Title: A Shot through Time
Author: Yxonomei (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: A lifetime in moments.
Warnings: Slash, character death, AU, reincarnation, alcoholic consumption, angst
Beta: Beth (a mortal goddess on Earth)
Written For: Cheryl Baker
Request: alt univ, Jack & Will living now and finding out about their past lives together. Can be based on Dead Again, the Kenneth Branaugh-Emma Thompson movie, he was her and she was him.
The first thought that crosses Jack’s mind as the inebriated son of his best friend topples into his arms is “Fuck!” It honestly wouldn’t be so bad if not for the instant erection that strains against the fly of his jeans. Just turned twenty-one and reveling in his ability to legally consume alcohol, Will Cooper should not have this effect on him. Bill and Margaret would kill him, slowly, horribly, for having such impure thoughts about their gorgeous son—no, bad Jack, bad!
It also doesn’t help that he’s seen young Will in his altogether purely by accident. Bill had invited him along to a family vacation to the beach house. Everyone was all packed and ready to go—except for a seventeen year old Will. Bill told him to go up and drag the boy out if he had to so that they could be on the road by eleven—the man has always been a stickler for schedules. To make a long, salivating and erection-inducing story short, he’d found the boy kneeling, naked, by the bed and trying to reach something underneath. “I’ll be, he must sunbathe naked,” Jack thought, noticing a distinct lack of tan lines; then all the blood promptly left his brain on a southerly course.
He must have said something or made some sort of noise—he refuses to admit that it had been a sort of strangled squeak—for the boy whirled around, changing the view from tight buttocks and curved spine to flat stomach and limp cock.
And the little bastard—pardon, Bill, Margaret—had the audacity, the nerve, the gall to, around a tomato-shaming blush, to make it quite clear that, if Jack was so inclined, Will would let him do anything and everything. Jack hadn’t, of course, ever even thought about it before then, but now, well… fuck!
Goddamn you, Bill, for having such a gorgeous son!
“Havin’ fun?” the boy slurs nuzzling up against Jack like some sort of kitten-puppy hybrid. “Like the cake?”
Jack’s all-too interested cock gives a bruising jerk—no doubt there will be an ugly zipper imprint when he finally gets his pants off. The cake, still mostly uneaten, is one of those edible photo cakes. Of course, seeing as how this is Will’s birthday party, it has the boy’s picture there, his bare-chested, just-come-out-of-the-water, picture. And, as the wicked imp was the cake-cutter, Jack’s piece just *happened* to contain a cold-peaked nipple. He’d almost exploded in his pants. He can only be glad that the picture cut off at the navel. Fucking tease.
If Bill wasn’t one of his closest friends and if he wasn’t such a glutton for this exquisite torture, he would flee the country.
“It was lovely,” he manages to say through gritted teeth. Would the boy quit squirming like that? Think of dead puppies, think of that one math teacher.
“Bill!” Jack squeaks manfully, trying to push the man’s limpet-like son from his lap. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!
Smiling broadly, face flushed from an assortment of alcoholic drinks, the stout man moves through the slowly departing guests with calm, if somewhat drunken, confidence. Relief sweeps through Jack since it appears his friend seems unperturbed by his son’s antics. Having been on the receiving end of one of Bill’s punches once, he knows it is not something any life-loving man would want to experience twice.
“It seems our birthday boy has had a bit too much vino. Care to do the honors of taking him home? Marge says she’ll kick my ass if I don’t help clean up.”
“How about a cab? I’ve had a few myself.” Not nearly enough, though. Not enough to kill his hard on and not nearly enough to impair his driving. Bill gives his son a critical look. Will smiles goofily, head lolling against Jack’s shoulder.
“I don’t think he’ll make it out of the cab alone, much less to his apartment.”
Jack wants to grab his friend by the shoulders and shake him till his head pops off. “Do you know why that’s a bad idea?” he wants to scream. “I want to do all manner of dirty things to your precious boy! And you’re practically signing his death sentence!” He doesn’t say any of this of course.
