Teaser: "He looked at me again before moving toward me. 'Y-you d-don't c-care if I'm d-dirty?' he asked, his voice so small and soft and scared. Inside, my heart ached. I reached for him again. 'No, I don't. Come here, Reno. You're scaring me.' "
Inspiration: My poll results from my profile, which was "Rape or Almost Rape". Plus, I started the story on Halloween. And Reno, unfortunately, is the usual victim of bad things in my fan-fiction… I apologize to Reno ahead of time….
Setting: Cannon enough setting, I suppose. Alternate timeline, at the very least.
POV: Reno for the trauma; Tseng with the aftermath. First person perspective from both.
Summary: When an unexpected trauma emotionally cripples Reno, he refuses to let anyone but Tseng touch him. Tseng is terrified of this side of the man who always took so much joy in life, and Tseng is willing to do whatever it takes to fix Reno.
Additional ANs: I usually don't write things this dark. Unfortunately, if I ever reach a happy place with this tale, it's going to take some time. I mean, I begin by traumatizing one of the main characters: if that ain't a sign of where this is headed, nothing is… All of that said, I want to give this a happy ending… which means this story is probably going to get long on me .
Inspirational Music: ~"Breaking the Girl" by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers Alright, so Reno is the girl in the matter of the lyrics... but this is a hard one to find music for, let alone write... ~"Sick Cycle Carousel" by Lifehouse "If shame had a face, I think it would kind of look like mine. If it had a home, would it be my eyes?..."
Important Notes: The reason I've chosen to write this piece the way I have is mostly for awareness. One article I read from the New York Times stated,
"While most experts agree women are raped far more often than men, 1.4 percent of men in a recent national survey said they had been raped at some point. The study, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that when rape was defined as oral or anal penetration, one in 71 men said they had been raped or had been the target of attempted rape, usually by a man they knew. (The study did not include men in prison.) And one in 21 said they had been forced to penetrate an acquaintance or a partner, usually a woman; had been the victim of an attempt to force penetration; or had been made to receive oral sex. Other estimates have run even higher. A Department of Justice report found that 3 percent of men, or one in 33, had been raped. Some experts believe that one in six men have experienced unwanted sexual contact of some kind as minors."
We act like it doesn't happen to men or something because somehow they're immune or something. One expert points out that we have a cultural blind spot: we acknowledged that male children can be abused sexually, but when they cross over into adulthood, we have trouble carrying over the perspective. Not only that, but there are some people out there who believe that a man cannot be the victim of a woman when it comes to rape.
I, as a woman, think that if we want to acknowledge that a woman can survive and thrive in a male-dominated workplace, if we want to acknowledge that a woman can be dominant in the bedroom, we also have to acknowledge that women are capable of acts just as heinous as any man –sometimes even more heinous than what a man would do! Evil is not gender specific, and neither is rape.
All of those points made, I did extensive research to attempt to make this story more realistic. I'm still trying to rediscover my happy place . This is to make sure you're all aware that this will be graphic and tragic. I don't want anyone going into this unaware of those facts.
Dedication: I know I rarely take the time to make an actual dedication… This story is for all of the rape survivors out there. You are strong, beautiful, precious, and important. You are not alone or forgotten. Here's to hoping that each of you may find or have found the strength to pick up the pieces and join the human race once more, because you are a precious part of it.