Tangible Schizophrenia


Fire of the Dead

Author: Guede Mazaka Rating: NC-17. Violence and twisted sex that sneers at vanilla.
Pairing: El/Sands/Seth Gecko
Feedback: Good lines, bad mistakes, at any length you wish. Though the muses do love their applause.
Disclaimer: If this were mine, the movies would've been outlawed in every country in the world.
Summary: Seth has unresolved issues, Sands plays shrink, and El knows all.
Notes: //words// in Spanish. Seth, El and Sands are immortal in that they don't stay dead. FDTD-verse is a fusion of Mexico and From Dusk Till Dawn (quick movie summary). Am still pimping 'Pretty Blind Gringo-Kitty' as an LJ 'Interest.'


"So we don't know where their ammunition stockpile is," Seth said disbelievingly. At the nodding of the other two men on the bed, he threw up his hands and flopped backward, banging the back of his head on El's outstretched legs. Leaning against the bedstead, the other man didn't so much as twitch. "Great. Just great. Be looking out for you in hell, then."

"Hey, fuckmook," Sands bit back, recurling himself by El's hip. "Immortal here. Why the fuck are you so worried? It'll-"

"Heal, yeah," Seth muttered. "Gunshots, yes. But getting blown into a bajillion fucking pieces because you two shoot every goddamn thing that might, at some point, have had a pulse?" Rolling over, he propped himself up to regard their heretofore silent third, who was idly plucking some melody out on the guitar. "All right. Let's assume that we would survive being caught in an explosion. Well, there are degrees of survival, some of which I'm not prepared to accept."

"Whoring Madonna, what the fuck are you doing in Mexico, then?" Eeling up El's side, Sands nuzzled at the gauntleted hand till it left the guitar frets and petted his hair, roughly combing the still-damp locks into place. Face more blissful than those of angels caroling for God, Sands turned his head into the caresses, occasionally flicking out a pink tongue to swipe leather and sandpaper calluses.

Feeling his cheeks burn, Seth raked teeth across his lower lip and glanced away. No, he did not want to end up that dependent, thank you. Really. He liked being able to still function in normal society. Even if the alternative seemed damned attractive at times. "Why do you think?" he grumbled, staring at the rich grain of El's guitar. "Came here 'cause it looked safe, and then got the fucking music into me."

"Not that you act like it," Sands breathed, lifting up his chin so El could scratch its underside. "Haven't gotten the rhythm yet."

That goddamned purr. Seth wished he could plug up his ears. Wished he could crawl up and get those fingers running over his tattoos. Really wished he was too hard or too drunk to care which he did. "Yes, you skinny jackass, I have noticed I've changed," he growled, shoving his head into the blankets by El's thigh. "For instance, downstairs the hotel safe has fifteen thousand in cash and another twenty in assorted jewelry. One necklace is paste, worthless, though I couldn't tell you which unless I actually tracked down the goddamn safe and cracked it. Of course I won't, seeing as El does still have some scruples."

Rustle and creak as the mariachi put away the guitar. Muted thud as the case was set on the floor, out of Sands' jealous reach.

"You want another example?" Seth went on, talking over the mewing. "Got to see what my brain looked like this morning. Like wallpaper paste. Except for the little bits of lead sticking in it. Those looked like raisins."

Hand wrapping around his throat, yanking him up. Mouth kissing him breathless, replacing the stale air with hot livid swamp haze. Instinctively clutching his fingers in El's shirt and jacket, Seth abruptly lost control over his bones and melted, letting the other man eat him out. Tried to follow when the lips drew back, then gasped and fluttered eyelids he hadn't known he'd shut when two sets of teeth sank into opposite sides of his neck.

Rubbing a thumb over the tattoos, pressing slightly into the newest bite marks, El seemed pensive as he looked Seth over. //It is different//, the mariachi remarked, dragging Sands off of Seth's throat. //Order only goes so far here, and after that, all that's left is luck and sense.//

"I'm trying," Seth replied, harsh and low and strained. "Sorry, but I wasn't quite as far gone as the both of you when Fate kicked me off the wheel."

"Are you saying we're insane?" Sands demanded, twisting out of El's grip.

