like to talk about these things.

Doctor Williams sighs just a bit. “Can I insist on talking about it, Timothy?” Ah, his name. She only uses his name when she’s dead serious. “You remember what happened last time, don’t you?”

He remembers. The sickness. Lots of crying, that time. It’s pretty hilarious, in retrospective, but it wasn’t so while it was going on. It felt kinda dreadful, while it was going on.

“Okay…” he says in a short sigh, closing his eyes, “Let’s talk about it.”

Doctor Williams nods and offers him a pleased smile. “Did you like the boy?”

“You mean how he looked like?” Timmy shrugs. He knows what the answer is. “He was okay.”

Doctor Williams smiles a little wider. “Did you like the boy, Timmy?”

“He looked like a girl, but he was a boy,” Timmy answers, and looks up at her. “I liked him, yes. It was confusing in the right way.”

“Good,” she nods slowly, “Did you feel any sexual attraction towards him?”

“I don’t know!” he whines, looking away. His heart’s beating a little faster. Doctor Williams bends over, retrieves a cookie and offers it to him. Timmy grabs it and starts eating it nervously. Then he feels the taste, and he remembers it’s not just food, it’s Doctor Williams’ cookie, and he takes a breath, and he calms down. “I don’t know,” he repeats, “I just— I didn’t really have the time to think about it. When he touched me, I freaked out.”

“Which takes us back to my first question,” she says, “Did you want to be touched?”

Timmy bites at his inner cheek until he tastes blood. It’s disgusting. He takes another bite out of the cookie, to cleanse his mouth out. “Maybe,” he finally says, “I can’t say anything more precise. I just don’t know.”

“That’s enough,” Doctor Williams nods, “But if I can suggest something, this whole thing might simply being your body reacting to the absence of meds to quell your desire. Since you don’t have any other let out, that urge haunts you in your dreams, so to speak. It might be wiser to go with it.”

Timmy looks up, feeling his chest tightening. “What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Doctor Williams says, “That since you refuse to touch yourself, which is okay as long as you’re still not ready for it, you might want to at least let your dreams lead you where you need to go. See if that’s what your body’s trying to do. It might not, but if it is, then it could be better for you to go with it. To follow the boy, in a way. Or at least try.”

No way.

“And if it ever gets too much, you simply pull the lever.”

If he can reach.


The first panic attack he can remember of is the one that started everything. He remembers vague episodes of anxiety of every kind even before that, of course, especially at night when for some reason somebody forgot his window closed, but that was the first proper panic attack, even if back then he wouldn’t have known how to call it, the first thing that had forced his parents to sit on the couch with him – he still remembers it so well, Blaine sitting right next to him, one hand on his shoulder, the other on his knee, and Leo just a little aside, respectfully keeping his distance but showing interest nonetheless as he had probably been instructed to do by Blaine himself – and ask him if there was something wrong, and if he wanted to talk about it.

It was because of the darkness, of course. That was what triggered the episode mostly, when he was a child.

That was a winter night. Probably just a few days after Christmas, not even a week. Talking of the possibility of having another child had intensified, recently. He didn’t know what to do with the thought. Didn’t know what to do with himself at the prospect of a new child to arrive in the family. Especially since there already was one, a grown-up child, that already stole all of Blaine’s attention. That child being Leo, of course.

Timmy had never really gotten over Leo. Not that his father had ever tried and make the whole thing any easier on him. Blaine didn’t even talk about it with him beforehand. Sure, he was too young to take part in the whole decision-making process, but still, it wouldn’t have been a crime to at least explain what was going on, why was he being forced to move from Westerville – from a life he knew and love, a safe life, all alone with his daddy, his undivided attention all to himself – to Lima, a place he didn’t even remember ever being to, a place he didn’t know, didn’t like, far away from his grandparents, from his school friends, from everything he called his daily life.

Some things about his father and Leo he couldn’t have known back then. Some things he doesn’t know even now. What he knows now is that his father and Leo had a very complicated relationship that started out when Leo was nothing but a 15 years old boy, and that said relationship had messed up both their lives to the point that Blaine had simply walked away when he had the chance, leaving Leo back to protect himself and his life, hoping that distance would heal Leo too. Distance hadn’t healed him, though, as distance rarely does, it just made things worse, as it more often happens. And in a few years, after a couple ups and a lot of downs, Leo had broken, and Doctor Williams, the very same Doctor Williams who’s taking care of him now, had called upon Blaine to come back, take responsibility and help Leo heal.

Back then, though, Timmy didn’t know any of that. All he knew was that he was forced to move into this very big two-story house in Lima, together with his father and this young man he knew nothing of, who dressed like a teenage boy, talked like a teenage boy, acted like a teenage boy and – with all his meds and whims and constant whining – demanded Blaine’s full attention all the time, every day, with no exception, like a newborn baby.

Suddenly, Timmy wasn’t top priority anymore. Suddenly, there was another child, more important than him. A sick child, a suffering child his father was supposed to heal. And Timmy could’ve acted out, broken his toys, refused to eat, to go to school and whatnot, to get his father’s attention back, but he never even tried. Because he was scared. What if I do my worst, he asked himself, what if I do my worst and he still prefers to take care only of Leo?

He didn’t want to find out the truth.

