Tangible Schizophrenia



Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Sands/El, James/Alec, platonic El/Alec
Fandom: 'Mexico' Restraint-verse/Goldeneye
Feedback: Constructive crit. and anything else you'd like to share.
Disclaimer: Doesn't belong to me.
Notes: For dahnte, in return for beta-ing services. Goldeneye AU that assumes Alec ran into trouble with the drug cartels when he tried to set up his Cuban base. //words// in Spanish. Peter the Great started the Russian Empire on the path of modernization after his European counterparts.
Summary: Alec's view from the end of the world. Companion piece to Niflheim


In retrospect, Alec should have expected it. After all, his people are by no means the only ones who have been deceived by history. And where they fell, never to be resurrected, others have staggered and crawled on, taking their struggles into the earth until their conquerors grew too flabby and indolent with success to spot the seeds of reclamation.

Russia is a world of ice and cold vengeance, but the harshness of winter is not the only breeding ground for violence. Cuba had been too sultry, Alec too angry, and so he'd forgotten that his South American partners were not the same as the Russian gangsters around which he'd run circles for the whole of his career. Peter the Great and his descendents had done their work too well, making those trapped in their lands long for sophistication and elegance. Making European refinement the standard by which power was measured.

But cartels don't care about fashion and fine things. Beneath all their depravities, all they truly want is the kind of power brought by money and drugs. They have no compunctions about reverting to their primeval roots. And Alec had spent too long watching for the enemies that slipped through the back door to remember that however obvious they were, frontal shock attacks, had after all won Napoleon the Continent.

Shifting in his chair, Alec watches as Sands carefully edges out onto the balcony, forgoing the cane in favor of outspread hands. Tasting grit and fiery pepper in the back of his mouth as the blind man finds his anchor, as El turns to fold Sands into the crook of one arm. They're another thing Alec had never seen before coming to the Americas: skeletons, bones cracked and fractured from the pyre, still walking. In Russia, broken men lie themselves down in the streets and let themselves be trampled. They don't remake themselves, and they certainly don't cut new lives for themselves out of the world.

Alec catches himself unconsciously flexing his mutilated hand and angrily crushes it still with his other as Sands and El come back inside. He determinedly does not look as the one melds into the other, staring at the snow instead. It makes him wonder just which land holds his loyalty now.

His dead parents had called for vengeance, and he had tried to give it to them. Instead, Alec had found flame and searing hurt that had twisted him almost beyond recognition. Twice over. James may have raked the British damp out of Alec's face, but the Cubans and their allies in Colombia and Mexico had burnt the cold calculation from him. How many revenges could Alec carry out? One for his parents, one for the lies of his childhood, one for his face, one for his hand-

--he never was English. And now he's lost too much to Mexico to feel much for Russia. His stride was broken, and now, he can't find it again. Alec has no guide, as El seems to be for Sands. Even outside their chosen country, they're adapting better than he is. "It must be a great change for you two. From desert to snowfield."

El's eyes narrow at that, but Sands distracts him from immediately replying.

Alec misses James. He had thought he'd exorcised that ghost from himself, but having his hand splintered revealed otherwise. Of all the things that Alec had possessed before the torture, James was the only one that had come back out with him. And James wasn't here. Wouldn't be here, even though Alec's message should have been more than enough to bring Bond running.

"We're going back tomorrow," El says firmly, and Alec can't gainsay the other man.

"No point in you doing otherwise." No purpose in staying any longer to keep a dying man company, and at any rate, Alec has no intention of surviving another sunrise alone.

And he is without anyone else. It doesn't matter that he's been sharing food and bed with El and Sands for the past two months, Alec reminds himself as he takes out a cigarillo, stronger and harsher than the dainty cigarettes and subtle cigars of his past, and lights it. More of the Mexican fire, searing through his nose and lungs. Carelessly incinerating him with barely a touch, its blaze leaping and soaring from just past a barrier that Alec couldn't cross. Not his to take, after all, even if El had bothered to patch up what was left of Alec. A curious act. "You never answered my question."

"He didn't feel sorry for you. And it definitely wasn't in tribute to your stunning beauty," Sands replies for El, sarcasm doing little to disguise the sheen of happiness the American has whenever his lover-such an inadequate word-is nearby. Besides, vanity seems rather pointless now. So does envy, though Alec cannot, no matter how hard he tries, avoid that deadly sin.

Exhaling acrid smoke, Alec smiles unpleasantly. "I never intended anything of that sort towards your mariachi."

He and Sands are repeating an old conversation, for reasons that only make sense to the half-lucid American. It's much more civilized than their first time, though. Their hands stinging from El wrenching guns out of them, Alec and Sands had warily kept the bed between them as Sands demanded to know why Alec kept crawling into bed with he and El, as Alec had said that he'd become addicted to heat. As he'd added, mostly to himself, that James was too damned far away.

"Yeah. I know." Which is what Sands had said then as well, apparently able to discern that when Alec mentioned the distance between himself and James, he wasn't using only the literal sense of the word.

Alec absently glances back at the men on the bed, having forgotten about the fiery surge of jealousy that attacks him every time he looks. He averts his gaze, but not in time to prevent El from observing it. From wordlessly inquiring. "You remind me of an old friend-" he's proud of how he doesn't stumble over the word "-of mine. Some parts of you, at any rate. But he never stopped for the wounded."

