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Chris and Nigel

Book 3, Chapter 2 - "I can't"

By It's Only Me from Across the Sea

This story contains explicit descriptions of sexual acts between the characters in it. Although the characters are teenagers who may be below the age of consent in the country or state where this is read, nothing written here should be taken as approval of, or encouragement for, sexual liaisons between people where such liaisons are either illegal, or objectionable for moral reasons. Although this story does not include safe sex practices, it is everyone's own responsibility to themselves and to each other to engage only in PROTECTED SEX. It is a story. Any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental. Nothing represented here is based on any fact known to the author.

The story is copyright 2002 by "It's Only Me from Across the Sea". If you copy the story, please leave the credits, and the web address of present, and also the email address of I'd love to receive feedback.

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The boys' toilet was empty when we got there, which was just as well the state he was in. First aid and I have never mixed. I've always been crap with blood. Only somehow that didn't matter. At least he wasn't complaining about being helped.

I though of loo paper, made wet, to press against his nose, went to a cubicle to get it, and came out frustrated. Izal brand, with 'now wash your hands please' printed on each crisp and useless sheet. "Got a hanky, Billy?"

He rummaged in his pockets and came up empty handed. "No." Well it was as close to 'no' as a nose running with blood gets.

"OK, well we'll have to use mine, then." I soaked it under the cold tap. "Here," I handed it to him after wringing it out, "hold this under your nose. It's cold," I added unnecessarily. I don't know why, I just put my arm round his shoulder again.

"I'm not. I'm really not." I managed to decipher the words the third time of asking.

"I know. I never thought you were."

"Why's your arm round me?"

"Dunno. Doesn't have to be." I made to take it away. Only he somehow stopped me by moving a bit closer. "S'OK, I'll leave it. Now, let's get you cleaned up. Keep the hanky on your nose." I'd run out of hanky. Mum only ever equipped me with one. I couldn't use his shirt, nor my shirt. All I could do was wet my spare hand and try to smooth his hair away from his face and get rid of the blood smears. "Billy?"

There was a grunt in reply.

"Have you got any PE kit here?"

A nod.

"OK, when we've got you sorted we'll get your PE vest on instead of your school shirt."

"... will look stupid." I was deciphering again as he mumbled through the hanky.

"Simple choice. Dry and white and look a bit odd, or wet and pink and bloody."

Billy slumped. I felt it through the brotherly arm I had round his shoulders.

"Come on, mate. It'll be OK." I led him out of the toilet towards the changing rooms. "Right, where's your stuff?"

"Why're you being nice to me?"

"Why not? You're OK." It seemed to be enough. "Whip your shirt off and let's get your PE vest on."

He hesitated. "I... "

"Come one. It's all stopped bleeding?"

"I think so. Hurts."

"Come on, then."

He pulled his tie off, not undoing the knot, just pulling it open enough to lift off, and unbuttoned his shirt. "Dunno why I've got PE stuff here. I'm 'off games' so far this term." As he took his shirt off he looked suddenly shy. Eyes downcast, a bit. "Thanks Chris. You're OK."

I don't know why, I'd sort of been looking away, giving him space, a bit. I was half embarrassed in case he thought I might come on to him, half scared I might find him attractive, young as he was. I turned to look at him properly as he finished struggling into his PE vest. It was only now I saw the ugly scars, red raw still, on his wrists. I hadn't forgotten, just hadn't remembered. I don't know what I'd expected. It was more like the criss-crossed rail tracks outside Waterloo station than what I'd imagined that cut wrists'd look like. I'd thought, Oh lord I was starting to feel sick. Thought it'd be single, deeper. Or, well, different somehow.

This looked frenzied, like an attack, a desperate kid trying... I don't know. Only he'd lived. I wanted to take him into my arms and try to make it, whatever it was, all right. I sort of knew. Only I didn't. "Billy?"

He must've caught me looking at his scars. "Ugly, aren't they?"

"A bit." I didn't know what to say.

"Yeah." He went quiet.

"Do they hurt?" Stupid question. The silence'd made me ask it. To fill it in, I suppose.

"Did, yeah."

I knew he wanted to talk. Didn't know if he wanted to talk to me, Chris Jenkins, or just wanted to talk. Only I didn't know how to get him started. "Took guts, I reckon." Well it did. I mean who could take a knife or whatever and saw away at first one wrist and then, all bloody and hurting at the other? Who?

"Dunno." His eyes'd stopped looking at the floor. "Chris, I'm not, not, well not like you." He was pleading with his eyes. Needed me to say what I was going to say next, needed to hear it.