So he had played the good kid. He had been silent, never made a fuss, slept when he was told, ate what he was told, waited for it to get better. He even tried to get along with Leo. But Leo wasn’t something he could get along with, back then, he wasn’t something anybody could get along with. Now, Timmy understands why. (The illness. The illness takes away all that’s you. Empties you out. Fills you up with something different. Something unrecognizable. Something ugly. Something not even you want to see in yourself, let alone other human beings.) Back then, though, he didn’t. He was four, maybe five years old, too young to understand anything, let alone something as complex as his father’s lover’s broken heart.

Because of that, trying to stay close to Leo had only resulted in getting hurt.

Leo hated him. As much as Timmy did, but in a more reckless way. He had no control whatsoever over his own choices, and all he wanted, much like Timmy himself, was for the other tiny attention-sucker to go away, disappear into nothingness, so he could have Blaine all to himself.

One day, Timmy was – as usual – trying to find some sort of connection with him, insistently trying to convince him to plat together. He knows now Leo simply snapped. He couldn’t take his insisting anymore, and he snapped. His brain disconnected. Timmy would do the same thing now, if his parents ever let the twins close to him long enough to force such a reaction out of him. So he doesn’t resent Leo for doing what he did. For accepting to play hide and seek and then locking him into the closet for four hours. He knows it’s not something he can hold Leo responsible for. Rationally, he knows.

But he hates him. He hates him. For forcing him to move. For stealing his father from him. For saying yes when Blaine proposed him to have another baby – that later turned into two, even if that wasn’t planned. He hates him for existing, for being a thing, and for some reason all of this just ends up being summarized in the closet episode. Because something changed in Timmy, while he was locked in there, and he cried, and he cried, and Leo wouldn’t come open the doors. Some switch got turned on, the illness switch. The darkness ate Timmy up whole and then puked him out a sick child. One terrified by closed, tiny, dark spaces. One terrified by anybody’s proximity. One terrified by anything changing, even for just a few details.

Leo had come opening the doors a few hours later, of course. Possibly after taking his meds. He was crying and he was saying sorry and he was holding Timmy close, stroking his hair, and Timmy had clung to him for dear life, hating him for leaving him there and loving him to the point of hysterical cry for coming back to get him, and no other episode like that had ever happened again. That had been Leo’s lowest point, and from there on he could only get better.

Timmy had never told Blaine. He didn’t wanna be the one to cause a fight. He hoped Leo would tell him, but Leo never did, clearly out of fear, and Timmy can understand the choice. He doesn’t resent him for keeping the secret. But he resents him for creating one to begin with.

Fear of the dark stuck with him, anyway. Fear of the dark caused the first panic attack. On that winter night. The air was so cold. Blaine had begged him, let me close the shutters, let me close the curtains, but Timmy had said no, no, he wanted to see the sky, he needed to see the moon, please, daddy, please. Blaine had finally surrendered, but when Timmy woke up in the middle of the night everything was dark and he couldn’t see a thing, and his brain had turned off.

The first and only thought he could come up with being am I still in the closet? Are the door still locked? Did Leo never come pick me up, did he leave me to rot in here, did I never come out, am I still fucking trapped in here?

He had clearly felt his heart explode. He remembers thinking: I’m gonna die. It was obvious, to him, that he was gonna die, because his heart was beating so fast and hard, pounding in his ears, and he couldn’t breathe. He kept trying, and some air filtered through his nose and his open mouth, but not enough to fill his lungs, never enough to fill his lungs, and he was dying, suffocating, in the darkness, in the closet, and his heart was going to explode, and nobody would ever know he had died, and his dad would’ve never come for him.

So he had screamed. And his scream had pierced through the night, and in a few seconds both his parents were by his side asking Timmy, Timmy, what happened, what’s going on?, and then Leo had seen the shut closed window and had screamed “why the fuck is that window closed?!”, and Blaine had answered “it was so cold, I didn’t want him to catch something”, and Leo had screamed “fuck you, Blaine, don’t you get it?!”, and he had slammed the window open, but it hadn’t been enough, Timmy still couldn’t breathe, and his heart was about to escape his body through his mouth, and he was screaming, screaming, breaking the night apart, exactly like it was happening to his body, torn in pieces by the deepest fear he had ever felt.

They had to call the paramedics, get him to the hospital. He had to be sedated. First time in his life. He remembers sleeping for days, even though maybe they were just hours. It felt like days, anyway.

Even now, panic attacks always feel the same. Even the ones that don’t directly involve darkness. If he’s deep into it, really deep into it, even shutting his eyes closed is enough. And he’s back in that closet, locked in, crying and crying and nobody hears him, and if they do they simply don’t care, and he’s gonna get lost, get lost and disappear, and those are always a four, always a four, the lever out of reach, the number glowing red, fear coursing through his veins instead of blood, while he reaches for something, something, something that’s never there. A handle to push the doors open. Though they’re locked from the outside.


It’s been weeks since the last episode. It’s like, the moment Doctor Williams told him to try and go with it, the moment he realized exactly what the dreams could mean, what the boy could want, the moment he realized what would have probably happened if he really let himself go to the feeling, he instantly shut it out, he locked his brain up, made it impossible for anything, anything at all to happen.

It’s not that he wants the tragedy of last time to repeat. Actually, he’d give up anything to avoid that.

