Several years ago I wrote a trilogy about Depeche Mode. This part, 'Want', is the second, from 2012. When I finished the first, 'SPAL (Sex. Pain. Angel. Love)', I thought that Alan's character was left uncovered, looking a typical anti-hero. But stereotypes are something I do not like, so I decided to show the situation described in SPAL from Alan's viewpoint: what and who he saw as right or wrong, with the benchmark switched.


6. Chapter 6


  Three words.
  These three words broke him.
  Broke his little world and tore down his fragile feeling of happiness, sureness, and trust. Ripped apart his brain and his insides. Pulled the rug out from under his feet. Simply saying, they killed him. Only three words.
  Martin came into the studio early, before the others, and announced without even saying hello, his eyes down:
“I fucked Dave.”
  If Alan had been smarter, he`d have reacted some other way. If Alan had been more unconcerned, he`d have reacted some other way. But he couldn`t be smarter and more unconcerned, so he slapped Martin on his face wordlessly. Martin bumped against the wall and, as wordlessly, just rushed away through the door like a bullet.
“Cunt,” said Alan to himself.
  He automatically reached for his jacket, pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter with the shaking hands, and went out into the small rain and fog to have a smoke. He stood there for a long time with his cigarette unlit, staring bluntly. He never knew it could hurt like this before. From one point, they`d promised nothing to each other. From that point, they both were grown-up and independent gentlemen with the right to be themselves. But it hurt like hell as if something was tearing up his guts. And…it was Dave. Fuck him sideways!
  Fifteen minutes had passed until Alan was able to try to lit his cigarette, but it was so wet that he didn`t succeed. He scolded and threw it away onto the lawn, and got another one from his pocket. He didn`t care about the raindrops rolling down his hair and face; he was reflecting what was more appealing to him now - to kill Martin, to kill Dave or to die himself.
  The first nervous drag brought him back to reality a little – at least he started seeing what was going on around. Fletch passed him and said something, but Alan could not hear clearly enough yet. The second drag on the cigarette. Fletch came closer:
“Hey, why the heck are you soaking here?» He was definitely surprised. Alan wanted to answer, but his lips were convulsing. So, he just held out his arm with the pack of cigarettes. Fletch took his pleasure from Alan`s offer, lit his cigarette, turned away, then suddenly turned back looking at Alan amuzed:
“What… Are you crying here? What`s happened?”
“No, it`s just rain,” Alan answered when he realized that Fletch was right. “Or,” he sniffed, “smoke…got into my eyes.”
“Where`s Mart?” Fletch asked.
  Alan didn`t find what to answer. He shrugged.
“When I`m with you, baby, I go out of my head! I just can`t get enough! I just can`t get enough!” Dave`s buoyant voice singing Vince`s hit pierced the grey rainy street.
“Cunt,” Alan said again. This word became his own hit for today.
“Hi there, Dave!” Fletch stretched out his hand to greet him.
“Hi there, Andy! Hello there, Al!”
  Alan pretended he didn`t see Dave`s hand, but nodded very politely and tried to stretch his lips in some grimace supposed to look like a friendly smile. 
“I hear your football team lost yesterday,” announced Dave, laughing about his own sparkling sense of humour. 
  The fucking Essex bugger was glowing with happiness! Alan wished he could shove Dave`s happy round mug against the pavement, but he didn`t want to initiate Fletch into the intimate details of his love life. Besides, Alan was as sure that Dave would shout out everything he knew and what Alan didn`t have a clue about as in the fact that his name was Alan Charles Wilder. 
“Nonsense,” he said through the clenched teeth. “We`ll win back next time.”
  Dave laughed again, showing his teeth.
“Dream on, dream on,” he said. “Where`s Mart?”
  Definitely, it was the most popular question at the moment.
“Here I am,” Martin said silently, stepping out of the fog. He greeted no one - just passed through, not even looking at them.
  Alan felt as if something hit his stomach again. Oh, dear God, if only he could just get drunk as soon as possible! How would he work? How would he communicate with Martin at all? How? Hell, hit the road from here, away from this fucking band, before it`s too late. If only he`d known how it would all have turned out! But he`d thought he had time then!
