Fluff on the Fly
A Gentlemen Bastard Sequence fanfiction
Disclaimer: Quotes from "Red Seas under Red Skies" and characters belong to Scott Lynch
Warning: Minor spoilers for "The Lies of Locke Lamora" and for "Red Seas", M/M pairing
Pairing: Locke Lamora/Jean Tannen
Setting: Locke and Jean practicing their wall-scaling expertise on a cliff face; mid-practice conversation. Sequel to "Forgiveness" in the sense of book timeline.
Note: Italics are quotes, normal text is my own
Summary: Fluff moment between Locke and Jean, hanging 80 feet in the air. Locke/Jean
Red Seas under Red Skies – pg 201-202
'You know,' said Locke, 'this is the only part of the plan, I must admit, that I wasn't terribly sure of. It's so much easier to contemplate abseiling from a height like this than it is to actually run off a cliff with just two lengths of rope between you and Aza Guilla.'
'Ropes and cliffs are no problem,' said Jean. 'What we need to watch out for up here are your carnivorous pigeons.'
'Oh, bend over and bite your own arse.'
'I'm serious. I'm terrified. I'll keep a sharp lookout lest the last thing we feel in this life should be that terrible swift pecking-'
'Jean, your belay line must be weighing you down. Here, let me cut it for you…'
They kicked and shoved good-naturedly against one another for a few minutes, Locke scrambling around and trying to use his agility to balance out Jean's far greater strength and mass. Strength and mass seemed to be winning the day, however, so in a fit of self-preservation he suggested they actually practice descending.
'Sure,' said Jean, 'let's go down five or six feet, nice and smooth, and stop on my mark, shall we?'
Each of them gripped his taut main line and released a bit of tension on his descender. Slowly, smoothly, they slipped down a good two yards, and Jean cried, 'Hold!'
'Not bad,' said Locke. 'The knack seems to come back quick, doesn't it?'
'I suppose. I was never really keen on this after I got back from my little holiday at Revelation House. This was more your thing, and the Sanzas', than mine. And, ah, Sabetha's, of course.'
'Yeah,' said Locke, wistfully. 'Yeah, she was so mad…so mad and so lovely. I used to love watching her climb. She didn't like ropes. She'd…take her boots off, and let her hair out, and wouldn't even wear gloves sometimes. Just her breeches and her blouse…and I would just-'
'Sit there hypnotized,' said Jean. 'Struck dumb. Hey, my eyes worked back then too, Locke.'
'Heh. I suppose it must have been obvious. Gods.' Locke stared at Jean and laughed nervously. 'Gods, I'm actually bringing her up myself. I don't believe it.' His expression turned shrewd. 'Are we all right with each other, Jean? Back to being comfortable, I mean?'
'Hell, we're hanging together eighty feet above a messy death, aren't we? I don't do that with people I don't like.'
'That's good to hear.'
'And yeah, I'd say we're—well, we're better than all right, wouldn't you agree?' Jean sent Locke a knowing but slightly sheepish smile.
'After the carriage, you mean?' Locke smirked, swaying ever so slightly with the breeze despite his feet being planted against the rock face. 'Yeah, I'd say we're doing bloody fantastic if you asked me. And about that-' Locke suddenly looked away, embarrassed. 'I'm sorry for going on about Sabetha like that.'
'Locke,' Jean said his name in such a way that the eye roll was implied, 'I don't mind. Technically I brought her up in the first place. But I don't care if you talk about her because I know she'll always be special to you…even if I do get a bit jealous,' Jean laughed.
'Jean, by the gods, stop being so dim witted.'
'Um excuse you, but I'm being self-sacrificing over here.'
Locke pushed himself away from the cliff face to swing over the short distance to Jean, who automatically grabbed hold of Locke's rope until he managed to find a sturdy foothold. Just like Locke knew he would; always there to keep him from falling, especially when it would be falling to a messy death.
Locke had used slightly less rope so he was finally the one looking down on the taller man. With one hand holding firmly to the cliff, Locke dropped his other hand to cup Jean's jaw. 'Jean, you're special to me too, and you're the only one here with me in my world,' was all he said before leaning down and catching Jean's cold lips with his own.
Locke smiled into the kiss as he felt Jean eagerly return it. Apparently he had been more jealous than he had let on. He felt one of Jean's hands tangle in his hair, pulling their lips together more insistently. However they could not proceed further while having to maintain a grasp on the cliff constantly, lest a gust of wind pick up.
Eventually Locke pulled away and Jean did the same, both of them returning to the realization that they were hanging eighty feet in the air with only rope and a harness. 'So, now that that's settled can we please finish this? I'm quite sure I will be frozen to the side of this cliff if we remain much longer.'
'Agreed,' Jean smiled and shoved Locke away from the wall, allowing him to swing back to his original position.
'Bastard!' Locke called across the short distance between them once he had regained purchase on the rock. Jean blew him a kiss and laughed.