This is a companion fic to Maybe
Oh, fuck! What the hell was I thinking? I wasn't thinking. I just wanted to help him through it. All that pain and booze and everything we've both been hiding from, we couldn't hide from no more.
That's how I ended up in his bed. Him hurting so bad, he needed something . . . someone . . . me to hold on to. I couldn't stand it no more. 'Cause he wasn't the only one hurting last night. I wanted this for so long. He knew I wanted it. I never said nothing to him or tried anything, but he knew. He always knows. Just like I always know.
I knew he'd never say a word about it. I kept on hiding my feelings and he kept hiding the fact that he figured them out a long time ago. We coulda kept hiding that way for years - decades; but the shit hit the fan and everything went to hell.
It was supposed to be easy, simple. Mikey Dwyer ain't exactly the brightest bulb in the pack, and his boys ain't too quick neither. Ezra sets 'em up; they show the guns; we bust 'em, easy as pie. That's what was supposed to happen. Except, it didn't. A guy takes his kid to get ice cream, just a regular fucking guy. Mikey Dwyer proved he was the idiot we all thought he was and killed a little kid. Everybody in that fucking alley was shocked. Mikey's boys didn't even reach for their guns when Chris yelled, "ATF! FREEZE!" They just stood there looking at that little kid.
Nathan and Josiah did the best they could to take care of the dad. They're good guys. All of my team are good guys, but those two are good guys when it's hard to be a good guy. Chris is the bravest man I know, but he couldn't even look at the dad. He sent Nathan and Josiah over and told 'em to stay with him. Chris was all business, making sure all the Ts were crossed and all the Is were dotted. Except, if you looked, you'd have seen his hands were shaking. If you watched him close, you'd have noticed that he never looked down that alley, not once, after Nathan said the kid was dead.
Buck noticed. He stayed right by Chris. Bet that's what he did four years ago; and I bet Chris treated him just as shitty back then as he did this time. Funny thing about Buck though, when you're hurting, you can't be shitty enough to drive him away. Chris sure the fuck tried. But, Buck is just about the stubbornest man I ever met, when it comes to sticking by a friend who's hurting. Had to be hell for both of 'em, reminding each other of what neither one of 'em wanted to remember.
I think . . . maybe . . . I'm pretty sure, it's why Buck ain't here instead of me. It's like Chris has got two different lives. He's got the one before four years ago, that Buck was part of. Chris and Sarah and Adam and Buck. Then there's this life. The one I'm part of and Sarah and Adam ain't. Buck is though. I think sometimes it's just too hard for Chris to see Buck and not have them be here. It hurts 'em both, but that's the way it is.
I think it's me, 'cause I ain't nothing like her. The only thing I got in common with her is him. Other than the obvious, it seems like she was real different than me. I seen a few pictures and Buck's said a few things. Said she was always laughing and she lit up a room. I like a good joke, but I sure don't light up rooms. I like that just fine. No sense calling attention to yourself, if you don't have to.
She sure was pretty. Not in any kinda fake way, like all them actresses out in Hollywood, but natural. Chris has this picture of her that he keeps in his wallet, where she ain't got any makeup on, and she's wearing old sweats. Damn! She looks better than most women do when they're all dolled up.
So, we locked up Mikey and his boys. We finished our reports. And, he gave me this look and I knew. He wasn't gonna hide anymore.
We went to the saloon with all the others, but we didn't stay long. We had a drink with the boys; all of us thinking about that little kid in the alley. I knew Chris was fighting off thinking about his own boy. He wouldn't let them all see how bad it was hurting him. Inez took all their keys and he paid up enough so they could all get good and sloshed, with enough left over for cabs for everyone.
JD started hollering that we couldn't leave so early, but Buck shoved an elbow in his gut and he shut up quick enough. Buck gave Chris this look and I knew he understood why Chris wanted out of there and why I was going with him. JD, hell all of 'em, will figure it out soon enough. Fuck it. We'll deal with that when they do.
So, last night, we went back to the ranch and got drunk. We didn't talk though. We didn't need to. I knew he was thinking about them, but then he looked at me and I knew he wasn't thinking about them anymore. That's when he stopped hiding from both of us.
It's just about dawn. I ain't gonna be able to hide much longer myself. I know he thought this would be a bad idea before everything went to shit. Maybe he still does.
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