Breathe Me In:
Bo watches from afar as the General crashes mercilessly into the lake. Kicking open the door to Uncle Jesse's truck before it even stops, Bo takes off in a run that can only be fueled by pure emotion. Faster than 12 horses combined, yet not feeling the ground under his feet, nor the air forcing in and out of his lungs. Totally deaf to the distant yells of Jesse and Daisy, Bo makes feeble attempts at removing clothing as he steam-engines towards the water.
Luke, driving in the General, chases a couple of bad guys who have just robbed the Hazzard bank, pinning the blame on the Dukes. Tailing them, taking dangerous turns and jumps, Luke loses control. The last thing he remembers is heading nose-first for the lake, letting go of the steering wheel to avoid breaking his arms upon impact. In exchange for saving his bones, he's welcomed with the violent smash of forehead meeting windshield. Leaving a red, egg-sized spider webbed break in the thick glass, and Luke is unconscious.
Bo repeats over and over to himself; "Not dead, not dead, not dead..." until after what seems like miles, he reaches the edge of the lake. Fully clothed minus the over-shirt he managed to pull off, Bo dives into the warm water, barely remembering to take a breath first. Underneath the water is a world of subtle greens and blues, clear and unpolluted. Rays of sunlight dodge between the waves left behind by Bo, prisms sparkling all around. An entrance angels would approve of.
The General slowly descends into the depths of the lake, Luke's head rolls carelessly onto his right shoulder. As the car nudges down into the mud and moss, the inside is quickly filling up through the open windows. Luke is saved by what little air is left towards the roof of the vehicle, for now. As Bo gets closer, he's already in desperate need of another breath, having been too hasty when jumping into the water. He trudges on, his boots filling up, until he is able to reach for Luke. A very small gap of air is left, just enough to not quite run into the unconscious Luke's mouth. Blood drips from his forehead and pools into the water around him, staining the clarity it once held, and forcing Bo into a panic as he emerges to share the same airspace with the older cousin.
"Oh God, Luke..." Bo tugs at dead weight, clutching and patting Luke's face, biting back tears. "C'mon, you'll be just fine, we're gonna get you outta here..." Bo's shaky voice echoes off of the water. Pulling again at Luke's lifeless body, Bo feels a strong resistance. Luke's hand is stuck fast by a ring on the pinky finger of his right hand, caught in between the gear shift and underneath the seat. Bo takes a quick breath as the remaining air is stolen from the small illusion of safety the cousins had shared. Reluctantly, Bo kicks his way back to the surface, needily sucking in a stinging fiery breath as he breaches the disturbed water, before straining his burning muscles to rush him back down to Luke. "If he dies down here, I'll be damned if I'm not gonna die trying to save him..."
In the darkness of unpenetratable sleep, Luke wanders through the paths of his mind. He finds his way to a dream, rather, a memory. Luke looks around at all of the blurred brightly colored lights, and smiling faces. He listens to the giddy screams all around him as couples are playing games, laughing, and winning oversized stuffed animals for one another. Luke stands alone leaning against a signpost, watching a couple sharing a soda together with double straws, ignorant of anything going on around them. A lazy bluegrass band starts up as a bubbly, wide-eyed Bo approaches Luke and offers a beer to him, grinning like a schoolboy. Luke always loved how when Bo is truly happy, when he smiles an honest smile, his left eye squints shut a little more than the right. Luke accepts the beer, warm as a country afternoon. A dull silver ring sits atop the can, Bo looks away, unable to erase that same silly grin from his boyish face. "Hey cousin, what's this all about?" Luke tries to remain sly as a wide smile surfaces. Bo acts surprised, poorly; "Hm? Oh, that. Found it next to the fortune teller, thought you may know one of the girls that it belongs to..." Luke's smile fades a bit before Bo continues with a laugh, "Who am I foolin'? I spent nearly everything I had tryin' to win you that. Even traded my pocket knife!" Bo displays his belt where the knife usually rests. Luke ruffles Bo's hair, letting his fingertips glide through that warm golden sunshine, before he slides the ring down to the knuckle of his ring finger, unable to push it all the way down. Fitting perfectly on his pinky, Luke chuckles a bit, "I guess that'll have to do!" as he takes a quick look around before placing a brief kiss on Bo's happy lips.
Luke awakens to Bo's mouth clasped tightly over his, nose pinched shut as Bo's breath forces its way into his lungs. Luke comes to the realization that they're underwater, and the pain in his head suddenly blinds him with a hot white light. He holds his breath, Bo's breath, and opens his eyes in just enough time to watch him heavily swimming towards the surface of the water.
Bo greedily sucks in air once again, pulling fresh oxygen into his lungs. Giving a small concerned crowd a little nod, he pushes himself back underwater. Luke tugs and wiggles his hand enough to get free, awkwardly squirming his way out of the drivers side window of the General Lee. Dizzy and starting to lose focus, Luke steadies himself on the lake bed, back leaned against dulled orange door frame. He watches as Bo kicks his way back down towards him, double vision fading in and out. A crimson stream flows lightly from Luke's head, as if to form a bind between he and Bo. Reaching out, with darkness starting to creep in on his vision, Luke exhales.
Feeling palms on either side of his face, Luke breathes in hungrily as Bo once again pushes his oxygen into him, giving to him his very life. Luke focuses his dizzy eyes on a worried Bo, brow furrowed, his hair floating with the water as if caught in a gentle summer breeze trapped in slow motion. With what energy he could muster, Luke gives Bo a gentle kiss on the mouth. A brief touch of lips before Bo is struggling Luke to the surface, arms crossed over and under each others shoulders, synchronizing their movements as if with practiced instinct.
An exhausted Bo and Luke lie next to one another on the muddy shore, the sun beginning to warm their skin. Half in the water and half out, breathing deep, both sets of eyes are closed. Bo blindly reaches for Luke's hand, clutching it tightly, wet fingers interlocking. They listen to the sound of each other just being alive, heartbeats loud as thunder, each breath re-assuring. They remain in this artistic M formation until paramedics arrive, the light-hearted clouds continue to float overhead, and birds sing. Just another day in Hazzard.