(As funny as it is, now, to think that eight months ago, when he got off his meds, his body suddenly remembered it possessed a penis and that organ could inflate with just a tiny rush of blood sent in the right direction, and that the whole thing was so freaking overwhelming he cracked up and demanded to get back on his meds immediately, he’d give up anything not to go through that kind of shit ever again. It doesn’t matter that he rationally knows that when he’s horny – which is a fucking natural condition – he should just jerk off and make the problem go away, together with some frustration, possibly: he cannot touch himself.

He tried a few times, and it’s more than he can take. It’s just too much. When he comes, he loses control of his body. He shivers and then he shoots and then his hands are dirty and his heart beats too fast and he’s flushed and he cannot move and he doesn’t like it, it’s just not worth it, not for that single second of blinding pleasure that pushes him over the edge without any assurance he’d be ever able to regain control once it’s over.

Sometimes the thought is so overwhelming he has to stop even before he actually comes. He jerks off and there’s too much pleasure, and weird, random pictures and fantasies start filling up his mind, confusing him and making him feel dizzy, and he has to stop, which is even worse.

No, touching himself is not an option. But if he doesn’t touch himself arousal keeps mounting and mounting and there doesn’t seem to be a fucking end to it, and he can’t do a thing about it, and he’s frustrated and his balls hurt and he feels sick and then the crying comes, the unstoppable crying, as always when he feels completely powerless and helpless.

He knows he should find a way to deal with it. He just hasn’t cracked it up yet. Maybe he should talk about it with Doctor Williams. Again.)

It’s just, there are some things he’s completely at a loss against. He’s learned, through the years, to deal with some of the shit messing up his mind. He learned how to deal with Leo through a mixture of affection and resentment that both ties them together and keeps them apart, at a reasonable distance, the two poles around which Blaine revolves, trying to split in two or at least to gather enough strength to divide himself between the two of them without breaking apart himself. He learned how to deal with the twins by ignoring them most of the time, not letting them be a part of his life unless he feels good enough to be in the same room with them without thinking there are now two more tiny people sucking up his father’s attention and leaving none for him to prey on. He learned how to deal with the sudden cravings for food when he feels to nervous, he learned how to deal with his own panic attacks if they’re between a one and a three as most of them are these days, he learned how to deal with the thousand little things that make him feel scared or uncertain about what’s gonna happen and how things are gonna change, but overwhelming emotions, he has no idea how to deal with them yet. They cloud his mind, take control of it, make his body feel weak and heavy, and he can’t stand it. Too much pleasure and too much pain are things he’s not prepared to find a way to cope with, not just yet.

And Doctor Williams wants him to do that, to just lie down and let his own body be overpowered by such a stream of coursing pleasure that’d leave him shaken and spent for hours, if not for days. He can’t let himself go through such a thing. He doesn’t want to. He can’t, not now.

He lies down on the bed. The lights are off, the twins are sleeping in their bedroom, Leo and Blaine are talking softly in the room right next to his own. (He got to keep the room next to his parents’ bedroom when he was eleven years old. The twins were still very little, but enough to have their own room and stop sleeping in the twin cradles next to Blaine and Leo’s bed. They should’ve moved into Timmy’s bedroom, and Timmy should’ve moved to another bedroom a little further down the hallways. When they had tried talking to him about it, he had had such a terrifying breakdown, crying and crying and screaming for almost a full hour while they tried to make him think about it rationally, that they had ultimately decided the twins would have moved in the room at the end of the hallway. He got to stay where he was. As close to them as he possibly could without sleeping in their very same bed.)

The night sky is very clear, tonight, a slightly lighter shade of dark blue than it usually is. It’s because there’s a full moon. Big and wide and incredibly close. It’s so huge Timmy can’t even see it all outside the window. There’s just a piece of it, and it seems so near he closes his eyes and dreams about crossing out the window, reaching out with his hand and grab it. Then jump on it. Lie down and sleep there, bathing in the whitest, warmest light, while the moon travels all around the world, surfing the night sky like the bluest ocean.

He almost smiles.

Then he twitches in his sleep. And as he falls without really falling, he opens his eyes, his heart in his throat, his teeth cutting into his bottom lip, and there’s the boy.

He looks exactly like he looked last time, hasn’t changed one bit. If anything, he looks clearer, even more real than he was before. He’s surrounded by the light of the moon, that makes his skin look even whiter, glowing. And he’s closer, standing right next to the bed, looming over Timmy. And he’s smiling.

He instinctively pulls the covers up to his nose, leaving only his eyes uncovered, to keep looking at him. He’s shaking a little and he can’t understand if he’s scared or excited. Both options are bad enough to make him wanna scream and run away.

“You need to go,” he says, shaking his head, “I don’t want you here.”

The boy keeps smiling, tilting his head to the side. His long, dark hair brush against his cheekbones, framing his face into a perfect picture. He looks so beautiful. He scares him to death.

“Who are you?” Timmy says, unable to stop himself. He loosens the grip of his fingers around the covers and they slide off his face, while the smile on the boy’s face widens. “Why won’t you tell me your name?”

The boy lowers himself on him, pointing a hand and a knee on the bed. Timmy feels the wooden structure of the bed creak under his weight. He feels the mattress shift. And that’s not possible. But it’s got to be. “Because I don’t have one,” the boy answers, his voice far and distant and weightless like summer breeze, “Yet.”

