Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Matt makes a stop at his old stomping grounds and gets more than he bargained for. [ M/M, sexual themes, violence ] ~ side ficlet from Lightning Dreams
Matt didn't know what brought him here. Maybe it was the mild spring night that triggered nostalgia, or maybe it was just boredom. Regardless of the reason he had maneuvered his motorcycle through the familiar streets of downtown Providence and was parking his bike down the street from /The Rocket/. He hadn't been here in almost five years, and it concerned him slightly that he found himself here again. He had worn out his welcome.
Not that this was planned, not consciously anyway. He had gone home after putting in a long day at the garage with full intensions of staying in for the night, but the smell of spring in the night air sparked a craving for something he couldn't identify. He had showered as usual, but instead of slipping into a pair of sweats, he put on clean blue jeans and a black t-shirt. The ball was rolling. It was warm enough outside to be comfortable on his bike with just a t-shirt under his black leather jacket, and it felt good to have the leather rubbing against his skin. It was on nights like this that he was thankful for Rhode Island's lack of a helmet law - the feel of the wind through his hair made him feel alive.
Richmond Street hadn't changed, although some of the stores had different signs. It felt the same. A vendor was positioned on the corner and the familiar smell of gaggers made his stomach rumble. Catching his reflection in a storefront window, he combed his fingers through his unruly black hair, suddenly wishing he had stuck an elastic in his pocket to tie it back instead of having it curl around his face. Not that it mattered - he wasn't here to impress anyone. Passing The Keg Room Matt thought it was busy for a Thursday night, but school was still in, and the colleges brought many kids to the bars and clubs all week long. It had been a long time since he had felt irritation towards the kids from Brown and /RISD/, wishing for summer and their departure. Tonight he didn't care one way or the other - he no longer had ties here.
The Rocket was still pretty empty. The Sex Pistols were blaring over unseen speakers, the music too loud for the number of patrons milling around. It unsettled him that it still looked pretty much the same. Part of him had hoped for that sure, but part of him hoped for a 180 to erase his past here. He noticed right off that they had torn down the wall next to the bar and made the bar larger and turning into an "L" shape. Other than that it was still claustrophobic and painted in a flat black with posters stapled up everywhere. The stage was the same, already set up and waiting for some action.
He slid into an empty stool, dark eyes searching for the bartender and finding him restocking at the other end before the rush. The bartender had his back towards Matt, and when he turned around Matt immediately recognized him - having spent many nights sitting at the same bar shooting the shit with that very man. When the bartender turned around to scan for patrons, his eyes passed over Matt and suddenly returned in recognition.
"Look what the cat dragged in!" Oscar said with a grin, coming to stand in front of Matt. "I thought you were dead."
"Not dead." Matt laughed, shaking his head. "Just trying to stay alive."
"Oh?" Oscar leaned closer, arching an eyebrow. "Then the rumors were true?"
"Not all of them, but sadly enough to keep me away. Let's just say that I decided that I liked my body in one piece and leave it at that."
Oscar laughed and shook his head. "What brings you back?"
"Just curious I suppose." Matt grinned. "I was just wondering how this place fared after my departure."
"You were missed." Oscar pulled out a glass and motioned towards the bottles of liquor on the wall. "The usual?"
Matt shook his head. "I try to stay away from the hard stuff, what do you have on tap?"
"Bud, Bud light, and Killian's."
Matt grimaced and shrugged. "I guess I'll take a Killian's. I never realized you had such shitty beer."
Oscar smirked. "The college kids don't know the difference. Ah the beauty of youth."
Matt jerked his thumb towards the empty stage. "Who's playing tonight?"
"/Mr. Airplane Man/. They're out of Boston and pretty good." Oscar set Matt's beer on the bar. "Sticking around long enough to listen?"
"I just might."
"Good deal. Maybe we can talk more later." Oscar said over his shoulder as he walked to the other end of the bar and started pouring drinks.
Matt looked around and noticed that the place was starting to fill up. A bouncer was now stationed at the door, collecting cover charges, and checking I.D.s - making an X on the back of the hands of the 21 plus crowd. Things hadn't changed much in the last five years, but despite this, being here felt sort of surreal and a bit off. He knew that part of it was due to the clear air in the place. Providence had banned smoking in public places the year before, and although he didn't smoke it always disturbed him a bit that it was absent. The smell of cigarettes went with the smell of spilled beer - it was just a fact of life.