“Sure, Bill. I’ll see him back safely.”
A passed-out Will should be less of a distraction—the operative word being “should”. As soon as Jack and Bill wrestled him into Jack’s ‘63 Chevy Impala SS, the boy had dropped off. However, when Jack hopped in, Will sagged across the gap between them until the man’s shoulder prevented further slumping. Jack’s mantra of “fuck” continues unabated.
A sudden bump in the road had the man adding a whole new four letter word. Instead of the warm weight against his shoulder and side, it’s in his lap… Will’s head is in his lap. Blood floods his cock with such celerity that he almost sprains the damn thing; he almost drives off the road. Dead puppies! With every subsequent jostling the back of the boy’s head rubs against him in a way that has the breath wheezing from his lungs as he attempts to remain quiet. Dead puppies! Every time he changes gears or moves his foot on the pedals little stars prick the back of his eyes. Dead puppies!
All thoughts, of puppies dead or otherwise, fly out the window as the boy grunts lowly and contorts and twists his body till he has managed, despite the seatbelt strapped across his waist, to turn about. Oh lord, that mouth—pink, slightly damp, partially open—that mouth is right *there*. He remembers reading somewhere that sucking on objects is a vestigial behavior left over from breast-feeding, and that some people will do it even in their sleep. All he has to do is unbutton his jeans and pull down the fly and…
Images of Will sucking him off while asleep bombard Jack’s mind. Desire spears deeply into his gut.
Knuckles an alarming shade of ivory, Jack grips the steering wheel like it’s his last connection to existence and tries to make sense of the little white lines zipping past on his right—wait, right? He jerks the wheel violently and the car careens back onto the correct side of the street. Old math teacher, naked, in the shower!
He curses Bill and Margaret’s DNA.
If this boy had been anyone else, the child of some other person, well, Jack wouldn’t have thought twice about fucking him. One good ride and maybe he wouldn’t suffer from cranial anemia in the boy’s presence.
By some large-scale miracle, by some benediction from the hands of a god, Jack manages to half-drag, half-carry Will to his fifth floor apartment—of course the elevator had to be out of order. The boy has been clinging to him like some sort of living person blanket, clumsy hands moving over his body in ways that strongly test the state of Jack’s control. Now he’s trying to get the decidedly uncooperative son of his best friend into bed—alone, without Jack. Fucking Christ, he should get a medal for all the restraint he’s shown.
Will surrounds him, his body, his scent, his life. The rooms all speak of the boy’s personal touches from photographs to the penguins the boy likes to collect. Jack finds himself being pulled under and only manages not to commit a monumental act of stupidity by calling on some unknown reserve of resistance.
If only Bill knew…
And that’s the crux of this whole debacle, Jack thinks. If Bill knew, Jack would probably be missing some teeth now. Margaret would have ripped his balls off. But, no, they think he’s the perfect “uncle”. God, he feels dirty whenever Will says that. Sick pervert, lusting after a friend’s child, a kid whose diapers he’s changed during several conscripted baby-sitting incidents.
He should just drop the kid on the bed and high-tail it out of here. His resistance lies in shreds about his mind. He needs to get home and jerk off in guilty euphoria. That car ride… he’s been hard as steel. Dead puppies don’t seem to be working.
“I hafta pee,” Will mutters warmly against his cheek as he sags against him.
“Fuck. Can you make it on your own?” The boy’s only response is a liquid chortle and a wet, alcoholic kiss to Jack’s jaw.
“Pee,” the boy repeats and attempts to step away. The man manages to catch him before he falls on his face. Well, that answers that question. The boy will most assuredly not be making it anywhere under his own compromised power. They manage to stagger into the small bathroom adjoining the bedroom with minimal knocking of limbs against unyielding surfaces, though Jack does hit the doorjamb with his shin. The sharp lance of pain does nothing to diminish the bit of fun in his strained jeans.