"No. No, you're not, Billy. I am, or I'm pretty sure I am. You're not." I met his gaze. Little kid, all hurt, fierce eyes, hot pride, battered and swollen nose. I knew he needed more. "No-one could ever think you were gay, Billy. No-one." I watched his shoulders relax.

"They say I am."


"S'what they were saying." Eyes floorwards again. "Before I bumped into you, I mean. Well, before that."

"And?" I guessed. Billy wasn't backward in coming forward.

"I smashed Jim Morrish for it." Eyes hot again. "Got him good. He's not gonna call me queer again." He paused. "I'm not one. I'm not..." He lost it. His voice cracked. Sobs, pain, relief, anger? I'd no idea which and no idea what to do. I wanted to throw my arms round him, make it all go away.

"Oh Billy... " Inadequate. I risked it. Grabbed him and hugged him. I mean it wasn't the brightest thing to do in a school toilet, but it wasn't possible not to. A proper hug, gentle and firm at the same time. Holding the back of his hair, stroking his hair, hoping no-one would come in, or hoping the impossible, that the only person who'd come in would be Nigel, or John, one of the good guys. Or Geoff. Geoff'd be the best of all. "Mate, we should go and find your brother."

I fell this arms round me tighten in a hug back, and relax. Felt his breathing ease, sensed his tears were ending. "Oh shit, my nose is blocked." I deciphered it again past the blockage.

"No point in blowing it. Bleeding'll probably start again. You ready?"

"S'pose. You won't tell anyone I was crying and stuff?"

"What d'you take me for?"

"Yeah, sorry. You're all right, you are." We headed for the door. No-one, no-one at all had come in all the time we'd been there. Miracles. "They think I'm a nutter, Chris."

"Well I don't."


"Look, I don't know what happened. Something huge to make you do that to yourself. I mean I can sort of guess, only I don't want to. And I'm not going to ask you," I added, a little too fast. I could certainly imagine creepy slithery hands, the voice that should love him trying to make him.... I shivered at the thought.

"Yeah. You can guess… God, I never even half told anyone. Here I am telling you more even though I've not said a thing. Something about you, Chris Jenkins. Dunno what. Comfy, I think." I felt his hand brush mine. "Thanks." He left a gap just too short for me to speak in. "Anyway, they started to kick the crap out of me when I got Jim Morrish."

I was scared stiff. I so did not want to know what had gone on with his father, but it was impossible not to imagine stuff. Half of me felt revolted. The other half, yes I'll admit it, interested. Very interested. And that scared me. A lot.

Geoff took some finding. It was the end of the school day, and he was in the IT club. We had to check noticeboards and found him that way. I was finding it very odd being friends, or being something at least, with the Tranters. I knocked on the door where the IT club was. Didn't wait for the 'come in', "Wait out here a sec, Billy," and went in. "I need Geoff Tranter, please." I announced it. Loud, no scope for argument.

Geoff looked up. "Chris?"

"Geoff, I need you, please. Outside. Now." And I mouthed his brother's name. He leapt up and followed me.


We reached the door and corridor. "Billy needs to go home. You need to take him." I half explained as he looked at Billy's battered face. Billy was trying to explain a lot and failing. I'd got used to his blocked nose. Geoff hadn't, yet. "He's been hurt. And, well, I've patched him up a bit." I'd meant to have soaked and rinsed his shirt. Instead I handed the bloody thing to Geoff to look after. "He's sort of told me a bit."

"You'll keep it to yourself?" Geoff looked urgent.


"He shouldn't have come back here." Geoff was muttering. "Sorry, Chris. Thanks. You're all right."

I wondered of the Tranters had any other words except those. I seemed to have heard nothing else since I met Billy that day. I slipped away, half embarrassed. I made an odd kind of hero in my own mind, but I seemed to have done something good, or good enough. I needed some love myself.

I wasn't due to see Nigel for ages. School was over for the day. He'd be home by now. Wasn't rugby practice this term, not now the evenings were still dark. I wandered, no, walked, to where my coat was, got the rest of my stuff and headed homewards. No bike, no lift, so I walked.

Stuff was running through my mind. None of it nice stuff. The bit that scared me most was that I could see in my head Billy, naked, afraid, with large, adult hands on his body. I mean I didn't know what Mr Tranter's hands looked like, but I could see them, in my mind's eye, doing things that a father's hands shouldn't be doing. I couldn't go there. Only I kept going there. I couldn't shake the picture. I remembered my fear before Christmas. That 'I might do it. I might abuse boys' fear.

It wasn't that I really thought I would. I'd already been sure I wouldn't. But it was the weirdest feeling. I could feel, in my head, what I thought, knew, that someone'd feel when... Yuck. I shook my head to clear it. I tried to get rid of the awful thoughts, to remove the imagery. I was trying to equate liking Billy with imagining awful things. They didn't go together.

