Pairing: Pete Sweet/Stitch
Genre: Episodic/Missing Scene
Warning: Smut (graphic sex scenes)
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: Bit o’ sex, bit o’ bad language.
Nipple Clamps and A Bottle of Jack Daniels by Maestro
As I walk into my pub I can see him sitting there with his back to me, all happy. It’s difficult to tell sometimes with other people, but with Stitch you can always tell when he’s happy, even just from the back of his head and the set of his shoulders. So I come in to drown my sorrows, see him sitting there grinning away into his pint, and I just lose it.
As starting fights goes, ‘Oi’ never really fails. Stitch turns round, and yep, there it is, that smug little grin. I can’t control myself when I see it, I just take two steps towards him and wallop him one, right in the face.
He goes down a lot faster than you’d think, his arms up to protect his head. I kick him in the ribs a bit, and then lose interest. He just looks shocked and confused, like he doesn’t know what’s happening, and I get all these memories of Stitch sticking up for me in the past, and suddenly I don’t want to hit him any more.
I leave pretty smartish, straight out the door and fuming down the road, back to my flat.
I don’t get into fights much. I’m pretty easygoing, I don’t generally have cause to start laying in to people. But as I’m walking away from the pub, where Stitch is lying on the floor, I’m thinking how maybe I did that wrong – my fist hurts like hell, which is wrong, surely? Isn’t it supposed to be the person you smack around who’s in pain?
And I’ve got this horrible low feeling in my stomach, like I’ve eaten half a pound of ice which is just sitting in my guts and making me feel ill. I know how it feels because I actually did that once for a bet, and I ended up groaning on the sofa for the next hour and a half, with Stitch runnin’ round with tissues and buckets and making sure I didn’t throw up into my hair, which would’ve been awful.
There’s someone chasing after me, could be the police but I feel too angry to run, so I just stop and spin around. “What?!”
It’s Stitch, his eyes all big and scared, and now he’s got my spit all over his face from screaming at him only a foot away. He’s got this red mark on his jaw which must be where I hit him, and it might explain why I feel like my knuckles are gonna swell up and explode. I should’ve aimed somewhere softer.
Stitch has got this strange little ducking and weaving dance thing going on, which I’ve seen before when he reckons he’s gonna have to get into a fight. It’s not much, but it’s just like this nervous jiggling vibe of being ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice. It’s usually cute, but now it’s irritating the fuck out of me.
I realise that we’re just standing there in the middle of the pavement, just before the bridge on the corner which leads back to my gaff, me staring at Stitch, and Stitch not looking at anything much for longer than a second, looking like he’s worried I’m gonna hit him again. Nobody says anything, I’m not gonna say anything, and I get pissed off with the whole thing and start walking again.
I can hear him following me, and I tell him to piss off, and he doesn’t.
“Pete, I’m sorry,” he says, and he does sound sorry. I suppose he chased after me, which I’m not sure I would’ve done if I’d just been smacked in the face.
I feel worse, like I’ve followed up all that ice with a couple of raw eggs and some olives. We’re under the bridge now, and I stop and turn around again, Stitch leaping back impressively when I do. “Well, we’re both fucked now, aren’t we? You nobhead!” I shout at him, and the word ‘nobhead’ echoes around us for a while. An old lady with one of them shopping trolleys on wheels on the other side of the road looks at us in shock, and Stitch smiles and waves nervously, as if to go, ‘That’s me, that is.’
“You’re supposed to be my best mate, Stitch.”
“I am!” he says, but he’s not.
“You,” I say, and I poke him in the chest nastily to make the point, for once without Stitch yelling at me for touching him, “have ruined my life.”
He looks me in the eye then, and he bites his lip. “You’ll be alright, Pete. You will.”
He’s right, of course. Women come and women go, and when it got right down to it Poppy was a bit of a nag and a neat freak, and there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do that I couldn’t with her around all the time. Daisy was okay, but, well, she’s a lezzer now, isn’t she? It explains why she used to shout out ‘Ruby’ when we were having sex, although it always worried me a bit seeing as she has an aunt called Ruby. They’ll probably both be happier together than they ever were with me, and it’s not like I have trouble attracting women generally.
