Jon and Kit Stories
Two: Sunday Morning
“You’re up early, love.” Jon, still bleary eyed, wandered out into the garden where Kit was putting food and fresh water out for Fred and Ginger.
“So, not a hanging offence is it, not last time I looked anyway.” Kit picked up Ginger, stroking her, conscious that he’d produced a gauntlet. Of course he didn’t have to throw it down.
“Don’t take that tone with me, young man,” said Jon sharply, “or you’ll be going straight back to bed.”
“Sorry, I’ve got a headache coming on.”
“And don’t misuse a real condition as a trite excuse,” Jon jerked his thumb towards the kitchen, “put that creature down and come inside for breakfast.”
“Ginger’s not a creature, how can you refer to her like that?” Kit gave his other half a less than sublime look, “and I do have a headache coming on. I should know it’s my head, I reside in it.” The gauntlet hit the floor with a thud and was immediately picked up. The rules of engagement were deployed, swords drawn.
“In that case,” Jon made the first thrust, gently taking the guinea pig from Kit’s hands and setting her down in the run with her mate, “you’d better take a couple of your migraine pills and get yourself back to bed before it fully develops.”
Kit flushed a dull red, parrying, “it’s not that bad actually, I can cope with it, I don’t need pills, or to go back to bed.”
Jon’s sword arm remained steady. “Have you, or have you not got a headache coming on?”
Kit’s colour deepened, he chewed on his lip for a second and then retreated shaking his head. He’d never been that good at fencing, especially not against a master like Jon.
“I didn’t think so,” Jon swatted Kit inside and shut the door firmly. “You’ve earned another demerit for lying...sit down.”
“That’s not fair,” Kit flopped obediently onto a chair, if only to keep his bottom out of swatting range.
“You told me you had a headache coming on when you didn’t, that’s a lie. I don’t see anything unfair in giving you a demerit for lying. What do you want for breakfast?”
Kit’s unwise duelling instincts reasserted themselves. “I’ve had breakfast already.”
“What did you have?”
“That’s odd, as I recall we ran out of those on Thursday, they’re on the shopping list to buy today.”
“Sorry, I meant cornflakes.” Kit folded his arms conscious that he was flying a little too close to the sun yet seemingly unable to stop himself.
“Where’s the bowl?”
“Washed up and put away.”
“Why didn’t you wash up those cups from last evening at the same time?”
Resisting an urge to mention that the Spanish Inquisition had a vacancy for an interrogator, Kit settled for, “I didn’t notice them.”
“You haven’t had any breakfast, but you will, or else that fake headache will become a reality and you can mark another demerit.”
“Another one,” Kit’s eyes opened wide with indignation, “why?” He then did the unthinkable and the unwise, he repeated the question, loudly and underlined it by thumping a fist onto the tabletop. “WHY?”
Jon grasped the offending hand and used it to haul the rest of Kit from his chair. Sitting down on the evacuated chair he pulled Kit onto his lap hooking his arms around his waist to anchor him there. “What’s wrong?”
Kit shook his head, “nothing, I’m fine.”
“That’s yet another lie. If you were fine you wouldn’t have chewed off my head the moment you set eyes on me or raised your voice to me or thumped the table in that yobbish manner. Tell me what you’re feeling, don’t just act it out and leave me to draw my own conclusions about what’s motivating the action, it only ends in grief.” He rubbed his hand along Kit’s thigh. “Is it to do with last night and what happened at the restaurant, or is something brewing at work that’s worrying you?”
Kit burst out, “look, Jon, what happened in the restaurant wasn’t my fault.”
Jon was slightly nonplussed. “I don’t believe that such an accusation crossed my mind let alone my lips. Why on earth would you think that I would blame you for what happened with Sam’s nephew?”
Kit shrugged, “I didn’t say you were, I’m just saying it wasn’t my fault and,” he gave his partner a grieved look, “I really didn’t deserve that demerit you gave me last night, not for being happy.”
Jon gazed steadily at Kit, “you earned that demerit for unfitting behaviour in the house, namely stamping and slamming like a bad tempered teenager after I questioned your deplorably selfish attitude to Colin’s misfortune. Is that it then, you’re telling me that the only reason you’re in such a temper this morning is the fact that you resent being given a demerit last night?”
“I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend I’m sorry about last night, about Sam leaving I mean, because I’m not. I really am happy that he’s out of the picture. I hated his guts. It’s his fault I’ve accumulated so many demerits this month.”