After fumbling with the light switch, Jack leads the embodiment of his worst temptation to the porcelain throne sandwiched between shower stall and the sink. The boy sways precariously on his feet and mumbles desultorily as he fumbles at the fastening of his jeans. Jack shifts impatiently, always careful to keep his hips away from the boy’s perfect backside. C’mon, boy, it’s not that goddamn hard to do, he thinks impatiently.
“Can’t… get it,” Will mutters. “Jack?”
No. Fucking hell. Eyes squeezed shut and breath coming faster than it should, Jack moves his hands from the boy’s shoulders and reaches around to his waist. With exaggerated care and minimal touching he slips the button from the hole and carefully unzips Will’s fly. Jack’s hands are excruciatingly close to the boy’s cock; he could take it in his hand, finally hold its weight in his palm. His own likes the idea immensely. He jerks his hands away from temptation and replaces them on Will’s shoulders.
“Go for it, mate,” he instructs Will with a less than steady voice. The boy’s only response is to sag back against Jack and giggle. “Will?”
“Can’t. Everything’s crazy. You do… do it for me.”
Yes, some power from beyond definitely hates him, hates him with a never-fading passion. This must be karma. He mouths a “fuck” to the spackled ceiling and shifts his hold on the passive form in his arms. He can do this. It’s sorta like changing diapers. No inappropriate thoughts here, no, sir. Shit, he’ll have to press his entire body against the boy to do this. Hopefully Will is too pissed to notice the hard on pressed against his ass, because Jack is certainly noticing. He could probably come from dry humping the kid. Fuck. How pathetic.
All attempts to mentally abstract himself from the situation fail the moment he fingers slip through placket on Will’s boxers and encounter his hot flesh. Oh God, he’s literally taking his fantasy in hand. Is it his imagination or is the boy’s cock getting hard? Was that a moan?
Concentrate! Get this over with and get out!
Cold shower number—well, he can’t really remember how many arctic baths he’s taken since Will was seventeen, but one is certainly in order.
One arm locked about Will’s chest, Jack determinedly pulls the boy’s prick through the boxers’ opening and ignores the sudden spike of his own pulse. Will is definitely half-erect, and Jack cannot help but give the satiny length a light squeeze. The boy makes a small noise and bumps his hips back. Guiltily Jack loosens his hold and carefully aims for the bowl.
“Let ‘er rip, kiddo.”
The boy issues a relieved sigh as he releases the contents of his bladder in an arcing, yellow stream. Water sports have never been one of Jack’s kinks, but he finds the rare dependency of the boy upon him for such a basic function to be singularly compelling. Gently he cradles the half-hard shaft in his palm and waits for the boy to finish.
“Sleepy,” the boy announces when his bladder has no more to give. Quickly Jack cleans him and tucks him away before he can do something stupid—like heeding the throbbing in his pants. It’s like his goddamn heart has relocated there.
Upon approaching the boy’s neatly made bed, Will begins complaining that he’s hot. Jack, firmly telling himself that he’s doing this for the boy’s well-being, helps him out of his button down-shirt. He does *not* salivate over the view of dusky nipples no longer in cake format. He gives the boy a push and Will falls back upon the bed with a little grunt of surprise. From there Jack quickly removes shoes and socks, and, somehow managing to do it without looking, gets the boy’s jeans off.
It is when Jack is about to step away from the bed that Will launches a surprise attack. With surprising strength the boy hauls him down onto the bed and wraps his long limbs about the surprised man. A hot mouth sucks insistently upon Jack’s neck and, for some inexplicable reason, the theme song for “Rocky” plays in his head. Phrases such as “Stop it”, “You’re drunk”, “You don’t know what you’re doing” fall from his mouth between low groans. However, his body makes hypocrisies of his words. The hands intended to push the boy’s legs off of him take a course up sleek thighs and come to rest upon the boy’s tight ass. For all his protestations he cannot help but knead the succulent flesh and grind down against an answering erection.
