Title: Love, sweat and tears

Disclaimer: I own nothin', juz playin' with the boys but I promise to return them all happy an' sated… wink.

Summary: A hot summer night, Austin, Call and a bottle of whiskey. A beginning of a beautiful relationship to be…..

Rating might go up in the later chapters.

It was a warm summer night and the stars shone brightly in the black velvet sky. Mosquitoes were buzzing softly.

Sheriff Austin Peale sat on the small veranda outside his office with a bottle of whisky as his only company.

The town was surprisingly quiet, except for the occasional sounds of music and laughter coming from Tawylas saloon.

He sighed as he thought about how much his life had changed since the death of his beloved sister Hannah. His father had gone more than a little crazy since she died in the fire and he himself had started drinking hard.

Well nothing of this would have happened if she hadn't married that bastard in the first place. Austin had been against the marriage from the beginning, knowing that Call would hurt her n the end, but his father had given them his blessing forcing him to do the same. Austin could never forgive himself for not being there for her when she'd needed him the most and he would always despise Call for not being able to take care of her as he'd promised to do when they got married.

It didn't help that Newt Call had decided to return to the town after two years out on the roads. If it had been up to Austin, that son of a bitch could have stayed away forever.

Austin sighed, God his head pounded and he felt kinda dizzy. Maybe he should have skipped the last drink. Glancing over to the whisky in question he decided that another glass couldn't hurt, after all how much worse could it get?

He reached out for the bottle but before he could pour the drink into the glass he felt a hand on his shoulder and the bottle disappeared from his sight.

"Hey Austin, it ain't good to be sittin' out here alone drinkin'" Call said and took a sip of the liquid before drying his moth on the back of his hand.

"What are you doing out here at this time of the night Call. Don't you have anything else to do? Austin asked irritated and snatched back his bottle. "Why aren't you at Twayla's rolling around between the sheets with some prostitute?

Call smirked before replying; "Very funny. Actually, I thought of keeping you company out here, we couldn't have the town's sheriff fallin' asleep out here now could we?"

"Go to hell Call! If you'd just kept your filthy hands of my sister in the first place than she'd still be alive today, happily married to someone who deserved her kindness and love and would have taken better care of her…"

"Damn it Austin, we've been through this a hundreds of times all ready. Yes, I regret not bein' there when the fire broke out and I will never forgive myself for it. She loved and trusted me and I failed her, I'm the one that have to live with that for the rest of my life."

Call's voice seemed to crack a little at the end and his hands were visible shaking. Austin silently handed him the bottle and Cal sat down beside him. Call hid his face in his hands and his shoulders shook as he silently cried, teardrops found there way between his fingers leaving staining marks on his pants not bothering to hide his grief from the man beside him.

Austin was caught off guard by the other man's display of emotion, feeling rather sorry for him. He hesitated a moment before putting a comforting hand on Calls shoulder, wanting to somehow ease the pain.

Looking into it more clearly Austin thought that maybe he'd been to hard on him, not ever wanting to try to see it from Call's point of view. Looking back on it he'd thought that maybe he might have been a bit too hard on him, blaming him for things that had been impossible for him to have been in charge of controlling.

"Gee, if this is what too much cheep alcohol does to my brain then it might be a good idea to stop drinking." Austin shook his head to clear the unwelcome thoughts out of his head. Like if his life wasn't already screwed up as it was.

When the sobs finally subsided Call gave Austin a grateful embarrassed red-eyed grin. Austin smiled back.

They sat in a comfortable silence for a while, not wanting to risk breaking the fragile truce that had formed between them. They would have a long way to go before they could truly become like a family but at least it was a start.