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dispadaferisce in into_the_future

Seri, Atti and Auggie; This could be awkward.; PG-13 mild language

Life was becoming complicated. Worse, it was happening so fast that Serafino wasn't sure what to do about it. He'd only known Augusten Dunlevy for a week, and already he was worrying about him as much as he would one of his longtime friends. Moreso, even, and it was an inner struggle to keep from acting like a complete fool and texting him as soon as he went home. He managed not to, and after skipping school again on Tuesday he'd finally gone to school today but had spent the day being anywhere Augusten wasn't by spending the day hidden amongst library shelves finishing up work he'd fallen behind in over his long absence.

And now he was on his way to Atti's, because he was restless and the drive offered him something to do. And because he had a feeling he was going to have to make very large bribes to keep one very large mouth shut. He was tempted, very tempted, to text Augusten during the drive and see what he was doing since he'd only be a few houses down. He managed not to, but it was a feat. Which was kind of pathetic. Finally he arrived, without making any phonecalls and without sending any text messages and without messing around on his PDA to see if Augs was on AIM. He kicked violently at a stone on the pavement to vent his mood, and leaned on the doorbell of the Webb house in his usual obnoxious fashion.


"No, they freak me out," Augusten admitted, taking off the scarf and hoodie and then his shirt. He quickly turned around so his back was facing Serafino, not wanting the other boy to see the bruises all over his ribs and chest, and down over his abdomen.

Sliding off his jeans, Augusten stood there facing the sink in just his boxers, arms crossed over his chest. He bit his bottom lip and glanced around a little. "Your house...it's nice," he said softly, trying to make diversionary conversation.
"Yeah. I mean it's...I dunno. It's kind of big, it always feels empty. And it's got so much open land around it." Serafino made a face, adding the bubbles and rising to get the towels and washcloths. "I've been living in the condo in the city since I was fourteen, when I started high school. I begged Ma and Papa to let me, so I could go to public school and be able to live somewhere where there was just...stuff and people. But it's nice to come out here now and then."

He set the towels and cloths down on the side of the tub and glanced over at Augusten.

"...so how bad is it?" He asked softly. "You don't have to show me if you don't want to, I can leave the room."
Augusten bit his lip, taking in a deep breath. "I'm ashamed," he said softly, simply. But he turned around. Serafino was being so nice to him, and taking care of him. He knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that he didn't have to feel that way.

He moved his arms down to his sides, staring straight down at the tile floor under his feet. He knew it was bad. He knew it without even looking in the mirror or at Serafino's reaction. He could feel it, every single bruise, every time he breathed.
Serafino managed not to wince. He gave a little sigh and crossed the room, taking a closer look at the bruises.

"You don't hafta be ashamed," He said after a moment, taking Augusten's hands in his own and looking at the other boy's face instead. Or, rather, the top of his head, since he was staring down. "Really. You got beat up a little. Well, okay, you got beat up a lot. Nothing to be ashamed of...you saw how Ma went at me with that magazine, and I just stood there and took it. And I'd probably stand there and take it if she hit me with her fists. Kids don't fight back against parents, even when parents get outta hand. Now c'mon, look up and let me see your face. No reason for you to stare at your feet the whole time you're here."
"Yeah but everybody knows parents shouldn't hit kids like he hit me," Augusten whispered, peeking up at Serafino. He bit his bottom lip, letting out a shaky breath. "Um...do you want to um, take a bath with me?"

He wanted to look down again but refrained, staring Serafino on the eye. He just looked at him, like he was searching for something, his own eyes very open and very honest, nothing to hide at all.
Here was that dangerous territory again. The appropriate answer, of course, was 'no'. The appropriate course of action was to leave the other boy to his bath and go make sure the ice packs were available for when he finished. Leaning in to kiss Augusten softly wasn't anywhere near the list of appropriate responses, but it was the one he picked anyway.

