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Jesse had been in his room only minutes. The rest of MutantX stayed where they were, sleepless, not wanting to get on with normalcy so soon. They couldn’t. Emma tried reaching out to Jesse psychically.
The boy was lying on his stomach on the bed, crying. His body listless and mind exhausted, he was trying to muffle his sobs with his fist, and failing miserably. Emma’s heart broke. And before she knew it, her own face was stained with Jesse’s tears.
“Emma?” Shalimar came up to her.
“What? Oh God.” She hadn’t noticed her own weeping, she’d been so lost in the agony of the mind she was trying to touch. She explained as much to the others.
“Emma don’t do it yet. Let him be for awhile, he needs to think about what just happened here.”
“Yeh? Okay, meanwhile why don’t you guys enlighten ME on what happened here huh?” Emma was disagreeing with them again, the way she had after they’d sent Jesse to his room and before they’d called him out to be …oh… spanked.
Brennan sighed, “Emma can we please have this conversation later. I’m really not in the mood.”
And that was that. Emma went back to her room in a huff. Shalimar and Brennan were dying to go to Jesse but it was simply too soon. And time refused to cooperate tonight.
Twelve midnight. About half an hour had passed. Brennan caught Shalimar in another of her prowls around the rarely accessed regions of the Sanctuary.
Shalimar nodded. “I think so. But Emma just told me he is sleeping.”
“Oh good. He should rest. Yes.” Brennan was slightly relieved his lover was not crying alone in there. And now the tables were turned, he thought he was making Jesse wait. But his beautiful boy had gone off to sleep making him wait instead. He smiled at his own bad joke and looked at Shalimar. She smiled back reassuringly at him.
“I think he’ll be fine.”
“Yeh. I think so too.”
“You know he wont wake up before morning.”
“Maybe you should go catch some sleep too.”
Shalimar tugged him in the direction to the sleeping chambers, but he didn’t budge. “I should, but I wont.”
Shalimar sighed, and looked at him understandingly… she couldn’t sleep either.
They put arms around each other and walked up to Jesse’s bedroom. They quietly opened the door and peered in. Jesse was fast asleep in the same position that Emma had envisioned him. Brennan trembled with so much love and regret he thought he could just die if he didn’t touch Jesse this very instant. Shalimar had no intentions to refrain either. The two went in, crouched by Jesse’s bedside, and just… sat there watching the boy who ruled their hearts sleep. Had they gone too far? Had they pushed him away? God they hoped not.
They kissed the upturned side of his face very lightly, pulled up the covers and left.
So Shalimar decided to vile time in the kitchen preparing a dinner none of the members of MutantX wanted that night. Emma had tried to sleep but couldn’t. So she came back out to lurk, and Brennan sat at the video monitors watching Jesse sleep in his chamber. He twirled a ring of lightning around his index finger, not really appreciating the beauty himself, but remembering how much Jesse liked to see him do ‘magical tricks’ like that. The gamut of feelings overwhelming his senses was just, indescribable.
When Emma started bawling into her soup and told them Jesse was up, Shalimar and Brennan fought over who got to go to him first. They had decided not to gang up on him or it might intimidate him. Finally, grudgingly, she let Brennan win. Not surprisingly, the electrical was off with lightning speed.
Jesse had woken up with a start. And immediately regretted it.
The pain in his backside had reduced to a throbbing, but it still stung horribly every time he so much as moved. But that wasn’t the only reason he didn’t feel like moving from where he lay. Tears flowed unabated as memories of his punishment came back to him in a huge rush. And he knew he deserved it. In fact he deserved worse… if Adam got to know what he’d done, he was sure he’d be asked to leave MutantX for good! Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t for the life of him fathom how he’d put his ring at stake like that. He hated himself to think how he played Brennan, lied to him, broken the promise he’d made to Brennan. It would be no wonder if Brennan did not want to be his boyfriend anymore.
His felt his heart shatter to a thousand pieces as he recalled what Brennan had said to him earlier.
