Smallville: Shimmer. The entire precredits sequence features Clark parading about in nowt but a towel. Incredibly, it's not the slightst bit gratuitous and entirely integral to the plot, I swear J. Oooh, Lex promo this week. Niiiiice. Purr, lust, drool. This time Lex is being stalked, by Clark and the creepy chick from some sitcom Michael used to do. Clark shows up with tulips and a smile for his special boy. Lex has already assumed the position, down on all fours on the floor. Followed by the flirting and now the fondling. Oh my. QAF ain't this snuggly bunny. Everyone remarks on Clark hanging out at Lana's after school, but nobody says a word about his nocturnal visits to Lex's, bearing posies no less. Maybe Chloe was, in her cryptic little speech. Ah, Chloe, ace girl reporter and fag hag. Heh. EvilChannelNine cruelly censors the Lex viewage I'd been waiting for, trailing tickers across a lingering crotch shot. Bastards. Even with all the editing, there's still a wealth of couply scenes, even if Nine has truncated all their conversations to nonsense. An ad for Clockstoppers. Two seconds of subliminal Michael Biehn and much eeee-ing ensues. Hey, Chloe just totally checked out Clark's arse as he walked away from her. That's my girl. Ah, more Clexy goodness. Clark ain't gonna stand for anyone else stalking Lex but him. See Clark in enforcer mode. Ooooh, Lex tied up on the floor, straining at his bonds. Dribble. And it's Clark to the rescue, natch. leaving poor Chloe in the lurch. Sigh, it's never easy being a fag hag. All of the errands and none of the fun. Now it's the battle of Lex's gay teenaged stalkers. Clark gets the crap beaten out of him, artfully, in slow motion, for being 'special' to Lex. What, Lex has been moaning Clark's name over and over in the middle of the night again? Clark quickly proves he is the rightful champion worthy of Lex's favour, very quickly - I suspect some editing here. Clark and Lex gaze at each other on the steps to Lex's castle...suddenly we're back in the barn and Clark is spying on and pouting over Lana. He's left a red hot Lex for this? Chloe needs to sit the lad down and give him a good stern talking too. I noticed Lex's bathroom is bigger than my entire house, as it should be. Clark wasn't at all bothered about Lex dismissing the help without even so much as a reference, like some 19thC cad. Methinks Clark was glad to see the back of his rivals. What was Whits doing with his Dad's pills at school? Selling them at little lunch? What were Clark and Pete really up to in the showers? What's with all the incest vibes, again? Clark demonstrates a great deal of familiarity with the layout of Castle Lex. Just how many hours has the lad whiled away there? What was with the really fake scarlett O'Hara sunsets? Could they not film and insert a real one? What was with all the Gosford Park crap - and don't get me started on (last time I get drunk in a London pub, I'll tell you).
The Biehn Project: Deadfall. Inspired by a brief glimpse of the man, but whimping out on Asteroid again, I slap in Deadfall. I'd taped this last week. I don't think I mentioned how miserable I was, dragging myself to work while Mikey was home on the telly. It was the midday movie, so I knew it'd be bad. I just didn't think it'd be this bad. This time round Mikey's playing a blond icing sugar dealer or something, the character of which sounds like he should be much younger than Michael's obvious years. The Sopranos this ain't. Bad 70s tv movie music and production values abound, and it was made in the early 90s, for shame. And they want me to believe Mikey is the spawn of Our Man Flint? Not bloody likely. Oh dear lord, more narration. Is he going to yammer on through the whole movie? Solid, it's Link from the Mod Squad. And there's a Monkee. It's an entire sargasso sea of washed up actors, and Nicholas Cage needs to be taken out and gut shot. Poor Mike, he's going for understated and everybody else is doing end of the pier panto. Ah, at last. Crap movie = naked Michael. Heh. It makes my suffering all worthwhile. Well almost - this is a particularly dire entry on the old CV. Would I be crass if I mentioned the enormous hello Michael moment? Yeah, like it's stopped me before. An illegal 45 degrees too, the wicked boy, then the chick slaps it down and lands on it. Ow. This ain't the crocodile hunter you know, honey. Battered sav indeed. More skin. Okaaaay, so not taping over this. Fuck, I'm sad. Crap, this has everything, including the Charlie Sheen, playing the gayest pool hustler ever, and now the whole thing has devolved into sub-basement Austin Powers territory. Oh, Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. I've sat through some crapulence in my time, but this took the entire biscuit tin.
