A/N: This went in quite a different direction than I originally intended. Oh well. This takes place in season 1, during some nebulous time right after Rayna finds out Teddy cheated and right after Deacon finds out about the divorce.

Deacon Claybourne was sitting on the couch, an old guitar draped across his lap. He idly strummed a chord, his brain trying to connect lyric to music. Suddenly, he heard his phone vibrate on the coffee table, signaling the receipt of a text message. He glanced at the clock—12:04. He ran his hand over his face and sighed, setting the guitar on the couch next to him.

"What the hell?" He breathed, as he reached for his phone. When he saw the name, he furrowed his brow.

He opened his phone, and clicked the notification, slower than he might have if he weren't still getting used to this whole texting thing.

Hideacon I'm at totsies can you please come gt me?

A second later, it buzzed again

A third buzz:

Deacon sighed, stood, and typed out a reply—yes—then slipped his phone into the pocket of his jeans. Grabbing his keys, he headed out the door and got into his truck. Tootsie's wasn't very far from him, but his mind wandered as he drove there. He should be nervous about going in to Tootsie's, scared that he might give into his addiction. Normally, he would have been, but it was clear from Rayna's text that she was drunk—or at least tipsy—and it was clear that she needed him. He'd never had to worry about his demons when he really needed to take care of her.

He parked and walked in to the bar, his eyes scanning for her old hat, since that's what he did in a crowd from the moment he met her. To this day, he still scanned crowds he knew she couldn't possibly be in just in case.

He spotted her, at the end of the bar, a champagne glass in front of her. He smiled, and then felt worried. She always had champagne when things got too bad. Most people used champagne to celebrate—Rayna Jaymes used champagne to commiserate.

He walked over to the bar, and he cursed his heart for swelling when she saw him and smiled.

"Deacon, hey!" She said, sliding off the bar stool, her words long and easy. She was tipsy, knocking on drunk's door. She grabbed her glass of champagne and downed half of it in one swallow. Drunk would be answering soon. When he got to her, she threw her arms around him and he felt his body stiffen—they didn't usually have contact these days, let alone contact like this. This wasn't some arm shrug/grasp/whatever the hell. This was Rayna's body pressed fully against his, her arms around his neck, and he started feeling suddenly warm before she let go and took his hand, leading him to a booth in the back of the joint.

As he passed the bartender, Deacon smiled and nodded, and then mouthed a quick 'thank you' for keeping Rayna Jaymes drunk at Tootsie's a secret. The bartender smiled back and nodded.

Rayna slid into the booth, and pulled Deacon in by his hand. He slid in next to her, his jeans smoothing along the vinyl of the booth. When they were settled, and Rayna hadn't let go of his hand, he squeezed it and then slowly extracted his hand from hers, lest this start to feel too much like old times.

"You okay, Ray?" His voice was gentle when he finally spoke.

She nodded, smiling, "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine! Thanks for coming!" She said.

Deacon chuckled. Rayna had always been a happy drunk.

"How are you?" She asked, still smiling.

He eyed her, not wanting to lie, not wanting to bring up the actual truth at precisely this moment. "I'm fine," he settled on a party line.

"Good, good, good, good." She nodded. "That's good." She fixed her gaze on the table, her fingers finding a sugar packet and pushing it back and forth. They lapsed into silence.

"What's going on, Ray?" His voice was quiet, his eyes on her.

She sighed, and stilled the sugar packet. Deacon watched as her eyes grew slightly darker, watched her features still and her breathing labor—she was gathering courage, he knew.

She whispered when she said it, and it was a few seconds before it finally hit Deacon's ears, "Teddy cheated on me." Her head was still lowered when she brought her eyes to meet him.

Deacon was surprised at the rage that coursed through him at her words. He couldn't speak immediately because if he did, he knew he would yell. He knew he would scream and have the whole bar staring at them. He waited a beat, "What?" was all he could muster, his teeth gritted. I'll fucking kill him was on repeat in his head.

"Yep," Rayna said, popping the p. "With… Peggy Kenter." She closed her eyes and then laughed. "I don't know if I should be relieved or insulted that he chose someone so unlike me." She sighed, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the divorce."


She looked at him and pursed her lips, "It's not. You shouldn't have found out like that. I just…didn't know what to say, or how to say it." She shrugged.

"When…" Deacon ran his hand across his face. If there were conversations he never thought he'd have in his life, this one would be at the top. Sitting in a bar with the only woman he'd ever loved, talking about how her husband had cheated on her. "When did you find out? Ah, that Teddy was… that he…" He couldn't bring himself to say the word.

Rayna smiled, "Cheated?"

Deacon nodded, "Yeah."

Rayna leaned back into the booth, the vinyl cool on her back. "A few days ago. Poor Maddie overheard him on the phone saying something like it feels right to be with you or whatever."

"Bastard." Deacon had been saying that in his head about Teddy every damn day for twenty years. It was a relief to be able to say it out loud now, and to Rayna no less.

"Yeah." She cleared her throat.

"Guess that explains the champagne." He smiled.

She glanced at him then, looking through her lashes, and Deacon shifted in his seat. That look had always done it for him.

"Yeah." She finished her glass and pushed it to the edge of the table. "Sorry for dragging you here, I just… didn't know who to call."

"I'm glad it was me." If there was a night for honesty, he guessed it was this one.

"Me too."

Deacon sighed, "I knew Teddy was an asshole. I just didn't know he was that kind of asshole."