//I don’t know if I can ever trust you again.//
If it didn’t hurt so much, Jesse would have just loved to curl up and die.
A light knock on his door hushed him into silence. He didn’t reply, didn’t know how to, and the intruder opened his door and walked in. Jesse sensed Brennan’s presence in his room and felt vaguely comforted by the nearness alone. Yet, a terrible foreboding came over him that gave him the strength to get up and stand at the farthest corner of his room. With his face towards the window and the moonlight outside. His back towards Brennan.
Jesse didn’t respond. Brennan could sense his confusion, his sadness from that distance itself. And yet he couldn’t be sure if Jesse was angry or indignant about the fact that he’d been punished.
“How’re you feeling…”
Jesse wasn’t about to reply. Brennan took a step closer.
“Are you hungry? Shalimar whipped something up, its terrible but…”
“Are you angry with me?”
There was a slight movement of his head as if he was about to turn to look at him, but didn’t.
“Do you… want me to leave?”
No response again. Brennan’s heart sank. He didn’t know what else to do, so made to move back out.
Brennan stopped in his tracks and turned around, his heart thumping. Jesse hadn’t moved at all. He’d just stopped his life from leaving the room. Brennan spoke up again.
“You know, out there, Shalimar and me… we were fighting about who gets to see you first. I won… I so wanted to… you had a good sleep?”
“Don’t you want to talk to me?”
After another prolonged silence, a soft hesitant voice reached Brennan’s ears and he couldn’t have been more relieved.
“I… I was thinking… of what you said to me… back… there…”
“…about when you said that I cant expect you to take care of me all my life…?”
Brennan closed his eyes. Fearing the worst.
“I guess I… I did think that you would… take care of me all my life…”
And added softly, “…I still do.”
“Jess… my sweet boy…”
A pained gasp escaped the grieving boy. Brennan went up to him, and stood behind him with his hands on the hunched shoulders.
“I will… as long as I can…”
And Jesse whirled around to bury himself into Brennan. He shed quiet tears into his chest as Brennan held him tight and stroked his hair lovingly. For an eternity, they stood entwined like that, bathed in the moonlight.
“I love you Jess. Nothing will ever change that.”
Funny how he had no need for the tears now, and yet they wouldn’t stop. He felt the pain ebb away with his tears, and his peace of mind returning. In that night, Jesse had learnt the true meaning of love and family, and faith and trust. He’d lost everything and found everything again. And he thanked his mother’s Jesus with all his heart for the second chance.
Brennan wiped the tears fallen from his own eyes and then Jesse’s. He kissed him with all the love in his heart, holding Jesse’s face in his hands ever so gently. Everything else forgotten, Jesse was content being in Brennan’s arms, knowing he hadn’t lost him. He still had Brennan’s love.
//I love you Brennan. I love you!//
When Brennan pulled him closer, he happened to lightly brush his backside and Jesse winced in pain. Brennan winced with him.
“oh! I’m sorry baby.”
Jesse looked up at his concerned face, rubbing his face dry and bravely attempting to smirk, “Yeh you should be.”
Brennan bit his lip and smiled too. “Come on, lets see to that red behind of yours.”
Jesse was anxious. “What are you going to do?”
Brennan gently rubbed his finger along Jesse’s lip as if to shush him. He scooped him up into his arms and carried him to the bed. Jesse first laughed at the surprise move then clung to his boyfriend. At the bed, Brennan gently placed him on his side and sat beside him. Then pulled a sleek tube of aloe out of his flannel pocket.
Jesse blushed, as he raised himself on the bed. He bowed his head, only to have Brennan place his thumb under his chin and raise it up to meet his eyes.
“We should do something about it, or it might hurt longer than necessary.”
Then he unbuttoned Jesse’s jeans and with Jesse’s help, got the boxers and jeans, socks and shoes off him. Jesse had never been shy of being naked in front of Brennan, but tonight he was blushing and Brennan found it adorable. He climbed onto the bed and cuddled his boyfriend, kissing him and murmuring sweet assurances to him. Jesse finally got over it and laughed.