Sorry if I upset anybody yesterday mentioning the Nazi POW fork. Nazis bad, fork good. So they made good forks, and had an amazing sense of style, and packaged their whole thing like an enormous brand, but Nazis bad. Very, very bad. Speaking of Nazi motifs, though, there's a pic of Clark where he's standing in front of the Smallville high school flag and it's red, black and white and very, very Deutchland, Deutchland uber alles. You'd think they wouldn't want to draw attention to Clark and his whole superman, aryan, Hitler Youth thing that was such the rage when Supes was born. That the comic was dreamed up by a couple of Jewish lads makes it all the more ironic. Funny, how only those of the Jewish faith can get away with toying with Nazi symbolism, ideals or politics in comics, installations, film or broadway (or, ahem, Palestine) and nobody ever raises an eyebrow. I'm just sayin'. Had a character based on the prevailing Neitsche philosophies and draped in the art work of the time been created by anyone else, eyebrows would have been raised. Fingers would have been pointed. Tuts would have been tutted. Not that it's right or wrong, I'm just saying, it's an observation of current critical (or lack thereof) comment. I mean, how can one write about Smallville and not mention the prevailing fashions of the 30s that have crept into, coloured and meshed with the mythology. Creepy though, sending out publicity stills of Clark looking like a Nazi Youth poster.
The Blue Crystal! Mother was up early and I let her get the door for me. she was practically shaking hands with it before she saw the enormous huntsman spider, the size of my hand, hanging off the door near the handle. Mean, you say. Hey, my arachnophobia is still in the red zone after tearing out of the shed covered in large spiders screaming for somebody to get them off, get them off, only my family tear off in the other direction, turning the backyard scene into a cross between eight legged freaks and the Benny Hill show. I left the family to deal with the moster. Heh. There's a press campaign for Eight Legged Freaks at the moment where they've superimposed the image of a huge spider over the page of a magazine. Actual fucking size in Australia, mate.
M7 fic, part 3. Rated MA for mature adults only. May contain traces of m/m sexual scenes, coarse language, violence and drug use.
Ezra was still gambling hard when they returned to the saloon, having failed to find any trace of their missing body.
Buck decided not to tell Ezra, not yet at least. Ezra was still obviously troubled by the shooting. It wasn't like Ezra had never killed a man in the line of duty before, or even in cold blood, but shooting a man in the back, that was different. As much as Ezra wailed about sleeping with a damn Yankee in jest, he did possess that peculiarly acute sense of honour that they bred deep into the bones of young southern gentlemen and shooting a man in the back just wasn't part of his code.
Ezra stayed up playing until long past normal closing hours. Buck kicked everyone out and still Ezra stayed at the table with his cards. Finally Buck took the cards from Ezra's hands and laid them down on the table.
"Come on," he murmured. "Let me get you drunk."
Green eyes flicked up and met his at last.
Ezra sighed and pushed back his chair.
"Come on," Buck cajoled, tilting his head towards the bar.
Ezra gave in and stood and let Buck nudge him towards his bar. In truth, unsettled as he was, he was deeply grateful Buck refused to let him be.
A deep glass of his best brandy later and his ever growing affection for Buck had warmed him right through. He curled his hands through Buck's, played with his clothes, ran his hands through dark hair, then finally quit flirting and kissed him.
Buck held him close and turned the kiss more serious, concerned for Ezra and aroused by him.
"I've always wondered," Buck breathed huskily, fingertips tracing the features on the face he adored so much, "What it would be like to make love to you on this bar of yours."
"Want to find out?" Ezra goaded, smiling, his face brushing against Buck's.
