Thanks: Thanks to sprat and mergatrude for read-throughs. Dialogue courtesy of Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. This won't make much sense if you don't know the movie, I'm afraid.
Notes: For the Sweat challenge on ds_flashfiction
It was cool, even here my apartment. The air was thick, heavy with fog and diesel and dust. First thing I did was pour myself a shot of whisky. Watched him while I threw it back.
He was neat as ever, not a brass button out of place, but there was something about the way he was standing, the line of his jaw. "Shakes?" I asked. "Me too. I get 'em bad."
His head came up quick. Surprised I was being so nice, I guess. It was hard to read him for sure, with the brim of his hat shadowing his eyes like that.
An advertising blimp dazzled the room for a moment.
I cleared my throat. "It's part of the business."
"I'm not in the business." His voice was soft and bitter. "I am the business."
I had nothing to say to that. No point denying it. I went into the white light of the kitchen and shrugged off my jacket and my torn shirt, filled the sink with warm water, and washed my face, washed off the smell of gunpowder and grime. Rinsed blood from my mouth. The water turned red. When I reached for a towel, he was standing right by me, watching. Fucking freak.
"What if I go north?" he said. "Disappear. Would you come after me? Hunt me?"
He almost sounded like he wanted me to. I dried my hair, my face, and thought about it. His eyes were dark, like he'd lost everything. He didn't look like prey. Sure as hell didn't look like a threat to public safety. "No. No, I wouldn't. I owe you one." I grabbed the whisky from the counter, and went back into the living room. "But somebody would."
There was a pile of laundry on the end of the couch, so I grabbed a clean shirt, pulled it on. I couldn't look at him, poor bastard. I poured another drink.
Fraser was standing in the doorway. "Ray, you know those files on me? The incept date, the longevity, those things. You saw them?"
I froze. What the hell did he want from me? "They're classified."
"You're a policeman."
"I didn't look." Lying through my teeth, and we both knew it. He didn't push though. Guess they programmed in some genuine Mountie manners. I lay on the couch and balanced my shot glass on my chest.
"You know that Voigt-Kampff test of yours? Did you ever take that test yourself?" Yeah, or maybe he was just a bastard. I ignored him and drifted off in an alcoholic glow. Hunting—being hunted—sure takes it out of you.
When I woke up, it was still dark. There was a guy sitting at my piano—white undershirt and suspenders. He'd lost the hat, too. Made him look real. I bit down on my body's response, on the want that was threatening my common sense. This was no time to get caught fraternizing. No time to get caught.
And maybe it was a trap, but when I sat next to him on the piano stool, I didn't think so. His spine had lost its steel. "I dreamed music," I mumbled, not sure what else to say.
His fingers started to move over the keys, the tune tentative but perfect.
"I didn't know if I could play," he said. "I remember my grandmother teaching me, but I don't know if it's me or Thatcher's niece."
"You play beautifully." Couldn't help myself—I touched his hair. It sure felt real. I wanted—needed to smell. His cheek was smooth and impossibly clean. It tasted of soap and, faintly, blowback. He swallowed, his jaw grazing mine.
I pulled back, horny and stupid with it, and we stared at each other, trying to see in, trying to understand. Wait a minute, what the hell was there to understand? Fraser'd only been alive a matter of months. Why should I even—? I moved in to kiss him, to take him, and just like that he was gone. Backing off. Leaving.
He opened the door and I slammed it shut before he could get through, slammed it, and shouldered my way in front of him, grabbing him by the arms. "Now you kiss me." I knew he wanted it. I could smell it.
"I can't rely on—" His voice was low, ragged, and I didn't care what he had to say. He was wrong. He was barely alive. I reached to touch his face, but he flinched away.
"Say kiss me," I told him, and shoved him against the wall. He went, unresisting, though he could've ripped my arms off just as easy. He went, and he looked at me, and his lips were swollen and red.
"Kiss me," he said, obediently.
Christ, what that did to me. I couldn't stop. "I want you," I tutored him. I wanted him to mean it, I really did. I wanted him to be able to.
"I want you," he parroted, and fuck. That almost had me. Got us some crazy good science here.
"Again." I held off from him, scared. Scared of who I was being, what was happening to me. Scared of what Fraser was doing to my self-control. He licked the corner of his mouth, real slow, and I nearly died.
"I want you," he said, and there was life in it this time. "Put your hands on me."
Oh jesus. My knees went out from under me, and he caught me, caught me to him, his lips hard on mine, taking what he could. And I did what he wanted—would do anything. I ran my hands down the strong muscles of his back, up onto the sweaty skin of his neck, and I opened to him, tasted his lips, salty and hot. Why was he sweating, I wondered. It was cool in here, it had been when we'd first got in. But his lips tasted of sweat—real and human, and god, I thought as a moan escaped me, he's real and I want him.