||[Aug. 29th, 2006|11:07 am]
|||||on a picnic||]|
Ed and Hank
Part 7: Tuesday
The shirt off his back, part 2
Birds do it, Bees do it, even educated fleas do it….
Pairing: Ed & Hank
Length: ~2,600 words
Disclaimer: I know somewhere out there are a couple of guys named Ed and Hank who at some point in their lives met the amazing Ms. Proulx and told them their story. Well, at least Hank did. Jack and Ennis belong entirely to Ms. Proulx. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. Still makin' millions. Bought Ed a real nice pocket watch.
Feedback: Always appreciated
Part 1: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/456.html
Part 2: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/698.html
Part 3: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/897.html
Part 4: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/1101.html
Part 5: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/1339.html
Part 6: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/2024.html
“C’mon Ed, gonna take ya on a picnic today. Got a nice lunch packed, couple a pieces a peach pie fer dessert.”
“Cain’t go on a picnic today. Got too much ta do ‘round here. Pretty much took all yesterday off already.”
“Aw, c’mon. Not tha’ much ta do. Bill can look after the place. Feelin’ lazy this week. We can catch up nex’ week.”
“Did ya say ‘peach pie? Where ya thinkin’ a goin’?” It was a beautiful day and it sounded like Ed was beginning to warm up to the idea of getting away.
“Not too far, jus’ up inta the mountains a piece, ‘til we find a pretty spot. It’ll be nice ‘n cool up there. Good fer yer allergies. Make ya feel better.” Hank grinned at Ed, “Maybe ya can even have yer way with me later somewhere in the great outdoors…”
“If'n yer the one takin’ me on this picnic ain’t you s’posed ta have yer way with me?”
“Kinda sound a little sexist there, Ed.” Hank laughed, “Dontcha think Iris might ha’ somethin’ ta say ‘bout that.”
“Jus’ an old-fashion’ kind a guy I guess.” Ed laughed, “‘N I can jus’ see ya repeatin’ tha’ ta Iris.”
“Ya know them stories like ta make a big deal outta Ennis, y’know, ‘bein’ on the bottom’.” Hank loved to tease Ed about this, got a kick out of reading him those stories.
Ed ignored Hank, “I get ta drive.”
“Since you’re such an old-fashion’ kinda guy, if'n you drive wouldn’ tha’ mean yer takin’ me on the picnic? And then wouldn’ tha’ mean the way-having gets switched ‘round too? Sure tha’s wha’ ya wan’?”
“Come ta think of it, did strain ma arm yesterday. Still hurts a little. Don’ know if'n I can drive.”
“Thought ya said it was yer back?”
“Whatever.” Ed grinned, “You can drive.”
“Watch the road, dumbass. Not sure, but I think they paint tha’ line down the middle fer a reason.”
“Ya sure ya don’ wanna drive? I can pull over righ’ up here ‘n we can switch? Hank grinned.
“Nah, tha’s okay, yer doin’ jus’ fine.” Ed quietly checked to make sure his seatbelt was secure.
“Here.” Hank grabbed a few sheets of paper lying on the seat between them and tossed them at Ed.
“Wha’ I wrote ‘bout our last week together ‘n our shirts.”
“Ya didn’ say nothin’ ‘bout there bein’ homework on this field trip.”
“Jus’ read it and stop complainin’” Hank couldn’t help turning red. Still had a hard time letting Ed read what he wrote. Thought it might be easier if he was driving, had something else to think about.
“Think I’m getting’ a little motion-sick here. Maybe I could wait ‘til later.”
“You don’ get motion-sick.”
“Was worth a try.” Ed started to read.
After a little while, Hank realized that Ed had stopped reading and was staring out the passenger side window at the canyon walls unfolding as they drove by.
“You okay, Ed?”
“Up on tha’ mountain, after I read tha’ letter… Don’ got no words fer it. Jus’ don’ got no words fer it....Jus’…” Ed turned towards Hank, his eyes not bothering to try and hide the memory of that long ago pain, “Weren’t good.”
Their eyes met, there was a pause, then they both laughed at Ed’s choice of words, “Think ya got them words jus’ righ’. ‘Weren’t good’ seems ta sum it up pretty well.”
The smile faded from Ed’s lips, replaced by a look that caused Hank’s heart to beat faster. “Damn. When I came back down ta ya… Had ta have ya. Over ‘n over again. Couldn’ talk ta ya. Didn’ know wha’ ta say. Couldn’ stand ta look a’ yer face. Was like lookin’ at how I felt. Didn’ have ta look at ya if I were kissin’ ya. ‘N ya didn’ look quite so sad if'n we were goin’ at it. So's I jus’ kep’ after ya….”
Hank feigned being hurt, “Thought ya was mad fer me. Didn’ know ya jus’ didn’ wan’ ta look at me.”
“Course I were mad fer ya. Still am.” Ed reached over and grabbed Hank’s thigh, “Was like wha’ ya wrote. Desperate fer ya. Like I could never get ‘nough a ya. Couldn’ possibly a done it tha’ many times in one week if'n I weren’t mad fer ya. Was sore fer a long time. In a good way, though.”
