The Red Scare

by shukyou (主教)


At first, Paul didn’t understand what was happening, so all he said when he looked up from his desk and saw Percy standing in the doorway was, “Don’t forget to pick up paper towels if you’re going out.”

“Thank you for coming, Mr. Broderick,” said Percy in a tone that was part business and part ice, and that was what made Paul really look, shoving his glasses up the bridge of his nose and marking his place in his new as-yet-unpromising biography of FDR with the flap of the dust jacket as he stared across the dim span of his study. The room was windowless, paneled with mahogany, and lined on all sides with bookshelves; a brass clock on the desk gave the time as 1:50, but it could have been early afternoon as easily as the middle of the night. The bulb of his desk lamp hit his eyes like a spotlight, illuminating the top of the desk and half-blinding him to everything beyond it. “Did the girl out front offer you coffee?”

With the great calm of a well-learned routine, Paul placed his book on the desk, folded his hands atop it, shut his eyes, and took three long, deep breaths, listening to the soft rushing sounds as his lungs moved the air tidally in and out. When he opened his eyes again, Percy was still standing there in an unfamiliar, ill-fitting suit and Paul was reasonably sure he wasn’t having a hallucination. Well, that solved one question, but raised several others. Was it a.m. instead of p.m.? The book hadn’t been that good, but he’d lost more time to less.

Percy was not a tall man, but he crossed the study in four purposeful strides, briefcase in hand, and with every step his well-oiled wingtip shoes squeaked as his feet bent inside. When he reached the other side of Paul’s desk, he put the briefcase down and opened it so that Paul couldn’t see the contents. Paul sniffed the air. “Is that … Brylcreem?”

“I’m asking the questions here, Mr. Broderick,” said Percy — mousy Percy, vocally opposed to movies with what he considered gratuitous violence, fond of releasing spiders instead of smushing them with the nearest shoe like a reasonable human being — with a martial snap. It was Brylcreem, though; Paul had learned the smell when he’d barely been old enough to peer over the edge of the sink and watch his father get ready to face the day. With the trilby set back on Percy’s head, Paul could see how Percy’s thick black curls had been plastered down to a smooth, shiny mass. Maybe he was getting ready to go to some party, some party where terrible mid-century fashion was the order of the day. Percy had lots of friends who were as weird and artsy as he was; there was never any telling what kids these days were willing to do for entertainment.

None of which, of course, explained why Percy had decided to stuff an entire G-Man up his ass. “Okay, shoot,” Paul said, leaning back in his padded leather chair. He twined his fingers behind his head and got comfortable, which of course made his beard itch. Damn everything, he thought, dislodging himself to scratch.

Percy snorted and pulled a cigarette from his pocket, which he then rolled back and forth between his fingertips at a contemplative speed, watching it instead of staring down Paul. “That’s big talk coming from someone in as much trouble as you might be,” he said with a sinister sort of smile. “Unless you want to sing for your supper. I’m sure Uncle Sam would be happy to have you roll on any of your comrades.”

And here Paul thought he’d ruled out hallucination a minute ago. Maybe he was dreaming; maybe he’d dreamed both this and the lackluster chapter on young Franklin’s childhood ambitions. It depressed him only slightly to think he’d dream such bad nonfiction prose. “Are you–”

“Would you state your name for the record, please?” Percy cut Paul off as he reached to turn the briefcase around. Inside was an old reel-to-reel tape machine, just one of the thousands of things in the house that Paul had bought at one yard sale or another without any real sense of what to do with them, just a knowledge that they needed to be had and he was the one who needed to have them. Percy pressed a button. The wheels didn’t even budge, just as they hadn’t when Paul had bought the damn thing.