“Why do you keep fighting me?” Will’s shockingly lucid and sober voice demands with just a touch a breathlessness. The boy allows Jack to lever himself up enough to meet his eyes. Pupils dilated, but clear and comprehending, the little shit.
“You’re supposed to be drunk.”
“I know. But would you be here like this if I hadn’t pretended?” The boy emphasizes this with a strong thrust of his hips that has Jack biting back a guttural groan as sparks flood through his veins. “I’ve been patiently waiting since I was fifteen, but you never made a move! Why?”
This is not a conversation he wants to have right now. He himself is not sober enough to not make an ass of himself, and Will is tenacious enough to hurl them both down a path hedged by morning regrets. Jack cannot allow this for the sake of a friendship that has seen him through an abusive father and many addictions. Only for Bill is he willing to curb his natural inclinations.
“Don’t play that card with me, Jack,” Will hisses, fingers digging into the muscles of Jack’s back. “I won’t let you.” Hot, moist lips close over his own and a slick tongue slips against his for a moment. His arms tremble violently under his braced weight and surging desire to mold himself to the boy’s body, to finally take his pleasure in the other’s willing flesh.
And what images those two words spin out in honeyed threads! Smooth, golden thighs spreading, pink lips opening, willowy body curving in sensual rapture.
“I’m going to state my case,” the boy declares huskily, hands moving up to tangle in Jack’s hair. “First off, I’ve never slept with another man—and not because I didn’t want to. Second, I want the first time to be with someone I trust completely. Third, I want someone with experience. Fourth, I want it to be with someone who cares for my well-being and doesn’t just lusts after me. You fit. It’s completely practical. No regrets.”
If Jack had had less to drink, if Will had not finished his argument with a kiss full of sinuous tongue, Jack would not have decided that the boy’s reasoning is sound. Or perhaps it is the fact that he has always searched for a justification, something that would hold out against his inner guilt and allow him to take what his body crawls with the desire to possess. The thought of another having what he has groaned to own fills him with dark fire. Yes, he can be the only one to introduce his friend’s son to the ecstasy of this conflagration.
The final surrender refreshes and intoxicates him. Manumitted from the fetters of doubt, transported above regret on liquored logic, Jack bears down upon the boy with the fury of five years denied. He lacerates Will’s tender lips with rapacious kisses; he grinds into the boy until flesh and bone prohibit further connection. Sometime amid the bestial assault clothing is jerked off and wriggled out of, and Will divulges the secret of his alcohol-stained breath:
“Clever boy,” Jack growls, rubbing the tip of Will’s penis with the pad of his thumb. The boy moans his abandoned appreciation and bucks his hips in a bid for greater contact. Eyes ravenous for the reflection of every experienced sensation upon the other’s face, Jack takes firm hold of the curved rod and pumps it with tantalizing slowness in one hand while the other strokes Will’s damp curls. For a moment delirium takes hold and he thinks that it is not Will’s hard cock he manipulates, but his own; this is all a gorgeously vivid masturbatory fantasy. He’s probably sprawled in bed fucking his own fist again…
“Jack… Shit…” Silken thighs spread open further upon the rumpled cotton sheets. Strong fingers dig into his wrist and jerk his hand away. With a harsh gasp he finds himself spellbound by a pair of dazed brown eyes. This is real?
“Fuck now,” is the boy’s husky, uncompromising command. Dewed with perspiration, flushed, spiced with lust, Will smiles and moves Jack’s captured hand farther down, past velvet balls and to the stretch of skin just behind. From there it is all too easy to slide his fingers into the boy’s damp cleft and tease over the puckered aperture there. Jack’s cock twitches and a whimper of maddened, inflamed desire leaves his suddenly parched mouth. He can see himself sinking into the boy’s grasping heat, forcing himself in as deeply as he can and pumping away until his orgasm robs him of sanity. So many of his fantasies end this way, and sometimes the boy is screaming “yes” and sometimes he is screaming “no”.
