Author's notes

This chapter contains details about the rifle scene, which was deleted from the original movie. Details can be found on the Finding Brokeback website, under Deleted Scenes. The lines in Jack's flashback were taken directly from the script of the scene, which can be found on that website :) There is also a mention of the scene with the hippies, which was also deleted. The script for that is also on the website.

Kathryn xxx


Chapter 18

August 1973

It was their last day of the summer trip, and Jack was lying on his back while Ennis prepared dinner for them. He thought back on this week, remembering everything that had happened.

Their encounter with the hippies had been interesting, to say the least. He could tell that Ennis hadn't particularly liked them, especially when the girls had proposed casual sex. Jack figured that Ennis would never have agreed to it; sex wasn't something that either of them took lightly. Whenever they did it, there were feelings involved that made it so much more than sex. Besides, Jack got the feeling that Ennis hadn't wanted to hurt his feelings anyway; this time out in the mountains was just for them and nobody else.

It had also showed him a little part of Ennis that he'd seen before; prejudice. Ennis had been very mistrustful of the hippies, saying that they were "un-American". Jack wondered if it was just that group that Ennis didn't like, or anybody who wasn't like everybody else. Did that mean that Ennis was less accepting of their relationship than he'd previously thought?

Jack didn't have any answers, but he had to wonder. This trip hadn't been a lot of fun, even from the start. He glanced over at the long box amongst their things, remembering the very first day of this trip and his failed attempt to make a gesture of love.

"It's a gift, don't worry about it," he told Ennis, waving a hand. Ennis seemed to be growing irritated at such a flashy gift.

"You don't get it. Alma sees this...you just don't get it." Ennis couldn't look into Jack's eyes, knowing there was disappointment there. "Alma, me and my shit jobs, then struttin' home with this in my hands, with her goin' on about this an' that we can't afford for the girls..."

Jack looked over at Ennis, feeling a little hurt at the rejection. All he'd wanted was to make the man he loved happy, but he couldn't even do that. Ennis seemed to block him at every point, even telling him that they couldn't say those three words to each other. Jack just wanted to tell him.

"Hey, you need some help..."

"I don't need your help! You got that?"

There was a long pause as they stared each other down, and Jack finally conceded defeat.

"I got it, partner. I do."

"Okay."

Jack sat up, sighing. He'd thought that Ennis would love the rifle, and he'd just wanted to make a gesture. But now that he thought about it, he realised that it would look odd to Alma for Ennis to come home with a brand new firearm that he clearly couldn't afford himself. And she probably would kick up a fuss about money. He couldn't help but feel a little resentful; if it wasn't for her, Ennis would probably have accepted it. If it wasn't for her, they could be together. He shook his head and lay back down.

Ennis was watching him now and then, thinking about the rifle and Jack's failed attempt to show him love. He'd wanted to accept it, but guilt was eating at him and he knew how Alma would react to him bringing home such an expensive thing. They were short on money and she would never shut up if he brought home something that he couldn't afford. It was easier this way, but it came at a price; he'd hurt Jack in the process. Ennis could tell whenever he hurt Jack; the light in his eyes seemed to go out and he became subdued. He needed to make it up to the man.

"Jack? Come over here," he called softly, seeing Jack turn to face him. Jack got up and reluctantly sat beside him, not meeting his eyes. Ennis nudged him gently. "I'm sorry about the rifle. I know you was just tryin' to make me happy, but...I can't take it."

Jack nodded, knowing that Ennis was right. "I know, bud. An' I'm sorry if I made you feel guilty. Didn't want that."

Ennis touched his hand. "After dinner, can I make it up to you?" he asked, and Jack nodded again, smiling slightly.

"Sure."

They had dinner in relative silence before retiring to the tent. Once inside and naked, Ennis did everything he could think of to make Jack feel good, especially kissing him and touching him in the way he loved. Jack just held onto him and tried to remind himself that Ennis did love him, in spite of everything. The night passed too quickly, and soon they were falling asleep in a tangle of limbs.

Ennis curled up behind Jack and spooned him, one arm around his stomach. When he was certain that Jack was asleep, he swallowed.

"Bud...I know yer sleepin', an' that'll make this easier. Can't say this to yer face..." He paused. "Don't need no flashy gifts from you...only come up here so we can spend time together. Just need you, an' I want you to know that. Keep dreamin' of you, an' wishin' we could..." He swallowed again, knowing he had to get through this. "I just wanna tell you...I..." He leaned forward and whispered into Jack's ear, "Love you, Jack." He pulled away and settled down, wishing he could say the words to Jack's face.

Jack didn't stir throughout Ennis's declaration, but he heard every word. He immediately forgave Ennis for what had happened on this trip, and when he heard Ennis say that he loved him, he felt his heart soar. Ennis loved him, and had admitted to it even though it wasn't to his face. It was a start; maybe one day they could say it openly to each other.

He smiled to himself and relaxed, hoping that Ennis wouldn't sense he was awake. Things were a little better now that he'd heard those words, and he was willing to give it more time. Hopefully soon, things would change for the better.