They kissed some more, quick and teasing, then longer and more intense, grabbing at each other, wanting more, the touch of their tongues coiling straight down to their groins.
Ezra unbuckled his guns and dropped them to the ground where he stood. Buck pushed off Ezra's bright coat and then his waist coat. The counter was just that bit too high to lift Ezra onto it so he just turned Ezra around, dropping his pants as Ezra was leaning braced across the bar, begging for Buck. He ran his hands down Ezra, told the boy how much he loved the sight of him, the feel of him. Then Buck was inside him grinding out how good Ezra felt. Ezra hung onto the bar tight and demanded Buck do him hard. Buck leant over him, one hand covering Ezra's on the bar, the other tight around his waist. His breath was ragged as he buried himself in Ezra over and over again, groaning as he spilled deep inside Ezra and Ezra came thickly in his hand. He slid back, turned Ezra round to face him and they kissed slowly. It didn't take much convincing to get Ezra upstairs and out of the rest of his clothes.
Buck turned over in half sleep and snuggled up against Ezra, brushing his shoulder with a lazy kiss and draping an arm over his waist.
Ezra stirred from instinct but Buck soothed him with a sweet "Hush now, Darlin'," and an entreaty for Ezra to go back to sleep, which, much to Buck's surprise, Ezra did. He waited quietly as Ezra's breathing relaxed and he sank back into sleep.
Ezra was usually a light and fretful sleeper, prone to twitching with unspoken nightmares that only laudanum could give him a measure of escape from. Lately though, since Buck had been staying through the night he'd seen Ezra settle down and sleep without the use of any opiates. Buck liked to think he gave Ezra some comfort, but maybe Ezra just liked a warm bed.
Buck rested on his pillow, listening to the sounds of Ezra sleeping, wondering what kept Ezra awake at nights, then thinking it better if he didn't know.
In truth, he knew very little about Ezra: where he was from, who he'd been, even his name - Chris had turned up several aliases in a small investigation into the lad after he'd first joined them, Chris never liking an unknown quality.
What Buck did know was that Ezra was his friend and the boy had a good heart, deep down. Buck looked upon it as his duty to prevent life from making Ezra so hard that he no longer felt his good heart.
Teaching JD to be a man, that job was just about done. Keeping Ezra on the right path - that was a job for life. It was a vocation Buck was happy to accept, sensing great things in Ezra. Great things that might outshine all their legacies, if only he could keep the bitterness at bay. He'd lost Chris, letting his dark horses run wild for too many years. He wasn't about to give up on Ezra, not when Ezra had so much to give - just the light in his eyes when he smiled at Buck was enough. That was his reward, to see Ezra smile, after everything he'd endured so far.
He kissed Ezra's temple softly and let the boy sleep, hoping his dreams were of happier times.
It was late when they woke, yet still too early for the first customers of the saloon, bar JD and Nathan having breakfast in the corner.
Halfway down the stairs Buck turned on the step below Ezra and fussed with his tie, making sure it sat just so, making Ezra grizzle at Buck's constant mothering, which made JD chuckle in the corner.
Ignoring JD and Ezra, even, Buck leant in and kissed Ezra full on the lips. Ezra spluttered for a moment then wrapped his arms around Buck, making it last.
Nathan gave JD a speculative look and JD blushed and looked away.
Inez finally threw down the cloth she'd been polishing the bar with and demanded: "Enough. Always with the making love."
Buck turned and grinned at her. "You had your chance, Darlin'," he teased.
Inez glared daggers at him.
"Don't antagonise her or she'll spit in your eggs - again." Ezra grinned, walking down the rest of the stairs, leaving Buck to gauge whether Inez had - or not. Judging by her look - he chose to follow Ezra down the stairs, chastened.They settled down at the table with their friends, Buck still being openly affectionate in ways he'd never be if Chris or Vin were in the room. He brought over Ezra his coffee, as solicitous as any new beau.
Nathan laughed, leaning close. "Ezra, you blushing or is that a rash?" He leant closer, examining the red flush that crept up Ezra's throat and cheeks. "Buck, I think you need to shave more often or be more gentle with the boy."