“Paul Harvey Broderick,” Paul said gamely in the direction of the nonfunctioning microphone. He didn’t like to use the word ‘paranoia’, especially not about himself, and he’d absolutely refused to talk to a doctor long enough to let someone else say it, but over the years he’d developed a certain … cautious sensitivity to the idea that unseen-to-him recording devices might be hiding in his light fixtures and electrical sockets, as shadowy figures kept track of his every conversation for unknown purposes. He’d laugh it off as a quirk when it got brought up in regular company, but Percy had never once so much as batted an eyelash as Paul unscrewed lightbulbs and tapped phone handsets in motel rooms before letting them settle in. At least reel-to-reel machines seemed honest. Only cowards and liars and the secret world government planted bugs.

“And your current residence, Mr. Broderick?” Percy tapped the briefcase again, indicating the machine.

“Well, my address is the same as yours,” said Paul, quirking an eyebrow into a high arch, “so I’d hope your record would at least have that correct.”

Percy’s lips drew into a thin, angry line. “Your residence, Mr. Broderick.”

“Why do you want–?” Paul started, making a move to rise from his chair, but he was startled into silence as Percy put one palm smack in the middle of Paul’s chest and pushed him backward. Paul said down again hard, and his momentum sent the wheels in the casters spinning, rolling back the twenty inches or so until the chair hit up against the bookshelf behind him. It was where he kept both his books on Stalin and his antique marble collection, so the impact made quite a sound.

“I don’t think you understand the seriousness of your situation, Mr. Broderick!” barked Percy, pointing one delicate, pale finger in Paul’s direction with so much force that Paul could nearly feel its weight despite the distance between them. Tiny flecks of spittle popped from Percy’s lips as he said Paul’s surname. “America is the finest nation in the world, and we have worked hard to get where we are. Our way of life will not be spat upon by deviants such as you and these so-called ‘friends’ of yours. Greater men than you have bled and died for this country and what she stands for, and if you think I’m going to stand here and let some pissant commie bastard undermine what my red-blooded, God-fearing ancestors have fought and died for, well, you’ve got another think coming!”

For a moment, Paul could hardly even breathe. His heart pounded like jackboots, ringing in his ears to drown out everything in the world but Percy, beautiful Percy. Forty-five years on this planet, three of which with Percy in his life, and he yet he had not known until this very moment what it was to be truly, wholly, all-encompassingly in love. And it wasn’t even his birthday.

“Well, you third-rate two-bit fascist,” Paul said, peering over the tops of his glasses as he wheeled his desk chair close at a deliberate, glacial pace, unable to keep a grin from sending the corners of his mouth skyward, “do your worst.”

To Percy’s great credit, the corner of his mouth only so much as twitched before he remade his features into a fierce scowl. “Watch your tone, Mr. Broderick.”

Paul scoffed with all the derision he could muster. “I’ll take whatever tone I want with little Nazi punks like you.”

“Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”

Paul drummed his fingers on the armrest of his chair, appearing to think. “Well, let me see. I’ve known some communists who could throw one hell of a party, borscht and all, if that’s what you’re–”

“Don’t get cute,” Percy snapped. He leaned in closer to Paul, doing a great job of using the height difference between them for menacing effect. “Give us the names of these communists, and we might find it in our hearts to be lenient.”

“You know, if you think about it, communists really just have about the same sorts of names we all do.”

“Just exactly when and where were you born, Mr. Broderick?”

“I hatched fully grown from my mother’s forehead.” Paul made what he assumed to be the appropriate gesture to accompany that claim; Percy appeared unmoved. “Kind of a reversal on the usual process.”

“And what is your profession or occupation?”

“Currently, I raise chickens, write columns for queer weeklies, and have sex with men. Play a little guitar too, mostly for my friends.”

With a huff, Percy picked up a stack of papers from the briefcase; Paul could see that it was just Paul’s own Wikipedia article, tiny as it was, printed about eight times. “We have here,” he said, fluttering the pages so they gave a harsh snap, “a long list of reports of subversive activity and association with potentially treasonous elements during both your earlier music career and your more recent so-called hobby as an ‘amateur historian’.” Percy spat out the last two words with the kind of venom only available to a man who’d been subjected to impromptu twentieth-century history lectures nearly every day of the past three years of his life.