"Are you denying it?" Seth countered, glowering. For a blind man, Sands did a remarkably good approximation of an intense glare. And then the fucker laughed, nestling himself into El's crooked arm.

"Hell, no. Nice to see you're catching on," Sands snickered, letting El take his wrists in a loose grip. "Wonderful thing about mental dysfunction is that everything's as simple and as complicated as you want it to be."

Lifting his fingers away from Seth's neck, El slid out a pistol and turned it from side-to-side. "So we're going in through the front."

"Punkass Jesus, are you nuts?" Sands retorted, arching his eyebrow. "We don't know where they keep all the guns. Better to jump the back fence."

Seth just stared. Blinked. Then did his very damnedest to get around the gun separating his and Sands' faces so he could-could-do something extremely nasty. He'd figure out the details later.


//Mother of-stop!// El barked, using his pistol to shove Seth back. Tightening his hold on Sands' wrists till he felt the bones grind, he clamped knees around Gecko and bit down on the join of Seth's shoulder and neck, pressing the pistol barrel against the other side of the man's throat till they all ceased moving. Then El removed his mouth, absently licking the blood off his lips as he leaned his head back against the wall.

"Never said I disagreed with you," Sands mumbled defensively, breathing slightly jagged. "Just thought you were getting too nervy about the whole thing."

"Well, excuse me for being cautious," Seth snapped back, wriggling against the gun jabbing him. In response, El skated the warming steel up the other man's jaw to lie by his mouth.

Tilting his head, Sands craned over and sniffed, then bumped his nose on the pistol. Tongue sneaking out to take a swipe at the steel. El sucked in a breath, tingles sweeping down his spine.

Grinning, Sands lovingly kissed the gun. "Madness helps with that too, you know," he whispered to Seth, laving the stock and poking his tonguetip down to taste El's fingers.

At that, Seth almost spoke, then shut his mouth. Regarded the other American with a searching expression, and then hesitatingly turned to run his lips over the end of the pistol barrel. "Not bad," he murmured, startled. Tried another slurp along the side of the gun and encountered Sands' tongue halfway across. Slowly, uncertainly, the two men kissed around the pistol.

Lightning flashed down El's bones, grounding itself in the growing pool of heat between his legs. This was nothing like how things were supposed to go: hell shouldn't be this fine, heaven shouldn't be this soiled. And this was everything that he'd ever wanted, wrapped up in chains and spikes and scarlet-drenched silk.

But right now, it was still new and fragile, like a fresh scab. No tough scar tissue here, nothing that could handle any kind of stress.

Regretfully, El boxed up the fire in his belly for later. Carefully pulling out the gun, he wiped it clean on the blanket and watched as the other men's mouths collided, briefly melded and then slipped apart, Sands dropping back into the cradle of El's arm. Guidelines hadn't yet been quite agreed upon, the mariachi noted. He replaced the pistol in his sleeve, then reached up and traced fingers over the flames swirling around the curve of Seth's throat, grazing a nail along the tender bruises that blurred the tattoos' crisp outlines. "It used to be," El recollected musingly, "I had no idea what I wanted. I just knew that it'd been taken from me, and that I had to fight for it."

"Yeah?" Seth groaned, letting his head fall to one side so the fingertips could explore farther.

"It had something to do with my hand being shot," El continued, his other hand still squeezing Sands' wrists together. "And something to do with the women I loved being killed in front of me. Ruined my life. But if you'd asked me, I couldn't have told you what it was that ruined me. Then."

Rubbing a thumb along the back of Sands' hand, feeling tendons and veins, the mariachi slanted his gaze between his companions. Observed the half-lidded hazy look on Seth's face, the tiny furrow of tension between the other man's eyebrows and the slackness about the slightly-parted lips. Studied the glimmers of anxiety and contentment alternating over Sands' feral features, the almost imperceptible flare and pinch of nostrils with each breath and the hungry air hanging about the half-smiling mouth.

"I have no idea what this is," Seth rasped, voice catching and fracturing, glass crazing in the windowpane. "I just…"

"Don't want it to stop," Sands finished knowingly, bending across to nibble along Seth's stubbled jawline. "Why the hell do you fight it, then? You like being normal, you cockbrained thief?"