“You getting demerits are down to you, Christian. You know the system and the behaviours that bring consequences, and you have to take responsibility for them yourself. And no one is asking you to pretend anything, all I ask of you and I hope you ask of yourself is that you appreciate what a blow this is to Colin and try to understand his sense of loss instead of just feeling pleased on your own account. I’m not impressed with your attitude.” Jon eased Kit back onto his feet, but only long enough to tug down his shorts before pulling him back on his knee, or rather over his knee. He wasted neither time nor words he simply began applying the palm of his hand to his Kit’s bare backside.
Angry with Jon for being so strict in the circumstances, Kit stubbornly refused to yield to the punishment. Tightly compressing his lips, he closed his eyes tensing his hands against the floor keeping his legs rigid and crossed at the ankle as Jon’s hand danced a consistent tempo neither picking up pace nor lessening, concentrating on repeatedly smacking the same portion of his buttocks from where they swelled from his hip to where they moulded into his thighs. Despite his best efforts Kit began to emit little moans of discomfort as his skin kindled and then flamed. The little moans reached maturity and he began trying to block his partner’s hand while desperately flailing his legs in an attempt to escape the accelerating burn by manoeuvring off the lap he was bent over. Jon calmly repositioned him, hauling him further across his knee and securing his arms, leaving his feet well clear of the floor so they couldn’t be used as levers. Then he resumed spanking, covering the same territory with steady efficiency. Kit yielded, dissolving into tears as his backside became unbearably painful.
Jon stopped spanking and raised his weeping partner to his feet repatriating his shorts. Just as he’d silently punished him now he silently comforted him, slipping his arms around him and cuddling him until his tears trailed away, only then did he speak, saying quietly but firmly. “You earned that demerit fair and square last night and if you’d gracefully accepted that fact instead of brooding resentment you wouldn’t have earned two more this morning and you wouldn’t now have a sore bottom. You don’t resent or question my discipline decisions, Kit, and certainly not at a shout while banging your fist on the table. You accept them whether you think them totally fair or not. I’m the judge of what’s fair when it comes to discipline. You will spend the morning repeatedly writing down those facts until they become engraved on your mind for future reference. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Jon.” Kit dried his eyes on his partner’s t-shirt then tilted his head back to look at him. “I’m sorry.”
Jon’s stern expression softened and he gently kissed him, “go back to bed, rest. I’ll bring you some breakfast.”
“How many?” Kit took the A4 pad and pen that Jon held out to him, his heart sinking as he got the expected, but wholly unwanted reply.
“I’m not setting a specific number of lines, as I made clear earlier you will spend the entire morning repeatedly writing out the points made.”
“Jon, please, for pity’s sake, I’ll end up with writer’s cramp.”
“Are you questioning my authority again?”
“No,” Kit’s blue eyes flashed sulky defiance, “just your humanity, or lack of it.”
“I don’t know what’s got into you today,” Jon took his wallet and keys from the bedside table and slipped them in his jeans pockets, “but you’d better evict it before it lands you in real trouble. To prove my contested humanity I’m not going to spank you again for impertinence, and as for writer’s cramp I have no objection to you stopping for a rest at reasonable intervals and if preferred you can spend the morning typing the points on the portable typewriter, either way your morning is mapped out so I suggest you accept that fact. Choose your method and get on with it.” He kissed Kit on the forehead. “I’m going shopping. I’ll see you later.”
Kit waited until he was certain that Jon had left the house before hurling pad and pen across the bedroom with expletive fuelled fury, luxuriating in being able to vent his temper without repercussions. It was all that bastard Sam’s fault, everything was his fault, he was glad he was gone. Flopping back on the bed he grabbed a pillow and buried his face in it. Sometimes he hated Jon for always being so…so…so, he searched desperately for an adjective, but found only JON. Jon was Jon…son of a noun. He pulled the pillow off his face to grin at the ceiling and to think that bastard Sam had accused him of having no sense of humour.
He didn’t really hate Jon and now he felt bad for even thinking such a childish thought, what he actually hated was being punished several times in a short space of time. That was Sam’s fault again, ever since he’d come on the scene his ability to control his temper had diminished, only Jon refused to accept Sam as an excuse saying that he was responsible for his own actions. Well the odious Sam was in the past now and they could all get back to the way it had been before he blazed on scene and took over Colin’s life. Col would soon realise he was better off without him and find someone nicer, someone decent who would fit quietly in and not always be upsetting the balance.
