Strange Bedfellows- by Trekfan
Disclaimer: It's not mine, though I wish I could be as creative as Annie Proulx. I am only borrowing her wonderful characters so I can FIX what I couldn't stand.
rating: NC-17, with BBM fic it's safer.
This story is Canon but with a 'twist'
A note to readers, I took a break from "Milestones" this one shot just wanted to be written first. I will get back to "Milestones" very soon.
I watched as Junior drove away in her boyfriend's, no fiancée's, fancy sports car. When did my little girl grow into a woman? Wasn't it just yesterday when his girls were small? Now they are young women. I shook my head at this and walked back into the small trailer that I'd recently moved into. I had to give up that shack I was living on when Stoutamire's place folded.
I managed to find a job with a rancher who had just moved to Wyoming from Texas. He told me he was from Wichita Falls I wonder if that is near Childress. I guess I'll have to dig out the map of Texas I bought right after that fight Jack and I had. I didn't know it was going to be the last time we'd ever see each other. 'Oh why didn't I listen to you Jack? Why didn't I give ya that sweet life you wanted?'
I sighed as my thoughts were interrupted when I spotted Junior's sweater. She'd left without it. I quickly looked out the door but she was long gone. Then I folded up her sweater real neat. I'd give it back to her next time she came out to visit me.
I opened up the small closet, carefully put Junior's sweater on the shelf then looked at the door. I felt the familiar pain in my gut and the same sadness welling up inside me everytime I saw those shirts hanging there. My hand went up to button up the top snap on his shirt. Still trying to keep him safe, like I shoulda done when he was alive. He kept my shirt all them years, hoping that maybe his dream of a life together would come true. I kept on shoving those dreams down, burying them in a deep hole.
"Jack, I swear," I say outloud letting him know that wherever he is right now that I will never forget him, that I love him and will try to live my life till I can join him. Then I touch the postcard I recently purchased in the general store to add to my memorial to my dear friend. I sighed and closed the door.
I had to go over to the ranch for a few hours, Mr. Frederick had spoken to Stoutamire, he musta said some nice things about me cause Mr. Frederick told me he is gonna make me foreman. "Can ya beat that Jack, me a foreman." I don't know when it happened but I took to talking to Jack after I hung up those shirts. Maybe I'm imaging things but I can almost feel he's still with me. I dropped that idea out of my head and drove over to the ranch. I looked over his ranch and made a list of the things that needed to be done and what supplies would have to be ordered.
He and his wife took a liking to me, Mrs. Frederick asked me to come over for dinner sometime. At first I wanted to say no, but then I thought it wouldn't be polite to refuse my new boss and his wife's invitation.
I came home that night exhausted like always after a hard day of ranch work. Made me some beans for dinner that night. I knew how much Jack hated em but I liked them just the same. I have several cans of Better Most beans in the small cupboard. 'I wonder what you'd think a me if you could see how I'm livin Jack.' The same feeling would well up inside me whenever I think of Jack. 'I sure which I knew how to stand this, cause I sure as hell know I can't fix this here thing Jack.' I'd give anything to hear his voice again, just wish he was here and we had that sweet life he'd wanted.
An audible sigh left my lips and I decided to eat dinner and then go take a shower and get the stench of the ranch off me. Funny thing is Jack never complained about the smell when I'd come back from them sheep. Fact is he'd be sniffing me when we'd hug. Like he wanted to breathe me into his body or somethin.
I stood under the hot water, it felt good on my tight muscles. Then it happened, I couldn't keep the thoughts of Jack from coming into my head. Remembering the times we bathed together. First time we jumped off that cliff into the cold mountain lake, after a four-year hiatus. "Remember that Jack?" I remembered the time we were in Don Wroe's cabin and he had indoor plumbing and it didn't take us long to make use of that shower. "Was real good wasn't it Jack." I looked down and saw my cock was thinkin on Jack too. I wrapped my hand around the swollen shaft and began pumping, "Oh yeah, yeah right there, Jack." I squirted out right through my fingers, but with my eyes closed I kept thinkin it was Jack's hand I was cumming into.
I opened my eyes and felt down hearted when I saw I was alone. I took a deep breath and grabbed the washcloth and soap and cleaned up.
There was a baseball game on TV so I watched that for a while. Too bad Jack and me didn't get to watch a game together.
"Ennis?" I must've dozed off and started dreaming cause I could have sworn I heard Jack's voice callin me clear as day. I looked around the room and I was alone. 'Must be dreamin,' I think to myself, then I dozed back off.
I don't know how long I'd been sleeping when the sound of a thunderclap woke me up. I always hated thunder. Ever since I was a kid it scared me. My father would yell at me for crying. So I used ta put the pillow over my head to muffle the cries.
It wasn't until Jack found out about his fear that he was able to stop being ashamed. We'd made love earlier that evening and fell asleep in each other's arms. A thunderstorm came across the mountain and I remember sitting up in a cold sweat. Jack wrapped his arms around me and comforted me.
Funny how I swear I can still feel his arms around me. Rubbing my chest and his cheek and chin rubbing my shoulder and neck.
