drinkportsmouthdry: (morose)
Archie Kennedy ([personal profile] drinkportsmouthdry) wrote2012-08-07 07:42 pm

FICLET: Prick us, do we not bleed? (Josh/Archie)

Archie leans up against the wall outside the café, with its taped-up windows and greasy menus, watching the evening's traffic shuffle by.

He wraps his arm around himself, fingers brushing ribs which never really heal as he struggles to stay warm. The other hand comes up to shield his mouth as he coughs, faint red spatter on his skin that he's been ignoring for some weeks now.

The few men that glance his way quickly avert their eyes and Archie shifts to get himself comfortable again, settling in for a long night. Business has been slow lately. He had to get out of the flat a couple of months ago, when the landlord came round with a cricket bat. He's not as fast as he used to be.

Archie's heard that Kasper's looking for him, but he doesn't want his baby brother to see him like this. Besides, he can get by. He'll be fine. He always is. There are plenty of doorways and the occasional shelter, but he never stays too long. Leon's boys might find him.

Another punter looks his way and Archie smiles, the way he always has to get men to fall into his lap. But the man starts and hurries away. Archie frowns, reaches up to touch his lips. His fingers come away smeared with blood and he grimaces. He'll have to be more careful.

The wind picks up, storm clouds gathering, and Archie steps back into the alleyway to light a cigarette. His hands are shaking, skin drawn tight across his knuckles, but the hit of nicotine is sweet relief. He's always been a man of simple pleasures.

He barely notices the way the shadows move, how the figure in the darkness grabs for his thin jacket to wrestle it away from him. The way Archie cries out is pure instinct and, as he catches the look of desperation and panic in the junkie's eyes, he also sees the knife.

Footsteps run away from him, mingling with the drumming of the rain, and Archie slides down the wall. He's too cold to hurt and he lets his eyes fall closed, quiet breaths in the lonely alley just inches from a street too busy to care.

It's better this way, he tells himself. There will be no long weeks of dying now. Just this growing puddle of rose-red water and a little fall of rain.


Archie gasps, starting to life.

Warm arms tighten around him, as Josh mumbles his concern in his ear, still half-asleep.

Archie rests a hand over his lover's heart and tells him it's nothing, go back to sleep, I'm fine, I'm all right.

But his own heart hammers in his chest as he sees his future stretched before him. They have to get out. Or, he thinks, at least: he will make sure Josh gets away.