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Down to the wire with this one! I was TRYING to get [personal profile] comma_chameleon to post first for once, even though she apparently needs to poach all my calendar pics EVEN THOUGH I did give them all to her before, but she's even more delayed than I am so never mind.

Also, I really need to start writing happier scenes.

**TW for attempted date rape.**



Featuring: James Landon, Shayden Hashimoto
Word Count: 719


All it took was one well-timed glance to his left for James's long day to bleed into a very long night.

He looks away from the pretty face of the unconscious stranger in his bed to check the time, then groans and wishes he hadn't. At least it's Friday—well, Saturday morning—so he doesn't have to worry about work, but he's been running on fumes since the deposition on Wednesday and wants nothing more than to sleep till Monday.

But he has no regrets. He knew what he was doing the moment he caught the sleight of hand over a cocktail that wound up belonging to his current house guest. He only wishes he could have managed to track the drugger in time to prevent it from getting this far.

He sighs and falls back against the armchair he's been sitting up in for the past four hours, and resumes his vigil. The realization strikes him that he still hasn't seen this man's eyes open.

Another half-hour crawls by before his charge finally begins to stir. James sits up straighter, fighting the exhaustion weighing down his body.

The man's brow furrows in discomfort before dark eyes open and slowly cast about the room. Confusion fills them, then something like fear when they alight upon James, a face they don't recognize.

“How're you feeling?” James asks quietly.

A hoarse croak emits from the man's throat, followed by a stifled groan and as he struggles to sit up. James is ready with water and a straw.

“Wh-who are you?” the man rasps after a few sips. His hands clench the bedspread, his gaze still wary.

“Name's James. And you?”

The man hesitates, his fingers worrying the fabric they hold captive. “...Shay.”

A tired, fleeting smile pulls James's lips up as he sets the water glass back down. “Well, let me know if you feel queasy at all, Shay. And try to drink more water if you can.”

Nervousness presses Shay closer to the headboard. “W-why? What happened?” He looks around the room again. “Where is this... how did I get here?”

For all the time James had to prepare for the inevitable questions, he's still not ready for them. He bites his lip and takes them one at a time.

“This is my flat. I brought you here.” He doesn't know how to phrase this truth gently, and falters for a moment. “...I'm afraid you were drugged at Sixes tonight. I saw some guy spike a drink, and lost him for a while. By the time I found you two it seems you'd already finished it... I'm sorry.”

It's hard to look at Shay's face as he relays the news, and impossible once he's done. But the silence afterward goes on too long, and James lifts his head.

Shay's face contorts with a range of emotions in the obvious effort to piece his night back together. James doesn't know anything about him other than his first name, but even he can tell Shay's rushing toward an edge.

“W-why... why would he do that?” It's a demand, not a question.

James treads carefully, giving his head a small shake. “I can't say exactly. But people like that, they just take what they want... some think they're entitled to it, some think they can't get it any other way.” And some actually get off on it, he leaves unsaid.

Shay's angry stare hardens, then starts to crack. His lower lip trembles and his brow tightens to hold back tears, but James can see when the ugly truth hits him; he crumbles.

“But h-he didn't have to,” Shay says unevenly after a moment. He hugs his knees and hides his face. “He didn't have to do anything. I already wanted...”

Shay's muffled voice fades and his shoulders start to shake, but he doesn't need to finish. James understands which group the bastard belongs to.

He lets Shay have his cry and stay the night, spending his own out on the couch. He knows that come morning he'll be busy stretching this week out even further—it had been easy going through the guy's wallet after coldcocking him to the ground outside the club, and there's a lot a lawyer can do with a man's personal information.

He won't let Shay cry for long.

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