Day by Day

by Jane Davitt

He watches the careful desecration of his body with a numb fascination. They've let him keep his eyes for a long time today, though he knows at some point he'll lose them to the stab of a needle or the wet drip of acid; maybe the personal touch of a gouging finger. In the darkness, each slice of the knife hurts more because there's the shock of the unexpected cool touch of metal before the blaze of pain to deal with, but the mental anguish of staring down at his ruined flesh hurts too, even though he'll knows that he'll wake from nightmares to find himself whole.

They take such…such pains over his torture. Flattering, really, the thought they put into it. They'll reduce him to red, raw pulp, tonguelessly screaming, with a precisely executed series of moves and repeat the routine day after day until he's feverishly anticipating the slice that takes his fingers, the removal of the skin on his face, dread curling though him like choking smoke. Then they'll let days go by when he never knows what methods they'll use to hurt him (not break him; not that; he's shards, ground to dust. He got here broken.) as they vary his pain endlessly.

Once, they let a whole day go by before they started, the wait, his body reborn, pain-free (no; it remembers, it does…what he's endured has soaked into every cell) at first blissful, then tainted with anxiety. Will it be now that he comes, stepping out of the shadows, blade glinting? Moments pass -- no, not now; he's alone still, he's safe, it's not now -- but it will be soon. Won't it?

He'd started to scream from sheer loneliness in the end, and sobbed with gratitude when the torture finally began and he felt the blade, fresh blood from some one else sticky on it, hurt him and then kiss his cheek hello.

"Miss me?"

And if he could've nodded his head, which he couldn't, he'd have nodded, and if he could have spoken, which he couldn't, not now, he'd have said, 'Yes, Dean', but his tongue was a pink quiver on the floor and he'd let his eyes tell Dean with his tears that yes, he had, yes, yes.

Dean's been close by for hours today, smiling at him, deft hands busy.

Hard to remember that first day, years ago, when Dean's eyes were blank and his hands shook…Now, Dean always smiles at him. Always hurts him with such steady hands.

And maybe he's not broken after all, because he takes a certain pride in that. He was once someone people -- women -- whores, feared, and he deserves the best that hell has to offer.

And he knows he's got it.

Dean's good.

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