"Maybe you annoy the fuck out of me," the other man retorted, though he was already craning his head to nuzzle down the length of Sands' throat.

"Maybe you're afraid he'll stab you in the back at night?" El offered, seizing Sands' ear between his teeth and tugging warningly. Freezing with his cheek against Seth's, Sands hissed and tensed. Gecko jerked in shock as well, but El clasped fingers about Seth's neck, holding him in place. "It wouldn't surprise me."

"I haven't," Sands said, low and pleading. "El, I haven't."

"Yes, I know," the mariachi replied evenly, pushing in to taste Seth's mouth. Abruptly releasing the other two men, he slipped out from between them and off the bed in one smooth movement. Picking up one guitar case, he handed the other over to Sands. Trapped those long, quivering white fingers under his as they folded around the handles, then skimmed his palms up Sands' arms to cup the apprehensive face. He leaned down as his fingers tipped up Sands' chin, ghosting a kiss over the other man's lips. "Now I know what I want," he murmured, brushing lips over a smooth cheek. Flicking a sharp glance at Seth sitting beyond them. "This. All of this."

Stepping into his boots and then making for the door, El didn't bother looking back. They'd come. They would be fine.

For the moment, he corrected himself wryly, clattering down the stairs to the car. Nothing in his life ever seemed to stay peaceful for very long. And he had accepted that. What he couldn't leave alone, though, was the constant clashing waves between Sands and Seth, chaotic and arrhythmic and tangling like quicksand sucking down his feet. He couldn't afford to ignore it. Where they walked now, in the twilit badlands of beggar-filled cities and drug-laced farms, they needed speed.

And he needed both of them, El unashamedly admitted to himself as he unlocked the driver's door and got into the Cadillac. Sands was…his. His, black and laughing and guiltless. His counterweight yanking at the other end of their whirling thread, pulling till the blood rose and the string cut too deep into the flesh to ever be extracted. And once upon a time, in another place where El hadn't lost his anchors to the land, the two of them would have been more than enough to scream back at the world.

But here and now, El had no ties, no allegiances to anything earthly except a dim persistent shadow of friendship to Fideo and Lorenzo. They couldn't follow him, however; they couldn't step past the line and make themselves be heard over the drumbeats and the dying cries. And El couldn't retrace his steps and regain his sanity, his common sense. He and Sands could have only continued gyrating faster and faster, till at last they'd spun themselves to pieces.

If Seth hadn't shown up. Which made El wonder, sometimes, whether there was another besides her, another who was helping them. It didn't matter, in the end. Gecko was the pivot, keeping them back from the final fall. The touchstone. Because between the loose-pegged guitar and the shatter-handed mariachi, someone had to be the case.

Now for the other two to figure that out. The corners of his lips quirking up in sardonic amusement, El tapped fingers on the steering wheel. Waiting for Sands and Seth to catch up.


"Cryptic fucking son of a bitch," Seth growled.

In spite of himself, Sands had to chuckle at that. Sarcastically, of course. Wouldn't do to have more than one man playing it straight; crooked came in useful far too often. "That's the spirit. But actually, he was being pretty clear for once. How's the moon?"

Shifting weight and swearing. Groping for shoes, probably. Sighing heavily, Sands slung the guitar case over his back and swiped the pillows from the headboard.

"Very funny. We're not vampires," Seth replied, still searching on the floor. "And I think I'd remember running around on four legs."

"We're supposed to call a truce, too, if I'm not terribly mistaken. Which I am not." Wriggling, Sands shoved an arm down into the narrow space between the wall and bed. He touched creased, dusty-worn leather and snagged his fingers inside the shoes to lift them out. "That's the thing about the Energizer™ Mariachi. You've got to harass the hell out of him, but once he makes a decision…"

"…he's made it," Seth completed. "And then he magically also has the answers to every single fucking 'what-if' and 'maybe' that comes up, I take it. Where the hell are my-Jesus Christ. Sands, you may purr and claw and knead El's lap when you're happy, but that makes you a-a feline-thing. Not a fucking packrat. Now give me my shoes."