"Then why did you want to come here?" Considering how terse he is, El is entirely too perceptive.

"Because I never asked him to stop for me." Because I had to decide between his life and my revenge, and fool that I am, I chose the latter, Alec almost says. The words snag themselves in his throat, lodging and burning there like coals. "I thought it might have been entertaining to find out whether he would have."

"Might have been?" El queries. But then the door lock rattles, and both Alec's traveling companions tense. It swings open, and all Alec's blood suddenly evaporates in the resulting wave of heat that shudders through his body.

"James," Alec gasps.

Eyes shockingly blue in comparison to Alec's memories, the other man freezes. "You're dead."

And God, but how is Alec going to explain anything? He tries for words, but they crumble in his fingers and fall like so many cinders to the ground. Resorting to action instead, Alec makes his way across the lurching floor to fall at James' feet. When his fingers graze coarse fabric and find it real, Alec can't help but seize James' hands and press them to his forehead, feeling their warmth seep into his forehead.

He is dimly aware of James noting El and Sands, of the mariachi and the American leaving the room. Alec doesn't care, because the rasp of James' calloused fingertips over his brow and the scent of scorched vodka are filling his head, making it lightheaded with flickering flames. "I'm sorry," he hears himself say, small and shattered. "James, I lied. I lied about everything, and I left you, and I'm sorry."

"Alec…" His warped hand is abruptly snatched up, pulling him to his feet to meet James' stunned expression. More fingers brush tentatively over his scarred cheek. "My God. What happened to you?"

"I lied," Alec repeats, bracing himself for the confession and the rejection. "My parents were Lienz Cossacks, driven to suicide by the British government's betrayal. I wanted to avenge them, and so I made a deal with Ourumov. Janus, James-that was my organization."

"Ourumov was assassinated two weeks ago, and Janus is being dismantled as we speak." James sounds confused, retreating briefly into his debriefing mindset. "What do you…"

Alec can see the moment that everything comes together in James' head. Helplessly trapped in James' grip, he can see that spark of wonder turn dark and angry, blackening his vision before James even slams him into the wall.

"Traitor. Your face, your hand-from the bombs I set at Arkangel, aren't they," the other man hisses. "Was part of your deal my death? Was it, Alec?

Closing his eyes, Alec feels the tinder beneath his feet kindle, feels the flesh begin to catch and burn. "Yes. Yes to everything but the hand. That happened in Mexico."

The arm across his throat pushes in, collapsing Alec's windpipe. He chokes, but still doesn't struggle. This is a far better death than he'd been expecting.

James, however, doesn't finish the job. Not yet. "Mexico?"

"Things went wrong with some of the local powerbrokers." Surprisingly, the pressure relaxes, and air whooshes into Alec's instinctively heaving lungs. "And afterward, I couldn't do it anymore. I can't, James."

There is a breath, long and sharp-drawn as if traced by a needle, and then, voice thick as blood, James growls, "I can't-you bastard-I can't see you die again."

Alec's eyes snap open at the same time James whips down to ravage Alec's mouth, biting and plunging with tongue and teeth till Alec cries out for mercy, slumping back against the wall. But James is not in the mood.

Clothes are ripped apart; buttons and zippers scrape over Alec's skin, moments before James' lips cover the same spots and suck fire to the surface. Fingers shove down Alec's pants, and he has only a glimpse of the bottle of lotion that James had grabbed from the side table before the fingers stab in, wringing soft screams from Alec that rasp his throat raw.

James sinks teeth into Alec's shoulder when he thrusts in, hands violently stroking down Alec's jerking hips to cup thighs and wrench them apart. He rams with unforgiving force into Alec, banging them against the wall till the lights overhead clatters.

Clawing at James' back, Alec tries his best to keep his balance while the earth shakes all about him, while lightning flares in his blood and steam rises before his eyes, hazing over everything but fierce blue eyes that sear their way into his brain. "Please, James, please-"

James wraps his hands under Alec's ass so he can lift Alec completely off the ground, and the new angle smacks James' cock into that one spot within Alec, tearing out his capability for speech.

"Never again, Alec," comes the groaning whisper. "Or the next time, I'll kill you myself."

Alec nods, throwing his head back and forth as he scrabbles for handholds on James' shoulders. He's falling, falling past candles and fires and as he falls, he's incinerating. He's burning up-

--and then he's gone.

Trembling fingers combing through his hair, brushing over his cheeks are what brings him back. Alec's sight fades back in to see James, and then the bed to which they've somehow moved. His arms and legs feel like wet rags, but nevertheless Alec doesn't rest till he can press every possible inch of himself up against James. "I'm sorry."

"I don't care." Before Alec can wince away, an arm winds itself about his waist, holding himself in place. "I don't care about any of it," James says, eyes half-lidded over an intense stare. "As long as you're alive and staying, I don't care. It all might as well not have happened."

"It shouldn't have." Relaxing again, Alec burrows into James' neck, lapping up the salt that's collected there.

"Alec…" James sighs, quiet and calm. He is warm like sunshine against Alec, warm like hot water soaking scars and wounds, soothing them. And Alec drinks in that smoldering heat, letting it replace the last remnants of ice that still lodge within him.


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