I needed to talk to someone. No-one'd be in at home. Only half a mile to go, but much further if I turned around and went to Nigel's. I needed him. I didn't feel normal, and I needed to feel normal. Needed his arms round me.

I headed for my own front door. And the phone. Dialled his number.

"Four two nine one" Nigel's voice.

"Come round."

"I've got homework. I can't."

"Please?" Oh damn. I didn't mean to sound weak and silly.

"What's wrong?"

"Can you come?"

"Mum'll bring me. Or I'll get my bike. Yes. What's wrong?"


"Chrissy, I know you, remember?"

"Well, something then. Listen, if you come on your bike, just ride, OK. No sprinting."

"Mum'll bring me."

"Good." And then I found I was holding back sobs. I was just not going to let Nigel hear I was upset more than he knew from the short conversation we'd just had. "See you soon," I managed, and hung up before I let go of my breathing. Then I turned the thermostat up a notch and went and just sat in the front room on the sofa, and waited.

Wasn't long, not really. A knock on the door after the car noise. Silver blond hair, bluest, bright blue eyes. I didn't fling the door open. I felt stupid. Eased it open instead to see him standing there. A worried face. Beautiful, but worried. "What? What is it?"

"Was a horrid day." I suddenly sounded angry. "Where were you? I needed you." I turned to face him, almost felt like drumming my fists on his chest. "I so needed you." I was angry. Not with him. With me, with Billy's father, with the kids who'd hurt him. "I needed you Nigel." And the tears started. Hot, angry tears. I know he was holding me. I just remember telling him. And not telling him. Disjointed. Staccato.

"Just try to make sense, Chrissy. Please?"

"Billy... hurt... had to help him. Oh God what did his father do to him... Can see hands... The wrong hands... He's too little..."

"Slow down. Is all right Chrissy, just slow down."

I couldn't. "He's so sweet. Silly kid, really, dead brave."

"Chris, what the fuck happened?" Nigel was stern.

I tried. From the beginning. I got as far as Billy and my taking him to the toilets to get cleaned up. "Nigel, he's being picked on because he tried to kill himself. The scars... they look like he sawed and sawed and sawed. He's a brave little kid. But it must've been awful to make him do that."

"I wish I'd been there... "

"Yeah. Me too." He was gripping me tightly.

"Nigel, I don't want to be like that."

"Like what?" He sounded genuinely perplexed.

"I don't want to fancy kids and abuse them. I don't. Only I could feel it. I could feel what it would be like. Oh Nigel I could feel what it would be like to force someone. Even to force him. I could feel it. Nigel I got hard! I got hard Nigel. Hard. And I could see it in my head. See me doing it."

"See someone, Chris. Not see you."

"It was exciting. I'm scared. I don't want to want little kids. At least not like that. I mean he isn't little to me, not really, but I don't want to hurt anyone and I'm so afraid and I can't be brave about it and, and, and... "

"I should be jealous I suppose."

"It's not funny. Don't you dare joke about it. I'm afraid."

"What of, Chris?"

"I just told you." I was wiping my nose on my sleeve and sniffing.

"Told me something, yes. I'm not sure what, though. And yes, I heard the words!" I'd tried to interrupt him after 'not sure what'.

"I can't!"

"Can't what?"

"You're meant to be helping me. This is so not helping. I can't. Can't be gay. Can't, can't, can't"

"You don't have to be gay, or anything. It's OK, Chris."

"Isn't. None of it's OK." Irrational? Yes I was irrational. I had something to work through and I knew Nigel could help me and he just could not get it. And I couldn't tell him. What I wanted was him to tell me how I was wonderful and how he loved me. I wanted him to take me and kiss me and make me his. I wanted him in my arms and in my body.

Only I was too much of a kid to tell him.

And he was too much of a kid to realise.

And probably so was I.

"Chris, you aren't like that. I know you... "

"I could be." Dammit I was arguing now. Why had Billy Tranter affected me so much? He was nothing to me, he'd even hurt me. Badly. Only he was so small and skinny and vulnerable and I wanted to protect him. And I couldn't. "I can't take the risk, and I don't know how to make sure I don't."

"What would help?" He was still holding me. My white knight had run out of ideas. All he had to do was to hold me, to kiss me, to drive this out of my mind with his caress, to strip me and to make me feel loved and needed and clean and complete.

"Dunno." But I did know. Only I wanted him to know for me. Every other time he'd saved me. In France he'd sorted me out. And he didn't know. I felt like shit and the boy I trusted to know everything wasn't helping. I didn't even know why I felt like I did. Prickly, hostile, feeble, stupid, and in need of my other half to make love to me hard and violently.

And he wasn't doing it.

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