Pouting, Sands nevertheless fished out the other pair of boots and turned them over to the other man. "You know what's your problem? You think like a person. You categorize and associate and label everything, like taking inventory of Satan's supermarket." Suddenly furious with Seth, Sands had to remind himself over and over that El could go longer without him than he could without the mariachi. So he would keep putting his shoes on his feet and not use them to whack Seth into the bedside lamp. "If it bothers you so goddamn much, then why don't you just gnaw off the trapped limb and get out?"

"What-oh. Have I mentioned how much you don't make sense?" Seth retorted. "Just as bad as El. Just as bad as me. If you're so pissed off, then why haven't you tried to get rid of me?"

Starting to answer, Sands suddenly bit down on the sentences, chomping till they stopped wriggling and gave up the ghost. Just how many more strips could he tear off of himself, anyway? Granted, El had grafted craving and comfort and control over the spaces left behind, but there was no way in hell Sands was giving up those pieces. "I'm not pissed off," he finally contradicted, moodily hugging the guitar case. "Not now, you idiot snake-dick; El's gotten too deep in you. It'd be like throwing away part of him." Spitting out the ash-coated words. "Besides, you…balance things. Or you would, if you ever pried yourself off the white picket fence. So there's a point to you getting in on this. And fuck, but that's what El's probably counting on. The skin-shredding ass-licker."

"Like you aren't proud of all those hickeys," Seth snorted, passing Sands his cane. Gecko got off the mattress and waited while Sands scrambled to follow. "What do you mean, 'balance things'?"

"There's kicking the world's ass, and then there's kick-starting the apocalypse," Sands explained, flicking out the retractable pole to its full length. "With the former, you have good times and great vengeance parties. With the latter, you blow off your balls with a shotgun. If there's no one to hear you scream in rage, are you really screaming? Does sound intrinsically exist, or is a listener required?"

"You're fucking-"

"Shut up and pay attention," Sands snapped, tone sharp as the cross-handled daggers El used to shave him. And destroy his t-shirts. Strangling his laugh, he headed for where the door should be. "El and I, we're carving our names in this shitty dirt. But sometimes it's hard to remember when to move on before we dig too far. And if you take out too much soil, you've got yourself a grave. Savvy?"

Taking Sands by the elbow to direct him toward the staircase, Seth was silent as they made their way out of the building. But just before they walked outside, Gecko brought them to a halt and spoke. Somber and struggling. "So you can be sane. Logical, even."

"When I'm reminded that it's an unfortunate necessity." Leaning back against the closed door, Sands resigned himself to yet another deep discussion. It figured that El would make him do all the talking. Goddamned monosyllabic Neanderthal. Not that Sands really minded the 'catch-prey/mate-drag-home' bit, but being the designated wise man made him want to find an ax and start hacking off limbs. "Which is why, in the beginning, I didn't blow you to hell. And of course, now it's too late."

"I thought El would…steady you," Seth commented, puzzled. As always. What prickled at Sands the most was how Lizard Ass kept forcing his thinking back between the lines. Horizontal and vertical, instead of sprawling all over the place. A little organization was good, but too much just fucked up the system. Thermodynamics ruled, after all.

"El holds me together," Sands finally replied, voice unexpectedly hushed. "He's…it. Mine. My own personal chaos theory, making everything work. But he's not…not the boundary. He can't be. I mean, honestly, the fuckmook just takes every border and erases it."

Thunk. Thunk. It took a moment to realize what Seth was doing, but when Sands did, he couldn't help but snigger once. Televangelist pornos, but banging foreheads against doors was so sophomoric.

"I think I'm in love with him," Seth muttered, mostly to himself.

Too bad Sands' hearing had gotten so keen. "No, you're not," he snorted, rapping the tip of his cane on the floor. "See? Recurring error. You keep using the old terms for everything, and thus cannot think like the demon."

"What the fuck do you know?" Seth hissed. Did stop the head-smacking, thank all defiled angels.

"Much as I absolutely detest admitting it, we've got one huge similarity," Sands snapped back. "El. And I'm not in love with him."