Timmy’s heart starts beating faster. His stomach ties up in knots and his overtense muscles start to ache. He wants to turn around, reach out for the nightstand, grab his pills, swallow one, try ad just get to sleep before this turns into a two – what is it, now? Still a one? He can smell the boy’s scent as he gets closer and closer, he wants to look away but he can’t, his eyes are locked to the boy’s, there’s a pull that won’t let him go, and he keeps staring into those baby blue pools as they get closer and closer, and he only realizes much later than he should’ve that they move like that because the boy’s getting closer, he’s moving towards him, now he’s just an inch away and he smells like candy, and then their lips touch and Timmy tastes him, and he tastes like moonlight would taste if it had a taste, sweet and warm and soft and good, so good, too good, good enough?, he wants more, and Timmy parts his lips and feels his body rise from the bed, and he wants more, and the boy kisses him deeply, his tongue caressing Timmy’s, playing with it, and he wants more, and he clutches his fingers around the sheets and tugs, tugs as his entire body shakes, and he wants more, and the boy touches his chest through his pajamas, and he’s warm, warm and gentle and he wants more, he wants more, but can he take more?, can he?, can he?, the number, the equalizer, where are we, what is this, it’s a two, “It’s a two!” out loud, “A two!”, louder, “Two!”

He opens his eyes, nothing to see anymore. Despite the veil of tears clouding his eyes right now, Timmy can see the room is empty, his bed is empty, his lips are cold and his hands are shaking and he needs something. He needs something, ‘cause he can’t reach for the lever, he can’t pull it down, but he can reach for the nightstand and swallow some artificial calmness, to compensate for the one he can’t give himself, to get through the night, at least through the night, that’ll be enough.


“I freaked out,” he tells Doctor Williams, feeling guilty and ashamed of himself, “I slipped. I lost control. I had to take a pill. I know we discussed it, that I should be off ‘em for some time, and I swear I only kept Xanax there for comfort, I didn’t want to take it, but I needed it, and I’m so sorry, but don’t tell my dads, I don’t think I should be back on meds yet, I can make it, I just— was it okay that I took it, just one pill, since I needed it so bad? I swear I really needed it, I was better afterwards! I could sleep! I—”

“Timmy.” Doctor Williams’ voice is steady and warm, captures Timmy’s attention with the usual ease. He only realizes how heavily he’s breathing when the room falls back into complete silence. He shuts his mouth and tries to calm down. “Are we around a one?” she asks. Timmy nods quickly. “Do you want a cookie?” Timmy shakes his head. “Fine,” Doctor Williams nods. Then she smiles. “You did good, taking that pill,” she says, “If you were feeling so uncomfortable you couldn’t do without it, then you had to take it. I’m proud of you for making the right call.”

Timmy’s chest swells with pride, as always when she shows appreciation about something he’s done. He cracks a little smile, and nods again, calming down. “Thank you.”

“Now,” she says, “Was it the boy again?”

Of course she’d want to talk about it. Timmy sighs, lowering his eyes. “He came back,” he says. “He spoke.”

“What did he tell you?”

“That he hasn’t got a name, yet.”

“That’s interesting,” Doctor Williams says, “It means he could have one soon. Maybe, once he introduces himself, we’ll know more about him. About what he means to you.”

“Mhn…” Timmy tortures his fingers and moistens his lips, uncertain. “He kissed me.”

“Of course he did,” Doctor Williams smiles faintly, “I wasn’t expecting anything less. Was it the kiss that made everything worse?” Timmy nods, unable to look up at her. “But you liked it, didn’t you?” Timmy nods again, covering his face with his hands. She chuckles a little. “You don’t need to feel embarrassed about it, Timmy. That’s perfectly normal. I’d have been more worried about the contrary.”

“I don’t know how to deal with this,” he says honestly, looking back at her, “I’m afraid I can’t. I know you think I should let myself go to the feeling, enjoy it or whatever, but I can’t. I can’t enjoy it. He scares me.”

“Because you like him too much,” she infers, taking a couple lines of notes.

Timmy nods, sighing softly. “It’s just…” he tries to explain, “He’s overwhelming. Too beautiful, too close, too touchy, too real. If I could just keep him at a distance and look at him from afar, I’m sure I’d—”

“You’d be able to deal better with him?” Doctor Williams interrupts him, her voice inquisitive and a little daring, “Like you do with your siblings?”

That’s a low blow, she knows it. She’s expecting his resentful eyes, when he looks up at her. She answers with a soft, reassuring smile, though, that drains all of Timmy’s outrage away, changing it with simple embarrassment.

“You know, Timmy, maybe that’s the key,” she says patiently, “You keep needing distance to deal with things. May them be people or situations or anything else, really. Distance is the key. As long as you can keep putting space in between yourself and the thing you’ve got to deal with, you’re alright, because you do not let yourself be touched by it, whatever it may be. That’s fine, and it works, as long as it’s working. But there may come times, there will be times in which distance isn’t a viable option. And if you keep relying only on distance for safety, when those times come you’ll be unprepared. So…” she smiles again, “What if that’s all the boy came here to do? What if it’s got nothing to do with being off your meds and in need of sexual activity? What if this is just about dealing with things up close?”

Timmy would like to tell her that if it is, then he’s screwed, because he’s got no intention of starting to deal with things up close with that boy. No chance in hell he’s gonna do something like that.

“I don’t know,” he says, holding it in. He can feel this is one of those topics on which Doctor Williams tends to insist and never simply give up on. He knows if he tells her that’s just not gonna happen she’ll want to talk it out right now. He doesn’t feel like it, so he shuts down the channel and backs off. He knows she knows he’s doing it on purpose. That he’s saying he doesn’t know just because he doesn’t wanna say no. She respects his choice, though.

