Disclaimer: This is fanfiction.

Rating: This is slash.

Beta Thanks: All the amazing women of Iron_Craft, without whose "Tasting and Judgment" this bit would never have survived.

Hunger Artist

by Zen&nancy

He's such a hungry little fuck, always starvin' for more, and I feed him.

I remember even his mother could never keep his stomach full. He was always skinny and wiry, not like me. I'm going to bulk that will eventually go to fat in my old age- like Dickie, like Lemmy, it's gotta be the whiskey because it sure as hell ain't the gourmet meals. I could never get enough food in him on the road. I remember him stealing out of the dumpsters behind fast food places, scarfing down everything in site on bartops. Peanuts, Chex Mix, whatever, he'd empty those red plastic baskets like a starving dog.

My William has a hunger and a thirst that no one person could ever satisfy. God knows I try. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Billy can drink like a fish, can out-drink me every night of the fucking week, if the truth really has to come out. I've always admired him for that. We took on alcoholism together at age thirteen, and ever since he's been able to match me bottle for bottle, until we're both under the table with our clothes half off and the lights left on, but Billy's still drinking. Still pulling the bottle up to his lips for more, even while I'm groping and sucking and getting him into my mouth. He gets behind that whiskey and stays so fucking safe there, like nothing can harm him. I know what he needs, and I've been pouring it down his throat since before he grew a beard.

But we're not even scratchin' the surface of Billy's hunger yet. He's got people-hunger like I've never seen. I've seen lots of people get used to the stage, to the applause and the rush and the babes and all the hype, fuck, just about everybody does. The difference is, Billy can't do without it. He's addicted, addicted to noise and the sound of other people telling him who the fuck he is, the great punk guitarist Billy Tallent. He's afraid of silence, afraid of being alone. I'm just about the only person that knows this, He even has to play music when he sleeps, or the quiet gives him nightmares.

That's the happy side of Bill, the one that loves the crowd and plays guitar like he could fuck it all night. There's the ugly part, too. The one that needs me to tell him what an asshole he is just so he can get up the guts to keep going. Yeah, he needs to hate me just about as much as he needs to manipulate me, except it's not manipulation when I'm one step ahead of him, when he's countin' on me to be. Ready to punch him in the mouth, ready to watch his skinny, tight strung body go flying through a plasterboard wall. Ready to give him all the fuel he needs to keep on hating himself, and with it, just enough love, just a poisonous little drop, to keep him alive.

He won't take it straight, won't take it for what it's worth, never could. He needs me to keep him honest, but even I have to play Billygames if I want to get into him. It's always something else, instead of what it is, which is love. It's a bet, it's a contest, it's retribution or pay-back or an acid trip. He takes the long road, makes himself suffer right up until the point where he's down, where he's stuck between my legs and I can finally get through to him that he can relax, that I'll take over hurting him for awhile.

Oh man, but it was good, that first time. It's never been the same since. We let it build for a long time. Six fucking years of mindgames, fucking chicks side by side on the floor of the van, hips bumping, grinding in the dark. Six years of throwing sex back and forth like an insult, only letting it out on stage, where he was safe from me with drum risers and amps to hide behind. Then finally, finally, one night he was weak, he was hurting and he wanted to hurt some more, and he laid down for me like a virgin, all huge eyes and white skin and fear-sweat. He let me do every fucking thing I'd been dying to do, fucked him inside out, and he gave it up so sweet you'd think he'd been whoring for his living his whole life.

I've been telling him, I've been telling him since he was twelve that I love him. Sometimes it comes with a finger in his face or a head-butt, sometimes with a fist in his face and a bloody nose. I tell him before we get on stage, as a last dare to psyche him up, I tell him when the show's over and it's one of those rare nights when I get my cock up his ass, to make him come. I tell him long distance to fucking California when I have to, but he's never believed me. Or maybe it's that he's never going to believe me enough, because no matter how much of my soul I feed him, Billy comes up hungry.

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