"Denial's got such lovely riverside properties," the other man snarked, sounding like he was a hair away from exploding.

Shaking his head, Sands pointedly twirled his cane. "Don't you fucking throw my words back at me. Not when you don't even get it. If I were in love with El, I'd damn well say so. Jesusfucking Magdalene, you scaly prick-you've seen him claim me. Over and over and over. But I'm not in love with him. I…like I could even begin to describe what it is between us. Like I should have to, you dense hypocritical limpdick. And that-" jabbing an accusing finger "-is why I keep flaying off your skin."

Head high, Sands pushed past the other man and shoved the door open.

A half-second after he'd packed away the case and nestled into El's lap, a very quiet Seth slid into the backseat. Sands could feel the mariachi's questioning stare sear into his skin, but determinedly did not elucidate. If El wasn't going to discuss the annoying shit with him, then he certainly wouldn't be the one to bring it up.

Fingers nudged a cigarette tip against his mouth. Pursing his lips around it, Sands drew in a long drag as El twisted the key and the engine roared into action. Made indignant noises when the cancerstick got taken back, but switched to mewing when a hand draped itself around his side, stroking up and down his belly. Occasionally dipping lower to tease his cock through his jeans.

Goddamn frustrating mariachi. But El was his bread made of bones, his butter churned from blood, and Sands had never had a better meal. Nor did he mean to.


Damn, these people lived well. Their haciendas looked more polished than most Federal banks of Seth's acquaintance, and even the cannon fodder wore silk shirts.

Too bad Seth was running too fast to really appreciate most of it. Hanging right off the end banister, he skidded backwards down the staircase, firing behind him as he flew through puffs of chipped marble and adobe. Fucking shrapnel stung, but he couldn't stop. Too many goddamn bullets skittering around him. And where the hell were El and Sands?

"Fuckers," Gecko muttered, leaping the last few steps. Gunfire greeted him from the right, creasing lead across one hip. Hissing, he collapsed the wounded leg to roll behind a heavy carved table. Swapped in his last cartridge while three on the stairs and the four coming up front dickered about who got credit for his death. Yeah, right.

Leaping up and shooting, he saw two opponents spin limply to the ground as he slammed himself into the nearest room.

"Took you long enough," called a smug shit-faced bastard man-cat. Whirling to spear a throat with his cane, Sands jerked it out and twisted to shoot the remaining five trailing Seth. "What kept you?"

"Montezuma's revenge," Seth snapped back, spraying metal all over the dining room. Jumping over the table, he fired at the seemingly endless bunches of cartel men pouring through the doors at the other end of the room.

"Christ in Walmart™," Sands uttered, exasperated beyond belief as he backed himself up to the table. "Only fucking undead I've ever met who could get loose bowels-"

"Not me," Seth retorted. His gun clicked empty. Roaring in indignation, he ducked under a rifle and smashed the heavy pistol into a ribcage, feeling the bones mash. Yanking out a fresh gun from the screeching man's belt, he blew the bastard back into the wall. "Them. Fucking carloads of them went out for Sunday dinner, got sick and rolled in just after we came."

"Fuck." Which was very much not good. Whenever Sands' cursing tilted toward mundane, the world tended to throw them a razor-sharp curve. "El's too far in. We can't do anything but kill all of them."

Kicking a chair at another two gunmen, Seth caught something out of the corner of his eye. Reflexively whipped around to level a pistol at the enterprising fuck who'd gotten past the cane and shoved a submachine gun against Sands' temple, while Sands simultaneously pivoted to point his pistol at the shithead that'd clattered up from behind to press cold metal to the side of Seth's face.

//Drop your guns//, ordered one of the sweat-slicked pricks, panting like a fifty-peso whore faking it.

Well, shit. Too many to take down even after resurrecting, and if they saw that once, they were going to catch on. Probably assign one dick to keep pumping bullets into his and Sands' heads. Goddamn it, Seth knew this would happen. The three of them had it fucking coming, the way they went-

--the way. Life's way had been pure horseshit, and of course it wasn't going to change. They always would've had it coming, no matter what. Unless they gave up the cordite taste and blood-scent and fucking amazing sex for…yes, the white picket fence. Fucking hell, but Sands had been right.