“We need…” the man mumbles thickly, withdrawing his hand with pained reluctance. Will has only granted him this privilege by virtue of Jack’s trustworthiness in this regard. Lambent in the light spilling from a neon sign outside, the boy regards him with all the courage and determination of his tender years; an eternal innocent, if Jack is ever to be questioned, a dirty angel emboldened by high speed internet and cell phones.
“Nightstand. First drawer,” the boy groans with failing coherency. A string of curses falls from Jack’s lips as the minx leans up and licks a wet strip across his left nipple and up to the hinge of his lips. Heart firmly located in his dripping cock, Jack reaches out, yanks the drawer in question open and fumbles about inside until he encounters a plastic bottle.
Then it’s Will’s legs slung over his shoulders, and he, the stalwart champion of depravity, trembling as he discovers just how tight, how sweet, how hot the boy is inside. Will issues plaintive moans as Jack urges his instinctively resisting body to yield. With every scant centimeter gained, Jack gives the boy’s nipple, the very one that taunted him during dessert, a rewarding tweak, and the boy, always wanting more, spurs him on. He wishes he could leave his body for a moment and hover above, a voyeur of himself. Then he would see Will’s nubile form bending and writhing and himself, the cause, the guide, touching the boy, fucking him with his fingers. He would be able to note every shift of shadow, every spasm of long legs, instead of only holding witness to a few close impressions. He would receive the whole picture: both of them haloed by desire, permeated by that bane of rationality. How they must look!
Soon Will’s “more” transmutes into a desperate, twisting, panting “now, or I’ll kill you”. This is it, then, Jack muses with surprising lucidity as he removes his fingers from the wickedly delicious hole. The very thought of finally piercing the boy, of sliding deeply, ineluctably inside has his hips jerking in abortive thrusts. If only he could draw this out on honeyed wires of anticipation, do everything he’s always wanted to do to Will, but his alcohol-retarded stamina mocks his yearning. His poisoned body will only allow for one moment of stunted rapture, and, if he allows the boy completion now, sucks Will’s cock as he salivates to do, Jack will not have the fortitude to drive this enraptured creature to a second peak. This once the man curses the inventors of such an insidiously divine brew.
Suddenly, through an act of almost mind boggling contortion—damn, the boy’s limber!—Will curls up, as if performing a deranged sit up, and reaches through the V of his legs to grab hold of Jack’s cock and force it to where they both so desperately need it. Jack’s “fuck” is an explosive rush of breath, and Will’s only response is to threaten sundry manners of bodily harm if the other doesn’t get on with it. A frantic notice proclaiming that he’s forgetting something flutters anxiously about the back of Jack’s thoughts, but sensory pleasure dismisses all misgivings with airy fingers.
And everything crumbles beneath the excruciating first penetration. Small advances and slick withdrawals boil the blood surging in Jack’s veins. His long cherished mantra fills the cavity of his skull, but this time it scintillates with different connotations. He cannot author a metaphor, or give voice to the sensations building in the pit of his stomach. All he can think is that, finally, he is there, inside, filling the most perfect body to grace his cracked life. And, fuck, the sweet, glorious friction!
“I’m not… gonna break, Jack,” Will growls, brown eyes drowning beneath a haze of lust. Jack cannot withstand such a declaration. He pulls the boy’s legs from his shoulders and allows them to wrap about his waist; then he, with a prayer to all deaf gods, braces his hands to either side of the boy’s tossing head and, dimly mindful that care must still be taken, rocks his hips forward, prick sliding deeply into the wet velvet of Will.