Ezra squirmed and blushed deeper and JD pretended a deep interest in his mashed potatoes.
Buck recognised the signs of Ezra about to grow tetchy and he eased Nathan away from teasing Ezra.
"So, you heard any more about that body?" Nathan asked Buck, getting the hint to drop it.
"Body?" Ezra suddenly became alert again.
Missing Buck's shake of his head, Nathan elaborated. "That guy you shot yesterday - "
"Nathan!" Buck cut him off.
Ezra rocked back, glaring at Buck.
"What about the body? What aren't you telling me?"
"Nothing important. Figured you were upset enough as it was."
"Upset?" JD asked, not taking Ezra for a complete sissy. "Cause you shot him in the back?'
"I was trying to wing him," Ezra reiterated moodily.
"Ain't like you to miss, Ezra," Nathan chimed in, too busy teasing to notice all the colour had drained out of Ezra's face.
Ezra had always prided himself on his marksmanship, and now it was slipping from his fingers like water. Since the hanging, things that had once come as naturally to him as breathing had become inexplicably difficult. He covered as much as he could with guile and deflection, but surely, sometime soon his friends would notice he'd lost the few skills that made him valuable to them. And what then, when he was of no more use to them?
Buck's hand was on his arm.
"Don't worry, Chris will look after it," he reassured, mistaking the cause of Ezra's concern.
Ezra nodded, falling into the lie, letting it cover his real fears.
Chris stalked in and asked Nathan directly if he'd found his missing body yet, irritated that such a thing could happen not once but twice under his jurisdiction.
"Missing body?" Ezra piped up, alarmed, but nobody paid him any mind.
"Well it can't have gotten up and walked out the front door by itself." Chris growled.
Nathan nodded in agreement. "I've seen men come back from the dead, but Ezra shot him clean through the heart - no way was he coming back from that."
Ezra paled as his marksmanship was called into account again. He wiped his mouth and set his napkin down.
"Am I to understand that you gentleman have misplaced another dead body?"
Chris gave him a quick and aggravated look. Ezra always managed to get under his skin, usually without even trying.
Ezra wasn't to be put off by Chris, instead, he was putting two and two together.
"That's where you all disappeared off to last night - to go look for your missing body."
He turned hurt and accusing eyes to Buck.
"We didn't want to upset you," Buck offered softly.
"Well, I'm upset. Bad enough I killed the man but now you've gone and lost him -"
"Ezra," Chris warned, not wanting to bother with how Ezra might feel about the situation.
"If the gang did indeed take the body, they'll be long gone by now." Ezra underlined the bottom line for them. It was over and done, it was only Chris' ego that required a solution to the mystery.
"He's right, you know," Buck chimed in, negotiating a settlement. "There's nothing more to be done. Let it be." But Buck could see Chris wasn't going to let it be, not until he figured out what had happened and fetched the body back, because his professional pride was involved.
Once upon a time Chris would have walked away, uncaring. The town didn't pay for him to protect dead men, after all, but he'd grown to like the respect his role as peacekeeper afforded him, and there was no way he was going to let it be said that not even the dead were safe in this town.
Chris and Vin rode out that morning, But Ezra was right, there was no trace of the missing body or which way the men might have taken it, even with Vin's skilled eyes. By noon they'd turned back to town, Chris lounging in the sun at the front of his gaol and Vin in the saloon, nursing the small dent to his reputation of a tracker of some skill, not even being able to find a dead man. He felt the laughter in the bar was somehow being directed at himself.
Chris rose as Mary passed, nodding to her as they paused to exchange awkward pleasantries. Chris watched Mary shoot cold daggered looks towards Ezra as he walked along the street from the bank to his saloon.
"Is Ezra on your list of undesirable persons now?" Chris asked, leaning on the railing beside her.
"It's his saloon," Mary tried to disagree.
"Ezra runs the best saloon in town, and everybody knows it. You want this to be a dry town now, Mary?"
