Prayers of the Rollerboys
"Ffffuuuuuuccck…" Lance Alvers stretched the word to its maximum potential as an obscenity, silently relishing the sound of the drawn out 'u' and the positive click of the final 'k'. "Fuck," he repeated, "Sometimes it just ain't worth it." He looked out the window and winced; the dim light of the sunset made the throbbing pain behind his worse.
There was a gentle tapping on the door to his tiny room. "Hey, Lance? You alive in there?" Pietro Maximoff's shrill voice carried straight through Lance's ears to his head, where it reverberated unsettlingly.
"Yeah," Lance croaked, turning away from the window and idly massaging his temples with thumb and forefinger. "I'm alive." The door creaked open and an uncharacteristically subdued Pietro slipped into the room, gently turning the metal doorknob so as to shut the door with the least possible amount of noise.
"You don't look so good," he remarked, voice slightly softer than usual.
"I don't feel so good," Lance responded, tucking his knees up to his chin and burying his head in his hands.
"Of course." The older boy lifted his head and gave a wan smile. Casually, he extended a hand, palm up, and curled his fingers. The ground trembled ever so slightly; Lance gritted his teeth and fought back a scream of pain that the slight motion suddenly demanded of him.
Pietro grimaced. "You know I hate it when you do that."
"Yeah, I know," Lance flashed him a grin. "Why do you think I do it?"
The other boy ran a hand through his thin, white hair, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. "We thought you'd gone Frankenstein on us when you came home from school. It was like, 'grrrowwwl! Get out of my way or I kill you!'" He giggled nervously at his own imitation of Lance's behavior.
Lance gnawed absently at his bottom lip and tugged at the ends of his longish brown hair. "I'm sorry for that," he said sincerely. "I hate it when that happens, but I can't…"
"Control it." Pietro nodded, finishing Lance's thought for him. "Yeah, I know how it is." He shoved his hands into his pockets awkwardly.
"I just wish I didn't get these fucking headaches all the time!"
"Yeah, well… we all wish for things." He shook his head slightly and let a few stray locks of light hair fall into his face as he gazed intently at a spot on the wall above Lance's head. "We just don't get them."
"Way to be depressing." Lance sighed and leaned the bridge of his nose against the heel of his palm, putting constant pressure on the area that hurt most. "I just want to have a way to… get rid of the pain. I can't imagine having this for the rest…. the rest of my life." He looked back to the window with tears sparkling in his eyes.
"Hey," Pietro rushed to Lance's side with more than the concern of a comrade. In an instant, he was sitting on the bed next to the stricken boy, pressing his own palms to the feverish forehead. "Here, let me try something." Gingerly, he began to rub little circles into Lance's temples and sinuses, pushing just slightly against the bone. Lance closed his eyes and hummed.
"God that feels good," he whispered. Pietro swallowed the twinges of guilt he felt, telling himself that it wasn't taking advantage of Lance by doing this. It was helping him. It was just an added bonus for Pietro that he got to touch him at the same time. Slowly, he let his hands travel down over the tense facial features, rubbing the area around the eyes sockets and cheekbones and letting his thumbs come to rest there while his fingers went to massage Lance's neck. "You're amazing."
Pietro blushed. "Um… why don't you lie down? I mean, you'll probably be more comfortable that way… and…" Lance opened his eyes and blinked owlishly. He surveyed the bed and then looked at Pietro's pale, nervous face before settling his head in Pietro's lap and stretching the rest of his lanky, teenage body out so his feet could touch the wooden headboard.
"Ok?" With a heavy swallow and the vaguest feeling he was doing something wrong, Pietro nodded and again let his hands fall on the face of the boy he had a crush on.
Lance closed his eyes again in relief, fully savoring the body heat of his friend's thighs and the sweet pressure of his fingertips. The soreness of the headache seemed to dissipate with every touch, every caress, every stroke of Pietro's fingers. He gave a throaty purr of appreciation and tilted his head back to look up at his savior with the hintings of a grin. "Maybe I should just marry you; I'd never have to worry about my headaches ever again."
For a moment it seemed as if he'd said the wrong thing. Pietro's expression was humorless; he did not speak for several very long, silent moments, instead staring morosely into the distance. "Pietro?" Lance whispered around the hands that were still working over his face. "Is something wrong?"
The younger boy jumped slightly at hearing his name, before tossing Lance a little smile. "I'm ok." The two stared at each other, Lance's brow furrowed with concern.
"If there's anything wrong, you know," he began, "You can always talk to me." Pietro brushed a silent finger across his pale pink lips.
"Nothing's wrong," Another sad smile, this one framed by loose, white hairs that had fallen from their places. "Nothing you need to worry about."
Lance gave him a little nod and shifted his head to a more comfortable position. With a nearly inaudible sigh, Pietro allowed his fingers to go back to work. He was trying to make this moment last forever, to always remember what it felt like to hold Lance in his lap and touch him the same way one would touch a lover. He drank in the smooth lines of the prone body before him; he suffered every tiny sigh, every slight shift. He loved it, this kind of human contact he had not had since childhood when he and his sister would sleep huddled in the same bed, stomach to stomach to keep out the cold. He wondered what had become of his sister in the years since they'd been separated.
He wondered what, exactly, had become of him. The great Pietro Maximoff, as he so frequently boasted, was reduced to a tangle of emotions and memories when touched by Lance Alvers? Perhaps it didn't make sense, but it was true. He ran an idle hand through Lance's sleek hair and observed the slackness of his features and the evenness of his breath. The boy had fallen asleep, comfortable and content in his skinny lap.
Pietro bit the inside of his cheek and worried over it with his teeth, gently coaxing out a small quantity of blood, which he swallowed. "We all wish for things," he whispered, continuing to tenderly pet the crown of Lance's head. "It's just that I know I'll never get what I wish for. I hope you do, Lance. I really hope you do."
"But I just don't know if I can live with this kind of pain for my entire life."