He wishes he could find the strength to unlock his elbows and lean down to kiss the boy’s wetly panting mouth; he wishes he could take hold of the boy’s delectable cock and jerk him to completion, but the resonating fact that he’s finally here, in Will, has stolen his ability to do aught else but pump himself into his heaven incarnate, to impale this creature with tender cruelty. The boy undulates beneath him and whimpers obscene demands between harsh groans. Jack’s mantra spills from his lips and Will seems to take it as a question, as he begins to chant “yes”.
Building up in an effervescent rush, as if his blood has been transmuted to champagne, Jack’s orgasm breaks through him. Will’s eyes, half-closed before, widen in surprised euphoria as his own climax ambushes him. Pupils contract and then flood the iris in whirlpools of starry ink, and Jack is sinking, spiraling down, bones and organs sucked into the boy through the tip of his prick.
A floodgate opens; a deluge founders his mind.
[“This is either madness or brilliance.”]
[“You have to warn the town!”]
[“I do this for Virginia, my country.”]*
The boy’s enraptured face shifts as other countenances rise to the surface and are subsumed by others. Visages disconcertingly familiar swim before Jack’s eyes, all different, all beautiful. But the eyes, deep, drowning umber, remain constant with every transformation. Always the same, always kind, always earnest, always—
Darkness flickers at the corners of his consciousness and he slumps down upon the boy’s still trembling body. What the fuck was that? Even now, panting and exhausted, strange memories wend their way into his thoughts. Scenes unfurl behind his eyes and familiar strangers take center stage. Names follow swiftly in the wake of these people, connections are made to other inchoate memories, but always waiting at the end, the only thing he can see with any clarity, is Will, only… not Will, at least not the one he knows now; a Will who moves in tangent with him through all these strange new thoughts. This is… this is some psychotropic madness! Fuck. Whatever happened to the normative satiation following such an act? Where now is the sweet ebb of ecstasy and the flow of quiet exhaustion?
And fuck again, he forgot a condom. This he realizes as he withdraws his content organ from Will—the boy still shivers as if a low current is being directly applied to his spine. Yes, he must concentrate on this mundane occurrence, keep the strangeness away where it belongs. He flops down to the other side of Will and grinds the heels of his hands into his eyes. His heart still feels like a trapped bird beneath his ribs.
“We need…” he begins and then stops. His voice sounds different. Fuck! He clears his throat. “We need to get checked.”
A palsied shiver works down Jack’s body as the boy’s softly accented voice moves through the sex-thick air. Will doesn’t have an accent, at least not his Will. ‘But they’re all your Wills,’ a voice drawls, and this is the truth—if one is to believe strange visions brought about by a body-searing orgasm.
“AIDS, HIV, and shit like that.”
“I’m clean,” the boy retorts, voice normal, though sounding as if he has just screamed himself hoarse—which he has, actually.
“Have you ever had sex with girls?”
“Have you ever been tested?” Keep to this topic. Keep away from the craziness.
“I’ll drive,” Jack says tiredly. The boy’s eyes are on him, he can feel their bewildered intensity. Will is going to ask a question; he vibrates with curiosity. Is he going to ask about…?
“What was… that?”
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck! He does not want to deal with this right now. The tequila shots are catching up with him and his tainted thoughts whirl about in a headache inducing Bacchanalia. Stay back the modern horror of sexually transmitted diseases! Stay on the sane ground where the knowledge of ships and swords, of war and death-intimate is not a bosom companion. Ignore it, pretend ignorance, the remaining vestiges of sanity scream. Sometimes they have good advice, he thinks wryly.
“What was what?” He cannot roll over and face the softly penetrative gaze. The boy has the disturbing ability to root out lies if given eye-to-eye contact, and Jack contains no desire for such a happening at this moment. No more visits to the shrink, thank you very much!
“Don’t fuck around, Jack.” Oh, what he wouldn’t give to offer a rejoinder for that straight line, but Will persists: “Something crazy just happened. Is that… normal?”
