"..capture this (a slideshow of your heart, pass
through this part),
McManus woke up several times that first night, drenched in freezing cold sweat and still covered in sandy grime. There was a long, dark streak along his arm that would stay until morning, a slash of blood gained when he'd accidentally brushed against Fenster's ruined face. Fenster himself would have looked upon that with distaste, and stared hard until McManus went to clean it off.
But he couldn't. Not yet. Not when that was the last shred he had, but for a shirt Fenster had left behind when he ran, and that damn file.
He made useless note within his beer-numbed mind to burn that, first thing in the morning. To do a lot of things that needed to be done, and maybe make up for just a bit of his failure. For the things he hadn't been able to do.
Back in the cave, he had had this wish tugging at the back of his mind, something that shouldn't have been there. Not then. And yet it was so right, he couldn't make it go away.
He wanted to wash his hands, but there was no possible way to do it. Even if he rinsed them in the ocean, it was the salty water, and it was just *wrong*.
All of it, wrong. He shouldn't have had sand under his fingernails as he wrapped Fenster in his jacket and let the dead weight tumble down in the hand-clawed hole. They managed to hit water, they'd dug so deep. And it was, it was just wrong. The sand would find its way through the jacket and cling to the blood, he knew it would, and would be there long after they all left the cave.
All but Fenster. Of all of them, McManus couldn't fathom why Fenster. And of all the places to leave him. The sand was just so damn messy...
And rough. All too rough. Grainy...Fenster enjoyed the smoother things. Only the best of synthetic fabrics for him, and the sharpest of razors. Slick hair and shiny shoes, and a swivel of the hips to match.
He always wanted to clean McManus up -- "Crime isn't *that* dirty, man..." He wanted McManus to shave, but he wanted that tickle of stubble moving down against his belly even more.
McManus had bowed his head and stared down at the crumbled heap; it fit, really. He'd never known anyone more dignified in life than Fenster, or more *alive* -- might as well make the reversal complete.
He wanted to believe. That you didn't need dignity in death, or after; that you were somewhere apart from that. That *Fenster* was somewhere apart from that. There were ways to do it, though damned if he knew them.
Wherever the hell he was, he was just gone. And Hockney, that rat bastard, had the nerve to reduce him to a rotting corpse.
None of them, not a one, understood. It was about the job, or getting away, or just being fucking scared. Well, McManus could be scared with the best of them. He'd curled into bed after burying his...his what? His best friend, his partner; his fucking lover, for God's sake, lost in the bottom of some hole on the Pacific coast. And there was just too much going on in his head to bother with the tears that wanted to come.
He had to get out of this alive. He *had* to, and he had to make someone pay for what Fenster had suffered. But still...he couldn't help but think it wasn't going to happen.
You should be able to run, dammit. To run and get away. Not be shot in the fucking head and left in a cave.
He wanted to run to Keaton or Verbal and beg them to understand. He wanted to withdraw, curse them all for *not* understanding but admit that they just never could. He wanted to shrink in on himself and imagine that tongue -- gliding, flicking, sliding up over his ankle, to his knee, finally nuzzling into his inner thigh and pausing.
Fenster loved to taunt him. To wiggle his ass on the way to the bathroom and shut the door right behind him. To wrap his arms around McManus from behind, hold him still while he whispered all about what he was going to do and then refuse to just *do it*. It had to be a game with him, replete with playful smiles and tiny little winks. "You want this? You want it...?"
Fuck. This was getting him nowhere, and just reminded him he had nowhere to go. Five years...five years. Just five years, when he could imagine so many more. Of deciphering Fenster's mumbled speech at least five seconds ahead of everyone else, and usually having to hold back a snort of amusement at what had actually been said. Of celebrating successful jobs with a lot of booze and hours in bed. Of his smooth, smooth skin and smoother words...
It was worse, worse than he could ever have imagined, waking up and knowing he had to keep going. Hockney's smirk be damned if he tried to back out; much as he craved full denial of the fact that Fenster was dead, he wasn't about to run and wind up the same way.
Fenster would never expect him to run. He'd realized it in one of those jolting instants, one of so many he'd had in the cave; he'd hung back after the others had started for the car, and fallen back to his knees yet again beside the revealingly level patch of sand.
He wasn't used to praying. Not since his grandmother used to drag him to church as a kid had he actually closed his eyes and tried to believe. He tugged the bandana off his head and stared blankly for a few minutes before leaving the scrap of cloth under a handful of sand -- the only marker he could leave.
He would get out of this. He would. There were things Fenster *would* have expected, and some good old-fashioned revenge was one of them. Fuck Keaton, and fuck Hockney even more. He was out for blood now.
For Fenster, and for nobody else.