It doesn’t matter that he’s right, though, not really; it only matters that Stitch is my best mate and he went behind my back, and that this whole conversation just makes me feel like back at school, when Alex McCarthy gave the football shirt I lent him to Janet Evans, and she wouldn’t give it back, and he kept saying how he was sorry and he’d only let her look at it for a bit ‘cause then she said she’d let him see under her skirt, but I just felt sick and betrayed for the rest of the day.
And usually I’d be telling Stitch all this, and he’d just listen and nod and tell me he knew exactly what I meant except he’d put it in proper language and imagery and stuff, and we’d get pissed and go home and I’d feel better. But I can’t do that, I can’t pour my heart out to anyone because it’s all Stitch’s fault that I feel like this in the first place, and that just makes me hate him more, except that I don’t hate him.
There’s an off license just by my flat – genius! – so I head in that direction, with Stitch practically treading on my heels, but not saying anything, as usual. The door has one of those little bells on the back so that you can’t just sneak in and slip a half bottle of Smirnoff into your coat pocket. I grab the nearest and biggest bottle I can find – Jack Daniels – and slam it down on the counter a lot harder than I mean to. Smitty, the owner, looks at me in surprise, and then at Stitch standing behind me, and says, “You two boys have a fight?”
I talk to Stitch over my shoulder. “I don’t even understand why you’re following me around. Shouldn’t you be off somewhere trying to convince Poppy to ditch Daisy and go out with you?” I hand Smitty a banknote without even looking at it, shove the handful of change into my pocket, and storm out of the shop, already unscrewing the cap.
I have to stop to take a swig – I’ve got this problem with drinking and walking at the same time that Stitch never fails to take the piss out of – and Stitch goes right into the back of me, knocking the glass rim of the bottle into my teeth and making me choke on a bigger swig of JD than I’d meant to take. I turn round and glare at him for a bit, but it’s weird because he’s standing really close, on account of me having decided to stop right outside the off-license, so he’s trapped between me and the door with nowhere to run. Normally I’d hand him the bottle, but I reckon that the only thing that’s going to help this whole situation is if I get very pissed very fast, so I take another gulp and walk up the road to my flat.
Stitch is still following me in silence – Stitch doesn’t talk much anyway, which is great because I do, and so the two of us have always rolled along okay, but right now it’s just irritating, because what, exactly? He’s going to come in with me? Normally, yeah, but now? Didn’t I punch his lights out a few minutes ago? But I don’t stop walking, and I don’t ask him, or tell him that he’s not coming in, and by the time I’ve got upstairs and got my key out and juggled it with my bottle, now about a quarter empty, and managed to get the door open, I’m too tired and miserable to slam the door in his face, and he just follows me in like he always does.
He’s wearing that big green parka that we share when we’re working on the stall together, and he takes it off and hangs it up neatly on the back of the door. I slump down on the sofa moodily, but I’m not so pissed yet that I spill any of the booze. Stitch sits next to me, and everything is everyday and normal in every single way except the way that it isn’t, and I’m too busy trying to drink as fast as possible to say anything just yet.
Stitch clears his throat quietly, and I deliberately don’t look at him. “I’m not after Poppy.”
He’s fiddling with the bottom of his shirt – a nice dark blue which weirdly is exactly the same colour as mine, although mine is nicer, obviously – and not looking at me either. “You said I should be out after Poppy, but I’m not interested in her.”
The alcohol isn’t helping with the nasty feeling in my guts that twists every time I catch sight of the mark on Stitch’s face, in fact it’s making me feel worse. I scowl at him. “Daisy, then. You’ve got a thing for Daisy.” I want to hand the bottle over like I should, feeling weird keeping it all to myself, but I’m working hard on staying angry because it’s better than feeling ill.
“I don’t get it then. You just don’t want me to be happy? What?”
Stitch sighs really deeply then, and he turns to me. We’re sitting right up against each other on the sofa, me in that early state of drunkenness where you just don’t care how much of the sofa you’re taking up as long as you’re comfortable, and Stitch wedged in between my legs and the arm of the chair, so he has to swivel just his top half. He puts his arm along the back of the sofa, and if I wasn’t so angry I would’ve laughed, because it’s exactly what he does when he’s trying to pull, which isn’t very often. His other hand is on his knee, picking at his jeans, making these weird little hills and mountains of denim and then smoothing them out, and I’m looking at them rather than his face, because he looks serious, more serious than usual.
