A/N: I'm apologizing now for any inaccuracies in the piece that follows. I am not a victim of any sort of sexual abuse, I am simply attempting to portray a character that is. I apologize if I do so inaccurately and if you see some real problems with it, do let me know. I'm trying to do this as realistically as possible.
There is no explicit sexual content in this, but it does involve the rape of a very young child and a delusion akin to Stockholm Syndrome that results from it. If any of those things will bother you, this is not the story to read.
I'm not in a very good mood myself, so I apologize for posting this right now.
I hope it's tolerable.
Your name is Jason Merrick, you are three years old, and you're in the embrace of a man you love.
He looks like your father, you think, while he inches his thick fingers up your spine, counting the vertebrae that almost but not-quite poke through your skin. Not the father who raised you, but the father who made you and left you alone in his death.
Your father, as you've gathered from the photo albums, was blond and well-built and full of smiles. Someone who made everyone laugh, someone who put depression to death with his mere presence. Someone everyone liked to love.
Former football player, your mother said, and you could see it in the way he carries himself in the pictures. He's strong and confident and you can see why your mother fell in love with him when he grins into the camera, daring it to challenge him and his ways.
The blue photo album rests on the living room table, rarely opened but still comforting in its presence, and holds everything your mother could find before they left the old house you were born in for where you live now. You've flipped through it on multiple occasions but it only makes you feel more out of place, because there's never even a mention of you.
There are ones of him carrying your older brother while Ethan looks smaller than you've ever seen him, ones of him kissing or hugging your mother, with or without your brother in between, but none with you. The final picture in that blue photo album is dated the day you were born and shows an image of that kindly man, broken down into pieces that fought themselves for victory. He's weak and sickly and looks like he's in so much pain, but he's still alive and that's something you'll never be able to understand.
He's hooked up to several bags of medicine and barely smiles at the camera, his previous clowning around and hamming everything up drained from the shell of his body that remained in the bed. The picture is out of focus and shaking and you know it's because it was in your brother's hands. Immediately after this, Ethan went to hold his hand, and your father finally let go.
Your mother wasn't there when he died.
Your mother was busy having you.
Your father took his last breath just as you took your first, and you can't help but feel like you've stolen something.
You stole a whole future for your parents and brother. They would have lived, had their happily after, but they didn't notice your father's illness until it was too late because they were so focused on you. He could have lived.
Ethan said that it would make your father more than proud if you could work hard to give him something worth it, but here you are, naked and exposed, in the arms of a preschool teacher who tells you he loves you as he tears you apart.
You repeat it back as often as you can and it tries to fill the empty spot inside of you that your stepfather is so insistent on doing as well. The corner of your heart that begs to hear your father praise you is lost to everyone, especially yourself, but "Jason, you're doing so well" and "god, you're so good" and "I knew you could take more, good boy" send your heartbeat over the limit, just make you more willing and eager to please.
Your mouth is dry and your lips are still bleeding from a combination of his kisses and him forcing his way into your mouth, and you feel like bad stuff's still going on down there, but you push it away in an attempt to enjoy the silence before he takes you again. He suddenly holds you a little tighter and you instinctually melt into the embrace, seeking out the specter of a father who was always just out of your reach.
"You're doing so well for me..." He pets your head and you cling to him as tightly as you can, whimpering slightly as you try not to cry. "I'm so proud of you..."
That's all you need from him, from anyone- to be told that they're proud, that you're worth their time and love. And this is the way he does it. It hurts and you don't like it very much, but you know he does it because he loves you and you're special to him in a way no one else is. You're his good boy, his special boy, the one who always does well for him. You're his favorite and he's so proud of you.
You were born stealing the breath from another human being and you haven't stopped stealing since. You took your mother's affection from Ethan, your stepfather's happiness, their faith in you, and dashed it against the rocks, leaving them angry and disappointed because who are you to rob them of what they've worked for? You're nothing but an angry child. He tells you that too, but you know it's because he loves you.
He tells you so while he's working fingers into you, tells you that you're so perfect and beautiful and you can't help but relish it because this is one person that you can be truthful with, one person who won't get mad at you for feeling bad.
You're snapped out of your reverie when he puts your hand down between the two of you and you feel him getting ready again. You're obedient if not anything else, and flip over onto your front, turning your head back to look at him. "That's a good boy..." He strokes your hair and you turn back to the bed, pushing your face down into the pillow.
It almost doesn't hurt this time, just because you know he's only doing this for your good.
You're only three and you never knew your real father, but you'd like to think he'd love you this much. He'd want to take care of you and touch you and love you and make you feel safe. Maybe he'd play silly games with you and let you talk even when you weren't holding the talking stick. You would have really liked to meet him, even if he wasn't any of those things, just so you could say you had a father, but this is nice too. This man makes you just as happy, even if it's in different ways.
Your name is Jason Merrick, you're three years old, and you're trying to deny the feeling that you're shaming a man you've never met.