Ficlet: Filler story #2 Death Shall Have No Dominion part 2
Disclaimer in part 1. Another tissue alert (just want to make sure just in case.)
Ennis had stopped off at Stoutamire's to pick up the two horses, he'd use one as a pack animal.
The drive up to Brokeback reminded him of the last time he'd met up with Jack in the mountains. Six months had come and gone and that argument they'd had plagued him. He looked over at the paper bag sitting on the seat next to his containing the jar filled with Jack's ashes. This was only the second time that he and Jack rode in a truck together, the first time was back in '67 when they reunited after four year apart. They drove up to the mountains, Ennis remembered how they shed their clothes and dove off the cliff and into the water below. Ennis thought of their romantic coupling that happened after they surfaced and the days and nights that followed. Ennis thought back with regret that that was also the first time Jack had suggested that sweet life and he'd shot it down. He'd never forgive himself for that.
Now they were traveling to the mountains for the last time. Oddly enough he felt at peace that he was fulfilling Jack's last wishes. He found a spot to part the truck, got the horses out and got them all packed and carefully took the bag and placed it in his saddle bag got on his horse and started on his way.
He felt as if he was being guided by some powerful force, he wasn't sure how but it was like Jack was with him telling him where he wanted to go. Things hadn't changed too much, the old beaten paths were still here. He'd seen an elk, some deer and a coyote on the prowl. After about two hours he finally reached his destination, the camping ground by the river, the one with the old pole bridge stretching across the water. He remembered coming back for supper one evening after a day with the sheep only to find Jack standing on the bridge with no shirt on. He couldn't help but stop and stare and admire his man.
He wasn't sure but he suspected Jack knew he was watching him and he was showing off to him.
Ennis set up the tent and camp and set the bag in front of him and took out the jar and set it on a large rock next to him.
"We're here lil darlin, right where we began I always thought this place was special, it's like we never left here. This will always be home for us." Ennis took two cans of Better Most beans and put them on the fire. He ate one and left the other in a remembrance of Jack.
He took out a bottle of Old Rose whiskey and clinked it against the jar and took a swig. "To good friends, you was always that Jack. My one and only friend never had a real one till you. There was a lot of things I never had till you come into my life." He had to fight past the lump in his throat. "You made me see things different, Jack. Opened my eyes to things I never thought much on. Remember when I said I wasn't queer, well you know I am, we both are. I just was too stubborn to admit it. I sure am sorry I didn't give us a chance, we coulda been careful, watched each other's backs.
Remember how I said I was nobody and nowhere and that you made me like this, I know it sounded mean spirited, but I didn't mean it like that. You know I was never good with words. What I really meant to say is I was nobody and nowhere without you, Jack. You done stole my heart, rodeo. I wish I'd been there to save ya, you'll never know how sorry I am things ended this way." He was fighting the tears that threatened to spill. He took another swig of whiskey, stood up and put the whiskey bottle down. He picked up the jar of ashes and walked over to the small stream by the pole bridge.
"Well, bud, you're here where you wanted to be. I know I never said it, guess I hoped you already knew. I love ya Jack Fuckin Twist, always have. I'll never forget you." The tears welled up again and fell down his cheek as he opened the jar and sprinkled the ashes into the water. He made a silent vow that he'd join Jack here when it was his time he'd make sure his girls knew he wanted to be cremated and his ashes sprinkled in this very spot.
Ennis ate the second can of beans, he laid back on the extra bedroll and looked up at the stars. He took out a cigarette and lit up. It was a chilly night and Ennis still wore that old thin jacket cause he couldn't afford anything else. The thing was he didn't feel cold, It was like he felt warmth surrounding him seeping into his heart. Ennis flicked his cigarette butt into the fire. He continued to look up at the stars. "Jack," the name came out as a sigh, "I hurt so much, bud, I don't know how to do this without ya. I wish I could be with ya right now I would Jack. I would do it right now, but I just cain't do that to my girls. Juniors' getting married and she wants me ta be there. Maybe she wants me to give her away." He chuckled," Can ya believe it, Jack, my baby's getting hitched. She's the same age as when we met. She fusses over me sometimes, lookin out for her daddy. Jenny wants to be a vet, she'll be goin off to college in the fall. Can ya imagine, Jack my youngest goin ta college. I'd never thunk it." He was doing all the talking now, it was eerie. Jack was always the talker, he sure was gonna miss that.
Ennis decided to go to sleep, he'd be leaving sometime tomorrow. Ennis snuggled into the sleeping bag, in the same position he usually slept in all the years he and Jack had been together, on his side.
It didn't take long for sleep to claim him or for Jack to make an appearance in his dreams.
Ennis was sitting at the campfire, the sound of horses whinnying and birds singing could be heard. The sun was filtering through the trees and he was just staring into the fire. He closed his eyes, it felt lonely. He heard hoof beats, then a horse whiney. Just like he had when Jack returned to camp from his time up with the sheep. He felt strong arms wrap around his chest and a warm mouth cover his in a passionate kiss. He slowly opened his eyes and stared at the most beautiful blue eyes he ever saw. "Jack, you're not really here. You're just a dream. I ain't never gonna see ya again."
"Ennis, listen cowboy something happened here to both of us in '63. We fell in love, how many people can say they found the love of their life? And Ennis," Jack knelt in front of him, his arms around Ennis' neck and their foreheads touching, "our love is a force of nature, nothing can ever separate us, not even death. We're like one person, I'll never leave ya, Ennis, never."
"I love ya Jack, I'm awful sorry." Jack put his fingers to his mouth.
"Shhh, nothing to be sorry for Ennis. I want you to be happy, for as long as you live. I love you too, Ennis. And you know this in your heart, if you don't' know nothing else, I'll be waiting for you. I'll be right here on Brokeback, waiting with open arms cowboy."
Ennis grabbed Jack and they embraced then they went into the tent and made love. Ennis even let Jack be inside him for the first time, he finally understood what Jack was feeling all those times he rolled his eyes back and that big old smile lit up his face.
Ennis woke with a smile on his face and reached out for Jack but his hand landed on the empty space next to him. He opened his eyes and realized it was a dream, a very happy dream.
And yet he could swear Jack was here, he could smell him, feel him. When Ennis left the tent to take a piss his whole ass was very sore. 'Just slept wrong,' he thought. Or was this what it was like when there was a cock up yer ass?
Ennis packed up camp after he had breakfast, got on his horse and slowly rode back to his truck. He didn't say goodbye, Jack hadn't left him, he had crawled into his soul and heart and was resting inside him. He took comfort in knowing Jack would be waiting for him. Ennis drove back to Riverton with joy in his heart and a spirit at peace.