“I have to tell you something.”
“Oh God, what else have you done?”
“Nothing! I haven’t done anything. Not yet.”
He’s sitting there just looking at me, looking really sad, and I hand over the bottle before I even know I’m doing it, which means I’m drunker than I think. It’s hard knowing how drunk you are when you’re sitting down, and also I’m usually a really happy drunk, and now I’m not happy at all. He takes the bottle and has a really long gulp of it, which I’d be pissed off about if it wasn’t that Stitch doesn’t usually drink that much, which means something big is coming. He coughs a bit when he’s done, wiping around his mouth and giving me back the bottle. I start picking at the label – Stitch used to say that was a sign of ‘sexual frustration’ but he doesn’t now.
“You know how pretty much everyone we meet has a thing for you?”
I shake my head. “Is that it? You’re jealous that I get all the attention in this little double act?”
I wave the bottle at him. “Cause I keep saying that I’m happy to help. If you’d just let me sort out your hair, and your wardrobe, give you a few tips…you could be swimming in women.”
“I don’t want women!” Stitch says far too loudly, and I give him a look as if to say that when he runs that back in his head he’s going to start spluttering and saying he didn’t mean it to sound the way it did, but he doesn’t say anything. He just grabs for the bottle and takes another long swig. I’m now starting to stare at pointless details, like how he half-closes his eyes with his lips wrapped around the neck of the bottle, and I lean back in the sofa and focus on being pissed off instead.
Stitch puts the bottle down on the coffee table just in front of the sofa, and starts talking again. “Look. You know how everyone we meet fancies you, right?”
“You already said that,” I point out.
“Well, I’ve met you,” he says, and stares at his knees.
I have literally no idea what he’s talking about, and I tell him so. “Is this one of those stupid riddles? ‘My first is in pie, but not in canoe’?”
“Pete, concentrate for a moment, will you? This is important.” It’s just like Stitch to tell me something important wrapped up in so much mystery and intrigue that even he’s having a problem working out what it is, exactly.
He puts his hands up, miming a group of people. “Everyone who meets you has a thing for you.” Then he puts his hands on his chest. “And I’ve met you, Pete.”
“You haven’t met me. You’ve known me for about six years. What are you on about?” Maybe this is why he doesn’t get drunk more often.
He groans and hits his forehead with the palm of his hand, and I giggle, which I shouldn’t because I’m supposed to be angry, except why was that again?
“I wasn’t jealous of you. I was jealous of Daisy.”
“…because you wanted Poppy, yeah?”
“Because I want you, you little idiot!”
He’s forgotten about being embarrassed and shy and whatever, and he’s just irritated at me being slow, which is pretty much par for the course for us. He’s glaring at me, and I’m just sitting there with my mouth open catching flies, because he wants me.
“You want me?”
“What I mean is-”
“What does that mean, you ‘want’ me?” It’s pretty obvious what it means, and I can’t say that there haven’t been times working at the stall when I’ve caught him looking at me, but look at my hair, yeah? Anyone would stare at me. They can’t help themselves. But I want Stitch to tell me what he means exactly, because we’ve known each other a long time and if anyone’s going to do something stupid and life-changing at this point we all ought to be clear on what exactly is going on.
Stitch licks his lips, and reaches for the bottle again. He was shouting at me before, but now he’s gone all quiet again. “It means that I don’t want you sleeping with anyone else but me, Pete.” He downs a measure of Jack Daniels, and puts the bottle down on the table heavily like I did back at the off-license.
I notice that his lips have gone all red from drinking straight from the bottle, and also probably from where he’s been biting at them, talking to me.
I’m Pete Sweet, and when it comes to sex I’m probably the most open-minded bloke you’ll meet, and I’ve had my fair share of bumming, but there’s something about Stitch that makes me think that he hasn’t. I want to get this right in my head, and I sit up a bit, struggling against the stupidly comfortable cushions that are trying to suck me back down.
