"For I am sure that no man asketh mercy and grace with true meaning, but if mercy and grace be first given to him." --Julian of Norwich, 1342-1413
I didn't eat today because I knew I'd eat tonight. So I saved my boxes of macaroni and cheese, Ramen noodles, and instant rice. It's the night for my best regular john, and I dress carefully. I don't want to piss him off. He's particular. I wash my hair and do minimal makeup. Nothing on under black leather pants, my cigarettes tucked in the waistband at the base of my spine, tight shirt that bares my midrift and the silver navel ring, heeled boots and short leather gloves. This is his outfit. Once every two weeks.
The guy in the silver jaguar. He's never told me his name. I asked him for it once, when he asked me for mine. I figured he'd give me something fake but I'd prefer to call him by a fake name than just 'Hey, mister.' He'd shaken his head. "Call me John." I'd laughed at that. But I don't call him John. He's the guy in the silver jaguar.
Tonight, we meet as we always do, outside Jimmy's diner. It's drizzling a little, fuzzing streetlights and slicking the New York streets like summer sweat. I'm glad I don't have to be out in this shit. Meeting here is part of the deal. He feeds me as a prelude. He started it, not me. "Your pimp may take most of what I pay you, but he can't take the food out of your belly," he'd said.
He's a little early tonight, leaning up against his shiny silver car despite the rain, and waiting on me. He gives me a kiss and tells me I'm pretty. He smells of wet man and metal. Then he takes me in and feeds me, lets me eat as much as I want while he watches and drinks German beer. Sometimes he smokes, sometimes he doesn't, but he always glares at me when I do -- which seems hypocritical. He's committing statutory rape and soliciting a streetwalker, and he worries about who sells me cigarettes? But he's an old guy so I cut him some slack for old-fashioned values. We sit at a booth that isn't entirely clean and listen to Vince Gill on the juke box. The waitress' hair has been bleached until it's frizzy and her voice is hoarse from a spring cold. When I'm done shoveling in food, he asks the question he always asks, "Did you get enough to eat?" His voice has a faint accent that I've never placed. I nod, he pays, and we go out.
I get in his fancy car with its leather interior and he takes me somewhere nice. That's another part of the deal. No motels that charge by the hour and leave the sheets unwashed and stiff. This is part of why I dress carefully. The desk staff has no illusions about what I am and why we want a room. But for one night every two weeks, I pretend to be what I'm not: high class call. We rotate between three places. They're used to us by now, and all I have to do is keep my mouth shut and let my fine features and ivory skin do the talking. Pretty, pretty, like porcelain. When I'm out with him, I'm good for the night. A real dinner and a clean bed that I get to sleep in, not just lay on with my legs open, belly down.
We go up to the room. This is the kind of place that gives out key cards. Inside, I retreat to the bathroom to freshen up. I sweep all the sample-sizes into my pockets: shampoo, soap, hand lotion. Then I brush out the tangle damage from windy rain; my hair and my eyes are my best features. This is the hotel with the little round bulbs above the mirror instead of the big ones, and a shower instead of a bath. I suppose I could remember hotels by their names but it's not the name I see the most of. I think I like this one best of the three. I check my face. Just a little mascara and black eye-liner to frame the clear blue of the irises. He doesn't like heavy makeup. But I look good. I don't need anything else. I go out.
He's waiting on me, lazing on the bed. His shirt is off. He's not built badly for a guy his age. He watches me.
Now is my time to pay up for the grace of these evenings. Of course he gives me cash just like any other john, but I won't see most of it. My real compensation comes in intangibles. Food, a nice room and clean bed, a ride in a fancy car. The fact that he's gentle. The others in my stable are jealous of what I've got, so I minimize it. Sometimes, I feel like I'm the one who should pay. Which is perverse, I guess. But given who my usual johns are, he's a privilege of which I'm very mindful. "What do you want tonight?" I ask.
He appears to think about it, though I'm sure he already had his mind made up. "Start with your mouth. We'll go from there." It's blunt, but we don't play games. That's the third part of the deal. The first time he picked me up, he told me, 'Don't fake liking it and don't fake coming; I don't need the ego-boost. This is an exchange of goods. I feed you and give you a clean place to sleep, and cash. You give me sex. Clear?"
Oddly, I respect him for that. It puts everything up on the table. He's never gypped me. I don't gyp him. He gets good head, or a good fuck -- whatever he wants.
Tonight, it's a blow-job. I unbutton his jeans and pull them down, lick the skin of his thighs to prepare him, listen to him groan. He has hairy legs, and coarse, kinky fuzz around his cock. It's grey and dark brown; I guess his hair was dark once. I run my gloved hands up and down his thighs while I suck at the soft skin over his balls. Before I move to his cock, I roll a condom on him for my own reassurance, though he's told me he's clean (and I believe him, but that doesn't mean I throw out good sense). Then I get to work. This is my best client, so I give out accordingly and don't even need to smoke up to face working him. I want to please. Not from love. Plain obligation. He feeds me, he doesn't beat me, and he's never asked me for anything really kinky. I wonder if his woman does this for him, or if that's why he seeks me out. I wonder if he even has a woman. He's a mutant. He told me that, the first time he hired me. "Do you have a problem with mutants?" he'd asked.