Going downstairs he made a weak coffee and after a moment’s hesitation gave in to temptation and treated himself to a bag of his favourite chocolate covered peanuts and raisins, which he ate outside in the garden while grooming and playing with Fred and Ginger. Fred, who was phenomenally greedy and could smell a potential food source from several miles away, raided the sweet bag while he was combing Ginger and disdaining the peanuts, helped himself to a chocolate raisin. Kit scolded the errant pig, but he was unrepentant and squeaked hopefully for another one, which Kit denied. He finished the chocolates deciding it was high time he applied himself to the task that Jon had assigned him.
Choosing the portable typewriter as his means of duty fulfilment he set it up on the kitchen table. At least tapping away at the keyboard afforded him a fantasy opportunity. He was a reporter covering a big story, or a novelist. Five minutes of dutiful industry later the boring reality of repetition set in. As far as news or a novel were concerned the words on the page were guaranteed never to scoop a major literary prize, or even a minor one. He found himself watching the clock with growing irritability as the morning crawled at a snails pace. His irritation doubled when he suddenly noticed that he had somehow typed the name Sam into three of his sentences, dragging the paper out of the machine he rolled it into a ball and threw it across the room. By the time Jon returned his mood needle had swung back into the sullen zone.
“I don’t recall giving you permission to get out of bed.” Jon deposited carrier bags on the kitchen table and a kiss on Kit’s head.
“Have you ever tried typing in bed,” Kit’s tone was waspish, “it’s completely impossible, and as you said I could use the typewriter I didn’t think you’d object.”
“Fair point, though a little more grace in the making would have been nice,” Jon began to unpack the bags.
“I hope you remembered Fred and Ginger’s food and my foot powder.”
Kit watched as the contents of the bags disappeared into the fridge and cupboards. “You didn’t get any beer or wine?”
“No,” Jon scrunched up the plastic bags and shoved them under the sink to be used as bin liners. “After the amount you put away last night I’d say a few days without alcohol can only be beneficial. If nothing else it might improve your temperament, we’ll review on Friday.” Kit didn’t say anything, but the typewriter keys struck the paper with violent expression. Jon ignored them and began filling the kettle to make tea.
“You were a long time?”
“I called in on Colin first to ask if he’d heard from Sam.”
“Has he?” Kit stopped typing.
“No, not a word.”
“Kit!” Jon frowned, “poor Colin is shattered, at least spare a thought for his feelings.”
“Can I stop typing now, I’ve done plenty and my wrists are aching?”
Jon didn’t reply turning his attentions to tea making.
“Stop it, Kit, we both know that you’re not asking a question that requires reply, you’re simply goading.” Jon stirred the tea and put the lid on the pot. “Do you want a cup?”
Kit shook his head. In his mind he played out several scenarios from arguing about what constituted a question in need of reply to accepting a cup of tea and then complaining about it and on to dramatically throwing back his chair and announcing he was going to the bathroom, all would, Kit knew, be intercepted by Jon’s Top radar and rightly identified as obstructive ploys and dealt with.
Letting his shoulders relax Kit felt better as he resigned himself to paying the penalty he’d already incurred. He felt better still when Jon brought a pile of student essays into the kitchen and sat companionably at the table to read and mark them instead of using the study. He liked watching him work…the way he frowned and smiled or shook his head as if in disbelief at some of the things he was reading, the way his red pen flew over the pages. He liked the way he stretched out his attractively long legs that after only a brief time in shorts were tanning nicely. Colin always tanned easily too, and that bastard Sam, whereas his skin always stayed pale, or burned an unattractive red and the one time he’d tried artificial help in the tanning department he’d had an adverse reaction to the product triggering a bad episode of eczema that looked even more hideous against the unnatural orange hue of his skin. He’d ended up looking like a mouldering tangerine. Jon had been annoyed with him, especially when he noticed that the product carried a clear warning for skin sensitive people. He started as Jon quietly told him to stop daydreaming and get on with typing. He complied, willing the hands on the kitchen clock to fly fast to noon.
Apart from actually doing the work, the worst part of essay or line writing punishments was seeing it briefly checked over then binned. At least Jon’s students got the satisfaction of getting their labours returned with praise and helpful comments, whereas he didn’t get so much as a ‘well done, an excellent example of discipline line writing.’