Ed’s voice got very quiet, “Even long after tha’ seemed like… sometimes… I could still feel ya kissin’ me… yer lips on me… feel ya in me… ‘n me in you... Like I did manage ta take somethin’ a ya with me.”
“Maybe I better jus’ pull over fer a minute.” Ed’s words had nearly caused Hank to swerve off the road, never a good thing, but particularly dangerous considering where they were. Hank pulled into a scenic overlook and stopped. The road had clung to the north side of the canyon wall as it climbed steeply up towards the mountains before starting a series of switch-backs to the top. Now the canyon was spread out beneath them and they could see west out towards the plains where they had made their life together.
Hank turned towards Ed, still shaking a little, partly from the scare, partly from Ed’s words, “Was like tha’ fer me too. Felt like you were still with me sometimes. Late at night, if it was real dark, real quiet, ‘n I was almos’ asleep… Was like I could feel ya with me. Like ya jus’ said. ‘N feel yer breath on me, so warm.”
They moved towards each other on the seat, their mouths coming together in a long, deep kiss. When they finally parted, Ed whispered in Hank’s ear, “Damn. Lot better in person though, dontcha think, Rodeo?” Hank could only nod his head in agreement. Ed could still do him in with one kiss.
It was only then that Hank realized Ed hadn’t hesitated or checked for other vehicles before kissing him.
Ed brushed his lips softly against Hank’s cheek, “Sorry, Hank. ‘Bout when ya told me ya loved me ‘n I couldn’ say it back. Knew ya deserved ta hear it. I were a coward n’ couldn’ say it. Thought it migh’ jus’ make things worse if'n I did.” Ed smiled ruefully, “Though don’ rightly know wha’ worse woulda been.”
Ed sighed, “Then it was too late anyhow. All those people ‘round… Saw our clothes were mixed up. Never thought ya’d done it on purpose. Didn’ think I could stand bein’ tha’ close ta ya… without touchin’ ya. Had ta though. Didn’ have many clothes. Jus wanted ta get ‘em sorted out. Ya coulda jus’ asked me fer ma shirt ‘fore everybody showed up.”
Hank raised his eyebrows at Ed and smiled, “Ya think I coulda got the whole sentence out?”
“See yer point.” Ed smiled and gave Hank a gentle kiss.
“’Sides Ed, then I never woulda heard how ya felt ‘bout tha’ shirt.”
“Damn. Tha’ shirt.” Ed sighed again, “All them story writers always got me sniffin’ a’ ya like I was a damn dog or somethin’. But ya know what? Tha’s wha’ got ta me first with tha’ shirt. Smelled like ya. Brought tha’ whole summer crashin’ down on me. Almos’ grabbed ya ‘n threw ya down righ’ there in front a all them ranch hands. Damn the tire irons.
“Tha’s when it finally hit me. Tha’ I’d prob’ly never see ya again.” Ed shook his head, “Suddenly realized what I were losing. What I had already lost. Everything. All I had left a ya was tha’ shirt. Was holdin’ onta it fer dear life. Wouldn’a let go a it fer anythin’. Couldn’ figure out how ta tell ya. Was too late. Jus’ held on until tha’ foreman yelled at us. Then, ‘fore I knew it, I were practic’lly yellin’ ‘bout how much I loved tha’ shirt.”
Ed was quiet for a moment, “Took a long, long time ‘fore I ever said tha’ ta ya again.”
“Sure am glad ya found them words, Ed. Kept me goin’ through some pretty lonely times.”
“Tell ya one thing though.” Ed managed a small laugh, “Lot harder ta hide a shirt than ya’d think it’d be. Put it in a drawer under some stuff ‘n Nora pulled it out ‘n asked why it weren’t hangin’ in the closet. Hung it in the closet ‘n she asked why I never wore it. Finally hid it in ma knapsack ‘n stuffed it in the back a the closet ‘n she asked me where tha’ shirt went. Told her I tried it on ‘n it didn’ fit no more so’s I got rid a it. Had a feelin’ she didn’ believe me. Was like she somehow knew there was somethin’ ‘bout tha’ shirt. Was always ‘fraid she was gonna throw out tha’ ol’ knapsack or find tha’ shirt in it. Checked ‘most everyday ta make sure it was still there.”
“Know whatcha mean. Left it at ma folk’s place once, but felt lost without it. Was already lost withou’ you, so don’ know why tha’ shirt made such a difference, but it did. From then on always kept it with me, close ta me. Even tho was so ‘fraid I’d lose it. Like ya said, all I had left a ya. Tha’ shirt was like a life-line fer me.”
“Same fer me. Every time I opened tha’ knapsack ‘n looked at it I knew tha’ summer had been fer real. Not jus’ a dream. ‘N I hoped… no, I knew… ya still loved me.” Ed’s gaze turned west towards the plains, towards their home, and his voice broke just a little, “Sometimes it seems like all this ain’t real. Tha’ all this is jus’ a dream. Like we’re jus’ another version a Jack ‘n Ennis in one a them stories.”
