Arctos: Filters – Episode 2 (Part 3)

Jean, on the other hand, felt like things were finally going good for him. No more hanging on crazy guys, or pigs, like Bruce. No more stern silent types, no more wasting time on guys who would never be able to open up to him. He was done. Done trying to fix men who couldn’t even see that they were broken. Done with people who took his goodwill and patience and caring and just threw it back in his face. He was so done–and yet, when a very, very drunk Bruce showed up at his apartment building, squealing for him through the intercom, what in the hell was he supposed to do? The dumb animal was going to wake up all his neighbors, if he kept up that racket–and Jean knew that Bruce could keep up a racket like that for a lot longer than anyone would expect, especially when he was drunk. He had no interest in hearing him out, but if listening to him plead got him to go away faster, then all the better for everyone.

So he let Bruce in, and while he tried to keep the stony heart he’d promised he’d keep for his own sanity, he also couldn’t quite help but listen as the pig begged him for forgiveness. It sounded good, on the surface. It sounded like Bruce had finally come to realize just how much of a mess he was, and that Jean had always only been trying to help him. Or at least, that’s what he wanted to hear, so badly. He wanted someone to take care of, he wanted someone to want him to take care of them. He did know best, really. He knew how to take care of men like Bruce–if only they would just let him help them. Could he really trust him though? This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, this wasn’t the first time someone had opened up, only to shut back down the next day, when the beer wore off, and then the whole thing would begin again. How likely was it, really, that Bruce wanted what Jean was offering? Maybe he was just here because he hated being alone more.

Jean tried to keep his guard up, but he couldn’t. He pulled Bruce into him, and he could…smell the sex and food on him–he could imagine what the big pig had been getting up to in the last few days since they’d broken things off. It was almost enough to push him away again, but Bruce was so…tender, and sweet, and so many other things he’d never allowed himself to be, all of the things Jean was looking for in a man. It was a terrible idea, he knew that. He should have never let him in the building, he should have never even answered the intercom. It was too late for that though, and so, he pulled Bruce into his bedroom, both of them shucking their clothes as they went, and then fucked like they did the first time they hooked up. Through it all, they both wanted to believe that they could be right for one another. They wanted to believe that this was better than being alone, and they thought that if they both believed the lie hard enough, that it might, just maybe, come true.

Bruce thought about it, lying there in Jean’s bed beside him, looking at him, thinking about what he’d have to give up to make this work. Jean would never be willing to accept him–the real him, after all. He knew that. He’d have to change. Clean up. Figure his shit out. Deal with his anger, his binging, his promiscuity. He’d have to learn how to be normal enough for Jean to love, learn to grow into the person Jean wanted him to become…but as hard as he tried to convince himself that he could, that he wanted to at least try, he knew it was a lie. He knew that it a couple of days, it would break him, and they would fight, and everything would fall apart all over again–unless he did it. Unless he made Jean into someone who wanted Bruce to be everything Bruce wanted.

He pulled the covers off him, slowly, making sure to not wake him up. He went out and turned on the hall light, just enough so the camera could take a decent picture of Jean, and then he booted up the app. This was…a terrible idea. He knew it was, and yet, he just couldn’t get it out of his head, no matter how hard he tried to discount it. It was the only way they could be together, be happy together, and stay together. It was the only way that Bruce could get what he really wanted…and maybe…maybe Jean would want it too, in one way or another.

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