On the other hand, Kit smiled as Jon’s arms came around him, his students didn’t get the satisfaction of being hugged by him, or kissed, or, he closed his eyes and gave a sigh of sheer pleasure as a large warm hand slipped inside the sleep shorts he was still wearing.
“Jon,” Kit broke the pleasant lust sated silence, “is Colin really still upset over Sam?”
Jon brought his left arm from above his head and turning on his side draped it over his partner’s naked body, “of course he is, Kit, he’s hardly going to recover from something like that overnight. The sooner that boy puts in an appearance and offers his version of the tale the better.”
“I don’t think he will.”
“I’m not so sure, Sam isn’t exactly short of the gift of the gab. I can imagine him having something to say in response to the yarn that his so called nephew spun and I think he also knows Colin well enough to realise he’d get a fair hearing.”
“He doesn’t know Colin,” Kit spoke vehemently, “not as well as I do.”
“We’re talking about a different kind of knowing.”
“I don’t think he’ll dare turn up, especially now he knows that Colin doesn’t want him back.”
“He doesn’t know anything of the sort though and neither do you. I’m afraid that you need to start viewing this from Colin’s perspective and not purely your own.”
“I just can’t get my head around what Colin saw in him.”
“What do you see in me, Kit? You’re twenty-five and I’m nearer the garden gate of forty than close by the front door of thirty and as the inimitable Samuel would say, I’m follicly tragic, darling.”
“He’s so rude,” Kit fiercely wrapped his arms around Jon’s lean waist pressing possessively against him. “You’re gorgeous and I love you more everyday.”
“Thank you,” Jon smiled, “The feeling is very much reciprocated I can assure you. The thing is, kitten, you can’t qualify or quantify emotions like love and happiness. What is happiness to one person may well be misery to another, what feels like love to one person may simply feel like mild affection to another. Love and happiness are philosophies. You can talk about them, theorise, but you can never pin them down to a finite meaning, they’re too big for that, too complex and fluid and every single person can give a different interpretation. Who can say why you and I fell in love, we just did and who can say why Colin fell in love with Sam, he just did.”
“Sam’s vile and he doesn’t deserve to be loved, especially not by someone nice like Colin.”
“Love isn’t something that can only be reserved for the deserving, Kit, and besides, what criteria can we use to judge who is deserving or worthy anyway? What if it was decreed that only men with fine heads of hair and under the age of thirty five were worthy of love, where would that leave me?”
“I would still love you, Jon, I wouldn’t let anyone tell me who I can love or not love.”
“Well, there you are then,” Jon affectionately patted Kit’s bottom. “Colin loves Sam, who are we to arrogantly question it? All we can do is accept that he does. No one is demanding that we love Sam, no one can force us to love him, but by the same token we can’t force Colin not to love Sam just because we don’t care for him.”
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter now. Sam’s gone and he won’t be coming back.”
“What makes you so sure, Kit?” Jon gave his partner a sudden measured look, “have you heard something?”
“No, how could I have? It’s just a gut feeling that’s all. He was a user and Colin will soon get over him and then we can get back to normal.”
“For an essentially gentle and kind hearted man you’re being unusually harsh on this matter, Christian. I don’t think you’ve expressed one iota of sympathy for Colin. All you’ve looked to is your own feelings.” Jon shook his head; “I have to say I’m somewhat saddened that you can’t set aside your personal feelings in order to empathise with a valued friend.”
Kit flushed. He hated Jon to be disappointed with him. The pleasure of afternoon sex vanished and he wished he’d never broached the subject of Colin, he hadn’t meant to, it had just come out, all he wanted was for Colin to be like he was before he met Sam. Turning away from Jon he concentrated on falling asleep, waking an hour or so later with a familiar dragging feeling behind one eye. He just made it to the bathroom vomiting tidily into the toilet bowl. By the time the first bout of sickness was over his vision was a minefield of exploding lights and zigzag lines and his right eye felt like someone was trying to push it out of its socket from behind by forcing a red hot poker through his skull.
“Alright, kitten, that should kick in soon,” Jon withdrew the needle and gently wiped a medicated swab over the injection site on his partner’s hip. When Kit got a sudden severe migraine accompanied with vomiting there was no point giving him oral meds, he just brought them straight back up and Jon had learned to administer the necessary analgesic by injection.
“Rest, love, and you’ll feel better,” Jon gently kissed the huddled figure. “I’ll just be downstairs.” He tucked a sheet up around Kit and then left him alone in the darkened bedroom to sleep.
Copyright Cat/Fabian Black 2010