“Ain’t no dream, Ed. I’m real. Yer real. ‘N tha’ little ranch down there is real.” Hank moved towards Ed again, meaning to take him in his arms and kiss the hell out of him, but just then a huge RV pulled into the overlook and parked right next to them. A very sunburned and very unhappy family tumbled out one by one, taking over the rest area like those ranch hands had taken over their mountain.
“Was your idea to rent this stupid thing! Kids, stay away from the edge!!”
“Oh, I don’t think so! I distinctly remember you saying… Kids, get back here!”
“Do you realize how much we’ve spent on gas already….?!”
Ed and Hank looked at each other and laughed. “Well tha’s certainly real. Think we better take off before they lose one a them kids over the edge. Don’ think I’m up ta climbing down inta a canyon ta rescue anybody today.”
“Sounds like one a yer better ideas.” Hank started the truck and they continued up towards the lake.
Birds do it, bees do it, even educated flees do it....
I've heard that lizards and frogs do it
Layin' on a rock
They say that roosters do it
With a doodle and cock
(Lyrics from Let’s Do It by Cole Porter)
“C’mon Ed, ya gotta talk ta me sometime. ‘S’a long drive home.
“Forgot ‘bout all them bugs in summer. We been goin’ up in fall fer so long now. Ain’t no bugs in fall.”
“Yer chances a actually contractin’ West Nile are pretty low. I think.”
“Guess ‘m jus’ lucky. Mosquitoes don’ like me none.”
“Least-wise looks like the swellin’ from tha’ bee sting’s goin’ down some.”
“Yer lip’s almos’ back ta normal size. Does it still hurt?”
“Least-wise it weren’t no killer bee.”
“Jus’ thought it’d be nice ta swim out ta tha’ little island.”
“Jus’ wanted ta have ma way with ya somewhere romantic-like.”
“Didn’ ha’ no way a knowin’ it was infested with them big ol’ bitin’ ants.”
“Can’t even ‘magine how they got out ta tha’ island.”
“Yer butt feelin’ any better? Looks like yer settin’ a little more normal now.”
“Guess them ants didn’ care fer yer fine ass as much as I do.”
“Jus’ wish they had waited ‘til after I was done havin’ ma way with ya.”
“Ya know there were no way we coulda taken our clothes with us out ta tha island ‘n not gotten ‘em all wet.”
“Had no way a knowin’ all them Girl Scouts was gonna show up.”
“Least-wise they only had lunch by the lake. Coulda been trapped on tha’ island all night if'n they’d a camped there.”
“Scrambled ta get outta view so quick… Jus’ didn’ see tha’ poison oak.”
“Ya startin’ ta itch yet?”
“Mighta got ya back in the water soon ‘nough to wash some a tha’ stuff off a ya.”
-----Sound of scratching-----
“Should try not ta scratch… Jus’ make it worse.”
-----Sound of scratching continues-----
“Least-wise most a our stuff were still there when we got back.”
“Must a been a coyote or somethin’. Takin’ yer shoe like tha.”
“Kinda weird though, coyote out in broad daylight with all them Girl Scouts ‘round.’”
“Ya know I woulda given ya ma shoes if they weren’t a size too small, righ’?”
“Lucky it weren’t more ‘n a mile back ta the truck.”
“Didya get all them pickers outta yer foot yet?”
“Aw, c’mon, Ed. Day weren’t all bad? Was it?”
Ed had been looking out the window, fighting desperately to control himself, wanting to make Hank suffer as long as possible. But he couldn’t keep it in any longer. Ed’s laughing and snorting, alternating with ‘shits,’ ‘ows’ and “ouches” because it hurt his lip, soon had Hank laughing so hard he had to pull over for the second time that day.
When they managed to stop laughing, Hank put the truck in park and slid across the seat towards Ed, cupped his face in his hands and gently kissed his un-stung bottom lip then ran his tongue lightly across it. Ed moaned, “Finally, somethin’ tha’ feels good today.”
“Sorry was such a disaster.” Hank whispered in Ed’s ear, “Do know at least one other part of ya tha’ escaped unharmed today.” One of Hank’s hands traveled to that particular body part while Hank kissed Ed’s ear, kissed down then back up his neck, kissed his chin, then ran his tongue along Ed’s bottom lip again, “When we get home I’m gonna make tha’ feel real good too.”
Ed groaned, “Way things are goin’ migh’ not make it home alive.” Then he glanced around at where they were parked. Hank had pulled off the road onto a small dirt track leading past a few sheltered campsites that were all unoccupied. “Looks pretty private righ’ here.”
Hank was surprised, until this picnic he hadn’t managed to talk Ed into doing anything like that outdoors in a long time, and after what had just happened on that island he figured it was never happening again.
“Seriously? In the truck? Jus’ off the main road? Even after wha’ jus’ happened?” Ed nodded, the look in his eyes making Hank’s heart skip a beat and telling Hank that he wasn’t kidding.
Later, when they were back on the road, Hank turned to Ed, grinned, and repeated his earlier question, “Day weren’t all bad, huh?”
“Nah. Not all bad.” Ed tried not to smile, “Tha’ peach pie was pretty good.”
“Asshole.” Hank laughed, and punched Ed in the shoulder.
“Love ya, dumbass.”
“Love you too dumbass.”