“You can just say ‘fucking’,” said Paul, trying to affect boredom even as his erection was starting to feel painfully confined in his trousers. “Unless, of course, you got those reports from women, in which case it’s possible, but statistically unlikely.”

Percy grabbed a pen from Paul’s desk and scribbled something angrily at the top of the Wikipedia printout, near the picture Paul hated that had been taken the last time he’d been a guest correspondent for the Seattle Times at Bonnaroo. Paul was a large man in all dimensions, but that picture had managed to make him look sort of grotesquely misplaced next to the rest of Percy’s tiny hipster bandmates, and he wasn’t quite sure yet he was willing to be the jolly Green Party giant of the west coast music scene just yet. “Then you admit your participation in subversive activities in general. Which of these activities in particular have taken place at your residence, Mr. Broderick?”

“Alphabetically?” Paul guffawed his best guffaw. “Let’s see…. alcohol, amphetamines, anal sex, the occasional bits of autoeroticism, ball stretching, a few blindfolds, some biting, bondage–”

“So for the record,” Percy snapped, cutting him off with a well-pointed pen jab to his solar plexus, “you are admitting to engaging in promiscuous, disloyal, deviant, criminal, and homosexual activity?”

“Consecutively and concurrently,” hissed Paul, leaning forward again so that he was now on the edge of his seat, just at the point of rising. This was the very definition of a heated conversation, such that the tension had become palpable; Paul could feel it prickle at his skin. He was gladder by the minute that this hadn’t turned out to be one of his hallucinations at all.

Percy clicked the pen, a great deliberate gesture, and poised to write with it even though he’d clicked it shut. “If you give us the names of those involved in these acts, Mr. Broderick, I promise I will personally speak to the Attorney General and the House Committee Chairman to try and convince them to be more lenient with you after these admissions.”

Paul lifted the features of his face into an expression of pure angelic innocence. “Oh, you want names! Well, why didn’t you ask for some before? I’ve got them right here in my pocket….” Paul stood and reached all the way into the front pocket of his trousers, rummaged around for a moment, and pulled back out nothing but his hand, middle finger upraised, stuck so far forward that it actually touched Percy’s nose.

With a speed rarely displayed in his everyday life, Percy snatched Paul’s forearm with one hand and hopped off the desk, twisting Paul’s arm behind his back. He was eight inches and forty pounds smaller than Paul, give or take, and this impromptu attempt at capture would never have worked had Paul not delivered his other arm behind his back on his own, where Percy grabbed it and held him fast by his wrists. With a shove, Percy bent Paul forward at the waist enough to force him face-down onto his desk, though not hard enough to do that at any speed. “You think you’re so clever, don’t you, Mr. Broderick,” Percy growled at him. He let go of Paul’s wrists, and Paul gamely kept them in place.

“As a matter of fact, I do,” chirped Paul. His erection was pushed up against the edge of the desk and he was having a fine time.

“Well, you’re not,” snapped Percy, and as he did, he did something he’d never done before in their whole relationship: he took his hand and smacked it hard against Paul’s ass, hard enough that the blow stung even through layers of khakis and boxer shorts. Paul was glad right then the desk was holding him up, as he felt his knees go a little weak. “You’re a selfish, self-righteous lunatic who doesn’t have the brains to appreciate the God-given freedoms his country has bestowed upon him!” As he spoke, Percy reached around Paul’s waist from behind and undid his belt and trousers, then punctuated the sentence by jerking pants and boxers and all down around Paul’s ankles. Paul’s cock nudged against the side of the forgotten FDR biography and left a smear of precome there. Maybe that would improve the volume overall.

