Oh, The Places You'll Go

Keep it in Mind

Notes: Written for Porn Battle X. Prompt: trust. Central conceit entirely borrowed from Scott Pilgrim. Thanks, Mal!

Fierce and fast, fierce and fast, Sam's running, running, running, breath coming hard and harsh, dark shape closing behind him. He stumbles and it grabs him by the shoulders, spinning him around and crashing him into a wall that wasn't there a moment ago. It bears down on him, out of focus. Sam squeezes his eyes tight shut-

-and bolts upright in bed, gasping, clutching his hair as he stares wildly into nothing, the steady background hum of snow-static a signal that he's home--wherever home is these days. It's just a dream, he tells himself. Only he's been having this same dream most nights for weeks, now, and when he wakes all he can remember is the chase and capture. He's not scared exactly. No, not scared. There's a word, but he can't put his finger on it and he wishes he could.

Sam lies back down, willing his pounding heart to slow to its regular PC plodding beat. He needs the sleep and he's not scared. He closes his eyes.

When he opens them, he's on a long, tarmac road that stretches straight on into infinity. To either side there are fields that he can't quite understand. They seem to sheer off into blackness and it doesn't make sense. He looks down and sees his favourite Nike running shoes--the ones he hasn't seen since the accident what with them not having been invented yet. Behind him he hears footsteps picking up from a walk to a jogging run.

Don't fail me now, boys, he tells his trainers, and runs and runs without looking back.

"Samuel Tyler, will you stop bloody running?" yells Gene and Sam laughs and runs on.

Fierce and fast, fierce and fast, Sam's running, running, running, breath coming hard and harsh, Gene closing behind him. He stumbles and Gene grabs him by the shoulders, spinning him around and crashing him into a wall that wasn't there a moment ago. Sam braces for impact.

And Gene lets go.

He lets go and stumbles back, wiping his sweating forehead. "Sod this for a game of soldiers. I can’t keep chasing you. I'm too old and too tired."

"Why do I want you to chase me?" muses Sam, running the palms of his hands over the rough brick of the wall. It feels like glass.

"Because you live to give me grief, Gladys. That one's easy."

"No," says Sam because something isn't quite right here. "I mean, why would I dream that? It's not the first time, is it? There must be something I want."

"You want to shut up and listen for once,'" says Gene, settling into the armchair that's appeared on the road. "You're not dreaming. This is a subspace highway."

"This is what?"

"Have you been swimming? Do you have water in your ears? I told you. It's a subspace highway. There's one in everyone's head, you just have to find the back door. Yours was trickier than most, I'll give you that, but I'm good. I've been poking around in here for weeks."

'You've been-? What?" Never mind water in his ears, there's water in his brain. Sam slides down the wall with a bump and sits staring up at Gene.

"It's not nuclear science, Tyler," says Gene with a wry smile. "I'm in your head. You're not physically here being as how you're fast asleep--probably cuddling a teddy bear and sucking your thumb for all I know--you're a psychic manifestation of consciousness."

Sam stares more.

"What? You think you're the only one who knows big words? I know things, I'm just choosy as to who I share 'em with."

"Wait," says Sam, utterly confused, and why isn't he more used to that by now? "Wait. Let me get this straight. You're actually here? In my head? Now?"

"Correct. Full marks. Go to the top of the class. Other affirming messages."


Gene swings one leg over the arm of the chair, exposing his groin. It's at eye height and Sam has to force himself to look up and away.

"Well, that's the 64 million dollar question, isn't it? You're a puzzle, Sam Tyler, and I'm not above cheating on the crossword. I wanted to see if I could get to the bottom of the mystery that is you."

"Did you?"

"I thought I was getting somewhere, but I don't know. I was having a good old nose, all undercover like, but I must have poked something wrong and there you were, running away like the big girl's blouse you are."

"Girls' blouses don't run, Gene."

"But you do. What are you afraid of?"

"That you'll catch me."

Gene's eyes glitter. For one brief second Sam swears they look just like video game gems and then he blinks and they're just the same green eyes they've always been.

"Run, Sam," Gene says, and surges up.

Sam leaps to his feet and sprints.

Fierce and fast, fierce and fast, Sam's running, running, running, breath coming hard and harsh, Gene closing behind him. He stumbles and Gene grabs him by the shoulders, spinning him around and crashing him into a wall that wasn't there a moment ago. A wall that Sam was expecting this time. Gene bears down on him and Sam's heart pounds. It pounds, but not with terror because he's not scared. Of course. Of course. He's not scared.

He doesn't close his eyes.

He doesn't close them as Gene blurs out of focus and presses his lips and his body to Sam's. He doesn't close them as the wall dissolves and they tumble onto a bed--Sam's bed, that he bought from IKEA and assembled himself with only a minimal amount of swearing. He doesn't close them as Gene pins him down and kisses and nips his way along Sam's jawline.

Up above him Sam sees not sky, but floating frames, curving to the horizon, each one a moving image, a memory. The ones closest to him are the most recent. There's Annie, there's the kid he chased out of the sweet shop for trying to nick a Sherbet Fountain, there's Chris getting bowled out for a duck by the ringer C division brought in. But mostly there's Gene. Gene at his desk, glaring at paperwork, whisky in hand. Gene scowling, Gene expounding, Gene's fist flying towards him, Gene's face shoved up in his, Gene, Gene, Gene. He's an idiot.