She gave him a shrewish look. "What if I did? You must admit that saloon of his attracts a bad element into town."
"I think some of the other businesses might object to prohibition. Ezra might object to that. This is his town now, as much as it is yours."
Her expression grew darker. "Sometimes I wonder why I talked my father into letting you all stay."
Chris just leant on the railing.
"Town's getting bigger, more prosperous. You reckon we've outstayed our welcome." He flicked her a look. "Or are you just worried that more of Ezra's kind will move into town? Gamblers, gunslingers, sodomites." He could see they were all being tarred by the same brush.
"You still worried about what I said about me and Buck? Hell, we were just kids. Boys do that sort of thing."
Mary gave him a pursed look that said she thought better men didn't, nor did they frolic with whores or have to be dragged back to town so drunk they had to be slung over their horse.
"Don't you think Ezra has a right to his own life?"
"I don't know - does he have to be so…open about it?" Mary was still glaring at the saloon coldly.
Chris straightened, giving her a considering look. Alright, he'd tell Ezra to keep his head down, until Mary was feeling more charitable.
The afternoon shadows lengthened, covering the dusty main street with the beginnings of dusk.
Buck was still across in the gaol with Chris, talking over things, god only knew what. Old business, new business, it made no difference to Ezra. Eventually, Chris would release Buck from his duties and he'd belong to solely Ezra again. In the meantime, Ezra watched his saloon, lord of all he surveyed. God, he loved this place. It was the worst, the shabbiest, the dingiest saloon he'd ever seen and he loved every rotted plank and rusty nail because it was his. It belonged to him now lock stock and barrel and hard won and he had his friends here and his life was good.
Ezra leant back against the bar, Vin beside him, feeling the old comfort of the familiar. His eyes narrowed for a moment, catching sight of someone he thought - no, surely not. It must have been a trick of the light.
"Ezra?" Vin asked, noting his reaction.
"It's nothing," Ezra fobbed off Vin's inquiry gently. "Just thought I saw a ghost, that's all."
"Ez, you've gone all pale," Vin was studying him closely, too closely.
"I assure you I'm in the pink of health, Mr Tanner, but I thank you for your concern," he drawled. He raised his glass to his lips, in mock salute, but never quite made it.
Ezra's hand began to tremble uncontrollably. The glass he held slipped through his fingers, caught before it smashed to the floor by Vin.
"Good catch," Ezra smiled, then he fell backwards, insensible, twitching on the ground.
"Ezra? Ezra!" Vin dropped by his side, trying to hold him still.
Buck burst into Ezra's room and found Ezra laid out in the bed and Vin sitting beside him, leaning over him.
"What the hell happened?"
"He just fell," Vin tried to explain. He could see Buck's anger, and he understood it. He stood up and let Buck take his pace by Ezra's side.
"He was just having a drink, then he fell down and started having a fit," Vin tried to explain.
"Ez, Ezra," Buck tried but Ezra would not be roused, not until Nathan arrived with his smelling salts and even then Ezra was groggy.
Buck looked to Nathan.
"Is he ill?"
"There's no fever."
Buck caught Nathan's look.
"He wasn't drunk," he insisted.
Nathan had to agree. Ezra had been drinking, but he didn't smell like he'd been drinking hard. Ezra murmured and twitched under Nathan's touch and Nathan left him alone, remembering all too clearly the last time he'd tended Ezra when he'd been semi conscious with fever. He'd said things, hateful things, not recognising Nathan, echoing times past. Nathan didn't want Buck to hear Ezra tell him to keep his filthy black hands off him. He didn't know why, but he wanted to spare Buck from hearing such ugly things from Ezra's mouth. Maybe he knew Ezra didn't mean it any more. But once, he had.
Nathan rose. "There's nothing more I can do for him tonight. Let him rest. It was probably nothing."
Buck wanted so badly to believe that. Damn, Ezra had been acting funny for days, and now this. Well, he knew life with Ezra was never going to be boring.
Nathan shrugged. "I really don't know, Buck. He seemed fine to me, last time I checked him over."