  Dave ran after Martin like a happy puppy, losing all interest in the comrades immediately, but continued singing: “We slip and slide as we fall in love, and It seems I just can`t get enough, ohhh!”
“Lord, what perverted gibberish,” Alan said.
“We are wide awake,” replied Andy.
“Was he writing it sober?”
“We don`t know. But we believe it`s better than ‘Hey, you`re such a pretty boy. P-R-E-double T-Y’.”
“Ha!” Alan laughed. “I`m happy I was out of touch with your creativity before I joined you.”
“Martin presumes you are lying,” Andy answered coldly.
“Hey, lads, let`s get in already,” Dave called them, opening the door.
“Coming,” Andy said. “Let`s cease this constitutional walk for now.” And went straight into the studio.
  Alan didn`t have a choice. He couldn`t stay there forever.
  Martin threw his coat onto the arm-chair in a fit of temper and ran upstairs. Dave broke into a gallop after him with his jacket on. Alan left his in the hall. For several minutes he hesitated, while Andy was unwrapping his scarf off and rolling it neatly to put it onto the shelf. Alan stepped to the arm-chair, took Martin`s coat, and pedantically slowly removed all drops of water from it with his hand, put it on a hanger, and then hung it into the wardrobe.
  Andy was looking at him askance.
“It`s raining. It will never get dry otherwise,” with no reason Alan started to defend his actions. Judging by Andy`s face, he didn`t have to. Alan blushed.


I want you to watch when I go down in flames.
I want a list of atrocities done in your name.
I want to reach my hand into the dark and feel what reaches back.

  Miller was gone to Berlin for a week.
  They were sitting in the studio, four of them.
  Alan put on headphones - it freed him from the necessity of imitating any kind of social interactions. Dave was still shining like a frigging supernova; technically, it was a good thing because his voice had never sounded so tenderly, passionately, and clear. Alan was listening almost spellbound.
  Martin was melancholically boozing it up in the corner. Silently, calmly, and methodically. With his stare fixed on the ceiling and his painfully erotic profile turned to Alan. The picture was driving Alan insane. He failed to find any sign of shame or repentance in those angelic features. Obviously, Martin wasn`t happy, but there was no sign of guilt on his face either. Even the resentment he must have felt towards Alan showed there like some sort of arrogant contempt.
  Alan was cross as a bear. His anger was scorching him from the inside. He was mad at Martin`s  I-don`t-give-a-fuck mask. It was written on his face that he wouldn`t beg for forgiveness. Alan was mad at himself for slapping Martin on the face, because thus he had exposed himself. Now Martin could be drowned in his resentment easily, and elegantly wave his tail and dump Alan for Dave. And let that underage retard rejoice. Splendid! Magnificent! He had been forced to make a perfect choice: to lose or…to lose! Thank you, Martin. Thank you very much indeed. Was that all the fucking trust, their efforts, and their relationship was worth?
  Alan felt he`d been dragged through the mud. Cunt. Whoever in this fucking world - but NOT Dave! He hated Martin at the moment. He didn`t want to lose.
  Martin yawned and went downstairs minding his own business. Andy asked him to bring a folder from Miller`s office on his way back. Everybody knew: when Andy was seated, only a crane could move him.
“With great relish,” Martin said.
  Alan made up his mind. He put his headphones off and followed Martin. He shouldn`t have done that, but it was a question of life and death. Later he cursed himself for that. But now he whispered in Andy`s ear, asking him to hinder Dave by hook or by crook because he deadly needed to talk to Martin confidentially. Even if Andy was surprised, he didn`t show it and said:
“No shit. In fact…are you…alright? ”
“Yes. I am not. Andy, please, it is very important to me. I need to talk to him, but I don`t know how to do it. I should try.”
“Any punch-up?” Andy frowned.
“Nothing that will make you worry, cross my heart.”
“Okay,” Andy said gloomily, “if I hear something, I will kill you both.”
“Can I kiss your cheek?”
“Fuck off…”
  Nevertheless, Alan shoved his nose into Andy`s cheek just because he couldn`t refuse the temptation to make him mad a little. He waited until Martin came inside Daniel`s office and shut the door, then slid down the banister and opened the door sharply, staying in the doorway not to let Martin out.
  Martin was confusedly staring at the shelves with folders, desperately trying to find the needed one.