"Did you see them?" he asks, tipping his head back to expose his neck.

"Yes," says Gene against his skin, not even needing to look round. He pulls away enough for Sam to blink him back into focus. "Told you. Been here a lot. I might not have solved you, Sam, but I got a few clues, and some things I wasn't even sure I was looking for till I found 'em."

"You should kiss me more, then."

"You should get your clothes off."

Naked, thinks Sam, and he is.

"Bloody psychic manifestations," mutters Gene. "It's all so easy for you."

Sam grins. "Want some help, Gene? You should just ask."

"Sod you."

"Mmm," agrees Sam, and strains his head up to kiss Gene, fingers working quickly at his shirt buttons.

Sam has seen almost everything Gene has to offer before, so it's no surprise to him, the gold-top milk skin, the soft curve of belly, the long, long legs, and it's all as he remembered it, so this could still be a dream. A strange and wonderful dream. But then there's Gene's cock, and it's perfect--a perfect fit. It's angry red against the paleness of Gene's thigh and half-hard, foreskin bunching at the tip. It's Gene's, not a product of Sam's imagination, Sam knows this--knows it--on a level he doesn't quite understand.

"If you'd wanted a peep show, you should've gone to Sackville," says Gene with asperity.

"Sorry," says Sam, dragging his eyes up to Gene's face, his hand finding its way across Gene's chest to flick at a nipple with his thumb. "Sorry."

He leans in and kisses Gene and his tongue is in Gene's mouth and Gene's hand is on Sam's hip, pulling him in and it's a CRASH BANG POW of comic-book reality and everything speeds up, fast, fast, fast, and is bright and bold and Sam's foregrounded, caught in a series of freeze frames because he doesn't know how he gets from one to the next. Gene's teeth on his lip, drawing blood. Sam's thigh between Gene's pressing up into Gene's balls. A zoom focus of a sticky trail of precome as Gene rubs against him. Another tight zoom of Gene's fingertips disappearing over the curve of Sam's arse into the cleft. Sam's hand on Gene's cock, impossibly hard now, wearing its foreskin like a collar around the swollen head. Speech bubble: Sam, I haven't...Not since National Service. Sam's hand guiding Gene's. Speech bubble: It's okay. We'll start you off nice and easy. Zoom on Gene's face. Sam's face.

And now this. Now everything moves again in slick motion, Sam's hand wrapped around Gene's cock, stroking him fast and sure, thigh still rubbing at Gene's balls. Gene's hand on Sam, matching his rhythm, each stroke sending shivers the length of Sam's spine, shooting out and overlapping until each nerve ending is quivering tension. Gene's head thrown back, lips parted, sweat prickling the hollow of his neck. It feels like the most real thing Sam has ever known.

Sam's orgasm takes him by surprise, ripping through him with such power that his whole body jerks backwards and his thigh presses up hard into Gene's balls. Gene's head snaps forwards, his eyes wide and shocked, and if Sam weren't so busy blissing out he'd be concerned he'd done some damage, but then Gene's cock jumps in Sam's hand and sticky liquid runs over his fingers and Gene's mouth curves into his rarest grin and everything is just fine. Better than. Sam puts his fingers in his mouth and sucks. A little bland, a little bitter, a little sweet, a little salt. Unique. It's another tick in the strange-but-true reality column, but still, Sam frets, even as he's coming down from his orgasm high.

He rolls onto his back and frets, staring up. The memory frames are gone now and it looks like the ceiling of his childhood bedroom, complete with glo-in-the-dark stars. He never had this many, though.

Gene sighs. "What do you want, Sam? Let's not do the usual ride around the mulberry bushes, eh?"

He could just say what he wants, Sam reasons. If it's a dream he's got nothing to be scared of, nothing to lose. He spits it out. "You to come back with me. Prove this is real."


"You'll do it?"



Gene rolls onto his side and stares down at Sam, a frown creasing his forehead. "Don't you trust me?"

"Mostly," says Sam.

"I'll follow on," says Gene. "I need to fetch my clothes. Can't be leaving a shoe behind in your head, who knows what havoc would ensue?"

"Right." Sam sits up. "And I leave how, exactly?"

"The door, stupid," says Gene and pushes him through it.

Sam wakes up to a sticky belly and sighs. Of course it was a dream, of course. But his lip is throbbing where Gene had drawn blood and there's the familiar grumbling roar of his toilet flushing and Gene, in shirtsleeves and nothing else, wanders out of the bathroom and chucks a flannel at Sam's face and it's not a dream at all.

"Here you go," he says, the bed creaking dangerously as he lies down next to Sam. "Come in subspace and you come in real life. Bit like death and dreams in that respect."

Sam mops himself absentmindedly, staring at Gene's profile. "You're here."

"Told you I was following on, didn't I?"

"Yeah, you did." And it seems stupid now that Sam had even thought to worry. He's learnt to trust Gene with most things, why not this, too? Why not everything?

"Still a couple of hours before we need to rise and shine. I'm knackered out. Let's sleep, eh?"

"I'm not the one who's been marauding around in other people's heads," mutters Sam, but he tosses the flannel onto the floor, turns onto his side and curls his knees up, fingertips brushing Gene's side. Gene shifts one leg so it presses up against Sam's foot. He's snoring within a minute.

Sam smiles, closes his eyes and dreams of nothing much.

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