“Just think about it,” she says, physically backing away a little not to make him feel any more pressured for a different answer, “We’ll talk about it next time.”

It’ll be the first time in months he’s gonna wish for next time to never come.


When he comes back home, Leo and Blaine are discussing something in the kitchen. He can hear Blaine let out a little laughter every now and then, that soft, sweet sound he always makes whenever Leo does something stupid he was expecting anyway. He remembers hating that sound so much, when he was a child, because up until that moment it had only been his own. He’d do something stupid, Blaine would expect it – he could always anticipate it – and he’d laugh that way, and then hold him in his arms and scold him tenderly, and that’d be enough, Timmy would learn, and he’d never make that stupid thing again.

Then Leo broke in and suddenly it was him doing all the stupid shit his father would tenderly laugh about. And Timmy would spend hours trying to come up with something stupid to do, to make his father laugh that way for him again, but Blaine didn’t have enough strength put aside to put up with his whims, so he’d still laugh about Leo’s stupid shit – ‘cause Leo needed to be treated carefully, handled like he was made of glass, couldn’t be scolded, only barely reprimanded – but not about Timmy’s. He’d just look at him, sadly, and say “baby, please, don’t”. And at the age of six Timmy was forced to understand and get over it.

Any other day, he’d walk straight up to his room. He wouldn’t want to stay around, he wouldn’t want to listen, he wouldn’t even want to be noticed. But the conversation he just had with Doctor Williams left him sadder, and more upset, than it ever happened, and he doesn’t want to be alone. So he walks into the kitchen, slowly, looking down, as always when he has no idea what to do with himself or if it’d be proper to impose his presence on them.

“Ah, Timmy!” Leo says when he sees him, turning to look at him with the brightest smile over his lips, “How did it go?”

Timmy shrugs. “Fine,” he answers, looking away, “Did something happen?”

“Nothing, baby,” Blaine answers with a soothing smile, “But something will. Nothing big, though. A couple of friends are just going to stay here for a few days, in a couple weeks.”

People. Timmy shivers. He refuses to look up. “Do I know them?”

“You must’ve heard of them over the years,” Blaine says.

“Cody!” Leo chirps, clearly unable to contain his excitement anymore, “He’s moving back here with his family, but from what I’ve got they haven’t yet acquired the farm they’re gonna own. Or something.” He gestures vaguely. He clearly doesn’t give a damn where Cody’s going to stay once he moves, the mere fact that he’s moving gives him joy enough. “Anyway! They’re just gonna be around for a week or so, you don’t have to worry. Besides, they’re not noisy people. And they’re just three, Cody, his husband and their boy.”

“Speaking of which,” Blaine says, turning to look at his husband, “Last time we saw them it was like, what, ten years ago? By now, baby Alex will be more or less Timmy’s same age. They could share the room, keep each other company.”

Silence falls heavily upon the kitchen like a curtain descending suddenly over a stage while the actors are still playing. Leo’s horrified look is so blatant Timmy almost wants to put himself aside, just for a moment, to tell him ‘Leo, don’t worry, I’ll be fine’.

Not that he will, though.

Tell him. Or be fine.

“I don’t wanna share my room,” he instantly says, recoiling as if he had just been threatened with a fiery stick.

“No, of course!” Leo says, before Blaine can add anything to make things worse, “Your father wasn’t thinking. We’ve got plenty of room. Alex will have a room by himself. Don’t worry.”

Timmy doesn’t even answer. He keeps looking down, his fists clutched down his sides, a little shaky. It’s not even that for a moment he really feared he’d have to share his personal space with another person, let alone a complete stranger. It’s that how long have they been at this, already? Five years? More? His father still doesn’t get it. Or better, of course he gets it, but he always tries the wrong way. He just can’t, for his life, do the right thing with him. Leo always has to butt in, having been in Timmy’s place before, to correct Blaine when he goes overboard.

And Timmy can’t fucking stand it.

He asks if he can be excused, and when he’s granted permission he walks out of the kitchen and battles against himself not to just run upstairs. He walks, instead, one step after the other, rating his feelings as Doctor Williams taught him.

Is it a one?, he asks himself as Leo’s distant voice reaches his ear, scolding, almost angry, “When will you ever learn?”

Is it a two? “I was just trying to help,” his father answers in a low voice, and he can picture him looking at the floor, on his face the usual guilt-ridden expression.

Is it a three?, while Leo raises his voice, “You don’t fucking try to help with kids like Timmy, Blaine, you help or you don’t!”

It doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no need to rate this kind of pain. When it’s caused by his father, willingly or not, there’s no lever Timmy could possibly pull to make it go away.


That’s always been a problem, with his father. He loves him, Timmy knows he loves him, and he’d never voluntarily hurt him, but that’s never been enough to prevent that from happening, because Blaine doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t.

On one hand, Timmy’s glad about it. He loves his father more than it’d be healthy to (as proven by the fact that he ultimately sacrificed his own mental stability to keep loving him that way, even though it hurt), and he’s happy to know Blaine will never be able to fully understand the depth of his illness, because he’s never been personally touched by it.