“Hit me,” Alan said.
  Martin didn`t look at him and with an eloquent gesture encouraged Alan to fuck off.
“I am serious,” Alan insisted. “Mart, in this particular situation, you know, I am physiologically unable to beg your pardon. I find it very unnatural. My organs of articulation are paralyzed by the mere thought of…you know what I mean.”
  Surprisingly, Martin nodded. He was still showing his profile, but he heard Alan.
“So I can tell you nothing,” Alan finished.
  A normal person would ask, ‘’Then why the hell have you come here?’’ But Martin could hardly be regarded as normal. Finally, he turned to Alan and stared at him:
“I suppose…” he said suddenly, non-aggressively and non-impudently at all, but it felt he was strangely assured, “I…don`t have any right to ask for forgiveness.”
  Now, that was interesting!
“I could tell you I didn`t want it or I was drunk or I don`t have a clue how the hell it all happened, but that would be lie,” Martin continued in a pathologically calm tone. “I suppose you know that I was aware of what I was doing. It doesn`t mean I am proud of what I did - please don`t think I am.”
  For God`s sake, Martin`s pathological truth-telling seizures were even worse than lies-telling ones. It was the first time in his life Alan would prefer to know nothing. Well, he definitely would prefer some sloppy lachrymose repentance and a couple of false promises. When Alan managed to unclench his teeth, he asked:
“So, what am I supposed to do from now on?”
  Martin shrugged.
  Alan hated to behave like a female lover, but he didn`t know what else he could do.
“He doesn`t love you.”
“I know,” Martin seemed to be unimpressed by Alan`s speculation.
“And not because he doesn’t love you - hell, he doesn`t love anyone but himself. Probably I don`t know you well  after we`ve been sleeping together for half a year, but you are everything except a fucking altruist! Though, Satan himself broke his teeth over you…“
“You see, Al, it is not always our right to decide.”
“Nonsense! I can choose my own destiny as long as I am of sound mind and memory; leastways, I can consciously decide whom to shag and why!”
“True for you,” Martin said. “But it`s not exactly like that. It`s not everything you can choose…and decide…not everything. It just happens…because it had to happen. I know what I did, but it wasn`t a thing I was allowed to choose.”
“Martin, it was the most awkward evasion I`ve ever heard.  Couldn`t you take a trouble to make up a suitable excuse?” 
“What for?” Martin asked.
“For the sake of our relationship. Of respect for it. If they are worth it. If they were worth it.”
  Martin`s eyes were glistening with tears; he bowed his head. Tell something, you, fucking cunt! Alan felt he could hardly control himself as well. He didn`t know what he wanted to do most: to cry like a baby or to hit Martin in the face again - both sounded rather shitty.
“Come on,” he hissed through the clenched teeth, “I am sorry. I was wrong. I beg your pardon for slapping your face; it was against the rules. So, come on, just do the same to me - and let us part friends. Show your respect for me at least!”
“Alright”, Martin nodded.
  Alan closed his eyes automatically, just in case. So he missed the moment Martin stood on tiptoes, cupped Alan`s face in his hands, and kissed his lips tenderly. Alan had never been shocked by a kiss so much in his entire life. The slightest touch pierced him like the electricity through a bare wire; it silenced him, blinded him, making him feel nothing but acute pain from his lips to the tips of his toes. He almost yelled with the pain from that touch, but a second later it was replaced with delightful languor, and he couldn`t open his mouth. He was unable to withdraw his lips from Martin`s and missed the moment when he started answering the kiss. It was wrong and pedagogically incorrect. It was the fucking taste of their kiss that got him hooked like a drug. The very thought of it made Alan hard. It was all the fucking scent of the skin, subtle but reminding of what made him come almost every night.
  Alan grasped the back of Martin`s head, gliding his fingers through his curly hair. He knew that it gave a kick to Martin, and he wanted Martin to get high every time he was near him. Alan wanted Martin to depend on him. To depend on his attention, on his mood, on his caresses. The very thought of it turned him on. The fact that Martin was dependent of the sexual relationship with him was a turn-on. It was a rope he could pull if he needed to.
An invisible rope, longer than the room, it got him hard faster than the tenderest love expression. It was his power and his control.