My eyes open and I saw a pair of hands on my chest. My mouth dropped open and I quickly spin around.
"Jack?!" My breath caught in my throat as a familiar figure was lying in bed with me. "You ain't here! You're dead." I backed away from his warm arms and turned the lamp on. "I'm dreamin that is what this is. A dream." I kept saying, but I felt like I was awake.
"You think bein dead was gonna keep me away from the one I love? Our love is some kinda force of nature like some tornado or somethin."
"I don't believe this!" I got off the bed and stumbled towards the door. I felt a hand on my arm and I turned around and stared into those beautiful blue eyes.
"I'm really here Ennis, you ain't dreamin this."
"What are you a ghost? You come back to haunt me?"
"Would it help if I said BOO?' There was that Twist humor that I missed.
"What? How is this possible, Jack, you're dead. I got my postcard back that I sent ya about meetin in Pine Creek, said deceased in big red letter. Near tore my heart out. Then Lureen told me how you had an accident with a tire and you was dead. Told me how your ashes was with her and some she sent up to your folks. I went to see your ma and pa,"
"Oh that must have gone over real well. What did that bastard say to ya?" Jack pursed his lips, It was then I noticed his mustache was gone. He looked like he did when I seen him after our first reunion.
"I told him I was gonna carry out your last wishes to take your ashes to Brokeback but he told me your ashes were goin into the family plot. I think your ma wants me to come on back, maybe she wants to sneak em to me so I can take em up there and.." then I realized what I was sayin and to who. It was so bizarre to be talking about Jack's ashes when he was right here with me.
"Jack what the hell is going on? I mean how are you here? Did you fake your death?"
I felt Jack's arms go around me and hold me. I wrapped my own arms around him, he felt solid, real. But after all my grieving for him how was this possible.
"I'm here Ennis, yes I'm still dead. I still don't know how this all works. All I know is I could feel you, feel how you were suffering and I wished so hard that there was some way I could be with you. And here I am."
I feel so numb, I can barely speak all I can do is hold him tight. "Oh Jack, Jack. I missed you so much lil darlin." I feel his right arm inch up and his hand holding the back of my head. I look at him and before I know it his lips are touching mine. I close my eyes and kiss him back.
"I missed you too cowboy." I led him to the living room. I had to show him. "Your ma told me to go to your room. I could almost feel you there as I was lookin around. Then I was in your closet and well." I opened the door of the closet and showed him the shirts I had on a hanger. I watched him look them over and he reached out and touched them.
"So you found em, only." He saw that I had taken his shirt and tucked it inside mine, keeping him safe.
"I love you so much Ennis, I wanted that sweet life with ya. That is all I kept thinkin on when I was lying there knowing the end was coming. I had so much I wanted to tell ya, thought it was too late. I'd never get to tell you I loved you." He turned around to me and kissed me again. "I see ya reversed our shirts."
"I wanted to keep you with me, way you kept me. Didn't know you took my shirt on Brokeback."
"I had to have a piece of you to remember you by. So I snatched it after you changed."
"I wish I could go back, Jack. Wish we could have that sweet life. Too late now, you said there was never enough time. You was right." I sniffed back the tears that threatened to spill. "I made this happen, shoulda listened to you."
"Ennis we can't go back, cowboy."
"Naw we can't." I felt him wrap his arms around me from behind. We both stared at the shirts.
"See ya added a postcard a Brokeback. Sure got us good, huh?"
"Sure nough," I sighed as I leaned back into his strong arms. "I love ya Jack, I know I shoulda said it to ya all them years, so many fuckin years you put up with my shit." I turned around to face him. Surprised to see no anger, no hopelessness in the eyes like I had at the trailhead that last time.
"Cause I love ya too, Ennis, put up with all that shit cause I wanted you. I was real angry that time, but it's all past and I don't want you livin the rest of your life sufferin over it."
"I deserve ta suffer, Jack for what I done to ya, I thought keepin us apart kept you safe. Instead it got ya killed." I felt some tears fall and his fingers on my face wiping them off.
"Shhh, it's alright now. You didn't get me killed, Ennis."
"Then how'd ya die? Lureen told me it was an accident, I just kept seein them tire irons."
"Doesn't matter now, What matters now is you. I want ya to be happy."
"You made me happy, Jack." I felt his hand in mine and him dragging me to my bedroom.
"Then let me make ya happy."
Before I knew it we were naked in bed and doing the things we liked the most to each other. Our bodies exploring well worn trails.
I woke up the next morning, the sheets were messed up with the evidence of our love, but Jack was gone. And all I kept thinking was was it a dream?"
I went to work at the ranch, but this time there was no heaviness in my heart.
A few days later, on my day off, Junior had called asking me to come shopping with her. Shopping! I told her shouldn't her ma be doin that, she insisted she needed me to come with her and I could never refuse my girls anything, so I went. Turned out she wanted to get me a new suit for her wedding. I told her I couldn't afford it She said not to worry, her friend's ma owned this store and she was practically giving us the suit. So I stood there, trying to be still while they measured me. The suit was a greenish gray color, green was Junior's favorite color. Her bride's maids were all going to be dressed in green and she wanted my suit to be green too but something that really suited me. She was real happy when she saw the suit on me. The woman at the shop told me she would call me when the suit was ready.
