Prompt: #231 Heal
Word count: 300
Pairing: Charlie, Bradford
Summary: Charlie thought he was helping.
Notes: Written for numb3rs100, part of A Silk Pillow ‘verse.
First Aid (#231 Heal)
“The man who trained me gave me a lot to read over the years.”
“Like what?” Bradford asked.
“Not porn.” Charlie answered. “That’s what you’re thinking. That some deviant slipped me bondage porn at thirteen, groomed me into this.”
“What did he slip you?”
“And the big Boy Scout book of knot tying but at thirteen it was mainly psychology books, most covering the after effects of abuse.”
Bradford couldn’t hold back his surprise. “Did he think you’d been abused?”
Charlie laughed. “No. Once I was older and we could discuss things openly he told me that almost without exception the best subs have abuse somewhere in their past and it would be my responsibility to recognise it and to facilitate a healing process... even if it meant them eventually leaving me.” Charlie’s head dropped. “I thought I was helping. I thought Ian was healing. He was communicating his desires, he could say stop, we’d worked through a lot of phobias. It was just symptoms. I was just... sticking Band-Aids on cancerous legions.” Charlie’s voice cracked.
“Charlie, Ian is a very proud man, you know as well as I do he would never have asked for help.”
“He’s not supposed to ask for things.” Charlie snapped. “I’m supposed to be able to anticipate his needs, desires, limits. I should know his mind better than he does.”
“Charlie, if Ian caught that case without you being in his life I fully believe that he would be catatonic in a psych ward right now instead of in the other room coloring with his nephew.”
Charlie sagged in on himself. “I knew it was bad. I knew he needed help. All these years I thought we were handling it, taking care of it. What if I just made it worse?”