  So, well, maybe...what if…screw Dave. What the heck could he do to take Martin away from Alan - what he hadn`t done yet? Would it dawn on him that Martin could be handled using sex? It would never cross Dave`s mind. What`s the use of denying himself good regular sex for the moral code? As an old saying advised, he would throw Martin out of his bed only to fuck him on the floor.
  Martin pulled Alan at heartstrings by slowly getting down on his knees before him. He said nothing - just got down on his knees and hugged his waist. It was so moving that Alan forgave him. Well, actually, Alan would stay like this all day if he wasn`t aware that in this position something was sticking into the jaw of kneeled Martin. But he was becoming more and more aware of it.


  Sitting in Miller`s new office, in Mute, twenty years after that remarkable event, Alan was recalling that Judas` kiss. He took off his jacked and threw it on that good old leather couch where Fletch caught them that day - half-naked in the act of insane kissing. They were licking each other ecstatically, with Fletch`s folder somewhere under Martin`s butt. Actually, they had no intention of having sex in Miller`s office, but they just couldn`t stop.
  Alan hadn`t known before that Andy could swear so arty-crafty. The main idea of his monologue was, “I will fucking never…ever…fucking cover you no more, Alan. You came to talk to Martin, cause you needed to, you fucking son of a bitch! Aw, you my talkative…my communi-fucking-cable lads!” Well, Andy put it in unspeakably more beautiful way. Alan couldn`t translate everything that he was saying about him and Martin. Martin was giggling as mad - he definitely found it really funny. Alan would be offended if he wasn`t charmed by Andy`s lexicon so much.
  Alan looked at the security cam in Miller`s office and laughed out. He`d never been so happy the technology was lame in the eighties. He tried to imagine Miller`s rapture if he`d known the history of his old leather couch. It made him laugh even harder.
  Miller didn`t understand his funny mood indeed.
“Listen, Daniel,” suddenly said Alan, “I recall Martin telling me once - I don`t quite get it, but still - that we don`t always have a choice. I didn`t believe him then; I had my personal reasons not to. But now I am coming to think that he was probably right.”
“What do you mean?” Dan asked carefully, looking at Alan through his glasses.
  Alan drank his whiskey to the bottom in one gulp, giggled, and looked at his producer:
“Do you know the truth, Dan?”
“Do I?”
“The truth is: I will do anything he asks me to.”
  Miller`s face turned to stone - it was his authentic working look. It was the moment from where Alan`s moral hesitaion cared him no more.
“So, it means the deal, Alan?”
“So, it means the deal, Dan.”


  Creativity and sex.
  Everything was built on those two things. That was what kept them together. Alan just couldn`t comprehend where the first thing ended and the other started. Everything that Martin did gripped him from inside, even though Alan never told him. Martin`s each word could cut him to the quick. Each note. Alan knew that Dave was sure it was all about him. Alan just knew that it was not that simple. He found Martin`s candour excessive, but it turned him on. He had sex with it. All the free time Alan had he painted an image of the ideal love - of their ideal love. It started simply as a research of some new images and sounds, from their striving for the unique style and sound of the band. And if Alan, fuck him sideways, ever knew when it all became the mesmerizing research of Martin`s sexuality and the dreamily realization of his own erotic fantasies about their love.
  Alan knew that the picture of love painted by him was spellbinding for Martin. Better than the others, he knew that Martin was not interested in anything but music and erotomania, which in its acute exacerbation led to the most desperate and unsatisfied thirst for love. Albeit, the total atrophy of understanding the social code and stereotypes had complicated his task to start a new relationship. It was a good thing because otherwise Martin wouldn`t show up at the studio at all. Alan suspected that if they hadn`t been so interested in each other from the creativity point, they would hardly bear each other for more than half a year. However, he felt in love with the love he`d painted. And he made Martin fall in love with it, too. It was the most he could do for them.
  But first he crossed Martin up a little, actually.
  It was his little revenge on Martin for cheating him with Dave. He had his right to it as both of them agreed on the rules of the game. After their licking foreplay, Martin was in a state to agree on anything he would be proposed, and Alan perfectly knew that. He proposed him to “play”. As a rule, it meant something better than just sex.
