hannah_chapter1: (Dunecat)
Title: The Dark End of the Sreet
Author: hannah_chapter
Pairing: Belldom
Rating: PG
Summary: AU. Forbidden love: "If we should meet/Just walk on by/Oh darling, please don't cry."
Feedback: Yes please.
Notes: This story was written especially for and is dedicated to the amazing starlight_myth. Songfic and the song in question is "The Dark End of the Street," originally sung by James Carr, covered dozens of times since.


At the dark end of the sreet
That's where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don't belong
Living in darkness
To hide our wrong

You and me at the
Dark end of the street
You and me

Dom sits on the bed, playing with his wedding ring. Even in this dim light the gold gleams, a constant reminder of his sin. What is he even doing here? He has a good life - a job he likes, a nice house, a wife he loves, children he adores. But here he sits, waiting for his lover. His male lover, a man who's every bit as married as Dom is.

This isn't even a real bedroom. It's just a junk-filled room that happens to have a bed in it. One of Dom's friends put all his stuff in it, then went to work abroad, leaving the key with Dom. That was three years ago and he shows no sign of returning. He pays the rent on time and that's all the man he rents from cares about. This place doesn't even have electricity anymore. The only light comes from a couple of battery-powered lanterns, the kind you take on camping trips.

The door opens and Matt steps in, he has further to travel, so he's always late. The second Dom sees his lover, it all melts away: the doubt, the guilt, the self-hate, it's gone. They fly at each other, mouths fusing together, hands tearing at clothes. Tumbling onto the bed, their first coupling is a frantic, almost brutal affair. It's always like this the first time, their desire burning out of control. The second encounter is always a much quieter thing: slow, gentle, with soft touches and whispered words of love.

I know time is
Gonna take its toll
We have to pay for
The love we stole

It's a sin and
We know it's wrong
Oh, but our love
Keeps coming on strong

Steal away to the
Dark end of the street

It started a year ago, when they met in a pub and struck up a conversation. As luck would have it, they found they had a lot in common. Their kids - Matt has two girls and a boy, Dom has one of each - go to the same school, their wives even do yoga together. Neither man takes to new people quickly but, after just a couple of minutes, they were drinking and chatting like they'd known each other all their lives.

Dom had never been attracted to another man, he didn't even know he could be. He'd never even been curious. But they left the pub together at closing time and ended up in a dark, deserted doorway, drunkenly fumbling with each other's zips, tongues halfway down each other's throats.

And then they were lost.


They're gonna find us
They're gonna find us
They're gonna find us
Lord, someday

You and me at the
Dark end of the street
You and me

Fully dressed and respectable again, they're about to leave when Dom's mobile buzzes, signifying a text. He reads it and tears begin to roll down his face. Matt pulls him into a hug and holds him as he cries.

"Linda wants me to pick up some milk on my way back. She's sitting at home and, as far as she knows, everything's fine. She trusts me and I don't deserve her trust."

Matt holds him tighter and says nothing.

"I can't blame her for any of this. I wish I could say she doesn't understand me, that I'm trapped in a loveless marriage and I only stay with her because of the kids. But it's not true. I still love her. Falling in love with you doesn't mean I stopped loving her."

"I know." Matt can feel his own tears beginning to fall. "I sometimes think this would be easier if it was just a sordid little fling, if it was just me seeing what it felt like to be with a man and I could dump you once the novelty wore off. But I can't let you go. Every time I come here I tell myself it's the last time but it's hopeless. I love you too much to stop."

"It's all going to fall apart someday, you know that, don't you?"

"I know."

They're careful, oh so careful. They meet in this cramped, damp room because they don't want to risk a hotel. Matt's wife isn't above going through his phone, checking his texts and call history, so they bought cheap, pay-as-you-go mobile phones which they hide in their workplaces and use to set up meetings. But they know their luck can't last forever and it'll all come crashing down someday.

Dom wipes the tears from his face. "We'll lose it all."

"Everything."

"Linda'll take the kids, I'll never see them."

"All the other children at school will make fun of them, telling them their daddy's a queer."

"Hell."

"Nightmare."

"But we won't stop."

"No."

"We can't."

"Together until the bitter end."

"At least we'd still have each other."

"Yes we would. But would that be enough?"


And when the
Daylight hours roll around
And by chance
We're both downtown

If we should meet
Just walk on by
Oh darling, please don't cry

Tonight we'll meet at
The dark end of the street

Matt hates shopping on a Saturday. The shopping centre is jam packed and he always feels like too many people are fighting for too little oxygen. But they're doing up their bedroom at home and June wants curtains that will match the new wallpaper, so he follows her from shop to shop. Then he looks up and almost has a heart attack: Dom is walking towards them. Their eyes meet for the briefest of moments and they quickly look away. Dom walks past them and June looks over her shoulder.

"That man looks familiar."

"What man?"

"The one who just passed us. Look - no wait, he must have gone into a shop. I think he's Linda's husband, his name's Don or something like that."

"Who's Linda?"

"She's in my yoga class. I told you this before, Matt. Don't you ever listen?"

"Lots of women are in your yoga class, how do you expect me to keep track of them all? Are we almost finished? I don't want to pay for another hour of parking if I don't have to."

"I just want to look in another couple of shops."

"Of course you do."

As for Dom, he's taken refuge in a music shop. He stands in a corner so no one will see his tears and the music pouring out of the speakers above him mufflles the sound of his sobs.

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August 2016

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