Beta by the talented hisniblets
Rating: NC-17 for the series.
Summary: Craig is bitter and broken, can the Sean soften both their edges enough for a good fit?
Feedback: Feedback is love
Disclaimer: Not at all true in reality. These men whilst adorable and perfectly happy to slash themselves, their actual relationship is something that they only know. This story is loosely adapted from a series of books that I adored when I was younger written by Elizabeth Lowell.
Word Count: 1152
Previous Stories: Can be found at Western Lovers: Cowboys and Archeaologistsand Western Lovers: Cowboys and Biologists
Laying back against the crumpled bed sheets, curling in on himself, Craig wrapped his arms around his legs, his fingers twisted with pain as he grabbed at his soft sweatpants and moaned. His misshapen fingers, aching and stiff refused to close on the aged fabric and turned instead to beat against his useless pain filled limb. Perspiration beaded on his forehead, his teeth grinding together as pain surged through him with every single breath. Tears gathered in his eyes as he realized he couldn’t even feel his hands pounding on the twisted, wasting muscle in his thigh.
Bellowing in his suffering, desperate to escape the constant stabbing pain, he uncurled his body and sat on the edge of the wrinkled bed before rolling to his feet and struggling to stay upright.
“Please just stop,” He muttered brokenly. Trying to take a step forward, his damaged leg crumpled under him and he toppled heavily to the cold, wooden floor, grunting in pain as his shoulder bore the brunt of his weight.
Twisting his body until his chest was pressed against the chilled wood, he flattened his palms against the floor, willing his fingers to flatten against the floorboards. Cold perspiration beaded on his face as he pulled himself to one knee, his entire body trembling with the effort to hold himself upright. Fingers clawing at the front of the dresser he pulled himself upright, his chest heaving with exertion. Resting his weight on his elbows, he fought against the pain that rolled through his body like a tidal wave, threatening to overwhelm him.
As the wave of nausea passed, he swallowed convulsively before he reached across the dresser, his trembling fingers scrabbling in a small cigar box. Withdrawing a thick cigarette he grabbed for the lighter that lay on the rosewood dresser. Gripping it tightly, he drew his thumb clumsily across it cursing softly as he fought to create a flame. Pushing the cigarette between his lips, he leaned forward and shakily lit it.
“What were you told about that?”
“Fuck off.” Craig hid his surprise at his brother’s appearance as he took a deep pull of the cigarette between his lips and let his head hang onto arms that he folded against the edge of the dresser.
“That shite will only mess with ye’re medication.” Billy replied.
“A least I can think when I smoke.” Craig growled, “But I forget, Mr God Damned Fucking Perfect, I’m not the saint you are.”
“Craig?” Billy murmured stepping closer.
“I’ll deal whatever way I can.” He spun to look at Billy, stumbling as he fought to stay upright. “It’s all your fucking fault, just fuck off and leave me alone.”
“Craig…” Billy started again.
“Just go, please.” Craig’s anger faltered at the sorrow in his brother’s voice.
Billy ran shaking fingers through his hair as he watched his brother struggle with his pain. “Will you talk to Dom? He asked quietly.
“What for?” Craig groaned as he flopped on the bed, straightening his leg, the heel of his hand pressed down on his tortured muscles.
“You can’t sit here all alone in the dark all day, Criag.” Billy stepped closer, sinking onto the edge of the bed beside him.
“Hasn’t hurt so far.” Craig took another long pull of the cigarette and offered it to his brother.
Billy shook his head. “Dom gives amazing massages, he might be able to help a little with the pain.”
Craig snorted derisively, “think he’ll take care of all my aches for me?”
“Don’t be an asshole, Craig.” Billy almost smiled at Craig’s humourous response.
“I’m serious.” Craig looked up at him, his eyes cold and flinty. “I’ve got needs bro, just like everyone else, who knows it might take away the pain for a while.”
Ignoring the obvious jibes designed to incite his anger, Billy took a deep breath. “What can I do to help you?” Billy asked, his hand lingering over Craig’s forearm, unable to ignore the need to share his affection with him.
“What you should have done.” Craig spat and turned away from Billy and the gentle touch he craved.
“I couldn’t…I wouldn’t let you die, Craig and I don’t regret pulling you out of that pit for a second. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain, but I won’t feel guilty because I kept you alive.”
“David took my gun away.” Craig answered absently, pressing the cigarette to his lips again.
“You wouldn’t?” Billy’s eyes widened.
“Damn straight, I had the gun loaded and he took it away.”
“Fuck!!” Billy cursed wildly as he stood, pacing frantically back and forth. He looked at his brother and cursed again. “Why didn’t he tell me?”
“Because of you.” Craig shrugged. “He knew you’d do exactly what you’re doing now.”
Turning to look at his brother, Billy took in his haggard features, ashen skin and red rimmed eyes. Sucking in deep calming breaths he struggled to calm his nervous anxiety before he spoke.
“What is it that I’m doing?” he asked quietly.
“Fucking freaking out.” Craig shrugged. “Knew you would, so did he. It just about kills you to think that someone, least of all one of us wouldn’t want to keep up this miserable existence. But what makes it worse is you have no control over what we do. I should have just pulled the trigger when I had the chance.”
Billy inhaled sharply; Craig’s threat had cut through Billy’s emotions like a hot knife through butter. His hands trembling, he jammed them into his jeans pockets. He quickly broke eye contact with his brother and studiously watched the ground until he could control the sharp sting of tears that had threatened to overflow as he realized exactly how deep Craig’s pain ran.
Looking up again, he studiously watched a spot on the wall just over Craig’s left shoulder.
“You know what? I’m not doing this with you now. You sit here and smoke that crap and do whatever it is that you do. I’ll come back later when you’re in a better mood and we can talk then.”
Craig snorted. “Good luck with that.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Billy’s gaze snapped to Craig’s face, trying desperately to read his emotions.
“A….Mood will only improve when the pain goes away. It hasn’t yet, at least not since I’ve been conscious, so really there’s no point coming back is there, because B my mood isn’t going to improve.”
“I’ll be back later.” Billy assured him his hand closing on the door handle, “I’ll bring your supper.”
“Don’t bother, I’m not hungry.”
“You’ll eat it, or I’ll feed you.” Billy assured him.
“we’ll see.” Craig shouted as he threw a pillow at the door closing behind Billy.
The thick feather pillow hit the door, shaking it on its hinges before dropping harmlessly to the floor.
Craig flopped back onto the bed, pressing the cigarette between his lips.