Junior and me went out to my truck, I was going to take her home. She stopped me from starting up the truck.
"Daddy, I want you to walk me down the aisle."
"Darlin," I said, "You know I ain't used to bein in front of all them people."
"Please Daddy, I really want you to give me away."
I knew this was a big thing, I remember Alma's pa walking her down the aisle. This was my oldest's wedding and well it was the least I could to. Besides one look into her eyes and there was no sayin no.
"Okay lil darlin."
I took her back home then went back to my place. I hadn't seen Jack since that dream that I think I had. But when I was sleeping I could swear I felt his arms around me. But when I woke up in the morning he would be gone. It was like he was watching me from wherever he was. Letting me know I wasn't alone.
About a week later I'd gotten a call from the lady at the clothing shop that my suit was ready. I stopped by after work and tried the suit on, made sure it fit good and then took it home.
The day of the wedding came real quick. That morning I took a shower, shaved and put on the suit. I stood looking at the mirror that was on the left door of the closet.
I heard some whistling coming from behind me. "Yer lookin REAL handsome there cowboy."
Jack was standing right behind me, looking at me in the mirror.
"Jack!" I turned around to look at him but he wasn't there.
"Look in the mirror, Ennis."
I turned around and he was there again, staring at me with hungry eyes like a man who hasn't eaten in a long time.
"How come I can only see ya in the mirror?"
"I'm not sure, maybe cause it's daylight. What's the occasion Ennis?"
"Junior is getting hitched today."
"Really? That's great news, are ya walkin her down the aisle?"
"Yep, but I wish I wasn't, you know how I am in public."
"You'll do just fine, cowboy. I wish I could be there with ya. I know you're one proud daddy."
I felt him run his hands up and down my chest.
"Jack, I gotta leave in a few minutes, Don't be getting me all riled up now, I'll never make it to the church."
"I'll be waitin for ya back here."
The wedding went off without a hitch. My sweet Junior got married to Kurt, who turned out to be a pretty descent fella. They planned to go on their honeymoon at the Holiday Inn in Casper. They gave them the bridal suite.
I stayed at the reception as long as I could stand it. It was night by the time I got back to my trailer, which wasn't as lonesome as it had been.
"Jack?" I called out when I got in through the door. It was silent, and just as I was about to take this necktie off.
"Ennis? I'm in the bedroom, why don't ya come join me, and don't take anything off."
I heard his voice and followed it into the bedroom and stopped by the door. Jack was lying on the bed, his head propped up on his hand, his arm bent at the elbow and him studying me. What caught my eye and made my mouth drop open was he was naked and it was like the fuse was lit and my rocket was taking off.
"Jack," my mouth suddenly felt so dry. I reached for the tie again but he asked me to stop.
"I wanna do that." He got up in his knees and crawled over to the edge of the bed. He kept his blue eyes locked with mine as he took my tie off. Then he pulled off my jacket and started unbuttoning my shirt and pulled it of my arms till it dropped to the floor. Then he ran his hands over my chest.
"You're so damn handsome, cowboy." He kissed and licked my nipples. My right hand reached up to cup the back of his head. He knew how to touch me, how to please me. And every touch was like he was saying 'I love you.'
I felt him kissing down my chest, pulling me closer. He always knows how to touch me like no one else. Not Alma or Cassie, only Jack knew him this well.
"Oh Jack," my breath hitched when I felt his mouth cover my cock.
"Yeah cowboy, c'mere Ennis I need ya." He pushed me on the bed and straddled my hips and before I knew it I was inside Jack. He rode me so good. It had been too long since we'd been together. Our breathing was heavy, our bodies sweating then Jack yelled out.
"Gun's goin off." And we collapsed holding each other. We were messy, but we never cared. We never wanted to let go.
From this night on Jack would make visits. Not every night but he would let me know I wasn't alone. Sometimes when I lay there just before I fell asleep I'd feel a touch on my cheek or arms around my back. Or we'd rile each other up and spend the rest of the night lovin each other.
Years went by, my days were spent at the ranch, my nights were spent with Jack. And even after I got too old to work Jack was always there. Till one day I joined him on Brokeback. Where it all began and where a piece of us never left.
Jack and I built a cabin near the river and we finally did some fishin.
"We finally got that sweet life, Cowboy," Jack told me as we lay in front of our fireplace holding each other.
"Told ya, Rodeo, ain't no reins on this."
A/N: None of us knows for sure what happens to us when we die, I'd like to believe in an afterlife and that we will see our loved ones again. That they never truly leave us, perhaps we can still feel them at times. This was my own way of helping Ennis deal with his loss. I hated to think he lived all those years pining away for Jack. It would have made his life a short and miserable one and I couldn't stand it. SO this was my take on how Ennis lived on after Jack's death. He was able to spend his nights with Jack. Jack was waiting for him and when Ennis passed they went back to that one place that made them truly happy to live in eternal bliss.