On the other hand, though, the very same thing is frustrating to the point of making him want to cry. And that Leo, of all people, should be the one understanding him better in that house, that’s simply unacceptable. Not even because he hates the thought, or because he hates Leo himself, he’s way past that. Just because he wants his father to be the person who understands him better, who’s closest to him in the entire world. And he’ll never have that. Instead, he has the very person who snatched his father away from him. Such a thought he has to ignore it not to break every time he thinks about it.

And yet that was something he had to accept, one way or another. That his father just could never connect with him. That no matter how hard he could try, he would always be too far, his fingertips only barely brushing against Timmy’s, unable to just hold his hand and keep him from falling every time he happened to step off the cliff.

Whenever Timmy thinks about it, he always ends up growing nervous. Which usually makes him feel hungry.

So, as he lies down on the bed trying so, so, so hard not to grab the blister pack and swallow a 2mg, he thinks about the milk incident. He started using it as a cautionary tale after talking about it with Doctor Williams. He refused to acknowledge what had really happened that night for at least two years, if not even more. Then, one day, he was ready to talk about it, and he told her everything.

That was the first night after the twins had finally come home after the birth. Timmy had stayed home with his grandparents while Leo and Blaine had gone to get them. He remembers that afternoon so clearly, even now, after all these years. He was so nervous. And so scared about the silliest things. He was practically sure his parents would’ve never come home. Despite knowing it was impossible, he was sure they’d have stopped halfway through, looked at the twins and told one another ‘you know what? These two will suffice, we don’t need the other anymore. He wasn’t really ours to begin with anyway”.

(How violently his heart had broken when Leo and Blaine had sat him down on the couch to explain him the incoming babies were two because both of their seed had taken roots. Two babies. Their babies. Not adopted ones. Like he was.)

To be completely honest, Leo and Blaine had tried to get him involved with the event. The twins were going to be part of the family no matter what, and since Timmy was already showing signs of emotional distress – what with the panic attacks, the crying, to exhausting, both on him and them, search for attention of any kind – and they thought it best to try and drag him into it, instead of sheltering him from it. They were scared if they kept him away from the thought of his future siblings coming to be a part of his life, he’d have never accepted them.

Too bad that was bound to happen in any case.

(Timmy never recognized his siblings as an actual part of his life. He’s aware of their presence. He copes with it. He learned how to spend time with them without considering them an unnecessary nuisance. But there’s something disconnected in his mind. He has to think about it, to remember they’re family. Much like with Leo.

The very moment Doctor Williams decided it was time for him to start taking meds was when he told her, during a session, “I’ve got three strangers walking around the house, pretending to be my kin, pretending they love me, but I don’t love them, I don’t wanna see them, I wish they just disappeared, I wish there was something I could do to just make them disappear”.

Even now, though she tries more and more often to keep him off his meds whenever she can, she’s instructed Timmy to always call her instantly when he starts not recognizing them as family again. That’s sign something very wrong’s going on with his mind. Something that needs more than a lever to pull to be fixed.)

Anyway. Timmy can’t really blame his parents for how they handled the whole twins thing. They did what they could. Trying to get him to choose the names, to make him feel responsible as an older brother. The shit parents usually resort to, to try and avoid any jealousy between siblings.

It never worked on Timmy. He was just scared, scared shitless he’d be forgotten, or come second best if he was lucky. He wasn’t looking forward to have a baby brother and a baby sister to take care of. He wanted to be the baby boy everybody still had to take care of. He didn’t wanna feel grown up. He wasn’t. He never wanted to be grown up.

He couldn’t be in charge. He needed to be protected. He needed to be cared for. He needed his father and Leo to revolve around him like satellites, anything less wasn’t love, wasn’t love enough, and he hated the thought. Of not having enough love to feed on.

That was probably why. The food.

He had woken up in the middle of the night, grumpy and lonely. He knew his parents were just in the other room, the one next to his own. He could’ve just slipped in there, climbed in the bed with them, slept in between them, searched for an hug, some warmth. But the thought that the twins would’ve been there too destroyed him, made him feel nauseous.

He had gone to the kitchen, instead. Walked straight to the fridge. He had opened it and looked inside, searching for something to swallow. Not to eat. Not to taste. Not to savor. To swallow, to bolt down, to stuff himself up with.

There were three bottles of milk. Two were still full, one had barely been opened. The moment Timmy saw them, he knew he wanted them. Whenever he was hungry outside the meal hours, his granny always told him to drink some water, ‘cause water stuffs the tummy and it’s healthier than random junk food as snacks. Milk, he thought, couldn’t be that much different from water.

He remembers the feeling of swallowing all three bottles down in but a few gulps. The milk was sweet and it felt thick and rich on his tongue. He kept wanting more, more, more.

And then suddenly he couldn’t fit a single drop in his stomach anymore. Even worse: he couldn’t keep a single drop he had swallowed up to that moment.

He started to puke. It felt nothing like puking when he was sick with the flu or with some stomach virus. Milk came out of his mouth in long, clean gushes, perfectly white as it was when he first ingested it. His body hadn’t even had the time to start digesting it.

And it wouldn’t stop coming. He kept puking and puking and it seemed like there was no end to the quantity of milk coming out of his body, like he was entirely made of milk and he was actually throwing himself up. He had fallen on his knees, his hands in the white, disgusting, smelly puddle that kept getting larger and larger with what came out of his mouth, and his stomach hurt, and his throat was sore, and he felt like crying and screaming and fainting all at the same time. So he had screamed, so loud his scream had pierced the night. And then he had cried, cried and cried, scared to death and hurting all over, until suddenly his parents were by his side, and they were both horrified, and Leo’s words, Leo’s words in his shaky voice “oh, God, Timmy, what have you done…?”.