"Tub's almost full, go ahead and get in," he murmured when he pulled away. "Lemme just go grab us some PJs, I'll be right back."
Augusten blushed at the kiss and bit his bottom lip, doing as he was told. He slid off his boxers and climbed slowly into the bath tub, sinking down into the hot water. He whimpered and closed his eyes, taking some deep breaths.

He wasn't sure anymore exactly what the hell was going on. He wasn't sure how he'd ended up on this situation or how he'd ended up in this place, but he felt better now. Safer, like a weight was lifted, and that was good.

Leaning back against the ledge of the tub, Augusten opened his eyes and looked up at the ceiling, just thinking it all over. He did not, however, come up with any answers.
Serafino wasn't any more certain about anything going on than Augusten was. It wasn't like he had a great track record with relationships lasting longer than one night, his score on that count being exactly zero. He couldn't actually like Augusten as Atticus had suggested, because that had the potential for disaster.

God he hoped this was just some insane infatuation. He didn't think he could deal with it otherwise. He wasn't equipped for this kind of shit.

He went through the closet in his old bedroom and pulled out two pairs of the pajamas he left here, then slowly made his way back to the bathroom, trying not to think about it. He made sure the door was locked and set the pajamas beside the sink, pulling off his shirt.

"Can you breathe okay?" He asked, peeling off his jeans. "I mean, nothing's broken, right?"
"I don't think so," Augusten said, raising his head to watch Serafino. "It's sore, but not painful. He just hit me with his fists and threw me into the wall once. He didn't really hit me hard enough to break something."

He moved over in the tub to make room for the other boy, picking up the wash cloth, starting to scrub himself all over. He wanted to look away as Seri undressed but he couldn't help looking. The other boy was too nice not to look at him.
"Good," Serafino answered, making a face. "All they can really do for broken ribs is wrap 'em and wait for 'em to heal. Hurts like a bitch."

He kicked off the jeans and took a moment to take the bandages off his chest before he slid into the water. Everything was pretty much healed, the doctors only made him wear the bandages to stop him from scratching at the forming scars. The warm water felt so very good.

"Want me to do your back?" He asked. "So you don't have to stretch around? That's gotta hurt."
Auggie nodded, handing Seri the wash cloth and turning around. "He didn't really get at my back. Which is good, I guess," he commented, holding his dark hair up off his neck. "I could never take getting shot the way you did. I'd have given up, rolled over and died."
"Oh please," Serafino snorted. "I didn't feel anything at first from the shock. Then I passed out. Then I was dead for almost a full minute before I was resuscitated, and when I finally woke up in the hospital I cried like a little bitch until they shot me full of painkiller. Believe me, I'm no frigging Superman."

He ran the cloth over Augusten's back and shoulders, and carefully over one of his bruised arms.

"Hell, I don't think I could take a beating like you did and not spend the entire day whining."
"No reason to whine, really," Augusten said softly, shifting around, leaning back against Serafino. He took the wash cloth from him and sat it on the side of the tub, leaning leaning. "It won't solve my problems. It won't get me out of there, won't change it. It happened, he did it, I'm living with it now. Whining only makes me seem more absolutely pathetic."

He leaned his head back against Serafino's shoulder, closing his eyes. "Pain is pain. That I can deal with. It's just the idea of it that's hard to swallow."
"Yeah, well, the difference is that I'm a spoiled little rich brat, and you're a survivor," Serafino answered softly.

He remained still for a moment then, somewhat hesitantly, wrapped his arms around Augusten's middle, careful not to squeeze too hard and hurt him. He let his own head fall forward to rest on Augusten's shoulder, turning slightly so that his face was buried against the other boy's neck.

"You're gonna wanna soak once or twice a day," he murmured after a long stretch of silence. "Heat's good for healing bruises."
Augusten nodded softly, just relaxing and taking in slow breaths. "I will," he whispered, turning his head to kiss Serafino's forehead. "We should get out now. I'm pretty tired. I just wanna get under the covers and sleep it away."

Shifting a little, he turned around completely, kissing Serafino properly on the mouth. "Will you stay with me tonight? I don't wanna be alone. I'm too afraid."