From his stool, he could see the entire club thanks to the absence of the wall, and took it all in as he drank. The pool table had been pushed against the far wall. He remembered standing on that pool table when he saw The Cramps play - Lux Interior mounting the stage with a huge hard-on under black spandex. He also remembered the guy he brought with him that night sliding a hand easily into his jeans working up a hard-on of his own and how they fucked in the bathroom later while guys just stepped around them to get to the urinals.
That night was nothing compared to the night he saw Nirvana grace the stage. The sound was shit, but Kurt Cobain had a presence that was awe-inspiring. The place had been packed, and the crowd had moved together like a single entity slick with sweat and pumped with adrenaline. He had met a guy in the crowd from Brown - a trust fund kid. They had gotten a room afterwards and Matt can honestly say that he had never before nor since experienced such amazing head. That Brown kid might be a doctor or lawyer now, but man could he suck cock.
/Henry Rollins, Helmut, Morphine, Smashing Pumpkins/... all the shows he'd seen ran together in a blur of music, altered states and sex. Matt found himself grinning in his memories by the time the opening band hit the stage. He was lucky he survived those years with all the booze, drugs and one-night stands, but here he was to remember it.
He was about to flag Oscar down for another beer when a hand fell heavily on his shoulder. Spinning around in his stool he came face to face with the last person he wanted to see here. He tried to stand up, but with the firm grip on his shoulder he couldn't get the leverage and it held him in place.
Matt kept his expression neutral although his heart was pounding in his chest and he was quickly getting pissed. "Roger." Roger had always been bigger than Matt's 5'7", but it looked like the guy had switched his drug of choice from coke to steroids.
"I thought after all this time you'd smartened up." Roger leaned in, his voice low and menacing.
"I thought after all this time you'd have stopped being an asshole." Matt said amicably, the corners of his mouth twitching in a smile.
Roger laughed, but it wasn't a friendly sound. "You still haven't learned when to keep your mouth shut. Your mouth and your dick, always getting you into trouble."
"Listen Roger, I didn't come here looking for trouble. I came for a beer, nothing more."
"I warned you to never come back Matt, so you are looking for trouble."
Oscar had to shout to be heard over the music, leaning towards them. "Not here - take it outside!"
Roger grinned, showing too many teeth. "Come on pretty boy, let's go outside."
Matt pulled out his wallet and threw a five on the bar to cover the beer and headed towards the door. It was a mistake to come, but he wasn't going to run. Fuck that. He'd learned long ago that running didn't help anything. With each step his anger grew and coiled neatly into his muscles.
The night had turned chilly, a reminder that spring had barely started, but Matt didn't feel it. His body was already buzzing with adrenaline and anticipation. It had been a fairly long time since he'd been in a fight, and part of him missed it. Roger might have 6 inches and 70 pounds on him, but Matt intended to do more than hold his own. Matt walked towards the back of the building without turning around. He could hear Roger following behind. When he reached the small parking lot in the back he turned and glared, the anger coiled in his muscles demanding an outlet.
"You really have nothing better to do than hold a grudge for five years? I paid you your money and moved on."
"But here you are."
Matt was beyond angry now, and tired of fucking around. "So how's Michael? Still a good fuck?"
That got the desired response. Roger bellowed with rage and lunged. Matt moved aside easily and waited. He could feel something waking inside of him along with the anger, something familiar and frightening. He had left five years before because in his opinion they had stopped playing fair. He couldn't fight a gun with his fists, and he refused to kill anyone. He was many things, but killer was not on the list. Now as long as Roger played fair and stuck with the fists this time, he was all set.
Roger swung like the muscle bound do, in a wide arc that was easily dodged. Matt may be on the small side, but now it was an advantage, he moved quickly and struck hard. His fist made contact with Roger's nose with a satisfying crunch. The fight was on. The two men were mindless of the crowd that was gathering, mindless of anything other than their fists. Fighting isn't like it's portrayed on television - fighting is exhausting, and it /hurts/. Matt wanted to do more than hurt Roger, much more. He was quick on his feet, and was stronger than one would think of a man of his stature. Before long Roger was down on the ground, bloodied and dazed. It was hard for Matt to regain his control - wanting to continue to beat Roger into a bloody pulp, but he managed.
Wiping the blood off his split lip with his thumb, Matt nudged Roger with the toe of his boot. "I suggest that the next time you see me you leave me alone. If you even so much as talk to me again I will kill you."
He spat on the ground trying to clear his mouth of blood. The crowd was almost silent as he walked down the street towards his bike. He could hear someone helping Roger to his feet, but didn't turn. He had enough. If curiosity killed the cat, this one was mutilated beyond recognition. His past wanted to stay forgotten, and for a brief moment Matt became careless. It wouldn't happen again.