They had to bring him to the hospital. One of the worst nights of his life. His stomach had kept hurting for days.

Now, when he feels so nervous and distressed the only thing he wants is to get up, go to the kitchen and empty out the fridge into his stomach just to numb the feeling down, he always lies down and think about the milk. The smell. The pain. The thought is strangely soothing. It tricks him into thinking that if he keeps away from the food he won’t feel pain anymore. That usually helps.

It works this time too. He keeps his eyes half closed, focusing on the tiny slice of waning moon he can see past his window. It looks like a white, glowing puddle of milk too. E cleaner one, though. It’s soothing, and he likes it.

He closes his eyes. Tilts his head to the side as his limbs grow heavier and his attention weaker.

Then he twitches in his sleep, and the nightmare begins.

The boy is there when he opens his eyes, his heart racing, his chest heaving. He’s suddenly covered in cold sweat and all his muscles are so tense they ache. The boy looks at him and chuckles lightly, as if he was amused by what he’s seeing.

“Please, go away,” Timmy begs, his voice weak and shamefully high-pitched, “I can’t. I can’t. Please. Go away.”

“But you don’t want me gone,” the boy says, climbing on the bed, towering over him. He looks even more concrete than he did the other times. Timmy can feel the featherlike touch of the silky fabric of his dress on the back of his hand. It tickles a bit. “You keep calling on me.”

“I’m not,” Timmy says, desperately shaking his head, “I’m not. I need you to go. Or I’ll scream.”

“You won’t scream,” the boy smiles, his voice sweet and soothing, and the more soothing it sounds the more terrified Timmy grows. “Have you ever noticed? You can’t scream in your dreams. The most you can get out is a wheeze.”

Timmy tries to back off, tries not to concentrate on the whiteness of the boy’s skin, how strong his scent is, how close his warmth.

He’s so close. So freaking close. Too close. And if he only could come just a little bit closer. Then it’d be perfect.

The boy smiles, as if reading into his thoughts. “Don’t worry,” he says, “I won’t bite.”

And then he comes closer, and he leans on Timmy, and he kisses him. And it’s different than all the other times. How real it feels, how terrifyingly concrete. His tongue moving in Timmy’s mouth, caressing his own. His hands touching him everywhere, moving underneath his clothes. They’re soft and they radiate warmth that sticks to Timmy’s skin, making his body come alive. He’s hard, so hard it hurts, and he moans into the boy’s mouth, his hips jerking upwards as he tries to rub himself against something, anything, really, to get some relief. And the boy provides it, pressing his hand against his crotch, palming him through his clothes and then sliding underneath, touching him skin against skin, wrapping his fingers around Timmy’s hardness, stroking it fast.

“Was it so hard?” he asks, his voice sugar-coated, like candy, like cake, as he jerks him off like the world’s gonna end, “Was it really so hard you couldn’t do it on your own?”, and then he rubs his thumb in circles all over the tip of his cock, and every muscle in Timmy’s body tenses and feels right about to break, except it doesn’t, the only thing that breaks is his self-control as he comes, comes hard, his whole body shaking as he clutches his fingers around the sheets, screaming.

“It’s a three!” God, God, “It’s a three, let me go, let me go!”, and he reaches out, grabs the lever, pulls it down, down, down, and when he opens his eyes the boy is gone, leaving behind only wetness and mess, and the rumbling sound of his own heart knocking hard against his ribcage, trying to escape.


The last couple weeks have been pretty rough on him. Of course he told Doctor Williams everything, and she did her best to reassure him, to tell him that was perfectly normal, nothing but a natural reaction, that what had happened had indeed confirmed their first theory, that it was just his body reacting to the lack of meds to dumb down his urges and needs, that it was actually very good that he had managed to get release without having a complete breakdown, that it was a step in the right direction and that she was extremely proud of him and so he should’ve been too, but Timmy couldn’t listen to her. He heard her voice, but her words had no weight for him. He believed their honesty, but it wasn’t enough, not compared to how terrifying the whole ordeal had been.

He hasn’t slept much, lately. He knows it’s not healthy and he’s trying to figure out a way to prevent the boy from coming back if he relaxes too much, but he hasn’t had any luck, yet, and all he could do was setting up a couple dozens alarms throughout the night. If he wakes up every half hour, the boy doesn’t come. Sleeping like that isn’t restful, if it can be considered sleeping at all, but it’s the only way. He doesn’t wanna be back on meds yet. Not just yet. It hasn’t even been a month yet. He can’t surrender so soon. He needs to try harder. At least for a little longer.

He hasn’t told Doctor Williams anything about the alarms because he knows she’d be concerned about it. The kind of concerned that would send him back on meds. And of course he hasn’t told Leo and Blaine. To what purpose? Leo’s so excited at the thought of seeing Cody again he wouldn’t have any attention left to spare on Timmy anyway. It’s better to just keep to himself, hope these people come quickly, and then go as quickly as they came, and possibly, if they’re fast enough, they won’t happen to be around next time Timmy has a crisis.

But they’ll have to be very, very fast, because it’s gonna happen soon. Timmy can feel it crackle under his skin. It’s been waiting for a while, now, mounting and mounting like the waves, preparing for a seaquake. Ever since the boy first showed up.

