twenty five

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warnings: descriptions of ABUSE and ATTEMPTED RAPE.

stay street. stay sick as frick. stay alive.

josh is beginning to find breathing difficult. his chest rises and falls at a stuttering pace. he feels completely consumed with the anguish in front of him. tyler hasn't noticed anything wrong, the boy being too busy trying to halt his sobs.

"baby, it's okay, let it out," josh's voice breaks with tears, but it goes unnoticed.

"i-i- can't," tyler wails, attempting to push josh away and curl into himself.

"yes you can tyler," josh sighs, grabbing tyler's hands.

"josh," he cries.

"i'm here. tell me what happened, ty," josh whispers.

"he- he found out," tyler gasps in breaths through his tears.

"who found out what?"

"my d-d-dad. he-he knows that i-" tyler collapses in josh's arms. "i love you."

the pieces in josh's mind fit together to form a puzzle he doesn't want to believe he's just completed. there's no way... not tyler. not his dad. that can't be right.

"did he... he didn't hit you, tyler..."

tyler just nods, his voice failing him. he cries harder, and josh's heart breaks for what feels like the millionth time.

"where, baby?" josh asks, even as his mind suggests everywhere.

shuddering with every breath, tyler dries up his tears. he stands, shakily. with a trembling hand he points at his chest.

"beer bottles. he threw them to remind me that he had been doing much more important things before i'd interrupted the game. so i'd remember my sexuality was never a priority to him. to remember i was never a priority to him."

josh wants to stop him, but he can't seem to find anything to say. he only watched as tyler's hand travels to his waist. he points at each individual bruise.

"from a belt. this wasn't tonight. this was a while ago. from when i didn't want to be handed off to a 'buddy' of his," tyler closes his eyes. "the belt was the only thing he got to remove before i started screaming."

josh is crying now. he can feel the tears streaming down his face. he doesn't want to hear anymore. he can't seem to stop listening.

"this," tyler chokes on a sob as he points at a bruise right along his hip bone. "this is from his shoe, as he held me down on the floor so he could grab the bat and hit me -" tyler's finger moves to the ribs on his right side. "-here. i hope it's not broken."

"the bat was symbolic, if you didn't gather," tyler's voice is low. he chuckles but josh doesn't hear any amusement. "i'm not a sports guy. my dad thinks that makes me a pussy. a faggot. disgusting, and a pansy. he kept the bat around hoping it would knock some masculinity into me. now i'm just hoping it didn't crack a piece of my rib into me."

"tyler..." josh whimpers.

tyler's eyes snap open. they're anger filled. they're far-off. josh feels like tyler wasn't entirely here while he was talking. they mellow out eventually, and he can see the fatigue take over.

"i can't go back tonight josh," he whispers.

"sleep here. don't go back ever," josh whispers back, reaching a hand out to hook his belt loop and pull him closer.

tyler doesn't reply. he just nods, and nuzzles his face into josh's neck. josh rubs circles into his back, trying to console.

"it's going to be okay. you're okay, baby," he murmurs, unsure if he says this to comfort himself or tyler.

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