"Do you have a problem with cash?" I'd replied.
"I have no problem with cash."
"Then I have no problem with mutants." It's not like he looks different.
It never takes him long when I use my mouth. He likes being sucked off, comes fast and hard, makes a lot of noise but tries not to buck too much and choke me. The condom saves me from the taste.
After, I peel off rubber and toss it in the trash while he pants down from the sex-high. We rest a while, say nothing. He doesn't even take off my clothes this time, though he did let me ditch the heeled boots. Not the gloves, though. He plays with the ring in my navel and threads fingers through my hair. He likes long hair. Most men do; that's why I keep it down to my chin though it's a pain in the ass to wash out given the lack of water pressure in my dive of a room. He never talks much in the after time. Smalltalk isn't his thing. I asked him once if he liked sports. He said no. That was the end of that conversation. Another time, I dared to ask what he did for a living. He gave a lopsided smile and said, "Save people like you." And what the hell did that mean? Was he a social worker or something? Not knowing how to reply, I hadn't. His words had made me angry but I didn't dare show it. I'm practical -- do nothing to jeopardize the meal ticket. But how was fucking me saving me? So what if he fed me first and took me to a fancy room to suck him off? It made him a nice john. He was still a john.
Tonight, though, we don't speak for a long while. He continues to play with my hair. His hands are calloused and gentle. Finally, I ask, "Why me?" This is the question I've been working myself up to for months. "Why do you always want me?"
Even more time goes by before I get an answer. Finally, he says only, "Because you remind me of someone. And you're special. More special than you know."
He sits up abruptly and starts pulling on his clothes. "That's it?" I ask, sitting up, too. "You don't want to go again?" Despite his age, he usually wants to go twice. A blow job then a fuck, or a blow job and a hand job with the leather gloves. He's got this weird thing for leather and metal, but that's as kinky as he gets.
"Not this time," he says. "I must get back."
"Your woman?" I ask, greatly daring.
His glare tells me that I pushed too far. "None of your business. This is just about sex. Don't ask questions I can't answer." Then his face softens and he sighs. "Oh, never mind. You may as well know. This was the last time, child. I'm leaving New York tomorrow. I'm sorry."
My stomach plummets but I keep it off my face. I'd known it couldn't last forever. Life's a bitch. I take the highs I can get. But something in me makes me ask, "If I'm so special, will you take me with you?"
He shakes his head. "I can't do that."
Pride keeps me from begging. I do still have some pride left.
When he's finished dressing, he goes to the door and I follow. He has the keycard. "Be sure you get everything before you leave in the morning." He always turns in the card before he leaves, but I get to sleep in the room all night. Maybe I should resent him for not trusting me with the card, but the fact is, if he'd left it for me, I'd have taken advantage of it. In this, as in so much else, he knows which end is up.
Now, he presses money into my hand, my pay for the whole night even though he takes only a few hours of it. His usual tip is rolled up separately in an envelope. "Food," he tells me. "Not crack or pot or cigarettes or beer."
"Food," I echo, as I always do. And usually, that's what I use it for, especially this time when it's the last extra I may see for a while.
He studies me a long moment then, says, "I can't take you with me. I wish I could. Maybe we'll see each other again one day. But I can send you to someone else. Look in the envelope. Good night" -- he kisses me again, but on the forehead, like a benediction -- "and farewell, my beautiful boy."
Then he leaves me. The hall light catches on his blinding white hair and with a casual lift of his hand, he shuts the door in my face. Mutant power. The metal lock clicks over.
I open the envelope. Five hundred dollars and an address scribbled on a match cover. Some place in Westchester. Greymalkin Lane. Beneath that are the words, "He'll take care of you, Scott."
So, I guess I have a new john. I hope he's as nice as the guy in the silver jaguar.
Endnotes: I cheerfully admit that the above is both improbable and unsupported by anything that transpired between Scott and Erik in the film. Roll with it. In the comics, Scott spent some time on the street as a pool hustler and a thief, and maybe other things that the comics code prevents them from talking about. And though I usually write him with the movie novelization background - which is much more vanilla - here, I decided not to.
Story II is "Scylla and Charybdis"
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Title: Just About Sex (Special 1)
Series Name: SPECIAL: The Genesis of Cyclops
Author: Minisinoo [email] [website]
Details: Series | 10k | 09/27/04
Characters: Scott Summers (Cyclops)
Pairings: (a surprise)
Summary: A night in the life of a streetwalker.
Notes: ADULT. Don't read if easily offended; deals with dark subjects.
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