Title: "Hurts So Good"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: AC, violence, slash, Zander/Jason, angst, ficlet.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Summary: Okay...so when the initial beating for Zander's apparent betrayal of the Mob took place, this is what I said: "OOH, it's FOREPLAY!" Mr. Masochist, party of one...your table is ready.

"I tripped and fell," you tell the cops and Sonny's expectant, ice-cold eyes. "I tripped and fell," you say, with locked jaw as your broken ribs gouge your lungs and each syllable is punctuated by shallow cuts of pain.

A week later, with tape wrapped around your chest and working air tubes, you run into Elizabeth on the docks again. The very spot where she found you, bleeding and unconscious.

She stares at the bruises peeking above the collar of your t-shirt...the way you cradle your arm to your stomach...and with her trained feminine eagle eye can probably see through the coverstick around your own.

"I ran into a door," you tell her, turning to stare out at the water.

"A door," she repeats, softly, confirming the lie that she, unlike most, will readily accept.

When she brushes past you, you inhale the scent of smoke and leather on her skin...and you almost smile as you gag on the familiarity.

That night, you bang your hip on a shelf.

Three nights later, you debate a curling iron mishap with a lunatic giggle and settle on getting hit with the eight ball at Jake's instead.

It seems like you run into half of Port Charles by the weekend...the busybody half. Those who stare at you with undisguised hatred and curiosity and those who whisper things like "Did you hear Sonny fired him?" and "You know who beat him up, don't you?" the minute you've hobbled out of supposed earshot.

You remember to say "eight ball" and "shelf" and "door" and "I tripped and fell" to every single one.

And then, when you're back in your little hovel above Jake's, later that night...oh...shucks...well...you're watching a scary movie and hear a noise outside the window and jump two feet in the air, biting down, hard, on your lip.

It just happens that the teethmarks in the soft, throbbing flesh that you're running your tongue over...they don't fit the shape of your teeth.

But you won't tell people that.

"Good," Jason whispers, walking you up against the foot of the, all searing flame-blue eyes and suntanned muscle. He leans down, tastes the salt-blood on your mouth and shoves you, gently, backwards. "You keep saying that, Zander."

"I will," you promise, dizzily, as he kisses you with his fists and his lips and his body. "I will," you gasp as you hit ground...rock bottom.

"Oh, for cryin' out loud!" you say, the next morning, to Taggart, to Alexis, to Elizabeth, to the whole fucking planet when they notice your limp. "How many times do I have to say it? I tripped and fell!"

You did.

You really fell this time.



June 12, 2002.

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