He doesn’t wanna meet with these people. He honestly thinks he’d be way better off spending all the time in his room, just wait for them to be gone before coming out again. If they had come sooner, possibly a couple of weeks before or so, Timmy would’ve been able to deal with their presence better. Right now, he just can’t. Sometimes it really all comes down to timing. This isn’t the right time to have people around at all.

But when his parents tell him to come to the door because the guests have arrived, they do it in such a natural way, expecting him to simply come down and say hi (because that’s what normal people do, what non-damaged people do, they simply get out of their fucking holes and say hi to whom comes visit), he feels so compelled to just comply he doesn’t even try to put up a fight.

He walks out of his room. Climbs down the stairs. Stops next to Blaine as he waits for the guest to approach the entrance door.

And then he sees him.

Coming together with Cody and his husband. Their son. Alex. The one he remembers as the chubby toddler trotting behind him whenever Timmy went anywhere.

He’s all grown up.

Turned into the boy from his dreams.

Timmy barely manages to hold back a scream. He backs off, shaking, his eyes growing wide as both his parents and the guests look at him puzzled, a little worried, completely at a loss of what to do.

There’s no way this can be possible. No way. And yet it is. ‘Cause there the boy is. Short and lean and pale and as stunningly beautiful, as terrifyingly flawless as he was in his dreams. His clothes may have changed, his hair may not be just as long, his eyes may be a little less supernaturally huge and his skin may not glow like the moon, but he’s the same, he’s the same boy, and Timmy can’t deal with it. He simply can’t.

There must be some sort of explanation, he thinks as he runs upstairs, heading to his room. There must be, there must be, because he can’t have willed the boy into existence by simply dreaming of him, and he can’t have seen him in his dreams without ever having seen him in real life before, but whatever logical explanation his brain could find, let alone the fact that right now it seems unable to do so, wouldn’t suffice to calm him down. Because who fucking cares about logic – not him, certainly not him.

However this happened, the boy is here. There’s no safe enough place to hide from that.

He runs into his room, slams the door closed and curls in a corner, sitting on the floor, holding himself into a trembling hug, praying he doesn’t come undone the moment he lets himself go. He shakes and shakes and his teeth hurt because of how hard he’s gritting them, and his fingers ache because of how strongly he keeps them clutched around his own shoulders.

And he looks up, at the window, searching for the moon, but it’s a new moon night and he can’t see a thing, he can’t see any fucking thing, just the solid black sheet of the darkest starless night he’s ever seen in his life, and it’s only when he notices it – the darkness, the complete darkness, the closed door, no light in his room, not even artificial light, no light coming from the outside, not enough to even see his own hands an inch from his nose – that he instantly starts to cry.

The softest whimper. Turning into a prolonged whining. Something like the howling of a wolf cub. His shaky voice cutting through the silence as he tries to keep it down, because it’d be shameful for anybody to hear him, for anybody to fucking hear how weak and stupid and broken and alone he is. But he’s back in that closet and there’s no light anywhere and the doors are locked and nobody’s coming, nobody misses him, nobody needs him back, because he’s nothing but a nuisance, nothing but a problem, nothing but a shaky bag of bone, crying and whimpering like the four years old boy he never really ceased to be, and his daddy doesn’t miss him, his daddy doesn’t want him, and Leo simply does not care, and he can’t even call for help because if he does that and no one answers, if he does that and no one answers he’s fucking gonna die, his heart will just stop beating, he will simply stop breathing, and he’s gonna die in here, alone and forgotten, and nobody’s even gonna ask about him, remember that little blonde kid?, whatever happened to that little blonde kid?, and nobody will be there to answer that he’s been swallowed by a four, he’s been killed by a four, a four came and snatched him away, kidnapped him before he could reach for the lever, try and pull it down, a four came, a four got him, a four finally destroyed him.

And then somebody opens the door.

Somebody opens the door and turns the lights on.

“Ah!” Alex says, stopping by the doorframe, looking at him and then smiling the softest smile that’s ever been smiled. His lips are peachy pink and his eyes are such a clear blue. Nothing like the night starless sky. The clear blue sky of a summer day. “There you are,” he goes on, “You got me worried. Your dad says you feel sick. I thought I should come check on you.” He walks into the room without asking for permission, leaving the door open. Timmy can see the hallway, outside. He’s not in the closet. It’s night and the sky is ink black, but there’s some light. There is some light. “My daddy says people should never be alone when they’re sick,” Alex smiles again, kneeling next to him, “What is it? Your tummy? I always drink some hot tea, when my tummy aches. Works like a charm. I could make you some. Do you want me to go make you some?”

He’s about to stand up and run downstairs to prepare some tea for him without even waiting for an answer, but Timmy relaxes his fingers, lets go of his own shoulders and quickly grabs Alex’s hand, squeezing it.

“Can you stay a while?” he says with a shaky voice, trying to clear his throat and ultimately failing.

Despite the croaking sound of his voice, Alex smiles and stops, sitting on the floor next to him. “Sure,” he says, “There will be time for some tea, later on.”

As they sit there together, and Alex goes back to fill the silence with words Timmy quickly stops listening to, relying only to the soothing sound of his voice and his warm presence to calm down, Timmy tries to think about the right way to tell Doctor Williams about all of this. It’s so unreal he doesn’t even know where to start. But it feels strangely good.
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