Tangible Schizophrenia



Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: R. Non-graphic sex.
Pairing: Smecker/Connor, Smecker/Murphy. Slight hints to other pairings; if you want to see it, you will.
Feedback: What you liked, what you didn't, etc.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Title is Latin for 'have mercy.'
Summary: Smecker has a regular weekend date.


FBI training teaches a guy a lot.

One lesson that isn't included is how to dig out a bullet without nicking the artery that always seems to be an inch away. But Paul Smecker didn't get to be as good as he is without having the sense to take advantage of some…in-the-field learning opportunities, one might say.

"Hold him down." He probes a little deeper, dodges the thin red arc that splats across his cheekbone, and absently wonders about the nature of the curses being moan-spat at him. Too liquid for French, so maybe Gaelic or Italian. The two languages sound surprisingly similar when being hissed out from between clenched teeth.

"If I hold him down any more, he's going to fall through the fucking floor." Murphy's got a face like a circumcision patient, where the job got left a little too long. Funny, since it's his brother that's got the bullet in him. "Would you hurry up and find it? He's bleeding all over the place."

Paul doesn't even bother with the wordless put-down look; he just squelches his forceps down until they clink metal. Connor tries to scream, sucks in his gag instead, and the force of his choking nearly makes Paul lose his grip on the bullet. Now that curse was definitely in English. "My mother was married, thank you. Where's the sutures?"

Glaring quiet, Murphy hands them over. He doesn't ask why Paul just happens to have a full surgical kit in the house, and he doesn't say anything else. That Paul can hear, anyway: when the thrashing gets too bad, Murphy curls over his brother and sticks his sweaty, bloody face in an equally sweaty, bloody neck. And his lips are moving, probably in that prayer they're always saying, but Paul can't be certain. He's begun to lose faith in anything that he doesn't witness from cradle to grave. Goes double where these two are concerned.

So he stitches flesh instead, feeling it slip from his fingers and jerk and bubble-shit. He's running low on antiseptic. "Don't you have better places to spend Friday night?"

"What, you kicking us out?" Connor's head raises just enough to flash a cherubically devious smile, and Paul knows that tomorrow morning he'll be down at the pharmacy, pretending not to see the sideways looks of the cashier. "Thought you liked us. 'cause we're pretty fond of you…and you have freakish legs, man."

Murphy flinches. "Shock?" he asks hopefully.

"Freakish. Never seen another guy look that good in-hell, don't see many women that look that good in hose. But you should've ditched the wig." Connor's rambling, consonants loose and vowels dipping down to the linoleum, and he's just slurring enough to give them all an out. Because really, Paul's got too much on his hands to be rearranging that part of his life as well.

"Next time, just whack him on the head and bring him over." Paul ties off the last knot, hoping to hell Connor's not stupid enough to rip it open or doctor it with an iron and end up with scars the size of Texas. He helps roll the other man onto feet that promptly collapse. Red drips all over an entirely new section of floor. Sighing, Paul forgets about washing his hands and wraps his fingers in Connor's shirt, hauling him toward the couch. Good thing it's dark fabric and won't show-well, any more than what's already on there. "No matter how much you want it to be, whiskey's not anesthesia. Neither is beer."

"Hey. My forefathers survived wolves and the British with just whiskey and a red-hot poker." But Murphy's humor is flatter than piss-warm beer. He's tired, and it shows. "Gimme a jelly donut for breakfast."

Paul snorts and slaps one side of Murphy's head as he straightens from putting Connor down, and Connor hits the other. Above Murphy's squalling, Paul starts to tug down his sleeves, then realizes that what's left of the shirt isn't worth the effort. "Don't rip those," he mutters as he steps out of the room.

He doesn't have to look back to know that that second couch he made up's not going to get used. They're just going to fall asleep where they are, in the middle of some pointless, feeble mock-wrestling that's done very carefully so as to not jar Connor too much.


It's three past two in the morning when he wakes up, and that fact doesn't make Paul happy in the least. "Go the fuck home, Greenly. I'll deal with it tomorrow."

"Greenly? You gave him a key to your place?" The shape crawling across the bed isn't tall and lanky-awkward, and it's far, far too full of smooth lines and slight curves and what-have-you for Paul to handle when sleep's burning just this side of his eyelids. "Christ, I know street kids with more brains."

"Fuck off." Paul rolls over and buries his head under his pillow. He strains for the opening chords, and has just managed to reconstruct that glorious soaring melody in his head when a hand comes to rest on his hip. "Oh, Jesus. Don't make me do this."

His answer's a soft snort, fingers creeping under the blankets and up his boxers. "Do you even know who you're talking to?"

"Murphy. I will shoot you if you don't get off my bed." Paul's of two minds, literally-half of him's wanting to drag the rest of him out of drowsiness, where everything is dark and soft and mundane. And safe, because of that.

There's a raised eyebrow in the voice. "Impressive. And this being your first time in this situation, too."


"I'd rather-" the fingers suddenly wrap around Paul's morning erection that today is insanely early to arrive. "And besides, if this were in trade, I would've been offering before you got out the scalpels, Dr."

"You-and I mean that in the plural- are such cheerful ass-brains. I don't know how you survive." And in at least a few senses, Paul's not talking in the feed-clothe-secure-shelter kind of survival. He's lost touch with that side a long time ago, and now he can't even see the shoreline.

But he's turning over, and shoving down the smirk that glimmers even through the dark, and rustling with his hands until he finds warming flesh ready for him. It doesn't make sense-this isn't how he does things. He plans. He's choosy. He goes for the ones he knows he can drop on the curbside and still have them looking decent, if a little sniveling. And he's rarely wrong in his judgment of people.

Big glaring exception in point being the man under him right now. Still dressed, stained clothes now mucking up the sheets, and Paul's about to throw Murphy out of the bed just for that when the smart bastard pushes his knee up first. Lands it just behind the balls, and gently at first, but then harder and grinding upward and it's all Paul can do not to break this demented altar-boy's neck. Maybe Murphy knows where the Sainthood is going, over what path of thorns and scourges that leads, but he can't possibly know where this is going to go.

And yet his fingers move like water, like silk and like flame, and his mouth is a coal twisting over the nerves of Paul's neck, shoulder, chest. His heart flutters in the thin skin of a bared throat, through the dulling bone of ribs, and it rises with the black blood of evil-doers as easily as it falls beneath Paul's hand, which pushes up shirt and snaps open jeans and does everything like he's doing it for the first time.

Christ. He must be getting old, if his fingers are shaking that much. But they still work enough to unlatch hell and dabble in heaven and then seize at the end that's dying away from him.

When Murphy comes, his eyelashes close and his face goes still, like a benediction.


Paul hates Saturdays. Saturday is the day after Friday, the day after the worst night of the week. Saturday is the day of aftermath, in terms of reality.

"Thanks." It's Connor, of course. From the pitiful balcony of Paul's apartment, the shower can barely be heard. But it is, and the muffled pinking means that Murphy's using up all the hot water again.

"Some day, you're going to come around with something I won't know how to fix." Steaming solid heat pokes at Paul's elbow, and he looks down to see, then take the offered cup of coffee.

The kiss is a little more than a ghost and a little less than a possession, but it's very definitely on the lips. And that was definitely tongue.

"So take some lessons. Be productive." Connor's pale, but the spark's already back in his eyes. "We'll see you next Friday," he says, backing into the apartment. His smile's the last thing to fade.