Such a wanton tease, such a knowledgeable innocent, Jack wants to scream his frustrations.
“Go to sleep.” There, safe command. Safe topic again. Oh, and look, a yawn creeps in among his words.
“I—fuck—Just go to sleep, Will.” The boy obviously catches onto the ‘just drop it’ implicit in Jack’s words. Silence prevails. The bed shakes and the sheets rustle as the boy twists into a comfortable position. Their breathing, strained towards pretend somnolence, haunts the air.
This lasts approximately two minutes.
“Jack… do you believe in souls?”
“You might not have had anything tonight, brat, but I did.” Again the conversation expires—until a further passage of moments.
“I remember things—you—but they’re not memories like from now. I fought in the Revolutionary War, or I think so…”
“Trying to sleep here.” When had taking the kid home turn into a glorious, sweaty fuck and then to—to—to some horrible cliché?
Sweet, sweet silence. He holds his breath, counting down the seconds till the boy cannot contain the ophidian twist of his thoughts.
Bill will probably be very disappointed in him if he kills the kid now, right?
“You know, I would’ve sucked you off.”
“In the car.”
Will’s light chortle slides away and that is the conclusion of all verbal intercourse.
Jack awakens to the novel sight of an unfamiliar ceiling spattered with weak sunlight over his head; he’s usually out of his most recent companions’ beds before morning. He loathes those awkward morning-breath encounters and the uncomfortable silence that the ceiling’s owner instigates when trying to determine if an invite to breakfast—or brunch if it has been a long night—is warranted.
His mouth is dry and cottony and wholly unpleasant and a headache feathers the edge of his mind. Hmm, definitely had alcohol last night and someone else… He cannot help but chuckle a bit at that thought. With a grin he rolls over to greet his partner in crime, as it were.
Within the tender and moist folds of his brain, long-dormant synapses crackle with bioelectricity and seek complementary mates.
The boy, the young man, the peacefully slumberous creature beside him is his best mate’s—friend’s!—son. This is Will. The last person on Earth he should ever have fucked around with. And they did, last night, the boy pretending inebriation and he, Jack, too gone to resist for long. Even now his cock takes interest in the fogged memories of last night.
He has to get out of here! Right now!
But he doesn’t want to, and Bill’s censure drops away from his thoughts.
He has awoken to this moment, this ineffably pleasant shock, on other mornings previously lost to him till last night’s intimacy. The slumbering boy has worn different faces—this incarnation’s (can there be any other explanation?) the closest to the first—but the core essence remains an unquestionable, bittersweet constant. His Will.
The remembrances of other times and places slide into the dynamic weave of his contemporary memory; and sleep seems to have allowed a less traumatic integration. The desperate denial permeating the incipient flow of knowledge has bled away and left salving contentment—but unease prickles behind the dull throb of his headache.
Entwined about each strangely familiar memory is a rush of blood and despair.
“You were shot,” he murmurs in a susurration echoed by subtler accents.
“I was, thrice.”
Jack starts and glares at the closed-eye boy. The sooty lashes remain in dark fans against the cheek, but the mouth has turned up in a hint of a wicked grin.
If he is to trust an innate sense that each incarnation finds primary manifestation in a particular personality facet, then this one is Will at his most mischievous—something that has only sparked upon rare occasion in the distant past. Why the fuck now?
“This isn’t a dream then?”
The lashes rise with the translucent lids and brown eyes take his measure in an indulgently affectionate gaze. A line of connection draws taut between them, and all the emotions he felt in different bodies pours through. There can be no doubt, now, that the universe believes in reincarnation and practices it with blithe disregard.
It made him watch this perfect complement to his being die before his helpless eyes three times. And then it made him live on into old age with the memory of blood soaked hands and the boy’s fading grimace of love—alone.
“Three fucking times, Will.”
“At least you’re not trying to put this off as a diseased delusion. That was quite annoying the third time around.”
