Duet for Violin and Boy
originally published in Clean Sheets, Issue 11/05/08
Jason focuses intently on his own fingers, as if it is his gaze that moves them. Rosining his bow comes by rote after all these years; he could do it with his eyes closed. And he has done so, but he prefers it like this, bonding through sight as well as touch. Once he begins to play, he and the violin will be bound and freed by sound, but for now he has these other senses as well.
The piece is playing through his mind already--or perhaps still. For weeks, he has thought of little but the upcoming competition, now only days away. He has been living with the music, living with his violin in his head even when it hasn't been in his hands. Much is expected of him, from his teacher, his peers, his father, even his rival. He is determined not to let them down. But no one expects more of Jason than he does himself, and more than anything, he does not want to let himself down as he did at the last competition, when he was judged the best but knew he did not deserve it. Erin Dubois knew it, too; she didn't say anything, but she gave him that smirk when she accepted her second place award and turned to congratulate him.
He pushes Erin out of his head, allowing himself to close his eyes and letting the music swell to fill his thoughts as he sets down his bow.
There's a soft, human sound as the tip of the bow meets with resistance. Jason turns to find Shane in an easy sprawl, rubbing his side where Jason has unwittingly poked him. "I'm sorry! I--" Before it leaves his tongue, Jason catches the admission that he forgot Shane was here. "I'm sorry," he says again.
"It's okay." Shane smiles and lifts his shirt demonstratively. "See? I'm okay."
Shane doesn't flinch when Jason touches the reddening spot. Jason knows he is all right, but guilt darkens his blush nevertheless. It's not just that he forgot Shane came with him this afternoon; Jason has been neglecting him for weeks. Shane hasn't said a word of complaint, not about how Jason hasn't had time for him during the day, nor how Jason has been so tired he's been asleep before his head hits the pillow even on the nights that they've managed to make it into bed together. He's not going to say anything now, either; he just tucks his hands behind his head again and, with another smile at Jason, closes his eyes serenely.
Shane used to be a competitive diver; Jason knows he understands obsessive practicing. He had to give it up last year after developing Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo. "Sounds worse than it is," Shane always says with a grin. Treatment for the balance disorder has enabled him to live a normal life. Normal, if not what it once was: dissonance between information received from the eyes and that received from the inner ear is a major trigger for BPV; diving, with its sensory whirl, is too great a risk.
The one time Jason asked how he was coping with the loss, Shane only said there are more important things than diving. He doesn't talk about it but he must miss it, surely, the soaring and spinning, the smooth rush through air, into and through water. The first time Jason saw Shane dive, he had to wonder if that is what musical notes would look like if one could see them. The epiphany swelled within him on each subsequent dive; Jason was still flushed with it when he sought out Shane after the meet. Instead of laughing at him, Shane smiled. He had a beautiful smile.
His smile is still beautiful, of course. Jason's fingertip lingers at Shane's ribcage. Then he bends down to replace it with his lips, once, and again, and this time open-mouthed with a flick of his tongue.
He feels Shane's hand in his hair, a gentle pull at the back of his head. "What are you doing?"
Jason pushes Shane's shirt up a little more. "Kissing it better."
"I told you it's fine," Shane says, but there's no admonishment in his tone, so Jason kisses again. This time, Shane lets out a soft breath and his fingers tighten in Jason's hair. Jason smiles against Shane's skin and pushes the shirt up even more. "Jase," Shane sighs, his body arching to meet Jason's mouth as it moves to a nipple. "Oh, Jase." When Jason's teeth latch on, though, Shane pulls him back by the hair, a note of warning in his tone when he says Jason's name this time.
Jason shifts his weight to his elbow. "Too hard?"
"No." Shane allows a small smile before saying seriously, "But you need to practice. And if you don't stop now," another slip of a smile, "I'm not going to let you."
Jason doesn't have to look to see how hard Shane is already, just from this; he definitely doesn't have to look to see how hard he is himself. He reaches, but Shane catches him at the wrist. "Don't, okay?" Shane searches Jason's face, an earnest furrow at his own brow. "Just, play for me, maybe."
They've done this before: Jason playing his violin as Shane jerked off to it. Sometimes they have been so perfectly in synch that Jason has felt as if he were orchestrating Shane's orgasm, fucking him with the music.
"Okay," Jason smiles as he picks up his bow. But instead of standing, he starts to touch it to Shane's exposed torso.
"Jason!" Shane's protest halts the bow, and it hovers just above his skin. "Don't--you'll ruin it."
"You're more important than a practice bow." Jason's smile flashes softer as he looks into Shane's eyes.
Then there's a flicker as something feral emerges from the curve of his lips; Jason is still smiling as he sweeps the bow across Shane's skin, eliciting an "oh~" that deepens to inarticulateness when he angles it back across Shane's taut torso.
The bow rides the rise and fall of Shane's chest a few more times before Jason asks him to take off his clothes. Shane sits up to remove his shirt, but when he starts to lie back again, Jason says, "These need to come off," running the tip of his bow down the leg of Shane's jeans. So Shane stands, and Jason remains on the floor, looking up to watch Shane shimmy out of them. Shane hooks his thumbs in the waistband of his boxers, eyebrows raised.
Shane slides them down his thighs and steps out of them. Jason could easily and happily remain kneeling to Shane like this, and he has done so before. But now he stands and moves behind Shane, wrapping an arm around Shane's chest. With his other hand, he draws the bow across Shane's clavicle. Shane's head falls back, and Jason adjusts the angle to brush over the hollow of Shane's throat on the upsweep. An audibly deep breath escapes Shane; his stance widens.
Too long. They shouldn't go this long without touching each other again. But on the other hand, Jason muses as he strokes the bow across the arched neck, Shane is extraordinarily beautiful in this moment.
