|Morning's First Light
Author: Guede Mazaka
El woke up with a gun in his mouth.
At the other end, one shaking American gripped and regripped the pistol. Sands was blanched to transparency, all his layers stripped off so El could stare through him to the old bloodstains on the far wall. "Would you kill me?" Sands demanded in a splintering voice. "If I went out and slaughtered all those Alzheimer-loving shit friends of yours, if I spit on Carolina's grave, if I sold you out to your worst enemy-would you kill me?"
Hard to answer with steel stroking the tongue.
"But that's not really the question, is it? The question, El, is whether there would be an afterward. Because damn it, but you're just like those fucking cockroaches that survive hail and rain and Godfucking apocalypses. You get right back up and you go for a stroll in Nancy Sinatra's boots." Sands' mouth twisted, jerked itself into position for another breathful of insults, but El whipped the edge of his hand into it. Backhanded the other man again and spit out the gun, then wrenched it away and flung it across the room. He grabbed Sands' wrists as the American tried to jump off the bed and yanked them up behind Sands so they were pressed together with no room to hide.
"Ow-let go, damn you. Let-" Sands hissed and tried to snap into El's neck.
"If I let go, you'll kill me," El pointed out. "If I leave, you'll kill me."
Anger and realization crumpled Sands into a dangling heap of wired limbs. "You never do get it, do you? I wanted to be someone. To matter."
"And I never wanted to be anyone, but I am." El flicked handcuffs out of his sleeve along with gun and wrapped silver around the blackheaded devil in his lap. He forced Sands' chin back with the pistol and held it there till the other man finally began to calm down. //Fucker. You're a goddamned nightmare to live with. You're my worst fucking nightmare now-is that good enough for you?//
Hysteria and rage seeped out of Sands, slowly turning him soft and yielding and too fucking. Tempting. "Yeah, that's enough," he murmured, swaying toward El. And damn everything to hell-El came forward to meet him.