Vin hung his head, knowing he had a part in this, in Ezra's ongoing convalescence.
"I'm sorry, Buck."
"What did you do?" Buck accused.
"Nothing. He seemed fine. He was talking and laughing, then he just fell, Buck."
"You didn't say anything to upset him?"
"No!" Vin resented the implication.
"Take it outside, gentlemen, please," Nathan implored. "Ezra needs his rest. Let him sleep," Nathan insisted, shooing them all out. All except Buck who would not be moved. He met Buck's eyes. "I'll watch over him for a bit."
Buck nodded, marching Vin outside onto the landing.
Vin shook him off angrily. "I didn't touch him," Vin knew the real cause of Buck's anger. "I didn't say nothin', neither. We were just talkin', then he started fittin'. It came on real sudden. There was nothing I could do, 'cept get him up here and put him to bed."
"Thanks," Buck offered belatedly.
Vin nodded, their disagreement settled. "I'm real sorry, Buck," Vin offered again.
Buck shook his head. No use in crying over spilt milk now. He watched Vin, and then Nathan go back down the stairs, leaving him alone with Ezra for another night.
Buck settled down in a chair beside Ezra, picked up the book Ezra had been reading and flipped to the front page.
Damn, if he hadn't gotten used to this, sitting beside Ezra's bed, wondering if the boy was going to make it through til morning. He remembered the first time, that time Ezra had been shot and kicked and beaten halfway to hell by some people he must have owed money to.
The wound should have killed Ezra that day, but all his fine clothes, the layers of silk to be precise, had slowed the bullet so it had only burrowed itself into him, not torn through him like a hot metal fist.
Ezra had been lucky. He'd always been lucky. Even now, he should be dead. If that rope hadn't been weighted for a man a good few inches taller, he would have been.
Buck glanced up from the book he was reading as the lamp light flickered, but it was just an impurity in the flame. Ezra was still sleeping, his face, his whole body at rest. His shirt collar was open at his throat, opened by Nathan, probably, or Vin, searching for a pulse. Ezra's chest rose and fell softly. He was lost to the world of the waking for now. He looked so languidly beautiful, so at peace, but it was a false peace. Ezra was still haunted by his past actions. Buck reached out and brushed a strand of auburn hair back from Ezra's forehead. Stupid kid. Damn, he should have kept a better eye on Ezra. Ezra got himself into more trouble than JD could ever imagine. Buck traced his fingers down Ezra's jawline, down his throat, feeling the pulse echo beneath his fingertips. Beautiful, beautiful boy. So troubled, so sweet, so goddamn - when he walked he was like molten, liquid sin. He was temptation incarnate, it was his stock in trade. His beautiful, beautiful boy. People were drawn to Ezra and they burned in his flame. Buck was no different, he liked to feel the heat under his fingertips.
Buck sat back and just watched Ezra sleep his dreamless sleep. Buck would never grow tired of watching him. Finally Buck laid his book aside and crawled onto the bed with Ezra.
"You don't mind, do you, Darlin?" he asked of his unconscious lover.
He snuggled against Ezra, slipping his hand inside Ezra's shirt and feeling his heart beat, counting each one. Slowly the beats lulled him to sleep, listening to his lover dream.
A friend just sent me the above article, which I'd spied, but as we're 1-2 years, if not five or more, behind US telly, I've no idea what the show is. It annoys me, this lag. Avoding Angel spoilers this year, I end up being able to read the DoW list only a few weeks a year, between finally finishing the season here, and starting the new season over there. I'm further annoyed that, as a woman, any show I or my peers like, because we're not men aged 18-39 (to the best of my knowledge) it gets cancelled, or, worse, re-written and then cancelled. Magnificent Seven - cancelled, Invisible Man - reworked and then cancelled, Farscape - cancelled, Now and Again - cancelled, Dark Angel - reworked and cancelled, Roswell - reworked and cancelled, Stargate - don't get me started.
The new kettle at work makes all the tea taste and smell like pvc. That can't be healthy.