Rayna's eyebrows rose as she nodded her head. "Yeah, well." Something passed over her face, but it was quick and Deacon couldn't quite place it. "The papers picked it up, as you well saw." Her voice was tight, then she laughed. A full laugh, and her eyes were sparkling, "God, that's almost the worst part!"

Deacon smiled, but he was confused, "What is?"

She shook her head, laughter still in her voice "Those papers! They have me connected to all these men; I'm apparently getting it all over town, and I haven't even had sex in over 8 months!" Her voice lilted, "Not with anyone but myself, anyway." Her laugh was throaty as she leaned forward to put her elbow on the table. She leaned her chin on her hand and stared at him.

Deacon felt his pulse quicken, and he averted his gaze, staring at the sugar packet, tracing the red letters with his eyes. That was the last thing he needed to be thinking about right now, when he was supposed to be comforting her.

"What?" She asked, her voice innocent. But Deacon knew she could tell what she had done.

"Rayna…" he warned.

"Oh," she dropped her voice low, just above a whisper, "Do you not want to hear about me touching myself?"

His eyes snapped up to hers. That was the exact opposite of the problem. He saw so much in her eyes—arousal, sadness, lust, playfulness—but it was the last thing he saw that moved him to speak—a challenge.

He set his jaw, his decision made, "Tell me." His words were slow, "Tell me about the last time."

Deacon watched as her lips parted slightly, watched as her chest rose and fell. Her eyes fluttered closed as she leaned back again, and when she opened again and fixed him with her gaze, they were all fire.

"It was a week and a half ago. I had just gotten out of a very hot shower, I was sitting in bed, and suddenly it hit me all at once. I just became so turned on." She laughed, but it was a slow sound, languid and easy, "And I couldn't help it. I just started imagining, and my body took over from there. It was quicker than it should have been, but… god." She leaned her head back, "It felt good."

Deacon cleared his throat—one part of him was thankful she didn't go into graphic detail, another part of him was disappointed, but all parts of him were turned on.

"Oh, really?" His voice dropped, "And… who were you thinking about, Ray?" His voice was rough, but he couldn't get the picture she just painted out of his head. Even if he had to fill in the blanks with his imagination—and memories—of the things they'd done together long ago.

Her smile spread slowly across her face, and she leaned in to him until her lips were against his ear. "You." Her breath tickled his ear.

Deacon pressed his eyes shut, and then he felt her weight shift away from him. When he opened his eyes, she was standing outside the booth. "Deacon." She said, "Take me home."

He slid out of the booth behind her, and they walked to his truck. The ride to her house was silent, but the tension between them was thick. When they arrived, he walked her to her door, and his heart fell into his stomach when she turned around and leaned against the door frame.

"Want to come in?" Her voice was low. "The girls are with Teddy… and his mistress, probably. Come in."

Deacon pinched the bridge of his nose, trying any distraction technique he could think of.

He'd wanted few things in his life more than he wanted to go into Rayna's house at that very moment, and he couldn't remember a single one of them right now. He felt his blood coursing through his veins, and he tried to calm himself down—it had been years since he allowed himself to want Rayna like this. In front of her. He'd spent years thinking about her only when he was alone. And, yet. More than he wanted her, he loved her.

"Rayna, I can't…" But before he could finish, her mouth was on his.

He felt her lips pressing against his, her sweet tongue parting his lips, and his heart dropped again. He'd made himself a promise a long time ago that he would never not kiss Rayna back, and so he did. She tasted like champagne, a bit like honey, and exactly like everything he'd been aching to forget these past 14 years, but still remembered painfully well.

He deepened the kiss, and backed her up against the door frame, his hands in her hair. Her hands ran themselves up and down his back, leaving a trail of fire even through his shirt, and then she broke away and kissed his neck. He pressed his body into hers, and she moaned—god, that sound—before she brought her lips back to his.

"Deacon, come inside. I want you." She spoke against his mouth—he'd always loved when she did that, loved the breathy sound of her voice.

He pulled away, then, and took her face in his hands, his palms on her cheeks. She nuzzled into him, her lips swollen. "You're so damn beautiful," he whispered. "And, baby, there is not a thing I want more than you right now—hell, there isn't a thing I've wanted more than you for the last 20 goddamn years." He pressed a gentle kiss to her lips, "But. I can't come inside. Not tonight, not right now, not like this."

She opened her mouth to protest, but he put a finger over her lips.

"Baby, no." He saw the tears gathering in her eyes, saw the doubt, and he knew what she needed to hear, "Teddy Conrad is the dumbest man alive. Ask me yesterday, I would have told you it was me. But, it's not; it's him. Understand?"

Rayna laughed, and as she nodded, a tear spilled over. Deacon caught it with his thumb, and then kissed her again, softer this time, the tenderness between them overflowing. Deacon sighed against her lips—how much he'd missed this.

"Deacon?" Her voice was quiet, soft. "Thank you." She could hear the looseness of her words, the way her lips tried to grab on to them, but didn't quite succeed. She knew why he couldn't come in.

He smiled, "You're welcome, Ray." He stepped back, and tried not to wince at the sudden loss of contact. He hadn't felt Rayna flush against him in over 14 years.

She stepped inside then, and when she turned around to look at him, her hand on the door, the fire had returned to her eyes. It had also taken residence in her voice, "I'll think of you tonight," She peered at him from under her lashes, her meaning clear. Her words were sharp and strong before she closed the door, "And I'll still want you tomorrow."