//Now!// shouted the same cartel idiot, shaking. Seth could practically smell the piss.

"You first," Sands insisted, lips gradually stretching into that unmistakable manic smirk.

Seth couldn't give this up. He'd do anything to keep whatever he had, even if it was just a crumb off the buffet line. Because even stuck in hell, who would he rather be? Fucked-up and bent beyond definition, like Sands? Or typical love-hate-thank-you-ma'am, like the cocksuckers holding guns on them?

Hell, there wasn't even a choice. "You know," Seth commented calmly, "I don't like how you're constantly making fun of my name. I don't make cracks about desert air shriveling important parts, do I?"

//Holy-I told you two to put your guns down, damn it!//

Cocking his head, Sands allowed his smile to bare even more teeth. "Come to think of it, I'm not too fond of your constant moodiness. Christ's balls, but you're worse than pregnant psychics."

All right, they were on the same page. Now all Seth needed was a saving grace. Except where the fuck was he supposed to find-

--oh. Oh, now. That was interesting. So the mental quirk wasn't just limited to tracking cash and jewels. "Ring around the rosie," Seth sang softly, watching Sands' lips purse, forehead wrinkle. "Pocket full of posie. Ashes, ashes, we all-" smooth comprehension, broad grin "-fall down!"

Instantly dropping on those last words, Seth flashed his gun sideways and shot out the last bit of wood that was holding the floor together. Through the mad crackling explosions of wild shooting and the splintering planks, he just glimpsed Sands throwing himself to the ground and tumbling through to the cellar.


"Shitfucking cuntwhores!" Sands howled, ripping the jagged fucker of lumber scrap out of his arm. Flipping up the nearest guns with his toes, he commenced to slaughtering every single one of those bean-loving jackasses who had dared think they'd gotten the better of him.

From the far side of the basement, more shooting resounded. Fine, the better of him and Seth, Sands sourly corrected himself as he moved forward. Punching out one groaning moron, he tripped over his own cane. It nearly sent him down into one grappling fuckmook, but he planted an elbow into a soft stomach, then writhed away and turned back to land two bullets in the same spot. Yanking himself up, flicking the blood and entrails off his cane, Sands continued to fire at the scuffles and screams till light flared in his mind. Jerking his gun right at the last moment, he shot.

"Christ, watch it," Seth snarled, whacking something-pardon, slight disorientation-someone into the wall.

"I did," Sands rejoined, carefully tapping his way over the bodies. "Which way's out?"

A hand cupped his elbow, then briefly left before returning. "You have brains all over your front," Seth observed clinically. "Matches the t-shirt, actually."

Well, well, who would've guessed? The man was indeed a professional crackhead, once the first couple layers of skin got peeled off. And damn it, but Sands had to play fair now, didn't he? Not nice, though. "Lead on, MacSeth."

"I'm assuming that translates to 'please direct me to the exit,'" Gecko mumbled, aggravated, as he started tugging them forward.

At least Sands got another target out of the whole thing. One that reacted, and come to think of it, El was way too plugged-in to Sands' no-method method to be much fun in that particular aspect of life. "So…care to explain why we just acted out a nursery rhyme?" he queried, high-stepping through the puddles soaking into his pants.

"Let's just say that I've gotten very good at finding the essential," Seth replied, piloting them into a damp staircase. Mold and rot rose to assault Sands' nose, ripping into him like the memories suddenly rearing up in his brain. Breath snagging, fraying into the edge of panic, he stumbled back and slumped against the wall. But the world kept closing in on him. The adobe was crawling under his fingers, trying to swallow him whole and strap him down, down-

--"Ow!" Jolting away from the collision, Sands staggered back into a haze of death scents: urine and blood, fear and anger. He gratefully inhaled the comforting odors, feeling the ground steady beneath his feet.

Wavering footsteps came up to his side, where Seth halted, so close that the other man's ragged breaths warmed Sands' face. "Oh, God," Gecko whispered thickly.

"What?" Sands inquired unthinkingly, still not completely focused.

