Disclaimer: All the characters here are mine! *grins* WARNING: This does contain m/m, but it's in the nicest sense. Or at least I like to think. Also contains self-harming issues and home-violence. Sounds like a good story, huh? LOL hope you enjoy.

"Jay! Jay, are you up yet? Quick, sweetheart, your father'll be home soon, you have to help me make breakfast!"

Jamie awoke with a start, his curled-up form quickly straightening out as he heard the desperation in his mother's voice. He cursed softly and he slid his legs from underneath the duvet, his hands reaching out, grasping for his contacts.

Finding them, he stumbled into the dismal, brown-walled bathroom and stood in front of the mirror, his hands finding the faucet and turning so the water trickled in a gentle stream down the edge of the sink. Placing a contact lens on the edge of a finger, he wet the tip of another finger, tipping his head back and letting the water-droplet splash into his eye. Jamie shuddered, hating the feeling; he had never liked putting in his lenses, but he knew that he preferred them no question to glasses.

After slipping them in after much debate whether he ought to bother, due to the fact that as soon as he went downstairs it was likely that his mother would be a nervous wreck because his damn father was coming home after 'late night working', he leaned against the sink and stared at himself in the mirror opposite him. Every day he looked at his reflection, and each day he wondered why he hated it so much.

People were constantly telling him what a 'comely' and 'good-looking' guy he was. Telling him he's lucky that he took after his father.

"Fuck that," he muttered to himself, his dark green eyes whizzing over his form. Dark brown hair, sort of spiky but surprisingly soft ('queer hair' as his old friends used to refer to it as), relatively smooth skin, a firm yet not majorly muscled tanned body and around a height of 5ft 10''. Overall, he was bloody good looking.

But a complete replica of his drunken, violent father.

"JAMIE!"

The voice screamed this time, pure terror seeping into his mother's voice. This startled him, and made him move quickly to his bedroom. Slipping on a clean pair of boxers, pants and then a plain white t-shirt, he ran downstairs full pelt - at seventeen years old, the person he was closest to in the world was his mother, and when she hurt, he did to.

And by the sounds of it, she was frightened beyond belief.

"Mum?" he shouted, skidding into the kitchen. He found her, not as he expected, standing in front of the cooker, beans dripping from her blouse and onto the floor. Tears rolled down her cheeks as her eyes stared at her son, begging for help.

"Mum, come on," he said gently, stepping forward and stroking the tears off of her cheek. "You've got to stop panicking. We can do this together, so that when Dad gets in, we can. we can have everything under control. Okay?"

She nodded slowly, her wispy blonde hair falling over her shoulders. She wiped away her tears quickly, before smiling weakly.

"I'm sorry, Jay," she said quietly, turning to the sink and beginning to wipe at her blouse hastily, her eyes feeling suddenly dry. "I just want everything to be okay for when Robert gets home. You'll help me, won't you?"

Jamie grasped his mothers' hands from her shirt, and found her eyes with his.

"Always mum," he said sincerely, his eyes searching hers for the tiniest bit of happiness. "I'm always here for you. and that's why we've got to get this breakfast going!" he ended cheerfully, grinning at his mother, before letting go of her hands and wrenching open the fridge, perhaps a little more heavily than he had planned.

He breathed in the cold air of the fridge and tried to force himself to relax. As he reached in to grab some eggs, his t-shirt lifted up slightly, his stomach showing a little. Four deep gashes, each beginning to hear, flashed its way into the world. He glanced down, before quickly withdrawing his hand and pulling his shirt down. Taking a deep breath, Jamie quickly shoved his hand in the fridge and pulled out six eggs. He shut the door with a tiny sigh, before placing the eggs on the counter.

"Only six today, sweetheart? Not eating?"

His mother said it in a falsely cheerful voice, and, for her benefit, Jamie forced one back.

"Not really hungry - must be lack of exercise, I think. Anyway, what else have you - "

BANG.

The door flew open and crashed against the side, causing his mother to yelp weakly.

Jamie stopped; dread was drenching the back of his neck in sweat.

He was home.

Robert.