Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me except the mistakes as this is un-beta'd.

Author's note: This is probably nowhere near as sexy and a hell of a lot more angsty than the title suggests… sorry! Happy reading.

Handcuffs

Hopper had found out about her handcuffs thing about a month into their relationship when she had asked him, with a blush rising so high on her cheeks it disappeared into her hairline, if he had ever used his handcuffs whilst in bed with a woman. He hadn't. He may have had quite a lot of sex, too much sex after his divorce and his move back to Hawkins some may argue, but in experimental sex he was rather a novice. Diane had never really been into to anything like that and after her he had barely stayed with a woman long enough to learn her name let alone any specific preferences she may have.

That had been until Joyce of course. He'd always thought she may be reserved in bed, shy, bashful even. She didn't always exude confidence is everyday life – but then after all she had been through he could hardly blame her. It didn't make him any less sexually attracted to her but he had just assumed that she would follow his lead at least until she (re)found her confidence. Christ how he had been wrong.

She had been nothing short of a revelation – assertive, bold, daring. She had done things to him he had never even dreamt about and that drove him absolutely wild. Most of the time he felt he was struggling to keep up with her, though he was trying his damn hardest. In all honesty he was slightly concerned that he was a disappointment to her in bed. But then he hadn't heard any complaints in that regard. In fact rather the opposite – on top of everything else Joyce was also quite vocal in the bedroom and never shied away from words of encouragement or enjoyment.

So when she had so sweetly asked him about the handcuffs he had utterly no desire to turn her down. Especially after she confessed she had never used them either but had always wanted too.

That night had been pretty damn special. She had handcuffed him to her metal bedframe with his own handcuffs and teased him to the point an agonising, wonderful, torture. They both had got an undeniable kick from her being so autonomous and masterful above him. Her small body holding so much power over his much larger one was both ridiculous and wickedly delicious.

That had been months ago but for some reason he hadn't been able to get it out of his head all day. The afternoon had been painfully slow as he waited until he could be alone with her. He'd even wished away dinner with her and the kids so they could get this point, though he was pretty sure that made him a terrible person.

But finally they had got here – to him wriggling the handcuffs in her direction and watching her eyebrow kink in a suggestive manner. He'd kissed and caressed her until she was down to her underwear and then lead her back to the bed, towering over her as he reached up to handcuff her to the bedframe this time. Her eyes widen in surprise. He wanted to know if it could be as fun and rewarding this way round. He asked if it was okay – she was up for most things but he always asked, he always made sure. She stretched her arms up higher to make it easier for him to cuff her as way of response.

"Tighter…" She whispered breathlessly as the metal enclosed around her wrist. "Hop, tighter…" She told him again when he hadn't responded straight away. He chuckled to himself as he obliged.

He tried his hardest to tease and frustrate her to the point of ecstasy just as she had him and as always she wasted no time in vocally expressing how much she was enjoying his efforts. She moaned his name over and over as he took his time kissing ever part of her body and working her wet centre fluently with his fingers. His beard scratched along her skin in the same perfect, unifying friction his hand created below. Her legs writhed in pleasure and her arms pulled constantly against her restraints as she tried time and time again to reach out and touch him. It was all a part of their delightful game.

"Hopppp…" She moaned again as his mouth moved lower to join his hands. "Pants…" She instructed almost panting and he understood what she meant at once as he paused his efforts to slip the pants that were currently over her knees off of her completely. As soon as she was free of them she hooked a leg over his shoulder to give him better access.

He wasted no time making the most of the enhanced opening – working her until she was writhing almost uncontrollably under his mouth. He felt her thigh shaking, quivering next to his cheek and knew she wouldn't last much longer.

"Hmmm… mmm… good… so good…" She encouraged him breathlessly, still trying to reach down and thread her fingers through his hair. The metal of the handcuffs bit cruelly into her skin and she let out a little cry of frustration. He shifted the angle of her hips slightly, knowing the small change of position would drive her over the edge and sure enough soon she began to feel the familiar white light build behind her eyes. Her veins alive with the buzz of it. "Ahhh…" She called out almost painfully and he prayed everyone else in the house was well and truly asleep because there is no way he could have denied her by stopping and telling her to quieten down. "Don't stop, don't… please…d…" She urged him, almost as if she could read his mind. He moved her hips once more and the handcuffs pulled on her wrist more than ever. She twisted her hand trying hopelessly to release herself from her constraints and – "AHH!"