With a well-placed knee, Percy shoved Paul’s legs wider and spanked his ass again, and this time Paul couldn’t help yelping at the smack of bare skin against bare skin. He’d never been into spanking, all things considered, but he was more than willing to reconsider his position on that right now, circumstances being what they were. Some small fumbling went on behind his back, and then two cold, lube-slicked fingers pressed their way into Paul’s ass.

“We know all about you,” Percy whispered into Paul’s ear, fucking him slowly with his hand. “We know about the pipe bomb the principal found in your locker in tenth grade.” That was true, and Paul knew he’d told Percy that story more than once — though in his defense, he protested every time he told it that he hadn’t meant it to be a pipe bomb. “We have signed confessions from your former lovers detailing reefer use before, during, and after you engaged in drug-fueled sodomy.” That, too, was true — reefer and more, for that matter — though Paul had been clean of everything except caffeine and the occasional cigarette for nearly two decades now. “We know about the police car you and one Mr. Nelson Shawn stole in Denver in 1996.”

And that was true as well, but it gave Paul pause, because he was sure he hadn’t told that story — not for any shame-based reasons, but because until Percy mentioned it, Paul hadn’t thought about their blizzard-inspired bad idea in years. Good grief, had Percy been doing research? “Did you call him and–”

Percy interrupted him by shoving two more fingers in Paul’s ass, and the sensation knocked the breath right from his lungs. “We know things, Mr. Broderick. We know so many things about your perverted, filthy, dirty history.” Percy nipped at the top of Paul’s earlobe. “You went to high school with a man who later became the mayor of Anchorage — better known to the world as the KGB’s Gateway to the United States!” Paul had barely known Jeff, and moreover was pretty sure that no one had ever called Anchorage that. “You went to Russia under the guise of a ‘world tour’, though you really used your band’s so-called ‘shows’ to arrange meetings to hand off secret messages to Soviet agents! Your ‘Why Punk is Junk’ essay on the intellectual bankruptcy of the music industry has classified government decryption codes embedded in the first letter of every other line! Hidden in the second single off the self-titled Short Summers is a subliminal track encouraging children to disobey their parents and commit sodomy!”

Now Percy was just talking nonsense, but it was beautiful nonsense. Percy’s tie fell over Paul’s shoulder, and Paul caught it in his mouth. “It gets worse,” he spat through clenched teeth. “I once jerked off while I watched McCarthy speak on television, and when I came, it was all over his pasty Republican face.”

Percy made such a dramatic gasp Paul was surprised there was still air left in the room. “You monster.” He withdrew his hand from Paul’s ass in one rough rush.

“That’s right,” Paul said, lifting his ass and hoping like hell he knew what was coming next. “I once fucked a guy who had five copies of Mao’s Little Red Book on his nightstand.”

Percy smacked Paul’s ass again. “People like you are the reason for our defeat in Indochina!”

It was a good thing for all parties concerned that Paul was far too turned on at the moment to get pedantic about chronology. “I corrupted the son of a United States senator.”

And that was it — Percy shoved his cock into Paul all in one gesture right then, and Paul clenched his hands tight around his wrists to keep from coming all undone. “You anti-American pervert!” he shouted, grabbing Paul’s hips and thrusting hard. They usually went the other way in bed, but when Percy got it in his head that it was his turn to fuck ass, he fucked ass good and proper.

“Closeted little shit,” Paul gasped, grinning as Percy plowed him hard. “Over-educated silver-spoon trust-fund baby who got an MFA instead of an MBA. Read all the epic poems about knights saving damsels from dragons, but dreamed about being the damsel, not the knight. I could see the second I met him, he was this close to falling on his knees and sucking me off right there at his own album release party.”

Percy groaned and bent forward, pushing up Paul’s shirt until he could feel the scratchy wool fabric of Percy’s terrible suit all over his lower back and the backs of his thighs. “You overestimate your effect on people, Mr. Broderick,” panted Percy, whose cock seemed genuinely enthused regardless of Percy’s disdainful sentiments.