“Okay get it done already.”
He nudged Brennan away, and turned to lie on his stomach, propped up on his elbows, offering his sore behind to Brennan to do whatever he pleased. Brennan was hit by a pang of guilt at the redness and generously applied aloe to the injured area. Jesse noticed how quiet he got and decided to add some sound effects to brighten the moment.
“Sorry about that Jesse.”
“Don’t you oww! dare call me owww!! that!!!”
Brennan squinted at him, “What else?”
“Jess.” Jesse turned to face his boyfriend, “I am Jess to you aren’t I? When you call me Jesse its like…”
Brennan looked at him intently, “like what?”
“like, you’re angry with me or somethin.” And Jesse pouted, some things never change he knew. And he knew his pout would continue to work till eternity.
Brennan was filled with immeasurable love and protectiveness for the boy at those words… and that pout. He snuggled closer to Jesse and kissed him long on the side of his head. Jesse closed his eyes and sighed contentedly.
“Ow!!” this was a genuine ow.
Brennan chuckled and apologized, “Easy *Jess*.”
He continued to cover the prone buttocks with aloe, with Jesse loving the cool soothing effect instead of the searing pain from before.
“I really am sorry.”
“Shhhh no more.”
“No I just…”
Brennan rushed to hush him again. “I know Jess. I know you didn’t intend things to go so wrong even though they did. And I am SO proud of you, and how you stood up to take responsibility for your actions.”
“Bent over actually…” Jesse quipped.
Brennan stared at him for a second to figure if he was joking or… he was joking! He broke into laughter and ruffled the boy’s hair, who was grinning away himself. Then he got serious.
“I know what you want to say Jess. And you never ever have to go through that again, I promise.”
“Promise?” His voice full of such hope.
“Promise. Unless of course, you do something this extreme again and deserve it.”
Jesse sighed and smiled sarcastically. Brennan laughed and gathered Jesse to himself again. Jesse curled up into his chest and Brennan rolled over so Jesse now rested on top of him on the bed. He wrapped strong arms around the boy and pressed kisses into his hair.
“Sleep Jess. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”
Jesse couldn’t sleep just yet. “Bren?”
“Is Shalimar still angry with me?”
“Nooo, not at all. She loves you way too much. Can never be angry with you for longer than a minute you know that.”
Brennan felt slight shivers rack the body in his arms and he tightened his vice.
“Don’t worry baby. Everything’s just the way it was. Way it’s always been. Nothing’s changed.”
Jesse whispered ever so softly. His eyes filling up with tears he hoped Brennan didn’t notice. Brennan did, and stroked Jesse’s back, resolving to caress all the sadness out of his beautiful boy. He propped one knee up and settled for the night.
“So how was your day?”
Brennan had to laugh at that. His Jesse, always the verbose one.
“Sucked. We lost Skylar. But Adam thinks she ran off to some other geography and hopefully out of the reach of Genomex as well so… it's cool. For now.”
Jesse sounded drowsy now as Brennan’s hands rubbed him down.
“Mine sucked too. I won sixteen grand and left it lying on the floor.”
Brennan snickered, and continued to indulge Jesse like he was a precious treasure he couldn’t let go of. Wouldn’t let go of. Tentatively he brushed fingers over Jesse's ass.
"I feel something big… and hard… poking me."
Brennan gasped as Jesse wriggled, rubbing his own organ against his, teasing him.
"Umm… that would be me."
Jesse smiled, "Nice to know I still do it for ya."
"Dude, you are my undoing."
Jesse put his hand between himself and Brennan to stroke the latter's hard-on. Brennan shuddered into his grasp. Jesse raised his head to look up into the brown intoxicated eyes.
“Tell me honestly, did you… did you get off spanking me?”
“NO! NO OF COURSE NOT! HOW COULD YOU EVEN… okay maybe a little… OW!!”
Jesse could be real wily if he wanted to…
“OW HEY you asked me for honesty this is how you repay me OW! YIKES I’M KIDDING JESS OWW!!”