  Martin`s stare told Alan that he was ready to give him everything in the most obscene way in the nearest backstreet. Martin`s eyes were flashing killing light at Alan. Like emeralds rounded with diamonds in the sunlight.  His body and face were showing only one thought, “I want you now”. Well, this thought could be read on his face almost each time Alan looked at him, but now it was particularly obscene.
  In his turn, Alan did all he could and even more. He did it wholeheartedly. He had never wanted to prove his power over this body so much. He made Martin struggle under him, almost made him strain his voice under him. He felt the scent of the rapture, leaning down to place love bites, and left more marks on his body. This scent was the scent of the skin and adrenaline. It was a non-comradely way of thinking, but he could never ever dream of a better whore than he had at the moment.
  He made Martin go down on his knees and fucked his mouth in the roughest way he ever did. He handcuffed him, leaving the lad`s hands behind his back, making him even more defenseless. Martin was kneeling, naked, and Alan was fucking his mouth, clenching his fingers in Martin`s hair. He liked that despite Martin had choked on his cock probably five times in a row, he never tried to defend his life from the obvious danger; Martin played his role perfectly. It was arousing as fucking hell, almost as much as the thought of Dave seeing the result of his imaginary victory.
  For about fifteen minutes Alan observed, mesmerized, his dick hiding inside of his lover`s mouth. He pulled it out only to slap Martin`s swelled lower lip slowly and lasciviously - the lad`s mouth was opened obligingly to please his Master`s needs. He pulled it out only to see Martin`s tongue licking his dickhead, moving around and then straight to the middle dip, then gliding his cheek over his cock. To move his weapon inside again until hearing a subtle moan and the attempts to break free from his firm grip. Still, Alan was sure Martin liked what he did to him. Otherwise he himself wouldn`t do it THAT good. Alan never knew how good Martin was with women in bed, but he could bet the health of all his relatives that the motherfucker operated cocks too good!
  He turned Martin face-up in his bed, unceremoniously shoving his middle and ring fingers into his mouth, making Martin treat them as his dick, softly but rhythmically shoving them in and out. Then Alan licked his chest and neck; he knew it turned Martin on. He replaced his tongue with his fingers and pinched Martin`s nipple relentlessly, making him clench his teeth on Alan`s hand. For that Martin was punished with a fearless slap on his face. It was allowed at that state of his excitement.
“You are my slut,” Alan could not suppress such a happy announcement, touching Martin`s lips with his own, marking his right of the ownership.
  He went down, torturing Martin`s nipples longingly. His lips followed his tongue, then his fingers, and then the lips again. The only thing Alan didn`t touch was Martin`s cock. Not for the reason he wasn`t eager to feel that velvet hardness inside his mouth, but because he enjoyed the feeling of the desperate need of Martin`s body - the body that had already comprehended it would not unload in the traditional way. Alan was ready to do everything to hold Martin in that state as long as possible. He wanted him more and more every minute; he was unable to hide or control it. Alan was happy he had handcuffed him; otherwise, the fun would be already over: Martin just wouldn`t have had so much willpower.
  Alan was overexcited too, but the desire to wear Martin down held him within limits. He desperately needed to make marks on him, to make Martin grovel to him; he wanted him to beg, to kiss his boots pleading to fuck him hard. For that, Alan was ready to experience a couple of tortures of the Holy Inquisition, not to mention seeing Martin`s hard cock weeping with desire. He sucked hard on Martin`s nipple like a vampire, barely covering his teeth from touching the aroused flesh.
  He realized that his actions weren`t pleasurable; well, they were outside the range of pleasure. Another pair of shoes was that Martin was probably unable to distinguish between pain and pleasure under the endorphins he had by that time. He was shouting nonsense, asking Alan to stop or do something – he didn`t know already.
  Needs to be said, it was harder and harder for Alan to control the situation as his own flesh reminded insistently that he could end up before having started. Alan lifted Martin`s spread legs in the air and, using Martin`s excitement, entered him to the balls in one fluid movement, his moan covering Martin`s. Yeah, it was hard for Martin to accept him completely, but he couldn`t push Alan away because he was handcuffed behind his back. Large drops of cold sweat and Martin`s squeezed eyes were all Alan could see, but, hell, it was so arousing that he decided not to stop. He felt the body underneath relaxing with each move, but the fucking distress and Martin`s grimace of pain were too turning-on to get away satisfied with some inner massage this time.