Jack is going to throttle Will, if the kid doesn’t take it upon himself to be serious.
“Civil War, right?” the boy continues, oblivious.
“You fucking died! And you—”
“Made you promise to live on, yes.” Will caresses his cheek, the smile curving his mouth touched with sadness. “I left you alone.”
“And now it’s going to happen again.”
I can’t live through it this time, Jack thinks.
“It hasn’t been a lifetime yet, Jack.”
The man cuts the other a harsh look even as he shoves the pain deeper down. Fuck! Everything has turned into a mephitic, sprawling mess. Where has the simple joy of sex gone? Now there are diseases to get tested for and past lives to consider. Too much new age shit!
“I was promised a lifetime with you, and we certainly haven’t reached it yet.” Will throws himself at Jack and forces the older man deeper into the mattress. “And you should know after all this time that I refuse to be denied. Yes, I most likely am going to die, but so is everyone else.”
“I won’t be your death,” Jack hisses against the silky strands of hair trailing against his lips as the boy nuzzles his neck. Still the odor of sex lingers upon them both. So wrong, but so right. Pain and pleasure, happiness and sorrow, neither can breathe long without the dialectic brought about by the other.
“Then just be with me.”
The words “I’m afraid to” tremble at the back of his throat. He cannot manfully voice this insecurity, this seeming emasculation of self. But it is the truth undeniable. He fears the commitment his heart urges him to; he fears the lack of self-determination of the destined attraction between them; and he fears the grief awaiting Will’s final departure.
And Will? Well, the boy has always had a reckless disinterest in his own mortality. For all that he can be incredibly priggish, he has an exasperating tendency to act without premeditation. Sometimes the boy is more deeply imbedded in the impetus of the moment than Jack can ever hope to be.
Unable to give voice to his insecurities, he wraps his emotions into a kiss softly placed upon the boy’s serious mouth. Perhaps the cognitive process is overrated in some instances.
“Don’t try to be a hero anymore,” he whispers.
A Passage of Two Months:
Let it not be said that Bill Cooper—possibly Turner previously?—is not a decent, salt of the earth type of man. After launching a ham fist into Jack’s stomach upon Will’s announcement of their relationship, Bill threatened to castrate the injured man if he ever broke his son’s heart and then welcomed him into their family with a generous laugh.
“I don’t think you deserved that,” Will mutters, miffed, as he helps Jack regain his feet.
“Love, that’s one of the few times I have.”
The boy cocks his head to the side and gives the older man a thoughtful look.
“If Anna is around here somewhere, do you think she’d still be mad about that boat?”
“Lord preserve me from that.”
A Passage of Eight Years:
Fatal Shooting at Local 7 Eleven
By Emily Fitzroy
Sept. 23, 1996
William Frederick Cooper was reported dead on arrival at [--------] Memorial Hospital after an attempted robbery and shooting at the 7 Eleven on the corner of [--------] and [--------] last night. According to witnesses, Cooper placed himself between one of the gunmen, later identified as Michael Layner, and the intended target, Ida Greenwall…
The mahogany casket descends into the damp, loamy soil, bearing away the wreaths of white lilies and its silent contents from the sight of those still breathing.
“It hasn’t been a lifetime yet,” Jack repeats stoically, holding back an avalanche of grief with this faintest of hopes. Once again Will had to be the hero, had to risk his life for someone else, and now Jack is alone.
But he will continue on with this existence, still bound by the first time he promised he made to live on without Will; for it against Jack’s own lifetime that their encounters are measured. The longer he lives, the longer they have together at the final count.
Theirs is a lifetime in moments.
*During the revolutionary war quite a few of the soldiers considered the state that they came from to be their country, instead of the entirety of the United States. So, for example, Will claims Virginia to be the owner of his patriotism because he considers it the country of his birth. For this reason, some soldiers did not fight in support of slavery, but because they felt that their country was being attacked.
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