Hopper froze at once. There was no denying what that cry was – it wasn't almost painful in the level of desire she was feeling, in her desperate need for release – it was just painful. A cry of pain. He looked up and saw that her face was also contorted in agony. His hazy, lust-filled brain couldn't work out what was happening or how she was hurt.

"What is it? What's the matter?" He asked her frantically.

"Wrist…" She panted, such a different sound to the ones she had been making only moments before. "Handcuffs…" She hissed through the pain and then paused. "Get them off, now!" She finally managed.

Hopper jumped from the bed and scrambled his way to the bedside table, knocking the key off of the side as he did so and cursing loudly. He grabbed the key from the floor and fumbled trying to unlock them as quickly as possible. As soon as he had Joyce brought her wrist down and cradled it to her body, supporting it with the other hand. She hissed every time she moved it and there were tears of pain in her eyes. He struggled to get a good look at it through the fingers of her other hand but he could see it was bright red and already beginning to swell. He felt sick to his stomach that he had caused her such injury.

"Jesus Joyce I'm sorry." He told her sincerely as he stood from the bed and ran an agitated hand through his hair. He turned his back on her as he continued: "I didn't realise… I didn't know it was…" There was a rising panic in his voice that he couldn't control.

"Hop it's okay, really, it's fine." Joyce tried to reassure him. She knew he was blaming himself for the injury and freaking out about hurting her. She wanted to be able to stand and put her arms around him and make him realise he was entirely blameless but she thought she may throw up if she moved. Stupid wrist – she should have warned him before they started, probably shouldn't have done it at all but she couldn't quite resist. "It's just a sprain… Hop, are you listening to me?"

He finally turned back round to face her, eyeing her suspiciously as he did so as if she may burst into flames in front of his very eyes. She held his gaze, imploring him to believe her and to calm down.

"How can you be sure? I should take you to the hospital, it could be broken."

"It isn't. It's just a sprain, trust me, it happens sometimes." He gave her strange look as if he didn't believe her. "This wrist has always been weak since I broke it a few years back. It's my fault I should have said about it so please stop blaming yourself and go and get me some ice."

He continued to look hesitant but finally did as she asked. He returned with ice from the kitchen wrapped in a dishcloth. He placed it around her wrist as gently as possible, though it still produce a slight whimpering of pain from her. As soon as the cloth was being held by her own fingers he stepped away from her as if him just being near her would somehow injury her more.

She gave him a look that was entirely too easy to translate – roughly he figured it meant 'stop being such an idiot and come and sit down on the bed'. He did. And immediately she turned into him, nuzzling his neck slightly with her nose before resting her head on his shoulder and supporting her damaged wrist against his body instead of her own. It was such a clear show of trust that it couldn't help but relax him a bit. He wrapped his arms around her, mindful of her injury, but also aware that it was a cold night and she was wearing nothing but a bra and holding ice against her skin. She shivered slightly against his touch as he pulled a near-by blanket over them both.

"Way to ruin the mood, huh." She joked quietly against his collarbone. He laughed and then stopped suddenly as the movement of his chest made her flinch in pain again.

"Sorry… how'd you break your wrist a few years back anyway?"

"I just fell… landed on it funny." She explained but there was something in her tone that was off. She was being evasive in some way and he couldn't figure out why until the horrible moment of realisation came and left him feeling queasy once more.

"You mean you fell after Lonnie pushed you." He grounded out evenly, trying to keep his anger under control.

Her lack of response, her absence of denial, was all the answer he needed. It was a subject they never talked about – the domestic abuse she had suffered at the hands of her ex-husband – it was an unspoken taboo. Hopper was pretty sure if they did talk about it she would call his use of the word abuse an exaggeration. But he knew for sure it wasn't. Ever since he arrived back in Hawkins he'd heard rumours about the state of the Byers marriage and whilst he had never been called to the house on a disturbance complaint, everyone in town seemed to think Lonnie was liberal with his fists when it came to his wife.

