This story is part of the Addergoole: The Original Series backstory/Sidestory
Shadrach had last track of how many times they’d gone through this. Keeper, Kept, Keeper, Kept. They went through whole months where they were both as gentle as they knew how, hoping the next month would be kind back to them. They went through seasons where they were rough, violent, nasty. He’d almost died at least four times. He’d almost killed Meshach at least twice.
Once, Professor VanderLinden, Professor Solomon, and Professor Pelletier had taken turns living with them for two months. It had made those two months very tense, but it hadn’t fixed anything.
They’d stopped with college, of course. They were living off whatever they came up with for money, half stolen, some whored, some just bullied off of people. Somehow the Regine money had dried up or vanished or – Shad was a little confused on that point. He’d ordered Meshach to tell him, but, Meesh had said something really strange and – Shad had a feeling he’d been flashy-light-thinged a couple dozen times.
He was on his knees. He always ended up on his knees, no matter how many times they did this. He had been on his knees for his brother forever, except that short time when he’d pushed some Kept between them.
The clock was ticking and Meshach was loading him down with orders. It never worked. Meesh always tried. Don’t agree to Keep me, agree to be mine for another month, you know I’ll be nice if you’re just a good boy. You just have to be good for me, don’t you want –
“…I release you, Shadrach. Shadrach, I Belong to you.”
Shad stood up. He stretched. He looked at his brother.
“Go away. You’re not mine.” He looked over his body, covered in bruises, too thin and too broken to be handsome anymore. “Go away, get the fuck out of my sight. You’re nothing to me anymore.”
He ducked a blow and spat out a Working before his brother could start mind-controlling him. “I’m getting dressed, Meesh.” His brother was paralyzed. It wouldn’t last long. “And I’m leaving with the cash in your wallet and nothing else.”
It was stupid.
He pulled on jeans and a t-shirt, found a flannel, clean socks, and someone’s boots. He and Meesh were just about the same size. He took Meshach’s wallet and put it in his pocket, found his own wallet – empty, except an ID – and pocketed that too.
His brother would find him. He’d lost the only hold he’d ever had on Meshach. He’d lost the only safety he’d ever had around his brother, except Eris and Megan and other people he could dangle like distractions. This was stupid.
Meshach was twitching and muttering. Shadrach spat out another Working and left in a hurry.
His brother might find him. But he had five minutes to vanish and then a lifetime to figure out the rest.