Jason lets his bow hand drop and circles to face Shane. He knows Shane would open his eyes if Jason were to say his name, but as he feels the word on the tip of his tongue, he lets himself get lost in how Shane looks, standing like this.
Silently, Jason kneels. He lifts the bow and reaches around to sweep it across the backs of both of Shane's knees, causing them to buckle before Shane straightens them again. Now Jason brings the bow around front to slide it along one of Shane's trembling inner thighs, and then the other. With the tip of the bow, he nudges Shane's sac, and Shane's knees buckle again.
Jason drops his bow hand to the floor when their eyes meet. Before he can formulate his apology for having gone too far, Shane says, "Take me to bed. Can we, I mean?"
Resisting the urge to once again kiss the place his bow tip has just touched, Jason smiles and gets to his feet. He lets Shane undress him, inhaling Shane's quickened breath when their mouths tarry with each other. As they settle on the bed and into a deeper kiss, Jason reaches down for Shane's cock--and for the second time today, finds himself caught by the wrist.
"Please," Shane says when Jason breaks the kiss to look at him. He moistens his lips. "Please, play me."
It takes Jason a moment to understand what Shane is asking for. "You want the bow?"
Shane nods. All the blood not in his cock rushes to his face.
Jason feels a surge of heat in his own belly, his own balls. He wants to fuck Shane now, wants to come deep, deep inside him more than almost anything. But he wants what Shane is asking, too. He wants the flush of Shane's skin, his teeth softly digging into his lip, the brightness and glaze in his eyes. He wants that Shane wants this. He wants that Shane wants this of him. And more than anything, Jason wants to fuck Shane the way he fucks his violin.
He leans over the edge of the bed to retrieve the bow. He conditions it again, not with rosin this time, but with something slicker; when Shane tries to protest again that Jason is ruining the bow, irreparably this time, Jason only smiles. He glances down as he sets the bow placement, then focuses on Shane's face as he draws the bow the length of Shane's cock. Shane gasps and arches so that the bow slips off, and a whimper follows in the wake. Now Jason cradles Shane's erection in one hand, brushing the bow back and forth in short strokes, varying his soft pressure and angles, listening for the shifts in Shane's sighs and whimpers.
As Shane’s sounds bleed into each other, Jason glances up at him and finds he has hooked his hands under the headboard, not for leverage, just in a simple, desperate holding on. He slows and elongates the next stroke, watching Shane's body, watching his grip on the headboard tighten, watching the shape of Shane's mouth as he forms a low moan.
On the verge of asking if Shane wants release, Jason pauses. He wishes he could see Shane's eyes, but he doesn't ask Shane to open them. Instead, he takes a breath, takes a chance: "Come, Shane." He taps the tip of the bow against Shane's cockhead. "I want you to climax for me now."
And Shane does. With a hard arch and a deep, sigh-wrapped moan, he spills out of himself, over his own skin, over the gorgeously ruined bow.
Setting the bow on the bed, Jason stretches out to kiss Shane's brow, to kiss his lips. As he strokes Shane's hair and starts stroking himself with his other hand, Shane opens his eyes. "Oh, Jase, what have you done?" he sighs and smiles. "Now I'm in love with you."
Their gazes lock, but neither of them speaks, until Shane looks away from Jason's widened eyes. "It's okay. You don't have to say it back. I just..." He pauses, but instead of sighing, he smiles. He looks back at Jason. "I just wanted to say it."
Jason doesn't say anything. He hasn't gone soft, but he takes his hand off his cock and sits up. When he looks at Shane again, their eyes don't meet; Shane's are closed, his lips still curved up softly, his chest rising and falling with the easy beat of his heart, Shane's heartbeat much easier than Jason's. Jason is sure that Shane can feel the weight of his gaze, but Shane neither shies from nor opens into it; he just continues to breathe, his heart just continues to beat.
Jason slides to the floor and leans back against the bed. One of his hands falls from his lap and lands on the strings Shane bought for him yesterday. One package has been torn open with care, Shane's handiwork, though the string hasn't been removed yet. Jason's competition violin is already strung, of course, the strings stretched and perfect. Jason sits up again, package in hand. He takes out the string, handle-with-care gut core, coiled and unconditioned. He starts to unwind it, but there's no violin for it, no point straightening or stretching it; he shouldn't have even taken it out. He doesn't put it back, though; he wraps the ball end around his thumb a few times; weaves it over and under his fingers, curves it around his wrist. He's risking ruining this string, but his breathing is easing with each loop, so he keeps going.
Steadied, he shifts to look at Shane, still stretched out, eyes closed. Not asleep, though. The free end of the string drags over the sheets when Jason turns all the way around and the end grazes Shane's arm; his eyelids flutter, but don't open. Jason moves his hand over Shane, drawing the curve at the end of the string down Shane's arm, watching the soft curve of Shane's lips deepen.
When the end reaches Shane's hand, Jason stops, lowers his arm, lets the string pool in Shane's palm. His fingertips graze Shane's skin as he picks up the free end, and Shane's hand flexes but stays open. Carefully, Jason winds the string around Shane's thumb, once, twice, secure; curls it around his forefinger, his middle finger, his ring finger, his pinky. Each loop draws his own bound hand closer, and he angles himself to accommodate the pull.
Shane moves and the string goes taut between them. Their eyes meet; flutter of lashes and long, slow breath; and then Shane is on the floor with him. This time as he stretches out, drawing Jason down with him, Shane keeps his eyes open. Jason looks away only to take Shane's hand, to circle his own around it, crossing the string up and down around Shane's forearm. Finally, he stretches himself out beside Shane.
Jason's breath comes easy now, his heartbeat easy, too. And Shane, too; Jason feels the effortless rhythm in the vibrations along the tough, delicate string connecting them.
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