And more recently he had been witness to a much more physical kind of evidence that supported his assumptions. Joyce's body was covered in little scars and markings that just didn't quite make sense. There was nothing huge, nothing that would suggest what the injury had been just by looking at it but enough to make him utterly convinced she wasn't just clumsy or unlucky or any of the other bullshit excuses she used if he ever pressed her about them. The most disturbing to him was the marking at the back of her neck, right where it meets the shoulder – the permanent intent in her skin looked suspiciously like teeth marks and was too harsh to have been administered in passion. It was the mark of a violent attack. It would catch Hopper off guard whenever he caught a glimpse of it. It was as if he rediscovered exactly what he thought she must have been through every time he saw it and it made his head swim with anger. It was probably good they never talked about it because if they did he would surely do something entirely idiotic like drive to Indianapolis, beat in Lonnie's front door and make good use of his shotgun. But oh how the bastard would have deserved it.

"It's okay…" She mumbled after many moments of silence. She sounded embarrassed.

Hopper felt his jaw tick in quiet rage. It was a good job he couldn't move out of fear of hurting her anymore because otherwise he would surely be pacing the room in agitation by now.

"No it's not." He answered as calmly as he possibly could. "Nothing about how that asshole treated you was okay."

"I know." He prayed she meant that – that she truly understood she never deserved to be treated that way. "I just meant he's gone now and you and Jane are here and we're okay now."

He smiled at the sentiment of her words and leaned down to place a solid kiss at her hairline. She readjusted slightly against him, her face pressing into his exposed upper chest until he could feel the heat radiating from her cheeks. He knew it was painful for her to talk about, that she was embarrassed and ashamed, completely unnecessarily of course. But there was something he needed to try and make clear before he dropped it:

"You know I'd never…" He started tentatively and stopped when he felt her tense suddenly against him. "What I mean is I know I have a temper. I get angry sometimes and I can't always control that but I'd never do that. You know that right? That I'd never lay a finger on you in that way." She didn't respond, she remained stiff and unyielding in his arms. "I need you to tell me if I ever make you feel that way, if I ever scare you like that. Please promise me that you'll tell me."

He was aware that his voice was desperate and pleading. He couldn't bear the fact he may make her feel as Lonnie had – scared in her own home. And it was true what he said; he had a temper and he said horrible things he didn't mean when he was riled up and he raised his voice to the point of shouting. Hurting Joyce went against just about every single instinct he had ever had. He knew that but he wasn't naïve enough to believe Joyce would know that just because he felt it, especially after what she had experienced.

"Okay." She whispered finally. It was all he needed to release the big breath he hadn't realised he had been holding. Silence surrounded them once more and just when he thought they were done with the conversation she spoke again, still very much too quiet: "But just for the record you have never made me feel that way. You make me feel… well the opposite I suppose. You make me feel safe."

She looked up to meet his eye and he saw the apprehension still painted clearly across her face. He leaned forward and brushed the hair out of her eyes lovingly before giving her a feather light kiss on the lips.

"Good," he replied sounding rather wobbly. Her admission had made him much more emotional than he had expected. "Because you are safe with me, always."

She nodded her agreement still looking him in the eye and he took that as a victory. He gingerly took the ice away from her wrist to inspect it. It was still red and swollen but it hadn't gotten any bigger which he hoped meant they had got the ice to it in time. Joyce wriggled her fingers with some difficulty and an expression on her face that suggested it was far from pain free, but still the movement confirmed she'd been right and the wrist wasn't broken. Hopper brought his lips down to place a gentle, chaste kiss to her wrist and as he brought his head back up he saw her looking at him with unbridled affection.

"I'll go get you a bandage and some painkillers." He told her as he stood from the bed to leave. She stopped him walking any further by grabbing his arm with her good hand.

"Thank you." She said as he turned back to look at her.

He knew she didn't mean for the bandage and the painkillers, or at least not just for them. As he lent down to kiss her on the forehead once more he made a vow to himself that he would spend the rest of his life trying to make her feel safe, if she let him. And she was right, as she always seemed to be, somehow it didn't matter about all the shit they had had to get through to be here now, because they were here now – together and okay.