“I fucked him! I fucked a senator’s son! I fucked him in hotel rooms and in dressing rooms and in closets and in stairwells and on blankets in meadows and in public parks and in the backs of vans, I fucked him good and proper.” Paul peered over his shoulder to see Percy and got a faceful of necktie for his trouble, so he bit it again, hoping he’d ruin the silk with his spit.

“Speak clearly,” Percy ordered between breaths, “into the microphone. For the record.”

With a laugh, Paul put his face straight into the briefcase and said into the defunct recording device, “I haven’t told you the worst part, though.”

“The worst part?”

He moved in with me.” Paul let out a triumphant laugh with all the air he had in his lungs, bent over and impaled deep on Percy’s cock as he was. “I took a senator’s son and turned him into a fag, and that’s how we’re going to get you, one liberal commie cocksucker recruit at a time. Pretty soon your whole red-white-and-blue country will be pink — pink like the communists and the homosexuals! Better slick up your ass and learn to give head now, because it’s coming. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it!”

Far from stopping, in fact, Percy not only fucked Paul harder, but reached around and grabbed Paul’s cock in one tight fist, the one that had once held that unlit cigarette, the one that had pushed him back in his chair with all the force of the US government. For all his big talk earlier, Percy said nothing now, but instead he pressed his lips to Paul’s back and gasped against as they fucked with such force it shook the lighter objects on the nearby bookshelves. When Paul came barely a minute later, he got semen all over the contents of his desk, including FDR’s face and his own printed Wikipedia entry. He considered both valid artistic commentary.

Percy came only a few moments later, deep inside Paul, just the way they both liked it — and when he was finished, he stayed inside as his body went slack against Paul’s. No doubt he’d made a mess of that terrible thrift-store suit. “Officers,” panted Percy, his voice weak and small but satisfied, “take this man into custody.” He swatted Paul a few times on the back, just in case the invisible soldiers hadn’t made the connection.

Paul snorted. “You and whose army?”

“The army of the United States!” Percy took another deep, slow breath, then added: “Of America with a C, you pinko scum!”


That was the end of it: Percy’s tough-guy facade shattered as he cracked up. Laughing in great, happy guffaws, he collapsed back into Paul’s chair. Paul turned around to behold quite a sight: Percy with his hair all mussed and sticking out in odd directions where the Brylcreem had been applied, still in his rumpled, come-smeared suit, with his wet pink cock hanging limply out of the fly of his trousers. He was laughing so hard tears fell from the corners of his eyes, so Paul had no choice but to laugh too as he pulled up his own pants and underwear again. He’d leak into them, sure, but it wasn’t like washing wouldn’t do them good anyway. “You’d never make it in the DOJ,” Paul pointed out, giving the chair a nudge with his toe.

Percy used his tie to wipe his eyes, confirming its ruined status. “I really wouldn’t,” he said, giggles still trickling out around the edges of every word. “I’m in your address book, for God’s sake. My background check would take all of two seconds before they pulled out their big NOPE stamp.”

“Even with your dad listed as a reference?”

“That’s why I’d make it to two full seconds.” Percy stood and wrapped his arms around Paul’s neck, then nodded out the door in the direction of their bedroom. “If you’re still interested, though, you filthy commie traitor, I think we could take you in for some further questioning in a private interrogation room.”

Paul wrapped his arms around Percy’s waist and pressed their foreheads together. There were bad people in the world, and Paul knew he’d been one of those from time to time; and there were good people in the world, and Paul liked to think he’d been one of those from time to time. But then there were perfect, miraculous people who gave the good people better than they deserved and the bad people way better than they deserved, who did not love in spite of, but because — and the king of them all was Percy Royse. “You’ll never break me,” Paul promised, and he leaned in to give his very own G-Man a long, homosexual, subversive, wonderful kiss.

Author’s Notes

Share this with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *