fuck or die (the stephen king retread)
"So let me get this straight," Paul says. "We're trapped underground in a sewer with a psychotic clown trying to drive us insane, or kill us, or both, and the only way to escape is, basically, everyone pulling a train on me?"
"That's it in a nutshell, yes," Daniel has the decency to at least look embarrassed, while Carlos just smirks.
"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life."
"Surprisingly enough, that's exactly what I said when I came to that part."
Sam exhales quietly. "Hey, I didn't read the book, only Carlos did. We have to take him on faith on this one."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Samuel. Really. I appreciate it." Carlos tugs on his vest-shirt and sighs impatiently. "Look don't listen to me, that's fine. We'll just stay here until we're killed in a gruesome manner. I'm just telling you what I remember."
"Yes, but why me. Why not Daniel or even Carlos or uh - why me?"
"Because you're the lead singer-"
"-you're the youngest-"
"-you're the blondest-"
"-look most like a girl-ow. Motherfuck."
Carlos rubs at his jaw and glares balefully. "It's not like I want to, if you think any of us believes this is our idea of a good time."
"Guys, guys," Sam says, and he rubs his face wearily. "We've been at this for a half-hour. If we weren't being chased by apparently the stupidest evil entity in the entire world, we'd be dead by now. And I really don't want to die here. With you people. I just don't. So please."
"I'll do it," Daniel says quietly.
"Taking one for the team. Like Sam said, I don't want to die here." Daniel doesn't add, "I always take one for the team," and this time, everyone feels the need to flush and look away. Daniel doesn't want to get irritated, fights the urge to snap because this is not the time, but then again it's never the time. Over and over and over again, and whose fucking fault is it this time? Not his, it's never his. Apparently sobriety brought boredom brought messing about with things one shouldn't mess about in countries that are scary enough even without the messing about. But then again, they couldn't possibly have known that sometimes things that go bump in the night actually are in fact monsters stumbling over the plush carpeting, axe-weilding ghosts of dead musicians that haunt underground networks of sewers for kicks and unsuspecting bands on tour.
Sam's hand is suddenly on his throat, and his voice is warm and strong, whiskey-laced gravel and he says, "I've got you, it'll be okay," and Daniel shivers, and stops thinking about how dirty his clothes will get and if the stains will ever come out. If he'll ever feel clean again.
It isn't so bad, in the end. Daniel even forgets, at some point, where he is, or what's going on. There's only whatever's written on the body, whatever they can feel, and touch, and taste. Daniel closes his eyes too much, and opens them too much, and when it's over he feels empty, turned inside out and then back again.
They emerge finally, dizzy, tired, glad to be alive, and it only takes them about ten minutes to forget like Carlos said they would but Daniel didn't believe at the time, but then Sam says, "The body remembers-"
"What?" Daniel says, and Sam looks contemplative for a while, but then he only shrugs.
"I don't even know. It probably wasn't important."
i put a spell on you (or there's something in the water)
"There's something in the water," Daniel's whispering in his ear, and Sam nods his head but he's not listening, not really. Instead all he hears is the thrum of lust and heat and thirst, and the water sluicing down his throat, cool and clear and like nothing he's ever tasted before.
"It's just water," he says, and then he's kissing Daniel and kissing Daniel some more and Carlos's hand is on his cheek, and Sam turns to snap at him, but instead he presses his lips to the soft skin on his palm, turns to look at him.
Carlos is nodding his head, and he's got a bottle of water in his hand, and he's saying, "No, I know. I agree, it's the water." But then he's dropping to his knees, and Sam's never been this hot in his life. Sweating like he doesn't even onstage at some crappy club with no ventilation, and if he feels that then Paul must feel even more, with the way he looks. Languid, and liquid, and all he wants to do is tip his head back and let someone pour water down his throat, let someone else lick whatever's left off of his skin. He wants to bathe, and drown, and all this is crazy, but it's fucking sweet at the same time, and his brain is slow dark sludge, and his neurons are firing off one by one by one, and now Paul's on his knees and shrugging off his coat, and Carlos turns to kiss him, and all Sam can do is stare.
Until Daniel wraps his arms around his neck and says, and he sounds drugged but matter-of-fact all at the same time, the way only Daniel can, when he says, "I want you to fuck me."
So Sam nods his head, because fuck it, he's parched, he's dying, he's in a fucking desert and Daniel's a mirage that just might be real, and Carlos stops fumbling with Paul's clothes long enough to reach for Sam's belt, and Sam growls, "Yeah, you too, baby. Later." Carlos's smile is slow, but then Daniel starts pressing kisses on the back of his neck, and Sam stops thinking about Carlos for a while.
It's not just in the water they drink, he realizes later on. It's in what they bathe in, it's in the swimming pool. Sam looks at all the people in the swimming pool, splashing around, and they all seem to be in the same condition he is - sunburnt and exhausted and thirsty, always thirsty.
Surrounded by an ocean, and all he can think of is Paul, running his hand down his chest. Wrapping his fingers around his cock while Daniel talks nonsense, softly, to any one of them that'll listen.
"I think there's something in the water," Carlos says.
Sam says, "I know."
aliens made them do it (again, and again. or perhaps just the one time.)
Carlos will say that the alien was some metaphysical being that was a manifestation of their deepest desires, but Paul's of the opinion that Carlos is full of shit as usual and he'd probably hit him if he were the type to do that sort of thing. Which he is, but just not today. He presses his forehead against the wall instead, and tries not to think about skin pressing against skin and how Sam's hands were rough and calloused and how Carlos's were curiously smooth, and how Daniel never looked anyone straight in the eye the entire time.
How it went from terrifying, to strange, to awkward, to even more awkward, to at some point, because one had to, possibly, to survive, it got to surreal and distant and then funny. And then at some point how it got intense - the alien, being, whatever, must've drugged them. Must have.
"How do you get past this?"
"You just do." And from the looks of him Sam already has. Arm slung around his wife, and a slow, lazy grin and his kiss was surprisingly brutal considering how gentle he usually was around his women - but then Paul wasn't a woman or his, and extenuating circumstances and all that.
"It was a she."
"The alien. Being. Manifestation. She. Beautiful and magnificent and terrible."
"Not what I remember at all," Carlos says, and scowls.
Daniel mutters something about a man in an expensive suit, and Sam just shakes his head and refuses to say anything, except, "Shared delusions are possibly not ever identical," and he lights a cigarette and wanders off, and that's it, Paul knows, it's over, he's forgotten it forever and ever, which is probably all for the best if that's what Paul wants to do.
But he's never been good at that. Obsessive personalities tend not to lean towards getting past things easily, even as Carlos breezes past him with a "Don't walk around all wounded like a rape victim, Banks," which causes Paul to snap his spine straight and snap, "Fuck you, you cunt," and Carlos's answering smile is wry when he says -
"Been there, done that."
Carlos never kissed anyone but Sam, which Paul thought strange at the time, but then again Sam didn't ask, he just took, but not like a demand, more like he knew not to expect resistance. Carlos was long and lean and pale and jittery, the opposite of Daniel who went still and silent and within himself for most of it, and he wonders if they all now have cataloged the way he reacted - the way he sighed or didn't sigh or the way he moved his hips or the face he made when he came, or if all they'd remember was sense and touch and feel, and it makes his head hurt to think about it all, in all honesty.
So in the end, he just doesn't. "You're a lousy lay," he tells Carlos quietly, viciously.
And Carlos says, "Liar."
vampires (as a metaphor for)
"I'm told you guys sparkle in the sunlight."
"That's..." and he's actually rendered the vampire speechless, which he hadn't thought possible. Score one for Carlos D. "Sunlight is uh. Generally not so good for us. There are no sparkles involved. Unless you're taking about the sparks of fire that shoot out of us. The way, you know. They do." He looks vaguely irritated, and yet leaning towards indulgence, which is a reaction Carlos gets a lot. Carlos thinks it's hysterical, or he does, until the teeth come out and sink into his throat.
Then it's mostly pain.
Daniel says no, quietly, determinedly, but Carlos just cocks his head and says, "Yes." Mulled wine and spice, and he'd always thought that blood was just blood, what pumps through your veins and keeps you alive, but everyone tastes different, and everyone reacts to being turned differently. Daniel screams, for a good long while, which is a surprise.
Paul doesn't, not at all, he just turns his head and exhales in defeat, and sometimes Carlos wonders who Paul Banks is, but most of the time he thinks he knows the man pretty well, only Paul has secrets that only his blood seems willing to tell, and Carlos takes too much of it and spills too much of it when at some point he loses control, and he worries afterwards that Paul won't wake up after all, but he does, sleepy but steel-eyed and hollow. He runs his hand down Carlos's cheek, and asks, "Where's Sam."
"Run off. He plans to kill us all."
"He won't." That's Daniel, silent and deadly in the doorway. Daniel is as good as this as he is at almost everything, except perhaps at socializing, but he doesn't need to now. His hands are in his pocket, and when he turns his head Carlos can see the marks on the pale line of his throat, where Carlos tore in. "I'll find him, and I'll take him in." Carlos believes him, as he always does.