"Fuck. Fuck. Why the fuck does everything have to look alike here?" Seth demanded rhetorically, rising fury doing little to mask his dread. "Just like that goddamned bar."

Marbles plinked into cups, and Sands bounced back into the present reality. "Richie."

"I didn't know he was bitten till after we'd barricaded the door," Seth confessed, voice clenching in on itself. "That fucking staircase…broke half the steps staking him, and then, when we suicide-charged the damned vamps, guess who we got to step in on the way out. And here looks exactly like-like-fuck."

"Smells like the blinding," Sands muttered quietly, clutching at his cane. "May Barillo and his cuntsucking daughter writhe in hell."

Rasping laughter, Seth somehow managed to avoid sounding condescending or pathetic or nastily sympathetic. "Holy shit. We're afraid of a staircase."

"It's the only way out, isn't it?" When Gecko hesitated, Sands hissed under his breath. "Fucking great. Just…" Pinging heat in his head. Sands forced his tendons to loosen up, relaxed into it. "El's coming. He'll get us."

"Oh, good. A distract-damn it. Now I have to explain this stupid shit to him."

"Get over it," Sands replied, resigned and relieved all at once. "You can't keep anything from him, if you haven't noticed. It just doesn't work that way."

"Yeah," Seth sighed, somewhat less annoyed with that than he should be. Than he would've been, a few days ago. "Figures. Nothing's perfect."

"Hey. Makes things stay interesting," Sands retorted. "And don't even think of mentioning my attention span. It stretches and shrinks to suit the occasion, so if it's too short for you, then that's your fault."



Clean. It was a nice feeling, El thought. Good hot water, rinsing off all the grime and gently pattering the muscles till they unknotted, sluicing the mind till it untwisted itself. Stilled and forgot the scarlet-laced vision of battle.

The bed dipped, and a hard lean body flopped down next to him. Through half-shut eyes, Seth stared at the hand El had folded across his stomach-the scarred one. Leaned over and skimmed lips over the gnarled ridge that scored down the back of the hand. Languidly stroking fingers over the other man's neck, El swept nails down the still-damp bare back, then dragged them up along the arching spine to trace the spiraling black flames painted into the gold skin.

"It's funny," Seth murmured, voice roughened at the edges but silk-smooth in the center. "Writing to Richie got me through prison, but Christ, he was so messed up and I never knew. Sounded like a geek on paper, actually. That's what he should've been."

"What my brother became," El said, sliding his hand round to pinch a nipple erect, //A lord of shit. Cartel. That was the only thing he thought he could be, and so in the end, it was the only thing he made himself fit for.// Regarding the ceiling, he closed his eyes. //It took me a long time to see, but that was what he chose. And I think he was happy with it, most of the time.//

"Which of you decided to bring me along?" Seth demanded, shaking off the caresses and propping himself up over El. "Who chose?"

"You did," the mariachi shrugged. "I…heard…you. And I accepted."

"Why?" Seth pressed.

Reaching up, El seized the other man's wrists and tumbled them over so he was on top. He leaned down to suck down the curl of one tattoo, grazing teeth every time Seth shivered. "You have to ask?" El rejoined, nibbling harshly up to one earlobe.

Bit it softly, then hard enough to bleed. Tendons standing out of the skin so they impressed themselves on El's palms, Seth groaned, flexing. Let El nudge around so every salt-ruby drop wasn't wasted. "Fuck, no. Just curious," the other man breathed, bending his head back so El could rake teeth down his throat.

Fixing his mouth over the vocal cords, the mariachi held absolutely still, feeling the flesh beneath him tremble with long swallows. Eventually he moved on, licking up one imprisoned arm to taste the inside of one elbow. "There's a saying…curiosity killed the cat?" he whispered as he ghosted lips down the center of Seth's face, dodging back when the other man craned up.