  He didn`t know how he got that exciting idea. It must`ve been a short circuit in his brain. He just wanted to feel it. Alan grabbed Martin`s neck, without stopping his insistent movements in and out, and pressed his thumb and the pointing finger on the lad`s carotid artery, reducing the oxygen inflow to his brain. Hell, it was pleasurable from, oh, so many points. He felt Martin`s fear and inability to control him; Martin`s body contracted on him spasmodically again. Alan took away his hand; Martin said nothing - if only he was still conscious. Alan checked it up by slapping Martin`s face. Martin told him to fuck off; that was the best way to confirm he was alright. Alan leaned yet closer, kissing him gratefully on his mouth but fucking faster and harder.
  He wanted to control the things that couldn`t be controlled. He continued kissing Martin, holding his knee on his shoulder with one hand and pressing on his neck with the other - much softer than the first time but nevertheless making the images shift quickly before Martin`s eyes. He didn`t know if Martin could hear his desperate groan -
“You are mine, you belong to me” - because Martin`s eyes were unfocused.
  He knew he should stop because he couldn`t control himself any more.
“Come on,” Martin moaned from the fucking knot of their naked bodies, “finish what you`ve started! Will you make me come today?”
“I will!” Alan roared, rolling off Martin and turning him face-down to make it easier.
  He unclasped the handcuffs, which was accompanied by Martin`s moans as his hands were obviously numb. Then he took Martin`s wrists up to fasten them to the headboard. He was as crazy as a sack full of ferrets, but he noticed the bruises the handcuffs left on Martin`s tender skin.
“I will when I decide it’s time!”
  Without further ado, it should be mentioned, Alan did make Martin come. By the very enthusiastic punching of his overexcited cock into his butt, shoving his fingers into his mouth again, and making him come without any help of his hands - just because he was fucking his ass. Well, it doesn`t matter that the skin on Alan`s fingers was grazed in the end; actually, it was even honest.
  Is it needed to be said that when he discovered that Martin and Dave had a fight the next day, he was in pure ecstasy? Dave could be a retard most of the time, but he was not a fool at the point of love bites and bruises on Martin`s wrists.
  Andy parted them to their corners like two cats, and he understood everything as well. Maybe even more than he should have. It was the first time in his life Alan saw that much hate addressed to him in somebody`s eyes.
  No problem, we will survive.
  When Dave realized that his favourite toy had been taken away, he became a drama queen. He turned the studio upside down swearing like a devil, went to the corridor and phoned Miller to explain deliberately loudly that he had to leave the Depeche Mode now! The target of that impact was a curly blond in the corner, who was like a stone and could hardly understand what had happened, but shuddered every time he caught the meaning of Dave`s words. Alan suddenly realized in terror that Dave had a string to pull Martin when necessary, and one could hardly predict who would win in the end.
“Depeche Mode will never exist without Dave,” Martin announced in his most pathologically calm voice the same evening.
  They were on their way to Alan`s place, and Alan advised him, in a fit of anger, to send Dave to hell or further and put an end to his bloody hysterics that started to enter their lives more and more deeply. 
“Depeche Mode will never exist without you,” he answered to Martin.
“I don`t feel I have the right to decide that kind of things,” Martin said, “and I…I hope…despite everything, we will find a way to move on…”
“Yeah, that is exactly what I fear most,” Alan said. “That we will find the way.”
  He emphasized the word “we”, meaning he had no doubt Martin would find a way to convince Dave. He even knew which way he would choose. That damn Depeche Mode with its weirdness infected everyone who ever touched it. Even Alan, who had never doubted his own rationality, became suspicious that some unknown force was pushing him to do things he never thought were right. Alan got entangled in his own actions like in the Hampton Court maze and totally lost his way out.
“It goes to show,“ Alan said laughing, “every time Dave decides to get something from Martin, all he needs to do is intimidate him by the threat of his leaving the band. And Martin will give him everything.”
  Alan intended to sting Martin by his straightforwardness. But, as always, it worked out wrong.
“You comprehend me overmuch,” Martin said in his metallic tone. “I don`t like the look of it.”
  That was sort of a too ambiguous compliment - even to Alan`s taste.

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