And I think about Stitch looking after me when I was sick, and sticking up for me all those times it looked like I was going to get my head kicked in, and generally putting up with me going on about sex with Poppy and Daisy day after day at the stall when he must have just wanted to me to shut the fuck up. And I think about six years of working side by side, and drinking together every night, and going to parties and dinners and weddings and whatever, always together, always people asking me where he was if he wasn’t with me, and I think that how maybe just because we haven’t actually had sex doesn’t mean that we’re not a couple, and that perhaps Stitch didn’t betray me, but I betrayed him, by sleeping around when I should’ve gone to what was right in front of me.
I think about all this all together, jumbled up in a blur of alcohol, and I look at Stitch’s lips, and I lean forward.
He doesn’t go anywhere, and I put one hand on the back of the sofa on top of his arm, and the other on the side of his face – sticking a finger in his ear accidentally before I refocus and get a better grip – and I lean close and just kiss him.
His face is all smooth and lovely against mine – I’ve kissed enough blokes with beards to know how to hide a stubble rash with foundation, let’s put it that way. He tastes of ice and alcohol and a little bit of blood, where I think he’s actually bit his lip so hard it’s bled, and for some really weird freakish reason just thinking about that turns me on. Which, I’m going to try not to think about why that is.
And then, I don’t know. It’s mental. I’m kissing him and he’s all Stitch-like and not actually responding in any way, and for one horrible moment I think he’s going to pull away and say ‘don’t touch me!’ but then, suddenly, something twists. His arm along the back of the sofa moves, and my hand slips off, and I fall backwards into the sucking sofa cushions again, but he follows me down. He’s pressed up against me, and all manic. It’s mental. Stitch doesn’t really do anything with enthusiasm, he’s too cynical, but suddenly his hands are all over me, pulling up my shirt and at my hair – I don’t really mind, not really – and just rubbing and grabbing and owning, and also there’s some kissing going on, and perhaps some moaning. I’m a bit pissed, it all gets a bit blurry.
It’s all really nice. Really really great. But I think it’s been a bit of a long time for Stitch, because we don’t actually make it from the sofa to the bed before everything is all over, and I sort of pretend like it’s all over for me too, although if Stitch puts his hand on my jeans he’ll realise just how big a lie that is. It’s alright, though, because I start thinking about how long has it been since Stitch had a shag, exactly? And does that mean he’s been waiting for me?
We get to the bed eventually, and go at it again, after a little rest for Stitch, god love him. He finds Poppy’s nipple clamps under her pillow – well, it’s Stitch’s pillow now – and once he works out what they are he’s really into it, wincing a little as I put them on but then throwing his head back and going for it like a wild man. It’s fucking erotic, I don’t have to tell you. He’s fucking me so hard I have to grab the helmet for my scooter off the floor because I’m getting a headache from banging my head against the rails of my headboard, and then he loses his rhythm because he can’t stop laughing, but it’s all okay and good, and it’s me and Stitch, like always, only if we did this in the pub we’d get arrested.
We sit there next to each other when it’s all over, just an alcoholic and post-orgasmic glow all over everything, and me trying to get my breath back and wondering if Stitch doesn’t do this a lot, why am I out of breath and him sitting there smugly like he could do it all again? Which one of us had two girls on the go at once, exactly?
He’s sipping at the almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels, me finally realising why it is that Stitch sucking on a bottle is so fascinating (answer? It’s a lot like Stitch sucking on something else), and he turns to me and says, “Alright?”
I say it back almost instantly, without thinking about it, but then I do think about it. Me and Stitch, this easiness of sitting in bed naked together, the chain from Stitch’s nipple clamps tinkling against his chest every now and then, it’s surprisingly alright. Any moment now he’ll smack me in the back of the head because I’m humming to some cheesy pop classic without realising it, and I’ll muck his hair up to get him back, only instead of just warning me off touching him, he’ll grab me and pin me down on the bed, and we’ll do something X-rated. Everything feels really right and normal, and maybe that’s from six years together and knowing each other inside and out, or maybe it’s because Stitch is ‘the one’, I dunno. But there’s something about this that means that I don’t feel ill or depressed or angry any more, I just feel filled. And not like that, though like that as well, probably, in a minute.