"Satisfaction shocked that furry fucker back to life," quipped Sands, just-emerged from the shower. Having finished rubbing his hair semi-dry, he began to wrap his towel around his waist, then snorted and tossed it over one shoulder. "Damn…where'd we put the-"

"Two steps left behind the chair, then three up and right by the case," Seth gasped, burying his face into El's neck and desperately kissing it, openmouthed and wet and pleading. "Mother of God…"

Too busy carving reddish smudges all over Seth's shoulders and chest, El merely scooted over to make room for Sands. When he felt thin fingers wrap around the other man's wrists, he released them so Sands could make a messy wrap of the leather and chains. Slid down to flicker his tongue over nipples, tasting faint traces of soap. El swiftly yanked off both his and Seth's pants, then hauled himself up again to catch Sands by the waist.

"Hey," the other American squeaked, wriggling till El wrestled the glass-fragile wrists up to the headboard, to which he bound them. While raking the feeble protests out of Sands' eager mouth, while molding his hand to a sleek flank and skating it down to curve around a plump buttock. A mouth nipped at his back, and then Seth bumped past El's side to curl his tongue around Sands' cock. "Oh, throatfucking angels," Sands swore as he jerked back, mewl leeching through his words. "If anyone even thinks of interrupting-"

Briefly pulling away, Seth nuzzled up El's ribs. "Fucking kiss him already. Jesus, never stops talk-mmph!"

Twining his fingers even more tightly in Gecko's hair, El pushed the man back onto Sands' cock, then snapped his lips onto Sands', drinking in all the breath before he tore himself away. Slithered down the length of Seth, soaking up the whimpers and tremors. Fuel to the slow burning that'd sparked within him. El momentarily left to retrieve the salve, then turned back. And paused, watching.

Hung-jaw mouth, lipping the air for an absent partner. Moist skin become wet with sweat, stretching and shifting over straining muscles. A throat, long and bi-colored, working languorously over stiff blushing flesh. Invisible crackling all about, scorching and devouring till the charred supports of El's mind toppled.

Climbing back onto the bed behind Seth, El made short work of the preliminaries, suddenly done with patience. As he sunk in, he reflexively threw back his head, growling at the heat that enfolded him, begging for him to drive in deeper. So he did.

Back bowing, Seth ripped a muffled keen from within himself. Choked on the erection swelling his mouth and throat, which rippled flesh to produce interesting effects. Fascinated, El saw Sands clamp onto the air, wrench off a huge chunk and spit it out in a fierce yowling spasm that ran from neck to ankles. Collapsing limply back into the pillows, the other man clawed at the sheets, shoulders shaking as he came down from his climax.

The mariachi dug fingers into Seth's hips, drawing him away from Sands and then flopping his unresisting form over the other American so El could lean over and scatter sucking bites all across Sands' vulnerable nape. Kissing as soft as his pounding into Seth was relentless. Pressing up into El's lips, Sands mewed, low and helplessly docile.

"Please," Seth hissed, rolling his hips back to meet El's thrusts. Snarling, the mariachi reared back, then dove down to snap teeth into Seth's neck. Drove in and up one last time, throwing himself into the blaze.


Rubbing his newly-free wrists, Sands snuggled into El's front, nestling his cheek in the crook of the other man's neck. Elbows and knees smacked each other a bit as Seth settled down on El's other side, but then El ran grained fingertips over the fresh sore spots on Sands' throat and jaw. Lifting his chin to encourage the petting, Sands purred.

To his momentary surprise, a slight rumble answered him. "Shut up," Seth said preemptively. "Guitar case teddy bear."

"Tattoo fixation," Sands countered, not about to obey that fuckmook. "Prissy tightass plans."

El sighed. Irate, Sands batted at the jingling prick. "Third arm. What the fuck, huh?"

"Yeah," Seth grudgingly agreed. "I don't get that either."

"It's something of yours," El murmured, indolently shifting. "So it's mine." His mouth quirked into a smile against Sands' cheek, probably because both Sands and Seth twitched at that last word. Goddamn perceptive singing skullfuck. "Mine. How about that one?"

"You know that answer," Sands sniffed, burrowing into El's shoulder. "Someone wake me up when the bullets start."

"Lazy fucker," Seth muttered, drifting off.

But Sands was really too bone-melting tired to bother with a reply. Hell, he already had an astronomical lead in the sarcasm contest. So a last comment was unnecessary effort when El was warm beneath him and Seth was being sensible. Sands was going to sleep now, and anything else could wait till later.


More ::: Home